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Are summer programs a waste of money?

CC AdminCC Admin 29516 replies2978 postsAdministrator Senior Member
This discussion was created from comments split from: NHS.
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Replies to: Are summer programs a waste of money?

  • domt73domt73 176 replies11 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Also, are summer programs a waste a money?
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  • manyloyaltiesmanyloyalties 85 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Now that my youngest finished her freshman year, and all four my kids are through the application process, I think the fairest answer is yes, as to paid programs. Our kids did one of three things 1) a job 2) selective summer programs with minimal cost, as in specific science programs or local scholarship academic programs and 3) in limited circumstances a paid, non selective program. The jobs were not only good for the kids, for all the reasons that jobs are good, but also were, good for the college applications. As for the selective programs, I do believe they have some value because they are free or close to free, and typically are offering a real program for a specific reason. One of my kids went to a university sponsored software coding program, another received a scholarship from a local community college for high school students. The paid programs, uggh. Fluff and expensive.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 667 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    Some are, some aren't. The ones that send mass emails to "specially selected" student sometimes are.

    But my D not only learned quite a bit but had tremendous social growth and developed a new level of personal confidence going to CTY. It was well worth it, IMHO. I've never run into a single parent of a CTY student that would describe it as "Fluff".
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1716 replies34 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Depends on what you mean by "worth it." If you are looking to get a boost for college admissions just because you attended an expensive summer program, then it is not worth it. But if you mastered writing, deepened your understanding of a favorite subject, sparked curiosity in a new field, or made lifelong friends, and/or had a great summer in other ways, then the answer is "maybe", depending on whether the program cost required other sacrifices from your family.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1147 replies31 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    None of the summer programs that cost significant amount of money helps your college admission, if that's your benchmark. The ones that helps are free (such as RSI, TASP, etc.) but they're super-competitive.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 667 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    If your only reason for a summer camp is college admissions, then yes, you may be disappointed. There are many, many better reasons to learn, grow, and expand yourself through an educational and social summer experience.
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  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom 1940 replies9 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Another CTY parent here - 2 of my three daughters attended. The first attended on scholarship through CTY Scholars, we paid for the youngest to attend 2 sessions. For both, it was an opportunity to study interesting subjects and spend time among what they considered their true peers - other teens who were interested in learning, without the distraction of others who didn't want to be there.
    Were they valuable in terms of college applications? Yes, and no. They didn't get a boost, but the oldest attended Colorado College, and fell in love with their program because the block plan resembled CTY summer classes, where she excelled. She might have been hesitant had she not already been exposed to a similar system. Both gained a better sense of what they would like to study through their summer programs, and made friends from around the country - and around the world.
    The youngest is a rising HS Senior, and attended the LITES program at Kettering University for 2 weeks. She got a good feel for the campus, and has moved them to 1st choice over other more selective schools. She will still apply to those, but will be happy at Kettering if she ends up there - plus she got a $6000 per year scholarship for attending the program.
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