One Manhattan mom pulled her daughter out of preschool and is suing for $19,000 because the school wasn't preparing her daughter for Ivy League college. Image: Flickr / D. Sharon Pruitt / CC-BY

The world of elite education is one that promises extreme success for students. For many families, the amount of money spent on educating their children can run into the millions. One Manhattan mother has sued a preschool for the $19,000 she paid for tuition, claiming the school ruined her child’s chances of getting into the Ivy League.

Nicole Imprescia sues York Avenue Preschool

Nicole Imprescia is a Manhattan mother with a 4-year-old daughter she believes is destined for great things. Imprescia enrolled her daughter in the $19,000-a-year York Avenue Preschool, believing the school would prepare her daughter for private elementary school entry exams. After three weeks, Imprescia pulled her daughter out of the school and asked for a refund. York Avenue Preschool has a no-refund policy, so the school refused. Imprescia filed a lawsuit against the school, requesting her $19,000 back and claiming that the school had ruined her daughter’s chances at the Ivy League by teaching her shapes and colors instead of the letters of the alphabet. “Getting a child into the Ivy League starts in nursery school,” Imprescia said.

The policies of York Avenue Preschool

According to Imprescia’s lawsuit, York Avenue Preschool promised to teach students “a letter of the alphabet each week,” among other things. The school collects the full $19,000 tuition before classes start and does not allow refunds after the start of class. Imprescia claims her daughter was put in a class with “students half her age” and that the school was a “just one big playroom” instead of a school. According to the York Avenue Preschool website:

The purpose is to engage children in their learning and create a broader knowledge base. Themes integrate all knowledge disciplines, provide for acquisition of reading readiness skills and foster creative problem solving and thinking skills.

Looking past the shock factor

The buzz on parenting blogs and websites around the world is that Nicole Imprescia’s lawsuit highlights the insanity surrounding elite education. There are debates about high expectations of very small children, the cost of elite education and the quality of education available publicly. The shock factor of this case is high, but beyond the shock, does Imprescia have a legitimate case? Maybe. If Imprescia was misled about the education her daughter would be receiving or what value her $19,000 would buy, then she may have an argument that the school should return her money for false advertising — as unrealistic as the advertising (and expectations) may have been.


York Avenue Preschool website:

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