After my Junior Year in College

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by newmusic11, May 13, 2012.

  1. newmusic11

    newmusic11 Member

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    After my junior year in college, I'll have between 90 & 100 credit hours; I have always wanted to attend the Air Force Academy and serve in the Air Force; would it be completely stupid to rewind the clock 3 years and attend the AF Academy if I become accepted and nominated, after already completing my education thus far - or would it be wise to attend there - or just try for OTS?
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    There's a lot of variables that only you can decide.

    1. Is your current degree worth a crap? I say that, because some people go to college, don't know what they want to do or be, and get a general education in the liberal art degrees. Fine I guess if it's a degree in math or science, but if it's in theater arts or similar, then what are you going to do with the degree. If it's a degree in something you want to have a career in, then that's fine.

    2. If you go to the academy, you will start all over. Yes, you'll be able to bypass/test out of some pre-req type classes. You could even have enough time to double major if you want. Or if you take the classes at the academy and some are what you needed for your senior year at the previous school, you can even transfer academy credits to your first school and graduate with 2 Bachelor degrees.

    3. Here's the big question. How old are you? When you say "After my junior year in college", I assume you are a sophomore now. And you're assuming you receive an appointment next spring at the end of your 3rd year. The reason I ask your age, is because if you turn 23 years old prior to June 2013 (The day you go to basic training at the academy), then you are too old. But chances are, you'll be 21-22 years. So age should be OK. Realize however that you'll basically have 1 shot at this.

    4. Finally; the academy is not; or rather "Should Not"; be a goal. It's only 4 years. If your goal is to serve in the air force and serve your country, then the academy is one way of getting there. So is ROTC and OCS.

    I know of student who have gone to the academy with a completed B.A. degree. They are very happy with their decision. There are some that simply don't want to go through all that schooling again, especially with 17-18 year olds. Only you can decide if it's right for you. Best of luck.
     
  3. jwalsh1

    jwalsh1 Member

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    I have 127 credit hours to my name. I have gone to a few different schools because I've been enlisted and have moved around, and they all have their required classes. Anyway, I am 22 years old with 127 credit hours starting over as a 4 deg next month. Do I regret coming here, maybe sometimes. However, in the end, I know it will all be worth it. I was majoring in computer science before, and now, I'm going to try and bypass some pre-reqs and double major in Comp Sci and Computer Engineering. Will I regret my choice next year, maybe... HOWEVER, when May of 2016 comes along, I will think I was stupid to regret it. =D I hope this helps as a personal experience!
     
  4. newmusic11

    newmusic11 Member

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    Thank you for the help, I am 19 years old - turning 20 next month, so when I attend there, I would be at the beginning of 21. I also wondered if they would alleviate some of their pre reqs and mandatory classes since chances are, I have take numerous courses that are equivalent; or graduating with a double major wouldn't be a bad deal either; also, my degree is Business Administration or Accounting.
     
  5. newmusic11

    newmusic11 Member

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    Exactly, personal fulfillment and knowing that you did something you wanted to do (that many may never be able to do) is very cool and it's always worth it - even if it requires extra time, especially since I've come from a very big military family with a long line of military history - it would be cool to follow in their foot steps and achieve my dreams, while also continuing the tradition and heritage.
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Mandatory classes are mandatory classes. No getting around those. But as mentioned, you can possibly get out of some pre-req classes. You won't know until you get there and speak with your counselors. Same thing applies for AP classes or the IB program in high school. Some times you can skip some pre-reqs. But the mandatory classes are mandatory.
     
  7. newmusic11

    newmusic11 Member

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    Lol that was a typo...didn't mean mandatory but some general courses..hence the fact "mandatory" is mandatory.
    But that is true. I'll just make sure I go over it thoroughly with admissions.
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Mandatory is , as Christcorp says... mandatory. You may start in Calc III, or be surprised and begin in Calc I. there are always some shockers every year.

    Good luck to you!
     
  9. newmusic11

    newmusic11 Member

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    In the past two years, I've taken: Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra, Statistics & Probability, & Trigonometry..... would I have to take Calculus? lol and I took two of those as electives...
     
  10. falcongirl

    falcongirl USAFA grad

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    Yep! Calculus 1 and 2 are required for ALL academy cadets regardless of major. You'll probably be able to validate statistics (mandatory for techie majors) though!
     
  11. newmusic11

    newmusic11 Member

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    Is this only in regards to the academies or is this also required at Citadel & Norwich?? I'm not worried about it, just not a big math fan.
     
  12. falcongirl

    falcongirl USAFA grad

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    I can only speak for USAFA, but I'm pretty sure Calc 1 & 2 are required at West point/Navy too. I have no idea about Norwich and The Citadel...
     
  13. USAFA_2012

    USAFA_2012 Member

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    honestly, there's no substitute for being a part of the Long Blue Line.

    IMO it's definitely worth it, but only you can make that decision. but i can tell you this: if you don't do it or do OTS, you might second guess yourself later down the road. however; if you do start over you will most likely never regret it.
     
  14. serfinity24

    serfinity24 New Member

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    I'm in a similar position in life; just finished my second year of college and contemplating whether to apply to the Academy for c/o 2017.

    I applied for c/o 2016 but was disqualified for low CFA scores. When I started the app process last summer, I figured two years of previous college wasn't that big of a deal and wouldn't be "wasted time" so I had no qualms. However, I'm leaning towards not re-applying, because I would only be one year away from a bachelor's degree. At an expensive private school, no less. I'm also a music performance major and haven't taken any science or math courses for two years, which would give me a bit of a catch-up curve if I entered the academy next year.

    Also, as Christcorp said, the Academy is not the only way to become an officer. If that's your ultimate goal, then consider ROTC and OTS. You just have to weigh what is more worth your time and effort. Being a USAFA graduate is prestigious, and I've had grads and other people tell me that it makes a difference (that is opinion and not proven in any way!) But there are plenty of fine USAF officers who were commissioned through ROTC and OTS. So really, you can get where you want to go in many different ways. I'd suggest talking to your local OTS recruiter and seeing what they have to say, and perhaps also exploring a 2-year ROTC program at your current school.
     
  15. newmusic11

    newmusic11 Member

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    Yeah I see even some places will let grad. school students into the rotc and commission upon their acceptance of their degree. I've been recommended OTS a bunch...it's also kind of funny, I keep hearing a story brought up about - it's not about how you get the brass, because at the end of the day those who partied in the public and private (non-military) colleges all end up a 2LT too, along with all of the officers who were told what to do and screamed at 24/7 in the military colleges and academies. The thing is, there's a WP Grad in my bro's unit and there's an ROTC Grad...the ROTC guy is the WP Grad's commanding officer and they always joke around about how that works out. The way I've thought about it lately, it's the commission that we want and ultimately, we want to serve the country...it shouldn't be about the "academy or college" we want to serve or attend for bragging rights or self fulfillment. Just bust our a** and do our job well and we'll be recognized for it..look at colin powell for example..he went to the city college of new york or something like that and look at the position he's in and has previously served in.
     
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    In the end, getting the commission and serving your country is what matters. But lets not be totally naive. If you're interested in the air force, and you're wanting to be a pilot, the academy has a major advantage over ROTC and OTS. At the academy; if you qualify; you're pretty much guaranteed a pilot slot. ROTC is so much harder and OTS is even harder yet.

    Also; no one stays in the military forever. If you're the type who will get out after 5-7 years and probably don't have your grad school done yet, an academy education pulls a lot more weight. Unless of course your education via ROTC was something like Harvard, Cornell, Purdue, or some other high end prestigious university. If you've got your masters/PhD when you leave the military, then undergrad isn't that important. Most companies look at the highest level of education.

    Finally; depending on how well you do once commissioned, being an academy grad can play into account when it comes to assignments and promotions. "Technically"; no it doesn't matter. But just like the admissions board; ALO; Job interview; etc... There is the human factor that must be considered. As much as you think it isn't fair, if an individual was interviewing 2 people for a job, and one graduated from the University of North Dakota and the other graduated from UCLA; all things being pretty equal, the UCLA grad would be looked upon more favorably. Same with the military. Again; it all depends on what you've accomplished since being commissioned. If you haven't done crap, then the military will have no problem letting you go once your commitment is up. However; 2 individuals pretty much even on resumes/accomplishments, will get better consideration if they are an academy grad vs ROTC; unless the ROTC grad was from a prestigious school.

    So while getting the commission and serving your country is the ultimate goal; and in most areas, there isn't a difference between an academy or ROTC grad; there are some advantages to having attended the academy. Some are immediate, like becoming a pilot in the air force. Others are more personnel related and deal with impression and perception.
     

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