Korean-Style Crammers Flourishing in New York

Crammers for children applying to prestigious high schools, long familiar in Korea and Japan, are now springing up in New York, and about 50 percent of their students are non-Asian, the New York Times reports.

The newspaper on Sunday focused on a dozen sixth graders taking a five-day crash course at Elite Academy, one of the crammers, in Flushing, Queens to prepare for entry to Hunter College High School admissions exam this Friday. Of over 2,000 applicants, fewer than 200 are admitted to the prestigious high school by way of a strenuous three-hour test. Most of the students came to the winter break program after attending Saturday prep classes at the academy throughout the fall.

Tuition fees of up to US$3,000 are no deterrent for ambitious parents, the daily said. Elite, which opened in 1986, is attracting plenty of students, mostly from immigrant families -- Koreans, Japanese and Poles. And although Elite limits advertising to Asian-language newspapers, Caucasian students' interest is so high that about half the students are non-Asian, it said.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 05, 2009 10:10 KST