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Why your kid should get a summer job instead of going to an academic program

13

Replies to: Why your kid should get a summer job instead of going to an academic program

  • MassmommMassmomm 3821 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,899 Senior Member
    ^^^@maya54, I don't think this is the type of program the writer meant. Your daughter's program was valuable to her future career, not just something to impress the ad coms.
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  • TheGFGTheGFG 6006 replies213 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,219 Senior Member
    My D attended a governor's school program at a non-elite private college. The experience was fantastic both socially and academically, and supplied fodder for the intellectual vitality essay she needed for applications.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3352 replies33 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,385 Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    My current junior was just informed she's gotten a bit of a promotion. Last year she taught swim lessons and lifeguarded at a small private pool. This year she will be the supervisor two days a week and teach the other three. On her supervisor shifts all parents coming in to register for lessons or with questions about what level their kid is at or what level they should sign up for for the next session will be handled by her. She will also be responsible for supervising all the classes and making sure the other instructors are doing their jobs properly. She's only been there a year and a half and I feel like the manager has really recognized that even at 17 she's responsible and the parents like/trust her. My question is if there is any way to best highlight this experience on her applications in the fall. Through essays? Letter of rec from her boss? She's a solid 94th percentile on the SAT and a mid to high academic kid with 6 AP classes so far and 4 more next year, with A's and a few B's, applying to UCSB, UCSD, Cal Poly SLO and a few private schools. Her other EC's are varsity swim, Girl Scouts and a few minor clubs, etc.but her focus has really been on teaching swim. She loves it. They always say to have a passion, and she does, but how does she articulate that?
    edited May 2016
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  • MassmommMassmomm 3821 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,899 Senior Member
    She can show a progression up to a supervisory level on her common app. It would also be great if her boss could do a LOR.
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  • Fish125Fish125 264 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    @VickiSoCal - Wonderful experience for her! Here are a few of the UC prompts/questions that were previously asked (I think the link is for the 2015-16 application period). Each year the questions seem to be somewhat similar, and using this experience as a focus for one of these would be great. http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/how-to-apply/personal-questions/freshman/index.html
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  • PostmodernPostmodern 1142 replies90 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,232 Senior Member
    Since the general consensus seems to be that the "pay to play" programs are a waste in admissions, but highly competitive ones like RSI are very beneficial, what is the feeling on other non-pay-to-play academic endeavors like working in a research lab with a professor?
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  • suzy100suzy100 5676 replies58 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,734 Senior Member
    I also think both experiences are very beneficial. However, I did not have the $ for my D1 to attend a pricey program, so we looked for those that were no/low cost, and found one. It was a great experience for her - she needed a few weeks on her own, out of the house. She also worked that summer. I'm hoping to find the same thing for D2.
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  • mom2andmom2and 2731 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,748 Senior Member
    The point of the article is not don't go to summer programs, but go to those programs where the student has a genuine interest and not because it will get the kid into the college that happens to host the program. For some kids, going to a gifted program (THINK or even the talent-search based programs) can be the best part of their year and they can grow socially and intellectually around his or her peers. Others may be more of a grind.

    If the choice is between hanging out with friends and playing video games, vs going to camp or a summer program as the kid is not able to get a job, I would think camp or program might be a better way for a kid to spend their time and to grow. Not every camp is expensive. Y or scout camps are generally reasonable and offer weekly sessions. One of mine had a great time being involved with a drama program.

    It was not that easy for my kids to get jobs until senior year.
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  • OldFashioned1OldFashioned1 110 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    For the NHS event at my children's upper middle class school, every senior who is headed to a top 30 college mentioned at least one summer program in their profile. Elite college admissions is too competitive to remain academically idle all summer.

    And yes, as someone mentioned, the students who "don't need them" seem to be doing them the most. True. Which makes an already wide achievement gap grow even wider.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3352 replies33 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,385 Senior Member
    We had our NHS ceremony on Wednesday night. No profiles were mentioned. What did they do?

    Ours-
    Out going president read names of the 90 juniors being inducted, they each crossed stage and signed book.
    In coming president read names of the 70 graduating seniors, they each received a tassle

    incoming officers received candles/books from outgoing officers.

    Snacks.
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  • OldFashioned1OldFashioned1 110 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    edited May 2016
    Since the general consensus seems to be that the "pay to play" programs are a waste in admissions.
    If they're a waste I'd like to know why all the gullible affluent doctors, lawyers, engineers and executives at my children's school keep sending their children to them. Also note, the 5-7 week programs offer SAT prep and admissions essay writing seminars, too. And aside from academics, I think it's good, socially, for a teen to step out of their comfort zone and meet ambitious peers from around the country/world.
    edited May 2016
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  • KnittergirrlKnittergirrl 212 replies8 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 220 Junior Member
    I went to a 6-week summer program at Carnegie Mellon the summer before my senior year. It was about $9000, including room and board as well as two courses which were FOR CREDIT. If they were not, this large sum would not have been worth it to my family and I would not have gone. By the time I applied to the program, I had a pretty strong idea that I would be going to CMU for college. I earned A's in two courses which were both required for freshmen in my major (I made sure not to take courses which wouldn't count for anything except elective credit). I applied ED and got in and am now on track to graduate in three years. This was possible because I had a total of 81 units going in, 18 of which I earned at the summer program, and because one of the courses I took is a prerequisite for more advanced classes, so I was ahead when I started school. I now have a paid internship after my first year.

    Throughout high school, I pretty much slid through with minimal effort. I got a good ACT score without studying, did well on AP exams without busting my butt, and got A's in all but one class throughout my four years. I hated high school both socially and academically. At pre-college, I finally felt what it was like to enjoy academics and to work hard. Beyond what I gained academically, I really grew as a person during the pre-college program. I made a lot of good friends, after years of having few friends at my high school. The people there were 'my' people and I connected with many of them.

    A lot of people in the program are at excellent schools now. My roommate went to Yale, a friend went to Vanderbilt, etc. Of the six people from my immediate group of friends, four are now at CMU. There were three people on my freshman floor (about 35 people) who went to pre-college that summer, too. I frequently see other people from pre-college around campus. While going to the program did not *guarantee* getting into CMU, I truly believe that it helped. In terms of showing interest, spending six weeks at a college as a high school student is pretty much the most you can do.

    While a lot of academic summer programs are NOT worth the money and all families have to decide for themselves what is right for them, if it is within your means and the program offers college credit, I'd go for it. It's a great experience.
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  • annanaannana 432 replies33 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 465 Member
    Very true. I'm sure they aren't bad, but they're so expensive and seem like a rip off in my opinion. Doing academics over the summer is fine, but taking a couple college courses for 7000 dollars isn't very enriching. However, something like a high school research program would be great.
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  • OldFashioned1OldFashioned1 110 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    edited May 2016
    @Knittergirrl Good post. I don't think they help you get into any specific college, per se, but they absolutely bolster an otherwise strong common app. From admissions pov, who's more likely to hit the ground running and have a successful freshman year at an out-of-state college?

    student a: Good stats, from Ohio, worked part-time at landscaping company for two summers.
    student b: Good stats, from Ohio, summer at Harvard, summer at Andover.
    edited May 2016
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3352 replies33 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,385 Senior Member
    Doesn't that just show their parents had a few extra thousands?
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