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High School & Prep Hockey
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Re: New to the prep school process - now what?

Ask yourself if prep is right for your kid and your family. It's big $$$ that will go up every year your kid is enrolled. They say it's need based but the reality is they will try to get every nickel from every family they can. Sure you will see stats that say most kids get aid and the "average" is $x but look at the tuition. Day schools are now in the 40's and boarding 60k. Can you really swing that for four years and then college? And if you think your kid is going to play D1, remember most kids get a 2/4 which on a $60K per year school means your still need $120K to pay for college.

Prep's can be great and worth the investment if your kid is going to maximize everything the school offers. If not, or you are going to jump to USHL or something else half way through, then there might be better options for your money.

Talk to every school you can and ask tough questions. Will he play right away? Many of the big boarding schools won't play freshmen much as they have to play all the PG's paying big bucks. What can you expect to pay? How will that change year to year once he is in the school. Remember that once your kid is enrolled, they have the leverage financially knowing it's unlikely you will take your kid out once he is in.

I'm sure most parents will tell you how great prep is and how much their kid loves it but most have chased it because that's what everyone else's kid was doing. The reality is many have been severely impacted financially and have huge regrets. Again, it all comes back to best fit for the kid and family. You really need to project out and say is my kid going to be that much better off justifying the investment and what is the opportunity cost you are giving up.

Re: New to the prep school process - now what?

OP here - Thanks all for all the input, the pros and cons - very much appreciated. Lots to think about. We have our first campus visit and interview scheduled for tomorrow.
We definitely will look at other schools too over the next couple of weeks. To be frank without a substantial aid package this is not going to happen anyway as I will not put be able to put up 50k annually over the 4 years. so we will see. Apart from that, the fact that interest is there from schools is pretty amazing in itself.

Again thanks, and I will keep you posted.

Re: New to the prep school process - now what?

OP and second responder (11:12) - at what age were you approached by the prep coaches (or after which grade), and was it completely unsolicited? Or did your sons attend a camp or have previous conversations with connected people?

Re: New to the prep school process - now what?

Anon
OP and second responder (11:12) - at what age were you approached by the prep coaches (or after which grade), and was it completely unsolicited? Or did your sons attend a camp or have previous conversations with connected people?


OP here. completely unsolicited and it was beginning of 8th grade. as an update, we received another call from a different school this week.
from discussions with the admissions people it seems there is not much room for financial aid over what we would qualify, it seems to be all done online. we will see.

Re: New to the prep school process - now what?

Some coaches get out and scout, few have the time to take in all that much so they leverage tournaments, giving talks to AAA teams that coaches set up for them, or simply emailing coaches for contacts of good players who might be seeking Prep as an option.

Don't get all that giddy or disappointed if your kid has or has not been recruited. It's not college and there are no scholarships. These schools have college like campuses with very small student bodies so they need kids to pay tuition. They have their formulas for the mix of kids that pay full v. get need based aid so if you think a headmaster is going to go before their BOD saying he has blown the FA budget on hockey players to eek out a few more wins your crazy.

Re: New to the prep school process - now what?

anon
Some coaches get out and scout, few have the time to take in all that much so they leverage tournaments, giving talks to AAA teams that coaches set up for them, or simply emailing coaches for contacts of good players who might be seeking Prep as an option.

Don't get all that giddy or disappointed if your kid has or has not been recruited. It's not college and there are no scholarships. These schools have college like campuses with very small student bodies so they need kids to pay tuition. They have their formulas for the mix of kids that pay full v. get need based aid so if you think a headmaster is going to go before their BOD saying he has blown the FA budget on hockey players to eek out a few more wins your crazy.


not sure what prompted the above explanations as no one on this thread was giddy or panicky - but thanks.

Re: New to the prep school process - now what?

I can give you this advice from the few kids I have coached that have gone onto private HS or preps. 99% of the conversations went exactly like this

School/Coach: "would your kid be interested in coming to _________ to play hockey ? "

Parents: "yes, but we cant afford that for high school !"

School/Coach: "well, what do you think you could afford ? "

Parents " Probably around(insert low ball offer here) or we were paying $4000 for private middle school "

School/Coach: "SO you would play for 4k ?"

Parents: "Sure"

School/Coach : "He's in"

Parents to each other: "****, we should have said 2k"

Re: New to the prep school process - now what?

Anon
I can give you this advice from the few kids I have coached that have gone onto private HS or preps. 99% of the conversations went exactly like this

School/Coach: "would your kid be interested in coming to _________ to play hockey ? "

Parents: "yes, but we cant afford that for high school !"

School/Coach: "well, what do you think you could afford ? "

Parents " Probably around(insert low ball offer here) or we were paying $4000 for private middle school "

School/Coach: "SO you would play for 4k ?"

Parents: "Sure"

School/Coach : "He's in"

Parents to each other: "****, we should have said 2k"


Even the selects schools with huge endowments are not going to throw around financial aid like that. Yes, they will give deep discounts to some kids and almost free rides to other exceptional candidates , but certainly not so brazenly or at the coaches discretion