I didn't enjoy my freshmen year at Fenwick, but once I opened my mind a bit, I saw that the school went past the matching skirts and school shield posted everywhere. Sure, Fenwick isn't perfect, but is any school? The people I met at Fenwick will forever be my best friends, favorite teachers, and some of most inspiring people I've ever met. Fenwick challenged me academically, socially and spiritually which is exactly what I needed out of high school. Also, unlike many believe, I am not catholic, a legacy, or super-conservative, and I still felt welcome by everyone who was. Leaving Fenwick was a sad day, but it left me prepared for college and beyond, and I know I'm welcome back anytime I feel the need to visit.
Our children are Fenwick graduates and both agree Fenwick was the best four years of their lives.
Reading some of the reviews, yes, Fenwick is not as racially diverse as some schools, but the administration is trying to fix it. Fenwick is getting more diverse each year. Also, Fenwick is a college preporatory school. Teachers will not hold your hand, email your mom, or call home (unless you are ditching). In college, teachers won't do that either. If your child wants to be in honors classes, but doesn't test in, the administration will let the child into honors if the parent believes that the child can handle it. It's happened with one of my friends. Turns out, they are getting over a 4.0. Fenwick requires you to work hard. However, if you study, you should do well. If you don't understand something, teachers will help you if you ask or email them. There is even a tutoring system set up. I noticed a few reviews were about snobby people. Yes, many families are wealthy, but I have not met more than three out of the 1200 teens that go to Fenwick are snobby. That is an extremely high, less than 1%. Fenwick is a great school. I would recommend it for everyone who has high goals.
We have had three children attend Fenwick. Our sons have graduated and, with the help of Fenwick, both are attending their top choice college. Both worked hard while at Fenwick and feel that it prepared them for college. Our daughter is currently attending Fenwick and we were a little concerned about how she would adjust, but she is doing fine and is involved in sports, two science clubs, and the school paper. Fenwick is not perfect and it is not for everyone -- the work is hard and there is not a lot handholding by the faculty. While some of the students are wealthy and flaunt it many more are not -- kind of like the real world. If the goal is to prepare you child for college Fenwick is a solid choice w/ 100% of the graduates attending colleges ranging from Top schools (MIT, Brown, Yale, Harvard, ND) to the Big Ten(Northwestern, Michigan, Illinois, etc.) to Jesuit Universities(BC, Georgetown, Creighton, St. Louis, John Carroll, Gonzaga, Marquette, etc. ) to smaller Universities (Tufts, Johns Hopkins, Denison, Dayton, etc.). Also the faculty is not perfect but 4 Golden Apple teachers at one school is rare.
My child went here for one year. I also had a child attend Oak Park River Forest HS. I never heard a peep from a single teacher at Fenwick. I would get emails and calls from the teachers at OPRF about my other child's progress. The staff and faculty are extremely cliquish and really into the Fenwick name. I didn't care for the elite, wealthy kids who were my childs' friends. They were not a good influence on her behavior. It is not a diverse atmosphere at all, although they have a few token blacks. If you are an educated, working mom, realize that the Fenwick Mothers' Club is designed for stay at home Catholic mommies who enjoy going to boutiques after mass.
My son attended fenwick. He was not happy at all. He received a great education and got into college of his choice. Fenwick do what there past alumni want them to do which is pamper there alumni. They dont allow black student to challege themselves. they keep them out the honor program. I had to fight with them on several occasion about letting my son take science or elective classes. He played the paino for 8 years and wasnt able to get into the band. I can go on, my advice to black parent is be aware of racism because it does exist at Fenwick. I gave them a 3 star because he did receive a good education that help him to tackle any challeges in the future. I paid every dime for his education, no help at all! We refuse to let our daughter go to this school. Thats just how bad it was.
I need to counter some of the reviews I've read. I came in NOT a legacy, NOT wealthy, and from THE CITY. Fenwick welcomed me into its very real community (what we call the Fenwick family). Yes, there are a lot of kids from the western suburbs, and most hover around upper middle class--but I fit in fantastically, thrived in the environment, and still thank God every day that I am a Friar. Fenwick was the best thing that ever happened to me. The faculty are outstanding and very caring and supportive. The students in general are talented and driven but also just genuinely nice kids and not super cliquey (especially by senior year). Fenwick made me see my potential for great things, but imbued me with a dedication to helping others (which is true of my fellow classmates as we now finish up college). God willing I have the funds, I will without a doubt send my children to Fenwick.
I tested into Fenwick with barely any any legacy (My Mother's cousins went here, but they're not that closely related and haven't given enough money to the school to get me in on that). I came from a public school that was, to put it nicely, a bit inadequate. I see some posts about Fenwick kids being snobs, but never once have I seen that to be true, outside of one or two individuals. I have never seen kids teased for being part of the work-studies program, and am am personally on a scholarship. Feniwck is a great place for gifted students. Unlike at public schools, i've never seen anyone ridiculed for being a "nerd" or for being part of an academic club like the Junior Technical and Engineering Squad, which by the way, took 2nd in the nation last year.Diversity isn't great at fenwick, but I've never seen a single discriminating remark made to a minority student. The faculty is phenomianl (89%) have an advanced degree, including multiple golden apple teachers. They are always willing to help a student, and to meet advanced students' needs teachers have taught classes with only one or two students. Other help for students is a peer tutoring program available to anyone which I use.
I'm currently in my junior year at this school, and I absolutely love it. The first year I was at Fenwick, I wasn't a fan. However, once I started getting more involved in activities and making more friends, it's grown to be my home. Fenwick is pretty much what you make it. The kids who don't get involved, stay silent in class, and never venture out from their cliques won't like Fenwick as much as they could. For the kids who really make an effort to get involved in the school, the school returns the effort. The sense of community at Fenwick is like none other. Yes, Fenwick has it's issues. The lack of diversity (which the administration IS trying to work on) economically and racially is something of a running joke at Fenwick, but if you're different than the rich, white norm than by no means are you made to feel excluded. I occasionally sigh from the lack of updated technology, but I also know the administration is working on it. Fenwick can be kind of a dysfunctional family, but at the end of the day, it really is family. This sense of family is something you really can't get at these bigger public schools, even the well-ranked ones. People genuinely care about one another.
I went here for a semester and a half and absolutely hated it the kids are snobs the teachers dont teach and the dress code is terrible if you ask me, this school is only for those that can overly afford it because thats who is treated best i hated it i absolutely could not stand it anymore i transferred back to my old high school which is a top 10 high school in the state and i LOVE it
Fenwick has a prominant reputation among Catholic high schools especially when it comes to sports and its sports facilities. The students receive a good private school education and are well prepared and positioned if they want to attend a Catholic University. The school is less successful at placing students in the top liberal arts colleges and the Ivy League. They will tell you that admission is based on the Catholic high school entrance exam but if you are an athlete, a legacy or have renown in the community, there is much less difficulty in getting in. There are other private schools that are much more selective but Fenwick can make these claims because of the pool they draw from. It is not very diverse racially or economically and over the years I have hoped that this would change but there has been no attempt to grow in this regard. This does give the school and it's students a reputation for being elitist. Overall, it is a good school but if your child is a higher achiever there is more opportunity with advanced classes and more advanced placement classes in the public school system.
Lets see, About $12,000 per year and most of the students at Fenwick come from towns with top rated public schools!! I guess people with too much money like to waste it and not support their own towns and schools. An A student will succeed in any school but you have to actually attend Fenwick if the parents want to be able to say "My child is at Fenwick" as a punchline at a cocktail party... Next is Notre Dame!! That will probably open tons of doors for your c student... Give me an A student from a public high school and a State university any day over a c or B private school student. who had it handed to him. Success is in the heart not pocketbook.
I didn't like Fenwick. The kids tend to be snobs. They come to school wearing their Polo button down shirts and Burberry handbags.
One of the most elite high schools in all of America. Admittance is highly competitive and Fenwick's tuition is expensive. If excepted, there is also high pressure for a student to keep up. The typical Freshman orientation consisted of asking each student to look at the student at the left and right of them, followed by the dean saying, ' that within 4 years time, one of these students won't make till graduation or have the priviledge to call themselves a Fenwick alumnus'. The school's purpose is very specialized, to breed highly gifted students into leaders. Each year the Ivy League schools, Big Ten universities and other top colleges will specifically go to Fenwick to recruit students for their college, and Fenwick's senior class is always awarded millions of dollars in financial scholarships each year as incentives. The school is definitely in a league of its own.
Fenwick, like Loyola Academy and St. Ignatius, is an expensive college prep school that caters to the needs of high-achieving students. From all indications, Fenwick succeeds in its mission: to provide a springboard for students who come into the school with a proven track record for academic excellence. The entrance exam cut-off is in the neighborhood of the 80th percentile; as a result, school-wide academic excellence is virtually guaranteed. Why the Dominicans at Fenwick, like the Jesuits at Loyola and St. Ignatius, would limit their Christian efforts to only the gifted and accomplished seems at odds with the teachings of Jesus Christ; but I guess I'm in the minority in that belief. Other boys' schools in the area, notably St. Patrick and Notre Dame, accept virtually any students above special-ed status, and for significantly less money. That said, Fenwick provides a quality education for those accepted.
I have a 2009 Fenwick graduate who thrived in the environment where teachers administrators and other students are there to help. Sure, your student is expected to work hard and is held accountable in areas of respect and discipline. However, I assure you the pride that your son or daughter will feel on Graduation Day at a job well done makes the financial sacrifices pale in comparison to the education and experiences rec'd at Fenwick. On top of that, our student was offered a wonderful scholarship at a fine Midwestern college.
As an alumna of Fenwick, I would be thrilled to send my children there, if it weren't for the ever-growing tuition. However, I believe that you get what you pay for, and the students at Fenwick are almost all successful and driven. Slacking and other misbehaving is not tolerated, which creates a healthy and competitive learning environment. The teachers are dedicated, many having been there for 10, 20, 30+ years. The new building is amazing. I hope to be able to send my daughter there when she's ready for high school.
Fenwick makes the list as one of the top prep schools in the county. The school is very challenging to their students and the environment is strict, including the dress code which still includes ties worn daily and blazers at assemblies. The accomplishments of Fenwick's alumni says much about the school's success, which includes many Fortune 500 CEO's, a royal, top professional athletes, Pulitzer prize winners, and an astronaut... to just name a few.
Fenwick is classified as one of the most elite prep schools within the Chicago area, both academically and athletically, and the school will accept any student regardless of race or religious affiliations without any prejudice, as long as that student is able to meet the testing cut off, which is very competitive. However, the school is primarily made up of privileged students from Chicagoland, and poorer students will have a harder time fitting in. The traditional 'old money' prep-school model is still what Fenwick is all about, and the tuition cost is also deceptive. The $10,000 yearly is only a base- it does not cover, meals, sports, transportation, clubs etc. Realistically one should expect to pay more like $15,000+ a year. Socially, poorer students will also have a harder time keeping up with the general wealthier student body- who is accustomed to a certain life-style.
Fenwick is a very prestigious school for all of Illinois, and it has has been one of the magnet prep schools for affluent families living in the Chicago area. Legacy, or what they like to call 'their Fenwick community' is a big part of the 'Fenwick experience'. The school expects alumni to give back to Fenwick- which is continuing to fund their building expansions in Oak Park and supporting their posh River Forrest campus and priory. Young alumni have their own yachting excursions on Lake Michigan and expensive golfing packages. Ultimately, Fenwick is a very exclusive school, and unless you were born into that type of world, I wouldn't consider Fenwick a good fit for most students. The school's alumni have little patience for students and families who can't keep up intellectually and financially to Fenwick's very high standards.
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