OT: How do you "shop" for a private HS? Best in SE Mich.?

Submitted by uchi on August 17th, 2015 at 8:56 PM

For those familiar with the Michigan private school landscape, how does a family determine, for example, Detroit Country Day over Cranbrook, Roeper, Greenhills, Liggett, Notre Dame Prep, UofD-Jesuit, & Brother Rice/Marian? I'd like to say it's largely geographical, but I know families that lived in Bloomfield Hills and sent the boys to UofD-Jesuit, Grosse Pointe families that drove the kids all the way to Country Day, and Detroit proper families that commuted to Cranbrook. And there are apparently a decent amount of Ann Arbor families that send their boys to Catholic Central in Novi, over nearby FGR and Greenhills.

Is there really much academic difference between these schools, or is it a reputation and "so and so's go to X, so and so's go to Y" sort of thing?



August 17th, 2015 at 9:05 PM ^

I mainly shop on Amazon for everything these days. New York Times be damned! If fostering a competitive environment means I get the best deal, most quickly, then I say go Amazon!

Try shopping there - there's also always really informative reader reviews to help you make your decision.

FYI: I went to Burns Park, Tappan, Community for academics/Pioneer for athletics (if that's still allowed?)...... you could spend a lot of your hard earned bread and do a LOT worse!


August 17th, 2015 at 9:06 PM ^

1. Which school has the richest mahogony?
2. Which school has the most leather-bound books?

Analyze that information, and pray that football season gets here realllllly fast.


August 17th, 2015 at 9:07 PM ^

The hottest ladies/nuns. That's how I will decide for my future sons (if life damns me with those little money sucking life destroying drool machines) and they will thank me for it later.


August 17th, 2015 at 9:08 PM ^

There honestly isn't that huge a difference between the schools. When I was deciding between Cranbrook, Country Day, and Liggett, I went on tours to all three. I would tell you to do the same and see where you are most comfortable. Personally that was Liggett for me, but to each their own.


August 17th, 2015 at 10:41 PM ^

I'd agree they're in a league of their own, but their admissions standards rival Ivy Leagues and not too many families are eager to send a 14 or 15 y.o. away. SE Mich. privates are a more realistic proposition.

You did summers at a couple preps, right? You think life would have turned out differently had you gone to one of them over Community? Did you try to apply to one after summering? Ever talk to any of the kids you met after the summer sessions?

Wolverine In Iowa

August 18th, 2015 at 12:59 AM ^

"Andover" is Phillips Academy, located in Andover, Mass.  "Exeter" is Phillips Exeter Academy, located in Exeter, New Hampshire.  Both schools were founded by the same guy, Samuel Phillips, in the 18th century.  Andover is blue, while Exeter is some putrid hue of red.

I don't know anything about the NYC schools.  The "Lawrence" I think you are referring to in NJ is Lawrenceville, which is not far from Princeton.

Wolverine In Iowa

August 18th, 2015 at 10:35 AM ^

Oh, I took high school seriously.  I had what would have translated to about a 3.8 GPA, 1360 SAT (math and verbal only back in the stone age), played three varsity sports (water polo, swimming and crew), and had a full extracurricular slate.  I did not get in to Princeton or Stanford, and so I chose Michigan over my home-state school of UVA, much to our pocketbook's chagrin.

Out of my class of about 380 kids, something like 35 went to Harvard, for your information.  I think there were seven kids in my class that went to U-M.  U-M, UVA and Cal were decently represented in my class.  Most kids, if they didn't go to an Ivy, ended up at the likes of Williams, Colby, Bowdoin, etc.

Va Azul

August 18th, 2015 at 9:05 PM ^

And also with those who know what they're talking about. The Kardashians have prestige among the common man. Who cares? Williams has prestige amongst graduate admissions, as there aren't 10 better schools in the nation. It also has a 3/2 program with MIT, if engineering is in your plans. Or you could just go into finance, like the Vice President of Goldman Sachs did after he graduated.


August 18th, 2015 at 12:31 AM ^

Exeter, Andover, Groton, Hotchkiss, Milton etc... All fine options. But it really depends on your kid. Maybe s/he wants to stay close to home? Maybe they prefer something progressive like Putney or Asheville, or a religious school like Shattuck-St.Mary. I personally wish I could have attended Cranbrook, truly a remarkable campus, and an exceptional arts education.


August 18th, 2015 at 12:28 PM ^

What if you don't really care about your children and just want to send them to the school that will reflect the best on your personal status in society to your peers?  Like, I'm already looking forward to the charity organization to fight addition I'm going to start in Jayden's memory after his inevitable herion overdose.  But actually, now that I think about it, I guess having a Kennedy attend the funeral wouldn't be a bad look.