Advice on picking schools & ROTC ranking

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Texan, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Texan

    Texan Member

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    I'm compiling my list of colleges for Army ROTC (I plan to participate in ROTC at all of them) and I was looking to see if anyone had any general advice.

    Right now I'm applying to: (Arabic or International Relations Major/Arabic Minor). The schools in bold are on my list of 7 for the scholarship. Should I shoot for the first board or wait (Im taking the SAT/ACT at least once) for the second one?

    William and Mary
    Northeastern
    American
    james Madison
    Boston University
    University of Denver
    University of Pittsburgh
    University of Washington
    Texas A&M (In state)
    Seton Hall
    Syracuse

    I have a ACT of 27 with a 29 superscore and a 1830 SAT. 3.7 unweighted GPA with 5 AP (4 fours and 1 five) and I'm taking 5 this year
    200+ hours of volunteering
    class president twice, current student council president+ lots of leadership roles in my past 3 years.
    I take martial arts outside of school as a "sport"

    If anyone has any advice on my choices so far, or wants to recommend new ones please feel free- also if their is any strategy to the ranking of my top 7 please share
    obviously a 4 year would be great but I understand that with the schools I have that's really tough- under 40,000 per year optimal for total cost :smile:
    Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  2. gojack

    gojack ....

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    IMHO,

    In your case, your instate should be your first choice, interview there, plan to attend there. Rank the others by your preference. Frequently (not always) if you are offered a scholarship, you are offered to more than one school, so choose other schools carefully, if you are offered a scholarship to one of those and do not get accepted you wasted those choices. Apply for 1st board. Retake ACT/SAT, submit scores to AROTC, may improve your chances, but no harm comes being passed on 1st board (if that should happen)
     
  3. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I would caution you against being a language major. It's interesting to learn a language, but it's not a great skill for long term career goals. To put it bluntly, this is a country of immigrants. Speaking a second language just isn't that unique a skill anymore. The double major or only IR will serve you better.

    Are you looking at Arabic because it's been a focus for the past ten years? Don't prepare for the last hot-spot. You'll miss the mark.
     
  4. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    Totally agree with scoutpilot; my focus in high school was to get into AROTC and major in Russian Studies with the hopes of getting AD MI...my junior year in college, while sitting in russian class, we "invaded" Kuwait.
     
  5. cjs

    cjs Member

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    Just so you know, Arabic is considered one of the toughest languages to learn. It's also a class that is usually 5 credit hours to begin with and is 5 days per week. Be passionate about learning the language or it is a killer.

    My son took a few semesters of Arabic. Loved it and always got an A, but it is time consuming.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I don't think scout was saying anything negative regarding the difficulty in learning Arabic. I believe he was saying it was the language back in 03 that was needed, but now it isn't because they have had 10 yrs of filling that pipeline, thus, it is not as demanded, as let's say Chinese.

    Choosing a language as a major needs to include thinking about 5 yrs from now when they go AD. China and Russia in my honest opinion are the ones that will be needed in 18 because they are rearing their craniums.

    That is how I read scout's post. He was being honest and helpful.

    I do agree with you cjs, it is time consuming and not as easy as many may want to believe. You must have the desire. However, if you are going this route because you have investigated the ROTC world, and think it might help you game the system, be it scholarship or AD, than I am with scout. Don't pick the major just because someone told you this can give you an edge.
     
  7. Texan

    Texan Member

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    Thanks so much for the advice and help so far! I've always had an interest in learning Arabic, and I figured their is no better time than in college-I will most likely do a double major if I can or major in IR and minor in a language. Russian was actually my second choice for the schools who don't have as strong Arabic programs.

    Do the colleges on my list look ok from a ROTC scholarship perspective? Any advice on picking schools? thanks again
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    First, I recommend you pick schools the same way you would pick schools if you weren't applying for a ROTC scholarship. Make sure your a good fit for the school and it's not a real reach for you to get in. Make sure it's affordable. Even if you win a scholarship, it doesn't mean you'll keep it all four years. Folks fall by the wayside and end up paying for their education themselves. (I know, not YOU right?). Third, there is a GPA you need to maintain both overall, and each semester, in the ROTC programs. Arabic is a very difficult language to learn. My DS did two semesters, and although he survived, he abandoned the effort for now out of concerns for his GPA. Give it serious thought. Just because your going to college doesn't mean it's the BEST time to learn Arabic. DS decided any further study would be on the Navy's time and dime and after college, when his grades weren't crucial to getting a commission.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    +1 kinnem

    Read it, and believe it!

    Don't pick anything because you are chasing the almighty $$$$. That is as much true for merit as it is for ROTC scholarships. You have to want to be at the school.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    +1 kinnem

    Read it, and believe it!

    Don't pick anything because you are chasing the almighty $$$$. That is as much true for merit as it is for ROTC scholarships. You have to want to be at the school.
     
  11. Texan

    Texan Member

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    Thanks again for all the fantastic advice! I will absolutely tread carefully as I plan my course of action with languages & I appreciate the insight.

    I remember reading some other posts that had people applying to colleges (like Chapel Hill) and others saying it was really really hard to get in OOS or people commenting on the extreme competition for slots in say the Hoya Batallion for people who applied to D.C colleges. I'm completely dedicated to the schools on my list, and I'm ready to work extremely hard to make myself as competitive as can be when applying and within ROTC itself. I was just trying to see if their is anything I should know & gain insight from someone whose gone through the same process.

    I'm not trying to shy away from anything, I merely want to have a realistic expectation- I know that nothing is guaranteed in the slightest to anyone and that a reach school is exactly that; a reach.
     
  12. armydaughter

    armydaughter Member

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    Texan,

    I don't mean to confuse you or contradict the advice you have been given but we took another approach. My son is also in-state for Texas and applied to many of the same schools on your list.

    He put Texas A&M as the last choice for his list of seven. And put his real #1 choice overall on his application list as his #1 on his ROTC list. He was a high match for that school.

    There were two reasons to list A&M lower. 1) it's affordable in-state and even if everything else fell apart, we knew we could afford to send him there. and 2) They have a very hefty endowment to fund campus based scholarships. It's much easier to get a non-national ROTC scholarship there than in many schools. You might want to talk to someone at the BN there before finalizing your list.

    In the end, he was awarded a scholarship and a choice between his #1 school (where he starts next week :biggrin:) and the school that was #5 on his list (also a very good school). He was not awarded a scholarship for any of the state schools, in or out of state, but had offers from two of them to try to transfer his scholarship.

    School selection seems to be more of an art than a science. And, of course, each year it's different.
     
  13. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    We are using this same approach with our DD. She is ordering the preference of the schools to those that she "really" wants to go to. Our back up plan if she doesn't get the ROTC scholarship is for her to enroll in ROTC at one of the state schools that she will get tuition covered through merit scholarships like: University of Alabama, Ole Miss, etc. I know some people will say it's too much of a risk to get a scholarship to a school that we can't afford without the scholarship in case she loses the scholarship due to injury, academics or some other reason. We are prepared to take the risk and will assume she will succeed at school and in the ROTC program. If something does cause her to lose the ROTC scholarship, then we would be prepared for her to continue her education at one of our state universities. She would rather use the ROTC scholarship for one of her private "Dream" Schools. I guess every family must weight the pros and cons of this, though.
     
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Nothing wrong with accepting risks, as long as one is aware the risk is there and has a backup plan for eventualities. Good luck to your DD.
     
  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I agree with armydaughter's post above with regard to listing your schools in your actual order of preference.

    I think your comment regarding getting into OOS public schools being difficult is a good one. I've seen Pima comment on that topic many times. Many states have legal limits as to how many OOS students they can accept. Or it may be stated in other ways, like the percentage of the student body that must be composed of in-state students. For top, nationally known colleges like UNC-CH or UVA where gobs of top students across the country apply, getting accepted as OOS can be difficult due to these restrictions.
     
  16. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I think your list looks fine.

    Understand that the expensive private schools, such as is every school on your bolded list except for William and Mary (which is almost expensive for an out-of-stater) and TAMU, are likely go get a ton of action in the first Board. As long as you have TAMU as your backup, you should be fine.

    Based on your stats, I think you'll get into 75% of your listed colleges. W&M might be a stretch, and maybe BU.
     
  17. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    First off, I have to admit that we took the same approach, both son's accepted the scholarship to an out of state school that would have been too much of a stretch without the scholarship. So far so good, one down and one starting the third year. I will say that the risk involved does creep into our minds from time to time. My fatherly advice as I dropped him off at school this past weekend...."You've done a great job so far, Don't F#$* it up." Short and to the point I guess.

    I read your post, the one thing to keep in mind is that if your daughter receives a scholarship, happens to slip in grades, have an infraction of some like and is dis-enrolled from ROTC after her freshman year, she will not only lose the scholarship but will be required to pay back the scholarship tuition that has already been paid including the freshman year. Also realize that the Army pays the full rack rate for tuition, that is the amount that would be required to pay back.

    Again, we assumed the same risk that you are looking at, and you do think of it from time to time. If you daughter is struggling after the first year, think hard about starting the sophomore year, that's when the obligation starts.

    I do agree, list the schools in order of preference for the first 3, just make sure you put a safety close to #4.

    Best of luck to your daughter.
     
  18. Texan

    Texan Member

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    Thanks again to everyone for all the advice! I'm going to make sure I have some safety schools near the top of my list, submit everything by the first board & hope for the best!
     
  19. johnricky

    johnricky New Member

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    Visit this website for a list of all top schools. Theonlineschools.org
     
  20. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Do these top schools have a Reserve Online Training Corps? If I could take the APFT online, I could probably do a two-mile run in about six minutes.
     

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