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Duke TIP: Super Selective?

AlumotherAlumother Registered User Posts: 6,233 Senior Member
edited April 2012 in Parent Cafe
My S, prone ordinarily to talking a lot about college basketball, has been nurturing another enthusiasm recently. He has always liked creatures, and the ocean, and gradually seems to be becoming more and more convinced that he wants to do marine/tropical biology. We've been looking, at his behest, for an academic summer program, since he had such a good time at CTY last year. A catalogue came in the mail for Duke TIP, and lo and behold it has not one but two tropical biology field sessions. As he said, it's just what he was looking for, as in, to the T what he was looking for, as in he would love, really love, to go.

So does anyone know how competitive admission is? His stats are GPA UW 3.9 including an A in the first semester of AP Physics BC this year. PSAT was CR78 M76 CW75. Should have a pretty good recommendation. I guess I'm asking you to "chance" him for this program:).

Thank you in advance for the excellent advice I am sure I will get...
Post edited by Alumother on

Replies to: Duke TIP: Super Selective?

  • jackjack - Posts: 1,615 Senior Member
    Alumother: My daughter was in Duke TIP, but I can't now remember what the qualifications were. It seems to me you had to make a certain score on a standardized test. She took the SAT in the 7th grade (and made a 1320!), so that may have been how she was accepted initially. I think they offer TIP at a younger age, though. All I can remember is that tests were involved--but once you're accepted, it's not competitive to get in the courses. As I remember, they fill quickly, so you have to register early. His PSAT scores are certainly sufficient. If TiP sent him information, then he can simply sign up for any courses he'd like to take. Again, though, get the application in early. They offer wonderful courses, but they're not inexpensive (the only downside). He'll love it, though.
  • AlumotherAlumother Registered User Posts: 6,233 Senior Member
    Thanks. BTW S is a junior in high school, if that helps.
  • jackjack - Posts: 1,615 Senior Member
    Yeah, I think once he's eligible, getting into the classes just requires getting that application in, or registering early, because they do fill up quickly. At least, that's the way it worked a few years ago. Good luck!
  • CountingDownCountingDown Registered User Posts: 12,538 Senior Member
    We don't even live in the geographic area covered by TIP, and we got that catalog. It came addressed to my older son, so I assume Duke bought names from CB. My younger son (also in HS) would love some of the classes (esp. the Law of War), but at $3K for two weeks, it won't be happening.
  • GotopracticeGotopractice Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    My son and daughter (now in college and high school) both were in TIP due to very high SAT scores in 7th grade. I was disappointed that Duke couldn't do a better job making their summer programs more accessible financially - the programs were very attractive to both my kids but the multi-thousand dollar pricetags put them out of our league. Oh well, S and D found lots of fun and productive things to do with their summers here at home.
  • AlumotherAlumother Registered User Posts: 6,233 Senior Member
    This one is in Costa Rica, so there is additional $$ for airfare. On the other hand, I feel better about spending $3000 for time in Costa Rica than I would about spending the same time in Durham. I'd think he was just angling for a tropical vacation but he even gets out of bed early if there is a possibility of seeing sea life....
  • ThatMomThatMom Registered User Posts: 455 Member
    The Duke TIP programs do fill up quickly and they are competitive in that you must qualify for the program based on 7th grade or 8th grade SATs and it looks like the PSATs. If you get the catalogue, you are qualified - they do not send a catalogue unless you are eligible for the program.

    I have seen it written somewhere that Duke has the highest score requirements for their talent programs, but I couldn't prove it.

    My D would not attend a program until the summer after her high school junior year when she went to a program in Costa Rica. It was very well run and very well organized.

    If he is interested, he should sign up quickly.

    As an aside, we toured Duke during the summer, our tour quide said "There are the TIP students, they're just a bunch of nerds and just get in your way". Strike three for Duke!
  • ThatMomThatMom Registered User Posts: 455 Member
    Sorry, I posted while you were posting. We did feel like we got our money's worth out of the Costa Rica trip. She had a great time and they kept the kids pretty busy. It was eye-opening for her because of the povety in the area and the diseases (Tropical Medicine). However, the rain forest was a disappointment in that they did not see the number of animals, etc they expected to see.
  • jackjack - Posts: 1,615 Senior Member
    Gotopractice: I agree. I think they're excellent programs, but prohibitively expensive. They also have short weekend courses--good for people who live nearby--that are interesting with broad topics, and not so exorbitant in cost.
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,471 Senior Member
    What does the brochure say about eligibility criteria? All of the regional Talent Search summer program brochures I get in the mail write mostly about SAT I test scores. The trips to foreign locales probably raise money to support their other programs, judging from how they are priced.
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    I believe CTY has the highest qualifying scores. There is also an issue not touched upon. For CTY, students must not turn 17 before the end of summer. Is this a concern? CTY began a program for older students at Princeton last summer. I know a couple of Harvard students who taught a course in epidemiology there.
  • ThatMomThatMom Registered User Posts: 455 Member
    I believe that the courses for summer for juniors are not "true" TIP courses. I believe that the true TIP courses stop after the 10th grade. In the last several years, Duke appears to have started calling all their selective summer programs "TIP", even if the classes were for the older kids. (Duke does have some summer programs that are not as selective as their TIP program.)

    I know on the application, it asked for the Duke TIP number that she received when she qualified for TIP in middle school, but Marite is correct in that I do not think it is a "real" TIP program. If I remember correctly (and there is no guarantee), after the 10th grade, the catalogue has different programs and a few from the TIP program for the 7th - 10th grades.

    TIP had a fairly comprehensive web site, the last time I checked.

  • jackjack - Posts: 1,615 Senior Member
    I believe both Duke TIP and CTY require a 95th percentile scoring, or above, on a national standardized test, for 7th grade and above. According to their web sites, there is no difference in what they require (for entrance as a 7th grader). This standardized test is usually the SAT. (Duke TIP has programs for elementary school students, too, which require testing that results in a "gifted" category for the student, but I don't know what that minimum score is.)
  • Burb ParentBurb Parent Registered User Posts: 2,100 Senior Member
    Just call TIP. If he is CTY, he probably qualifies. I called them a few summers ago when I was searching for summer options beyond CTY. At that time, my son more than qualified for TIP. I think we would just have had to pay the membership fee, and then he could go to the camps.
  • sabookssabooks User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 140 Junior Member
    CTY's test score cut off was higher two years ago than Duke's qualifying score. My 7th grade daughter (at the time) scored in the low 500s on her math SATs. It was not high enough to do the Johns Hopkins program, but since I am a Duke alum, I contacted their TIP office, and their qualifying score was 50 points lower- I think it was just 500 that year. They told me that she would be welcome there, even though we live outside of their geographic area. After all that effort, she ending up choosing a performing arts camp instead!
This discussion has been closed.