READ WHAT THEY�RE SAYING ABOUT US

The Top 5 Pressure Cookers in the NYC Suburbs

Posted on

We hear it all the time: city families ditch urban living for the ‘burbs because, among other reasons, NYC is the ultimate pressure cooker. We get it, we live—and lived—it. The hustle, the bustle, the all-hours lifestyle, competitive school landscape and get-it-done approach to everything can be exhausting. And the craziest part? It’s not just Moms and Dads feeling the crunch. Between the preschool advisors and G&T coaches and pre-reading tutors, many families decide this doesn’t sync with their wants and needs and, as a result, opt outand opt their kids out—of this go, go, go mentality.

 

Finding YOUR A+ School
The reality? While there’s no right or wrong approach when it comes to child-rearing, it is important to understand that this heightened demand—this “pressure cooker” culture—exists everywhere, including the NYC suburbs. If you’re looking for a hyper-competitive town where your kids can dig in alongside the best, the brightest and the most well-prepared, then that’s likely music to your ears. But, on the flip side, if you’re looking for a more laid-back educational environment, you’ll want to be aware of these communities so you can determine if it’s out-of-line with your expectations.

 

It’s a hot topic especially as the class of 2018 snags their diplomas and moves onto college. We tapped into our exclusive network of clients, friends, fans and locals to get an insider perspective on their experiences—specifically, which schools exemplify the “pressure cooker” landscape, with the pressure and $800-per-hour tutors that come with.

 

That said, many families love these towns and felt their kids got the ultimate educational experience—an experience that’s invaluable as they head off to everything that comes next. For others, though, it’s too much—too much stress, too much pressure and too much competition. Again, it’s all about you, your brood and what’s in-step with your goals and expectations. Based on the feedback we received, though, here’s which towns topped the list of “pressure cooker” communities:

 

#1. SCARSDALE, NEW YORK (Westchester)
Average SAT Score: 1360
Average ACT Score: 31
AP enrollment: N/A

 

Most Popular Colleges:
NYU
Cornell University
Boston University
Columbia University
Vanderbilt University
Tulane University
University of Michigan
Syracuse University
Lehigh University
University of Texas, Austin

 

#2. CHAPPAQUA, NEW YORK (Westchester)
Average SAT Score: 1330
Average ACT Score: 31
AP enrollment: 41%

 

Most Popular Colleges:
Cornell University
NYU
SUNY Binghamton
University of Michigan
Tulane University
Columbia University
Brown University
Boston University
University of Pennsylvania
Vanderbilt University

 

#3. SHORT HILLS, NEW JERSEY
Average SAT Score: 1360
Average ACT Score: 31
AP enrollment: 30%

 

Most Popular Colleges:
NYU
Penn State
Rutgers University
Cornell University
Tulane University
University of Michigan
University of Pennsylvania
Boston University
Vanderbilt University
University of Texas, Austin  

 

#4. ROSLYN, NEW YORK (Long Island)
Average SAT Score: 1340
Average ACT Score: 31
AP enrollment: 40%

 

Most Popular Colleges:
NYU
SUNY Binghamton
Cornell University
University of Pennsylvania
Boston University
Syracuse University
Tulane University
University of Michigan
Columbia University
SUNY Stony Brook

 

#5. ARMONK, NEW YORK (Westchester)
Average SAT Score: 1330
Average ACT Score: 31
AP enrollment: 39%

 

Most Popular Colleges:
Cornell University
NYU
Boston University
University of Wisconsin
University of Michigan
Vanderbilt University
Northeastern University
Syracuse University
Georgetown University
University of Pennsylvania

 

Teachings from the Trenches
During our Q&As we did unearth some interesting intel from suburban parents which, in our opinion, color the school exploration more than test scores and rankings. Those takeaways?

 

Big versus small
Many parents start out searching for a BIG school and BIG school district complete with tons of opportunities for sports, clubs, arts, extracurriculars and AP classes. While these environments work for some students, others hate landing in the middle. In a super-competitive school, those “middle” kids are often equally smart, equally high-performing and equally committed, but even their 4.0 GPAs keeps them from the top of the class. Standing out, then, takes a lot, something a student graduating with 100 peers likely won’t experience.

 

College advisors are a MUST
Twenty years ago our high school guidance counselors helped us rank colleges—or maybe we flew solo with a little help from Mom and Dad. Today, the college admissions game is a completely different universe and, now, college advisors are a MUST.

The good news? Most public schools in the NYC suburbs have their own in-house experts—but, even so, many parents opt to shell out thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for private admissions counselors and coaches. In many communities it’s a closely-guarded secret but, now more than ever, we’re seeing these professionals become the most prized services in the teen years.

 

And then there are the tutors…
While tutors are nothing new, the cost for a sought-after teacher or former teacher can be through-the-roof. Whether it’s test prep—SATs, ACTs and APs, for starters—or subject support, expect to pay $135 to more than $800 per hour. Multiple kids who need help with multiple subjects can really add up. And, in many competitive schools and communities, these services aren’t just reserved for kids lagging behind. In many, you’ll see the A-student who scored a 30 or 31 on the ACT—the top 4% to 6% of all test-takers—tap a tutor to help them squeeze out an extra point or two. Get ready.

 

[rp4wp]

 

What Comes NEXT: Exploring Suburbia
The good news? The NYC suburbs are home to some of the best schools in the COUNTRY. According to Niche’s 2018 rankings, nearly one-third of the top 150 schools districts in the country are in NYC suburbs—of close to 12,000 districts nationwide. The net net? Whether you’re looking for top-tier private or public, it’s literally just outside of city limits, and easy to find at any price point and in any county you’re searching. The goal, then? To find the schools and the community that syncs with your kids and your family’s unique lifestyle—a competitive school, low key or somewhere in between.

 

At the end of the day, every parent wants A+ schools—but, not surprisingly, every parent considers “A+ schools” to mean something different. The good news? The Suburban Jungle team is on the ground and in the ‘burbs, ready to help you dig in, explore and weigh your options—and the test scores, matriculation rates, class sizes, STEAM options and AP participation that defines a school. Ready to GET STARTED?

 

Sources:
Niche 2018 Best School Districts
Niche School Rankings/Best Public High Schools
Pixabay (image)

Strategize With Us... Schedule your call (All services are completely free...)