(Closed) How much of an advantage does a child going to private school get?

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
1828 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

Growing up I had a bunch of friends from a nearby private school and my friend group from my school. Thy definitely haven’t ended up any better off than we have, except the avantages their parents’ money have bought them (eg being bought property).

My school was academically one of the best in the country so perhaps that skews things. But even thinking of primary school friends who went to other schools post-primary, the ones who studied well have done well.

Our education system is very different from the US one though.

Post # 3
526 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I went to a private school and I can say I don’t feel any more prepared or better off than anyone else. I wouldn’t waste the.o EY if I ever had children, that’s for sure. 

Post # 4
19 posts

I don’t think any really. I went to both and I fared better at a public school than I did at a private school… but I also know friends who did better at a private school than they did at a public one. So I think it really comes down to the individual, the school and the other students at the school when determining the ‘better’ school. 

Post # 5
454 posts
Helper bee

I’m sure the private school gave her some advantages in getting into an Ivy League school which gave her A LOT of advantages breaking into her career field. However, I don’t think the private school was (likely) the deciding factor between the differences in their paths. Like, I’m assuming the older sister didn’t necessarily pursue a high-level sales path in the first place or possibly was thrust into the workforce when the economy was worse or a whole host of other factors that could have had a momentous impact on the differences in their job situations.

To be clear, I say this as the younger sister who went to private school while my brother went public the whole time. I got into a better university than my brother, but I also worked a ton harder than him in high school, took more AP classes (which were offered to him but he didn’t want the additional workload), I self-studied for the SATs and some additional AP classes, etc. I think the difference was (1) I was naturally more academically inclined while he’s always been better at me at… everything else, haha, which translated into more university acceptances and (2) I spent high school freaking. out. about my future and I just did everything I could to ensure I had as many options as possible – he was much more “everything’s always been fine up until now, I’m sure everything will be fine forever.”

That said, I know my brother resents that I got to go to private school and he didn’t. He’s a lawyer now so in my opinion he’s done better than me, but he might disagree and I’m sure some part of thinks “what could I have accomplished if I had gone to private school?”

Post # 6
286 posts
Helper bee

As PP said, it comes down to the individual but in my experience, private school was advantageous.

My experiences:

Public school: 35-40 students MINIMUM per class, no compulsory extracurricular activities.

Private school: 8 students MAX per class so you get more focus from teachers, more on-on-one, it was compulsory to do at least one sport (of your choice), there were endless opportunities to do extracurricular activities such as choir, business studies, plus if you were a boarder you also got responsibilities such as looking after the younger ones, keeping clean, maturing, better mannerisms and getting used to being away from home.
With studies, if you look at the student/exam pass rate, private schools are usually top ranking so my guess is when HR looks at your CV and sees that you went to a reputable school and were responsible for a number of things as well as your extracurricular activities listed, it would prove advantageous.

Those are just my thoughts.

Post # 7
2796 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

It depends on the child. I went to private school, as did my siblings; my brother is a doctor but would have gone to med school regardless, he had wanted to be a doctor since he was very very young. I don’t know that it was the private schooling which made the big difference to me, it was the single-sex schooling. I am a theatre technician and there’s no way that as a shy and somewhat awkward teenager that I would have got involved in backstage work if I’d been at a co-ed school, because the boys would have taken over. At an all-girls school, I was able to develop that interest and my skills. My husband went to public school and has done very well for himself – but like my brother, he would have done well anywhere.

I do think perhaps for children who struggle at school, the smaller class sizes at private school can be hugely beneficial to them.

Post # 8
31 posts

Unless it’s a really shitty public school, a really exceptional private school or the kid had special needs- I’d say no. I think the ability to offer private school OR the dedication to get scholarships for child to attend is what gets them ahead.

Anecdoctal, but grew up going public until high school, then parents were kind enough to switch at 14 to a private school because I was worried about colleges. Went to a high school where the average kid lived in multi-million dollar homes, they were awful. It was Catholic, like a bunch of private schools are. The school had decent classes but no better than the public, which is where my friends went. And it was my parents’ generosity and wealth that allowed me to spend six years in college, leave twice for out-of-pocket medical treatments, and graduate without debt. I’m in a very different situation from my coworkers.

Post # 9
246 posts
Helper bee

I’m form a European country where all the “elite schools” are state schools, so that definitely isn’t true here.

Post # 10
3235 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I think it depends of the schools in question. 

Post # 11
7396 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Well I think it has a lot to do with the specific school – not all private schools are created equal just like not all public schools are the same.

More than anything I think someone’s ability to do well in life has a lot to do with their ambition rather than their school.

My DH was an average student at best. He did ok, but nothing amazing. He has a college degree, but his job has nothing to do with that degree (it’s the “backup” plan). That being said he’s always known what he wanted to do, and has been working towards that goal since he was a kid. He’s one of the youngest people in his industry with the kind of job making the kind of money he does. He was just your average public school kid, but he has a passion for his job and is incredibly dedicated and driven.

My step-siblings both went to the same private school. One was always into computers and incredibly smart. As you can imagine he has a college degree and a million software certifications and make VERY good money. His sister (same private school) his nail tech.


Post # 12
4008 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

It definitely depends on the schools and the work ethic of the student. I went to a private school from K-8 because the local public school was awful. I enjoyed my elementary school experience there, but by the time I got to middle school I was over seeing the same 20 people every single day, all day. There were very few extra curriculars offered because it was a very small school. The academics were fine. My family moved to a new city right before I started high school, so I  switched to public school. It was the best thing that could have happened for me at the time. So many opportunities opened up for me that weren’t possible at the small private school I attended. Not all private schools are the same just like not all public schools are the same.  

Post # 13
1591 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t think you can generalize. It depends on the context of the community. There are communities where the public schools are well funded and most of the kids come from stable families. And there are other communities where the public schools are severely underfunded and the kids mostly come from unstable families and behavior issues run rampant and distract from education. Private school can either be a waste or a bargain depending on the context 

Post # 14
881 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I think it depends mostly on the kid, and somewhat on the quality of the public school available.

I went to public schools through elementary, middle, and high school. I was very motivated and I always loved learning, so I took all the advanced classes available, excelled, and attended an Ivy league college. I now have a PhD and an awesome career, so I can say that public schools worked out fine for me!

Post # 15
1289 posts
Bumble bee

Assuming you’re in a decent school district, I don’t think private schools offer a distinct advantage. Success comes down to the work ethic of the child. Period.

The only reason it may seem like they have an advantage is because many private school kids are from wealthy families and that’s an advantage in and of itself.

That kid may not have been able to get into a public GATE/ AP program by merit but can get funnelled into a private school with tutors instead to inflate their true academic standing.

They will then be bankrolled by their parents and obtain future jobs based on connections and property as gifts. But that doesn’t mean their education was necessarily superior. I would send my future kid to a well funded public over a private any day. 

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