Did anyone watch 60 Minutes re Deep Springs College?

I caught a little of this report and was really interested in it because I hadn’t heard about it and don’t think my children were exposed to this idea.

I think one of my children may have opted for this.

I saw it. I don’t remember hearing about it, other than being aware that it’s a “work school” (free, but physical work is required). My kids would not have been interested, but I thought it was a cool option for the right students.

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I didn’t see the 60 Minutes, but I’ve known about Deep Springs since my son vetted schools in 2013. He chose engineering, so it wasn’t a great fit, but had he chosen Physics it could have been. He really wanted the "typical college experience though, and Deep Springs is anything but.

That said, it is a VERY intriguing program and DS grads get into very desirable 4 year programs. I think if it resonates with the student that it would be a fantastic, life changing experience.


There was a kid from my kids high school who went there. My understanding was that it wasn’t for him. He transferred to an Ivy League school the next year.

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The interesting question is whether or not the DS connection is what got him into the Ivy School. :thinking:

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He was competitive for an Ivy out of high school and the son of 2 physicians so I will assume full pay. My understanding was that Deep Springs is incredibly selective so I would think if you are accepted there, your chances would be pretty good at other selective schools.

My kids have also been out of high school for 10+ years so it’s been awhile.


When considered statistically, Deep Springs accepts from about 5% to about 8% of its applicants, depending on admission yield in a given year.

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I had only heard of Deep Springs here on CC, never anywhere else. It was an interesting segment and changed some of my perceptions of it. Not something either of our kids would have been interested in though.

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Such a cool college. I really tried to get my son interested. He didn’t think he could live so remotely for that long. It’s a pretty amazing place.


Reactions are interesting to read.

My impression was not favorable. Poor facilities & too isolated. Great students with 1500+ SAT scores.

The closest drop-off point for public transportation is in front of a brothel 50 miles away. (That about summed up my impression of this dude, and now dudette, ranch.)

P.S.If the school was located on a beach in Hawaii, then it would be much more interesting, in my view.

Deep Springs College was founded in 1917 & enrolls just 30 students.

I think the tippy top colleges that admit Deep Springs students don’t agree.

It is free, so maybe that’s why it’s not super well equipped. Plus, there are only 25 students or so. Kids who complete the two years there can pretty much get into any college they like. It’s very well regarded. The list of alumni in this article is very impressive.


I don’t believe it takes fancy facilities for a school to provide a good education, especially for a foundational two years. There is so much to this program, and while it’s not for everyone, it’s pretty awesome for the right students.


The right person can get a great education in a library. No need for facilities beyond books,a Starbucks,Trader Joe’s, and an Apple Store. And even the last three can be eliminated if there is Uber Eats service to the area.

Why not just join the Marines for a few years ?

I have been aware of Deep Springs College for decades. All the kids have Ivy League type academic qualifications going in.

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They have food on campus. Uber eats is for rich people who don’t need a free education. And I don’t think the students at DS care about Uber eats anyway. They obviously are there very deliberately.

Why doesn’t everyone in the Ivy League just join the military for the first two years? Come now. It’s pretty clear that DS students gain something very relevant and powerful from their educations. Yes, the kids there are probably going to do well for themselves anyway. It’s a highly respected school with an elite level acceptance rate. I don’t think a lack of highly equipped labs is hindering them in any way.


The connections with faculty, the small cohort of similarly motivated students, the community they are part of … these are things that benefit DS students. Different strokes for different folks. I went to a college that didn’t appeal to my classmates (or my GC, who pointed out that they didn’t even have sports teams - horrors!). I loved it. I love that there are alternatives to “typical” colleges.


Humor is lost on some folks.

Nevertheless, I still find Deep Springs to be unappetizing.

DS is the nichiest of niche schools. That said, for someone who it fits, and there are few, it could be deeply appealing. For most, it’s certainly understandable why it isn’t.

D’s favorite professor, Jack Newell, was President of Deep Springs a few years back (and wrote the history of the College). He now runs the Eccles Scholars program at the University of Utah and all those students adore their class with him. He’s still teaching (and taking the kids hiking) in his 80s:

And they’ve taken his advice to heart on how they’ve spent the summers (eg as rafting guides or working on a farm):
“I plead with my students not to just take an internship somewhere, as good as those things are, but to use their college summers to go out and throw themselves into a different life and meet people they would otherwise not rub shoulders with.”


Of course, that assumes that choices are available to the student in question. Students with greater constraints (e.g. needing to earn money to pay for school) may be constrained in their choices (e.g. may have to take higher pay over interesting work). Also, students who get unlucky in seeking work during an economic downturn may not have much choice at all.


I find this hilarious for all those kids who don’t come from a upper middle class background. I’m sure it’s a great ideal for those who have options to do so.