HOUSTON PRIVATE SCHOOL ADMISSION MYTHS
Real Information Parents Can Use by
Carolyn Means, M.Ed., CEP, Houston’s Day School Consultant
Myth #3: To make sure your child gets accepted to a school, make a big donation.
Parent: “I hear that if we want our daughter in our first choice school, we need to make a big donation. Should we give $10,000 or $50,000?”
Myth #3: The Truth: The truth is that parents should not make donations to schools they apply to. This can put the school in the embarrassing position of returning the donation, accepting it and not accepting your child, or being talked about as the school “where money gets your kid in”. The only exception to this rule is if the parents already have a relationship with the school as alumni or as parents of a current or former student. It would be appropriate for these parents to donate at their typical level to the annual fund, for example. Many Houston schools have an abundant supply of wealthy parents in their applicant pools, and money is not going to influence the admission committee. Schools have learned hard lessons from admitting unqualified students based on the parents’ potential to generously support a capital campaign. Always remember, the focus of the admission process is the student, not the parent’s bank account. There are many ways that a school can discover the potential financial support of an applicant’s parents, so save your donations until your child is enrolled.