May 30, 2018 at 4:21 am #52835
Fairmont Private Schools, a private, for-profit high school in Orange County, California is offering a guarantee of admission to a top college in “one of the top 100-200 colleges and universities” as ranked by US News and World Report. Students who don’t get into one of these universities will receive “up to 50% of the tuition paid to Fairmont for all four years of attending Fairmont Preparatory Academy as a scholarship payable to the college of their choice.”
We like innovation and we never want to discourage it. We also don’t have any first-hand knowledge of this for-profit, private high school and it may very well provide a great education for its students. Nonetheless, we’re more than a bit skeptical of this guarantee.
First, we don’t believe success should be so narrowly defined as admission to a top 200 university as defined by US News or any other source. What if a student chose a more niche school or decided to pursue a gap year activity? Some students may be drawn to schools outside the US.
Second, if we just go by US News, we find George Mason tied at 140 with an acceptance rate of 81% last year. Illinois State University tied at 159 and had an acceptance rate of 89%. North Dakota State University tied at 198 and accepted 93% of its students last year. We want to be clear we are not trying to imply there is anything wrong with any of these four schools. Indeed, we believe they’re worthy of inclusion in a top 200 list. However, they are not very selective and we’re not sure how much of an admission advantage a private high school could provide at these colleges.
In conclusion, if you have younger students and you are considering the public versus private options, please don’t hesitate to call us. We’re happy to help you. We’ve worked with many applicants from both public and private schools who have gained admission into the very top colleges and we generally only recommend private high schools if they provide a better fit for the student.
Best of luck with your applications!
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