Priced Out of Private School
A colleague points me to a telling paragraph from a New York Times story on the city’s for-profit private schools — which have profit margins of 20 to 25 percent — featured today.
It remains unclear how profitable a for-profit school can be, especially since private corporations are not required to disclose their financial information. But the market for private-school enrollment generally seems robust: according to one study conducted for a new school, **the number of school-age children in households between Battery Park City and 72nd Street with annual incomes above $500,000 soared to 15,700 in 2010, from 4,300 a decade before. **According to the study, the top dozen schools in the city — all nonprofit — have only 11,000 seats.
The story is yet another example of how megawealth concentrated in Manhattan has changed the city. Families that in another era might have fled to Westchester or Fairfield County instead stayed, increasing competition for school spots and letting private schools jack up prices. A 2008 article notes:
Over a recent breakfast in Exeter’s cafeteria, Tyler C. Tingley, Exeter’s principal, said the school had commissioned a report showing that in 1980, 40 percent of American families could afford to pay tuition at Phillips Exeter, but by 2004 that number had declined to just 6 percent