Appointments/Acceptances/Plan B's

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by fencersmother, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    This is actually for both parents and appointed basic cadets.

    I know this is a very exciting time of year for you as parents, and of course, especially for your high school senior. And as appointments start rolling in and acceptances (with ALL those forms!) are placed, please keep this in mind:

    Each year at BCT, a few cadets are injured or become ill and are not able to finish BCT and receive a "medical turnback" - essentially giving the basic a year to go home, heal up, and come back without going through all the hoops again (though of course, with a medical turnback, there will be medical hoops). Some basics get to BCT and realize - oh! no! - this is not what I want to do! Anyway, for myriad reasons, every summer, some basics either get turned back or decide to DOR (Drop on Request - get used to those acronyms). It happens, and sometimes happens when one least expects it.

    It is a prudent parent who will keep open the door to Plan B - even if it is at community college. For my sons, their plan B was a private college (two different ones). One allowed us to hold his space in the class and dorm with the $200 deposit (which they kindly, graciously, returned to us when he made it through BCT and knew he wanted to stay). The other said they would hold a spot but charged us $500 for the dorm deposit and $250 for fees. We paid it thinking of how much we were not spending to send him to college there ($60K per year! INSANE!!!), and this particular college was neither gracious nor kindly in NOT returning either deposit. While not terribly nice, we chalked it up to the cost of doing business.

    Some parents and students do not have a Plan B, thinking "if I allow for XXX College, I'll be tempted to leave USAFA when things get hard." I get that. But broken legs happen, appendices burst, and torn tendons make for difficult running. Realize: none of the above will make a difference after Acceptance Day (early August). But a basic is allowed only so many hours away for medical reasons during BCT.

    Just some musing from an old USAFA mom.
     
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  2. Roxane

    Roxane Member

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    Thank you for this insight. In seeking information from the college to hold DD's space, should she consult
    admissions, bursar or other avenue?
     
  3. EOD/SEALmom

    EOD/SEALmom Member

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    I have learned so much from this forum, this being one of the more important lessons!
     
  4. repatriot

    repatriot Member

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    Roxane, Some colleges may differ so I'd recommend starting with the admissions office and letting them know you want to hold the space. Remember what fencersmother said above, "One college allowed us to hold his space in the class and dorm with the $200 deposit (which they kindly, graciously, returned to us when he made it through BCT and knew he wanted to stay). The other charged us $500 for the dorm deposit and $250 for fees and this particular college was neither gracious nor kindly in NOT returning either deposit. While not terribly nice, we chalked it up to the cost of doing business." It's sad to say (and obvious), but not all colleges are equal. IMHO, I'd chalk this up as an insurance policy, just in case.
     
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    We spoke directly with the Director of Admissions in both cases. Many, when they discover your son or daughter will be headed to BCT, recognize that your child is leaving in mid/late June and you will have extremely limited contact for five or six weeks (or you can explain it to them). Some are really wonderful in acknowledging the desire to serve and the difficulties ahead which are simply not part of the civ college experience. Some, well, not so wonderful. Don't let your plan B be altered if you encounter someone nasty in Admissions (of the Civ College); likely they are insulted that some other choice was made, and their college is now #2.
     
  6. Roxane

    Roxane Member

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    My guess is that when one accepts an appointment for USMA or other SA that any ROTC scholarship that had been previously awarded is no longer available, even if a broken leg at beast should occur and a medical turn back is issued. I see repatriot has just joined the forum and already presenting good advise, thanks!
     
  7. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    We looked at the plan B (well, plan A for us) totally as insurance and never communicated son's plans to the college or asked for a refund. After A-Day, son simply notified the other school that he would not be attending, no explanations. There is no requirement for any college to be especially nice or understanding about an accepted applicant making alternate plans; it happens all the time, whether the alternative is a service academy or a trade school is immaterial. If a school's policy does allow a refund, great, but policies do not make one school nicer than another. It just is what it is.
     
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  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    That is correct Velvet. Their policies are their policies. Good to know going in.

    When we sent the letter (well, son sent the letter, not us) informing of his decision, school number two all of a sudden lost all their congeniality genes and turned nasty in tone to him. We fully expected to give up the deposit so weren't surprised they kept the money - just surprised at the nasty attitude he/we encountered.

    School #1, which refunded the deposit, even agreed to keep his spot, with no deposit , should he change his mind... after the first YEAR! Now that is a school that is wants your kid!
     
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  9. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    It's all a matter of opinion. Personally, although I understand the logic, I do not like the ultra safe options regarding plan B housing and tuition deposits.

    I also see no need to keep kids on personal medical insurance plans after they gain admission to an academy.

    Of course there are a few instances where it has paid off, but most often you're throwing money away. Some can afford it easily, but others not so much.

    As for the colleges that would keep those deposits after an applicant is given an appointment (and a commitment to serve) you can insert an enthusiastic round of raspberries here.

    Everyone can and will do as they please, but diving in has worked well for us. Not once, not twice, but three times. As they say though, your results may differ.
     
  10. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    For us Maple, we considered it insurance.

    Back in the stone age (read: before Obamacare), on I-Day our insurance carrier would no longer cover a basic/cadet/military member.

    And, Maple is right: your mileage may vary.
     
  11. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    +1 fencer. That is exactly what a deposit on the Plan B is....insurance. Insurance against the risk of being turned away at Plan A and having Plan B locked and loaded, just in case.
    Some folks (like Maplerock) have higher degrees of risk tolerance and can sleep like a baby. Others will lie awake considering all the "what if's."

    A few hundred bucks deposit to University of Plan B is for some folks a cheap insurance policy to having DS/DD home and attending the local community college or skipping a semester and bagging groceries at the local food mart.
     
  12. EOD/SEALmom

    EOD/SEALmom Member

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    With our large family (five kids), keeping a kid on the insurance plan costs us nothing more since it's all under the "family" policy after 3 or more dependents. There's a cost for 1 child, 2 children or 3 or more kids - so dropping one would not effect our rates at all since we'd still have 4 others on the plan.

    Although I haven't yet checked to see if she'd be cancelled by the insurance company is she's covered elsewhere - if she's dropped so be it.
     
  13. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Great example where it costs EOD/SEAL mom literally a premium of zero dollars outlay for the advantage of maintaining health insurance for her DD with a substantial benefit payout if the catastrophic outcome occurs. That is a good return on investment.
     
  14. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot New Member

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    We were upfront with Plan B and Plan B was super understanding. Plan B also was upfront that deposit was non-refundable but admission/merit aid award would stand for soph year if DS decided not to return to SA after 1st year. IMHO, we paid $350 for backup insurance and it was well-spent.
     
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