The future of EdChoice

ringer2

Active member
Private schools have the ultimate in accountability. If people don’t like their work, they go out of business because they have no customers. Public schools need to invent accountability standards that really have zero impact because people are forced by their zip code to stay there, especially if they can’t afford other options. That is not accountability. Spare me the accountability argument. Public schools have next to none.
You have to ask yourself why so many people exit their public school as soon as they are given the chance through EdChoice? We all know the reason.
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
Private schools have the ultimate in accountability. If people don’t like their work, they go out of business because they have no customers. Public schools need to invent accountability standards that really have zero impact because people are forced by their zip code to stay there, especially if they can’t afford other options. That is not accountability. Spare me the accountability argument. Public schools have next to none.
You have to ask yourself why so many people exit their public school as soon as they are given the chance through EdChoice? We all know the reason.
So your argument is that private schools' accountability comes from them simply being open for busieness? You know that private schools have been closing rapidly in the past 15 or so years with no end in sight and a very significant portion would be closed without GOVERNMENT help. That argument holds zero water.

Your second point really makes no sense. You said districts created accountability standards when they had no input on what those standards are. These standards were created by politicians who don't know what really goes on in these schools. Also, most districts now in Ohio are open enrollment, so your zip code argument doesn't hold up.

You then continue to say that public schools have next to no accountability, how is that? The public schools have more accountability than any other government entity, and I think having that accountability is a good thing. There is tons of transparency that simply doesn't exist in other forms of government and definitely doesn't exist in the private schools.

Lastly, the reason that so many people exit their public school as soon as they are given their chance when EdChoice becomes available is from this completely made up notion that the private schools are SOOO much better. The reality is it is easy to be "better" when you literally hand pick every child allowed into your institution and can remove them. If they were, they would start accepting ALL kids and not kick kids out for things like poor behavior. Take the kids with a mile-long IEP, take the kids that work 3rd shift at Amazon when as soon as they turn 18 because their parents kicked them out because "they grown now," take the kids that speak no English and work your "private school miracles" on all of them and turn them into your high ACT scores and graduation rates.
 
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SeeYaSometime

Well-known member
Just to correct your awful "corrections."

1). When I speak of grading I'm talking about the ridiculous system we use to grade our public schools and the BS criteria used to come up with those grades. The private schools are not graded by the same standards. It is a FACT that the private schools receiving public dollars because a public school is supposedly failing because of BS criteria are not held to the same standard and therefore we are unsure if they are even better. Public schools MUST abide by ADA and TitleIX. Privates do not. Publics MUST take everyone. Privates do not. These are the FACTS.

2). 95% of all public school teachers in the state of Ohio MUST having their Education degree (there are a couple exceptions). The private schools have no such standard. The public school teachers are required to constantly upgrade and return to school many times paying for these upgrades out of their own pocket. The private schools are not mandated to do this. This is a FACT that public school teachers are held to a higher standard.

Your last sentence is as asinine as your entire though process.

This is not about how good your local Catholic school is. As already mentioned, I am a product of Catholic Education grades K through 12. You CAN get a great education at a private institution. You can get a great education at a public institution. However, the EdChoice program is majorly flawed which has been pointed out numerous times on this thread and others.
#2 Parochial school teachers also take continual classes. They have to in order to renew their certification. Many public districts provide the classes for their teachers using federal money. The teachers get CEU’s for which they pay $5.00 per class. 18 CEU’s are needed over a five year period to renew. Five bucks is pretty darn cheap. The parochial schools aren’t large enough to do this so their teachers are taking college courses at per credit hour fees to meet the requirement. Six credits are enough to renew certification. As I said before, many of their teachers choose to get advanced degrees on their own. Trust me, they don’t get monetarily rewarded on the pay scale like the public school teachers.

you have your opinions and I have my truths. No point in continuing the discussion.
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
#2 Parochial school teachers also take continual classes. They have to in order to renew their certification. Many public districts provide the classes for their teachers using federal money. The teachers get CEU’s for which they pay $5.00 per class. 18 CEU’s are needed over a five year period to renew. Five bucks is pretty darn cheap. The parochial schools aren’t large enough to do this so their teachers are taking college courses at per credit hour fees to meet the requirement. Six credits are enough to renew certification. As I said before, many of their teachers choose to get advanced degrees on their own. Trust me, they don’t get monetarily rewarded on the pay scale like the public school teachers.

you have your opinions and I have my truths. No point in continuing the discussion.
Where are there public teachers taking 5 bucks per class?

The original poster's point was certification isn't required at the parochial schools, so many opt to not keep their certification.
 

ringer2

Active member
So your argument is that private schools' accountability comes from them simply being open for busieness? You know that private schools have been closing rapidly in the past 15 or so years with no end in sight and a very significant portion would be closed without GOVERNMENT help. That argument holds zero water.

Your second point really makes no sense. You said districts created accountability standards when they had no input on what those standards are. These standards were created by politicians who don't know what really goes on in these schools. Also, most districts now in Ohio are open enrollment, so your zip code argument doesn't hold up.

You then continue to say that public schools have next to no accountability, how is that? The public schools have more accountability than any other government entity, and I think having that accountability is a good thing. There is tons of transparency that simply doesn't exist in other forms of government and definitely doesn't exist in the private schools.

Lastly, the reason that so many people exit their public school as soon as they are given their chance when EdChoice becomes available is from this completely made up notion that the private schools are SOOO much better. The reality is it is easy to be "better" when you literally hand pick every child allowed into your institution and can remove them If they were, they would start accepting ALL kids and not kick kids out for things like poor behavior. Take the kids with a mile-long IEP, take the kids that work 3rd shift at Amazon when as soon as they turn 18 because their parents kicked them out because "they grown now," take the kids that speak no English and work your "private school miracles" on all of them and turn them into your high ACT scores and graduation rates.
My goodness, there is so much wrong in this post I don’t know where to start. I’ll have to try to find some time later in the day.
 

Crossblock

New member
The ACT numbers are misleading. 50% of Ohio seniors in high school go to college and 50% of them graduate so ultimately taking the ACT is beneficial to 25% of the student population in Ohio. Having all students take it and then grade a school by their score might not be a level playing field. The wealthier districts tend to have more access to tutors, classes and other pre-test materials. And it certainly reflects poorly on school districts. if it is only going to be relevant to 25% of students why incur the cost and decimate a students well being over a test that has little meaning to him/her. Read that stat a few years ago in an article written by an OSU professor.

About 10 years ago Kasich cut about 500 million to public education and veered it toward charters. About 80% of Ohio public schools are C or above, 20% D and F, roughly. Charters are the opposite and I think the stat I saw was 10%-90% passing/failing. That money has not been recouped and then the tests and grading scale changed to the new more difficult standards. That has made things much more difficult for public schools.

Public teachers can do CEU's or take classes to renew a license. CEU's are often less expensive but need to be patchworked together to achieve the desired number of hours, need to keep good records of your hours/evidence of attendance. Classes are a little easier, take 2 three hour classes and renew. More expensive but the district usually kicks in up to a certain price.

I went to private schools, have taught at public and private and while I agree there are teachers who don't do a good job, my experience at each stop has been that for the most part teachers are qualified, caring professionals who bring it each day. I have taught at very wealthy districts and somewhat poorer districts and where the kids are coming from and the home's attitude toward education seems to be the commonality for successful students.

Teaching and learning are artistic endeavors and sometimes trying to measure it with scientific ends don't always reflect true learning. Experts have been trying and changing tests for the almost 40 years I've been in this business, that tells me folks aren't quite sure what the perfect test is for measuring exactly what it is a student should know upon graduation.
 

Kballer

Well-known member
Your first point is 100% false in every way possible.

Secondly, you had a college counselor just arbitrarily add .5 to your son's GPA? That's fraud. That is why every school has a regular GPA and a weighted GPA. Colleges go by weighted GPA because it reflects the difficulty of classes. Either this didn't happen or you cut the college a check Felicity Huffman style for that to happen.
There is a “school profile“ that colleges get from applicants High schools. It shows how rigorous a schools curriculum is and how that students performed against their peers at that school as well as how their GPA is calculated. College counselors use that school profile as a comparative measure between applicants from different schools. They cannot just use GPA as many high schools now inflate theirs and the “weighted” GPA is not a standard throughout the country. For example: A kid who has a 3.75 from walnut hills and took primarily honors courses plus 7 AP classes vs a kid who went to Fairfield and got a 4.6 but only took a couple of honors classes and the rest were lower level- the colleges use an adjuster to align the GPAs accordingly.
 
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cincifbfan

Well-known member
There is a “school profile“ that colleges get from applicants High schools. It shows how rigorous a schools curriculum is and how that students performed against their peers at that school as well as how their GPA is calculated. College counselors use that school profile as a comparative measure between applicants from different schools. They cannot just use GPA as many high schools now inflate theirs and the “weighted” GPA is not a standard throughout the country. For example: A kid who has a 3.75 from walnut hills and took primarily honors courses plus 7 AP classes vs a kid who went to Fairfield and got a 4.6 but only took a couple of honors classes and the rest were lower level- the colleges use an adjuster to align the GPAs accordingly.
That's where transcripts come in. You are correct that a school is not going to use GPA as the sole measure. The admissions officer will see all the Honors classes and AP classes and use that information accordingly. Now, I know you are just "spitballing" but a student isn't getting a 4.6 GPA for only taking a couple of honors classes and the rest lower level. The lower level classes, if not college prep, will actually lower your weighted GPA.
 

Kballer

Well-known member
That's where transcripts come in. You are correct that a school is not going to use GPA as the sole measure. The admissions officer will see all the Honors classes and AP classes and use that information accordingly. Now, I know you are just "spitballing" but a student isn't getting a 4.6 GPA for only taking a couple of honors classes and the rest lower level. The lower level classes, if not college prep, will actually lower your weighted GPA.
Of course They use transcripts as well as school profiles that give a broader picture of the high school. By lower level I mean algebra 2 vs calc 2 as the highest level taken.
 

Kballer

Well-known member
That's where transcripts come in. You are correct that a school is not going to use GPA as the sole measure. The admissions officer will see all the Honors classes and AP classes and use that information accordingly. Now, I know you are just "spitballing" but a student isn't getting a 4.6 GPA for only taking a couple of honors classes and the rest lower level. The lower level classes, if not college prep, will actually lower your weighted GPA.
Sorta spitballing but a teammate of my daughters a few years back had a 5. Something GPA at Fairfield and when she mentioned the classes she was taking as a senior they were all classes our kid who attended a private school had taken sophomore year.
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
Sorta spitballing but a teammate of my daughters a few years back had a 5. Something GPA at Fairfield and when she mentioned the classes she was taking as a senior they were all classes our kid who attended a private school had taken sophomore year.
Now I don't know for sure, but that could have been the "order" that each school teaches certain classes, maybe not. In my experience, I have found that many of the private schools teach classes in a drastically different order than most publics, not saying that is what happened here but it's a possibility. But as far as the example of Alg. 2 and Calc 2 I do get what you are saying. But if you were a kid that didn't get any algebra in grade school, it is possible that Alg. 2 was as high as you got in high school. You also could have taken it as an Honor's class that would have many sophomores in it, that is what I meant by lower level (the difficulty at which the class itself will be taught). My point was simply that colleges don't just move GPAs up half a point because of where you went to school, it's a whole picture thing.
 

Kballer

Well-known member
Now I don't know for sure, but that could have been the "order" that each school teaches certain classes, maybe not. In my experience, I have found that many of the private schools teach classes in a drastically different order than most publics, not saying that is what happened here but it's a possibility. But as far as the example of Alg. 2 and Calc 2 I do get what you are saying. But if you were a kid that didn't get any algebra in grade school, it is possible that Alg. 2 was as high as you got in high school. You also could have taken it as an Honor's class that would have many sophomores in it, that is what I meant by lower level (the difficulty at which the class itself will be taught). My point was simply that colleges don't just move GPAs up half a point because of where you went to school, it's a whole picture thing.
They essentially do- experiences this personally. Spoke with several college counselors/admissions people regarding similar scenario. One of ours went to a very competitive, private high school and was applying to Ivy/ service Academies and wanted to see how they compared just GPAs. That’s when they discussed school profiles and how that gives them insight And a way to measure her lower GPA. They point blank said it was like adding on another half point to her GPA. It’s all Just one part of the matrix, but it is part of it.
 

SeeYaSometime

Well-known member
Where are there public teachers taking 5 bucks per class?

The original poster's point was certification isn't required at the parochial schools, so many opt to not keep their certification.
As I said, some public districts provide classes for their teachers. My experience is with Akron Public Schools. Yes, they provided classes, teachers paid $5.00 to get CEUs. If they didn’t want credit, they didn’t pay. All classes went on their resumes for continuing education. Parochial school teachers have the same requirements for their state certification. I suppose there are some Parochial schools that don’t require certification, but none that I’m personally aware of.
 

SeeYaSometime

Well-known member
They essentially do- experiences this personally. Spoke with several college counselors/admissions people regarding similar scenario. One of ours went to a very competitive, private high school and was applying to Ivy/ service Academies and wanted to see how they compared just GPAs. That’s when they discussed school profiles and how that gives them insight And a way to measure her lower GPA. They point blank said it was like adding on another half point to her GPA. It’s all Just one part of the matrix, but it is part of it.
Thank you for confirming the GPA experience I had with my kids when applying to schools. Yes, their GPAs were viewed/elevated a half point because of the curriculum requirements at their high school. Another poster doubted me vociferously.
 

ogealbhain

Active member
They essentially do- experiences this personally. Spoke with several college counselors/admissions people regarding similar scenario. One of ours went to a very competitive, private high school and was applying to Ivy/ service Academies and wanted to see how they compared just GPAs. That’s when they discussed school profiles and how that gives them insight And a way to measure her lower GPA. They point blank said it was like adding on another half point to her GPA. It’s all Just one part of the matrix, but it is part of it.
A counterpart of mine is/was a college counselor. He retired from the public school system in Ohio. He shared with me a situation where a 2.2 GPA from an elite, private HS in NYC would be more highly regarded than a 4.0 from Dublin, New Albany, Mason.
 

TCSoup

Active member
It’s extremely difficult to compare all privates to all public’s or one school to the next regardless if they are public/private. Just in Columbus, you have a Westland High School that has morning announcements in four languages (English, Spanish, Somali & Russian). You have the Columbus Public Schools who has a graduation rate of about 50%, where a majority of their kids live at or below the poverty line and where the % of kids who live with parents who are married to one another at what 25%? Also, I would guess 85%+ of the kids qualify for the state free lunch program. A lot of the CPS kids are going to school to be in a safe environment for 6 hours & a couple of hot meals each day. Two different worlds - impossible to compare the teachers/schools. Now, you can compare a Watterson, DeSales, Hartley & Ready with any of the Dublin’s, the Olentany’s, Grandview, Upper Arlington; outside of the religious experience which I completely understand/respect, I would guess that these public schools test as good or better than the privates. Also if you have a child who is on a IEP and needs additional services, my understanding is these public’s are far better.
Thank You, You have made a excellent defense as to why Students in under performing School Districts whose Parents and themselves want a better Education and chance to go to College should be given a Choice. It shouldn't be just to a Private School but to a Public School as well. Lets not kid ourselves the majority of the anti arguments on here are coming from those who are worried about a stud player going out of his Public HS not about allowing all kids and parents the choice about their kids education. The bigger picture here is that our HS Educational demands are being dumbed down across the Country for many Social and Economical reasons . Doesn't bode well for the future.
 

ogealbhain

Active member
A counterpart of mine is/was a college counselor. He retired from the public school system in Ohio. He shared with me a situation where a 2.2 GPA from an elite, private HS in NYC would be more highly regarded than a 4.0 from Dublin, New Albany, Mason.
The point being that colleges know a GPA from one school is not the same as a GPA from another school. I do not know if the + 0.5 is true or not. But, it is absolutely certain that colleges realize GPAs are not all created equal.
 

rossford_resident

Active member
A counterpart of mine is/was a college counselor. He retired from the public school system in Ohio. He shared with me a situation where a 2.2 GPA from an elite, private HS in NYC would be more highly regarded than a 4.0 from Dublin, New Albany, Mason.
A 4.0 where the student topped out with Algebra II and no AP courses is not going to get them into an elite college no matter where they go to high school.

No student with the credentials to get into an elite college is going to get punished for not taking classes that their HS doesn't offer. If you live in the middle of Wyoming and can only take 3 AP Courses because enrollment is 97 kids K-12 you can still get into Harvard. There's no way that a kid with a 2.2 GPA at Chesterton Academy is going to any Ivy League or comparable school unless they're on the "bribe the crew coach" admissions plan.

I do think, from personal experience, that going to a lower-tier school can actually help your chances at being admitted to elite colleges if you are a spectacular student. It's much easier to stand out as the one National Merit Scholar out of your HS in the past 10 years than as one of the five or six your top-tier HS produces every year.

There's no question that kids who come from high-level private schools are often more prepared for college than comparable kids from the average public school because of the higher academic rigor. As others have pointed out throughout the thread, however, many of the benefits of private school are attributable to being surrounded by other students whose parents value their education enough that they're willing to pay for it.
 

ogealbhain

Active member
A 4.0 where the student topped out with Algebra II and no AP courses is not going to get them into an elite college no matter where they go to high school.

No student with the credentials to get into an elite college is going to get punished for not taking classes that their HS doesn't offer. If you live in the middle of Wyoming and can only take 3 AP Courses because enrollment is 97 kids K-12 you can still get into Harvard. There's no way that a kid with a 2.2 GPA at Chesterton Academy is going to any Ivy League or comparable school unless they're on the "bribe the crew coach" admissions plan.

I do think, from personal experience, that going to a lower-tier school can actually help your chances at being admitted to elite colleges if you are a spectacular student. It's much easier to stand out as the one National Merit Scholar out of your HS in the past 10 years than as one of the five or six your top-tier HS produces every year.

There's no question that kids who come from high-level private schools are often more prepared for college than comparable kids from the average public school because of the higher academic rigor. As others have pointed out throughout the thread, however, many of the benefits of private school are attributable to being surrounded by other students whose parents value their education enough that they're willing to pay for it.
The biggest advantage of ANY school is the peer group you are associated with. It's not the teachers or the curricula. Schools get too much blame and too much credit.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
GPA and ACT (SAT nowadays is largely eschewed as not necessary nor a test score that can be interchangeable with the ACT) is what moves the meter in general college admissions. Not because it’s the best indicator of college preparedness, but because it’s all about the admissions profile of the incoming freshmen class and how that represents the school in rankings. For a lot of high-profile public universities, such as Ohio State, if your admissions profile is beneath 3.5/26 ACT, you aren’t getting in (for every decimal point GPA wise that you’re below 3.5, you’d need to make up with one point on the ACT average.) And that’s before any admissions to a specialized program. Now, a 3.4-3.6 from a private high school of repute with multiple honors and AP credentials, that is probably on equal footing with a 3.7-3.8 application from a public with not the most competitive of course selections on the transcript when it comes to your good/mid-tier liberal arts colleges.

Don’t know why we’re discussing the Ivies, high-tier privates etc in the extreme context of “2.2 from Laxbro Verbum Dei <> 4.0 from Mason”, since the competitive admissions to the best schools in the country border on an “arms race.”
 

serpico

Well-known member
The biggest advantage of ANY school is the peer group you are associated with. It's not the teachers or the curricula. Schools get too much blame and too much credit.
I would argue that it is the engagement of the parents, but you aren’t far off. I think it makes people feel better to talk about how “schools” are turning out such great students, though, when it’s actually the parents and the community.
 

rossford_resident

Active member
GPA and ACT (SAT nowadays is largely eschewed as not necessary nor a test score that can be interchangeable with the ACT) is what moves the meter in general college admissions. Not because it’s the best indicator of college preparedness, but because it’s all about the admissions profile of the incoming freshmen class and how that represents the school in rankings. For a lot of high-profile public universities, such as Ohio State, if your admissions profile is beneath 3.5/26 ACT, you aren’t getting in (for every decimal point GPA wise that you’re below 3.5, you’d need to make up with one point on the ACT average.) And that’s before any admissions to a specialized program. Now, a 3.4-3.6 from a private high school of repute with multiple honors and AP credentials, that is probably on equal footing with a 3.7-3.8 application from a public with not the most competitive of course selections on the transcript when it comes to your good/mid-tier liberal arts colleges.

Don’t know why we’re discussing the Ivies, high-tier privates etc in the extreme context of “2.2 from Laxbro Verbum Dei <> 4.0 from Mason”, since the competitive admissions to the best schools in the country border on an “arms race.”
Additionally, the grading system in the parochial schools is generally more stringent. As one college counselor told my son, “We recognize the quality of your education and realize the public schools cannot require the same standards for their students.” That’s why his GPA was elevated by .5 when they considered his applications at his selected schools.

We were discussing them in the context of: "the private school that my kids attend is worth an automatic 0.5 bump in their GPA as told to me by a college admissions counselor."

That was the original claim, which has since been revised to "private high schools with a dedicated college preparatory curriculum" are more well-regarded by college admissions people.

The private college preparatory schools in this area definitely market themselves as worth the investment: "you'll get all of your tuition back in scholarship money."

My anecdotal experience is that the value added is primarily with guidance in building the "resume." Having a dedicated college admissions staff as opposed to relying on one of two guidance counselors who've been assigned 300 students each makes a difference. Not all parents have the time and resources to research this stuff themselves.
 
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Smalls

Active member
Once they get to high school many of the higher performing kids have the intelligence and drive to teach themselves. My daughter takes a full load of AP classes every year. Most of the subject matter/homework is assigned prior to the lecture and then reviewed/reinforced the following day. She spends an equal amount of time between "self learning" and "reviewing" with her teachers, but rarely is "taught" something new without having already taken a stab at it the prior evening. She thrives in that environment, easily passes the AP tests and scores well on standardized test.

Her educational base was provided at a public school and at our kitchen table. She would thrive in public school, private school or being self taught at home.

What she gets at private school that she did not get at her public school is more peer competition, higher expectations and more disciplined students, but I/she sees no difference in the teachers abilities (public or private). They all were competent and driven to perform their job as well as they could. Many of her teachers are doctors/lawyers/business leaders wives who are not concerned with providing for themselves and their families and very highly qualified. They are not the under performing "I can't get a public school job" types that people mention.

The counselors at her school are 100x more focused on college admissions than they were at our local public school or the private school that my son attended.

Also, my son was/is in the National Honor Society at his school. He would never even come close qualifying for the National Honor Society at my daughter's school. The requirements and expectations are much more stringent.......both are private schools but apples and oranges when it comes to educational opportunity and expectations.
 
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ogealbhain

Active member
I would argue that it is the engagement of the parents, but you aren’t far off. I think it makes people feel better to talk about how “schools” are turning out such great students, though, when it’s actually the parents and the community.
Agreed: peer group is reflective of homes.
 

rossford_resident

Active member
Once they get to high school many of the higher performing kids have the intelligence and drive to teach themselves. My daughter takes a full load of AP classes every year. Most of the subject matter/homework is assigned prior to the lecture and then reviewed/reinforced the following day. She spends an equal amount of time between "self learning" and "reviewing" with her teachers, but rarely is "taught" something new without having already taken a stab at it the prior evening. She thrives in that environment, easily passes the AP tests and scores well on standardized test.

Her educational base was provide at a public school and at our kitchen table. She would thrive in public, private or being self taught at home.

What she gets at private school that she did not get at her public school is more peer competition, higher expectations and more disciplined students, but I/she sees no difference in the teachers abilities. They all were competent and driven to perform their job as well as they could.

The counselors at her school are 100x more focused on college admissions than they were at our local public school or the private school that my son attended.
My kids have attended the local Jesuit school and a suburban public. Advantages and disadvantages to both. I am convinced that being a public school graduate helped with admissions to the highly competitive schools. He was being judged against kids from a different pool of applicants than if he'd stayed at the Parochial.

My other sons may have benefited more from the private school. They are not as self-motivated and it's a little easier to slack in a public school setting, IMO. The grades are still fine, but the test scores and the amount of reading required outside of class did not measure up.
 

D4fan

Well-known member
A 4.0 where the student topped out with Algebra II and no AP courses is not going to get them into an elite college no matter where they go to high school.

No student with the credentials to get into an elite college is going to get punished for not taking classes that their HS doesn't offer. If you live in the middle of Wyoming and can only take 3 AP Courses because enrollment is 97 kids K-12 you can still get into Harvard. There's no way that a kid with a 2.2 GPA at Chesterton Academy is going to any Ivy League or comparable school unless they're on the "bribe the crew coach" admissions plan.

I do think, from personal experience, that going to a lower-tier school can actually help your chances at being admitted to elite colleges if you are a spectacular student. It's much easier to stand out as the one National Merit Scholar out of your HS in the past 10 years than as one of the five or six your top-tier HS produces every year.

There's no question that kids who come from high-level private schools are often more prepared for college than comparable kids from the average public school because of the higher academic rigor. As others have pointed out throughout the thread, however, many of the benefits of private school are attributable to being surrounded by other students whose parents value their education enough that they're willing to pay for it.
Seems like most any student who achieves national merit status (top 2% of nation on PSAT) would be welcomed and recruited by most any university?
The interesting thing our family found was many schools recruit hard for these students by offering 50 % or greater academic scholarships, while a public university such as Ohio State will not do so, due to the number of such students they attract who fit into that category. Don't know if the offer is still there, but three years ago Alabama offered a full academic scholarship to any National Merit student, housing not included. As a parent that was pretty tempting. Our kids attended a private school that lacked top end classes in the math and science curriculum, but if the student can pull off a 36 on the ACT in spite of such deficiencies in offerings from the school, universities are not going to penalize them for lack of rigor.
 

D4fan

Well-known member
GPA and ACT (SAT nowadays is largely eschewed as not necessary nor a test score that can be interchangeable with the ACT) is what moves the meter in general college admissions. Not because it’s the best indicator of college preparedness, but because it’s all about the admissions profile of the incoming freshmen class and how that represents the school in rankings. For a lot of high-profile public universities, such as Ohio State, if your admissions profile is beneath 3.5/26 ACT, you aren’t getting in (for every decimal point GPA wise that you’re below 3.5, you’d need to make up with one point on the ACT average.) And that’s before any admissions to a specialized program. Now, a 3.4-3.6 from a private high school of repute with multiple honors and AP credentials, that is probably on equal footing with a 3.7-3.8 application from a public with not the most competitive of course selections on the transcript when it comes to your good/mid-tier liberal arts colleges.

Don’t know why we’re discussing the Ivies, high-tier privates etc in the extreme context of “2.2 from Laxbro Verbum Dei <> 4.0 from Mason”, since the competitive admissions to the best schools in the country border on an “arms race.”
Somehow missed your post first time over the thread, totally agree with your point. What you stated is essentially what I was trying to say above.
 

rossford_resident

Active member
Seems like most any student who achieves national merit status (top 2% of nation on PSAT) would be welcomed and recruited by most any university?
The interesting thing our family found was many schools recruit hard for these students by offering 50 % or greater academic scholarships, while a public university such as Ohio State will not do so, due to the number of such students they attract who fit into that category. Don't know if the offer is still there, but three years ago Alabama offered a full academic scholarship to any National Merit student, housing not included. As a parent that was pretty tempting. Our kids attended a private school that lacked top end classes in the math and science curriculum, but if the student can pull off a 36 on the ACT in spite of such deficiencies in offerings from the school, universities are not going to penalize them for lack of rigor.
The schools with the big National Merit offers are a tier below Ohio State, Michigan, etc. academically. Alabama, Kentucky, Wichita State, Central Florida, Ole Miss...all schools trying to raise their academic standing.

The problem with National Merit is that the standards are different from state to state. The qualifying score is lower in Mississippi than it is in Virginia.

Being a National Merit Scholar isn't much more impressive than being President of the French Club when Stanford can fill out their entire freshman class with kids that have 4.0 unweighted GPAs and 36 on the ACT and put an entire second freshman class on the wait list with the same stats.

Having a "hook" is more advantageous, and I suspect that graduating from an economically disadvantaged school district is a pretty solid hook. Many of the elite private colleges offer need-based, as opposed to academic, grants and scholarships. If you can get it, it might be cheaper to go to Notre Dame or Northwestern than Akron (assuming you're not a commuter).
 

ogealbhain

Active member
GPA and ACT (SAT nowadays is largely eschewed as not necessary nor a test score that can be interchangeable with the ACT) is what moves the meter in general college admissions. Not because it’s the best indicator of college preparedness, but because it’s all about the admissions profile of the incoming freshmen class and how that represents the school in rankings. For a lot of high-profile public universities, such as Ohio State, if your admissions profile is beneath 3.5/26 ACT, you aren’t getting in (for every decimal point GPA wise that you’re below 3.5, you’d need to make up with one point on the ACT average.) And that’s before any admissions to a specialized program. Now, a 3.4-3.6 from a private high school of repute with multiple honors and AP credentials, that is probably on equal footing with a 3.7-3.8 application from a public with not the most competitive of course selections on the transcript when it comes to your good/mid-tier liberal arts colleges.

Don’t know why we’re discussing the Ivies, high-tier privates etc in the extreme context of “2.2 from Laxbro Verbum Dei <> 4.0 from Mason”, since the competitive admissions to the best schools in the country border on an “arms race.”
Just to make the point that colleges do view GPAs from different high schools differently. Granted, that is an extreme example.
 
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