Five Things Movies Always Get Wrong about Prep Schools

Prep schools are a lot different than the average high school experience. For instance a prep school charges tuition where public schools don’t. A prep school can have a lot more flexibility with their curriculum than a public school since prep schools are privately funded and therefore have a little more freedom in what they can do with their classes. Also, prep schools tend to have smaller class sizes that are manageable and can allow students to learn at a reasonable pace. Public schools are funded by the government and taxes and therefore have to abide by a lot of different regulations. Both schools have their advantages and drawbacks, but the higher expectations put on prep schools are not always as accurate.

Here are a few things that movies tend to get wrong about prep schools.

5. They don’t just cater to rich families.

In the movies you’ll generally see people with famous and/or rich parents attending these high-priced schools in droves. Rarely will you see the scholarship student and when you do there is generally a big to-do about their socioeconomic status. In other words, kids that know they come from money tend to give the poorer kids the business just because of where they come from.

4. Prep schools are usually culture-blind.

Back in the day when racial tensions were like raw bundles of nerves skating through each and every school in America this might not have been true. Cultures were still on display for mockery and disdain in certain crowds and could be used against individuals. Nowadays however most cultures are accepted without reservation and are considered to be welcome in a more diverse setting.

3. These schools demand excellence and won’t tolerate slacking.

I couldn’t find a clip for this one but the general idea is that your parents will not pay for a prep school so that you can sit there and slack off thinking it’s the best time of your life. These schools are considered to be halls of excellence for a reason and the margin for error is not all that high, if it even exists. In prep school you need to prove that you can run with the best in the country, so to speak.

2. Attending prep school is not a guaranteed way to get into a good college.

Attending college has to be a personal choice, and even if one attends the best prep school in the country they will not be absolutely guaranteed a spot in the most prestigious college of their choice. There is a much better chance of getting in if they earn high marks and are seen as a model student, but being simply average or below is not a good start towards making it into a top level school.

1. Expectations are much greater at prep schools.

A student’s life will be under a microscope in a prep school versus what it might be like in public school. They will be expected to perform a high level on a regular basis. They will not be allowed to simply ‘get by’ as happens so often in public schools. This is the testing ground for young mind that are expected to do well.


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