Metro

NYC private schools offer a rarefied environment for learning

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Many parents see New York City’s private schools as the finest institutions for a quality education. And this assumption is for good reason: Many graduates of these schools go on to achieve prestigious and lucrative careers, after gaining admission to some of the top universities in the nation. Private schools also promise state-of-the-art facilities, Ivy League-educated teachers, small class sizes, individualized attention and any extracurricular activity a student’s heart desires.

From my experience working with students over the past few years, I’ve become familiar with the workings of these schools and the experiences they give to their students. What has become abundantly clear is that these schools certainly do provide a wealth of opportunities and support for those who attend.

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong sending your child to any of the schools listed here, but be aware that this doesn’t mean that each student will have the same experience as their peers. High school is what students make of it — whether they challenge themselves academically, excel in their courses or take advantage of the resources available.

The New York Post Special Edition. Planning your child’s future. NYC high school guide.
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Be aware that legacy students or children of major donors will likely have a better shot at admission compared to classmates who have no involvement with that school. Regardless of a student’s profile, each high school has a model for optimizing a potential student’s chances of success based on data from previous application cycles and connections with certain colleges and universities.

Many elite private schools boast close relationships with admissions offices at prestigious colleges, but some schools emphasize the holistic development of each student and matching them with best-fit schools.

All of this means that the more elite the private school is, the more elite the student body is that your child will be a part of — meaning that they will be up against stiff competition when it comes time to apply to college.

Here is a ranking of the top 10 NYC private schools, based on admissions data.

THE BREARLEY SCHOOL
610 E. 83rd St., Manhattan
Enrollment: 768 (girls)
Graduation rate: 100%
Tuition: $56,300

Brearley is known for its strong community and impressive alumni. The school puts emphasis on both academic and personal development, and the administration works hard to ensure that its values are reflected on campus. Past students have expressed gratitude for the independence and confidence that the environment helped them build.

THE CHAPIN SCHOOL
100 East End Ave., Manhattan
Enrollment: 810 (girls)
Graduation rate: 100%
Tuition: $57,250

The Chapin School, established in 1901, provides a tight-knit and supportive educational climate. Chapin is optimistic about its students’ chances when it comes to admissions at elite colleges; they have a strong history to back it up and offer their extensive alumni network to students interested in learning more about specific universities.

The Chapin School at 100 East End Ave. in Manhattan.
The Chapin School has a strong alumni network to help students get into the nation’s finest universities.
J.C. Rice

COLLEGIATE SCHOOL
301 Freedom Place South, Manhattan
Enrollment: 650 total (boys)
Graduation rate: 100%
Tuition: $57,800

Collegiate School is known for its intense academics and successful alumni. The small class sizes and dedicated faculty also encourage students to grow and explore academically, although the academic environment can be seen as quite competitive. The athletic facilities here are also quite impressive, with many pursuing and excelling in sports outside of their academics.

The Collegiate School at 301 Freedom Place South in Manhattan.
The Collegiate School offers top tier athletic facilities on top of its rigorous academics.
Robert Miller

THE DALTON SCHOOL
108 E. 89th St., Manhattan
Enrollment: 1,325 (co-ed)
Graduation rate: 100%
Tuition: $55,210

Dalton is an independent day school (K-12). Dalton’s strengths lie in its emphasis on diversity, both in its community and also in the wide range of learning and leadership opportunities for students. As a progressive school, Dalton helps students develop holistically and strengthens their skills of academic inquiry, communication, responsibility, compassion and social justice so they may become strong contributors to their communities and beyond.

The Dalton School at 53 East 91th St. on the Upper East Side.
The Dalton School allows students to stay in the same school from Kindergarten to the day they graduate.
Helayne Seidman

HORACE MANN SCHOOL
231 W. 246th St., The Bronx
Enrollment: 1,793 (co-ed)
Graduation rate: 100%
Tuition: $57,200

Horace Mann is a well-known name when it comes to elite NYC high schools. It is known for its intense academic curriculum as well as its commitment to properly preparing students for the college application process. The intense and competitive school environment pushes students to grow academically and intellectually, and the wide range of extracurricular activities provide numerous opportunities for students to engage with their passions outside of academics.

Horace Mann School in the Bronx, NY.
Horace Mann is well known for preparing students for the college application process.
James Messerschmidt

NIGHTINGALE-BAMFORD SCHOOL
20 E. 92nd St., Manhattan
Enrollment: 674 (girls)
Graduation rate: 100%
Tuition: $56,750

Nightingale-Bamford School is yet another private all-girls school on the Upper East Side, where students feel they enjoy the perfect balance of academic rigor, a supportive community and extracurricular resources. The school is K-12, meaning it fosters a tight-knit community, and teachers are generally available to support students in the intense academic environment. Graduates often speak about their experiences with excellent and influential teachers who helped shape their academic passions.

Real estate of The Nightingale-Bamford School at 20 East 92rd St. on the Upper East Side.
Nightingale-Bamford School offers a supportive environment as a private all-girls school.
Helayne Seidman

RIVERDALE COUNTRY SCHOOL
5250 Fieldston Rd., The Bronx
Enrollment: 1,220 (co-ed)
Graduation rate: 100%
Tuition: $51,295

Riverdale puts a strong emphasis on community service and independent learning. Students here are encouraged to explore and take charge of their academics, with the upper school students having the opportunity to teach their own courses and participate in exchange programs or research projects. Overall, students feel that the unique and character-building academic and extracurricular activities lead them to challenge themselves in college and beyond.

Riverdale Country School in The Bronx.
Riverdale Country School allows upperclassmen to explore exchange programs and research projects.
J.C. Rice

SAINT ANN’S SCHOOL
129 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn
Enrollment: 340 (co-ed)
Graduation rate: 100%
Tuition: $52,400

Saint Ann’s School provides a modern, innovative take on education with an emphasis on the arts. The school curriculum emphasizes learning for the sake of learning rather than for the sake of getting good grades — in fact, Saint Ann’s does not use a numerical or letter grading system, believing that grades foster a competitive environment that is not conducive to authentic learning.

Real estate of Saint Ann's School on Pierrepont St. in Brooklyn Heights.
Saint Ann’s School doesn’t utilize a traditional letter grading system to ensure students are learning organically.
Helayne Seidman

THE SPENCE SCHOOL
22 E. 91st St., Manhattan
Enrollment: 752 (girls)
Graduation rate: 100%
Tuition: $58,820

The all-girls Spence School is known for its rigorous academics and close-knit community. The school provides a high caliber of academic and extracurricular resources, which students are encouraged to take advantage of. Graduates of Spence say it helped mold them into confident women and prepared them for the rigors and challenges of college life and academics.

The Spence School on the Upper East Side is pictured on October 6, 2020.
The Spence School offers plenty of extracurricular activities.
Annie Wermiel

TRINITY SCHOOL
139 W. 91st St., Manhattan
Enrollment: 995 (co-ed)
Graduation rate: 100%
Tuition: $58,610

Trinity School, located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, offers students rigorous academics. This K-12 school is popular with elite colleges, with many seniors graduating into some of the most competitive universities in the country. Students generally feel that the school does a great job of preparing them for college and in supporting them throughout the applications process.

A mobile billboard parks out front of the Trinity School.
Graduates at The Trinity School often attend elite universities.
Matthew McDermott

Christopher Rim is the founder and CEO of Command Education, an NYC-based education and college consulting firm.

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