Power Case Studies

How to make sure your toddler gets into the Harvard class of 2024.


1. Call Beacon Hill nannies right away!

They’ll ensure Junior’s cared for by a college-educated au pair who shuns TV and speaks only in complete sentences.

2. Camp out for sandbox-side seating at the Clarendon Street playground.

Future wheelers and dealers will benefit from mingling with the Google heirs and hedge-fund spawn who frequent this Back Bay tot lot.

3. Shop at Lester Harry’s.

If your toddler’s togs don’t include an Anaïs & I ruffle jacket today, how do you expect her to be a thought leader a few decades hence?

4. Enroll your little one at the Spruce Street Nursery School.

This downtown preschool is impossibly exclusive, but promises endless childhood joy — and probable admission to a must-attend elementary school.

5. Do whatever you must to get your kid into the Park School …

Your kid gets a great education — and you rub elbows with the glitterati.

6  … Followed by one of these high schools.

A hard-core, classical education is still adored in the Harvard admissions office. That means Roxbury Latin for the boys and Dana Hall for the girls. — Rachel Slade

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Illustrations by Kagan Macleod


  • Franco

    I realize that this article is satire but there are many Bostonians who will take this seriously. And if they do let me state, for the record, that getting your child into preschool at Spruce Street not only will probably not get you into Harvard…it will not get you into a highly sought after private school in Boston. Check in with Spruce and ask how many of their preschoolers have no elementary school to attend next year? If you can’t get a student into BB&N, it is awfully tricky to get them into Harvard.

  • Sarah

    I have never been so horrified by a publication suggesting how to get your kids into Harvard. First of all, one needs to acknowledge the money that Doyle is assuming we all have. If you already have that kind of money, I’m sure you’re Harvard legacy anyway, so you skipped all of the steps. Furthermore, Slade needs to learn a thing or two about the private schools in Boston. First of all, Roxbury Latin does very well, but there are a handful of boys schools who get kids into Harvard each year. There are also various co-ed schools, public and private, that get their kids into great colleges. I’d also like to chastise her for her discussion of Dana Hall. While it is a well-known girls school, Dana Hall is, by no means, the most successful or most challenging of the girls schools. I think what’s being seriously disregarded here is the money that goes into these kind of choices. If your kid is smart, send him to a good school. Harvard will get you far, but Boston College will get you just as far. It’s all about what you do with your education, so start teaching your kids that…