When my daughter received one of these invitation letters- my first thought was scam- because they wanted us to attend a conference (or sales pitch). I even gave the program the benefit of the doubt and did my own research- and sent a email to the director - aka "salesman".
Turns out like other people said - its a scam at almost $6,000 per 20 day program! But of course if your child is a 7th or 8th grade student they can attend the 14 day program for only a whopping $4,000...... On top of that attendance price you may also incur addittional travel charges. Such as travel transfer fees and uncovered meals...well i didnt know what that meant since 6 grand more than covers a few meals over a couple of weeks.
As like other overpriced sales scams - they dont want to discuss any prices over the phone or by email - but they want to take the time to fully inform us by inviting us (wasting our time) to the local seminar. My biggest issue with this scam is that it actually targets kids.....and although the mailings are sent to the parents of these kids, and ultimately the parents of these kids have the final say (and provide the money).... Well its the kids that get hurt.
First off their mailings are sent as a invitation , and treat the matter as a great opportunity , this hypes our kids up and makes them want to attend their informational conference...From there the conference or "sales pitch" just convinces them that they really want to do this. On top of it - it really hits the spot in convincing the kids that they are special and smart and thats why they were chosen for this special program!!!!
Overall its the same damm sales pitch used to scam adults out of their money, but in the end when a smart adult does the math - and says no its not a reasonable fee for attending this program- its the kids that are let down.
So who was this targeting all along???? it sure wasn't the parent because i can say as a parent i was not let down when i decided not to spend 6 grand on a 3 week vacation...it was my child. And by the way - our family of 3 went on a 4 week vacation for about the same price.
The other thing that upset me about this ordeal - is when i first google searched this company - the only thing i found was 2 different kids asking questions about it on yahoo answers, and the answers that these kids received was stating that they have been nominated for participation in the program m and that maybe a teacher or other person nominated them, and they should attend the informative seminar to find out more- that was distubing to hear because those answers were probley given by other teenagers...which is again a sign this is a scam towards kids. pathetic.