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cobalt1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 07:42 AM
Original message
Question about the Duke TIP program
This will be my daughters 2nd summer in the program. It's a little over $3,000 for the three weeks. She really enjoyed it last summer, so maybe for that reason alone it's worth the money, but I'm wondering is there any real academic value.

If your children participated, or you yourself participated, did you see any academic value (better grades, better transition to college) from the program or would it be just as productive to let her stay at home and go sailing with her friends?
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Believing Is Art Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. I opted out, but I had friends who participated in TIP and similar programs
Honestly, I did not get the impression from them that there was any academic value. They all had a good time of course, but they were the same students as they were before they went.

Being away from home for three weeks may be good for her as far as learning how to cope with the homesickness she might get in her first semester. There are options that don't cost $3,000 though. It may look good on an application, but if her test scores, GPA, and activities are good already, TIP won't add much.

If money's not too much of an issue and she enjoyed it before, I agree that might be reason enough. If she thinks she'd have as much fun at home and out sailing, seriously consider saving the money.
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cobalt1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's what I thought.
I can't see that an 8th grader is going to get $3000 worth of education in 3 weeks. Sure she'll have fun, and it won't hurt, but for $3000, I'll take her sailing in the Bahamas.
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Believing Is Art Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Definitely not in 8th grade
My two cents on programs like those is that they are an easy way to make the school some money. Kids want to have three weeks of freedom, and it appeals to parents because it sounds impressive.

The best way to academically prepare for college is to encourage her to figure out in which general area she wants to major. The school I attended required incoming freshman engineers to have taken physics in high school. I was also glad I got calc under my belt before college, too. AP classes are a big help. They are structured more similarly to a college course, plus it can get credits out of the way.

I really went through a "wah, I don't want to be a smart kid" phase in high school and didn't do anything like academic team or mathletes. I kind of panicked about that decision when it came time to fill out applications, but from my interviews I didn't get the impression that the admissions people cared too much. I had a few jobs while in high school, did a Spanish foreign exchange stint, GS Gold Award, other non-academic things that they seemed more impressed with anyways. I really don't think you'd be impeding her learning or hurting her chances at admission by passing this up.
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cobalt1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thanks for the great reply
Good thoughts that spelled out what I was vaguely thinking.
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zazen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
5. this will my daughter's second year at TIP Duke East, and we have full scholarship : - )
Have you applied for financial aid? We got a large scholarship last year and a full one this year because I can't find any work (the one silver lining.)

I thought it was great--she was at the Center for Summer Studies (SAT 1200 and up, I think), and, going for the first time the summer before beginning a very difficult charter high school REALLY changed my daughter's life. She felt so "normal" for the first time. I think what surprised her (if we remember how awful being smart in a traditional school environment was) was how smart, creative, culturally literate, "appearance-maintaining," and funny everyone was. She had expected stereotypical "nerds," and she finally saw that you can go full blast being an intellectual and still want to be attractive (to whatever sex you're into), social, entertaining, etc. And her "RAG" knew all of the Broadway songs she had grown up singing around the house but her friends at school never knew, so they'd sing those late into the evenings. They even had "cross-dressing" Wednesday, when all the guys went to class in drag. It was very gender-bending, which I hadn't expected, but was fine. They still all chat everyday on Facebook (what a weird phenomenon), which I love, because it gives her a peer group of really funky, witty, motivated kids who are all committed to going to college and succeeding academically. She's been counting down the days since she went last summer. It was definitely worth it.

Oh--another large benefit. She's my eldest, and it was the first time, not having her around for three weeks where once she was there for a week she really didn't want to come back (!), that it truly dawned on me that I only had four years left with her and I better damned well appreciate it and get whatever messages across I could in the time remaining, because it's very, very short. I sometimes wonder if Duke TIP isn't as much for the parents!

If had made my old income, I'd pay the $3,000, but then, I only have to drive 20 minutes from Cary to take her to Duke. If you're looking at a plane flight, I don't know. Most full-day educational camps are around $400/week, and this is residential, with food, special activities, etc., for three weeks, so I think it's not too exhorbitant (compared to summer programs at Harvard, which offer no scholarships, sadly.)

And, I don't know about the "Academy for Summer Studies," which had less rigorous entrance requirements. That might not be as challenging. But the Center for Summer Studies at Duke East was kick-ass, for everybody involved. But don't do the computational science institute in Durham (through Shodor). E-mail me if you want to know why.

Best of luck deciding. . . and if your child went to Duke East last Summer I, let me know.


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cobalt1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. No scholarship :(
Last summer she was in the "Academy for Summer Studies" enrolled in geology at Appalachian State and had a blast. She also didn't want to come home when it was over.

This summer she will be in the "Center for Summer Studies" at Davidson.

I hadn't really thought of the benefits of "she finally saw that you can go full blast being an intellectual and still want to be attractive (to whatever sex you're into), social, entertaining, etc.". That alone might be worth it. I was only thinking about retention of material, boost in college admissions, and prep for being on her own as the only benefits. You've got me rethinking back to letting her go.

Luckily it's not an afford-ability issue for us, it's just a matter of choosing to spend it or not, based on what she will get from the classes.

Thanks, I asked this forum because I knew there were a number of intelligent people here!

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MedleyMisty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
7. I went every summer from 8th grade on
Edited on Fri Mar-20-09 11:17 AM by MedleyMisty
It was great.

I got full scholarships every year.

I failed out of college after one semester, so no academic value there for me. I also completely failed the next semester at community college. It wasn't an academic problem - I just didn't go to class. So that can't really be generalized.

It also didn't improve my grades at home, because it's hard to improve on As. Really I'm not sure how it could have improved my grades at home - doing pretty easy but more interesting stuff during the summer doesn't really relate to doing ridiculously easy stuff at home that's years behind what you did in the summer.

But I loved going there and every year was worth it. I made friends and had fun and went to interesting classes and it really helped my self-esteem. It was part of what made me who I am today, and since today I have a great life and good self-esteem I'm grateful for anything that helped me become me.

I went to Davidson my first year, Duke East the next two years, and Duke West for the six week PreCollege program the last year.

Oh, and it actually has had a huge effect on my life - I got my current job because of it. I put it on my resume and the son of the owner of the company had gone to TIP too, and I really think that's why I got hired.

Zazen - omg, Wear A Skirt Wednesday is still around?! I remember painting my male friend's fingernails green for him one Wednesday to match his dress. :) Do they still play a lot of Egyptian Rat Slap and - oh, what was the name of the random game we'd play outside? I think it started with a W? Wink, maybe?

Sigh, we didn't have Facebook when I went and I've lost touch with everyone.

Oh - I checked out a book of short stories from the library a while ago and thought that the name sounded sort of familiar. A few months later I realized I'd gone to TIP with the author. Sigh.
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cobalt1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Thanks for input from an alumnus of the program.
You and the other poster highlighting the self-esteem aspects and the contacts she'll have, have swayed me into letting her go.

Thanks.
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