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Old 04-07-2008, 02:27 PM
 
10 posts, read 41,943 times
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I have several friends who send their kids to all three schools, and it really is a great, but hard place to be in. For what it is worth, Westminster does not care about what someone's last name is or how much money they have. That used to be the case, but it is NOT anymore. It is getting very diverse. My boss is a non-practicing Jew and sends his kids there and he loves it. He tells me that they have no shortage of friends from all socio-economic groups.

My most liberal friends send their kids to Galloway, and say that for "artsy" kids, it's the best choice by far.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:23 PM
 
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I'm so amazed by Atlanta private schools... maybe it's just because I'm from a po' dunk Florida town... and I'm not a big city girl... but good lord.

I've met many people in my age group (24-30) who are Westminster grads... now, granted they graduated years ago... but they have a VERY "elitist" vibe. They STILL all group together and talk about high school, which I find very odd and quite annoying.

I believe Westminster is THE richest school in the S.E. for what it's worth. If that matters to you (either way), then consider it.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:35 PM
 
340 posts, read 1,456,752 times
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Originally Posted by mg83 View Post
I believe Westminster is THE richest school in the S.E. for what it's worth. If that matters to you (either way), then consider it.
Is Westminister academically the best private school in S.E.? If so, it's worth it.
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:45 AM
 
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For some kids, Westminster may be the best school, for others it is just another school. Does that make sense? Most of Atlanta's top private schools (frankly, just like Atlanta's top public school) do a very good job with the top students. If the child is just an average students (and all those schools have those kind of kids as well--remember they accept a big chunk of their class at age 5, so it is hard to really know what kind of student that child will turn out to be in 10th grade) then they experience is different.

Additionally, while it generally doesn't matter who you know during the admission process, it can matter who you are. At both Pace and Westminster, I know families where the children were less than perfect applicants and they were not only accepted but provided with "resource" type services. They don't do this for most people.

I have a friend who has had 2 very different children at one of ATL's top private schools. Her first, is very bright and motivated, her second, while bright, isn't quite as motivated. It is like they were at 2 different schools. The differences in their educational experience didn't show up until middle school.

Plenty of kids at these schools end up at the very same college that they would have gone to their neighborhood public school. But these schools have impressive acceptance lists often as much because their parental population than the students themselves. If a parent has Ivy League aspirations for a child that generally influences the child.

With the HOPE it is hard (even for private school parents) to turn down a basically free undergraduate education, especially when so many kids go onto grad school.

Keep in mind that, for a top student, it is often easier to get into a highly competitive college if you are the only one applying from your school rather than just one of a pack.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:14 AM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,181,688 times
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Well said, LMM. My father is a retired college professor and administrator. He says that if you're planning to go to grad school, any decently respectable university is fine for undergrad. Your choice of grad school will be much more significant in your subsequent career.

When figuring out where to allocate the family's education budget, I think it's as well to remember that long-term, what counts most is how well-reputed a school a person attends for their final educational level. If the family has limited financial resources, a good public school followed by a good college is fine. If aiming for a master's or doctorate, taking the Hope scholarship to attend one of Georgia's leading public universities for undergrad, rather than spending a fortune to go out of state, is a very practical choice for most.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:26 AM
 
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Rainy Day

I have a friend who is an educational consultant, working with families mostly related to private school.

In the past 10 years, he says, he has really had to change his approach. It is use to be that he only had solidly wealthy families for whom money would (most likely) never be an issue. In the past few years, he has seen an increase in clients who really can't afford 13 years of private school and college on top of it. He has to teach his clients to prioritize, that of the levels, for most students. elementary school is the least important.

He advises clients to work backwards and ask, if I pay for college, can I pay for private high school, if I pay for private high school, can I pay for private middle school, etc.

He has had to really educate himself about public schools so he can advise families on the viability of their neighborhood school and make suggestions if they need to move.

Because GA public education gets so beat up in the local and national media, so many parents assume it isn 't an option, without looking at the child's entire educational career.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:52 AM
 
16 posts, read 75,520 times
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Great discussion, but I think we might be getting off track on my original question of which school to pick: AIS or Westminster.

UPDATE: I spoke with a parent who has kids in AIS middle school who started in elementary school. They are very happy with the education overall. Weaknesses they quoted are that b/c it is a young school, their processes are not always well defined. They are also working to improve the math and science program. The parents are very involved with the school and the international aspect is very appealing (not surprising).

The parent also knows many families who go to Westminster and said that besides AIS, Westminster was the only other school they would consider FWIW. Went on to confirm that Westminster is no longer all about money although they have some extremely wealthy families there (just like they do at Lovett, Pace, AIS, etc).

Next step for me is that I will be speaking hopefully soon with a ex-Westminster teacher to get their thoughts and will post the findings when I do.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:26 AM
 
340 posts, read 1,456,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyRainyDay View Post
Well said, LMM. My father is a retired college professor and administrator. He says that if you're planning to go to grad school, any decently respectable university is fine for undergrad. Your choice of grad school will be much more significant in your subsequent career.

When figuring out where to allocate the family's education budget, I think it's as well to remember that long-term, what counts most is how well-reputed a school a person attends for their final educational level. If the family has limited financial resources, a good public school followed by a good college is fine. If aiming for a master's or doctorate, taking the Hope scholarship to attend one of Georgia's leading public universities for undergrad, rather than spending a fortune to go out of state, is a very practical choice for most.
Well, while I agree with you on your basic concepts regarding undergraduate and grad school selection, budget and etc., one still needs to think about the ultimate goal of his/her education. I know one friend who has a bright daughter with opportinuty of full scholarship to attend University of Florida which was ranked 50th nationally. Instead the family spent much money to send her to Johns Hopkins for undergraduate study. She studied hard and ended up at Harvard Medical School. I have no way to know if her undergraduate education at Johns Hopkins helped her wind up at Harvard or not, but I think the result could be different should she have selected the different school. It is just my guess.

Last edited by CityFan; 04-08-2008 at 09:35 AM..
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:30 AM
 
340 posts, read 1,456,752 times
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Originally Posted by lastminutemom View Post
For some kids, Westminster may be the best school, for others it is just another school. Does that make sense? Most of Atlanta's top private schools (frankly, just like Atlanta's top public school) do a very good job with the top students. If the child is just an average students (and all those schools have those kind of kids as well--remember they accept a big chunk of their class at age 5, so it is hard to really know what kind of student that child will turn out to be in 10th grade) then they experience is different.
I would like to know insight or detail about Atlanta public high schools and programs offered there that a bright kid won't get bored to be in there for four years and move on to a pretigious school if he/she disires so. What is the requirement to get in. Thanks
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:47 AM
 
387 posts, read 1,462,016 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityFan View Post
Well, while I agree with you on your basic concepts regarding undergraduate and grad school selection, budget and etc., one still needs to think about the ultimate goal of his/her education. I know one friend who has a bright daughter with opportinuty of full scholarship to attend University of Florida which was ranked 50th nationally. Instead the family spent much money to send her to Johns Hopkins for undergraduate study. She studied hard and ended up at Harvard Medical School. I have no way to know if her undergraduate education at Johns Hopkins helped her wind up at Harvard or not, but I think the result could be different should she have selected the different school. It is just my guess.
Doubt it. The top tier state schools like UNC, UF, UTexas, GTech and more recently UGA, are highly regarded not only as an undergrad leading into potential Ivy/Southern Ivy league grad schools, but even during the hiring process coming straight out with a B.A./B.S.
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