Riverdale Country School Now Costs More Than Some Ivy League Colleges

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Would you pay $40,000 a year to send your child to private school?

That’s the going rate for at least one New York City school. And as CBS 2’s Don Dahler reports, it teaches a valuable lesson about supply and demand.

Riverdale Country School in the Bronx has a campus that would be the envy of most universities and it has the tuition to match — $40,000 per year.

Trinity School on the Upper West Side has raised its tuition for next year to $38,000. Add in extra fees for things such as books and athletics and it easily passes the $40,000 mark.

“The market will bear it. It is a factor of New York City and the reality of New York City. People in New York City make more money than people elsewhere,” said George Davison, the head of the Grace Church School.

Grace Church on the Lower East Side increased its tuition to almost $35,000, although to maintain diversity, some of its students pay far less.

Davison said private schools offer a number of advantages, including smaller class sizes and those niche programs that are being eliminated from public schools.

“We are able to have all of the specials that add to the total value of the education — art, music, language. Kids are taking Spanish, French, Latin. We also have some incredible trips,” Davison said.

Victoria Goldman helps parents get their kids into their school of choice.

“It’s crazy. I know, it’s crazy,” Goldman said. “There are more people that want these spots at this price than ever before. And I think what it says is education is a huge priority. And the best education is an even bigger priority.”

She said even in a bad economy, plenty of parents will bite the bullet if they can manage to put their kids in the best schools. And with all the new schools being built asking for top dollar, there’s no reason to believe the costs of a private education will ever come back down to earth.

With tuition hovering at around $40,000, many New York City private schools now cost more than some prestigious Ivy League universities, including Harvard and Princeton.

Has this gone too far? Or do you think this is fair? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (5)
  1. Martin Fox says:

    Both of my kids are Riverdale graduates. The tuition was painful but the education received was world class and well with the investment and believe me, I am not one of the wealthy elite. I just love my kids and wanted the very best for them.

  2. Sam Wheeler says:

    There is nothing to keep NYC’s public schools from being as good as the elite private schools except the realization that education is worth the same kind of investment as sports. entertainment,real estate, and financial services. When teaching is as honored a profession as medicine, law, and finance, we will have the kind of schools that make private, $40,000 per year schools unnecessary.

  3. Raymond Velazquez says:

    I Work for Supertrans, NY, This schoo bus company only caters to RCS, Fieldston, Trinity and Dalton. I see this kids everyday and believe me they are just as moronic as the pupils in public schools. No manners and spaced out of their minds. These parents are wasting their money in pure garbage called “elite Schools”
    Wake up and smell the coffee, Public Schools are the norm no-a-days thanks to Bloomberg & Walcott.

  4. LMAO says:

    It’s funny to watch what people do who have money. It really is. This school issue reminds of the Madoff fraud before anybody new for sure it was indeed a fraud. All the rich people were foaming out of the mouth to try and get in Madoff’s fund(s) or alledged investments. they would talk about it in the social circles, “did you get in, did you get in” they would ask each other. I laughed so hard when all those rich people where taken by the likes of the same type of people now taking them at this school. The rich use the kids to compete with each other becuase not every kid will get in. The thing is, a lot of this kids are idiots and when they get hrough school they will still be idiots, just like the parents. But hey, if have the money, may as well spend it.

  5. Lucius Junius Brutus says:

    What you neglect to mention, as you wail over NY private schools costing as much or more than Harvard, is that many of the Ivy league schools and, specifically Harvard, do not charge tuition, AT ALL, for undegrads. This was a movement that Harvard tried to begin by dropping tuition in the four year college. The other Ivy leagues were asked , on the basis of their powerful name recognition, superior teaching staff and campuses, if they would join Harvard in a movement to cap and or eliminate tuition at the “big Ivy League” colleges. So far, only Harvard is fully “free” but other universities are much less expensive then are NYC private schools.
    It is the Graduate education system that is expensive. Unless a college grad has something so special that a Graduate school will pay for his or her presence; becoming a doctor or lawyer is the bank breaker, unless you let the military pay for it. Then, of course, you owe the military time. But that was the case in the TV show “Northern Exposure” about a NYC Columbia grad who had Alaska pay for his education back in the 1980’s in exchange for a few years working in a small Alaskan town.
    Much of what kids obtain in NYC private schools is not even related to education as much as to knowing the “right” people and families in business and politics when, as college students, these kids will need special entree’ to jobs, internships or other private or special resources no available to the public school students. In this, 40 G a year may well be worth it but then, so might being a member of the Mafia.

    Private Schools in NYC are not usually thatgenerous in what is a seller’s market.

Leave a Reply