Appointment "Scholarship" Name and Worth

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Nh2020, May 11, 2016.

  1. Nh2020

    Nh2020 Mom2020

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    My DS will be getting recognized for his appointment to the Class of 2020 at the senior scholarship night and the guidance counselor wants to know the "actual name" of the Academy scholarship and the approximate value. I have searched and haven't found any current information to tell her. Any suggestions?
     
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  2. goforspaatz

    goforspaatz USAFA c/o 2020

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  3. time2

    time2 Member

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    This gets asked every so often for all of the SA's. The USAFA website shown above indicates........"Your education, valued at more than $400,000, is an investment the Air Force is willing to make in you."

    There is no exact figure, but for purposes of a senior scholarship night, this is close enough.
     
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  4. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    I would be interested to hear about the guidance counselor's (and the other students') reactions when they hear your son has received a $450K scholarship...
     
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  5. RedDragon

    RedDragon Member

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    When DS had his ALO present at his honors night there were gasps from the parents and a standing "O" from his classmates upon hearing the 400k value. Then the ALO added that the AirForce will be paying him each month on top of this. Great presentation and it opened the eyes and ears of many in attendance who had little exposure to the SAs.
     
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  6. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    Let's not be disingenuous. I believe when you subtract the cost of uniforms and use of equipment like, say, fighter jets and, for the other academies, aircraft carriers, helicopters, tanks, ammunition, etc. you're talking about a much more typical "scholarship." The total cost of attendance numbers that the academies use are not reflective of tuition, room, and board only like civilian colleges use, and I am quick to point that out to anyone who is unduly impressed by these SA numbers. Even though they are paid while at the academy and beyond, your son or daughter will be paying back every bit of the true cost of their education with their service commitment and, potentially, their lives. Not exactly a bargain in my book.

    A dollar value is useful for determining how to discharge 529 funds, but not useful to impress anyone.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
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  7. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I think I understand your sentiment, but I don't understand your discussion regarding costs of equipment. How would that play any role in the equation?

    Costs of uniforms come out of cadet pay so not sure why that would be in your discussion as well.
     
  8. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    I'm saying that the value of instruction, room, and board at the academies is nowhere near the number that the academies tout as the value of the education. The number is highly inflated with other costs (and probably inefficiencies) not incurred by civilian colleges. The academies definitely do figure in the usage costs of all the equipment and paraphernalia expended in producing officers. At USMA, the uniforms are made on post and the price the cadets pay is subsidized. The tour guide was clear that the cost of producing the uniforms exceeds what the cadets pay. I'm not saying that all these things don't have a cost that figures in to what the academies have to pay to educate cadets/mids, but it's not like our kids are getting some sort of merit scholarship to be proud of--this number is a government number. If the SA is saying it cost $400K to educate one officer, I look at that number the same as I do the $400 toilet seat scandal a few years back; I'm going to be interested in the cost breakdown. And yes, I'm sure cadet salary expense is in there. A kid going through ROTC at a civilian college is not hearing that his education is valued at that inflated number, yet he will end up with the same rank. Why is the cost at the academies so much higher?

    I'm just saying it might be important to try to understand why those numbers are so exorbitant rather than see them as some prize bestowed on our kids that others should be impressed by.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  9. Blessedmom

    Blessedmom Member

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    Yes, sometimes it feels like a scholarship other days it feels like a loan? Some days I am so excited & proud DS will be going to USNA other days I am worried & sad?
     
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  10. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I think the key word is "valued". That doesn't mean it necessarily costs that much to the govt, but more as you note govt accounting. You see the same thing on FitReps and other documents. I wouldn't begrudge any parent from feeling proud about or quoting that number though because that is the number provided.
     
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  11. brovol

    brovol Member

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    I'm not sure what the "value" of an ivy league scholarship is either, but a SA education is worth every bit as much. Just because the US government, and the military does not typically spend wisely does not diminish the fact that there is a lot more financial investment poured into my sons education at WP, for example, than what a traditional university spends on its students. It is four years on campus living, feeding , military training, field work, and classes with 15 students in the room as compared to 150. And tell me how many traditional campuses match up with the facilities and grounds of our academies? The quality is at the highest level. I don't know what the "value" is, but I am confident that none are higher.

    As to the point that the SA graduates pay back the value of the scholarship with service afterwords, I get that; however, the reality is that they don't really pay for it with service. It's not indentured servitude. They get paid for that service actually quite well. It's a guaranteed great job after graduation which almost all of them would do even if they were not obligated. Is it potentially dangerous? Of course it is, but it is nevertheless their dream job, which they get as an added benefit to the SA experience, in addition to the more than full scholarship to one of the absolute best and most prestigious colleges in the world.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
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  12. 1mom

    1mom Member

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    Hearing the dollar value of any SA appointment or even college ROTC scholarship announced during an awards ceremony can seriouslly motivate highschool underclassmen to work their butts off to earn those scholarships.
     
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  13. brovol

    brovol Member

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    One drawback is that in relatively small communities like ours those who are on the pannels to determine which kids get what in terms of local scholarships know that your kid will be attending a SA for "free", and then conclude that there is no reason to award him or her anything. I have heard that from a few people already. My son was expecting to be awarded several thousand dollars in locally awarded scholarships, as his sister was last year, and be able to put that in his West Point account, as those funds are generally unrestricted, but I have warned him that may not be the case, despite the fact that he probably would have received more if he were attending a traditional school.
     
  14. 1mom

    1mom Member

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    Yes, even our high achieving students must face setbacks and disadvantages. :mad::(
     
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  15. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Well I'm not suggesting any hardship or unfairness. Just a consequence of folks knowing that a kid has very little expense for college.
     
  16. 1mom

    1mom Member

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    Please, no offense intended at all. I am proud my DS won't have much expense for college. I am awared that he is a high achiever who was overlooked for certain opportunities that were passed on to less-achieving counterparts.
     
  17. No1Fanof2

    No1Fanof2 Member

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    The 400k figure I have to say should hold some brag rights. Yes it is paid back in the form of service in the end but the value of the 400 k holds encompasses the specialized training on top of the education. For example...What university includes in their standard tuition a summer program where you may be on ship, plane, in possible distant locations? (4 years worth) Figure in what a private university would charge for that on top of their average admissions rates. I know her NROTC which included R and B would have cost me over 200k. If it is not pushing 400k I would be surprised.

    We had our senior awards ceremony and I was so proud of the 5 NJROTC cadets who were honored. As were so many who knew them.

    I also reflected on the top 10 and top 8%. 5 of the top 10 could have easily changed things if they applied for those same scholarships and academies. The difference those 5 NJROTC cadets were definitely strung just a little differently and accepted what the trade offs would be.
     
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  18. 1mom

    1mom Member

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    My son's NJROTC CoC Ceremony will take place this evening. He is one of the senior cadets and the only one of 2 or 3 who will be recognized for receiving his NROTC 4 yr scholarship. This will be our 4th NJROTC ceremony. The 1st one was during his freshman year. He was very impressed when the SA appointment and ROTC recipients were recognized and the the different scholarship values were announced. His goals were set after that evening. Hard work does pay off.

    I will admit, both my husband (a salty Marine Col) and I will need some Puffs tissues.
     
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  19. No1Fanof2

    No1Fanof2 Member

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    They listed it as XYZ service academy and the value amount at our school. For the rest...NROTC, ROTC,AFROTC, XYZ Scholars program scholarship and the amount...
     
  20. parktrack

    parktrack New Member

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    At DS's senior awards ceremony, he was presented by a Lt. Col. who stated that the value of the appointment was approximately $182k. But he also discussed the stipend and other things separately from this value. During the same ceremony there was a representative from the USMA who valued that education opportunity at approximately $200k. Based on this I think the "value" has to be gauged in terms of the education (comparative to traditional universities) or the entire package that includes all of the other stuff (monthly stipend, insurance, etc.).

    And to echo RedDragon, there was an extra level of applause for the DS when he is appointment was announced and introduced. In fact, all of those who were in the "military" portion of the program received extra applause and recognition from the audience. As a side note, DS's son has three appointments in his class. In addition to DS's USAFA appointment there were also appointments to USMA and USNA. AF reps did the best job of presenting of the three SA's represented!
     
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