In his 1937 book, America's 60 Families, Ferdinand Lundberg indicated how the U.S. power elite and Super-Rich folks funded their undemocratic private prep school system prior to by 1940, by writing the following:
"...The rich in general reserve their heaviest contributions for a small group of institutions in the East...The preparatory schools that feed these favored colleges and universities are themselves located in and around New England. They, too, are the recipients of huge sums, although their benefactors are not otherwise visibly interested in the broad field of secondary education...
"Phillips-Exeter has received large sums in addition to the $7,000,000 Harkness gave for its house plan, which prepares students for easy living at Yale and Harvard. William Boyce Thompson presented it with $1,000,000 for a gymnasium. Thomas W. Lamont and...Thomas Cochran of J.P. Morgan and Company both gave it large sums and helped it and Phillips-Andover to raise funds among other wealthy men...
"Both Phillips-Exeter and Phillips-Andover have separate endowments of $6,000,000 [equivalent to over $103,000,000 in 2017 dollars] each, greater than those of institutions like the University of Alabama, Beloit College, the University of Buffalo, Carleton College, Colby College, Colorado College, Cornell College (Ia.), Creighton University, Denison University, University of Denver, Depauw University, University of Idaho, Kenyon College, Knox College, Ohio Wesleyan, Wabash College, Wittenberg College, or the College of Wooster.
"In short,...money is lavished on a few Eastern preparatory schools...The private peparatory schools, moreover, have a class function only; they do not fill a genuine need, for the public high-school system is extensive.
"Andover and Exeter are only two of the Eastern preparatory schools patronized by the rich families. Groton has an endowment of $1,500,000 [equivalent to over $25,000,000 in 2017 dollars]; Lawrenceville, $500,000 [equivalent to over $8,600,000 in 2017 dollars]; St. Mark's, $600,000 [equivalent to over $10,300,000 in 2017 dollars]; Taft, $500,000; and St. Paul's, $3,059,018 [equivalent to over $52,000,000 in 2017 dollars]. Andrew W. Mellon gave Choate School a library and the Archbold family fave an infirmary; Clarence Dillon, banker, gave Groton an auditorium, William A. Gardner gave a $500,000 chapel, while various large gifts were also made by...Payne Whitney; Edward S. Harkness contributed to the Hill School endowment of $2,340,187 [equivalent to over $40,000,000 in 2017 dollars], as did...T.Coleman du Pont; Charles G. Dawes, Lammot du Pont, and Mortimer B. Fuller (International Salt) made big gifts to Lawrenceville; Paul Block gave a chapel to Hotchkiss School, whose endowment is $400,000 [equivalent to over $6,800,000 in 2017 dollars]. Middlesex School was founded by W.Cameron Forbes, Henry Lee Higginson, Francis Lowell, and Dean Briggs of Harvard, all of whom gave it money and buildings. The Armour family and August Belmont contributed to St. Mark's. James Simpson of Marshall Field and Company and H.E. Manville contributed to St. Paul's. Benefactors of the Taft School have been Mrs. William Rockefeller, who gave Rockefeller Field, Edward S. Harkness, who gave $500,000, and Harry P. Bingham, who gave Bingham Auditorium.
"This is only part of the story, for there are also the Eastern girls' `finishing schools.' These expensive and strictly upper-class institutions, where the tuition fee ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 [equivalent to $17,245 to over $51,000 in 2017 dollars), include Foxcroft, Brearley, Miss Chapin's, Spence School, Rosemary Hall, Ethel Walker's, Farmington, Westover, Miss Hall's, and Dobbs School..."