AFROTC or NWP?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by carolina, May 28, 2014.

  1. carolina

    carolina Member

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    I applied to USAFA this year and did not receive an appointment. Right now I am trying to decide what to do next. I have an opportunity to attend Northwestern Preparatory School, though I would be a self-prep. Or I could continue with my plan to attend a University in North Carolina and enroll in ROTC. (Not on a scholarship)

    I intend to apply to USAFA again this year, though I have no idea which I should do. I had weak SAT/CFA scores which I intend to improve either way. It just seems like with AFROTC if I don't get into USAFA I would still be okay. Where as if I don't get in after attending Northwestern Prep I would be out a lot of money and gotten nowhere. USAFA is the goal, I just don't know how to get there yet.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! :biggrin:
     
  2. DerFalke

    DerFalke Member

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    If USAFA truly is your goal, I'd say NWP. Granted, this is a risk vs. reward situation, and I don't think that I, nor any other of the Northwestern Prepsters could give you a solid answer based on the information provided. There's a lot going into this decision.

    Firstly, ask yourself what you see yourself doing after you commission. Anyone out there can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe academy grads their first choice of career more often than ROTC or OTS grads. This puts you at a huge advantage if you want to fly.

    Secondly, ask yourself about the college lifestyle, and whether or not you really want it. Because you won't get it at NWP. There were times where I was downright (internally) frustrated being there.

    Thirdly, think about the quality of your application while at an ROTC det, as opposed to the quality while at NWP. At NWP, your sole purpose is to gain competitiveness and create a stellar application. At a normal college you'll have all sorts of things to keep you busy, which are not necessarily beneficial to your app.

    Lastly, ask yourself how hard you're willing to work for an appointment. I have plenty of non-scholarship friends who did get their appointments, and plenty who did not. Those who worked the hardest day in and day out were the ones who got them. This really is the most important thing, so answer it truthfully, for your own sake.



    Final note: I really cannot think more highly of NWP. I've made some of the best friends, all while becoming a better person in almost every way. Feel free to shoot me a PM if you have any questions, and I'd be happy to share with you my NWP experience.
     
  3. carolina

    carolina Member

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    I PMed you DerFalke!
     
  4. Seawings18

    Seawings18 Member

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    The question here is whether your goal is to go to USAFA or commission as an officer in the Air Force. It may sound like the first choice includes the second but for many this is not always the case.
    I would suggest AFROTC because is puts you on a more direct path to earning your commission, whereas NWP is more of a gamble and would only lead to said commission if you were to score an appointment for the C/O 2019. If you went to NWP and did not, unfortunately, get an appointment on the second try, you would have to do more work to get into a precommissioning program for the AF but if you were a Cadet at an AFROTC det you would not because you would already be a part of one.
    In all and IMO, NWP would help you prepare for your application process to USAFA, and then a career in the AF once you get a BFE (indirectly); AFROTC would add to your Academy application and, directly, put you on the path to a commission.
     
  5. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Let's not forget what the chances are of getting an EA slot from AFROTC. This year it was 60%. That was 60% of those cadets the Detachments recommended.

    It might be worth the risk of going AFROTC and then re-applying to USAFA if you are going to be a tech major that is interested in a rated AFSC. Otherwise I think NWP - reapply to USAFA - if you don't get in again, re-apply for a third time as a freshman in an AFROTC Det, and if you don't get in again - you can try for a fourth time as a sophomore (if you are still within the age limits) while at the same time competing for an EA slot. JMPO....but I think NWP gives you an extra "shot" at Appointment while still allowing you to compete for an AFROTC commission.

    Good Luck! :thumb:
     
  6. annalis

    annalis Member

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    I really think ROTC is the way to go: you will actually get college credit so if you don't get in to USAFA you aren't out $12,000 and no credit to apply to a University-- you'll be starting. You also may end up loving ROTC and wishing you had gone straight to it (even academy cadets say to go ROTC). Remember ROTC can give out nominations as well, NWP cannot.
     
  7. Drawer

    Drawer New Member

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    I had to make this decision last year when I received my rejection from USAFA, and after much research and guidance from my parents, I attended NWP as a free agent even though I had received an AFROTC scholarship. NWP was the best thing that could have happened to me. Mr. and Mrs. Durbeck are amazing mentors and teachers and I feel that living up there on the mountain prepared me for USAFA. I will be joining the Long Blue Line on I-day so it must have worked! There is definitely a risk to going to NWP as a free agent, and of course this risk is different for each candidate. But taking this risk was beneficial to me and many other NWPrepsters. I recommend you call Mrs. Durbeck so you can speak with her about your concerns.
     
  8. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    This is probably a silly question. What is meant by "free-agent" and "self-prep"?
    My DD's friend was just notified that she is being given a Falcon Scholarship. If she accepts it, then what are her chances at appointment? Is it better than a free-agent?
    I'm not even sure my questions make sense.:confused:
     
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    A "self-prep or "free-agent" is a candidate who is attending (and paying for) a prep school on their own without a Falcon scholarship. A Falcon is a qualified candidate who has been chosen and sponsored by the Falcon Foundation and is having their tuition partially covered by the Falcon Foundation. A Falcon scholarship is the best chance of receiving an appointment to USAFA the next year which is why some refer to it as the "Golden Ticket". The appointment is the Falcon's to loose which can happen if they screw up (DUI, fail classes, etc.). Falcons will submit to USAFA an abbreviated application the next year. Self preps go through the entire application process again except DODMERB which is good for 2 years.

    DS was a Falcon at NWP and he is glad he had the the extra year of preparation as he enters his C2C year. I strongly recommend it to any candidate given the opportunity. . .
     
  10. slothcannon

    slothcannon Member

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    Not a silly question, it's a fairly relevant one. "Free agent" and "self prep" are terms the same thing- they aren't sponsored like those on the Falcon Foundation Scholarship. The scholarship basically secures a future appointment at the academy. A Falcon will almost always receive an appointment if they keep their nose clean and their grades up. It's a great opportunity if USAFA is your dream.
    On the other hand, self preps risk a bit a security in hopes of gaining an appointment. The numbers aren't as good far as appointments go, but there is a great deal of respect to be had for someone is brave enough to be a self prep, IMHO.
     

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