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Friends Seminary

Private | K-12 | 728 students


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Living in New York

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $806,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $2,050.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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25 reviews of this school

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Posted Sunday, October 19, 2014

I love Friends. I have been going to Friends since Kindergarten (I am now starting my 9th grade year) and I absolutely love it. The people who are in my grade are some of the nicest people I've ever met and everybody is inviting. I don't feel excluded from anyone and I feel like I could talk to whoever I wanted to. I also love the teachers. I have always found the teachers to be really nice and really care about what they are doing. They make the class exciting. For example, physics is not my favorite subject, but I have a teacher who really loves what he does and it makes me like it because I enjoy learning from him. I feel like the school is my home. It's easy to build close relationships with teachers, staff, and other students because it is not such a big school. I really just love going to school at Friends everyday and I have fun learning. It is definitely my favorite school, and I would never consider going anywhere else.

Posted April 27, 2014

My daughter and son went to Friends. My daughter, staying until 8th grade and mr son, staying all the way through. The Lower School at Friends Seminary is fantastic! Many hands-on experiences and lovely teachers who really help shape your children all the way through. The Middle School is absolutely one of experiences of school your child can experience. My children could not stand it, even to the point of where we took my daughter out of school. The faculty are always watching the children closely, to the point of where they have no freedom or room to express themselves at school. The high school is okay, a lot of work, same problems with the faculty. Specifically, throughout middle school and high school at Friends, the teachers are extremely unprofessional. They pick favorites(all of the students can see who they are), they sometimes grade students BASED on who they are, and it is all just taking notes and rewriting them onto paper. My son also wanted to major in film and visual arts, but they have no real art curriculum! But I must say, the one thing you can only find at Friends, is Community, that is the one thing they know how to do...
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 13, 2014

I am a lifer at Friends, but am leaving for high school. I have felt many ways about this school. Friends really knows how to make an amazing lower school! I feel confident about my experience as a young child there. As for middle school, Friends is extremely inconsistent. The teachers range from traditional to progressive, and from engaging to plainly just taking notes and regurgitating them. Since I am in 8th grade and my brother is a junior, I know and have been learning a lot about the high school at Friends. It is very hard, as you have a lot of homework causing you to have no social life outside of study groups. It is in NO WAY indulged in the arts or sports no matter what they say. Friends biggest mistake was getting rid of their dark room, and most faculty even agree. Friends is solely based around academics(at least compared to other schools)no matter what they tell you while you're touring. Also, it being rigorous does in no way mean that it is one of the top schools in the US or NYC for that matter. This all being said, if you feel passionate that Friends is the school for you, don't let my view on it discourage you.

Posted August 13, 2011

I graduated from Friends in 2009 and in the fall of 2012 my sister will enroll in high school. We don't yet know where she will end up, but I truly hope it will be Friends. Friends is very strong in the humanities, particularly English. At the end of 12th grade, a few of the members of the class of 2008 returned for a discussion panel on what the transition from Friends to college is like. They assured as that with a Friends education, we could expect the transition to be quite easy. According to the alums, Friends students need not worry about time management issues, writing woes, or challenges in building a group of close friends. When I entered college, I found the same to be true. Admittedly I underprepared a bit for my first college exam (Intro to Psych), but later I discovered that I did a good 20% better than another girl from a prestigious LA prep school. I'd like for my sister to attend Friends not only because I know she will get a top-notch education, but also because I'm sure that she'll be accepted by the other students and find a social circle that she feels comfortable in. In middle school I had a lot of trouble fitting in but at Friends I felt right at home.

Posted May 14, 2011

I'm a lifer at Friends and I've always loved it here; the sense of community and the rigorous but fun classes offered have always been what kept me coming back every year. I cannot picture my life without Quaker meeting in the mornings, and as recently as two years ago I cannot even begin to imagine I'd ever give Friends less than a five out of five stars. However, I feel that Friends has changed a lot since I started in 2000, and some of these changes I don't like. I find that more and more, Friends is accepting the kinds of kids I'd find at Dalton or Horace Mann, and that the families that were accepted when I started (including my own) I cannot imagine being accepted today. My family is quirky, and we're certainly not the family that you would find being accepted at an Upper East Side prep school, and quite frankly I wouldn't want to be. Friends used to be more aligned with the Quakers, but lately I just don't see it nearly as much. I love Friends for the priceless education I've received here, and for the life-long friends I've made here, but in my opinion, Friends needs to do a little soul-searching and get back to it's roots where it belongs - in Quakerism.

Posted February 25, 2011

I began the Friends Seminary Upper School in freshman year and I am so glad I did. Everyone has been so welcoming and I've had so much fun with my fellow students. The teachers are truly dedicated and care about the success of each individual student. I love all my teachers, they are great at what they do and really understand the material they teach. I learned so much at my first year at friends than any other school i've attended. Most people get the impression that Friends is an "easy" school because it is based on Quaker values. This is completely false. The Friends high school is extremely rigorous. But, even though it is a lot of work, the topics are still interesting. If you are considering putting your child in the Friends upper school you should make sure they are self motivated to work hard. Although the curriculum is challenging, Friends provides plenty of resources and support to keep students up to speed. But, what I love most about Friends is the community. You start out at Friends and you are treated like you've been there all along Everyone is really close. It's just a really extraordinary school to attend.

Posted November 10, 2010

This school is simply outstanding, from the top down. Bo Lauder is an extraordinary and accessible leader, the teachers are first-rate, the parents are warm and welcoming. Could not be a better experience for my child.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 26, 2010

Truly a first-rate school. My children are receiving an outstanding education here. This school also seems to be a few years ahead of other NYC private schools, which is beneficial for a hard-working student. But, I should mention that it is quite difficult to be accepted into the Friends high school (many children are not accepted, because it is in fact considered a 'harder' school)
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 18, 2010

Excellent school. I had many reservations about sending my son there. I was scared that it wouldn't have been competitive enough and that my son would be forced to adopt the Quaker religion. I'm happy to say that neither was true. It's super competitive, rigorous and exclusive. It's just a really good prep school and slightly less expensive than other prep schools.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 18, 2010

My daughter started Kindergarten at Friends this year and she is thrilled to be there. Her teachers are very nurturing and committed to their work. My daughter comes home each day excited about what she has learned not only in her assigned class, but also in all of the elective classes she goes to. Even better that Quaker values are taught. The community overall is warm and welcoming. We are very happy as a family to be at this school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 17, 2010

Our daughter attended middle school at Friends and received an excellent education. She truly learned how to learn and has become a very engaged, highly motivated student. The history and science curricula are very interactive. Starting in 7th grade Latin is required for all students which has greatly enhanced our daughter's appreciation and knowledge of words. Unfortunately the school is a little small for our family and lunch period (if you even get one) is insanely early. A great place for a self-directed kid who know how to take advantage of study halls to reduce the nightly homework load.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 5, 2009

i love friends seminary for many reasons. not only is it a first rate academic school, but the community is special and a big reason why my children are there.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 4, 2009

Kids seem to get a great education, social skills, multi-cultural exchanges, hands on experience out of this school. Kids,teachers & parents seem really involved

Posted September 20, 2009

There's a good education, the teachers are smart and approachable, and most of the kids are nice.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 10, 2009

I love this school. I just started this year and everyone is so friendly and welcoming.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 18, 2007

Friends Seminary is the best thing that happened to me. I am a second generation student. My mom and uncle went there and it is the best school ever! The arts program is great and the teachers are great. I would reccomend Frineds Seminary because it is fabulous.
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 5, 2007

Teachers are outstanding and students really learn about being good citizens and about teamwork. Much better values than you see in most private schools
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 28, 2007

Actually, the faculty is excellent. The educators at Friends Seminary demonstrate great warmth towards students and go out of their ways to make learning engaging. They provide differentiated instruction to meet the needs of their students. I am continually impressed with the dedication of Friends Seminary's staff and the quality of their teaching.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 1, 2006

Very disappointed in this school. It is unfortunate that a wonderful quaker school like FS was six years ago turned into what it is today. I would not recommend it to anyone.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted November 16, 2006

Friends was not the right choice for my child for upper school. It may well not be for your child.
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 73% 52%
Two or more races 13% N/A
Asian 6% N/A
Black 6% 21%
Hispanic 3% 21%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander N/A 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Robert Lauder
  • Coed
  • Friends
  • NAIS


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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  • Religious


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
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222 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 979-5035


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