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  1. #49
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Harvard Extension is "part" of Harvard, but not straight up Harvard U.
    Oh god, not this again. Harvard University consists of a number of schools, one of which is, yes, Harvard Extension School.
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  3. #50
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ooo View Post
    Do these Extension School students also graduate debt-free?
    I confess that I do not know the ins and outs of the Harvard financial aid system. I'm pretty sure that you don't either. If you read through the pages on the site I linked you may discover the answer.
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  4. #51
    ooo
    ooo is offline Registered User
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    I say that because I approved the employer-funded grant for our secretary to take HES classes. HES didn't give her aid.

    Our Harvard Law School and HU BA receiving boss graduated debt free.

    Put those two in a room and they don't see Harvard vs. Harvard Extension as the same education . Neither do I. That's my opinion; others can have different opinions. I'm not saying HES classes are "bad" or "easy" - but it's not Harvard Law or Harvard U admissions criteria or 'highly selective' admissions standards. We think a lot of our HES-attending secretary nonetheless.

    We each are entitled to our views on a certain program or a certain school.

    There are HES students who have protested to the Harvard board to request 'Extension" be dropped from the name and the school- HES- be merged with the general studies degree.

    HES has been around for the better part of a century, and has long been known for their willingness to let community members take classes. Without Harvard U admissions criteria. That's not a bad thing; it's great for the community.

    But Harvard U vs. HES admissions are not something that's even remotely comparable.

    HES allows non-degree students without highly selective admissions criteria; Harvard U does not. I've applied to both over the years, very different processes.

    Harvard traditional students get a Bachelor's of Arts, etc. HES students get a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in “Extension Studies”, regardless of their degree program.

    I see the differences in the two; no one else has to. I am entitled to my opinion.

    We are each entitled to our own opinions about a school or degree program. HES is not "Harvard U" to me, but a "part of Harvard"; to each their own opinion.

  5. #52
    heirophant is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    I confess that I do not know the ins and outs of the Harvard financial aid system. I'm pretty sure that you don't either. If you read through the pages on the site I linked you may discover the answer.
    https://college.harvard.edu/financial-aid

    That page is for Harvard College, not Harvard Extension School.

    HES has its own financial aid page that talks about the usual federal student loans, FAFSA's and so on.

  6. #53
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by ooo View Post
    We each are entitled to our views on a certain program or a certain school.
    I agree completely; I've long said that academic legitimacy is a subjective rather than objective matter. But when it comes to HES, since my view agrees with that of Harvard University itself, I'll stick with it.
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  7. #54
    FTFaculty is offline Registered User
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    They are all "Harvard U", but they are from different colleges within, such as Kennedy, Harvard Law, Harvard Med , Harvard College, Harvard Extension, etc.

    Sure the admissions are different, drastically so, everyone here would grant that point, it's beyond contestation. Certainly the average student who has declared their intention to earn a degree through HES and registered for a class is inferior to the average student who has been accepted at Harvard College. But for one who has finished at HES, earned the degree, taken the same classes as the Harvard student, gotten that degree, you now have a difference essentially without a distinction, and you have a much harder case to make there and you're going to have to make the case with something other than admissions standards.

    Again, if a Harvard College student takes a course and sits next to an HES student and both receive an A (and this happens every day times thousands), should I put greater stock in the accomplishment and intellect of the former? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but for yours to hold up, you're going to have to explain the difference for me.

  8. #55
    heirophant is offline Registered User
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    My only objection to Harvard Extension is how some of the program's more vocal proponents try to act as if it were some kind of easy-entry back-door to what's presented as if it were a title of academic nobility.

    Many universities out there are rather easy entry, attract lots of part-time students who are trying to work their classes around their jobs, then suffer tremendous drop-out rates. That bumps them right down in the rankings. It's more or less what defines schools as 'fourth tier' in the US News rankings. I do agree that it's an entirely legitimate educational model though. Much of my own higher education has been in these kind of programs.

    What defines schools as 'top tier' in USNews' estimation is high initial selectivity so that the student cohort is an elite bunch to begin with. Then these students study in close proximity to one another full-time, interacting very intensely in a highly stimulating intellectual climate. Finally, a prestige program has to have high yield, with few dropouts or stragglers that take too long to earn their degrees.

    Contradictions occur when programs that would be lower-tier if they stood alone become riders on the name of higher-tier universities employing a very different educational model. And HES is precisely that kind of contradiction in my opinion.

    My 2017 USNews rankings book tells me that Harvard had 6,698 full-time and one part-time undergraduates. 95% of them were in the top 1/10 of their high-school class and 3/4 of them have SATs above 1400. One quarter of Harvard undergraduates have SATs above 1600 (1600 is a perfect score.) Then there's the social class aspect. Many of these kids come from America's wealthiest homes and many are children of business, academic and government leaders. (When employers favor Harvard graduates, one reason is the networking and connections that they bring.)

    As I wrote earlier, I'm thinking about occasionally taking some (open admissions) Stanford continuing education courses if I see any of particular interest to me. But I won't be doing that just so that I can drop "when I was a student at Stanford" into conversations. If I mention taking a class at all, I will be very careful to say that it was a continuing education class.

    https://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/
    Last edited by heirophant; 06-23-2017 at 07:45 AM.

  9. #56
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by heirophant View Post
    https://college.harvard.edu/financial-aid

    That page is for Harvard College, not Harvard Extension School.

    HES has its own financial aid page that talks about the usual federal student loans, FAFSA's and so on.
    If you go back and put my post in context you will see that I never suggested that it applied to HES but was only an indication that Harvard, as a whole. offers extensive financial aid packages to students. That's all.
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  11. #57
    FTFaculty is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by heirophant View Post
    My only objection to Harvard Extension is how some of the program's more vocal proponents try to act as if it were some kind of easy-entry back-door to what's presented as if it were a title of academic nobility.https://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/
    You have mentioned one very legitimate difference between HES and other colleges within Harvard: contacts and networks. There simply must be a difference there. Agreed.

    There's a difference between an extension studies program that just offers adult ed stuff and an extension studies program that duplicates the courses the regular students take, only difference being they're online or at night, and that in many cases has the extension students sitting in the same classes as the regular students. To my knowledge, Stanford's the former, Harvard's the latter. But correct me if that's wrong.

    As for retention, progression, admissions standards, etc., I know that game well, sat on a committee at the uni here that was 100% about addressing those issues. But those measures are not meaningful as applied to a program like HES. The open admissions/fittest survive model that HES employs and that all law schools used to employ for admissions would look terrible when measured by those standards and would make HES look like a fourth tier on paper. But it's not a fair measure for that admissions and retention model. Akin to saying Jimmie Johnson's NASCAR race car is low quality because it lacks luxury amenities--that's not the point, just like the point of such an admissions model is not to increase retention, it's to decrease it, just like the point isn't to make sure the barbarians don't get in through the gate, but rather to let them in and see who can be civilized. That's a terrible analogy, probably insulting to HES students, but you see what I'm saying?

    There's nothing wrong with Harvard doing it this way, and it doesn't mean the standards are lower, does not mean Harvard has created a fourth tier school/charity program attached to the main institution. To get an HES degree, according to the statistics I've seen, according to the accounts I've heard, is very difficult and a very low percentage make it all the way through. Why? Because Harvard is darned tough and has high standards. Merely applying for and taking a class at HES is not prestigious, because pretty much anyone can do it, BUT...earning an HES degree is Harvard U and is prestigious, and while, ceteris paribus, the contacts and connections are not as good, I'd suggest the accomplishment of earning the degree is almost indistinguishable from earning a degree at Harvard College. .

  12. #58
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
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    Quote Originally Posted by ooo View Post
    Do these Extension School students also graduate debt-free? Harvard Extension is "part" of Harvard, but not straight up Harvard U. The diplomas are even different, with HES mentioning Extension School on them. Or at least they used to, the ones on our wall said HES. We thought of their students as "not Harvard students" since HES has such different admission standards than Harvard U.
    Here we go. Who wants to explain how colleges within a university system work?

    And also, "Without Harvard U admissions criteria. That's not a bad thing" there is no such thing as Harvard University admissions criteria. Each college within the university will have its own admissions criteria.
    Last edited by cookderosa; 06-23-2017 at 11:52 AM.
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  13. #59
    mcjon77 is offline Registered User
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    Sorry for the thread necro, but I just thought I would add something to the conversation for future readers.

    While Harvard offers no financial aid for folks who are just taking courses, once you are admitted into a degree (NOT certificate) program, they offer really nice financial aid. Back when I was working on my masters there, my mother got sick and I had to care for her. I could not care for her, work, AND finish school. I was considering stopping school for a year and another student asked me why I didn't just ask for financial aid. I went that route, filled out the forms and the university AUTOMATICALLY cut my tuition in half. No extra questions, no hassle.

    I am still eternally grateful to the university for helping me like that.
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  14. #60
    Abner is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcjon77 View Post
    Sorry for the thread necro, but I just thought I would add something to the conversation for future readers.

    While Harvard offers no financial aid for folks who are just taking courses, once you are admitted into a degree (NOT certificate) program, they offer really nice financial aid. Back when I was working on my masters there, my mother got sick and I had to care for her. I could not care for her, work, AND finish school. I was considering stopping school for a year and another student asked me why I didn't just ask for financial aid. I went that route, filled out the forms and the university AUTOMATICALLY cut my tuition in half. No extra questions, no hassle.

    I am still eternally grateful to the university for helping me like that.
    That's great!
    XVI.8: Confucius said, "There are three things of which the superior man stand in awe. He stands in awe of the ordinances of Heaven. He stands in awe of great men. He stands in awe of the words of the sages. The mean man does not know the ordinances of Heaven, and consequently does not stand in awe of them. He is disrespectful to great men. He makes sport of the words of the sages."

  15. #61
    FTFaculty is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcjon77 View Post
    Sorry for the thread necro, but I just thought I would add something to the conversation for future readers.

    While Harvard offers no financial aid for folks who are just taking courses, once you are admitted into a degree (NOT certificate) program, they offer really nice financial aid. Back when I was working on my masters there, my mother got sick and I had to care for her. I could not care for her, work, AND finish school. I was considering stopping school for a year and another student asked me why I didn't just ask for financial aid. I went that route, filled out the forms and the university AUTOMATICALLY cut my tuition in half. No extra questions, no hassle.

    I am still eternally grateful to the university for helping me like that.
    That's a great story, good for them! (By the way, would be glad to trade my three degrees for your two, wish I had "Georgetown bachelors, Harvard masters" on my vita!)

  16. #62
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcjon77 View Post
    Sorry for the thread necro, but I just thought I would add something to the conversation for future readers.

    While Harvard offers no financial aid for folks who are just taking courses, once you are admitted into a degree (NOT certificate) program, they offer really nice financial aid. Back when I was working on my masters there, my mother got sick and I had to care for her. I could not care for her, work, AND finish school. I was considering stopping school for a year and another student asked me why I didn't just ask for financial aid. I went that route, filled out the forms and the university AUTOMATICALLY cut my tuition in half. No extra questions, no hassle.

    I am still eternally grateful to the university for helping me like that.
    Love that.
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  17. #63
    Abner is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcjon77 View Post
    Sorry for the thread necro, but I just thought I would add something to the conversation for future readers.

    While Harvard offers no financial aid for folks who are just taking courses, once you are admitted into a degree (NOT certificate) program, they offer really nice financial aid. Back when I was working on my masters there, my mother got sick and I had to care for her. I could not care for her, work, AND finish school. I was considering stopping school for a year and another student asked me why I didn't just ask for financial aid. I went that route, filled out the forms and the university AUTOMATICALLY cut my tuition in half. No extra questions, no hassle.

    I am still eternally grateful to the university for helping me like that.
    How's your mom doing BTW?
    XVI.8: Confucius said, "There are three things of which the superior man stand in awe. He stands in awe of the ordinances of Heaven. He stands in awe of great men. He stands in awe of the words of the sages. The mean man does not know the ordinances of Heaven, and consequently does not stand in awe of them. He is disrespectful to great men. He makes sport of the words of the sages."

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  19. #64
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcjon77 View Post
    Sorry for the thread necro, but I just thought I would add something to the conversation for future readers.

    While Harvard offers no financial aid for folks who are just taking courses, once you are admitted into a degree (NOT certificate) program, they offer really nice financial aid. Back when I was working on my masters there, my mother got sick and I had to care for her. I could not care for her, work, AND finish school. I was considering stopping school for a year and another student asked me why I didn't just ask for financial aid. I went that route, filled out the forms and the university AUTOMATICALLY cut my tuition in half. No extra questions, no hassle.

    I am still eternally grateful to the university for helping me like that.
    This is an example for why everyone should always fill out financial aid applications. Did they give you the Harvard Extension School grant?
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