Is Prep School Worth It?

With all of our daily banter about target schools and top MBA programs, a key piece of the puzzle often gets lost in the shuffle.

Elite preparatory schools have become just as much of a fast track to Wall Street as an Ivy League education...if not more so. There is apparently an upstart trying to break into this cartel of prestige.

In this battle of the haves versus the have-mores it is pretty tough to pick a side.

Objectively speaking, most of us would rather ignore the impact of private schooling.

The silver spoon crowd doesn't like being reminded of the game's rigging in their favor.

The tin lunch box crowd likes being reminded of their steeper climb even less.

I do, however, think it is about time we had an honest debate about the Pros and Cons of elite prep/private schools and the young aristocracy breeding machine of modern America.

As usual, I am going to give you guys the blue collar caveman perspective and you fine gentlemen can feel free to squelch my Neanderthal logic.

Why Private Schools Suck



1) I may talk a lot of trash about unions and public schools, but they are a great entry into reality. Overcrowded rooms, lazy bureaucrats and a system which funnels rather than nurtures...such is life...such is reality.

Though we don't have anyone to explain it to us at the time, a public school education prepares us for the daily reality of disappointment which all organized societies toil in.

In an odd way, even though public school doesn't prepare most for the real world...it actually does, since the world itself is unprepared.

Private schools on the other hand create a money based sense of order and logic which is great in a society which can afford it...newsflash:

America is not that society.

2) There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting your money to work. Whether we are talking about investing in stock or in education. Simultaneously, when who you blow becomes far more valuable than what you know there are serious storms on the horizon.

Take the following quote:

The school aims to take pupils to "global preparedness" by offering terms in Mumbai or Shanghai, fluency in a foreign language. Chelsea Piers, a sports complex in the neighborhood favored by ice hockey, basketball and squash dads, will help provide physical education.

Is this really of benefit to a developing child? Or is it more so the expulsion of masturbatory overachiever tendencies on the part of their parents?

Will speaking Mandarin and mastering squash help me in business? Undoubtedly.

Am I really going to be a complete person capable of doing business in a global landscape without once having stepped outside of my parent provided bubble?

Not friggin' likely.

3) Are intelligence and skills truly products which can be bought on the open market?

Can ~$40K a year for 12 years really make your kid a better person and a greater success in life?

I constantly hear about how HYP>XYZ due to some professed superiority of staffing, materials and resources...

Yet every single day life proves to me that those who compete hardest wind up on the gold medal podium.

Most of these winners do not come from the lap of luxury and the pocket of prestige, is it thereby logical to reason that the private school route is not the fast track to success?

Does being handed the keys to the kingdom before you're old enough to drive really give you a leg up?

Or does it actually handicap you in the long run?

Comments (195)

Mar 1, 2011

Fully agree on everything you said.

Private elite schooling provides certain advantages...but it also breeds complacency. The negative effects of the latter usually prevails.

Mar 1, 2011

I fully sport prep school for high school... not worth it for lower levels...

Mar 1, 2011

new england prep schools. could not imagine going to school with "the masses"

Mar 1, 2011

Then how do you anticipate competing with the masses?

Mar 1, 2011

I went to an elite British boarding school (Eton/Harrow/Windsor) and it was absolutely the best thing my parents ever did for me.

Mar 1, 2011

Yet every single day life proves to me that those who compete hardest wind up on the gold medal podium.

While I agree with this statement, I strongly believe that private schools give certain individuals a leg up. My comparison would be to athlete's training. Those who get up early, work out longer, and push themselves more will end up performing at their best on the field. However, those athletes, who have better facilities, coaches, and support systems definitely get a leg up. While those support systems don't guarantee success by any means, those who choose who to take advantage of what they are given will do better than those who don't and those who don't have the support systems.

Private school/prep school doesn't guarantee anybody the gold medal podium but it does help those who would push themselves anyway to even greater heights.

Mar 2, 2011
Seth Davis:

While I agree with this statement, I strongly believe that private schools give certain individuals a leg up. My comparison would be to athlete's training. Those who get up early, work out longer, and push themselves more will end up performing at their best on the field. However, those athletes, who have better facilities, coaches, and support systems definitely get a leg up. While those support systems don't guarantee success by any means, those who choose who to take advantage of what they are given will do better than those who don't and those who don't have the support systems.

Private school/prep school doesn't guarantee anybody the gold medal podium but it does help those who would push themselves anyway to even greater heights.

I disagree with the facilities argument. See Rocky IV.

Mar 1, 2011
Midas Mulligan Magoo:

Yet every single day life proves to me that those who compete hardest wind up on the gold medal podium.

Sounds like the key to success is to teach kids to want to compete and excel. This sounds more like a parenting problem than a schooling one to me.

Mar 1, 2011

This is also not always an apples to apples comparison.

If I stay in the town I currently live (fairly nice Chicago suburbs) my future children will be going to public schools. However, if I get the urge to move the family into a high-rise in the city it would be prep school all the way.

It depends on your future goals and alternative options. I want my future children to be well-rounded, smart and driven. They don't need to be pigeon-holed geniuses. If my future kids don't work at GS, that's ok with me.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Mar 1, 2011

Note: * I went to a crappy public school in North Carolina*

I think prep school is helpful in some respects, as in getting into a better college and getting a better education/preparing you better for the educational road ahead. But at the same time, it is very insular. I went to private middle and elementary schools and the difference between them is striking. Where academic excellence is promoted at the private school, at the public one it is derided. But, there is no exposure to different walks of life at a private school- prep or otherwise. Trust me, you don't know the world until the dude that sits next to you in your Civics class is being chased down the hall by a cadre of cops and then is slammed to the floor, handcuffed, and his GIANT bag of heroin confiscated. Ahh....real shit.

Reality hits you hard, bro...

Mar 1, 2011

Does it give you better exposure to the elite circles of society? Yes. Does it better prepare you for life? I would say no. I've met one kid from boarding school that was an actual human being, and he absolutely loathed everyone else at Deerfield because of how awful their mentality was. I hate the notion of entitlement, if it's the preppiest trust fund baby expecting a Ferrari at 16 or the hoodrat black kid waiting on his weekly food stamps while flunking out of 8th grade for the third year in a row, that attitude sickens me.

Mar 1, 2011

I don't think it can really be disputed that going to better schools gets more exposure to banking/consulting/etc. The main question I think is if people who get to that point actually do better at their jobs. I think no

Mar 1, 2011

Also, its not a really accurate assumption that "the best" go to private schools...There is plenty of competition at the top of public schools (with regard to education and women), and many of the kids are no less intelligent or competitive or willing to work hard. It's somewhat of a ridiculous concept to think that an 8th grader getting placed into private school or public school knows how smart he is, or will be

Mar 1, 2011

networking networking networking

Mar 1, 2011

If you raise your kids level headed - make them get a job, chores, volunteer, get them a Honda instead of a Ferrari at 16, and smack them around a bit when needed plus give them the opportunity to attend a top private school ----- he is going to turn out to be a pretty good kid.

The coke addicted dicks I've met have all had one thing in common. Parents who were just as self centered and spoiled as they are.

Mar 1, 2011

I've been observing my aunt and uncle's incredible success at homeschooling their 5 kids. Of the 3 adult kids, one is a newly minted CPA, one an NSA code breaker, and one a registered nurse and brilliant woman and mother. The system they and their homeschool peers practice costs about $1,000 or less per pupil annually. And these kids are and were highly involved in the community--sports, theatre, church, music, volunteer work etc-- more than most public/private kids.

Mar 1, 2011
Virginia Tech 4ever:

I've been observing my aunt and uncle's incredible success at homeschooling their 5 kids. Of the 3 adult kids, one is a newly minted CPA, one an NSA code breaker, and one a registered nurse and brilliant woman and mother. The system they and their homeschool peers practice costs about $1,000 or less per pupil annually. And these kids are and were highly involved in the community--sports, theatre, church, music, volunteer work etc-- more than most public/private kids.

There are different ways of raising and educating people. Actually, kids of the monarchy 500 years ago used to be tutored; essentially home-schooling.

Schools have started for a distinct reason: to bring universal education.

Not to nitpick though:

Virginia Tech 4ever:

and one a registered nurse and brilliant woman and mother.

what does a mother has to do with education?

Mar 1, 2011
freroht:

Not to nitpick though:

Virginia Tech 4ever:

and one a registered nurse and brilliant woman and mother.

what does a mother has to do with education?

She's a wonderful mother. She was raised right. That's the point.

Mar 1, 2011

My experience involved going to a public school in the suburbs. 10% of our teachers had PhDs; 50% has MS's. We had an olympic swimming pool. The average ACT score was 29, beating most of the state's private prep schools.

If you live in a nice suburb and have a strong public school system, you'd have to be crazy to send your kids to an elite prep school. Your kids deserve a normal rest of their childhood spent with their families- not a long trip out to Exeter at 14. And I really think it's healthy for the family for Dad to cut back to 50 hours/week once the kids hit grade school. Mom can take on a part time job to help cover some of the bills at that point, but the kids need someone to go to baseball games and swim meets.

  • wrm276
  •  Mar 1, 2011

several of my college friends who went to top prep schools were always making comments about how their prep school classes were harder than a lot of our college classes, and how they had high school teachers with Ivy degrees and phds and such. I, on the other hand, went to a large minority-majority public school where AP classes were taught by assistant coaches and shit who had degrees from places like eastwestern bullshit state technical college.

Mar 1, 2011
wrm276:

several of my college friends who went to top prep schools were always making comments about how their prep school classes were harder than a lot of our college classes, and how they had high school teachers with Ivy degrees and phds and such. I, on the other hand, went to a large minority-majority public school where AP classes were taught by assistant coaches and shit who had degrees from places like eastwestern bullshit state technical college.

And yet you ended up at the same college they did.

Mar 1, 2011

I dont think I would ever send my kids off to boarding school at that age. A good private school in the area is what I will probably do. If there is a good Jesuit school, then that will probably be the place I send um.

Mar 1, 2011

Prep school is all about what kind of parents you have and which genes you got from them.

Mar 1, 2011

My kids will go to prep school even though I went to a shitty public high school.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Mar 1, 2011

I think prep schools are there and will strive because of a basic reason:

The public school system is pretty a awful. You will go to a good public school if you live in the right zip code. Also, if someone is rich, they will have tendencies to send their kids were rich people send their kids. Do you want your kids to have dubious friends? Do you want your kids to tell you that his best friend has just died from stray bullets in the neighborhood?

There is a good chance that your kid will have the same goals with his/her friends. If they are having kids at 16, you bet you baby girl has a good chance to do the same. If they do not go to college, you bet your kid will tell you there is no reason to go to college.

Think about it, those things will be essential to you when you become a parent.

Mar 1, 2011

I went to a normal public school where the avg. kid went to Blinn, A&M or some community college. Obviously it would have been way easier to get into a top UG program coming from a elite private school but life is a give and take. I wouldnt trade my situation right now for anything, i'm very happy with the way life has turned out so far. I have a solid group of friends from my hometown, whom i keep in touch with on a weekly basis, none of them even have a fucking clue what IB is, and i'm glad. I would blow my brains out if every night when i went out we talked about bonuses, exit opps and what business schools we were applying to.

I went to a small private school for UG, which is what tools on this site would call a "non target" and I believe it definitely prepared me for the real world, as well as showed me a great time. Now i live in a brand new city and love every second of it. Never have I, nor do i particularly want to, hang out with someone with similar career goals as myself, except for CAPM, he's ok i guess. To each his own, we all have different experiences. True, i wasn't playing lacrosse and sailing on my yach in HS but I had just as much fun chugging my keystone lights and ripping a blunt before my extremely challenging senior schedule, consisting of cooking, stats 101 (a fucking joke), attendance aide (clutch city), and then skipping home at 12:30 to wreck shop at some Halo and Call of Duty.

Mar 1, 2011
Midas Mulligan Magoo:

Yet every single day life proves to me that those who compete hardest wind up on the gold medal podium.

Really? You're telling me that the average person--the one that went to a regular public high school and then a middle of the road college--is more successful than the average Deerfield alum? Sure, you can point to some examples of people who went to public schools and ultimately did extremely well. If I recall correctly, Steve Jobs went to a public high school and dropped out of Reed ~a year in. I'd certainly say the man's done pretty well for himself. Then again, Mark Zuckerberg went to Exeter and I GUESS he's done okay since graduating from Harvard. Bill Gates, too, was a private school kid.

What every single day of life tells me is that those who compete hard AND have the appropriate resources do better in life. If you look at it on an aggregate level, private school kids tend to do better than public school kids. They get into better colleges, don't have to worry about money (can focus more on school/extracurriculars, take unpaid internships, etc) and, ultimately, get better jobs.

Midas Mulligan Magoo:

Most of these winners do not come from the lap of luxury and the pocket of prestige, is it thereby logical to reason that the private school route is not the fast track to success?

I would argue that a higher percentage of private school kids become 'winners' (however you define that) than public school kids.

And then, of course, there's the saying on WSO: it's not about WHAT you know, but who you know. Sebastian and his parents are probably people to know than DeMarcus and Leroy.

Mar 1, 2011

It definitely relates to the priorities and resources of your parents.

I went to a reputable day private school in Connecticut. My parents are well-off, upper middle class but very frugal with their money. My parents placed a very high emphasis on education, and thats all they spent their money on. While I lived in a middle class suburban town, the high school was becoming very overcrowded. My 'rents knew this would not be an ideal learning environment for me, and believed I needed more attention from teachers to get me engaged. They sent me and my other sister to private school (she went to a elite boarding school), but I didn't want to board.

Given the competitive landscape and small environment, I was definitely pushed more and worked harder than I would have at public school --my public school friends didn't give a fuck about school work and had no desire to pursue a school beyond UCONN, UMASS or Eastern Conn. Of course, this depends on everyone's work ethic, maturity level, and other factors at the high school age.

Mar 1, 2011

Wow, pretty much everything I wanted to say has been said already. I went to an all-boys high school that I suppose you could definitely call "prestigious," but "elite" is definitely a push. You had to have some money to be there, but you didn't have to be elite. So in that sense, it wasn't as insular as it could have been, though that's definitely a valid argument in many cases. It's all about what the kid decides to take advantage of, like the parallel with the athletes. The experience is what he or she chooses to get out of it, and I think being grateful to have those chances is one of the most important attitudes to have.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Mar 1, 2011

Some people push themselves. Others need to be pushed by others. A smart person with an innate desire to excel will work public school just as well as private school to get into the elite colleges and professions that they want (obviously Harvard and GS aren't filled with just private school kids anymore...). But someone who is more driven by having other smart, driven people around them would probably do better at private school.

And that's not even because the average private school kid is smarter or better than the average public school kid (i.e., the gossip girl doing cocaine in the bathroom)...but private schools will expose you to those better opportunities if only because parents are paying a ton of money for that exact reason.

Mar 1, 2011

A poor Catholic school in the ghetto... but the teachers actually gave a sh*t and we were disciplined regularly not coddled. High levels of participation in athletics also knocked sense into us.

We have sent a ton of kids to Ivies and top Publics...

tuition= $2000 [if you could afford it (most couldn't)]

"The American father is never seen in London. He passes his life entirely in Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher." - Oscar Wilde

Mar 1, 2011

It would be Duncanville Independent School District for my kids...

the high school is nationally and internationally known for having a top-notch marching and symphonic band program.

TX UIL Region 20, Area B all the way...

Best Response
Mar 1, 2011

I started out in public school. My parents moved me to private school in 4th grade when our wrong-side-of-the-tracks neighborhood got a little too, shall we say, "stabby". From there I was accepted to an elite, all-male prep school for high school.

Sending me there nearly bankrupted my dad (not sure how close we came, but suffice it to say it was a major financial burden for a mailman and part-time bartender). It wasn't great for me, either, considering it was four years of my life that I'll never get back spent surrounded by insufferable douchebags. If there is one net positive to come out of the experience, it made me a better boxer because I spent a significant portion of that four-year period kicking preppie ass.

So popular was I at this school that I was voted "Most Likely To Be Shot at Dawn", and that honor was accompanied by a caricature of me blindfolded and tied to a post awaiting execution in the school paper. Great hay was made of the fact that I was the only member of my class of nearly 300 to decide against college, earning me more column inches in the school newspaper - this time in the centerfold.

All these various indignities served one purpose in my life: they imbued me with the white-hot hatred of a thousand burning suns for the children of privilege. I then leveraged that hatred into positions of success that enabled me to mete out brutal justice to those who were raised to believe they had a better pot to piss in. Words cannot describe the sublime pleasure that exists in crushing the dreams of a kid who's had everything handed to him in life. Some I fired and convinced they would never work on the Street; others I subjected to ritual abuse that rose to local legend in our small area of the market. Meanwhile, I ensured kids from the street got every leg up on the ones who thought they were better.

The moral of this story is that you're bound to run into a guy like me at some point in your professional life. Act like you're better than someone else because your daddy had money, and a guy like me will absolutely crush you. You'll find it's best to keep your prep school roots to yourself, Biff.

Mar 1, 2011
Edmundo Braverman:

I started out in public school. My parents moved me to private school in 4th grade when our wrong-side-of-the-tracks neighborhood got a little too, shall we say, "stabby". From there I was accepted to an elite, all-male prep school for high school.

Sending me there nearly bankrupted my dad (not sure how close we came, but suffice it to say it was a major financial burden for a mailman and part-time bartender). It wasn't great for me, either, considering it was four years of my life that I'll never get back spent surrounded by insufferable douchebags. If there is one net positive to come out of the experience, it made me a better boxer because I spent a significant portion of that four-year period kicking preppie ass.

So popular was I at this school that I was voted "Most Likely To Be Shot at Dawn", and that honor was accompanied by a caricature of me blindfolded and tied to a post awaiting execution in the school paper. Great hay was made of the fact that I was the only member of my class of nearly 300 to decide against college, earning me more column inches in the school newspaper - this time in the centerfold.

All these various indignities served one purpose in my life: they imbued me with the white-hot hatred of a thousand burning suns for the children of privilege. I then leveraged that hatred into positions of success that enabled me to mete out brutal justice to those who were raised to believe they had a better pot to piss in. Words cannot describe the sublime pleasure that exists in crushing the dreams of a kid who's had everything handed to him in life. Some I fired and convinced they would never work on the Street; others I subjected to ritual abuse that rose to local legend in our small area of the market. Meanwhile, I ensured kids from the street got every leg up on the ones who thought they were better.

The moral of this story is that you're bound to run into a guy like me at some point in your professional life. Act like you're better than someone else because your daddy had money, and a guy like me will absolutely crush you. You'll find it's best to keep your prep school roots to yourself, Biff.

When I read this, a low Crescendo of trumpets began playing in my head.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Mar 2, 2011
Edmundo Braverman:

I All these various indignities served one purpose in my life: they imbued me with the white-hot hatred of a thousand burning suns for the children of privilege. I then leveraged that hatred into positions of success that enabled me to mete out brutal justice to those who were raised to believe they had a better pot to piss in. Words cannot describe the sublime pleasure that exists in crushing the dreams of a kid who's had everything handed to him in life. Some I fired and convinced they would never work on the Street; others I subjected to ritual abuse that rose to local legend in our small area of the market. Meanwhile, I ensured kids from the street got every leg up on the ones who thought they were better.

THIS. I will be doing the exact same thing someday.

Mar 2, 2011
onemanwolfpack:
Edmundo Braverman:

I All these various indignities served one purpose in my life: they imbued me with the white-hot hatred of a thousand burning suns for the children of privilege. I then leveraged that hatred into positions of success that enabled me to mete out brutal justice to those who were raised to believe they had a better pot to piss in. Words cannot describe the sublime pleasure that exists in crushing the dreams of a kid who's had everything handed to him in life. Some I fired and convinced they would never work on the Street; others I subjected to ritual abuse that rose to local legend in our small area of the market. Meanwhile, I ensured kids from the street got every leg up on the ones who thought they were better.

THIS. I will be doing the exact same thing someday.

You realize this makes you just as bad as the entitled kid.

I have found it is just as much of a pain in the ass to deal with the overly-aggressive hyper-sensitive insecure guy with the enormous chip on his shoulder as it is to deal with the rich kid who went to Dalton and Yale. I have heard guys fly off the handle with the classic "you think you are better than me" shit and 99% of the time it reflects poorly on them, not the person it was directed towards. Basically, don't bring your insecurity to the workplace.

    • 1
Mar 1, 2011

We love you Va. Tech, but between this and the global warming thread, you're making it really tempting for me to start trolling YECs. :D

Mar 1, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

We love you Va. Tech, but between this and the global warming thread, you're making it really tempting for me to start trolling YECs. :D

Oh yeah, I guess those homeschoolers who kick ass at spelling bees have failed in their education.

Mar 1, 2011
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Oh yeah, I guess those homeschoolers who kick ass at spelling bees have failed in their education.

No, just geology. :D

Mar 1, 2011
Virginia Tech 4ever:
IlliniProgrammer:

We love you Va. Tech, but between this and the global warming thread, you're making it really tempting for me to start trolling YECs. :D

Oh yeah, I guess those homeschoolers who kick ass at spelling bees have failed in their education.

Are you being sarcastic? Have you ever seen the kids at national spelling bees? They all appear to have no social skills and mild aspergers.

Mar 1, 2011

Having been a public school kid, I will 100% be sending my children to private school for high school and public for elementary and middle. Not only do I believe that they will get a better education, but will also be afforded a lot of potential opportunities I was not as a result of the mentality in public school. I'm sure there are some great public schools out there, but I went to a school where about 1/4 of kids even went to college, and those that did went to state school. I was never exposed to anything challenging, despite high test scores, and didn't even know what kind of opportunities or careers even existed outside of the obvious doctor/lawyer. You could blame my parents I suppose, but their lack of education, coupled with the fact that my children will be first generation immigrants here, make it difficult to say, "you should have known/prepared me better".

I don't care what my children want to do when they grow up, but I do know that they will have a lot more opportunities to become whatever they want to if they get the opportunity to go to better schools. They will get that opportunity (IMO) by going to a prep school as opposed to a public school. It will increase their chances to go to a top tier/Ivy league school (two of which i passed on not understanding the ramifications at the time), and better prepare them mentally and academically to succeed at that school.

Although I do ok now and have had some success regardless, i can't help but believe things would have gone smoother, and mistakes made fewer, had I have been bettered prepared. That preparation does start with parenting, and unlike my parents I am fortunate enough to know how things really work in this country, but it continues with education and socialization. I believe that being around kids that are more likely to strive for excellence will implore my children to do the same. As an example, imagine a student getting an MBA from Chico state vs HBS. CAPM, DDM, etc do not change based on where you went to school. However, you can't tell me that you get the same level of education at both, or are afforded the same opportunities from both.

Mar 1, 2011

im pretty sure ill be going the route to live in an area with good suburbs and good public schools as a result... being from CT we generally are known to have good public school system (as are parts of jersey mass ny etc and tons of other areas and cities all around) so i dont really know what to say to those of you who are saying 'public schools are crap.' maybe ill send them to a catholic/jesuit school depending on the options but i dont see why the desire to drop 40k on a school per year

you all are largely forgetting that your kid may not WANT to be a banker and may want to be a social worker or teacher. then youll feel like a huge asshole for spending all that money on their education vs giving them a chunk of change when they graduate to do whatyever they want with (just as a trade off)

Mar 1, 2011
shorttheworld:

you all are largely forgetting that your kid may not WANT to be a banker and may want to be a social worker or teacher. then youll feel like a huge asshole for spending all that money on their education vs giving them a chunk of change when they graduate to do whatyever they want with (just as a trade off)

What language is this? I do not understand. Please translate.

Mar 1, 2011

tiredese because i was too busy entertaining a busty ukrainian consultant girl last night

Mar 1, 2011
shorttheworld:

busty ukrainian consultant girl last night

You can say escort.

Mar 1, 2011

I think it is worth remembering that not everyone that goes to prep school comes from a background of riches. I went to an 'elite' prep school (Andover/Exeter/St. Paul's) and by no means is my family filthy rich or did I get pushed in based on my background. I went on a nearly full financial aid scholarship (90% funded by the school) and I couldn't be happier that I did. I didn't go to HYP afterwards, either, but rather a top 20 school on financial aid. As long as you keep your head on straight, which most people in that situation do, taking advantage of the resources that you have there is worth a lot in the long-run. Douchebags come in all shapes and sizes, and there really wasn't any correlation in my time at prep school between that sort of attitude and family money. I personally look favorably on prep schools because they're no longer the places they were in the 50's and 60's and gave me a great experience - what you do with it and your attitude surrounding that experience is really up to you.

Mar 1, 2011

Private/Prep schools provide an excellent outlet for kids who do not live in areas with acceptable public schools. But in general, I would prefer my kids go to a highly reputable public school (I did) than to someplace like Lawrenceville.

That being said, I have to question the notion that growing up in the real world (which I am guessing you deem to be public/state schools) benefits your ability to do business in the world of high finance. There is certainly a generational gap on Wall Street where the senior guys who got their start in the 80's with little to no educational background are slowly starting to retire. They are getting replaced by the new generation of people who by and large came from elite universities and privileged upbringings. I think in 10 years the street will be encompassed largely by this demographic, and while I don't think this is ideal, I certainly think it is going to be the reality of the situation.

What I have found is that while the people who come from slightly less privileged backgrounds certainly have a hunger and drive for success that is beneficial on the job, some of these guys have enormous chips on their shoulders that they can't seem to hide. They can be extraordinarily competitive and aggressive to the point where they are difficult to work with. It is almost like reverse discrimination, the blue blooded guys don't really give a crap what school you went to and just get on with it, while the guys who had to batter their way to the top from a non-target look down on the people who went to more elite schools.

Mar 1, 2011
awm55:

That being said, I have to question the notion that growing up in the real world (which I am guessing you deem to be public/state schools) benefits your ability to do business in the world of high finance. There is certainly a generational gap on Wall Street where the senior guys who got their start in the 80's with little to no educational background are slowly starting to retire. They are getting replaced by the new generation of people who by and large came from elite universities and privileged upbringings. I think in 10 years the street will be encompassed largely by this demographic, and while I don't think this is ideal, I certainly think it is going to be the reality of the situation.

My thing was that I did not grow up in the real world. I grew up as a barely upper-middle-class kid in a suburb that has been described as "Lake Michigan's answer to 'The OC'". Kids would show up to school driving Porsches and would occasionally throw huge parties on parents' yachts.

For a while, I honestly believed we were poor. My parents made me work summer jobs. Our house was 2500 square feet. When I turned 16, my parents gave me a ten-year-old clunker for my birthday- a huge gift, but not the Beemers people I knew were getting.

Finally, I turned 18. And the height of indignities, I'd gotten into a number of private schools like my friends, but my parents explained to me that they were not worth eight figures like a lot of parents- and I had to go to state school.

When I arrived at state school, I finally realized how good I had it. I actually had a car (at that point one I'd purchased with my own money). Stepping into a 1960s cinder block dorm room, I thought it looked like a prison cell- other kids on my floor were thrilled to be off the farm. My Dad was paying for school- my friends had to take out student loans.

My experience is the opposite of yours'. I see a lot of kids who got hired pre-crash in the '90s and early parts of the decade getting replaced by kids from cheaper schools. There is a stronger work ethic, less sense of entitlement, and more obsession with competence. Managers are realizing that Ivy League degrees are not necessarily enough and there needs to be a little bit more.

What I have found is that while the people who come from slightly less privileged backgrounds certainly have a hunger and drive for success that is beneficial on the job, some of these guys have enormous chips on their shoulders that they can't seem to hide. They can be extraordinarily competitive and aggressive to the point where they are difficult to work with. It is almost like reverse discrimination, the blue blooded guys don't really give a crap what school you went to and just get on with it, while the guys who had to batter their way to the top from a non-target look down on the people who went to more elite schools.

I dunno. There was a huge focus on schools the first year or two in my analyst program. And I think that even if we know it's not true, the slightest hint that someone might think they're better than us sets a fire under our butts and makes us work a whole lot harder just to be sure we've proved them wrong. Perhaps it's a chip, but it's a good chip, and I have a feeling it's part of the reason that a disproportionate number of folks in leadership come from weird backgrounds.

If you had a chip on your shoulder that helped you do better, would you want to take it off?

Mar 1, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:
awm55:

That being said, I have to question the notion that growing up in the real world (which I am guessing you deem to be public/state schools) benefits your ability to do business in the world of high finance. There is certainly a generational gap on Wall Street where the senior guys who got their start in the 80's with little to no educational background are slowly starting to retire. They are getting replaced by the new generation of people who by and large came from elite universities and privileged upbringings. I think in 10 years the street will be encompassed largely by this demographic, and while I don't think this is ideal, I certainly think it is going to be the reality of the situation.

My thing was that I did not grow up in the real world. I grew up as a barely upper-middle-class kid in a suburb that has been described as "Lake Michigan's answer to 'The OC'". Kids would show up to school driving Porsches and would occasionally throw huge parties on parents' yachts.

For a while, I honestly believed we were poor. My parents made me work summer jobs. Our house was 2500 square feet. When I turned 16, my parents gave me a ten-year-old clunker for my birthday- a huge gift, but not the Beemers people I knew were getting.

Finally, I turned 18. And the height of indignities, I'd gotten into a number of private schools like my friends, but my parents explained to me that they were not worth eight figures like a lot of parents- and I had to go to state school.

When I arrived at state school, I finally realized how good I had it. I actually had a car (at that point one I'd purchased with my own money). Stepping into a 1960s cinder block dorm room, I thought it looked like a prison cell- other kids on my floor were thrilled to be off the farm. My Dad was paying for school- my friends had to take out student loans.

My experience is the opposite of yours'. I see a lot of kids who got hired pre-crash in the '90s and early parts of the decade getting replaced by kids from cheaper schools. There is a stronger work ethic, less sense of entitlement, and more obsession with competence. Managers are realizing that Ivy League degrees are not necessarily enough and there needs to be a little bit more.

What I have found is that while the people who come from slightly less privileged backgrounds certainly have a hunger and drive for success that is beneficial on the job, some of these guys have enormous chips on their shoulders that they can't seem to hide. They can be extraordinarily competitive and aggressive to the point where they are difficult to work with. It is almost like reverse discrimination, the blue blooded guys don't really give a crap what school you went to and just get on with it, while the guys who had to batter their way to the top from a non-target look down on the people who went to more elite schools.

I dunno. There was a huge focus on schools the first year or two in my analyst program. And I think that even if we know it's not true, the slightest hint that someone might think they're better than us sets a fire under our butts and makes us work a whole lot harder just to be sure we've proved them wrong. Perhaps it's a chip, but it's a good chip, and I have a feeling it's part of the reason that a disproportionate number of folks in leadership come from weird backgrounds.

If you had a chip on your shoulder that helped you do better, would you want to take it off?

My high school experience is similar to yours. I grew up in an extremely wealthy suburb of NYC which was blessed with a great public school system. I did not realize how good it was until I went to college and found it was a joke in comparison. I was up to 2 or 3 am every night doing work in HS, it was insane.

My parents split, but I still lived in a 600k 2500 sq ft house (which was about half of the median price of a home in the town) 5 min from the beach. I had nothing to complain about, but in comparison to so many of the kids at the school I felt pretty poor. Everything I have accomplished I did on my own merit, no connections or private schooling needed.

I am not sure about the hiring trends though. Maybe the lower tier firms are more open minded about taking kids from less prestigious universities, but the BB firms are pretty stringent with their hiring requirements. Obviously there are a few who get in, but if you look at analyst intakes I would say 75%+ easily come from target schools. And even the "lower tier" schools that you see represented are still damn good.

I think we have to remember Wall Street is a fairly big place, allot of people on this board are insulated to the BB IBanks, top PE firms, and hedge funds. Most people on Wall Street do not work at these places. I think in general the firms that everyone on this board would sell their grandmother to work at are pretty close minded when it comes to candidate pools, but I think the general demographic on the street is far more diverse than what we would come across every day.

Mar 1, 2011

How does MMM have no SB's for this post....

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Mar 1, 2011
blackfinancier:

How does MMM have no SB's for this post....

how come u still havent fixed ur resume after 2 mths of me asking so i can help u with a ML wealth management internship

Mar 1, 2011
shorttheworld:
blackfinancier:

How does MMM have no SB's for this post....

how come u still havent fixed ur resume after 2 mths of me asking so i can help u with a ML wealth management internship

Ladies...please

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Mar 1, 2011
shorttheworld:
blackfinancier:

How does MMM have no SB's for this post....

how come u still havent fixed ur resume after 2 mths of me asking so i can help u with a ML wealth management internship

Black, stop doing the duggy and update your resume

Mar 1, 2011

.

Mar 1, 2011

I would like to date a girl who went to an elite private school. Where can I find me one of those?

Mar 1, 2011

there are just as many douchebags at public schools...

Mar 1, 2011
LLcoolJ:

there are just as many douchebags at public schools...

I can vouch for you on this, but I have a feeling this is a correlation with wealth more than anything else. So you might find fewer self-entitled jerks in Cedar Rapids, IA than New Canaan, CT.

Mar 1, 2011

My kids are going to go to a public school (provided it's not an incredibly shitty inner-city one). If you NEED to go to a private school in order to get into a top notch college, you don't deserve to go there in the first place.

The only thing that places like Hotchkiss undoubtedly have an edge over a solid public schools is a strong and present alumni network. But then again, do I really want to be sending my kid down an 'investment banking track' at 17 years old? If he wants to become a banker, he can figure it out on his own once he gets to college.

Mar 1, 2011

I went to private school (high school) and I'm so glad my parents sent me there because being with the people at the local high school, no telling where I would be right now. Some of the kids I went to middle school with but went to the local public school are like working at Home Depot, UPS, and other hourly jobs. But I am definitely positive my kids will be attending a private school.

You give me a gift? BAM Thank you note! You invite me somewhere? POW RSVP! You do me a favor? WHAM Favor returned! Do not test my politeness.

Mar 1, 2011

Oh, that's right, according to you public school liberals and leer jet liberals, if it snows a lot, global warming, but if it doesn't snow at all, it's global warming. If it gets hotter, it's global warming, if it gets colder it's global warming. You leer jetters are just not too hot at basic math logic.

Mar 1, 2011
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Oh, that's right, according to you public school liberals and leer jet liberals, if it snows a lot, global warming, but if it doesn't snow at all, it's global warming. If it gets hotter, it's global warming, if it gets colder it's global warming. You leer jetters are just not too hot at basic math logic.

No. We are just historical revisionists according to Answers in Genesis. :-)

Mar 1, 2011

Wow, 12-year-old kids who are dressed stupidly by their parents and have bad eyesight and aren't yet wearing contacts. Yeah, they are in for rough rides when they become adults. Good that you liberals are OK with stereotyping people based on absolutely zero evidence whatsoever other than your prejudices.

Mar 1, 2011
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Wow, 12-year-old kids who are dressed stupidly by their parents and have bad eyesight and aren't yet wearing contacts. Yeah, they are in for rough rides when they become adults. Good that you liberals are OK with stereotyping people based on absolutely zero evidence whatsoever other than your prejudices.

Dude, I honestly don't know one person who was home-schooled and holds up a professional job. I assume most people who are home schooled are from insanely left wing hippy families, hyper religious families, or have some kind of learning/cognitive disability.

Mar 1, 2011
awm55:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Wow, 12-year-old kids who are dressed stupidly by their parents and have bad eyesight and aren't yet wearing contacts. Yeah, they are in for rough rides when they become adults. Good that you liberals are OK with stereotyping people based on absolutely zero evidence whatsoever other than your prejudices.

Dude, I honestly don't know one person who was home-schooled and holds up a professional job. I assume most people who are home schooled are from insanely left wing hippy families, hyper religious families, or have some kind of learning/cognitive disability.

I know 2 homeschool kids. One has a PhD, MD and a Masters in another field. The other is going to a T20 Law School next year. Clearly they will never hold down jobs.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Mar 1, 2011
awm55:

Dude, I honestly don't know one person who was home-schooled and holds up a professional job. I assume most people who are home schooled are from insanely left wing hippy families, hyper religious families, or have some kind of learning/cognitive disability.

I'm pretty sure Va. Tech is a born-again Christian. But he made it to Wall Street and that says something for homeschooling and traditional values.

That said, I am a Midwesterner and I always laugh at myself for the differences between me and the rest of the city. I am crazy thrifty. Other people get into arguments; I ask questions trying to lead people to my point and couch my words. I enjoy bragging about wearing a $15 pair of jeans. Va Tech is going to have a lot more fun in NYC and get along with a lot more folks if he's willing to laugh at himself a little on occasion. :D Being homeschooled, reading WND, and making it to wall street where everybody thinks that's crazy is part of his identity; me being crazy thrifty and telling engineering jokes that make New Yorkers think I'm crazy is part of mine. As long as we can laugh at ourselves rather than get defensive, it's fun.

Mar 1, 2011
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Wow, 12-year-old kids who are dressed stupidly by their parents and have bad eyesight and aren't yet wearing contacts. Yeah, they are in for rough rides when they become adults. Good that you liberals are OK with stereotyping people based on absolutely zero evidence whatsoever other than your prejudices.

I'm sorry Va. Tech, but you kinda set yourself up for that one. I know a lot of smart and cool homeschooled kids, but winning a spelling bee isn't the kinda thing you advertise as proof of that. Then again, I came in second during one back in fifth grade and I will never, ever forget how to spell "separate" again. :D

Mar 1, 2011
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Wow, 12-year-old kids who are dressed stupidly by their parents and have bad eyesight and aren't yet wearing contacts. Yeah, they are in for rough rides when they become adults. Good that you liberals are OK with stereotyping people based on absolutely zero evidence whatsoever other than your prejudices.

Just use common sense, there are a shit ton of home schooled kids in spelling bees because normal public schools (or any school for that matter) don't force kids to memories dictionaries. The parents are like stage/pageant moms, they force their kid to do this dumb-ass competition so they can live vicariously through their success.

Mar 1, 2011
awm55:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Wow, 12-year-old kids who are dressed stupidly by their parents and have bad eyesight and aren't yet wearing contacts. Yeah, they are in for rough rides when they become adults. Good that you liberals are OK with stereotyping people based on absolutely zero evidence whatsoever other than your prejudices.

Just use common sense, there are a shit ton of home schooled kids in spelling bees because normal public schools (or any school for that matter) don't force kids to memories dictionaries. The parents are like stage/pageant moms, they force their kid to do this dumb-ass competition so they can live vicariously through their success.

Once again, you can divine the social skills of a 12 year old based on how his parents dress him for a televised competition and how he spells words? I didn't know there was a question and answer session of a spelling bee.

Mar 1, 2011
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Wow, 12-year-old kids who are dressed stupidly by their parents and have bad eyesight and aren't yet wearing contacts. Yeah, they are in for rough rides when they become adults. Good that you liberals are OK with stereotyping people based on absolutely zero evidence whatsoever other than your prejudices.

And can we just clarify that liberal is not a catch all phrase for anything you don't agree with. I can categorically guarantee you my conservative friends would be the first ones to rip on home schooled kids.

Mar 1, 2011

BTW, notice how I indicated the fact that a newly minted CPA and an NSA code breaker were educated in a homeschooled capacity for under $1,000 per year each (in fact, MUCH less for those 2), and the only response I get is criticizing them for their apparent lack of social skills. All 3 of the adult kids are either dating (1) or happily married, the CPA to a gorgeous girl. That's just like the Left--when competing ideas to public education (or to any other type of liberal holy grail) are presented, it's attack--personally attack, tear down. Don't focus on the fact that schools are throwing $5-10k per year at public schools and largely failing. Nope, attack the kids' social skills.

Mar 1, 2011
Virginia Tech 4ever:

BTW, notice how I indicated the fact that a newly minted CPA and an NSA code breaker were educated in a homeschooled capacity for under $1,000 per year each (in fact, MUCH less for those 2), and the only response I get is criticizing them for their apparent lack of social skills. All 3 of the adult kids are either dating (1) or happily married, the CPA to a gorgeous girl. That's just like the Left--when competing ideas to public education (or to any other type of liberal holy grail) are presented, it's attack--personally attack, tear down. Don't focus on the fact that schools are throwing $5-10k per year at public schools and largely failing. Nope, attack the kids' social skills.

Really, I have always thought of home schooling as an extremely left wing idea?

Mar 1, 2011
awm55:

Really, I have always thought of home schooling as an extremely left wing idea?

It's also a very Protestant Christian idea. Some Christians- particularly the more fundamentalist folks- are concerned about what their children are learning in school. So you see a lot of Christian schools in populated areas and some home schooling in less populated areas.

Mar 2, 2011
awm55:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

BTW, notice how I indicated the fact that a newly minted CPA and an NSA code breaker were educated in a homeschooled capacity for under $1,000 per year each (in fact, MUCH less for those 2), and the only response I get is criticizing them for their apparent lack of social skills. All 3 of the adult kids are either dating (1) or happily married, the CPA to a gorgeous girl. That's just like the Left--when competing ideas to public education (or to any other type of liberal holy grail) are presented, it's attack--personally attack, tear down. Don't focus on the fact that schools are throwing $5-10k per year at public schools and largely failing. Nope, attack the kids' social skills.

Really, I have always thought of home schooling as an extremely left wing idea?

No, trust me, it's the extreme on either side of the spectrum. Think of it like the st. dev., it's the outliers on either side. The hyper-liberal people who want their children to have unbridled freedom in education along with the exceptionally conservative who typically homeschool for religious or moral reasons.

Mar 1, 2011

Illini, I went to a public school. I wasn't homeschooled AT ALL. I went to a public high school in a very rich area.

CAPM, the point I'm trying to make you understood PERFECTLY as you just recounted it exactly (therefore the analogy did its job)--they're kids, young kids, up on stage in front of millions of people. All they're doing is answering spelling questions, and asking the questioner to use the words in a sentence. I know DOZENS of homeschooled kids. They have NO social skills problems. That is a myth perpetuated by South Park (I love that show by the way). It's a MYTH. They are good at spelling because they read--their parents encouraged them to read. I sucked at spelling when I was 10 because I watched TV all the time.

Mar 1, 2011

VTECH, if a kid is a weird as shit and is in the fucking spelling bee at age 12; i will bet 99% of the time that kid will grow up to be socially awkward. The 2 go hand in hand, if you are lame enough to spend that much time studying the fucking dictionary as oppose to hanging out with your friends learning how to be a normal person, than i am sure at age 22 you are most likely playing WoW in your parents basement... This has to be a fucking joke, there is no way in hell you can honestly think a kid in a spelling bee has a high probability of growing up normal. Saying he is a CPA and married really changes my perspective, after all, most CPA's are really personable and no possible way in hell 2 complete fuck tards can meet and get married (sarcasm). Obviously there will be outliers but there are outliers for everything. Fact- homeschooled kids usually have worse social skill than kids who actually attend classes with their peers. Practice makes perfect, if i am at home with my dick in my hand reading the dictionary while not practicing my social skills in my key developmental years, i will surely lag in this area as an adult. Get a grip man.

  • gnicholas
  •  Mar 1, 2011

I went to an elite private school in the Midwest and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only is the education fantastic, they set you up to go to great colleges based on their name brand, as well as opening doors in the local area. A lot of people there are also part of a similar culture as you, so it makes bonding with your classmates and friends that much easier. Not to mention our extensive alumni network that can produce job opportunities (note that I didn't say jobs) in all different industries and cities across the nation.

Mar 1, 2011

already proved worth it to me as far as banking connections (i went to a school outside the NE as well)

...then again I didn't have to pay for it

Mar 1, 2011

also one of my friends who's a junior just got a mm pe internship from his HS network, he is mildly interested in finance and did practically no prep, he will me modeling this summer

Mar 1, 2011

Speaking of spelling bees, check out THIS social butterfly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRZNQ06kWyc
The one on the left probably wasn't home-schooled. The one on the right was.

Mar 1, 2011

just saw this post on here. anyway, looks like this thread got a little off topic but I'll throw in my 2 cents. Personally, I went to public school for elementary and middle school and then andover for high school.

I can say public school was good for me, but I was one of those kids that kind of floated and would basically work as hard as I was pushed (did ok, was basically an A- student). So I think for me (not for everyone), prep school was good because it put me in the right environment to push myself and develop good habits. I don't think the public school in my area worked students nearly as hard.

I worked my ass off in high school (~5-7 hours of homework every night) but that was normal there. Most of my best friends are 10x brighter than me and that always kept me grounded. That plus the fact that I would likely not have gotten in if my mom wasn't a faculty member at the time. I truly believe that while it wasn't the traditional high school experience, it did help me later in life -- college was much more manageable since I felt like I had tons of free time and when I got to banking, the shock of a 100 hour week was not as painful.

That being said, there are douchebags, entitled, spoiled people anywhere you go...there may be a higher percentage of them in prep schools, but there are also kids from all socio-economic backgrounds (many on financial aid or grants)....and I would argue it's not that different from public schools.

I'm sure there are many public schools that provide an amazing education (some better than many prep schools as was mentioned earlier) and I know there are bright students at almost every institution (public or private)....so I kind of read this post and think "meh"...especially this part:

Though we don't have anyone to explain it to us at the time, a public school education prepares us for the daily reality of disappointment which all organized societies toil in.

In an odd way, even though public school doesn't prepare most for the real world...it actually does, since the world itself is unprepared.

Private schools on the other hand create a money based sense of order and logic which is great in a society which can afford it...newsflash:

America is not that society.

So you're saying that public schools are better at "preparing students" for the "real world" because they are "unprepared"? I think that is a bit of a reach and/or really odd backwards logic. And wtf is "money based sense of order"? At 14-18 years old you are just a kid and one of the best lessons I think you can teach someone at that age is how to work hard.

anyways, funny to see this topic and sorry I'm late to the party.

-Patrick

ps - you can all go back to arguing about homeschooling now. thanks.

Mar 1, 2011

If we are discussing the correlation between a prep school education and future success, for all intents and purposes it comes down to personal drive. You can have the most connected kid in the world going to UPenn undergrad/HBS, Golman/KKR but if he's dumb as a fucking brick he's going to fall down quicker than the opening of Mad Men by the time he hits 30. You CANNOT TEACH someone to work hard, that's internal shit. The motivation can be a result of going to a prep school (where supposedly everyone's smiling, always competing, and having a jolly good time) or it could be bcause you one day realize your parents are literally breaking their backs so that you can have a better life.

As demonstrated by numerous people on this board genetics and legacies get you in the right circles. But if you don't have the inherent fire to take advantage of what you got, you might as well not do anything at all and live off your trust fund.

In the words of Vincent Chase.
"Everyone wants to kill the king. But the prince, he just sails along telling all the ladies: One day I'm gonna be king."

Mar 1, 2011

If you went to prep school, once you go to college you are a lot more socially aware I feel, and when you say Exeter or Hotchkiss you automatically get credit for being fratty or as someone who is part of the New England crowd which makes it easier to get into good circles/fraternities etc. You learn to rock vineyard vines and khakis by high school instead of abercrombie and hollister, which goes a long way for first impressions on the first day of orientation

Mar 2, 2011
firefighter:

If you went to prep school, once you go to college you are a lot more socially aware I feel, and when you say Exeter or Hotchkiss you automatically get credit for being fratty or as someone who is part of the New England crowd which makes it easier to get into good circles/fraternities etc. You learn to rock vineyard vines and khakis by high school instead of abercrombie and hollister, which goes a long way for first impressions on the first day of orientation

im pretty sure a lot of the sheltered rich kids from prep schools are more socially retarded than socially aware.

besides if youre all going to be BSDs shouldnt you already be living in a town with a stellar public school system that would even rival the 'brand' and be able to instill the same virtues into your children and push them to succeed -- not stuff that are? and give them aid from your own network?

i think THAT may be the big defining character -- a bsd will be able to instill knowledge and experience where as a blue collar father sending his son as a first gen to school might have no idea as to what to tell his son or prep etc

Mar 2, 2011
shorttheworld:
firefighter:

If you went to prep school, once you go to college you are a lot more socially aware I feel, and when you say Exeter or Hotchkiss you automatically get credit for being fratty or as someone who is part of the New England crowd which makes it easier to get into good circles/fraternities etc. You learn to rock vineyard vines and khakis by high school instead of abercrombie and hollister, which goes a long way for first impressions on the first day of orientation

im pretty sure a lot of the sheltered rich kids from prep schools are more socially retarded than socially aware.

besides if youre all going to be BSDs shouldnt you already be living in a town with a stellar public school system that would even rival the 'brand' and be able to instill the same virtues into your children and push them to succeed -- not stuff that are? and give them aid from your own network?

i think THAT may be the big defining character -- a bsd will be able to instill knowledge and experience where as a blue collar father sending his son as a first gen to school might have no idea as to what to tell his son or prep etc

I disagree. The people I know who went to private schools in the US and UK were far more worldly, well rounded, and well spoken than people who went to state school. They may not be able to relate perfectly to kids from less well off backgrounds, but in terms of cultural awareness and their ability to hold a conversation for as long as they need they were excellent. I went to a state school in a wealthy area, and it was pretty obvious to me.

Mar 1, 2011

Pay for peer effect, anyone?

Mar 1, 2011

If I can afford it, I would like to eventually send my kids to good private schools, unless I happen to live in an area with really excellent public schools (such as Newton/Scarsdale/Bethesda or what have you).

I think that people calibrate their personal expectations based on their peer group. I went to a solid public high school in a well regarded area, but most kids ended up going to lower SUNY schools or local, no-name private schools. No more than 5-10% of the class went to top-50 national universities of top-20 liberal arts colleges. I know plenty of bright, hardworking people who ended up at random mediocre schools simply because they didn't know what their options--in terms of both careers and financial aid--were. If they were surrounded by people who were more ambitious and came from families where more was expected of them, I have no doubt that they would have pushed themselves harder, just as many of my friends who went to magnet/top public/private schools did, despite coming from underprivileged backgrounds. Would these kids be successful even if they hadn't gone to good high schools? They'd probably be fine, but all else equal, I think that being surrounded by more ambitious students and having the chance to push yourself in more rigorous classes is a huge plus.

I was pretty ambitious, did research online, and ended up going to a good private college with lots of financial aid even though I don't think I'm much smarter than friends I have from back home who went to local commuter schools and then joined the NYPD. I was ambitious enough to be serious about college admissions and so forth, but most kids aren't.

I don't think that public schools are necessarily better preparation for the real world, either. The working world and college are, thankfully, absolutely nothing like high school. No cliques, and far less bureaucracy. Public schools in most suburbs also tend to be homogeneous, just like the suburb itself. The top private schools, from what I've heard and seen, seem to have been making an effort to attract a pretty diverse class.

There's no shortage of douchebags in public schools. I'm sure that the distribution and types of douchebagerry at Groton are different from public schools, but I doubt it's necessarily worse. The prep school kids I've met have generally been pretty normal, and seemed to be more mature.

As far as wealth/materialism is concerned, the biggest, most materialistic douches I've met were kids from my high school that had dads who were lower 6-figure middle management types of had their own construction company or whatever. These were kids born on second who think they hit a double. I would guess that the median household income/net worth of people at my university was significantly higher than even the top 20% of my high school, but there were far less douchey displays of wealth and unjustified snobbery (i.e., the kids from my HS that made fun of the lower income kids whose families rented apartments).

My personal experience certainly colors my opinion, but those are my 2 cents.

Mar 1, 2011

Thought I'd chime in. Personally, prep school was one of the best experiences of my life. I went to Hotchkiss. I don't know about other schools, but I can safely say that I really loved the culture there. Nobody cared if you were a billionaire or a full financial aid kid, you could not tell for the most part because everyone was really humble about it. Money literally meant nothing there. If you showed off, you were literally torn down. I know one kid whose family owns the Empire State building was always talking about it, he was a nice guy, but he was shunned because he mentioned that. Furthermore, there was this sense of camaraderie, of family, that I really enjoyed. I wish Wharton was like that, everyone here shows off left and right, and money talks - it was a huge culture shock coming here.

Personally, I think the students at Hotchkiss were smarter than my Wharton counterparts and more intellectual - granted I have only been here for a year. I learned a hell of a lot more about myself, how to write persuasively, how to debate, and just generally how to behave like a gentleman at Hotchkiss - that's something that college cannot reciprocate as easily. As others have said, the education was superb. You have PHDs who served in the peace corps who have been teaching biology there for the past 30 years, former air force pilots with Harvard masters degrees teach physics, Math PHDs and former Puntnam winners teaching math, and all with 12 kids in most classes. That type of close interaction with teachers of that caliber makes all the difference.

At Hotchkiss at least, you also have a very international student population. I remember hearing one of my classmates, a Palestinian, speak about how she witnessed her friend get sawed in half by shrapnel in the West Bank and how she suffered there. I remember talking to another friend who had lost her parents during the Rwanda genocide only to be reunited with her parents on Oprah. Though many schools are diverse, I feel Hotchkiss (because it was so small) did a superb job at integrating everyone. If you go to the dinning room you will not see a single table that is dominated by one race, everyone intermingles, cannot say the same thing about the Penn at least.

But more than that, you have the network. It was during my time at Hotchkiss that I first became interested in finance. The economy was shattering around us and the big three were getting bailed out. I remember getting an education on the state of the auto industry from one of the most humble guys I know - turns out he is a Ford and his uncle is Chairman of Ford now. Talking to him really helped me understand the crisis from the inside, and spurred my interest. A few months after that I had a 15 minute conversation with another good friend's father who happened to be a former of President of Goldman Sachs that basically built their London and Asia offices from scratch - he's also an alum. That was one of the most interesting conversations I've had in my life. those 15 minutes made me decide that no matter what, I will not stay in finance in America for more than 5 years, if ever. He asked my why I want to get into banking and a host of other questions that really made me think about why I was doing what I was doing as well as offering some useful advice. During my senior year, they brought in 2 Nobel prize winners that I was able to talk to at length after their talks to the student body. Opportunities like that is what makes it worth it in my mind.

You are forced to work harder because everyone around you is just so smart and driven. And you live together so the bonds you make with your classmates are extremely tight - it really feels like you are part of a family. The alumni network alone makes it worth it, but it is so much more than that. It really changed me as a person and I would not have it any other way.

If Hotchkiss cost ten times what it does now, provided I could afford it, I would pay every cent. I'm definitely sending my kids there.

*I know I may have come across negatively about Penn, that was not my intention. I love it here, I was just trying to draw a contrast that you can relate to.

    • 1
Mar 1, 2011

Did Michael's son in Godfather 3, not end up like some whimpy pianist?

I went to a public school. But plan and want to send my kids to a private one day. That said the above is my biggest fear.

Mar 1, 2011

"And I know something about you, you went to Walt Whitman THAT'S A PUBLIC SCHOOL."

That remains my favorite zinger ever, because it nails the gritty striver vs. advantaged rich kid dimension of education and work, and let's be honest, though there's nothing wrong with being a gritty striver, life's a hell of a lot easier as an advantaged rich kid.

I got a better education at prep school than I would have in public high school, and, on top of that, I didn't have to deal with fucking petty criminals and pregnant 15-year-olds. You can rationalize public school all you want, but even though it's in no way a prerequisite for success, it's just an inferior product. If your family can afford private school without making sacrifices, they'd be foolish not to send you to prep school.

Mar 2, 2011

My $0.02:

I went to Deerfield and graduated in in the mid 2000's. I come from a well-off, but not 7 figures well off, background in a major metropolitan center. I was a pudgy kid with unremarkable, but still good musical skills, so it's safe to say I got in on my brain. Currently, the number of people from my class that work in high finance (mostly IB at GS, it seems) is well above the mean. The network isn't as strong as one might think (I wasn't and remain not very bro-ish, so that may have affected things somewhat), but it is powerful.

Personally, I'm not of the opinion that working hard is something that is innate or not, though current psychological research seems to indicate it is (and is predictive for later life impulse-control...yay for my other major). I enjoyed my time out on the farm and I met some really amazing people and learned more than I ever did at Columbia. Frankly, I learned a great deal about how to think critically about a variety of situations and developed a greater sense of maturity, particularly when dealing with those I dislike. I believe it has helped me in my endeavors in the industry and my trades, though to what degree I can not say. Frankly, any school that forces students to read Plato and Aristotle is a step ahead in my book, I don't care who its backers are.

Mar 2, 2011

yes, they're worth it.... every penny.

Mar 2, 2011

Depends on the country. In Canada, from what my friends there tell me, top private schools aren't better than top public schools and offer pretty much the same courses. The environment is identical. He goes to a top public school and his sister got to go to a top private school on a full-ride scholarship.

In Saudi Arabia, private schools are much MUCH better than public schools in most cases. Then again, not all privates here are world-class. The quality of the public school is also pretty much reliant on the area it's located in (exactly how it is in the U.S. and Canada). Publics in Northern ("new") Jeddah and Northern Riyadh are much better than most privates. Other than that, only 3-5 privates send a respectable number of students to top 10 schools/HYPS. This is the same case in the U.S., am I right?

Greed is Good.

Mar 2, 2011

.

Mar 2, 2011

socially aware does not mean worldly, as you said they can not relate to PEOPLE not the discussion of topics about having been on daddys jet to xyz place, you can have a a super quant minded person who can ramble about theoretical mathematics but will be socially awkward and retarded still

how many of your prep school friends went to wall street? and how many went to become teachers or 'artists' or other shit like that? what percentage

Mar 2, 2011
shorttheworld:

socially aware does not mean worldly, as you said they can not relate to PEOPLE not the discussion of topics about having been on daddys jet to xyz place, you can have a a super quant minded person who can ramble about theoretical mathematics but will be socially awkward and retarded still

how many of your prep school friends went to wall street? and how many went to become teachers or 'artists' or other shit like that? what percentage

No offense dude, but I think that is just plain wrong. Prep school people are not any more socially awkward than anyone else. Think Michael Douglass is socially awkward ? JFK ? FDR? Bush Sr ? Think any of those guys talk about their wealth or daddies planes?

The point is, these people are self-assured precisely because of that they feel comfortable with themselves and with other people, no matter where they come from on the social strata. I am not from an incredibly wealthy family, but throughout my two years at Hotchkiss I think I heard one or two people actually talk about their wealth, both were shunned. I never felt like me not having that amount of money was an issue whatsoever. Obviously, when you go to school with full financial aid kids that cannot even afford to fly back home, that sensitizes you to things - a full third of the kids at Hotchkiss were on serious financial aid.

These people, regardless of their backgrounds, are your friends so you try not to make them feel awkward. And obviously these kids are "wordly" precisely because you are in a prep school you are exposed not only to people from the entire social strata in America, but also people from the entire social strata globally. There is obviously a lot more to talk about than where you went on holiday. That's like saying a partner at GS can't talk about football or be worldly because he has a lot of money. False. One does not exclude the other.

Wealth / fancy holidays just do not come up in general conversation, they think it is classless to talk about their wealth ostentatiously and when everyone is rich and you are in the middle of nowhere it makes wealth kind of pointless.

Well obviously I don't know about my peers, but judging from the alums a lot went to Wall Street and many also became profs. teachers, Nobel prize winners etc. See for yourself. There is nothing wrong with either path. Not sure what your point was with that. here[/embed]
Founder of Morgan Stanley went to Hotchkiss, doubt he was socially awkward. Robert Lehman of Lehman brothers, John Thornton of Goldman Sachs and Raymond McGuire of Citi, again these people are not socially awkward. This industry is all about connections and how you come across to people, you would not have those many people headed to Wall Street if the school churned out arrogant socially awkward ass holes. They would not have reached the heights they did if they were. That's a huge misconception, i'm sure that when you actually meet prep school kids, like Patrick, you'll realize that they are just like everyone else and not all of them were wealthy. 91201 Gilamore Girls or any number of these other hollywood shows are absolutely not representative of a traditional New England prep school.

Mar 4, 2011
monyet:

The point is, these people are self-assured precisely because of that they feel comfortable with themselves and with other people, no matter where they come from on the social strata. I am not from an incredibly wealthy family, but throughout my two years at Hotchkiss I think I heard one or two people actually talk about their wealth, both were shunned. I never felt like me not having that amount of money was an issue whatsoever. Obviously, when you go to school with full financial aid kids that cannot even afford to fly back home, that sensitizes you to things - a full third of the kids at Hotchkiss were on serious financial aid.

Totally agree with this. At my school there were a fair number of sons/daughters of CEOs, MD/Partners, whatever, and the only ones that people treated any differently were the ones that constantly flaunted it. No one could tolerate being around them, and it came back to bite every single one of them in the ass. But most never brought it up, just because it's classless to do so and I think the very wealthy ones were even more aware than most not to come off as a pretentious asshole.

Mar 2, 2011

is prep school worth it if your kids want to become a social worker?
EVERYONE is holding this as 'oh theyre gonna work on wall street so prep school is a must'

Mar 2, 2011

I would rather send my kids to Stuyvesant, Thomas Jefferson Math & Science, or other top public schools. There is just too much political correctness going on in the prep school campuses these days to make me feel comfortable.

As far as exposure to banking/wall street goes, none of those in WSO really need to worry for their kids, as they would get plenty of that from their parents anyway, with or without prep school education.

When it comes to admissions to HYP, prep schools do not necessarily give you an advantage. A top prep school like Andover probably sends 30 to 40 kids to HYP each year. I suspect half of them are probably HYP legacies and a small number of them are URMs. So the "real" number is probably much lower, and these kids would most likely go to HYP anyway even without prep schools. I remember in some forums, some even argued that you would be at a disadvantage if you go to a prep school when it comes to Ivy admissions.

I actually know two kids in the affluent towns outside Boston (think Weston, Wellesley, Sudbury, Sherborn). The slightly smarter one of the two went to a top prep school but failed to get into any Ivy. The other one went to the public high school in town and got into an Ivy.

Mar 2, 2011
HedgeKing:

I would rather send my kids to Stuyvesant, Thomas Jefferson Math & Science, or other top public schools. There is just too much political correctness going on in the prep school campuses these days to make me feel comfortable.

As far as exposure to banking/wall street goes, none of those in WSO really need to worry for their kids, as they would get plenty of that from their parents anyway, with or without prep school education.

When it comes to admissions to HYP, prep schools do not necessarily give you an advantage. A top prep school like Andover probably sends 30 to 40 kids to HYP each year. I suspect half of them are probably HYP legacies and a small number of them are URMs. So the "real" number is probably much lower, and these kids would most likely go to HYP anyway even without prep schools. I remember in some forums, some even argued that you would be at a disadvantage if you go to a prep school when it comes to Ivy admissions.

I actually know two kids in the affluent towns outside Boston (think Weston, Wellesley, Sudbury, Sherborn). The slightly smarter one of the two went to a top prep school but failed to get into any Ivy. The other one went to the public high school in town and got into an Ivy.

Perhaps, but you are viewing prep school solely as a means to an end, getting into an Ivy, rather than a pursuit in and of itself. To be perfectly honest, I think the whole ivy league is vastly over-rated. You teach yourself out of a book so whether you are being taught by Siegel or bubmblefuckyou prof, you more or less get the same education. You as an individual make the difference. That is why I think all of this H/W vs the rest is a bunch of bull, the school does not make the man. If you think you are more worthy than someone else just because of the school you went to, you have serious problems.

The only difference is the peer group and alumni network you surround yourself with. In terms of actual learning, I think prep school is vastly superior. If you made me choose between prep school and the ivy league, I'd choose prep school in a heart beat.

So even if what you say is true, I would argue it is not as relevant as that is not the real benefit of a prep school, is the education, the peer group, the alumni network, and the culture and refinement you pick up, not how many people they send to the Ivy League.

We also make the mistake of viewing wall street as the only path to success. If you already have the money (let us admit it, that's probably the main reason most of us want to be on the street doing work monkeys could do) then there are plenty of things prep school kids would rather be doing to make a difference in the world and derive personal satisfaction from that. Despite being at Wharton, I have zero intention of working in IB or perhaps even in America period (save texas perhaps), simply because prep school made me asses precisely what it was that would make me happy. I realized that doing something concrete not making money would do that. One of my mentors at school, he made MD at Merill at 28, left the industry early. Talking to him and others really opened my eyes to what I want out of life and made me forget about chasing wall street, prestige, or any of that stuff - it does not make you happy in the long run.

First you chase the ivy league, then Goldman TMT, then TPG, then HWS, then Blackstone, then the partnership, then the apartment on the upper east side, then the kid in prep school and the ivy league to repeat the cycle - somewhere along that line you'll realize it is all a sham and not worth chasing, but you'll be so deep in shit that you decide to keep walking forward. I want to do something great with my life, not follow some path others have made for me. Look at Griffin, Cohen, Arnold, Simmons, Rockerfeller, Zuckerberg, Gates, Edmundo Braveman, Jobs, not one of those guys followed that path, not one. They all went out and did something we would consider not prestigious or worked for firms we would laugh at, but look at where they are now. If you do not have the balls to get off the beaten track and view your success through your own eyes and not the perceptions of other people, what makes you think you can become great ?

What do you mean by political correctness ?

    • 2
Mar 2, 2011

i was commenting on a previous post saying that prep kids are more socially aware and was arguing against that -- i was saying that being worldly and socially aware are completely different from one another.

the comment about people is going to wall street is because EVERYONE on the pro prep school side is largely saying 'oh if u go to public school you wont end up succeeding and its a necessity to go to xyz prep school to do well!' a bit exaggerated and stretched but it is underlying-- esp when you have the 'oh everyone i knew people . i know kids from prep schools who did tons of drugs because they had nothing else to do and other kids who went from prep schools and arent doing shit with their lives so i dont really see that as such a deciding factor-- maybe not ultra elite but loomis chaffee, choate, kingswood oxford etc. its hard to validate the idea of spending 200k on a high school if your kid ends up going to become a teacher or social worker or 'artist'

as i said i grew up in connecticut and we have great public school systems here as are many of the suburbs of NYC and other financial meccas so i just question what the added benefit would be.

Mar 2, 2011

Monyet has made excellent points. Networking, peer group, alumni, facilities, aspirations, Ivy connections, conversations and course material are better and more intellectual, incredible teachers. Unless you're at an excellent public high school, private schools (at least top tier, elite ones, regardless of region) prepare you for college and life in a way that general public education simply cannot.

Yes, there are public school kids who get into Ivies, who are more driven or gritty. Yes, there are entitled, spoiled, douchey prep school kids. I still don't think this discounts the advantages provided by private schools. I went to a very competitive all-male prep school in the South, and it was one of the best experiences of my life; I will definitely be sending my kids to schools of equal or better caliber.

Mar 2, 2011

I went to a state magnet--a test-exam school like your Stuy's. I remember there was a very nice mix minorities, all walks of life. A little bit more Asians than the suburban schools I attended. It was hard as hell, but there were no spoiled kids. They were just all struggling to make C's or really, really competitive and whining about A-'s. At no other school did I see 28 accepted to Harvard each year without the 35K tuition.

I think private schools and charter schools (KIPP, the new entrepreneurial ones) are a good option. Sometimes only being at a boarding school do you really get close to your friends.

An alternative I'd propose is to send the kids to summer school, regular doses. I went to the Johns Hopkins CTY program, and it was one of the best times of my life. Not the 8 hour writing classes (which I treasured after my dad spent what little he had on me), but the activities, dances, and fun we had. I felt really privileged and inspired to have kids from Germany in my class (who would later win Math Olympiads) compliment my half-ass number compression system (it was quirky) and people from Asia (Asian Asians for the first time), etc.

Sometimes, being a public school--you get the same people, and you just don't get to see what else is out there. I'm really glad I have friends I'd probably never catch up with, but they introduced me to consulting, Asset Management, advertising: all this great stuff. Had I remained complacent, I'd probably be fixing computers in IT. Not that there is anything wrong with that as I love building computers, but I think I'm at my potential after seizing all the better opportunities.

Opportunities: it's all about opportunities. My high school let us work at asset management firms for our senior year internship. That's how I got started with experience.

I got nothing against spoiled kids or douchebags, because I get to see something different. Anyway, I recommend a Stuy + CTY + working every summer at some prestigious place + getting part time jobs to pay for college + working your ass off in college to get that diploma (and getting laid) = making your parents proud.

Mar 2, 2011

I went to a small prep school in NH and had a very similar experience to those who attended Deerfield and Hotchkiss. NE backgroup, but parents only pulled in mid 6 figures. There were a fair number of classmates whose father's were CEO's of fortune 500 companies or ran substantial closely held businesses, but no one ever spoke of their means. Most kids drove old Ford Explorers or Saabs and there was little evidence of the pretentiousness echoed by the majority of media outlets who attempt to exemplify the prep school life. I can readily say i learned multiples more in my prep school years than when I attended an elite private college. In college everyone talked about their parents money and there was even a "top 1 %" facebook group. I was taken completely off-guard by the elitism kids tried to portray, and espeically how their parents attitudes were in lock-and-step with their children's. I highly anyone considering private schools to at least take a look.

Mar 2, 2011

^ SPS ?

Great post. Totally agree. I'm actually quite disgusted with how much wealth matters here. I've heard at one frat that you have to burn a few hundred dollar bills and show your parent's tax returns to get in, that type of thing disgusts me. I think the prep school world does a great job of inculcating a sense of humility into you and at least the kids I knew did not flaunt there wealth at all. The same cannot be said about any Ivy school. Looking back, the culture there was ideal, I would not have had it any other way.

Mar 2, 2011

I went to a public HS. If you're talking about education, in HS i snuck into classes at a local university. Every professor noticed how young I was and was very impressed by my enthusiasm. I ended taking college courses for free every year, replacing my HS courses with them. I was even conducting research for them and performing on stage with student clubs!

I ended up going to college at a very advanced level in certain subjects and knowing much more than what any private school could offer me.

i think private schools makes you better equipped to succeed but you can still push to the top by making the best of what you have. private education makes success more likely but doesn't necessarily drive success.

these days education is free with MIT ocw and other webcasts. plus there are so many books published for so many different readers, what really counts is the student and not the school.

Mar 2, 2011

I was accepted to various top prep schools (Exeter, Deerfield, Choate, St Pauls) but chose to stay in public school due to Athletics. In retrospect I wish I had gone to a prep school - seems like they had more fun there and have a much stronger network.

Mar 2, 2011

I went to one of Exeter/Andover/St. Paul's and it was the best experience of my life and definitely is the primary reason I am on my life path today. Keep in mind that boarding schools have all types of kids these days everything from super rich to ghetto poor. I was from a small town, a poor one. I wholeheartedly disagree that boarding school kids lack drive or intelligence. Every one of the people I graduated with are doing cool shit with their lives. They are each living their personal version of success, whatever that may be.

Mar 2, 2011

prep schools give two advantages: the first is a network. the second is the staff and faculty are a lot more savvy about getting you into a selective college of your choice. this happens at good publics, but a lot of public school teachers/counselors at average places do not understand the game at all.

Mar 3, 2011

my parents were assholes and blocked my grandparent's wish to fund my private education. went to a shitty public high school with large black (20%+) population and high pregnancy rate.

Mar 3, 2011
TransferHopeful:

my parents were assholes and blocked my grandparent's wish to fund my private education. went to a shitty public high school with large black (20%+) population and high pregnancy rate.

lol, My parents definetly didn't want me to go a school that was majority black so I went to private school. Before people call me racist and what not, i'm black.

You give me a gift? BAM Thank you note! You invite me somewhere? POW RSVP! You do me a favor? WHAM Favor returned! Do not test my politeness.

Mar 4, 2011
1man2nv:
TransferHopeful:

my parents were assholes and blocked my grandparent's wish to fund my private education. went to a shitty public high school with large black (20%+) population and high pregnancy rate.

lol, My parents definetly didn't want me to go a school that was majority black so I went to private school. Before people call me racist and what not, i'm black.

A woman from my work is in your folks' shoes. Her son is an Urkel/Carlton type. She's paying up the ass for private school tuition because he was taking weekly pummelings in the Maryland public schools.

Mar 4, 2011

.

Mar 3, 2011

.

Mar 4, 2011

all prep school kids get into Ivys so yes, its worth it

Mar 5, 2011
mcs727:

all prep school kids get into Ivys so yes, its worth it

exactly. If you were in the top 50% at my HS and got a decent SAT you could expect to get into a lower tier ivy or at least Michigan, Duke, NW, etc...

Mar 6, 2011
International Pymp:
mcs727:

all prep school kids get into Ivys so yes, its worth it

exactly. If you were in the top 50% at my HS and got a decent SAT you could expect to get into a lower tier ivy or at least Michigan, Duke, NW, etc...

Yup, but the same is true for most suburban schools, too. Prep schools make sense if your parents live in the city or if you have a bad school district, but they make less sense for a family in an upscale suburb.

Mar 7, 2011

I grew up going to private elementary day school, public middle school, and private boarding school for HS. They all are a mixed bag.

For my kids, ideally I'd want them in a good to GREAT public school, as it offers that combination of kids from a wider variety of socio-economic backgrounds, but in a school where the teachers, admin, etc. are great and the parents for the most part have their heads on straight. In a good-to-great public school, there's a strong culture of high expectations for the kids in the school.

However, in many of the big cities in the US, we may not always have that choice.

Take LAUSD for example here in Los Angeles. For the most part, you're having to choose between mediocre to horrendous (i.e. scary) public schools, or sending them to private schools that are decent to great. It's no longer about "public vs private" but about good vs bad schools in the neighborhood you live in.

Again, in an ideal world where you're comparing good-to-great public schools versus good-to-great private schools, there's reasonable arguments for either side (and in my opinion, I'd go with great public schools).

Put it this way.

In my opinion, you only need to be a GOOD parent to keep your kids grounded in a sea of entitled douchebags. But it takes a GREAT parent to get your kids to reach their potential in a sea of gangbangers (again, we're not talking good or great public schools, but crappy public schools). I'm being hyperbolic here as not every private school kid is a douchebag nor every public school is a gangbanger - but the point remains. It's easier to get RESULTS from kids who are surrounded by kids with higher expectations (private school) than it is to get the same results surrounded by kids with lower expectations for themselves at a mediocre public school.

Again, parenting and individual drive are factors, but you only need to be a good parent for your kid to succeed in an environment of high expectations (even if those expectations are so high they turn into a culture of entitlement). You need to be a great parent, an exceptional parent, if your kid is surrounded by peers who don't have high expectations. If you have ever dealt with families in lower income neighborhoods, you'll see well meaning parents struggle -and how heartbreaking it can be. Even the most well meaning and decent parents may be good enough to raise their kids so they don't become gangbangers, but it really takes exceptional people to push their kids beyond their peer group and excel.

I feel I'll have an easier time teaching my kids to be grounded in an entitlement culture than teaching them to reach their full potential in a culture of low expectations.

So for those of you who did come from very humble backgrounds and managed to still do exceptionally well (way beyond your peer group), your parents truly are superheroes in every sense of the word, because it really takes a special person to turn you into who you are today.

Mar 8, 2011

I wonder about this question frequently. As the product of the better end of the English boarding school system, I wonder if my lack of ambition, preference for prestige and certainty, and other characteristics that led me to banking are, in fact, the result of my education. I also agree with the author that the key determinant of success (beyond basic literacy and familiarity with arithmetic - both of which appear to have been optional for recent Analyst classes) in banking is hard work and a willingness to roll with the punches. My school was all about hard work, but the unplanned, chaotic nature of the professional wold - especially banking - was something that took me a long time to figure out. Whether this was the fault of my privileged educational background is not clear.

Anyway, my current view is that there are pitfalls with both paths. Go to a public school and you will be denied many of the genuinely exciting opportunities afforded your more affluent counterparts; your success will likely be in spite of your schooling, and will come at the expense of some form of inferiority complex; almost certainly, and most regrettably, you will likely prefer shoes with inexcusably thick, possibly rubber, soles. For the private school graduate, the question is how to instill an appreciation for the privilege of their experiences, how to put some chili in the chocolate, as the Mexicans might say if they had gone to a school that had inspired them to ad hoc metaphors. This is the role of the parent though. Give your child all the advantages you can, but remember to keep them keen and humble. That way they can truly appreciate the mediocrity of their lives once they have their Ivy League education, their top-tier MBA and their minimum wage position as a VP at a bulge bracket Investment bank.

Jul 17, 2011

prep school is only worth it if you go to an elite college as well.

so, say, Andover ---> Harvard or Hotchkiss ---> Yale = very much worth it for the connections/ being able to boast pedigree in pedigree-driven professions (like law or banking)

Foote School ----> Arizona State = complete waste of your parents' money

Oct 26, 2011

Went to both public (elementary and middle) and private boarding school (high school) and I have to say that it was well worth the money and the bruises. Note that this wasn't in the US.
I found the educational part was way better and so was the lifestyle (living with your best friends etc.). Also the network that one gets I believe is unmatched. The thing about private school is that they drill you to become and believe that you are the best until you really believe that you are better than everyone else. If you don't perform (grades) you get kicked out...
There is one quote in particular that our boarding house head used to say sometimes before dinner when the boarding house evaluations had been made...." "Name of the boarding house" continues to excel and you can be proud of yourselves. Remember that we strive to really get the best out of you guys. After all many of you are the CEOs of tomorrow." --- This is sort of what they want you to believe and it has worked out for many alumni. - We are not talking SME CEOs. Think large-mega cap companies.

So thumbs up for private school

Nov 27, 2012
freroht:

I think prep schools are there and will strive because of a basic reason:

The public school system is pretty a awful. You will go to a good public school if you live in the right zip code. Also, if someone is rich, they will have tendencies to send their kids were rich people send their kids. Do you want your kids to have dubious friends? Do you want your kids to tell you that his best friend has just died from stray bullets in the neighborhood?

There is a good chance that your kid will have the same goals with his/her friends. If they are having kids at 16, you bet you baby girl has a good chance to do the same. If they do not go to college, you bet your kid will tell you there is no reason to go to college.

Think about it, those things will be essential to you when you become a parent.

there ARE good public schools and public charter schools out there. and sadly, it's all about economics and race that determines which public schools will be good ones. and when i say "good" i mean a good administration, motivated staff, low turnover rate of staff, and a student body that has the personal desire to do well. and once kids become a certain age, how well they do and how far they go is ultimately up to them.

oh, and private schools also have drug-using, sex-having, class-skipping, lying, cheating, unethical, immoral, and dangerous kids just like public schools. you could tuck your kids away in a $50K/year private school in the boonies and STILL find your 15 year old is smoking pot, cheating on school work, and is having sex ... with the rugby coach. let's keep things real.

Nov 27, 2012
puh-leeze:

oh, and private schools also have drug-using, sex-having, class-skipping, lying, cheating, unethical, immoral, and dangerous kids just like public schools. you could tuck your kids away in a $50K/year private school in the boonies and STILL find your 15 year old is smoking pot, cheating on school work, and is having sex ... with the rugby coach. let's keep things real.

In other words, send your kids to catholic school within commuting distance and make sure they come home at a reasonable hour every night.

Nov 27, 2012

Wow. Just wow. Just wow

Nov 27, 2012

Is this post a joke? get a life.

Nov 27, 2012
nyc123:

Is this post a joke? get a life.

exactly what I wanna know...

Nov 27, 2012

Yeah, this is definitely a new low for the board. Seriously people, come on.

Nov 27, 2012

guys, prep schools are feeders into banks. It's like shooting fishing with dynamite.

Nov 27, 2012

But seriously, which prep school do u think is the best for IBD, S+T?

Nov 27, 2012

I hope you didn't get snot on the keyboard...

Nov 27, 2012

While we're at it, why don't we discuss which pre-school is best for my 3 year old nephew who wants to go into PE

Nov 27, 2012
bankerspi314:

While we're at it, why don't we discuss which pre-school is best for my 3 year old nephew who wants to go into PE

Unless the first three letters he learns are "B" "S" "D", in that order, he has absolutely no shot at BB PE. Also make sure the name of his elementary school rhymes with Wharton. I hear that helps with college apps.

Nov 27, 2012

This is a valid thread. Have u ever heard of networking and connections? Those were created in prep schools

Nov 27, 2012

I think we should have a pre-finance course in pre school, that would attract recruiters!

Nov 27, 2012

Unbelievable.

Probably some inner-city prep school so that the Ivy League will identify you as a low-income type whose personal struggles alone justify admission.

Nov 27, 2012

for the record, the new york private school network is unbelievably strong

Nov 27, 2012

I'd also like to know best elementary school for IBD.

Does anyone know about it?

Nov 27, 2012

I didn't even know that I wanted banking until a couple months into my third year. This is ridiculous.

Nov 27, 2012

Wait until you have pubes before you decide on which BB you want to go to.

Go outside and play now.

Either you sling crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot

Nov 27, 2012

Just wow. Amused at some of the replies here though. Nothing wrong with teaching your 3 year old the wonders of BSD :)

Nov 27, 2012

I agree that the post sounds ridiculous. No normal recruiter gives two high-fiving fucks about which prep school you attended. Universities do, but that's a different thread. This post does raise an interesting question, though:

Does anybody here ever actually use their "network" from their prep school days, if they went? I didn't go to a school like that, but I know people who did and they do, believe it or not, make use of those connections to this day. One of them's a VP, and the other's a Managing Director. Granted, you could just say they were high school buddies from back in the day, and they all ended up following similar paths and have been able to help one another out, but still...it's a fact.

Nov 27, 2012

Is there a good hospital to be born in for IB? Is there a higher proportion of bankers being born in certain hospitals?

Nov 27, 2012

I'm thinking of getting a random slag pregnant this weekend. Is there a position I should use that would give the bastard a better chance of making PE?

I mean, I'm not going to support him or even give the girl my correct name. So I'm just wondering how I can best provide for his/her future.

Either you sling crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot

Nov 27, 2012
BSD123:

I'm thinking of getting a random slag pregnant this weekend. Is there a position I should use that would give the bastard a better chance of making PE?

Haha, this one definitely deserves "quote of the week" honors.

Nov 27, 2012

funniest shit i've read in teh past year. lol

Nov 27, 2012

I wouldn't dismiss the prep school connections so quickly.

I attended one of the big 7 schools (andover, exeter, deerfield, lawrenceville, hotchkiss, choate, st. pauls) and have had numerous ibd interviews in which the interviewer knew of the school. In a few cases, the interviewer told me he had friends who were alumni of my school. It's not that big a deal, but it can still reflect favorably on the candidate.

Nov 27, 2012

Don't you have to apply for these schools at birth or pre-conception or something? I mean, does it really matter which one is good, since you're likely to be rich and connected anyway...

Nov 27, 2012

Nope, no applications needed until 8th grade.

But the above schools i listed are all as hard to get into as the top ivys (sub 20% acceptance rates). Thats why they do so ridiculously well in college matriculation.

Nov 27, 2012

For those of you who think prep schools and academies don't give students a leg up in the whole process of things are seriously confused. Unless you went to the best of the best public institutions, prep school kids have a huge advantage on getting into the college of choice which then leads to the job of choice in many cases.

Nov 27, 2012
MCCSpear231:

For those of you who think prep schools and academies don't give students a leg up in the whole process of things are seriously confused. Unless you went to the best of the best public institutions, prep school kids have a huge advantage on getting into the college of choice which then leads to the job of choice in many cases.

Duh?

Nov 27, 2012

i had my prep school (also a top 7 according to bicoastal's thing) on my resume and in every single interview i had the interviewer asked me about it/talked about alums they know/talked about their own prep school. many of your interviewers will have gone to NE preps. id say its least a conversation piece and in many cases can strike a strong first impression. the only potential disadvantage is that some interviewers point-blank asked, "you seem like you're over-privileged. why bother with this?" they do this to throw you off. just act surprised and say that you dont think about the world in those terms, e.g. you have your own ambitions.

Nov 27, 2012

To the people defending prep schools: No one is saying that prep schools don't give you an advantage into college admissions, etc. What people are making fun of here is the fact that the OP wanted to start a debate on which prep school was the best for banking.

It is fairly ridiculous to consider that someone in 8th grade would pick a prep school based on chances of entry into a career 8 years down the line. That is what people are mocking here.

Nov 27, 2012

Having gone to one of the big prep schools mentioned, I would say that the "best" in terms of the largest alumni network for banking is going to be the "best" in terms of getting students into ivy league schools, since it's students at ivys who are most likely to end up in banking.

So, I'd say the best are: Andover, Exeter, Groton, Deerfield, or Lawrenceville.

And I'd absolutely second what others have said about having gone to one of these schools helping me in banking. I interviewed with a few people who'd gone to my school during internship recruiting and even more people who'd gone to a competing school. The people who had gone to my school always passed me on to the second round and really wanted to talk about my experience at the school (almost more so than my experience at college haha). And the people who'd gone to competing prep schools acted similarly.

Nov 27, 2012
dav3100:

Having gone to one of the big prep schools mentioned, I would say that the "best" in terms of the largest alumni network for banking is going to be the "best" in terms of getting students into ivy league schools, since it's students at ivys who are most likely to end up in banking.

So, I'd say the best are: Andover, Exeter, Groton, Deerfield, or Lawrenceville.

And I'd absolutely second what others have said about having gone to one of these schools helping me in banking. I interviewed with a few people who'd gone to my school during internship recruiting and even more people who'd gone to a competing school. The people who had gone to my school always passed me on to the second round and really wanted to talk about my experience at the school (almost more so than my experience at college haha). And the people who'd gone to competing prep schools acted similarly.

Agreed. I have to say that it counted a lot more in the past than it does today with all of the diversity and affirmative action on the street, but prep schools are still the beginning of the old boys network and Wall Street is part of that.

I agree with the picks above. For the West Coast, I'd say its Harvard-Westlake.

Nov 27, 2012

It's like saying, "Is there a good westchester country club my family should join so that I can get into PE". Having that background = having the life where you go to country clubs = having a better chance of getting into a firm.. i.e. having connections.

It's the cart leading the horse.

Either you sling crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot

Nov 27, 2012

Seriously, who ever posted this comment, all of yall that made fun of the comment, heck, even all of yall that actually commented at all. Just the fact that you took the time and responded to this topic show how immature this blog really is. I have only been on this blog for a little while and read through many of the posts and the general quality of comments on this blog seems to be from clueless college freshmen or even highschool level. If any of yall actually have a brain you should never visit this blog again just like what I am going to do. Oh yea for the ones here that actually have a chance of making it in the IB world, get your selves an internship in IBD and learn what IBanking is all about first hand instead of wasting your time here listening to most of the wannabies here..........

Nov 27, 2012
BigQMoney:

Seriously, who ever posted this comment, all of yall that made fun of the comment, heck, even all of yall that actually commented at all. Just the fact that you took the time and responded to this topic show how immature this blog really is. I have only been on this blog for a little while and read through many of the posts and the general quality of comments on this blog seems to be from clueless college freshmen or even highschool level. If any of yall actually have a brain you should never visit this blog again just like what I am going to do. Oh yea for the ones here that actually have a chance of making it in the IB world, get your selves an internship in IBD and learn what IBanking is all about first hand instead of wasting your time here listening to most of the wannabies here..........

I actually find this blog to be very helpful. However, I do weed out frivolous information while taking the valuable ones into consideration. Seeing as I have no experience in the industry due to the fact that I'm just a high school kid, I rarely post any of my comments(I post on a "need to say" basis and on threads that I could make valuable contributions in reference to my experiences)but come here just to read the posts.

Nov 27, 2012

A theory a previous poster made above: Prep school----->Ivy League----->Higher probability of landing an Ibanking job. I wonder. With advantages such as these available to mostly(you know who), why do people sometimes feel the need to refute the effectiveness or need for affirmative action programs that would potentially offer similar opportunities for people who haven't been affluent enough to shell out over $50,000(in most cases)just for a high school education?

Nov 27, 2012
Vector1990:

A theory a previous poster made above: Prep school----->Ivy League----->Higher probability of landing an Ibanking job. I wonder. With advantages such as these available to mostly(you know who), why do people sometimes feel the need to refute the effectiveness or need for affirmative action programs that would potentially offer similar opportunities for people who haven't been affluent enough to shell out over $50,000(in most cases)just for a high school education?

Your point would be valid if it took into consideration the myriads of poor people of every color who don't get these advantages. I'd be fully in support of affirmative action if it was race-blind.

Just one thing to note, though. I know a bunch of black kids at my college who've gone to the schools mentioned above or other top prep schools despite being poor. Why? Because there are a bunch of programs (like Prep for Prep etc.) that give scholarships to high achieving but poor black/hispanic students. So, they get the network too. Of course, this begs the question of why on earth the impoverished but high achieving black kid from Harlem get the scholarship but the impoverished but high achieving white kid from Harlem won't even be considered for it (most of these programs that give scholarships to middle schools kids so they can attend good prep schools are only for blacks/hispanics).

Nov 27, 2012
BigQMoney:

Seriously, who ever posted this comment, all of yall that made fun of the comment, heck, even all of yall that actually commented at all. Just the fact that you took the time and responded to this topic show how immature this blog really is. I have only been on this blog for a little while and read through many of the posts and the general quality of comments on this blog seems to be from clueless college freshmen or even highschool level. If any of yall actually have a brain you should never visit this blog again just like what I am going to do. Oh yea for the ones here that actually have a chance of making it in the IB world, get your selves an internship in IBD and learn what IBanking is all about first hand instead of wasting your time here listening to most of the wannabies here..........

OK...I just have to do this. As soon as I read that post, this is what came to mind:

"Principal: Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

Not sure if anyone else agrees with me or not, but what the heck. haha

Nov 27, 2012

I went to a prep school in the NYC suburban area. There are a ton of people from my school who went to so-so liberal arts colleges, but they still got Wall Street jobs. I actually can't believe it when I look at Facebook, as many of these kids are not even close to intelligent. They just have connections.

I applied to Goldman and met the head of HR (human capital management, hah) at an event. He mentioned he was from my area. I told him the name of my school and he said "I'm trying to get my kids into that school." And yes, I got an interview.

  • justanotherbanker
  •  Nov 27, 2012

I can't say much about the networking benefits to elite prep school once the college admissions effect is controlled for. My GUESS: it has a positive effect that is diminishing over time.

What I can say is that in the UK, (UK) prep school makes a huge difference even when college admissions are controlled for. One side of my family sends every generation to board at Eton and I can tell you definitively that the Eton guys really look after each other in the city. This advantage seems to present itself from entry-level up to the boardroom.

Nov 27, 2012

Thomas Jefferson is the most prestigious high school.

Nov 27, 2012

Thomas Jefferson is a joke. Public schools are not prestigious

Nov 27, 2012
bluedevil:

Thomas Jefferson is a joke. Public schools are not prestigious

Who the fuck cares?

Nov 27, 2012

man..that ruins all hopes of my kids goin to ps207 in harlem and makin it in banking. coulda sworn it was a feeder school for all top high schools and they'd be set. guess i should start looking into some of those boarding schools...

Nov 27, 2012

Posts like these make me regret skipping the chance to do price models back in grade 5 instead of recess, damn I was stupid for that decision.

Nov 27, 2012

Aren't you the kid that takes GMATs for fun

Nov 27, 2012

Average kids at Thomas Jefferson = average kids at Harvard. No other high school can say that.

Nov 27, 2012

actually no. Thomas Jefferson is nothing but a public magnet school. The prep schools listed on this thread pulls top students from all over the world. TJHSST pulls top students from northern virgina.

Nov 27, 2012
bicoastal:

actually no. Thomas Jefferson is nothing but a public magnet school. The prep schools listed on this thread pulls top students from all over the world. TJHSST pulls top students from northern virgina.

TJHSST average SAT: 1475 or so, in most objective measures of school quality, TJHSST will win.

Nov 27, 2012

TJHSST simply pulls the kids with highest test scores from all of virgina. That makes it a solid magnet school, which isn't comparable in any way to the above prep schools.

It has no notable alumni, no notable faculty, no endowment, no history of prestige, no historical connections to elite colleges, no diversity (just like any other public school), and no matriculation list that i can find (feel free to point the way).

The average kids at Andover, Exeter, Groton, Lawrenceville, etc. are the average kids at HYP, and have been for 100+ years.

Nov 27, 2012
bicoastal:

TJHSST simply pulls the kids with highest test scores from all of virgina. That makes it a solid magnet school, which isn't comparable in any way to the above prep schools.

It has no notable alumni, no notable faculty, no endowment, no history of prestige, no historical connections to elite colleges, no diversity (just like any other public school), and no matriculation list that i can find (feel free to point the way).

The average kids at Andover, Exeter, Groton, Lawrenceville, etc. are the average kids at HYP, and have been for 100+ years.

Agreed. TJ is full of nerdy kids who excel at Science and go into top Engineering schools. IBD is about relationships and serving clients. You are comparing 2 different spectrums.

Nov 27, 2012

Yeah I would definitely second the remarks on Thomas Jefferson. The kids I know at my college who went there are really no geniuses - just your standard smart ivy kids. But, what differentiates kids from TJ from prep school kids is really demeanor - the kids I know from TJ are pretty unrefined and a bit odd. Despite being good students at my college, most failed to get decent jobs due to personality issues (they ended up at Jefferies style shops).

Getting a good IB job is dependent on a whole lot more than being smart. I know one kid who graduated from TJ that's still jobless despite a sky high GPA. Why? Because he's weird as anything. I'm not saying prep schools don't churn out some odd kids, but at least prep schools require an interview for admission. By taking students solely on test scores, TJ ends up with a bunch of smart, studious losers.

Nov 27, 2012

Okay guys, lets calm down here. I graduated from Andover, and I have been in touch with a Director from Merrill Lynch, who told me to make sure I put the fact that I went to Andover on my resume, since it is highly regarded on Wall Street as an institution that prepares you for the intense work life at an I-bank. I'm sure schools like Hotchkiss and Exeter carry the same amount of weight.

Nov 27, 2012
Comment
Nov 27, 2012
Nov 27, 2012
Comment
Nov 27, 2012
Comment
Nov 27, 2012
Nov 27, 2012
Comment
Nov 27, 2012
Nov 27, 2012