03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Elite Prep Schools Equipped With College-Size Endowments

When Curtis Thomas, a 14-year-old from a poor family living in St. Rose, La., arrived here two years ago to attend Phillips Exeter Academy, he brought little more than a pair of jeans and two shirts. That would hardly do at a 227-year-old prep school where ties are still required for boys in class.

So Curtis's history teacher, armed with Exeter funds, took him shopping for a new wardrobe.

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