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SIG online course - whoa, are they kidding?


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What's with the ads?

#1 calbear

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:11 AM

So, since I am on social media, the algorithm drives certain "ads" to my FB feed. I just saw one pop up for SIG's online course offerings. Are they kidding? $400 for 8 week course. It looks like a self-paced one at that. That and MCT's course pricing seems way out of whack.

 

 



#2 SanDiegoMom in VA

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:49 AM

The Bravewriter MLA Research Essay class is $400 for six weeks.  I know they are supposed to be very good, with a ton of indivdualized feedback, but there's just no way that would ever be in our budget.  Especially if one wanted to use Bravewriter classes all year -- that would be around $2400 for one subject! Yikes. But if we had one kid instead of three, and that kid's extracurriculars weren't quite the money drain that they are...then maybe...


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#3 nansk

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 08:07 AM

So, since I am on social media, the algorithm drives certain "ads" to my FB feed. I just saw one pop up for SIG's online course offerings. Are they kidding? $400 for 8 week course. It looks like a self-paced one at that. That and MCT's course pricing seems way out of whack.

What is SIG?



#4 dmmetler

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:19 AM

I've wondered who the market is for some of the classes. All I can think is that maybe schools are paying for their students, as opposed to parents? Even full-pay, it is cheaper for DD to do DE than many of the online offerings. I can see it a little more for some of the summer programs because in that case, you're paying for the social experience of being in a cohort of similar kids. We've done so for several years because it makes such a difference in DD to have that time where she feels "normal". But the cost is that we also haven't done any other true family vacation in those years.
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#5 quark

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:04 AM

What is SIG?


Summer Institute for the Gifted.

I would not pay that even for one kid. We paid less than $2000 a year for about 8-10 CC classes from the time kiddo started dual enrollment. It really is ridiculously expensive to use those classes labelled "gifted" and not be able to tweak them for the needs of your particular child.
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#6 PinkyandtheBrains.

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:06 AM


I always check if they have scholarships or financial aid for these kinds of things. Often there is something, it just isn't advertised.

#7 Garga

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:14 AM

I figure it's for the rich homeschoolers. :). There was a thread a few months ago about people's income here on the boards. More homeschoolers than I'd have thought made some pretty amazing money, even accounting for high cost of living areas.

So, there are some nice off homeschoolers who can afford those prices. Maybe not easily, but they can do it.

I could do it if if was the only class I outsourced for one child if I felt it would be super beneficial. But for more than one kid and/or more than one class and only 2 months? Then I would skip it. I would (and do) spend $400 to $600 for year-long classes, but only if I think the class provides something that is impossible or very difficult for me to provide on my own.

#8 [email protected]

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 11:34 PM

I feel the same way. I hate that "gifted" is only for those children whose parents are financially well off. Guess my kid just doesn't make the cut. Sad but true. 


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#9 Arcadia

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 11:45 PM

So, there are some nice off homeschoolers who can afford those prices. Maybe not easily, but they can do it.


My kids Chinese tutor charge me $50/hr for one child, $60/hr to teach both together at the library's study room. So $400 would pay for 8 weeks of once a week tuition for one child ($480 for both kids), cheaper than $800 for two kids. My area is HCOL and we are middle income but our annual household income is lower than our area's median income.

#10 nansk

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 06:59 AM

I've wondered who the market is for some of the classes. All I can think is that maybe schools are paying for their students, as opposed to parents? 

I believe some states give homeschoolers money that they can use to buy books or pay for online classes. 



#11 bmninada

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 08:06 AM

Today my son goes to public school but I take private tuition for my son in Maths - which is $2100 yearly covering beast academy as text books along with online tutoring in Creative Writing/Language Arts at $25/hr, usually 6 hrs. per month using the M.Clay program.



#12 bmninada

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 08:17 AM

Actually, I beg humbly to disagree. My son took the online program this summer - Moon Investing. He loved it tremendously. First of all its like a classroom setting and he actually gets to participate with discussions with other students, his age group (+/- 2). I have seen heated discussions, agreements, changes being done. Quite like my work atmosphere and essentially I see a HUGE value in team building, leadership, debate/argumentative skills, etc.

Next, teach BA/Saxon/Singapore/etc. as much as I want but 1 thing I strongly, strongly look for is practical applications. They did just that coupled with strong STEM program specifics my son found it really useful. His presentation in school was extremely well appreciated and is still posted in the gallery.

Now they are offering a course "Factoring Fractions" and since we are old customers I got quite some details and my son is currently able to actually APPLY the fraction knowledge he learnt. Every other day he goes "OH! I now know how to use fractions...." , etc., etc. I was shocked when yesterday he explained to his friend using fractions and applying it to something in the Harry Porter series. 


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#13 ItsAllAboutKids

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 11:17 AM

Actually, I beg humbly to disagree. My son took the online program this summer - Moon Investing. He loved it tremendously. First of all its like a classroom setting and he actually gets to participate with discussions with other students, his age group (+/- 2). I have seen heated discussions, agreements, changes being done. Quite like my work atmosphere and essentially I see a HUGE value in team building, leadership, debate/argumentative skills, etc.

Next, teach BA/Saxon/Singapore/etc. as much as I want but 1 thing I strongly, strongly look for is practical applications. They did just that coupled with strong STEM program specifics my son found it really useful. His presentation in school was extremely well appreciated and is still posted in the gallery.

Now they are offering a course "Factoring Fractions" and since we are old customers I got quite some details and my son is currently able to actually APPLY the fraction knowledge he learnt. Every other day he goes "OH! I now know how to use fractions...." , etc., etc. I was shocked when yesterday he explained to his friend using fractions and applying it to something in the Harry Porter series. 

 May i know how old your child is. I have plans to do some private tutoring for my DD. She just started first grade. Do you have any suggestions.

 

Thanks!



#14 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 11:51 AM

Actively teaching your children yourself at home, especially at those ages, can absolutely produce the same (or superior ;) ) results. It does not take expensive outsourcing to private tutors in elementary school to develop those skills in children. It requires knowing how to interact in open-ended discussion and how to utilize resources appropriately.

If you have money to spend on something like that, go for it.
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#15 regentrude

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 12:19 PM

I can see value of a class if it gives the child the desperately yearned for sense of community. Many gifted children feel very isolated because they have no same age peers. I agree with 8FillTheHeart that one can achieve great academic results at home, but some kids crave fellowship with other children. The need to experience that there are other kids who tick like they do, who do not find their pursuits weird, who do not mock or bully them. For gifted children who cannot access such communities IRL, online communities may be very important. 

ETA: Not all gifted kids long for this. Some are just fine in their solitary work. But for some kids, the loneliness and inability of any other kids to relate to them can be depressing. Sometimes you just want to feel that you're normal and not a freak.


Edited by regentrude, 18 September 2017 - 12:21 PM.

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#16 ItsAllAboutKids

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 02:00 PM

I am sorry for the confusion. I meant (private tutoring)self tutoring at home after school. Looking for suggestions on which math course to pick. There is overwhelming information regarding the same...Singapore Math, Beast Academy...etc



#17 dmmetler

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 04:24 PM

I can see value of a class if it gives the child the desperately yearned for sense of community. Many gifted children feel very isolated because they have no same age peers. I agree with 8FillTheHeart that one can achieve great academic results at home, but some kids crave fellowship with other children. The need to experience that there are other kids who tick like they do, who do not find their pursuits weird, who do not mock or bully them. For gifted children who cannot access such communities IRL, online communities may be very important.
ETA: Not all gifted kids long for this. Some are just fine in their solitary work. But for some kids, the loneliness and inability of any other kids to relate to them can be depressing. Sometimes you just want to feel that you're normal and not a freak.


And for my DD, this was the case (and one reason why she started college classes so early was that she desperately needed a community, even if it wasn't the best fit-and college was closer than middle or high school for her). But there's a REALLY wide price difference between gifted providers, both for online classes and for summer programs. And from what we've found, the cheaper ones often are just as good at providing that social community as the more expensive ones. For example, the difference between Belin-Blank's summer programs and CTY's for kids with the same level of ACT scores is dramatic.
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#18 arliemaria

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 05:03 PM

And for my DD, this was the case (and one reason why she started college classes so early was that she desperately needed a community, even if it wasn't the best fit-and college was closer than middle or high school for her). But there's a REALLY wide price difference between gifted providers, both for online classes and for summer programs. And from what we've found, the cheaper ones often are just as good at providing that social community as the more expensive ones. For example, the difference between Belin-Blank's summer programs and CTY's for kids with the same level of ACT scores is dramatic.

 

Could you please elaborate? I doubt we'd be able to do any CTY summer programs just because we live in St. Louis, but Belin-Blank is in Iowa which is a lot closer than many other options.



#19 dmmetler

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 05:55 PM

Just go to their website-you can see last summer's offerings. I think residential starts at 7th grade and goes through high school. Some are limited to Iowa residents, but most are not. We haven't done any yet because DD wanted to go back to the one she's done, but may next summer since she aged out of the one she's been doing.
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#20 SeaConquest

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 10:10 PM

We are spending a lot this year on outsourcing because 1) Sacha likes the community aspect of learning with other kids and 2) since I am in school nearly full-time now, I don't have the time that I once did to do the kind of teaching that I think he deserves.

 

So, we have outsourced French to Language City Academy, Latin to Lively Latin Online (this one is actually free to us through our charter school since the author teaches there), math to AoPS Academy/Beast Academy Online (the biggest ding to our budget, but totally worth it), and Literature and Chemistry to Athena's. It's the most we have ever spent on school, but still at least 25k less than a private school in our area. We are most definitely not rich (we've chosen to forego saving for retirement and vacations in favor of education) and I don't think any of this is necessary to give an accelerated kid a rich homeschooling experience.  

 

In all likelihood, we will eventually switch charter schools to get more $$$$ for outsourcing (once Sacha outgrows the weekly onsite enrichment classes, which he still adores), We could be getting 3k per year in funding for outsourcing with another charter (versus the $1000 we currently get), so yes, I do think that the price of some of these classes has been driven, in part, by the charter school funding arms race that we see here in California.

 

ETA: I haven't yet met another homeschooled kid at either AoPS Academy or CTY summer camp. This demographic is most definitely the wealthier, highly educated, Tiger mom crowd (with quality public or private school kids). 


Edited by SeaConquest, 21 September 2017 - 10:16 PM.


#21 Where's Toto?

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 09:40 AM

My son did a G/T program at the local state university for a few years.  It was $1500 for a three week summer program of 1/2 days.   We thought he needed the exposure to kids "like him" and some classes that we couldn't provide.   We stopped because it wasn't worth it after the first couple years.  Not sure it was worth it even then, but he did get a lot out of it and it was good experience for him.  I think at this point, we'll go right to the CC if he wants to take outside classes.  Even at full price it would be cheaper.

 

 

One, ds doesn't really care that much about being around similar kids.  He's 2E so he didn't have a ton in common with some of the kids anyway, but he's a very strong introvert and being in class 5 days a week, even just 1/2 days, even just for 3 weeks, was pretty hard on him.   He actually wants to do as much of college as he can online.  He does enjoy our 4-H STEM club - lots of quirky kids who like STEM, many gifted, and it's only twice a month.

 

Two, they changed how they were set up so all the kids in a certain age group had one assigned course that all took, then could pick two additional selections (for the 1/2 days).  Ds has pretty specific interests and the last summer he went, we registered very early so he could get the classes he wanted.  They ended up moving one of his selections to the afternoon only, so as a 1/2 day student he couldn't take it, and he ended up in his 3rd or 4th choice class because of the timing when they did it.

 

Three, they put 7th through 12th graders together and the class selections were a lot of stuff ds has no interest in.  SAT prep (we're not looking for him to take it quite yet), accounting (no interest), stock market.  Ds's interests run to programming, robotics, building.

 

Four, some of the classes he did take were things that we are doing in our 4-H Club.   

 

 



#22 bmninada

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 10:50 PM

Actively teaching your children yourself at home, especially at those ages, can absolutely produce the same (or superior ;) ) results. It does not take expensive outsourcing to private tutors in elementary school to develop those skills in children. It requires knowing how to interact in open-ended discussion and how to utilize resources appropriately.

If you have money to spend on something like that, go for it.

 

I come from a long line of professors and teachers. I have taught myself - others and my son. I have realized few things and realized it rather harshly:

 

When an adult and the person starts to work - in a business, a corporate, Govt, no one gives a penny as to how good I was or my son was in school and whether he could do Geometry in grade 5. What matters is if he can hold his own when discussing a point, arguing a point, driving home a point or plain vanilla - joking around. All of which starts from being social and learning within a social infrastructure. Now, I may be able to teach all of that (Maths/Science/Language Arts) EASILY but at the end I won't be able to teach him how to get up after being hazed or bullied and then based on the situation - react. 

Then, I want him to see what others in his age group are thinking/doing/reacting. These are life values which I believe the earlier I expose - the better. 

Its not that I have disposable $ to spend. I gave birth to my child and now I have to do what I have to do and for me, giving him a solid education where if required I'll eat once a day - so be it. That's how my father did and my grand father before him. 

By no way I am trying to criticize you or your comments. Please don't get me wrong - but I thought here - I ought to give my perspective as to why I put my son in the training program costing me $$.  


Edited by bmninada, 16 October 2017 - 10:51 PM.


#23 bmninada

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 10:54 PM

My son did a G/T program at the local state university for a few years.  It was $1500 for a three week summer program of 1/2 days.   We thought he needed the exposure to kids "like him" and some classes that we couldn't provide.   We stopped because it wasn't worth it after the first couple years.  Not sure it was worth it even then, but he did get a lot out of it and it was good experience for him.  I think at this point, we'll go right to the CC if he wants to take outside classes.  Even at full price it would be cheaper.

 

 

One, ds doesn't really care that much about being around similar kids.  He's 2E so he didn't have a ton in common with some of the kids anyway, but he's a very strong introvert and being in class 5 days a week, even just 1/2 days, even just for 3 weeks, was pretty hard on him.   He actually wants to do as much of college as he can online.  He does enjoy our 4-H STEM club - lots of quirky kids who like STEM, many gifted, and it's only twice a month.

 

Two, they changed how they were set up so all the kids in a certain age group had one assigned course that all took, then could pick two additional selections (for the 1/2 days).  Ds has pretty specific interests and the last summer he went, we registered very early so he could get the classes he wanted.  They ended up moving one of his selections to the afternoon only, so as a 1/2 day student he couldn't take it, and he ended up in his 3rd or 4th choice class because of the timing when they did it.

 

Three, they put 7th through 12th graders together and the class selections were a lot of stuff ds has no interest in.  SAT prep (we're not looking for him to take it quite yet), accounting (no interest), stock market.  Ds's interests run to programming, robotics, building.

 

Four, some of the classes he did take were things that we are doing in our 4-H Club.   

 

There's a different angle to these boot-camps. I know for a fact that certain Ivy league give preferential acceptance to those kids who consistently did summer intensives in their campus. There's a whole market here where its anywhere from $4000 to $8000 per summer and arranged by various "tutors" / "agents" for the sole purpose of getting into 1 of these institutions. 



#24 daijobu

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 11:43 PM

 Now, I may be able to teach all of that (Maths/Science/Language Arts) EASILY but at the end I won't be able to teach him how to get up after being hazed or bullied and then based on the situation - react. 

Then, I want him to see what others in his age group are thinking/doing/reacting. These are life values which I believe the earlier I expose - the better. 

 

 

 

If you are looking for resources about social interactions and dealing with bullies, I can recommend The Unwritten Rules of Friendship.  It has a really interesting take on how friendly teasing by peers who actually are looking to develop a closer friendship can be misinterpreted as bullying.  And it gives strategies for avoiding being the target of bullies and what one needs to do to cultivate new friendships.  

 

It is most applicable to kids in regular school, so I didn't make much use of it myself, but I still thought it was fascinating.  


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#25 daijobu

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 12:14 AM

 

ETA: Not all gifted kids long for this. Some are just fine in their solitary work. But for some kids, the loneliness and inability of any other kids to relate to them can be depressing. Sometimes you just want to feel that you're normal and not a freak.

 

My dd16 is an example of this.  She is fine with having her social life separate from her academic life.  She has friends she can go to Zumba or the movies or the mall with.  These are homeschooled students who are a a few years behind her academically.  

 

She takes asynchronous classes specifically because she prefers to study at her own pace without having to deal with students trying to earn participation points, leaving her waiting for everyone else to have their say in class.   (She was just telling me how grateful she is to not have to take classes with other students, lol.  And this is my social daughter.)

 

And unexpectedly, in high school, she is expanding her friendships to more academically talented students due to her involvement in some activities and competitions.  She seems to know and communicate with every gifted and talented high school girl in all the local schools.   


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#26 Crimson Wife

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Posted Yesterday, 11:36 PM

There's a different angle to these boot-camps. I know for a fact that certain Ivy league give preferential acceptance to those kids who consistently did summer intensives in their campus. There's a whole market here where its anywhere from $4000 to $8000 per summer and arranged by various "tutors" / "agents" for the sole purpose of getting into 1 of these institutions.


Sorry, but nope. My cousin did an expensive summer program at Harvard his junior year in college high school and neither he nor any of the friends he made there wound up getting in to Harvard. My uncle came away from the experience feeling like it was a bit of a racket preying upon parents willing to spend big bucks in the hopes of gaining an advantage that didn’t actually happen


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Edited by Crimson Wife, Today, 09:26 AM.

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#27 okbud

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Posted Today, 07:01 AM

My kids Chinese tutor charge me $50/hr for one child, $60/hr to teach both together at the library's study room. So $400 would pay for 8 weeks of once a week tuition for one child ($480 for both kids), cheaper than $800 for two kids. My area is HCOL and we are middle income but our annual household income is lower than our area's median income.


That's got to be the world record best sibling discount!

#28 okbud

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Posted Today, 07:15 AM

I come from a long line of professors and teachers. I have taught myself - others and my son. I have realized few things and realized it rather harshly:

When an adult and the person starts to work - in a business, a corporate, Govt, no one gives a penny as to how good I was or my son was in school and whether he could do Geometry in grade 5. What matters is if he can hold his own when discussing a point, arguing a point, driving home a point or plain vanilla - joking around. All of which starts from being social and learning within a social infrastructure. Now, I may be able to teach all of that (Maths/Science/Language Arts) EASILY but at the end I won't be able to teach him how to get up after being hazed or bullied and then based on the situation - react.
Then, I want him to see what others in his age group are thinking/doing/reacting. These are life values which I believe the earlier I expose - the better.
Its not that I have disposable $ to spend. I gave birth to my child and now I have to do what I have to do and for me, giving him a solid education where if required I'll eat once a day - so be it. That's how my father did and my grand father before him.
By no way I am trying to criticize you or your comments. Please don't get me wrong - but I thought here - I ought to give my perspective as to why I put my son in the training program costing me $$.

You don't need to justify how you spend your money.

Are you skipping meals so that your kids can have a sense of community? Are you saying your father was chronically undernourished because he spent his money on your education? While being a professor or teacher? Is he ok?

Whatever any particular person decides to do, it's obtuse to fail to realize that the cost of these programs absolutely keep them out of many peoples reach. Lots of people already running things as tight as possible. Plus, I've got one gifted kid and one regular kid (and a baby)... If dh and I were to do something like literally go hungry to provide highly specific opportunities for just the one child while the others do without and then some, we'd be failing at a more important family value. ... And that's just one example about why people can't swing those prices which the OP correctly labeled as being out of whack.

No body is saying people who can and want to take these classes, shouldn't.

But there's a worthy series of discussions to be had about how they are out of reach for many/most, and how that effects the larger community of gifted kids in general. Lack of class diversity for kids is a problem right alongside the dearth of affordable options for "thinking style" peers to get together and be brainy together.

Edited by okbud, Today, 07:16 AM.

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#29 dmmetler

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Posted Today, 11:25 AM

And even lower cost programs often are difficult to access, unless you live in just the right place. Honestly, many of the physical classes/camps have free tuition for low income kids-but if you have to travel to get there, free tuition doesn't help much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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