I think that all parents hope that their kids live better and more successful lives than themselves. We strive to give them the best opportunities possible, whether it is through education, extracurricular activities, or cultural exposure. I can certainly say that I certainly had a more luxurious childhood than my parents, and that subsequent generations are having more luxurious lifestyle than I did.
One common point of contention I encounter with present education is whether to put your kids through public or private primary school. This is strictly a first-world problem, as one would assume that most public primary education schools (K-12) in the U.S. are relatively safe. The real question is, which situation would allow my child to thrive and succeed? Would public school be good enough for my kid? What is the best way to get my daughter into an Ivy-League school?
Private school is superior
Assuming that life is fair and that you get what you pay for, private schools MUST afford better opportunities for your children. Better education. Better teachers. Better extracurriculars. Better counselors. Hell, the average private elementary tuition was $8441 per year. For high school, it was $12,900. I’ve seen private non-boarding high school tuition in the Northeast running in the $25,000 range. Those in Manhattan are even more.
If you can afford to actually pay your teachers, shouldn’t you get a superior education? Furthermore, the cost filters out those in the lower income pool, which can potentially filter out the less educated!
Those of you who balk at the cost of private schools can read the article from Time Magazine in 2014 arguing that private school can potentially save you money. That’s right. Private school is cheaper because if you send your kid to private school, you don’t have to pay as much for your house to be in a good school district. A nice house in a B- school district will save you money.
When was the last time someone you knew chose a “B- school district” to save money because their kid goes to private school? There are families without kids who buy homes in good school districts simply to help increase resale value. Most people I know who send their kids to private school actually live in good school districts anyway.
You will spend more in a private school.
This not only includes the cost of tuition, but also any ancillary costs like textbooks, school trip fees, uniforms, and sports equipment.
Is it really worth it?
Going to a private school will not guarantee that you will get into an Ivy League school. It can certainly give you a supportive environment to potentially increase your changes of entrance into a good college, but by no means does it guarantee success. Highly successful students from middle-range public high schools are also likely to enter great colleges as well—it ultimately depends on your beliefs, access into good private schools, and your wallet.
As a high income professional, you should be able to afford to place your kids in these opportunities. Just understand that costs of about $50,000 a year for two kids in private school for at least 4 years will add up. This doesn’t even include college! If you have plans to retire early (FIRE), make sure you save up as much as you can before you decide to send your kids to private school.
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