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Go Ask Mom

Help a Mom: Thoughts on Duke TIP

Posted October 15, 2013
Updated October 16, 2013

I received this email from a reader last week. Here's what she wrote:

Can you possibly ask the GoAskMom readers for their opinions of the Duke TIP program? Our 4th grader has been invited to enroll and I wonder if it is worth the money at this age. Thank you!

Duke TIP is a talent identification program offered by Duke University. It "identifies gifted children and provides resources to nurture the development of these exceptionally bright youngsters," according to its website. Programs begin for qualified students at fourth grade and continue through their senior year in high school. For more information, check the website.

This mom would love to hear some first person experiences with the program. Please share if your child has been a part of it.

Do you have advice for this mom? Please share your tips in the comments box below. (If you don't see the comments box below, you'll need to log in or sign up for a WRAL account. You can do that by going to the top of the page and clicking on either "log in" or "register").

Help a Mom features questions from readers every Wednesday. If you have a question that you'd like to ask Go Ask Mom readers, click here to email it to me.



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  • shall6 Oct 17, 2013

    From my inbox:

    My son attended Duke TIP (one weekend). If you have the money to spend for the weekend-typical cost is $400-$700 and there is a subject your child is interested that's great. It is NOT make it or break it if you are concerned about college. There are plenty of other ways to explore and expand your child's education.


  • lori6 Oct 16, 2013

    My son did the 4th grade program, and completed a few online activities. I haven't decided if we are going to enroll in the 7th grade program or not. One thing to consider, if your child is in a year round school - I did not see a single summer program that matched our track outs; I think they only worked for track 1, and maybe track 4.

  • johnthecynic Oct 16, 2013

    Our daughter was invited in the 7th grade and took the SAT. When she was interviewing for college admission several schools were very impressed with this fact (and her SAT scores even back then) and offered her hefty scholarships. I would say it doesn't hurt.

  • kirstiemarx Oct 16, 2013

    I would highly recommend it. My daughter has participated since 5th grade. We did not do any of the weekend event due to the cost. In the 7th grade she won several of the state awards and she even won a national award. I am not saying that to boast but what came out of attending the awards ceremonies changed her life. During the ceremony all the kids get to meet each other and talk about their lives. It was during this time that my daughter said she felt like she finally fit in. She had known she was smart but had always hid it as to not embarrass others or be embarrassed her self. To be around other students who thought like she thought was incredible. That day she changed. She took her gift seriously. During the ceremony we heard all about the summer program. I knew we couldn't afford to send her but we thought lets see if we qualify for some grant money. She studied Biology of Cancer for 3 weeks at Duke and they gave us over 2/3 of the cost to go. If your child qualifies, go for it

  • Wheelman Oct 16, 2013

    By all means let your child participate. Their is nothing that says they have to participate in programs they will be invited to over the years. They used to have some funds available for families that did not have the financial means. It will be a great experience and an eye opener for both you and your child. It is an internationally recognized program. While it alone will not get your child into college, it does matter on their application, as it shows an aptitude and desire for knowledge at an early age. All 4 of our went to it and we could not afford to send them to many of the weekend learning programs. We let them pick one and then started saving for it. Money for birthday presents sometimes went into the fund by their choice. Baby sitting or grass cutting earnings as well make it something of value to them.

  • thinkb4speak Oct 16, 2013

    My daughter was invited to participate in 7th grade and took the SAT. That was a great experience and gave her a confidence booster. We received lots of information from them about the camps and stuff, but the costs were way out of our financial means so we never did more than the SAT.

  • RGMTRocks Oct 16, 2013

    She also took the SAT in 7th grade and scored well so when she took it again this spring, she was well prepared and not so nervous about it. Now she's looking forward to taking it again next spring after another year of high school learning even though she scored out the wazoo this time. Duke TIP has given her not only knowledge but great experiences and a hightened confidence in herself as well.

  • KPoston Oct 16, 2013

    My daughter got into the program last year as a 7th grader and participated in one of the three-week summer programs at Davidson College and I would have to say it was worth every penny. For her to have a chance to have that independent experience in a college setting with other kids just like her who love to learn was amazing for her. She wants to do it again next summer. I cannot speak for the younger age programs or weekend experiences, but the staff and content was top notch. It is very expensive and that basically was our summer vacation spend - her Duke TIP camp. But I'd do it again in a heart beat.

  • RGMTRocks Oct 16, 2013

    I have a daughter in 11th grade. Has been in Duke TIP since her 4th grade year. She took some Sat. classes in early years which she found very cool, interesting and learned a lot in a day. Also took weekend programs; learned a lot but gained valuable insight into which direction she may want to go in college and beyond. This summer, she did a 2-week live on campus course, learning what it's like to be a college student and provided her with some great experience to prepare for college life. Course was very rigorous and challenging; far beyond what she can receive in her high school, even with Honors and AP. She learned so much and found that when she started school with the AP courses, knowledge she gained in the TIP program put her way ahead in understanding the materials she faced. Expensive, yes; but they have $$ assistance available and if you apply yourself with right mindset, can definitely be worth it. I love Duke TIP!

  • Yourekiddingme Oct 16, 2013

    My son did it one year. I think the only thing he actually participated in was a weekend medical engineering camp, which was really cool, but expensive. Now he is a senior in high school and I can honestly say the TIP program didn't benefit him one bit. It was just a fun weekend for him. Don't waste your money just to get your ego stroked.