Tuitions Point Up Fallacy Of Classless Society
Published: February 21st, 2012
By: Jim Mullen

Tuitions point up fallacy of classless society

Thanks to a story in The New York Times, we learn that median tuition at the 61 elite private schools in New York City has hit $36,970 a year for 12th-graders. A new school in the Chelsea neighborhood plans to charge $39,750 for a year of nursery school.

Seriously? The tuition at Harvard this year was $36,305. Hard as it is to believe, some parents will be relieved when their kids get accepted into Ivy League universities because, at last, they can start saving some money. Of course, if you’re paying $39,000 and change annually for grade school and high school tuition, it’s inevitable that your kids will get into the university of their choice.

But tuition is only part of the cost at these schools. Just like most public and parochial schools, they are constantly holding fundraisers, the difference being that if you don’t contribute heftily, Junior may find himself tossed into the public school system next year, sitting next to the children of general practitioners, public defenders, plumbers, electricians, waitresses, reporters or, heaven forfend, members of your own household staff.

The good news is that these exclusive schools don’t let in our kind. If you weren’t rich enough to get a couple million dollars in a taxpayer-paid bailout bonus, there is no way your kids are going to get into one of these schools. Which is OK with me, because face it, exclusive private schools rarely produce any first-round draft picks in the big money sports. While many team owners have graduated from exclusive schools, almost none of the players have.

You might guess that with these kinds of stratospheric prices, fewer parents are applying to get their kids into such schools in these tough times. Ah, but you would guess wrong. The demand for exclusive private schools is up -- way up -- which is sure to drive the price of tuition even higher. Tuition of $40,000 a year to teach your third-grader multiplication is right around the corner.

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