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Why is CTY SOOO expensive?


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#1 brownie

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:42 PM

It's baffling. Does anyone have experience with them and want to offer perspective? We could dual enroll (a high school student) at a major local university with a live teacher on campus for the kind of prices they are charging. AOPS provides a live teacher for less than half the cost of their self-paced courses. I just don't get it.  Are they that special? 

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#2 gstharr

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:50 PM

My 7th grader has been with CTY since the 2nd grade. We started off with the on-line classes.  Then find out that nearly all the classes can be purchased from directly from the vendor (Thinkwell/math; Pluto/science).  What CTY what does offer is credibility and certification.  If you don't need that, no sense paying for it. BTW, we only do the summer programs now.  The summer programs are great.



#3 EKS

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:10 PM

If they offered high school credit (for their high school courses) then I'd be willing to pay, but they don't even do that.



#4 Arcadia

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:15 PM

Which course are you looking at? My oldest is doing self paced Linear Algebra with them and I did not find it much more expensive than AoPS classes that he has taken. It’s expensive but not much more if you pay for 3 months.

The advantage for my DS13 is that

(1) he wanted to take a class in which he is weak at and does not want a permanent grade. If he has taken Linear Algebra as a dual enrollment class, he would have probably withdrawn if he didn’t feel confident of an A+ grade.

(2) it is self paced while AoPS does not have a self paced option. My DS13 has done more on days he is free and less on days he has labs to complete for his physics and chemistry. Start and end date are chosen by the child so my son started the self paced course when he had too much time on his hands and wanted another math class. He is hoping to finish in 3 months but is likely to finish in just over 3 months but hard to estimate as next week is winter break and he might just double up. I am okay with paying for 4 months. He can email his teacher anytime he wants to and then they schedule an online meeting time to discuss. The teacher’s response time is fast. My kid is not the kind that works ahead so he stuck to the AoPS class schedule. Since the CTY class is self paced, he just did it at his own pace which ends up being faster for topics he is good at and slower for those he is unfamiliar with.

ETA:
My DS13 also benefitted from the CTY Chinese course but that one is not self paced and it’s too expensive for us to pay for two kids long term compared to paying a local tutor to teach both kids for the same number of hours.

Edited by Arcadia, 14 February 2018 - 02:26 PM.


#5 madteaparty

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:18 PM

For the language classes, they are heavy touch, so I do not regret that $$. So if your language is not offered elsewhere, and your kids goes to school and you want a night class from a reputable vendor, it's not irrational. Plus like many things in business, they charge because they can. There is a demographic they cater to. Also, despite the multitude of online services, it is harder than one would think to find a decent tutor/teacher for languages. I am finally happy with our arrangements, but it took several tries (and in one case I was extremely lucky).



#6 brownie

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:24 PM

How did you figure out who the vendor is gstharr?

 



#7 RoundAbout

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:48 PM

My DS is doing his language class through them and I feel its worth the $$. Very impressed. 

 

Some of their stuff though is waaaaaay overpriced. A local sleepover at the museum event cost at least twice what a normal event of that type would cost through the museum itself with no special activities. Their summer day camps are great but not worth 3x the cost of other options (we qualified for a scholarship last year, but won't this year and refuse to pay full price).  I've heard good things about the residential camps though.

 

 



#8 Crimson Wife

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:54 PM

Supply and demand. They have a "brand name" that has a reputation for carrying weight in college admissions. So they can charge way more than niche providers.



#9 dmmetler

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:26 PM

Also,at least my local school system will accept some CTY courses for high school credit. In fact, the recommended path at the math/science magnet high school involves taking CTY Chem in the summer after 9th grade to allow AP chem in Sophomore year. Which is kind of a neat trick, since they don’t pay for it.
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#10 SeaConquest

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:00 PM

Sacha went to CTY science summer camp for three weeks and loved it. He is going again this year. We did get a full scholarship, so I think they're very generous with financial aid. I encourage people to apply.
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#11 gstharr

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 12:21 PM

How did you figure out who the vendor is gstharr

After taking several CTY on-line math classes, and looking around at other programs, discovered that elementary math was EPGY/Redbird; H.S. math mostly Dr. Burger/TW: and college science math is mostly TW, The middle school science  is all Plato ( discounted at HSBC, along with TW),  The only CTY proprietary class we took was grammar.   CTY technically has an instructor, but the instructor mostly gives encouragement.



#12 snowbeltmom

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 12:38 PM

We have done quite a few CTY classes over the years. The ones that I would pay for again are the computer science classes and the CTY science summer camps. The lab experiences in the summer sessions are amazing.

#13 Matryoshka

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 12:40 PM

I'd say branding.  Most of the classes they seem to offer are things that can be accessed *much* cheaper and aren't even that good.  I've tried Plato and Thinkwell.  Both big busts here. MEH.

 

But when you say your kid is taking CTY classes, it makes them sound all gifted.

 

(this of course says nothing about things like the summer camps and such, with which I have no experience - I speak only to the online math/science classes - they really do seem vastly overpriced)


Edited by Matryoshka, 15 February 2018 - 12:43 PM.

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#14 calbear

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 01:28 PM

Was there another discussion thread on here that was talking about CTY and how the test scores needed aren't as stringent as other programs?



#15 Roadrunner

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:01 PM

AOPS has 50 kids in a classroom.

#16 SeaConquest

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:02 PM

Was there another discussion thread on here that was talking about CTY and how the test scores needed aren't as stringent as other programs?

 

I don't remember another thread about it, but the test scores needed are not difficult, IME. 



#17 SeaConquest

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:10 PM

We have done quite a few CTY classes over the years. The ones that I would pay for again are the computer science classes and the CTY science summer camps. The lab experiences in the summer sessions are amazing.

 

This has been our experience. Sacha did the same lab in his 2nd grade class that I did in college chem (extracting DNA from a strawberry). This year he is going to be studying microbiology. I can't find any other camp that will let a 3rd grader perform gram stains (again, something I did in college micro). So, while it isn't MIT, it is far more in-depth than anything else I can find for my kid at this age. From what I have seen in their catalog, and looking at the syllabi, the classes for older kids are even more amazing. And, as a homeschooler, I am especially thankful to outsource lab experiences as much as possible. 



#18 SeaConquest

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:12 PM

AOPS has 50 kids in a classroom.

 

I am assuming that you mean in the online classes. From what I have seen, AoPS Academy in SD definitely doesn't have 50 kids in a classroom. I would say 20-25 max. 


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#19 Matryoshka

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:13 PM

This has been our experience. Sacha did the same lab in his 2nd grade class that I did in college chem (extracting DNA from a strawberry). This year he is going to be studying microbiology. I can't find any other camp that will let a 3rd grader perform gram stains (again, something I did in college micro). So, while it isn't MIT, it is far more in-depth than anything else I can find for my kid at this age. From what I have seen in their catalog, and looking at the syllabi, the classes for older kids are even more amazing. And, as a homeschooler, I am especially thankful to outsource lab experiences as much as possible.

Sounds like people are very happy with their lab programs, but I do have to say that extracting DNA from a strawberry is a very easy lab that can be done with inexpensive stuff from the drug store. I did it with my kids more than once, and I'm usually super-lazy about getting labs together.

Okay, gram staining not so much... but I was able to find local universities that offered this kind of stuff to kids.

Edited by Matryoshka, 15 February 2018 - 09:20 PM.

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#20 madteaparty

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:29 PM

Sounds like people are very happy with their lab programs, but I do have to say that extracting DNA from a strawberry is a very easy lab that can be done with inexpensive stuff from the drug store. I did it with my kids more than once, and I'm usually super-lazy about getting labs together.

Okay, gram staining not so much... but I was able to find local universities that offered this kind of stuff to kids.

And it’s done at the local museum now too apparently (the DNA extraction). Still very cool because i can’t work a lab to save my life. I don’t think it meant much to my particular kid. 😂 the cat dissection, on the other hand, had him impressed

#21 Roadrunner

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:30 PM

I am assuming that you mean in the online classes. From what I have seen, AoPS Academy in SD definitely doesn't have 50 kids in a classroom. I would say 20-25 max.


Yes, I meant online. We aren’t as lucky as you to have them in person. ☹️

#22 SeaConquest

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:37 PM

Sounds like people are very happy with their lab programs, but I do have to say that extracting DNA from a strawberry is a very easy lab that can be done with inexpensive stuff from the drug store. I did it with my kids more than once, and I'm usually super-lazy about getting labs together.

Okay, gram staining not so much... but I was able to find local universities that offered this kind of stuff to kids.

 

Local universities offered this to 2nd and 3rd graders? To my knowledge, we have no such thing here in San Diego.

 

And, it's not so much that extracting DNA is difficult, it's that people don't normally allow 2nd graders to do that kind of stuff. The science center here is still teaching 2nd graders about seasons and gravity. Here, CTY is the only program that allows young kids to actually do stuff in the lab. At the earliest, you might find this kind of thing for middle schoolers around here. Maybe.

 

For example, we have a program here, offered through UCSD, that is a coding camp (Minecraft Modding in Java). Sacha really wanted to do it when he was in 1st or 2nd grade -- I can't recall which. They wouldn't let him in until he was in 4th (I asked). So, we did the same class online through Youth Digital instead.

 

So, yeah. I could have done these labs with him myself. But, he is an extrovert, and loves being with other kids in the classroom. So, we are both really thankful that we have CTY Camp here in SD to provide these types of experiences for him.  



#23 Matryoshka

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:07 PM

Local universities offered this to 2nd and 3rd graders? To my knowledge, we have no such thing here in San Diego.

And, it's not so much that extracting DNA is difficult, it's that people don't normally allow 2nd graders to do that kind of stuff. The science center here is still teaching 2nd graders about seasons and gravity. Here, CTY is the only program that allows young kids to actually do stuff in the lab. At the earliest, you might find this kind of thing for middle schoolers around here. Maybe.

For example, we have a program here, offered through UCSD, that is a coding camp (Minecraft Modding in Java). Sacha really wanted to do it when he was in 1st or 2nd grade -- I can't recall which. They wouldn't let him in until he was in 4th (I asked). So, we did the same class online through Youth Digital instead.

So, yeah. I could have done these labs with him myself. But, he is an extrovert, and loves being with other kids in the classroom. So, we are both really thankful that we have CTY Camp here in SD to provide these types of experiences for him.


I've got MIT and WPI (and a bunch of other schools) nearby. CTY camp would be plane tickets and hotels. If CTY were local to me, I'd've probably have looked in to it. As I said, I'm mostly familiar with their online science/math offerings.