As it’s now summertime, the floodgates of criticism about Ivy Coach’s position on summer university enrichment programs have opened. And you know how we feel about that? Let it flow, baby! If you’re not familiar with our unapologetic position on summer college enrichment programs, we think they are more likely to hurt — rather than help — your case for admission to a highly selective college. We think they are an utter waste of money. We think that a student’s attendance at such a program reinforces to highly selective college admissions officers that mommy and daddy have a lot of money to spend on keeping their child occupied during the summer months. We think they show a lack of initiative. We think they are — more or less – sleepaway camps. And sleepaway camps do not belong on college applications to highly selective colleges.
In the years since we’ve gone public with our statement on these such college enrichment programs, we have received a lot of criticism. Such criticism has included statements like this: “My kid had such an incredible time at one of these summer programs. He learned so much and came back with a more clear understanding of what he wanted to study in college.” Or “I had the best summer of my life at one of these programs. How can you say that they’re no different than sleepaway camps?” Or here’s what a private college counselor recently wrote in the Comments section of one of our blogs (please excuse this counselor’s English — and it’s probably best not to go to this counselor for help with your college essays in light of this command of the English language): “I understand why the writer and I know where this point of view came. Because there are many universities now holding Summer College Enrichment Programs, but the truth, there is no educational out the path of their programs. But as students who was experiencing this kind of program hoping that the next generations are getting the exact meaning of Summer College Enrichment Programs, so students will be competitive students after they’re graduated.”
As for the first question, that’s great that your kid had an incredible time. One’s youth should be filled with incredible experiences for sure! But we’re certain he could have had an incredible experience without you having to have spent over $10,000 for no reason other than to make you feel like you were giving your kid a leg up in the admissions process. In actuality, you weren’t. With respect to the program giving your kid a more clear understanding of what he wanted to study, he could have read books or done research and come away with the same thing. For free. As for the second question, again, glad you had a great time. They’re sleepaway camps. Plain and simple. As for the third question, we have absolutely no clue the point the Commenter is trying to make. Sorry.
Oh and if your kid got a partial scholarship to one of these summer enrichment programs, that doesn’t mean your kid is the best thing since the invention of the iPhone. And it doesn’t mean attending the program is any more worth it.
While you’re here, watch Ivy Coach’s Founder, Bev Taylor, discuss summer university enrichment programs on “The Huffington Post Live”: