A degree from Harvard, the oldest university in the United States, can open doors. But can a summer program run through the university perform the same for high school students who may want to get into Harvard? According to Mary Camille Izlar, writing for Bloomberg, it’ll cost people who want to try a lot more than $10,000 for seven weeks.
Harvard isn’t alone in offering this type of high-priced summer program. They’ve become big business across the nation, and although schools don’t make any guarantees by what attending one can do for participants’ possibility of admission, critics state that the programs knowingly traffic in these kinds of expectations — and also at the same time lock out low-income students who can’t afford to take advantage of them.
\”A large amount of these programs really victimize the anxiety of parents about getting kids into selective colleges,\” said Elizabeth Morgan, director of external relations at the?National College Access Network?in?Washington. \”It\’s a revenue strategy. It\’s available to those who are able to afford it.\”
Filling the dorms for that summer is a common method for colleges to earn money, said Jamie Merisotis, president from the Lumina Foundation, a company that works to expand student access to higher education.
\”Colleges and universities are facing lots of budget pressure, and lots of of these programs draw $5,000, $7,000 or $10,000 per student in some weeks,\” Merisotis said. \”That\’s pretty good money in the perspective of the universities.\”
In addition to Harvard, summer programs are actually offered at schools like Stanford, Duke C which doesn’t offer educational funding for the 4-week stretch C and Columbia University, that amounted to nearly $7,800 for three weeks, making Harvard appear to be a bargain in contrast.
Those who run the programs spend lots of their time tamping down expectations. As Kristine Billmyer, who\’s the dean of training in Columbia, explains, parents shouldn’t be sending their children to the program if the only reason they are doing so is to enhance their kids’ likelihood of getting in. However, Billmyer did say that a quarter from the attendees do wind up enrolling in the university in some way.
\”If you need to borrow to attend one of these programs, you should think twice about doing it,\” Kantrowitz said. Parents seeking to familiarize students with college life would derive exactly the same benefit from \”taking the campus tour.\”
Some high school counselors the good use of summertime could be worth the cost. Lisa Sohmer, college counselor in the Garden School in Ny, said her students have mostly enjoyed the Columbia program, among others. It provides students by having an opportunity to learn material past the scope of senior high school offerings while living in dorms and experiencing a new place.