AROTC School Choices

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Rocko, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    I recently found out that my DS would automatically receive free in-state tuition at one of his top schools (University of Illinois) if he joined ROTC. This in essence is pretty much equal to the National Scholarship.

    He is pretty much undecided between UofI and Texas A&M. He has already been accepted to A&M and are awaiting the decision from Illinois. He applied EA and we should get some news in Mid December.

    He had listed Illinois as his #1 choice but now I'm thinking that might be a mistake. Since he already would qualify for free tuition as in-state if he joins ROTC, why would they give him a national scholarship (And why would he need it)?

    My questions is, would he be better off moving Illinois down the list and put Texas A&M as number one? I don't see any reason to list Illinois so high since he can get free tuition without the national scholarship. Also, since he has already been accepted to TAMU it is more of a sure bet.

    He is going into Civil Engineering and this is very competitive at UofI so we are very unsure whether he will get accepted.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    I have two boys who went through the process. We are from Illinois as well so I have learned a little bit about the Illinois Tuition Waiver. I also had a son who applied to U of I civil engineering...

    When considering civil engineering U of I is number ONE in the nation and the most competitive college for civil engineering to get into. (my older son with a 36M, 34 E almost perfect gpa who is now at usna applied to u of i civil engineering as his back up to usna and got differed to another engineering (maybe mechanical? I cant recall...)

    For our ROTC son, we asked ourselves the same questions as you did when considering school choice. However, you are in a very different boat as our rotc son wanted public policy not Civil Engineering.



    I would almost put TAMU first because:
    1.)he got in
    2.) if they give your son more than one U of I is cheaper and easier to give as a second than TAMU
    3.) though U of I only gives out 20 Illinois Tuition Waivers per branch if your son is trying to get into U of I civil engineering he is most likely going to have the stats to be one of those twenty.

    he put Illinois last on his list of six. It is all a gamble but he thought he would get the Illinois Tuition Waivers if needed. However, he did not want to go instate and it really was his last choice. (For our older son (engineer) it was the only civilian college he applied to)

    Having said that, My ROTC son and I went round-and-round about school choice and I made my suggestions, he did not listen, so far he turned out to be right...
     
  3. hutchdweller

    hutchdweller Member

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    Rocko, it is my understanding that an ROTC scholarship can be applied to either tuition OR to room and board. Would your DS require room and board in IL? If so, that could equate to a full-ride. (I'm no expert, so please verify what I am saying.) Some schools kick in room and board for ROTC scholarship winners - some automatically, some competitively, some not at all. You'll need to check the policies of each one. Then there is possibility of merit-aid, depending on the school. It is a pretty heady numbers game with many variables, so you will want to gather as much information as possible. Finally, but importantly, is your DS's honest school preference. Best of luck!
     
  4. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    Thanks Vista.... Actually believe it or not, Texas A&M would be the cheaper option over Illinois if he gets an ROTC scholarship. The ROTC scholarship would automatically qualify him for Texas in-state tuition which is MUCH cheaper than Illinois in-state.

    His dream is still the Academies but I want him to have a solid plan B and C in place. My gut feeling is he will not be accepted into UofI for Civil Engineering but he is not deterred.

    I'm going to try to see if he will move Illinois down the list and put A&M at the top. He already visited the college and is going back in March to "Spend a night with the Cadets" to get a good feel for the Corps.

    I guess we will see in about a month if he makes the cut for Illinois....
     
  5. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    You make some great points. I will definitely have to look into the Room and board option. I didn't think of it from that angle.

    Without a doubt it is his choice. I guide but I do not push. He always makes the decision and whatever he decides we are good with. My goal is to assist in making it an educated decision. I know when he put the list down, it was a toss up on Illinois or Texas A&M. He loved A&M but has friends who will be at Illinois. Tough decision to make (but a great problem to have).
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    +1 to hutchdweller. Either school could be a near or full free ride. My own opinion as to what to list as #1? The school he most prefers, although it does sound like he could be happy at either.
     
  7. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    He is pretty much 50/50 on the two schools as his number #1 choice. He could only list one as his number one so picked Illinois figuring it was in-state and gave him the greatest chance.

    My initial thought was that maybe they would not give him a scholarship at all since they know that he would basically get tuition paid at his first choice school anyways. Why waste a scholarship on him when they could give it to someone who doesn't have that option. If it were my money, that is how I'd look at it.
     
  8. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    I could be wrong, but I just don't think you will be able to combine the National Scholarship with the Illinois Tuition Waiver. The purpose of the Illinois Tuition Waiver is to encourage more Illinois Residents to join the military as active duty/national guard or reserves. It is an opportunity to "kick the tires" on ROTC without even having to commit-you dont even need to contract to get the tuition waiver. Kind of like, "hey try it, you may like it, you liked it? now sign." Why would they waste one of the twenty Illinois Tuition Waivers on someone who has already committed? If you do a search on this forum there is a poster or two who have participated, I would track them down and PM them before factoring that into your equation.

    One question I would ask your son is what his plans would be should he not get into the civil engineering program at U of I. Would he still be happy at U of I with a different engineering field? I don't know your son's stats but that is a heck of a program to try to get in to.
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Well then, thank goodness it's not your money! :biggrin:
     
  10. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    We've actually had that discussion and he is going civil engineering with or without UofI. He took 3 years of PLTW Engineering in HS so he has a good idea what path he wants. I think that is a good choice. I'd much rather he chose the degree over the school. TAMU is 13th in the country for Civil Engineering so they are no slouch. He also has been accepted to the U of Minn.(Received a scholarship for in state tuition) and has applied EA to Georgia Tech, Purdue and Rose Hulman.

    His single sitting ACT composite is only a 30 so he is on the low side for Engineering as a whole at UofI, not to mention Civil. He does however have a 36 in Math and a 32 in English. The reading portion unfortunately has been dragging him down.
     
  11. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    You've got that right! :thumb:
     
  12. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    So this is the honest part here. You know, given the fact that U of I asks for NO letters of recommendation and does not even need a copy of your transcript, doesnt ask for your class rank etc. then the preponderance of admission criteria is that ACT score. While they WILL look at his awesome math score the other areas are problematic.

    GT, Purdue and RHulman are FABULOUS civil engineering schools. Dont they have ROTC as well? Did you list them?
     
  13. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    Yes, they have ROTC and he did list them as well, just further down the list. The problem with them is the cost. We need to be able to afford the college without the scholarship. GT is VERY expensive for OOS and he may get accepted but getting any scholarship money is far fetched. Purdue from what I understand is easier to get accepted, but pretty much gives nothing unless your scores are out of the park. And Rose Hulman.... Well, we'll see if he is accepted and if they give out any scholarship money.

    I've been shaky on his odds at UofI from the start. But it is his decision and that is what he wants.

    As far as what they look at, I'm fairly certain they asked for class rank, GPA and required his transcripts. Maybe they don't care about it but I know he provided it. If not, that is too bad because that is his strong points. He is 4th out of 600 in his class.
     
  14. tigers06

    tigers06 Member

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    If he gets the scholarship to A&M, encourage him to go there instead. I'm from Illinois too, and have a ton of friends at UofI and I was thissss close to attending there myself. But I thank god daily that I didn't. I've heard almost nothing but bad things from my friends who are there (although none of them are in ROTC, just bad things about the school itself). Just my 2 cents.
     
  15. CM11

    CM11 Member

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    U of I: I've looked into applying. Heavily based on standardized test scores SAT, ACT. They do not ask for LOR. Grades are self reported not a transcript. I don't recall class rank. I've heard the failure rate for engineering is 50%. That could be standard. They don't prefer Instate residents and give preference for out of country residents who are charged more. There was an article in the paper recently about how they prefer out of state residents as well because they pay more and the state is having financial troubles. 4th out of 600 in your son's class is great and I hope he gets his first choice.
     
  16. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    Much of what you say regarding their attitude toward in-state students is what I've read and heard. Sad if it is true that they not only don't support their own state but the country in general... That is one reason I'd prefer to take our money elsewhere. I respect the state schools that take care of their residents such as Texas, Georgia etc. Many is the day that I wish my job had taken me to a different state. But that is a topic for another forum and another day.

    Thanks for your response and kind wishes. I'm confident that no matter what path he ends up taking, it will be a good one and we will be proud of him.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I don't know about Illinois, but most states on the east coast, at least MD, VA and NC, I believe NJ too have a state mandate on the percentage that will be accepted from OOS. MD, VA and NC all have a mandate that no more than 30% can be accepted from OOS.

    This is done because parents typically start screaming when their kid IS gets a TWE envelope while an OOS gets the congrats, you are in letter even though their stats are equal. The main reason is, they are paying not only state taxes, but also real estate taxes. They may prefer OOS, but the question is does the state allow a higher rate of OOS?

    I also would not bite off on the need of accepting OOS for financial reasons when their endowment fund is 1.6 BILLION. Think about it, if they only make a 5% ROI annually, that is 80 Million, I am sure they could offer a lot of merit scholarships instead of increasing the cost to attend by 10% annually
    ~~~ My pet peeve regarding colleges is looking at endowments and schools calling me while my child is in school asking me to donate to their endowment so they can build a new parking lot....isn't that what the tuition we pay every yr should do?! :unhappy::thumbdown:
     
  18. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    I wish it were not true, but unfortunately in Illinois it is about the money, not the in-state students. That has been one of the challenges while looking at schools. TAMU, GT etc have the same IS mandates you mention. They giver priority to the students whose parents pay taxes to support the school... Makes perfect sense, but sure does leave us on the wrong side of the fence often...

    Luckily he is an Academic Admit to TAMU and should he manage at least $1000 in scholarship money, they will waive the OOS tuition and give him IS.

    We actually probably could pull some strings and get him in. My brother is very close with someone who donates a ton of money to the school and has a building named in her name. He has offered to talk to them to put in a word for him. But I refuse to go that route. I'd rather he learns to earn what he has and not use politics to get it.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    That is not only sad, but sick. You would think they would be like other states and support their taxpayers. Than again they always talk about Chicago politics in the news. :shake:
    ~~~ When the economy tanked about 5 yrs ago, I recall in VA parents were up in arms because they felt 30% was too high of a rate. It made the news everywhere here, and I think to appease voters that yr. they dropped it to 25%.

    Again, my biggest pet peeve is when they cry we need money, thus we are raising tuition costs again by 10% (much more than Cost of Living increase) but yet have BILLION dollar endowments.
    ~~~ Unfortunately they know people will be willing to pay that amount, so they have students at gunpoint.

    In VA and in NC, they have a program where many students, even strong caliber are taking part in because of rising costs. Basically if you go to a CC for 2 yrs., carry at least a 3.0 you are an automatic acceptance to our IS colleges, thus saving parents and students 10's of thousands of dollars (@30K over the 2 yrs).
    ~~ Yes, they can even do ROTC at whatever host college for their branch, at least they do in our area.

    At least the states are understanding the cost of college, even if the colleges are not.

    Just wait in a few yrs we are going to see the next real big bubble burst...student loan defaults. It is already slowing starting...instead of hearing commercials on the radio of if you are in default of your mtg. call this company, I am hearing if you are in default of your student loans. I feel for these kids, they don''t realize how much 80K in loans equals 4 yrs later when they graduate.

    Off my soap box. Best of luck to those that want U of I.
     
  20. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    The short answer is: there is no cap for oos/oocountry.

    Good for you!


    Im pretty active in local politics and ROCKO is correct with regards to UofI not only not limiting OOS but has an extremely high numbers of OOS -The tribune reported recently that they 1.) had the highest number of out of state students of any instate public funded university 2.) had the second most expensive instate fees in the nation.

    It is sad to hear the public university that is such a great institution follows the trend of Illinois Politics. On May 29, 2009, the Chicago Tribune published "Clout Goes to College," an article detailing preferential consideration to applicants with connections to politicians and university trustees.Most of the students who benefited from political connections came from elite and affluent high schools. Illinois governor Pat Quinn appointed a panel to investigate. The investigation confirmed that the university filed some students as "Category I" applicants, meaning that they had connections from influential individuals. Their applications were designated with a red stripe. According to a former Dean the school admitted students from the clout list and when students were particularly poorly-qualified the university trustees would find jobs for the students after graduation to preserve the school's ranking.

    Regarding instate vs out of state. The number of istate residents at U of I has dropped by almost 20% in less than a decade while the number of foreign undergraduates has more than quadrupled. Residents have complained that the state's flagship publicly funded university is educating too few Illinois residents and focusing too many resources on students outside the state, especially from overseas. U. of I. officials argued that their admissions approach encourages diversity and provides much-needed funding from higher-paying out-of-state students. OOC pay even more.


    The state legislature has continually talked of reform but this is low on the radar. They are trying to deal with pension reform, keep from going bankrupt, and of course the never ending problem of how to keep our governors out of jail. .

    Vista
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013

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