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Lead America Conference: Scam?

jmh8290jmh8290 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
edited July 2013 in College Admissions
I heard rumors that the Lead America Conference was a scam. Is that statement true? Also, if I did decide to go to this Lead America Conference I would do the Medicine and Healthcare program. Would you say it was worth the $2000-$3000? Also, Just out of curiosity, how are people chosen for this program? I got a letter in the mail and I do do well in school, but I am not sure whether or not they chose me at random. I need help figuring out if I should go!!!!
Post edited by jmh8290 on

Replies to: Lead America Conference: Scam?

  • jmh8290jmh8290 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    Also, how good does this program look on a college application!!! HELP!!!!!
  • askjeevesaskjeeves Registered User Posts: 762 Member
    Any "prestigious" program where you have to pay to participate isn't anything special. Maybe if you have the extra money and are absolutely dying to go, but otherwise I'd save the 2k and actually spend it on something meaningful, college or non-college related.
  • SikorskySikorsky Registered User Posts: 5,851 Senior Member
    I don't think it's a scam, exactly. I suspect that if you pay the money, they'll enroll you in the program, and house you and feed you. If you think you'd like the program, and get something out of it, and you can afford it, you could go.

    But I don't think it has very much value for college admissions. If that's your main reason for enrolling, I believe you're going to be disappointed.
  • HuxleyAlumHuxleyAlum Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    My son went to the Lead America Robotics and Engineering Conference held at UC-Berkeley this past summer. He went not to make himself look better for college apps, but rather because he was interested in the subject matter and wanted to have some fun, too; which he did.

    He had a great time at the program. They went to the NASA Ames Research Center, toured Stanford's labs, had a dinner cruise in SF Bay, etc. It was like an scholastic vacation. The programs does award one college credit (through Loras College) although I doubt that carries much weight, and didn't factor in his decision to attend.

    I don't beleive being invited to attend is particularly selective; for example he did not have to submit any test scores, which he has had to do for other camps he attended previously.

    If you think that the program will give you a leg up in college apps, then it might be considered a scam. If you look at it like a vacation camp with some scholastic value then you will probably be satisfied.

    In summary, he enjoyed the activities, the program was well run and we felt afterwards that it was worth the fees for attending.
  • born2dance94born2dance94 Registered User Posts: 1,646 Senior Member
    Those programs only benefit you from a knowledge standpoint.

    As for how it looks on a college app, it looks like any other camp you would go to. Because these sort of leadership programs cost money (frankly, much more than they are worth in almost every case), and they also aren't selective (they almost all let you apply on their website or if you contact them if you didn't get an "invitation"), colleges don't put much credit in them.

    However, if you want to do it for the experience and knowledge, and paying the fee is fine for your family's financial situation, maybe you should do it. But just don't expect it to boost your chances at colleges.
  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    Most of these are for-profit. Some are even sponsored by big-name colleges or most deceptively, some are run by for profit companies who rent facilities and hire instructors at top schools -- giving participants a few weeks at Yale, for instance. The unsaid implication is that Junior who spends a "leadership" conference at Yale is supposed to be an honor. After all, it was held at YALE, right?

    But mostly, these companies hope to cash in on their supposed allure. Just go in as an informed consumer. There is no cachet whatsoever other than to indicate to colleges that you potentially will be a full-pay freshman.
  • prophesticprophestic Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    The "scam" is in the marketing. The target consumer is a teenager still in high school. One can argue that the experience can be fun, perhaps even educational to some degree. The approach, however, is borderline deceptive. Unless the teenager's family has disposable income, the money is better spent elsewhere, in my opinion.
  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    Please use old threads for information only, do not post and revive them. If you want to ask questions or discuss a topic, please use the New Thread button.
This discussion has been closed.