Stanford Summer College Program- Not worth it & College

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leniorose
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17 Nov 2014, 9:25 pm

Ok, so first off, tuition is a lot. to the tune of $13,000.

Added onto this, I'm not sure how challenging their supposedly "rigorous, taught-by-professionals-dedicated-to-learning" courses actually are. I'm in an Early College now, and taking undergraduate courses. What they offer doesn't seem any more challenging than the undergrad work at my local university.

It's starting to become clear that these summer programs are more interested in your money, not your ability.

This is extremely frustrating, especially because, even in college, I feel bored almost all the time. Nothing my university offers is challenging. Same for my high school.

My mother is in a Master's program, and the work for that doesn't seem challenging. My uncle just finished his Doctorate. I've read his dissertation and all of his text books. Nothing challenging there, either.

The university I attend is mostly using me and students like me to regain it's credit- it lost part of it's accreditation recently, and has only just got it back. None of the universities in my state have very high acceptance requirements. Out of state has better options, but despite my grades and test scores, they don't seem interested in me. I can't afford it without financial aid or scholarships and they aren't exactly beating a path to my door to give me offers. My high school isn't helping much on that front.

Basically, I feel like I've been short-changed in academics. It's like I'll be cheated out of a college experience and a challenge no matter what school I apply to.
Any advice?



Meistersinger
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17 Nov 2014, 10:10 pm

leniorose wrote:
Ok, so first off, tuition is a lot. to the tune of $13,000.

Added onto this, I'm not sure how challenging their supposedly "rigorous, taught-by-professionals-dedicated-to-learning" courses actually are. I'm in an Early College now, and taking undergraduate courses. What they offer doesn't seem any more challenging than the undergrad work at my local university.

It's starting to become clear that these summer programs are more interested in your money, not your ability.

This is extremely frustrating, especially because, even in college, I feel bored almost all the time. Nothing my university offers is challenging. Same for my high school.

My mother is in a Master's program, and the work for that doesn't seem challenging. My uncle just finished his Doctorate. I've read his dissertation and all of his text books. Nothing challenging there, either.

The university I attend is mostly using me and students like me to regain it's credit- it lost part of it's accreditation recently, and has only just got it back. None of the universities in my state have very high acceptance requirements. Out of state has better options, but despite my grades and test scores, they don't seem interested in me. I can't afford it without financial aid or scholarships and they aren't exactly beating a path to my door to give me offers. My high school isn't helping much on that front.

Basically, I feel like I've been short-changed in academics. It's like I'll be cheated out of a college experience and a challenge no matter what school I apply to.
Any advice?


Unfortunately, this is the state of American Education in general nowadays. It's been that way since the 1960's. Educators nowadays only want students to regurgitate the pablum they feed students. The state of American Education is now worse than the educational system in Soviet-era Russia and the former Communist bloc countries.

Unfortunately, it's going to get worse. The so-called Common Core curriculum that the state governors are forcing educators to incorporate is so-watered down that the French education system, on which Common Core is based upon, would be preferable to this sh!t filled standard. I'm beginning to think that the late singer-songwriter Harry Chapin was right.


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timtowdi
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17 Nov 2014, 11:43 pm

$13K is insane.

What you need to understand is that most professors aren't blazing intellects. They're professors. It's a job that involves a tremendous amount of go-along-get-along. They were very good at going to school, they didn't burn the place down with their talent. At a place like Stanford, if they really want to be hotshots, they're competing with some of the planet's biggest assholes for the campus political power to do the work they're interested in. Meaning that if they've actually scored, they devote a whole lot of time to assholery, and not so much time to the actual work, which is probably a lot of showboating without really the integrity and force of their early work -- it's just a lot better than most.

Also understand that at research universities they don't really care about undergrads and they aren't rewarded for teaching. Everything's about the research. You're there to provide their reason for being and to justify TA salary lines. (Somebody has to teach you, after all.)

If you're that bright you're going to have to do it -- learn -- largely on your own. It'll be easiest, in some ways, to do it within a university context, because then you can go descend on people and win the status that makes people leave you alone sometime so you can be a research hotshot. But...yeah, that's all. Get used to doing it yourself, just be careful not to become a crank along the way.



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18 Nov 2014, 1:41 am

Hello.

Have you been admitted to the program? or are you just looking into it and you're thinking about applying?

$13k is a lot for a summer program. Are they offering scholarships/financial aid to help offset the cost? While I'm not familiar with the program itself, I can suggest some pros as to why you should apply/strongly consider it. A big part of life is about networking, and immersing yourself in this environment and taking advantage of the resources (professors, research opportunities, etc) offered to you can help you in the long run. The college name by itself already has a reputation...everyone recognizes it and knows it's prestigious, so it can help you get your foot in the door. Putting this experience on your resume/CV can help separate you from others in the future when you apply for grad school or jobs.

Honestly, as I said to someone in the past, college is what you make of it. If you want to be challenged, then it's up to you to put in the effort and go seek out the resources. At a school like Stanford, you're going to be with bright students and renowned professors. Granted, some of the material in class may be boring for you, but if you are willing to take the time to go to your professors' office hours, and discuss topics that may/may not be relevant to their research and that go beyond the classroom material, then I'm sure you're going to have a worthwhile experience.

Do you have an idea of what career you want to go into?



leniorose
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04 Dec 2014, 11:04 pm

Beau wrote:
Hello.

Have you been admitted to the program? or are you just looking into it and you're thinking about applying?

$13k is a lot for a summer program. Are they offering scholarships/financial aid to help offset the cost? While I'm not familiar with the program itself, I can suggest some pros as to why you should apply/strongly consider it. A big part of life is about networking, and immersing yourself in this environment and taking advantage of the resources (professors, research opportunities, etc) offered to you can help you in the long run. The college name by itself already has a reputation...everyone recognizes it and knows it's prestigious, so it can help you get your foot in the door. Putting this experience on your resume/CV can help separate you from others in the future when you apply for grad school or jobs.

Honestly, as I said to someone in the past, college is what you make of it. If you want to be challenged, then it's up to you to put in the effort and go seek out the resources. At a school like Stanford, you're going to be with bright students and renowned professors. Granted, some of the material in class may be boring for you, but if you are willing to take the time to go to your professors' office hours, and discuss topics that may/may not be relevant to their research and that go beyond the classroom material, then I'm sure you're going to have a worthwhile experience.

Do you have an idea of what career you want to go into?


I was thinking about applying before I did research into what they offered and on what their financial aid actually was.

I have reached out to professors to discuss topics and most are fairly supportive. The head of the chemistry department seems to want me to be in his program.

My uncle was a professor (he moved and is looking for a job now) and I've been talking to him. He said that I could probably get a job now for the Experimental Physics department at his old university for the summer, and that he would call and set it up. I would mostly be working as a researcher and doing some low-level engineering- designing parts for lasers, satellite dishes and things like that.

I'm debating between Engineering and Experimental Physics for a career.



btbnnyr
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30 Jan 2015, 7:43 pm

I think these programs are not worth it, they seem like money making schemes.
During summer, it is more worth it to take classes at local public university and try to do some projects on your own or get into research program, if you are interested in research.


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18 May 2015, 5:40 pm

Meistersinger wrote:
...The so-called Common Core curriculum that the state governors are forcing educators to incorporate is so-watered down that the French education system, on which Common Core is based upon, would be preferable to this sh!t filled standard....

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leniorose
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11 Jun 2015, 10:42 pm

I actually forgot I had posted this.

Good news: the research opportunity with my uncle is off the ground now.

As a general update, i just learned that I can skip over all but my last semester of undergraduate school.

Common Core sucks at my school- no one can teach math. We've literally been covering the same thing since freshman year. There have been days in Math class where I just want to scream.

I'm not especially familiar with the French education system, but if it's better than Common Core, I'll take it.

I've decided on which school I want to go to, it's even in-state, so low tuition.

Right now, my biggest concern is that I'll go through school not challenged at all, and then get into a doctorate program and find myself facing challenges I don't know how to deal with.