Thanks to Shelly Banjo at the Wall Street Journal for her article Kindergarten D-Day Arrives.
Official data won’t be available until March, but schools across the city including the Friends Seminary and Poly Prep Country Day School report an increase in applicants this year. Meanwhile, admissions directors and consultants say there are even fewer slots available due to an increase in the number of students trying to get into the same schools as their siblings.
Despite predictions the recession would drive more parents to public schools, the number of children applying to private schools has held steady over the past few years, according to the Educational Records Bureau, the organization that administers the ERB admissions test. The ERB says 4,245 children took the test for the 2009-10 school year, the latest year for which data are available, down by about 200 from the year before but up from 3,899 in 2006.
In my experience, this admissions year was competitive, but no more than last. Overall, my educational consulting clients are reporting excellent results. I find that Manhattan and Brooklyn private schools have an incentive to report application increases because New Yorkers like clubs which are hard to join. Preschool directors like to report that the process is competitive because they are underlining to families that they cannot control admissions outcomes.
Banjo says official data will be available in March. I am looking forward to hearing.