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PreCollege moved to online format-- worth it?

Techno13Techno13 336 replies13 threads Member
My daughter's Precollege program (Screenwriting at LMU) just announced its going to be online only this summer (not surprising). My question is, "Is is worth it?" The original cost of the 2 week program was ~$5800 with R&B, field trips, etc. Online is $2400. for two weeks. Seems high to me. I can only compare it to an online course with JHU/CTY which it ~$1000. On one hand it seems like a ripoff, on the other hand, what else will she be able to do this summer? Thoughts? Please don't bother with the comments about it being camp for rich kids, won't help with college admission, etc. We don't care. She's only a freshman and is interested in the topic and that is what drive our interest in the first place.
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Replies to: PreCollege moved to online format-- worth it?

  • me29034me29034 1946 replies94 threads Senior Member
    How much is $2400 worth to you? I would never pay that much for a two week online program for a high school freshman. Then again, I wouldn’t have even considered the $5800 in person program. I guess this depends how much pain spending that $2400 is going to cause you. Do you have to work extra overtime hours to cover it or is your bank account not going to even notice the difference?
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  • Techno13Techno13 336 replies13 threads Member
    I will not notice the difference. However, that doesn't mean I will throw away $2400 on a program that isn't worth it. I am curious whether anyone else has done an online program-- how engaging? how much interaction? etc. And since many programs are doing the same this summer how much are others charging as they move to online? $5800 was above my usual bar of $2000/week but getting to LA is easy/cheap for us relative to other programs on the east coast so the cost balanced out.
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  • compmomcompmom 11547 replies81 threads Senior Member
    I love online classes and so does my daughter. But online classes need to be more than just a remote version of the in-person version. For screenwriting I would think it would work wonderfully.

    Online classes usually have required posts each week, with required responses (say, 3) to others' posts. And there is a lot of discussion. Including the bright student who sits in the corner in class but is comfortable writing ideas. I would think there would be more honest feedback on writing, and more sharing.

    There seems to be a lot of prejudice against online classes but the majority of adult college students rely on them.

    Often the potential for media/audio visuals, links to interesting reading and class interaction can make them really good experiences.

    As for LMU versus JHU/CTY, I have no idea.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1874 replies22 threads Senior Member
    If it is a topic that she really wants to explore, I think if (a big if) I was willing to pay the $5,800, I would be willing to pay $2,400 for the online version. This assumes that there are no cheaper online programs that are compatible. They wildcard is not knowing how well the instructor will be able to translate into the online format.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2605 replies10 threads Senior Member
    There seems to be a lot of prejudice against online classes but the majority of adult college students rely on them.

    I’ve done a couple of courses like this and they were excellent, BUT they were designed to be online from the start so the package of materials /texts/books etc that came along with the programs were very well designed and thought out, and the support system was very good. Having watched my daughter move to online college for the past couple of months, it’s clear that a transition from in-person to online, at least at short notice, is not the same thing at all. So I think a big question here - and I’m not sure it can be answered without OP contacting them - is how much of an effort has been put into properly changing the class into being suited to an online format, or whether they are expecting much the same as in person but just delivered online.
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  • LondonExpatLondonExpat 1 replies0 threads New Member
    All 3 of the summer pre-college programs my daughter applied to have moved to online learning. She was disappointed after having put the effort into the applications and looking forward to the summer experience. My husband and I wanted her to attend a program for a few reasons: 1) explore a subject she may want to major in, 2) experience college life in different college settings, and 3) meet other students from around the world.
    Distance learning has been rough - hours in front of a laptop and sitting at her desk. So we wondered if extending her learning this way this summer was ideal. We kept holding off on a decision until the deadline to make a payment came. In the end, we decide to have her do it. She'll have something to do this summer and can figure out if she wants to major in Economics.
    By the way Techno13, my sister is a LMU alum. It's a great school - community, location, resources. The school has lots of networking opportunities in TV & Film..
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  • Techno13Techno13 336 replies13 threads Member
    Thanks everyone. She decided to defer LMU until next year assuming the schedule works out. Instead she is doing a 3 week course through JHU/CTY on neurological disorders. (Only $1000 for 3 weeks but not full time.) CTY knows how to do online learning and all the past courses have been top quality.

    Emerson is an excellent program but at 5 weeks, very difficult to fit in. Also makes for a challenging and expensive trip since we are west coasters and D isn't old enough to fly alone. This is definitely on her radar for summer after Junior year.
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  • thumper1thumper1 77984 replies3490 threads Senior Member
    I agree with your choice...but have to ask...why can’t someone who is a freshman in high school fly alone? She is old enough to do so.
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14468 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    She may be age-wise allowed to fly alone but her parents may not want her to go without some help getting from the airport to the college.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6895 replies30 threads Senior Member
    We did this pay to play program for my son for engineering at Berkeley. It was a wonderful program and he came back with a bounce in his step. He was a rising sophomore and flew from Chicago to California himself. Also they met him at the airport and got him and brought them back. It was like $3,000/10 days or something like that. Really a stellar program on every level https://www.nslcleaders.org/

    I think most program will meet your child and bring them back. There "is" lots of freedom during their free time. But we live in Chicago and my kids took a train to a bus 40 minute trip each way every day so they were used to this.

    If she's that talented the Emerson program will look at her. They will tell you there is no correlation of doing their summer program and getting accepted there and I am telling you there is a direct connection. Why wouldn't they look at their talent if they have them for 5 weeks? Just happen to know many back stage and musical theater kids that got accepted after doing their program. Good Luck.
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  • Techno13Techno13 336 replies13 threads Member
    thumper1 wrote: »
    I agree with your choice...but have to ask...why can’t someone who is a freshman in high school fly alone? She is old enough to do so.
    I completely agree! I have let my kids fly alone as soon as the airlines let them. The major airlines you now have to be 16! She is only 14. And I can't get to Boston on Southwest or Alaska. It's ridiculous.

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  • Techno13Techno13 336 replies13 threads Member
    Knowsstuff wrote: »

    I think most program will meet your child and bring them back.

    I have only seen a few that do this--mostly in CA (where we don't need it).

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  • thumper1thumper1 77984 replies3490 threads Senior Member
    Don’t most airlines have a provision for unaccompanied minors to fly? I’m quite sure they do.

    16? Geez...our kids flew alone when they were 10. I think we had to pay a tad more as they were unaccompanied minors...but they did it. This was to visit relatives...and at the time...pre 9/11...they could be taken to the gate here by us...and met at the gate at their destination.
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  • boudersbouders 2616 replies182 threads Senior Member
    It's about $150 each way for an unaccompanied minor to fly. I've done it several times post 9/11 and they gave me a gate pass so that I could take them to the gate.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10429 replies574 threads Super Moderator
    We are going off topic, but yes, UM fees are high and it’s totally ludicrous that a 14 or 15 year old can’t fly alone without having to pay UM fees. It’s all about airlines covering their bottoms.

    As for the original question, and for other parents who might be wondering about similar summer programs, $2400 for an online course seems very high to me. Five years ago, our then-high school daughter did a three week residential course at Carleton College for credit and the whole cost was about $3000+. I feel $1000 is much more reasonable for three weeks of online learning.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1968 replies13 threads Senior Member
    First, I'm a parent who has paid insane sums over the years for Summer and school year courses, events and all the rest. No I don't think it's worth it. The only way I would pay that sum would be if it were part of a larger program that my kid is trying to finish. We just signed up for an online course which will complete a three year program. Even then my kid would have skipped it but can't due to age and time out. Also, it's under $500 bucks!!
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  • Techno13Techno13 336 replies13 threads Member
    It's about $100 each way for UM and most pre-college programs will not meet them at the gate which is what is required for UM travel. It's so stupid. The smaller airlines allow younger travelers and we have used that extensively.

    Agreed on the $2400 cost. My D not only signed up for a CTY course (3 weeks/$1000) but a FREE Harvard course and 2 UChicago courses that had nominal fees. She's going to be busy now.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1968 replies13 threads Senior Member
    And while colleges like to see initiative and kids doing things during the Summer, most kids do the same type things (often based on socio-economics in fact). Wealthy kids are going to expensive programs and middle class and low-income kids are working. Going to an expensive prestigious college thing rarely is "impressive" The caveat being, programs which are usually free and very difficult to get into.
    We have a friend who is in admissions at a school with a subpar 10% acceptance. She said the most impressive thing is a wealthy kid with a menial job!
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