Author Topic: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?  (Read 2710 times)

swampwiz

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I was just talking to an old high-school classmate whose son is finishing up at our private (Catholic) high school.  The yearly tuition is now over $10K per year, which adds up for the standard 8 years (i.e., grade 5-12; it has a middle school too).  It seems that with a net marginal tax rate of close to 50%, one would have to earn about $20K pre-tax to pay the yearly tuition, or a whopping $160K for the 8 years.  Just this seems to delay early retirement by about 4 years, and so adding in a few other kids, this could mean the difference between retiring at age 50 and slaving away until the canonical age 65, hanging on for dear life that Big Corporation will keep the wage slave around.  And of course, the differential between State U and Boutique U is even more.  (I'll presume that 4 years at State U is an expense that must be done.)

Of course, there is the benefit to a religious education, for those for whom that is important, and even if not, sex-segregated Catholic schools tend to have a much better effect at delaying teenage pregnancy, ahem.  But overall, it seems to be an anti-Moustachian play.

Hula Hoop

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2018, 04:08:55 PM »
I don't think you'll find a lot of support for private schools either here or on the MMM blog.  Much better to send your kids to an OK public school.  And $10K a year certainly is an expensive form of birth control for your teenage kid if that's your concern.  Much better to educate them about sex and fertility so that when the time comes they'll do the responsible thing.

Dave1442397

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2018, 04:14:50 PM »
What I really don't get is my neighbors who pay $12,000 a year in property taxes AND send their kids to private high schools.

I don't know that it matters much in the end. I only know where one of my coworkers went to college, and that's only because it came up in conversation this week.

Cranky

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2018, 05:12:25 PM »
It depends on the school, and the kid. One of my kids went to Catholic high school for 2 years, and didnít like it any better than public school. Another kid went to a private boarding school (free) for 2 years and lived it. One kid d went to private college and the other 2 went to state universities. Guess which one cost us less out of pocket?

Iíve taught at a private Montessori school for 16 years, and think itís a great place. YMMV.

FiftyIsTheNewTwenty

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2018, 06:28:55 PM »
I think it depends on the available schools, both types, as well as the individual kids.  There are so many variables.  All kids are different and may do better in either situation, even within the same family.

Besides the expense, consider the commute, the time wasted going to/from school, the additional stress on the family, etc.  And where your social connections will wind up being -- near home, or an hour away?

Community college for the first 2 years FTW!  You'll save lots of money, the quality of the actual teaching is often better (teachers are there to teach, not do research or raise money), and the chances of getting into a "better" 4-year school are better as a transfer student.

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2018, 07:02:56 PM »
Older kid is a Catholic school senior this year (MUCH pricier than $10k in SF - don't even ask, but I believe it was the best option for her). Since she'll have had 7 AP's, and is quite academic, community college feels like a waste of time (feel free to school me, but I just don't see her there.) OTOH, private colleges won't offer her much financial aid, due to home equity being high % of current NW (SF FTW!) so we're mostly aiming at UC's or other state flagship schools.

Younger kid is at magnet arts public high school (think "Fame!") and community college might be just the ticket. It definitely changes the eligibility for UC's (which feel like they've swung the pendulum too far - you can have well above a 4.0 gpa and still not get in as a freshman to the top 5 or 6 name-brand UC's. Rant over.)

tralfamadorian

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2018, 07:19:20 PM »
+1 that it depends on the child and the schools available. Also, I believe that there is a strong benefit in single sex education for many girls completely outside of the limited exposure to potential sexual partners.

Goodidea

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2018, 07:25:18 PM »
I'm not sure why private school is worth the expense, especially for children. Is it for the education quality or the social connections that can be made? I'd much rather spend the tuition costs on extra curricular activities to expose the child to different hobbies, such as music, karate lessons, scouts, or tutoring.

University is a different situation. After going to uni and realizing I had no idea what I wanted to do, I switched my major multiple times and extended my schooling for 2 years. It would have been much more beneficial to have developed life skills and interests during my youth to have a better understanding of what to get out of university. I think it would be wise to pick the school at that point based on interest and strength of program vs public or private out of principle.

MMMarbleheader

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2018, 07:28:02 PM »
Private catholic high school? No

Need blind asmission to Andover, Exeter, Groton, Windsor, etc I would Pay if it was under $10k.




mizzourah2006

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2018, 07:28:27 PM »
Man $10k/yr is cheap. I went to a private HS in St Louis, which I would consider relatively low COL and the HS I went to is now about $20k/yr.

EnjoyIt

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2018, 08:57:48 PM »
What I really don't get is my neighbors who pay $12,000 a year in property taxes AND send their kids to private high schools.

I don't know that it matters much in the end. I only know where one of my coworkers went to college, and that's only because it came up in conversation this week.

-1 to those who chose to live in a high property tax area with good schools and then send their kids to private school.  What a ridiculous un-mustachian waste. 

The benefit that private school may have is that there is a better ratio of teachers to kids so that kids get more focused learning that meets their ability.  Public school is more likely to have kids of different ability in the same class slowing down the smarter ones.  This can be avoided by parents who are willing to take the time to teach their kids and bring them up to their potential.  Much easier to do for those who retire early or work part time.

I interview and hire people.  Not once has their high school and undergrad education every play a direct role in my decision.  What I have noticed is that in some career paths the Ivy League degree and the connections one makes can significantly boost ones future and income potential.

BookLoverL

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2018, 02:59:32 AM »
I'm in the UK, and don't have kids yet. I could see private school as a good idea if the local state/comprehensive schools in your area are terrible (the kind Americans call "public school"), your kid is too thick to get into an academically selective school, and you are earning a high enough amount of money that it won't slow your FIRE date down by much. Myself, since I don't earn that much, I'm more likely to consider homeschooling when I eventually have kids if I don't think any of the local state schools are decent.

kina

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2018, 06:20:30 AM »
Our second child was not so much 'sent' to private boarding school but was 'allowed' to go. We could afford it with the generous scholarship the school awarded.

Child was in line to be valedictorian at old high school but was academically unchallenged and a bit frustrated. Child learned of a nearby school with top academics, investigated, and came to us. We, the parents, did our part and, bottom line, child had a great last 2 years of high school. I am convinced those 2 years were instrumental in the substantial scholarship received from an out-of-state state school from which child graduated summa cum laude in chemical engineering.

We consider it money well spent and would do it again in a heartbeat. Our experience might be unusual. DH retired unexpectedly at 55 and we have not suffered any ill effects. (But, we've lived pretty much Mustachian lives without knowing MMM...we just call it living beneath our means)

Noodle

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2018, 08:46:12 AM »
It is SO dependent on circumstances. I remember once someone who had a kid in private school did a case study and everyone was giving her grief until she explained that the child had a long history of problems with bullying and poor experiences at public school, and had really blossomed at this small private school. So in that case, yes, it was the right choice for their family.

I do think people do tend to fall victim to "Tiny Details Exaggeration" syndrome when it comes to public education. I used to live in Seattle, and the way people would go on about the public schools, even in very wealthy neighborhoods, you would think the kids were being air-lifted to the third world for the school day. I had plenty of friends, kids of friends, and nephews and nieces educated in the Seattle schools and while of course some schools had problems, everyone I knew came out just fine.

A solid school plus involved parents will be fine for 95% of the student population.

tarheeldan

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2018, 08:51:23 AM »
What I really don't get is my neighbors who pay $12,000 a year in property taxes AND send their kids to private high schools.

Absolutely - that is nuts. I get living somewhere relatively inexpensive, in order to afford private schooling. OR, living somewhere more expensive in order to have access to strong public schools.

jezebel

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2018, 09:02:08 AM »
We live in one of the worst school districts in the nation.  There is a small handful of good schools/programs within a large district of concentrated poverty.   Most people won't expect us to send our kids to public school (though we do) much less criticize us for it, under such circumstances.

partdopy

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2018, 09:21:47 AM »
To be honest I think most education comes from the home anyway.

I went to a private school for elementary, and public schools for middle/high.  While teachers 'taught' subjects, I learned most of my problem solving, critical thinking and time management from my parents who took an interest in my studies.

Unless you have more money than you know what to do with I say public and a good home life.

CheapScholar

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2018, 09:45:33 AM »
I work at a private university.  As has been discussed on this forum before, donít be freaked out by the high sticker prices.  Most students get considerable scholarship help and I find that most students can get a private university education for roughly the same cost as a public.  Itís not true for everyone, but do your due diligence for your kids.  Apply to at least a few private schools, especially if your scores are on the higher end for that institution.  Some privates offer free applications these days, too.  Do your homework, apply to schools, and negotiate your financial aid package - you might be surprised.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2018, 10:49:40 AM »
I'd only pay for private if all public or charter schools weren't working for her. Shes still a few years from school age but I expect that we'll put her in a public charter or public elementary and see how it goes. If she's top or bottom 5% we'll adjust from there (homeschool or private) depending on her needs.

As stated before, we pay property taxes already, no need to pay more if not absolutely necessary, since even with an average public school, we'll be doing our part as parents to facilitate her growth and development.

katscratch

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2018, 11:06:27 AM »
As far as university, my son is attending a private university that is specific to his intended field and he loves the rigorous academics (straight into his major, he'll have six years of typical schooling in his field in four years of classes) -- so that alone made it the best fit for him. As with most of the private schools we looked at, he was offered generous financial assistance from the school itself, so our out of pocket cost is about half of what our local in state university would be.

It's such an individual thing, based on each kid and each family and each particular school you're evaluating.

SKL-HOU

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2018, 11:32:53 AM »
What I really don't get is my neighbors who pay $12,000 a year in property taxes AND send their kids to private high schools.

I don't know that it matters much in the end. I only know where one of my coworkers went to college, and that's only because it came up in conversation this week.

-1 to those who chose to live in a high property tax area with good schools and then send their kids to private school.  What a ridiculous un-mustachian waste. 

The benefit that private school may have is that there is a better ratio of teachers to kids so that kids get more focused learning that meets their ability.  Public school is more likely to have kids of different ability in the same class slowing down the smarter ones.  This can be avoided by parents who are willing to take the time to teach their kids and bring them up to their potential.  Much easier to do for those who retire early or work part time.

I interview and hire people.  Not once has their high school and undergrad education every play a direct role in my decision.  What I have noticed is that in some career paths the Ivy League degree and the connections one makes can significantly boost ones future and income potential.

This really depends on where you are from. In my country of origin, your high school can play just as big role as your college. I also lived in St. Louis and when they ask you where you went to school, they are talking about your high school (I saw a poster from STL up a few posts, I am sure he/she can tell you how it is in STL).

I went to a private school for middle and high school (not in the US), it was definitely worth it. I live in Houston and have a 6 year old son. I bought my house in a good school district so I wouldn't have to send him to a private school. I wouldn't mind private school except most of them are religious and the ones that aren't religious are too expensive.

Mesmoiselle

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2018, 11:52:46 PM »
I thought the way to do private school was to buy a house in the "bad" school district to save serious money on housing. Then use that savings to send your kid to private school. I've never played with the math of it.

I was 100% public school kid, my husband was mixed but loved his private school years. Definitely no bearing on income level, as my tech school earnings have outstripped his Master's degree.

Kinda like MMM style of a little bit of everything to suit social and learning needs of his kid. Why pick one and no other for the child their entire school career?

chasingthegoodlife

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2018, 05:50:12 AM »
The benefit that private school may have is that there is a better ratio of teachers to kids so that kids get more focused learning that meets their ability.  Public school is more likely to have kids of different ability in the same class slowing down the smarter ones. 

A slightly different perspective: I was dux of my (lower socio economic) public school and I think the experience of being a ‘big fish in a small pond’ was really beneficial for me. Especially in senior years, teachers (who were generally excellent) were excited to work with the small handful of more academic students and went above and beyond for us. As a not very competitive introvert, I’m not sure I would have fared as well at the fancy and competitive private schools my friends and then-boyfriend attended.

My husband had the full prestigious private school boarding experience - with everything that involved 35 years ago including beatings from older boys and house masters subsequently convicted of sexual abuse.

I am generally pro public school for my future children. Private schools in Australia can be upwards of $35k a year and I think I could give my kids better opportunities with that money (house deposit, study abroad etc).

That said, I think child-school fit is a key part of the decision. There is an excellent alternative school near us that had a strong focus on outdoor activities, the creative arts and building personal responsibility and resilience in pupils. If we thought our child would blossom there in a way they weren’t at the local public school, one of us working an extra day a week (we are nearly FI and will be downshifting soon) would be an easy decision.

mm1970

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2018, 02:05:55 PM »
What I really don't get is my neighbors who pay $12,000 a year in property taxes AND send their kids to private high schools.

I don't know that it matters much in the end. I only know where one of my coworkers went to college, and that's only because it came up in conversation this week.

-1 to those who chose to live in a high property tax area with good schools and then send their kids to private school.  What a ridiculous un-mustachian waste. 

The benefit that private school may have is that there is a better ratio of teachers to kids so that kids get more focused learning that meets their ability.  Public school is more likely to have kids of different ability in the same class slowing down the smarter ones.  This can be avoided by parents who are willing to take the time to teach their kids and bring them up to their potential.  Much easier to do for those who retire early or work part time.

I interview and hire people.  Not once has their high school and undergrad education every play a direct role in my decision.  What I have noticed is that in some career paths the Ivy League degree and the connections one makes can significantly boost ones future and income potential.

This really depends on where you are from. In my country of origin, your high school can play just as big role as your college. I also lived in St. Louis and when they ask you where you went to school, they are talking about your high school (I saw a poster from STL up a few posts, I am sure he/she can tell you how it is in STL).

I went to a private school for middle and high school (not in the US), it was definitely worth it. I live in Houston and have a 6 year old son. I bought my house in a good school district so I wouldn't have to send him to a private school. I wouldn't mind private school except most of them are religious and the ones that aren't religious are too expensive.
I just googled "worst schools in the USA", and found a 100 worst list...man, there are so many schools from St. Louis on that list!  What gives?

clarkfan1979

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2018, 02:46:32 PM »
I currently teach at a community college and previously taught at two separate state universities in different states. The first two years at a large state university can be intimidating for an 18 year old depending on their personality.

One of the Universities I previously taught was very dependent on research dollars to pay the bills. That is much pretty the only metric used to get tenure and that is the focus of the faculty. It was sad to see how poorly they treated the students. I don't blame the faculty. I blame the system.

When evaluating the quality of education for a large state school many people use the success of the University in sports as a reference point. University "X" is better than University "Y" because they beat them in football the last 3 years.

I could see myself paying for a private college if I don't like the state college option. That is only 4 years. Maybe only 2 years if my kid first starts at community college. I don't really see the value of paying for 12 years of private K-12 education, but that's just me.

To each their own.

Laserjet3051

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2018, 03:21:09 PM »
For.....MY.....children?

No way in Hell. Unless of course a private Uni chases one my kids down and begs them to go for a totally free ride. Then, we may consider it.

In fact, one of the Ivys has already informally made such a statement to my HS daughter who places nationally in the top 10 for her sport.

tralfamadorian

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2018, 04:04:38 PM »
Popping back in to say that many of the top tier private schools now have need based aid. I went onto my alma mater's site and their formula only considers parental income, not assets, so a MMM child could get significant aid. This was separate from merit aid.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2018, 04:31:59 PM »
Popping back in to say that many of the top tier private schools now have need based aid. I went onto my alma mater's site and their formula only considers parental income, not assets, so a MMM child could get significant aid. This was separate from merit aid.
You're certainly not kidding about that. I checked and Exeter is tuition free if you make less than $75,000 a year.

EnjoyIt

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2018, 04:38:29 PM »
I did see quick excel math for the difference between going to public school and public university and investing the difference. Here are my assumptions and results:
Difference between public and private high school $12k/yr
Difference between private and public university $25k/yr

This is how much the portfolio would have by the time the kid is out of college at 22 years old
5% growth = $339k
6% growth = $364k
7% growth = $392k

Civex

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2018, 08:02:21 PM »
Considering it for K-8; it's relatively inexpensive ($4k/year) and our state has a tax deduction. Bit split because I think in our area and at this price, it largely pulls average to above average students with involved parents out of the public schools, leaving the kids from less advantaged and less involved parents in public. We live in a very LCOL area and there is a significant poverty level.

On the flip side; I think private university is a huge waste. Maybe this is less true if you live on the coasts, but in my experience in the midwest, I make the same salary as my peers who attended private universities and have less than half the student loan burden. We are lucky that our state has several excellent public universities.

Abe

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2018, 09:38:42 PM »
My wife and I both went to public universities and medical school. She went to public schools for elementary through high school, I went to private school for most of that time period. Both ended up doing well. From this anecdata, I'm not too excited about private school unless it has a clearly better track record than the public schools. Same for universities, but it seems that is where people start to care about the specific training pedigree in a lot of industries.

MM_MG

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2018, 11:40:58 PM »

In fact, one of the Ivys has already informally made such a statement to my HS daughter who places nationally in the top 10 for her sport.

Athletic scholarship at an Ivy League school?

exterous

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2018, 06:27:20 AM »
The benefit that private school may have is that there is a better ratio of teachers to kids so that kids get more focused learning that meets their ability.  Public school is more likely to have kids of different ability in the same class slowing down the smarter ones. 

A slightly different perspective: I was dux of my (lower socio economic) public school and I think the experience of being a Ďbig fish in a small pondí was really beneficial for me. Especially in senior years, teachers (who were generally excellent) were excited to work with the small handful of more academic students and went above and beyond for us. As a not very competitive introvert, Iím not sure I would have fared as well at the fancy and competitive private schools my friends and then-boyfriend attended.


I'm not sure that would be the case for a lot of kids but I freely admit my experience is geographically contained to SE MI where we know quite a network of teachers. My wife taught in a public school for eleven years in one of the poorest cities in the Detroit Metro Area. Now she teaches in a private school in one of the poorest cities in the Metro Area. While she was often excited to work with academically excellent students and frequently went above and beyond there is no way they received the same quality of education that the private school kids do. The classes were too big, so much more time was spent on classroom management, the pacing was notably slower, the school didn't spend resources on much other than the bare minimums, parent support\participation was shockingly low, and there was significantly more disruption in the environment\chances to fall in with the wrong crowd. This wasn't just her experience either. Exactly 0% of the HS teachers in this rather large HS sent their kids there. They either commuted in from another district or sent their kids to private schools and this isn't even the worst district in SE MI.

On the flip side, private school kids may have some socialization difficulties from being in sheltered\isolated bubbles.

LadyMaWhiskers

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2018, 06:39:59 AM »
Iím sending my son to private school despite or I should perhaps say because of living in a high performing school district. The public schools here are quite competitive, and the culture is one of striving for perfection. The schoool my son just start is a progressive, ungraded elementary, where kids can be kids. Thereís no way to control the cultural influence, or really anything about a public school education. To me, itís worth it.

Dee18

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2018, 07:37:03 AM »
I went through public schools, all the way through grad school, and had a great experience and expected the same for my daughter.  But our Blue Ribbon award winning school system didnít challenge her, didnít encourage creativity at all, and had a racially divided social scene. As a well-behaved, smart, quiet girl she was mostly ignored by teachers.  I didnít realize the difference a school could make for her until I worked overseas for a semester and she went to a private international school.  She blossomed.  On our return she went back to public school, but the blossoming slowed, then stopped.  So I bit the bullet and put her in a private school for grades 8-12...she blossomed again.  And received a full tuition scholarship to a private college.  It was a lot of money for high school, but I am so glad I used the money that way.  Will she have a better career or higher paying job because she went to a private high school?  I donít think so.  But she wrote me the first week of college that she felt sorry for the kids who had not really learned how to analyze, discuss, and write about literature and history in high school.  She read the classics.  She learned two foreign languages.  She got to play on the tennis team and be the secretary of student government.  She  learned to speak in class (classes were so small everyone was called on)and to talk to faculty outside of class. And she did all of this in the most diverse school in our city.  She has a level of confidence that she can handle the world, and that is worth every dollar. 

Laserjet3051

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2018, 09:49:07 AM »

In fact, one of the Ivys has already informally made such a statement to my HS daughter who places nationally in the top 10 for her sport.

Athletic scholarship at an Ivy League school?

Maybe the term "scholarship" was used inappropriately. The Ivy head coach of DDs sport suggested that they were intent on recruiting her, independent of our ability to pay the schools cost. Perhaps the funds they might offer to cover tuition would be considered a "grant" as opposed to "scholarship." This is all new to me.

CNM

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2018, 11:21:25 AM »
It is unlikely that we will send our child to public school after the 5th grade.  Where I live, the public middle and high schools are extremely poor performing.  The 4 year public high school graduation rate hovers around 50%.  I know there are a lot of factors that go in to that sort of statistic, and how schools perform overall, but I'm not willing to take that chance with my own child. 

Emily2651

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2018, 01:39:11 PM »
Weíre another private school family. Our local public school is inadequate and we have access to a small private school thatís a perfect fit for my kids/family, academically and culturally. Itís expensive, sure, but less so than if one of us quit work to homeschool, which is pretty much the only other acceptable option, in my opinion/for my kids.

SKL-HOU

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2018, 04:41:29 PM »
What I really don't get is my neighbors who pay $12,000 a year in property taxes AND send their kids to private high schools.

I don't know that it matters much in the end. I only know where one of my coworkers went to college, and that's only because it came up in conversation this week.


-1 to those who chose to live in a high property tax area with good schools and then send their kids to private school.  What a ridiculous un-mustachian waste. 

The benefit that private school may have is that there is a better ratio of teachers to kids so that kids get more focused learning that meets their ability.  Public school is more likely to have kids of different ability in the same class slowing down the smarter ones.  This can be avoided by parents who are willing to take the time to teach their kids and bring them up to their potential.  Much easier to do for those who retire early or work part time.

I interview and hire people.  Not once has their high school and undergrad education every play a direct role in my decision.  What I have noticed is that in some career paths the Ivy League degree and the connections one makes can significantly boost ones future and income potential.

This really depends on where you are from. In my country of origin, your high school can play just as big role as your college. I also lived in St. Louis and when they ask you where you went to school, they are talking about your high school (I saw a poster from STL up a few posts, I am sure he/she can tell you how it is in STL).

I went to a private school for middle and high school (not in the US), it was definitely worth it. I live in Houston and have a 6 year old son. I bought my house in a good school district so I wouldn't have to send him to a private school. I wouldn't mind private school except most of them are religious and the ones that aren't religious are too expensive.
I just googled "worst schools in the USA", and found a 100 worst list...man, there are so many schools from St. Louis on that list!  What gives?

That is probably st louis city. St Louis City is actually a pretty small part of St Louis. This is also the area that has made the top 3 most dangerous cities in the US. There is St. Louis County and that has plenty of good schools.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2018, 08:53:56 PM »
Interesting thread.  I get the impression from the OP that the idea is to pile on against overpriced, over-hyped private school.  I was agnostic or slightly pro-public myself until this year.  In fact, I have an older sister that put 2 kids through private schools (they turned out well) only to lament the fact that their public school was actually better thought of than she realized and (once again) their family had wasted a fortune.

We pay higher taxes and think well of the schools in our area, but my daughter was getting teased mercilessly last year at Jr. High.  My son did fine at public school and is enjoying public HS, but my daughter's grades (and frankly her mental state) began to deteriorate.  We are trying out a very small private / home-school model this year with hopes she will get back to public school for her Freshman year in 2 years.  Another plus is that the 'private' school also goes through the summer.  I do like the flexibility of curriculum and the other kids are top-notch.  With private school, you have a lot more control and awareness of the day to day.  It's also reassuring to see how they have addressed school shootings and it definitely feels safer than a giant public school.

To us, it's not a money thing, but I agree it is definitely Un-Mustachian.  I am FI and will be leaving money to the kids anyway, so I'd prefer to better their lives now than leave them a larger pile later.  I want them to be able to go off and make their own way, so this seems to be an optimal choice for my daughter while public works well for my son.

As others have said, lots of variables.  Even if you take money out of the equation, it can still be a confusing choice, but non-Mustachians and even some Mustachians are not in a position to take money out of the decision and probably make sub-optimal choices.  I'm just adding my 2 cents given my variables.

LiveLean

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #40 on: August 27, 2018, 07:13:04 AM »
I went to public school K-8, private high school, and a state university. I see the value of both. But I'd never send my kids to private high school today. It's now seen as a status symbol - far more than 30 years ago - and I cringe to think of the prospect of my kids being among the insufferable entitled non-MMM families who believe they can buy their way into anything. Hey, if you want to spend $150,000 for K-12 and then have your kid go to the second- or third-tier state school, knock yourself out. Or pay $70K a year to send your kid to a second- or third-tier out of state "dream" school. I see this all the time. Pretty lousy ROI. I'd rather pay ZERO for K-12, have them attend all of the top magnet programs, and roll the dice with college admissions. Probably will be better off.

trollwithamustache

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #41 on: August 27, 2018, 09:27:32 AM »
Older kid is a Catholic school senior this year (MUCH pricier than $10k in SF - don't even ask, but I believe it was the best option for her). Since she'll have had 7 AP's, and is quite academic, community college feels like a waste of time (feel free to school me, but I just don't see her there.)

well, if its the right SF catholic HS, I will say I learned more about how to think there than during two ivy league degrees. Not all, but some private schools are actually that much better.   And yes in your case Community College is likely worse than a waste of time if the student isn't challenged to the next level.

Laura33

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2018, 07:20:08 AM »
My thought is that knee-jerk responses to just about anything are usually short-sighted.  The right choice varies by kid, by family, by location, and even over time.

I was a public school kid and am very much in favor of the socio-economic diversity.  I wanted a gorgeous house in the city, but it would have meant 2x the property taxes + $25K+ per year for private school, so the math very clearly supported the suburbs.  Found one with good public schools, so we were set.

Then I had a highly ADHD kid who thrived in a Montessori preschool.  So we kept her there; she's one of those wicked-smart-and-wicked-immature kids, so she was very much a handful.  The independence and ability to move around and self-direct was such a plus, I couldn't see changing schools when she hit K.

Then the Montessori school switched up to more like Asian Prep Academy -- very rigid, lots of worksheets, and I said, well, if I want a once-size-fits-all approach, I can get that for free at the local public school.  So we switched her over, and lo and behold, they were better able to handle her behavior issues -- they put her in the class with the teacher with two ADHD sons, and poof! she was suddenly completely manageable.  She has had a great, challenging education there (e.g., took Calculus AB/CD as a junior and is now in Multivariable Calc as a senior), and I have no regrets.

But now that we are looking at colleges, we are looking both public and private, and she will go to the best fit that she can get into.  The first factor is that our local publics are not great -- they don't do particularly well in her area of interest, the campus sucks and is known as a party school, and they have developed a strong reputation for forcing kids to stay a 5th year because they can't get the classes they need to graduate.  Not to mention ADHD kid + overwhelming party school = recipe for disaster.  So once you consider 5 years or more to graduate, and the lack of support/likelihood of a complete crash-and-burn, public doesn't look so hot.

And then once you start looking out of state, surprise, the tuition difference between OOS public and private is nonexistent (U Mich. is something like $60K+!).  In fact, one of her favorite private options is significantly cheaper than many of the publics, because they have a good endowment and give half-tuition scholarships to everyone.  So we are looking at all of the options. 

But the real key is that we are also looking at schools at all different levels -- reach, match, schools where she'd be at the top of the class, etc.  From seeing friends and relatives go through this, it is clear that many private schools will offer merit-based aid to kids they want to attract -- my niece had a number of offers from both publics and privates that all brought the cost of attendance down to the cost of an in-state public (gee, what a coincidence that they all came up with the same basic number, right?  Almost like they've figured out how to attract kids from out-of-state or something).  So it seems very likely that some of the lower-tier schools will come up with significant scholarship offers -- and some of those schools also happen to be very good in the area she is interested in, so win-win.

She may or may not choose the school with the best financial package; honestly, we have known that she is, umm, "unique" since she was about 30 minutes old, so we have been saving to afford the college that was the best fit for her since, oh, about the day after that.  But the larger point is that if you have a smart kid, it is flat-out stupid and short-sighted to just ignore private schools or out-of-state publics, because the ones that want your kid will come up with the cash to bring your costs down to the in-state level (or better).

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #43 on: August 28, 2018, 10:26:07 AM »
My ex went to a private religious school for K-12.   When we married, he was adamant that our kids should go to private school.  I did public school and thought that was perfectly fine for our kids.

We compromised that we'd look at the state of the schools where we lived and our kids' needs, and supplement with religious instruction if he was very firm on that.  We got divorced just before the oldest went to kinder, and I promptly enrolled her in public school.  All the kids are excelling...although I did move districts when oldest was in 2nd grade in part because I was mad that the old district was going to do away with librarians to deal with a budget crunch.  I think moving houses was still cheaper than private school.

A good friend who went to K-12 with my ex lives in my town now as well.  Her kids go to the local private religious school - the religious education is very important to their family.  Nevertheless, she's most likely going to move the oldest to public school next year because the child is not being challenged enough at the private school and the public school does an excellent job with GT and advanced kids.

For college, I had a full scholarship to a private university and a large scholarship to a public university.  The public school was a better personality fit for me.

gaja

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #44 on: August 28, 2018, 11:20:29 AM »
The academic side is not a part of the calculations for us. We have no problem teaching the kids whatever the curriculum is. We send them to school to learn social skills, to interact with children from different background, and to learn to adapt to what other people (adults and children) expect from them. Sure, we do expect them to do well academically too, but that is not why we chose the school we did.

Schools in Norway are funded over the normal taxes, not property taxes. Areas with larger needs (socioeconomic factors, language issues, etc) get more funding than schools that get good results "automatically". So when we moved from a wealthy and chalk white school district to a poor area with 10 different languages in each classroom, my kids got smaller groups, excellent teachers, and access to a lot more extracurricular activities. They have moved from being upper middle of the class to being some of the best, but that is not a problem when the teachers have time and knowledge about how to support the top students.

Private schools are rare here, and the municipalities have the right to decline funding if a new school wants to start business in the area. I'm happy that my town council recently said no to a new private school, because I think it is better for everyone to keep the schools diverse, and ensure good funding for the public schools. If the wealthy and well educated stop being connected to the public schools, there are fewer strong voices fighting for funding.

Personally, I think it is better for a society to not have segregated religious schools. I do understand that religious people think it is important to teach their kids their own values, but I think it is more important for the society in total to prepare children to handle the reality of the multitude of cultures in the world.

Abe

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2018, 11:06:46 PM »
Study just published, suggests that private schools have small effects on children's educational attainment by age 15. Most of the differences were related to socioeconomic status. I'm not that surprised (having attending mostly private schools until 10th grade).

MM_MG

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #46 on: August 28, 2018, 11:45:38 PM »

In fact, one of the Ivys has already informally made such a statement to my HS daughter who places nationally in the top 10 for her sport.

Athletic scholarship at an Ivy League school?

Maybe the term "scholarship" was used inappropriately. The Ivy head coach of DDs sport suggested that they were intent on recruiting her, independent of our ability to pay the schools cost. Perhaps the funds they might offer to cover tuition would be considered a "grant" as opposed to "scholarship." This is all new to me.

Oh no worries. That makes perfect sense.  I was just surprised based on my experience to see "free ride" or even "scholarship" mentioned with Ivy league.  Congrats to you and your daughter! That is a huge accomplishment.  What sport does she play? 
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 11:48:18 PM by MM_MG »

LightTripper

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #47 on: August 29, 2018, 05:11:19 AM »
I'm another one in the camp "it depends on the child and the circumstances"

I'm in the UK so it's a bit different (no real private university option for example: public universities do charge, but it's subsidised and students take out loans to cover the cost which they only pay back above a certain income threshold).

I went to state ("public" in US terms) schools and always imagined I would do the same for my kids.  Given we're in a poor part of the inner city I was less sure but was actually really impressed when I visited.  Some of the state/public schools here are really excellent and although it can be difficult to get into the one you want if you hunt around enough there is usually something good within a 15-20 minute commute that you can get into (if you're unlucky like me and your nearest schools are either religiously selective and/or failing - if you're lucky/bought a house in a good catchment area, you can have something amazing on your doorstep).

However, in the end we are keeping our DD at the private school where she attended nursery.  We were really torn as it is expensive (especially as we have a younger son too), and may well switch back to the state/public sector at a later stage, but our daughter was just diagnosed autistic and for us a single-form entry school (most of the state schools round us are at least 2 form entry, so the schools are huge - making break-time a very overwhelming sensory experience!) with 2 teachers and 2 teaching assistants for 20 kids (versus 1 teacher and 1 teaching assistant for 25-30 kids that would be standard in the state sector) just felt a much better bet for giving her a positive experience of school.  So far she loves school and a lot of the parents know she is autistic which helps with playdates etc. and hopefully they will be able to explain to their kids that everyone is different if she sometimes does things/says things they don't understand.  The idea of starting from scratch building up that network of friends was also pretty intimidating to be honest. 

If we had a more confident, outgoing type kid who loves the rough and tumble I think we would have made a different decision as I think there are a lot of positives to public/state education (more exposure to kids from different countries/cultures and often really excellent teaching, if more constrained on resources for e.g. trips).

It's definitely important to go in with your eyes open on costs though.  I think lots of people act like state/public schools are terrible, but even in this very deprived bit of London that just isn't true: they actually have fantastic buildings and teachers and a lot of very nice kids.  But obviously you're also not going to get quite the staff/pupil ratios of the private sector, and the teachers are going to have to spend more time helping kids with English as a second language or problems at home than in a private school.

elliha

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #48 on: August 29, 2018, 05:51:38 AM »
I live in Sweden where private schools that parents actually pay for are rare and we instead have a system of "free schools", which are funded by taxes but can be run by companies and coops etc. This gives more chances for people with less money to put their children in a private run school but it is clear that this system too is favoring the rich more. For example, you don't have to provide a school bus to a free school and they are almost always in more affluent neighborhoods so children who come from "the outside" will either have to ride a bike or public buses there or parents have to drive them there. Parents in lower income jobs are less likely to have flexible hours and be able to drive their children to school if they do indeed have a car and many start work at 7-730 rather than 8 or later which is more common if you work a more academic job. That means that many low income children will never have this option even if the parents don't have to pay for the actual school or they can only go after they are old enough to take the public buses. This creates another problem that low income areas have which is that good students often disappear in the older classes because they can then go to a free school when they are older and the academic level drops. As a teacher myself I also want to add that many teachers I know have had principals in free school tell them to get the grades up and by that actually mean pass students who are borderline between pass or fail and to give higher grades sometimes. A friend quit one of these schools because the principal asked him to do so and he said no and the principal still changed hids grade to the grade he wanted for a certain student. I am not saying that can never happen in a public school but free schools are so much more dependent on people picking them than public schools who will usually always get students that this ups the risk. Salaries are also usually lower in free schools at least for those of us who do not have high demand subjects. On top of these concerns there have been talks of students who have been moved in queue for certain schools or unfair queue systems but that is hard to prove and I don't know if that happens or not.

As you guessed I am not too keen on this system and my daughter is starting this autumn in a public school in a very multi-ethnic area and we plan to let her go to that school for as long as we live here (we are hoping to move in 4-6 years time) and then move to any public school near where we end up living. I am open to a high school that is a free school because some of them will offer career routes that simply are not available in the public high schools or she may not get into a program in a public highschool which she likes but does in a free school and since the programs may lead to a profession or further studies and are niched I think her choice of future is hers at this point and I will allow her to apply to any school she will like at this point. I would also consider a free school if a certain school was such a poor fit for my kid that he/she was having mental issues but for most kids in most circumstances I favor a public school near where you live as the first choice.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: How do you feel about private school/university for your children?
« Reply #49 on: August 29, 2018, 08:26:45 AM »
We homeschool our three oldest. We did look into a Catholic school for K-8 that seemed very good and would have been about 3k per child. It was located too far away though. My wife and the younger kids would have spent half the day driving back and forth. There are a few private schools locally that are well regarded but all are $10k+ and with our large family that's not even remotely an option. One of those is a Catholic HS but we've heard from a lot of local Catholic families that it's little different from public school and not worth the money.


When it comes to college we're interested in some private Catholic schools but our oldest just turned 10 so that's a ways off.