New York City private school kindergarten results are here! Abacus Guide parents are feeling joy. Three emails we received today:
Happy Kindergarten Notification Day! We are thrilled to tell you that we just received an acceptance letter from <elite girls school> (our top choice)!
Thank you for all of your help!
I’m thrilled to report <child> got into <elite boys school>!!!
Thank you so much for all of your advice over the last year. You were amazing. Please let me know if we can ever serve as a reference - we’d be happy to do it.
Here are the results! What a process.
I really want to thank you for everything you have done. Honestly, you’ve been the most helpful of anyone at any point in this entire endeavor. Including my family!
Education entrepreneur Chris Whittle, a co-founder of Edison Schools and Avenues, is founding a new Brooklyn school this fall, named, appropriately enough, "Whittle School". The initial description of the school sounds a lot like Avenues:
Whittle School plans capacity for 90,000 students in 15 countries, with much of its leadership from China, India and the U.S. "We were building from scratch an organization that was very intentionally bi- and tri-cultural," Mr. Whittle said. "It's been very challenging."
Here at Abacus Guide, we will be waiting and seeing before recommending this new school to our clients. We certainly foresee that there may be strong demand from international students from East and South Asia, as their parents and school consultants frequently call us for help finding schools.
Whittle still owes $5.8 million to his previous start-up, Avenues. According to Leslie Brody at the Wall Street Journal:
Avenues officials said Wednesday that Mr. Whittle still hadn't paid the debt and that they are seeking to force a sale of his estate in Long Island's East Hampton, which they say was appraised at more than $100 million. It sits near the Atlantic Ocean with a view of Georgica Pond.
"Chris has failed to meet his commitments to Avenues," said Jeff Clark, president of Avenues: The World School, by email.
David Shaw made a hedge trade on his children's academic futures, donating $1 million every year for ten years to Harvard, Stanford, Yale and Princeton, and half that to Brown and Columbia. Just solid asset management, according to Dealbreaker.
The Meritocracy Trap: A new book argues that rather than being a democratic ideal, acquisition of status and wealth based strictly on merit has been a disaster for America. The Wall Street Journal review.
At this season of Thanksgiving, I was thrilled yesterday to receive this note from one of my former Private School Admissions Support Program clients:
<Top Brooklyn Heights private school> really is the perfect school for our son and our family. He feels happy, supported and cared for by the teachers and staff, which is all I really want for him at the end of the day. So a big thanks to you for helping us get here. It is moments like this that bring pure joy and I am so grateful for you and your help. Thank you so much, Emily.
And another from a current client going through the application/interview process:
That is probably the only downside to being finished very soon with this whole application process — we won’t get our cheerleader replies from you, which <son, husband> and I appreciate so much. Thank you Emily!
For the past 20 years, I have been grateful for and honored by my ongoing relationships with my wonderful clients. It is the best part of my job.
The Atlantic has an insightful new article that exposes how powerful the advantage of playing a "rich kids sport" can be for getting into top colleges: The Cult of Rich Kid Sports. These rich kid sports are water polo, squash, crew, lacrosse, and skiing, activities that require money to learn how to play.
At Harvard, nearly 1,200 undergraduates—or 20 percent of the student body— participate in intercollegiate athletics.
Early in the Harvard admissions process, recruited athletes receive special treatment. Most of the school’s 42 sports have liaisons that relay the coach’s preferences for incoming athletes to the admissions department. Nearly 90 percent of recruited athletes gain admission to Harvard, versus about 6 percent of applicants overall. These athletes make up less than 1 percent of Harvard’s applicant pool but more than 10 percent of its admitted class. (The other 10 percent of Harvard’s players are walk-ons who likely have also benefited from high athletic ratings in the admissions process.)
It's terrific that people are learning about how much sports impact admissions at prestigious colleges. This has repercussions for racial and socioeconomic diversity as well as for overall academic excellence.
In an effort to simplify and expedite the selection of top candidates for matriculation at the historic Ivy League school, the admissions department of Harvard University announced that they would refine their process by directly growing new students from the DNA of top donors.