- Wealthy New Yorkers go to great lengths to get their children accepted in the “Baby Ivies,” private preschools and kindergartens that cost around $50,000 a year, reported Suzanne Woolley and Katya Kazakina for Bloomberg.
- Competition is high at the “Baby Ivies,” where 10% acceptance rates rival that of the “Grownup Ivies.”
- It’s the start of the exorbitant amount rich parents pay to get their kids into elite colleges — a reported $1.7 million, according to a Town & Country analysis.
Some wealthy parents are sparing no expense when it comes to their children’s education — even if those kids are only starting kindergarten.
Just ask the New York elite vying for their child’s spot — and spending thousands per year if accepted — at the “Baby Ivies”: pricey, prestigious private preschools and kindergartens, reported Suzanne Woolley and Katya Kazakina for Bloomberg.
“For New Yorkers willing to drop $50,000 on kindergarten, few rites of passage can seem as anxiety-inducing as the annual running of the toddlers,” they wrote. “Affluent parents hire admissions whisperers, test-prep consultants, and more to polish their sticky-fingered applicants. Like the Grownup Ivies — which send out their admission decisions on Thursday — the Baby Ivies cull the weak, interview the hopeful, and decide which lucky candidates slip past the velvet rope.”
Manhattan K-12 schools Horace Mann, Collegiate, and Trinity all have yearly tuition that exceeds $50,000. That’s more than the yearly tuitions at Cornell, Harvard, and Princeton, which cost less than $50,000 without room and board, reported Woolley and Kazakina.
Parents have to apply, prep, test, and interview with the Baby Ivies as part of a competitive admissions process. While many schools keep their lips mum on acceptance details, Trinity has revealed a 10% acceptance rate — about the same as Cornell’s, Woolley and Kazakina wrote.
“With the Baby Ivies, parents are asked to describe their kids and family,” Woolley and Kazakina wrote. “A month on a private yacht in Greece, for instance, might be held up as evidence that a tyke is worldly.”
Parents also hire school consultants, which range from $12,000 to $25,000 at Manhattan Private School Advisors or start at $375 per hour at Smart City Kids, to help increase acceptance odds.
Pre-school is the start of a multimillion-dollar, elite college spending spree
Pre-school costs are just the beginning of the $1.7 million wealthy families spend per child trying to get them into an Ivy League college, according to Business Insider’s Abby Jackson, citing a 2017 analysis by Town & Country.
Parents’ spending efforts don’t stop as their children grow up. They’re willing to spend up to nearly $5 million on homes that put them within walking distance of top-rated public elementary and secondary schools in the US, Business Insider previously reported, citing data by Realtor.com.
Come college prep time, some parents take advantage of luxury jet services that fly students and their families around the US to tour potential colleges — which can cost as much as $60,000, reported The New York Times. That’s nearly three times the price of in-state public college tuition for a year, and not much more than the $46,950 average annual sticker price for private colleges in the US.
For the college admissions process, rich parents employ similar tactics they used to help launch their kids’ esteemed education in the first place. There’s a whole “shadowy” world where the super-rich can buy greater chances for their kids to be accepted into elite schools, reported Dana Goldstein and Jack Healy of The New York Times.
According to Goldstein and Healy, that includes paying up to $1.5 million for a five-year package of college admissions or making donations to schools that exceed $10 million to even be considered.
But, while a grey area, those are legal tactics. Some parents go to even greater lengths; just consider the recent college admissions scandal, in which 33 parents were accused of paying a collective $25 million dollars to fabricate their children’s credentials during the college admissions process in hopes of getting them accepted to elite schools.