Ivy League Ambitions? Here’s Why Rich Parents Are Ditching Private Schools For Public Schools


(New York Post) New York City families are forking over five-figure tuition to prep schools like Trinity, Dalton and Horace Mann, thinking these private academies are runways to the Ivy League — but one admissions expert says it’s a bad bet.

In fact, according to college admissions consultant Christopher Rim, that same kid would have a four-to-five times greater shot of getting into a top-tier college if they went to a public school.


That’s became elite colleges tend to place caps on how many students will be admitted from a single high school, and a high percentage of prep-school kids tend to apply to the Ivy League.

“Of course, there are tremendous benefits to going to these private schools, but the college admissions competition is pretty much your entire graduating class,” Rim, founder and CEO of Command Education, told The Post.

“If you have a specific highly selective college you want to go to, you will be competing against dozens and dozens of classmates who are all vying for that same spot.”

Rim said he’s noticed more and more clients dropping out of private schools in favor of public ones.

The Chapin School campus
Prep schools like the Chapin School in New York City are among the most competitive in terms of college admissions. But a college consultant says students who forego private high schools for public schools often see a massive bump in college admissions prospects.Helayne Seidman

At least once a week, Rim said, he has parents asking whether it’s better for their child to be in the top 50% of their private school class — or the top 1% at the local public school.

The answer, at least 95% of the time, is public school.

But Rim advises parents not to send their kids to the most competitive public schools either, since those also pose inter-class competition issues: “Top public schools versus private schools, it’s very similar. So I typically would suggest going to a second tier public school.”

Christopher Rim
College consultant Christopher Rim says a kid who chooses a public school over a private school can expect up to a five-fold increase in their college admissions prospects.Command Education

Rim estimates 15% of his clients have moved schools to game the admissions process.

He’s also seen families take it to the next level — picking up and moving their entire family across the country to increase admissions odds.

Because colleges are keen to admit geographically diverse applicants so they can brag about having students from all 50 states, parents are leaving New York City for more sparsely populated areas.

Horace Mann School sign
Elite private schools in New York City like the Horace Mann School charge upwards of $60,000 a year.J.C.Rice

That’s because they’ve realized a Zip code in Kentucky or Arkansas will likely have less cutthroat college competition than Manhattan.

In fact, Rim has seen roughly 5% of his clients move states — something that’s become far more practical now that more parents can work remotely until the admissions cycle is over.

This year, he’s had families relocate to New Jersey and Florida for this reason. Another moved from Greenwich, Conn., to a Texas public school.

College consultant talking to a student
Rim says he’s had a dozen clients who have consulted so-called relocation specialists about moving to boost their kids’ college admissions prospects.Shutterstock

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