Monday, March 26, 2012

The Cost of Education

Well folks, I did it. I got Aiden into private school for the fall. And it's a school that was one of my top choices too.

I filled out the applications (all four pages of it) and had Aiden's current teacher fill out the teacher evaluation forms (all three pages of it). I took time off of work in order to attend open houses, school tours, bring Aiden to the playdate interviews, and go on parent interviews.

It was stressful. But he's in. I signed on the dotted line and submitted a deposit. He's in.

{Little drummer boy} 
{Just keep swimming...}
I remember when I was a senior in high school and I was in the process of applying to college. I applied to about eight schools and several different scholarship programs. While I received an acceptance letter to all of the schools that I applied to, I decided on Columbia with the aid of The New York Times College Scholarship Program. The college and scholarship application process was stressful, but in the end, I was happy.

For those of you who live in NYC (or follow the private school admissions process in NYC), you know this much is true: the college admissions process ain't got nothing on the NYC kindergarten admissions process.

It's a lot. Besides what I mentioned above -- the open houses, tours, applications and teacher recommendations, child interview, and parent interview -- there's the cost. Private school in NYC can cost upwards of $30,000/year. I'm not kidding. Surely we qualify for some type of financial aid because I'm a single mom, but still, it's a lot. But I'm willing to make the sacrifice, for more reasons than one.

{Scooting around} 
{Boys will be boys}
Judge as you may, but public school in NYC is just not doing it for me. It's just not good enough for me. Or Aiden. Depending on where you live in NYC, you may or may not be zoned for a stellar public school. I love my apartment, I like my neighborhood, I loathe my school district. It's overcrowded, poor performing, and doesn't seem to prepare the students for much of anything. (And I'm being nice.)

I want more for my little brown baby. He deserves more. I'm trying to mold him into a productive citizen and a socially competent member of society. I'm trying to shape and engineer every part of Aiden's life so that the kid can be set up for a successful future. He's smart. He's sweet. He's funny. He's a critical thinker. His talents and creativity needs to be nourished. And challenged. And pushed in a good way.

He's a child of destiny. There's a lot in store for his future. And the stakes are just too high for me to have him in a school system that seems to be designed to see boys like him fail. The school that he'll be going to in the fall is a great one and a really good fit for him. During his years there, I know that I won't be the only one invested in his education, in his future. Surely education may be expensive. But ignorance... well, that's even more expensive.

{He's been running things at CU since he was 1 1/2...}

{...And rocking CU gear since he was 3!}
Through years of research, sweat, stress, and practically making "Get Aiden Into School" my full time job for the past five months, he's in. It's a Pre-K -- 12 school so he's set until we apply to Columbia during his senior year of high school.

He's in. And I don't think I'd be happier than when the kid gets into college.


  1. Totally agree. I had looked into Kindergarten options when my son and I still lived in NYC (he was 1 then haha) and I prefer the quality of a private school education. I went to private school prek-12. If I have it my way so will Liam. It WILL be expensive but I agree with what you said! :) Congrats on the acceptance to both of you and I hope it ends up being great!

  2. All my children go to private school and for us we had no choice since living abroad. The cost is sky high but as a parent education is the best thing I could give them, so it is money well spent :)

    Congrats and your Aiden will definately benefit from this investment for his future.

  3. So glad he got into the school that you wanted. I hear from friends about how hard it is in NYC regarding getting into schools of your choice. Congrats!

  4. I understand completely. I am going to be applying in the fall for next year for my daughter. The public schools in my area are not an option! They just aren't so we will be applying to the BK privates and of course some in Manhattan as well. I have had friends who went through this process and told me the "stories" so I know you went through a lot to get him in. Kudos to you! And congrats to Aiden!

    1. Girl... I could go on and on! Let's talk. I've got tons of tips for you!

  5. Best line "Surely education may be expensive. But ignorance... well, that's even more expensive." Congratulations Aiden!

  6. Congratulations! I'm happy to hear that your hard work paid off.

  7. Big congratulations to you guys! I am so grateful that we live in the best school district in my city and my kids are involved in top notch Magnet programs. I went to school in NYC when I was in K-2 and I vaguely remember getting "lost in the crowd". Makes me appreciate small town, suburban life. Can't wait to hear all about Aiden's voyage... Cute photos by the way!!! :-)

  8. OMG! He is so awesome, very cute little boy! Thanks so much for stopping by sweetie, would you like to follow each other?

  9. Alicia, congrats on getting your big boy into a great school! That must be a load off your shoulders -- I didn't realize how big of a deal that is in NYC.

    Since becoming a teacher, I know exactly what to look for in a school. And many public schools here just aren't cutting it, either. I graduated from a "so-so" high school and would probably never send my kid there. On the other hand, I TEACH in one of the best school districts in the state (and COUNTRY, according to Newsweek and the Washington Post), so I would most certainly let my kid go to public school here. She's currently in a private Christian preschool that goes up to elementary school, which I plan to take her out of once she's old enough for kindergarten. But if we happen to move to an area where the schools are so-so (or worse), I guess I'd need to think about all these private school interviews and tours and all that goes with it. Makes my head spin just thinking about it...

    You should be proud of yourself for going through all of that and landing exactly what you wanted! Aiden has an awesome mommy!

  10. Congrats!!!! Your hard work certainly paid off. I'm so with you. We love our house, our neighborhood and all but the school district is lackluster at best. I was just talking today about starting to look at private schools for all the reasons you mentioned about. Not looking forward to it but the alternative is unacceptable.

  11. I understand!
    The only thing is you may have to do it again in 8th grade for HS. I know many kids get tired of being "lifers" at their k-12 schools and beg their parents to let them try somewhere else.

    Congrats to Aiden he will do great!!!

  12. I'm so happy the process is over, and congrats on getting Aiden into the school you wanted! Gosh, i didnt realize private school was so much drama too! Ugh, not looking forward to this process one bit!

  13. Congrats to you and Aiden on the new school!!! You know the value of a GREAT education and don't let anyone discourage you. I just went through the same process to get Nate in a phenomenal pre-school (the school goes up to 8th grade) that I have been planning for since I found out about it over a year ago. It starts and age 3 and come August my baby will join their ranks! My parents did a great job providing excellent education for my brothers and I, and I want even more for my son. It is definitely worth the investment. I'm so excited and so happy for you guys!

  14. (First time here) I think you should be proud of yourself. You have your son's best interest at heart. What could be better/ more important than that?

  15. congrats, and how great it goes through 12 so you can be done!!! (well, 'till college apps at least!)

  16. Wow! I can't imagine that stressful process! I'm in NC and mine are in public.One of mine was in private for a while, but we can just enroll if we want them to go- and the tuition is much lower!

  17. Congratulations. We are in the process of looking at schools for my son but we are also in the process of moving so he may have to do public for one more year and then off to private when we are sure of where we will be.

    My mother made the same strides for me as I went to the best private schools in Washington D.C and Alexandria, VA. I look now and wonder how she did it, but she made a way just like you have. Cheers to you!!

  18. Congrats! I grew up in a small town so I never had to deal with private schools but if I lived in NYC I would definitely be doing the private school route.

  19. Cheers Mommy! Great job...xxxthe rogers

  20. That's so exciting! I'm really happy about the pre-school my lil' dude got into too!

  21. Congrats! We plan to enroll our daughter into a private school for next year. The schools in our neighborhood will totally do her a disservice. It's a sacrifice but I think it's worth it.

  22. We're about to embark on that same journey with Moo. I'm super nervous/excited. Congrats to you both on this huge milestone!

  23. Awww.. Congrats to you and Aiden. I wish I could afford to send my child to a private school because there aren't many public schools in my parish that are good schools. I've applied to send my daughter to a math, arts and science academy and she's second on a waiting list. I'm hoping she gets in.

    Can't wait to see Aiden's first day of school pics!

  24. Yay for him getting in! Education is so important and the first few years are so crucial. It's better that you put him in a good school now versus pulling him out of a bad one in the future. It's definitely a good investment for their futures! My daughter is also in private school, because like you, I have no faith in (Boston's) Public School system. *Yay for private school*


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