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Does being the poor kid matter?

DS starts kindergarten in the fall and we've applied for admission to one of the best schools in the country. The annual tuition is almost the same as my annual salary so we'll be counting on tuition assistance.

Only about 30% of the students there reviece tuition assistance so i know my son will be on the poor end.

How do you think that will impact his experience? Does being the poor kid really matter?

Here's a link to the school if anyone is interested.


Asked by UpSheRises at 9:03 AM on Feb. 1, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 31 (48,798 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (18)
  • It depends on the kids there really. I was raised in one of the richest counties in the US and it did matter some times. There was a class difference I saw when you had kids whose moms for instance worked for the parents you went to school with. Kids can be mean, maybe not when they are small, but as they get older, and say things like "Isnt your mom my maid?".
    I think though if you start them young together maybe it wont matter? Just be mindful that he is going to need and want things other kids have you might not otherwise buy in traditional public school.

    Answer by gemgem at 9:08 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I was always the "poor kid," you could tell right off; my clothes weren't right, my shoes weren't right, and I lived in an apartment. I was teased. It didn't matter that I was always in the top of my class, that I was a cheerleader, or that I'm really friendly, I hated school and couldn't wait to get out. I couldn't participate in a lot of the extra-curriculars because my parents couldn't afford it; skiing, tennis, etc.

    Truthfully, I would never send my child to a school I couldn't afford (in it's entirety) on my own. I live in a terrific school district, it's upper middle class, but my kids are just like all the other kids. It makes things so much easier on them - and they are receiving a quality education.

    Answer by Scuba at 9:12 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Putting a child into a situation where they are obviously different is going to impact them. Of course he will feel different and the other kids will know eventually. They will do things together socially. They will visit each other's houses. We are the only Jews in the county where we live and you can bet EVERYONE is very aware of it and it has impacted my children.

    Answer by Marwill at 9:18 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Kids notice. Kids tease. Kids shun. Kids create outcasts with in their peer groups. Yes, it will impact his experience. And you will end up living beyond your means trying to keep your child from being chastised and shunned by buying the name brands you cannot afford, by getting the trendy hair cuts, etc.
    Why would you put your family through that kind of hardship? Education is what YOU make of it. Your son can get in to that supposed great school and then because of the teasing flunk out. Or he can go to a good school in the area, that you can afford, and have a great experience because he is with a peer group that won't ostracize him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:18 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I hear what you're saying, USR - we all want the best for our children. Our last school district was terrible (they are on academic watch now because they couldn't meet Ohio's minimum requirements.) Both of my older children were in Honors classes, we worked together to make sure they got everything they could out of their time there. You have to do what your heart tells you to do; but from the bottom of my heart, as one of those kids whose parents "wanted the best for me" - think about the social aspect of going to that school.

    Answer by Scuba at 9:26 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I went to a very good all-girls' boarding school on a double scholarship for music and academics. If anything, I was treated better by my classmates because of it, they knew I'd earned the right to be there and they wanted to stay on the good side of someone who potentially could help them out in a tutoring situation.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:56 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Yes it matters a great deal. My kids go to public school and still have less than most of the kids they go to school with because we live in a very upper class area. They have enough to fit in and have friends, and it helps that we live in the same neighborhood and I'm a SAHM, but there are kids that are bussed in from other areas so we meet our "diversity quotas" and they definitely do not fit in. There are very obviously two sets of kids at the school, not differentiated by race or color, but along socioeconomic lines. They don't mix with one another except on very rare occasions. My kids are in 4th and 5th grades and the "rich kids" vs "poor kids" aren't mean to one another, they just don't associate.

    Answer by missanc at 10:04 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Does he wear a sign that says "My mom can't afford this school?" I don't think it will matter as long as a big deal isn't made out of it.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 9:06 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I live in a terrific school district, it's upper middle class, but my kids are just like all the other kids. It makes things so much easier on them - and they are receiving a quality education.

    Answer by Scuba

    We do not live in a school district that's very good, not good enough for my DS anyway. Also, i am a little ashamed of asking for assistance but i want this for him so badly. This is, truly, one of the best schools in the country. They have a boarding school because people send their children from all over the world to attend. Living only 20 min. away i felt i had an obligation to at least give it a shot.


    Comment by UpSheRises (original poster) at 9:20 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • In kindergarden, I don't think they catch on to things like this. Also, since it is a private school, they prob all wear uniforms so it's not like some of the other kids will be wearing expesive clothes while you son isn't

    Answer by JLS2388 at 9:30 AM on Feb. 1, 2011