Advice to parents of applicants

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Vista123, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    TO PARENTS:
    There is a lot of talk on this forum about helicopter parents. On one hand I think the more us as parents understand the process, the better we can advise our kids what stay on top of. It has been stated that, were parents NOT supposed to be part of this process, they would not include them in the interviewing process and the service academies would not have a program of activities for them. It has also been pointed out that the military is more than just about the mere individual who serves, it is also about their families. You should feel well informed on what your son/daughter is getting into, both at a service academy and after. On the other hand there are boundaries. NEVER ever email or call anyone at admissions or connected to admission (there is story after story on this forum of disaster that awaits behind parents emailing and calling). Offer tips and suggestions not dictates. Always step back and make sure that this is their agenda not yours, sometimes it may get cloudy. Let them know repeatedly that this is their choice, not yours. Try to enjoy (or at least appreciate) the process ---Embrace the Suck. While other juniors and seniors are not talking to their embarrassing parents you two are a team (with them the captain and you the assistant captain). While other kids are out partying, driving too many kids in their car, playing too many video games or preparing for the senior grade slide, yours is carefully making all the right choices. However, this process can be overwhelming, and stressful. You will miss a deadline, not be able to figure out an acronym, loose an important document, forget a password, and feel like you are spending more money than four years of college tuition on this long arduous process. Find support. Try to link with other parents going through a similar circumstance. Offer support and you will get support when you need it. And you will need it.

    Good Luck!
    Vista123
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    +1 :thumb:
    I would add, once your through the process, hang out here to assist others. It's a great way to feel connected with your kid when you no longer are spending regular time with them and perhaps don't hear from them for weeks at a time... besides being a good community service thing to do.
     
  3. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Well said.

    I had to highlight the money part of your statement. I remember thinking exactly this. I kept telling myself it was an investment but was wondering if it in fact was gambling!
    Now I am saving up to do it again as son #2 is expressing interest.
     
  4. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Vista123

    Thank you for the pointers. For me it is always helpful to know where advice comes from. Could you please share your background that enabled you to formulate your suggestions? Parent of one mid? More than one? Graduate? BGO?

    Thanks!
     
  5. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    Im just a parent who is thankful to be done with the application process. These are just my personal observations through this journey. I dont claim to have any particular background. I -and therefore my son-has had tremendous amount of support throughout this process and I am very grateful.
     
  6. haz

    haz Member

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    I don't agree with the expense part. We found that it was less to apply to USNA than any other school.

    Application fee for USNA is zero, any other school $40.00-$90.00
    SAT, ACT fees same for SA's as for any other school.
    Site visits depend on distance from home.

    All said we paid less to apply to USNA than to the other schools.
     
  7. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I was thinking of the whole process for applying to three academies, three nominations, two ROTC programs, four colleges, visits to two academies and two of the four colleges. Obviously those are not all mandatory expenses.
     
  8. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    For us personally (not speaking for others) it was far more money paying for S.A. applications.

    Now granted much of the S.A. costs could be considered optional-but I am not totally convinced they ARE indeed optional.

    My son was also accepted to University of Illinois-College of Engineering.
    I would put University of Illinois Engineering program as a top ten undergraduate Engineering program in the Nation (just my opinion-ok also the rankings, but whatever)
    $ 50.00 application fee
    ACT score reports
    the application was really only ACT scores and transcript-there was just about no room to list any of his extracurriculars. In fact according to the admission councilor those were not that relevant.

    Service Academy
    Air Fare to USMA SLS
    SLS Fee
    Air Fare to USNA NASS
    NASS Fee
    clothes for summer programs-yes he didnt own tan shorts or appropriate collared shirts-trust me-he never wore them again :)
    Fee for Boys State and bus fare of Boys state (we had to pay $325.00 for this)
    Interview clothes (son didnt need them for University of Illinois)-had to get dress shoes, slacks and jacket.
    interview expenses
    son missing a month of work this summer to attend to all of these--alot of money in lost wages$$$$ -in fact he gave away one of his summer jobs -and he uses that money during the year to pay for his sports equipment.

    and we didnt have any of the added remedial expenses....Thank God.

    Dont get me wrong--I am not begrudging this-I do not want to get pushback from people saying that I am whining about the fees to apply to a free school-all I am doing is listing our personal expense account-not editorializing. I do want to agree with Packer on his "gambling" comment though. It gave me a chuckle.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  9. haz

    haz Member

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    I don't want future applicants to get the wrong idea about the cost to apply.

    The only true cost to apply are the SAT/ACT fees.

    Boys State, SLS, NASS, AIM and all the other things we do as parents for our children do not belong in the college application ledger, as non of them are manditory. This board is filled with kids who went to one of the summer programs and did not get an apointment, and kids who do have an apointment without attending a summer program. The same is true for Boys State, my son did not attend, but has an apointment for the class of 2017.
     
  10. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    Yes Haz, you are completely right-I should have clarified, sorry. boys/girls state, NASS etc. is not mandatory-but it helps.
    Having near perfect ACT scores is also not mandatory-but it helps ;)
    Depending on the area you are coming from and what you can bring to the table-you do have to maximize whatever opportunities you can.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  11. Packer

    Packer Member

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    My comment on the cost was made mostly tongue in cheek. I certainly didn't intend to draw attention to one short phrase and give it an outsized aura of importance in a great bit of advice. Thank you for your post Vista and I appologize for derailing it.

    Yes, the minimum cost to apply to any of the academies is less than that of any college that I am aware of.
     
  12. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    Vista 123, great advice, thank you!
    I totally agree and am thankful to have this time together helping him through this process.

    I had to chuckle about the financial commitment comment; I know none of the things he does are required to obtain an appt, but the standing joke at our house is we are glad he wants to attend an academy because we will still be paying off high school after he graduates from college, and he goes to a public school! With all the zero hour and summer school fees (to get the electives of math and science that the state doesn't require), sports fees, club fees, diving lessons, music lessons, camp fees, test fees, test prep class, CAP, ROTC, etc, etc, etc....

    Never ends! But there's always something to laugh about!
     
  13. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I have a daughter who got a full, 4-yr athletic scholarship to play fastpitch softball at a Div I school. Everything was paid for - tuition, room & board, books, and a food plan. 100%!

    My wife and I laughed because she had been playing competitive/travel softball since she was 9 yrs old. Lots of private lessons. Hotels. Travel. Team fees ... etc. The joke was, "We probably paid $120,000 so she could get a $100,000 scholarship." :smile:
     
  14. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    I've heard this one from MANY who've invested mucho jack that their off-spring might be equipped to compete for a ... grant-in-aid. For most outside basketball and football, it's laughable.

    Scholarship, while a commonly used term, is for scholarship. Or maybe left-handed Latin majors. Or deaf trombone players. Or ... :confused:

    btw, similarly, when one determines the amount of time devoted in exchange for athletic grants, there may well be many more rewarding avenues for investing time to compensate for the costs of attending. As anyones who've been there, done that, most athletic "scholarships" are an enormous amount of work for poor per/hour pay.

    And that's one reason that many pay-to-play collegiate jocks have little sympathy for their alma mater's financial pleas. the more we see this, the more I'm persuaded that at least for the major sports, we should pay them and treat them like the professionals they are.
     
  15. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    LOL
    If I took the money we spent on my kids hockey and stuck it under my mattress, I could pay for his 4 years of college, room, board, books and rockin' spring break vacation-in cash-up front...Yet I find myself complaining about the extra $10.00 ACT reporting fees for additional schools. I am not sure what that says about me...but It can't be good.:rolleyes:
     
  16. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Hockey Camps at Lake Placid $$$$ :eek: Would have paid a lot toward tuition :rolleyes: Every year at Polar Bears could have been saved for all of them.
     
  17. chiromed0

    chiromed0 Member

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    Haa! If you think the expenses stop there they do not. Granted it's not $40K/yr but our DS has a distaste for King's Hall so we keep his account loaded for food/weekend plus the youngster summer can get expensive if they want to go to NOLS ($6K) plus airfare to ? If they want to go somewhere spring break...well, that's on you, too. Staying in Annapolis isn't real cheap either but I'm starting to get picky.

    Navy pays for some stuff but that stipend they get pretty much gets taken back in uniform costs, etc.

    Let me not forget to mention the phone call we just received for Alumni wanting $20K. Granted I just got laid off last month but that didn't stop him from asking. I'm all for supporting the academy but that's a little ridiculous...after all, I'm not attending my DS is. Hit him up for alumni donations in 4 years. Not quite sure why they think people who want their kids to get full ride scholarships have the money to donate $20K. My view is simple, if I had it I'd give it to my kid first b/4 an alumni association but that's just me.

    In any case, that's true of any big name school I guess. USNA has been very good to our DS.

    I couldn't agree more with the parent support. It's important during the application time (b/c so many questions and very few answers) and more so during plebe summer. Don't forget there are USNA parents associations all over the country and they are FANTASTIC people.
     
  18. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Everything you mention is discretionary spending. Believe me, at a regular college, there is plenty that you must pay for that is not discretionary.

    In many ways, because it is free that is why many people do pay for many of the type of extras that you've mentioned.

    If you were writing a $30,000 check for tuition, $12,000 for room & board and $1000 for books every year - and your child told you they needed more money because they didn't like the food in the school's cafeteria, you would probably say, "Go to the store and buy some Ramen noodles! Learn how to make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich!"
     
  19. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    LOL
    Well, chiromed0 you created that monster on your own-someone in your house obviously was too good of a chef.

    I wont have to worry about that. Compared to my cooking King's Hall will seem like ambrosia from the Gods... I always say "no matter what anyone says, my cooking is excellent, even the smoke alarm seems to be cheering me on!..."

    Though I do make some mean corndogs and tatertots.
     
  20. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Food snobs...

    I have eaten in King Hall many times. There is a great selection of food, and as much as you can eat (albeit from the edge of your chair as a plebe :)

    There is also a fruit/salad/snack bar, and options for special situations like Kosher and Vegetarian. The Mids make mean milkshakes at many meals.

    No one is ever going to profess loving Hospital or school food, but I could live on USNA fare very well.
     

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