View Full Version : Is Any High School Really Worth $136,000?

01-07-2011, 10:12 AM
This from Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/holly-robinson/is-any-high-school-really_b_803678.html) by Holly Robinson:

As always, my 13-year-old son has waited until bedtime to download his anxieties. He's a bright, sensitive kid whose worries run the gamut from global warming to how long his gerbil will live.

Tonight his questions revolved around his private school applications, which we submitted just before Christmas. Will he be admitted to any of the schools he applied to? We calculate the odds. What if he gets into all of them? How will he choose? We talk about visit days and how he can decide which school suits him best. What if he starts at one school and decides he'd rather be at another? We discuss that, too.

The one thing we don't talk about is money. I'm glad. Not because I'm avoiding the issue -- well, maybe just a little -- but because I still haven't managed to wrap my mind around how much money a private high school education costs.

My husband and I are already tiptoeing through the college tuition minefield. We have two older sons who have just graduated from college. Our two daughters are still at university. We've paid and paid for our kids to grow into educated, worldly citizens with college degrees in hand. That's been tough enough. So what business do I have, thinking that I should pay $136,000 for this last kid of ours to attend a so-called "independent school" for grades 9 through 12? What will our son get for this money? A gold-plated locker?

We didn't start down this road by choice. We went to public high schools. Our four older children also went to public high schools and thrived. They played sports, participated in music and theater, belonged to clubs, did the proms and parties. They complained about the usual things: boring classes, teachers who yelled, mean kids, crowded classrooms, stupid homework assignments. Yet all four of them were accepted by good colleges, even Ivy League schools. They majored in subjects that ignited their passions. Our two graduates -- one in 2009, the other in 2010 -- even managed to find jobs right away in their chosen fields. Hallelujah!

Our youngest son, though, has been different from the start. He always hated his public school, starting with kindergarten, where he fumed about rest time. Why would he rest, when there were so many other, more interesting things to do?

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