awarded nrotc scholarship, now what?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by eccday, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. eccday

    eccday New Member

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    I've been awarded the NROTC Scholarship Marine Option, and I have accepted it for the UC Berkeley unit (I would go to Stanford University). I'm currently going through the DoDMERB process.

    My dilemma is this: I haven't been accepted to Stanford yet, and I'm afraid if I wait until I find out (admission decisions April 1st) to request a transfer to Georgia Tech (I've already been accepted to GT), then I'll never move off the waiting list. Then, I would lose the scholarship and my obligation to the Marine Corps (I was in the Delayed Entry Program before I accepted the scholarship).

    I've been told that with everything that I have going for me in my admissions package, if I call Stanford and tell them that I got the scholarship, that would significantly increase my chances of getting in. Still, I'm not so sure...

    I thought it may be possible to request a transfer now to Georgia Tech, and if I later find out that I was accepted to Stanford, I could request a transfer back. Comments?

    Another concern is the room and board factor. The scholarship doesn't pay for room and board, and room and board at Stanford is much more expensive than Georgia Tech. Plus, I'd have to commute to and from UC Berkeley while at Stanford, whereas Tech has it's own unit. After a bit of browsing in these forums, I read that sometimes colleges will pay for room and board for students with the NROTC scholarship, but I didn't see anything about Tech or Stanford.

    tl;dr: should I wait to hear from Stanford to request a transfer to Georgia Tech, or request a transfer ASAP?
     
  2. CTXMom

    CTXMom Member

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    From what I understand about the process, once you accept your NROTC scholarship you can request a unit change at that time; after all scholarships have been awarded the board will then look at the requests for unit transfer which will be in mid-March to April.
     
  3. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    As you have already been awarded a scholarship, you can now ask NETC to see if you can transfer that scholarship to Georgia Tech.

    I've done the Stanford to Berkeley trip on a regular basis (not for ROTC, but for personal reasons), and its a real ***** after a while. Some of these "cross-town" arrangements sound really dubious to me as to efficacy.
     
  4. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    X2. Seriously...seriously consider when and how often you'll need to make a trip between a host college and a cross town school before accepting/transferring a scholarship to a cross town college. Add in whether you think you'll "feel" like part of the unit when you're not available to hang out with the other mids at the unit during off hours. Definitely something to consider.
     
  5. s1732

    s1732 Member

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    Excellent points. My son is at a crosstown and travels to his unit (20 - 25 minutes each way) at least 5 days per week and needs to pay ($4-$6) for parking each time. Given how packed his schedule is, public transportation isn't an option (or even available at 5:00 am), so he needs to have a car.

    Building relationships at the unit has been tough for my son because he isn't there to study with the other mids and to hang out in down times. According to the unit leadership, this does have an impact on his status within the unit. Folks just don't know him as well as they know everyone else. While lots of mids make it work, I don't think that it is a great situation.
     
  6. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    . That's the exactly correct phrase -- "make it work". Imagine an average of three days a week commuting from Stanford to Berkeley... if you're biking to the Palo Alto bus station that will then take you to the Fremont BART line, then you're looking at over an hour and a half each way. If you're driving, depending on traffic, you're looking at 1:10 minutes each way, and up to 1:50 if you catch traffic coming back.

    I don't know whether NROTC meets twice or three times a week at Berkeley... that would be important to know.. I'm assuming three.

    Add that time up: 3*3:00 via public transport = 9 hrs per week getting to the Host Batallion. 3*2:20 (best case w. car, no traffic) = 7 hours per week.

    Then, as the poster above mentioned, you're not REALLY part of the unit b/c you don't sleep, eat and socialize with the other mids nearly as much as the students at/very close to the Host Battalion do.

    If the Cross-town school is only a 10 minute drive from Host, that's a compeletely different story... but Stanford and Berkeley are quite far apart.

    Bottom line, I would seriously consider using your scholarship at Berkeley proper (though you didn't say whether you APPLIED to Berkeley :redface:) and/or emailing NETC to start the conversation about the viability of using your scholarship at Georgia Tech.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  7. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    My DS has the same dilemma. Stanford and Berkeley are both on his NROTC list, and he's been admitted to our state school.

    After much hand-wringing, my DS has decided not to upset the apple cart and to let the chips fall where they may. He will accept the NROTC scholarship if he's lucky to receive it. But if he does receive the NROTC scholarship and is NOT admitted to either Stanford or Berkeley and is not able to transfer to the school where he has been admitted, then a Navy career is simply not his destiny.

    Personally, I wish the system were different, but it is what it is. The Air Force Tier 1 system, in my opinion, seems to have a better method to capture the top talent in my opinion. Like USNA and the other service academies, they give appointments to the top candidates from a nationwide pool of applications. NROTC and AROTC don't seem to work that way.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The other issue is to remember as you make it up the ladder, freshman, soph, jr., sr classes become offered less frequently. Intro to govt every hour, every day with 4 different profs., now as a sr those courses become 1 or 2 classes for the semester.

    It becomes difficult pigeon holeing your class for your major while aligning it with ROTC if you have to go X town and the commute is 30-45 minutes each way.

    For the most part cadets at traditional colleges do not dorm with other ROTC students. They do not eat or sleep with them. Certain colleges like VT will dorm them together but others do not have "special" dorms for ROTC.

    However, the comment about socializing is very true. Cadets are known to hang in the lounges between classes and many dets/bn have GMC night. This when they hang in the lounge, watch movies, play video games, fooball or crud and order in pizza. It is way to bond, now if you leave to go back to your college, all they will know about you is you the cadet, nothing more and nothing less.

    Additionally large universities use the det as cheap labor. Dets/BN are the ones that clean up the stadium/arena after the games. At our DS's college every ROTC unit does 2 clean ups for football. It is not optional, it is mandatory. They are there by 7 a.m. on a Sunday and usually end around 1 p.m. So, besides their commuting for ROTC reqs, they also will commute to do volunteer work on the weekend. They also will have other mandatory functions. For our DS's AFROTC det., they do Susan G Kolman run, dining ins/outs each semester on top of football/basketball clean ups. In essence, I would say at least 1 weekend a month per semester has an ROTC mandatory issue.

    When you come up for SFT or career assignment, you don't want the cadet commander to say to the CoC, he is a nice enough guy. The reason they are saying that comment is because you have not made an impact on them either way to make an impression.

    The final thought comes through our own DS's experience. At a certain point they will be torn between college and military. It is hard if their social circle
    is only college. They see their peers having fun and just being a college kid. They live in a quasi world because they are college kids, but at the same time they know their career and that what they do in college impacts that career. A traditional freshman is sowing their oats and has yet to understand their gpa impact for their career, an ROTC freshman knows that
    their gpa matters.

    There are many that will have issues with this. IMPO, that is where being involved outside of ROTC reqs, and hanging with them impacts which way they will walk out on graduation day.

    Xtown works, but you need to discuss how far the commute is. Centh has a DS at our DS's university in NROTC. However, there is no NROTC at the college and he commutes to another college(45 minutes train). He has been incredibly successful at the NROTC unit, yet he also hangs with them socially.

    Talk to Centh.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Patent, we x posted. With every post I admire you more as a parent.

    :worship::worship::worship::worship:

    That is the hard thing for parents to get across to kids or to accept themselves.
    It is destiny...fate...LIFE!

    You can get mad if it doesn't work out, but you accomplish nothing with that anger. You can accept it and move on and accomplish everything!

    Clarification.

    You are confusing the systems.

    AFROTC is the only one that only goes from a nationalistic position. They do not care if you are from AK or FL, highest WCS wins.

    SA's start with geographic areas. Appts are tied to noms, for the most part noms are tied to your MOCs (Sen, MOC). A candidate from NY has to 1st go against all the other candidates on their NY slate they don't compete against a candidate from TX. SCORE high enough and they can go into the national pool where they compete against the candidate from TX, but it is not a given.

    I do agree, I wish someone could explain why NROTC and AROTC tie scholarships to the college. It doesn't make sense to me. Every yr there are posters on this board trying to re-work their A/NROTC scholarship. From a corporate manpower issue it would seem that if they went the AFROTC way they would be able to cut costs. Think about it, they have X dollars in scholarships, why do they care if 1 college has 0 scholarships and another has 10? AFROTC has proven that it has no impact for them regarding dets.

    Our DS has 10 out of 30 asking for UPT. 3 or 4 are scholarship recipients.
     
  10. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    The feeling is mutual! You were probably the most influential person on SAF who convinced me that I should shed my title as "Lurker" and elevate myself to the position of "Active Poster" on this site. I was gaining so much knowledge about this process from you and others that I started feeling guilty about not paying it forward! The one thing I haven't decided yet is whether to follow your lead and stick around after my DS has finished with this process or whether to "fade away". I'm probably going to stick around.

    I realized that as soon as I hit the "Submit Reply" button. Clearly, a 3Q'd candidate from Nebraska has a MUCH higher chance of receiving an appointment than a 3Q'd candidate from the DC burbs in Virginia (in terms of noms.). But as you point out, the NWL is nationalistic.

    The only explanation I've heard is that NROTC and AROTC are trying to resist the forces of nature and prevent the scholarships from accumulating over time to our nation's elitist colleges and universities. This does make sense from a overall policy perspective, because the system does produce a quality pool of new officers around the country. In my experience, the best officers have greater "street smarts" but you find more of the pencil-necks at our nation's elite-type schools. Although I haven't seen any statistics, my guess is that most of the AF scholarship students are redeeming their Tier 1 awards at very pricey, elitist schools.

    While I may rant about how "less than optimal" the NROTC and AROTC systems are (and I specifically reserve the right to do so again!!), the policymakers in the Army and Navy Departments do have logic in their approach to obtain the best overall officer class possible. Unfortunately, my DS may ultimately fall on the losing side of that policy, but I hope he doesn't. If he does, though, then it's on to Plan C!! And if Plan C fails, then it's on to Plan D, E, F, etc. until we run out of letters in the alphabet and realize that it's time to cry "Uncle."
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Want to know how you become the best officer in any branch?

    You salute sharply and follow their orders.

    I agree for the Army and Navy this system works the best for their branch. You can beaach all day long, but the fact is they have for decades created great soldiers/sailors under their system. Why mess with something that has proven to be successful.

    My question was purely from an HR perspective because as a poster who has been here for 3+ yrs, every summer you read posts of how can they switch units. That would mean man power hours, whereas the AF doesn't have to re-jig their scholarship recipients.

    Depends on you. I stuck around because of my heart. I felt that this was a great resource on the roller coaster ride during that SR yr. I felt I owed it to the future candidates to ride it with them and let them know we were in their shoes and have the t-shirt to prove it.

    Posters who have been around a long time know I am Janie Rain Cloud. I have no issue with that, because to me the worst thing you can do is sugar coat. I have stuck around because I want every candidate to answer the best and worst case scenarios regarding the military, whatever branch!

    I respect every poster who is willing to put their life on the line to protect my family.

    If you see my tag line it comes from this essay:http://jennyspouse.blogspot.com/2008/04/strength-at-home-essay-by-ben-stein-wsj.html

    That sums up why I stick around.
     
  12. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    T-shirt? I don't have a t-shirt. The moderators obviously like you better!
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    No t-shirt from this site, but maybe the mods should consider making t-shirts...free advertising!
     
  14. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    I would suggest you speak to the Units. Ask how early they fill up and if they usually take of the waiting list, if they do fill up. If GT never fills up their slots then it would be a good bet to wait until you hear from Stanford. However, if they do fill up then you have some choices to make. In the past, the Berkeley unit has filled up pretty early so you may not be able to switch back if you do get into Stanford.

    Check with your school college counselor to ask about your chances for Stanford. Sometimes Stanford will be in contact with the counselor for follow up about particular students and the counselors may have some insight. The counselor would also know if Stanford is likely to pass on your high school because last year someone got in and didn't go or other behind the scenes issues.

    My son is at a cross town unit and loves it. He feels it gives him the opportunity to be involved at two schools. You can call the Stanford NROTC and ask if you can speak to a NROTC mid and find out what they think. Ask about travel and transportation and extracurriculars, and how the academic advising works for fitting the classes in at both schools, etc.
     
  15. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    I have been known to rant a bit about the NROTC application process but I've learned a lot after going through it with our first two kids and hope that I'll be able to help our next child navigate it a little more smoothly. The scholarship is awarded on a national competition level. Once you are awarded a scholarship the placement office assigns you to the first Unit on your list that is open. They do not try to match your application to the school. They will award someone a scholarship to the MIT Unit if it's the first one on their list even if they have no chance of getting in. It's up to you to make wise choices in filling out the priority list. If you research the Units on your list and talk to them personally about the particulars of their Unit especially in regards to when they fill up and if they take off the wait list, then you can make an informed choice. I'm pretty devout but I would never leave that part up to fate (again!).

    Another lesson we learned is to contact the NROTC placement office (in Florida) themselves to find out the status of an application. The local recruiters do not have much visibility once the application leaves them. The placement office will be able to tell you if they have reviewed the file, or not. If your son has Ivy League stats and seems to have been passed over for one or more boards then call. The system is not perfect and if your son's application gets lost along the way, the local recruiter may not have any idea. Our son missed the first 3 boards for that reason. Had we not intervened and tracked it down, I think he would have missed all of the boards. By this time we didn't trust it enough to leave it up to fate.
     
  16. eccday

    eccday New Member

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    Thanks everybody! I will definitely consider the issue about commute time and not being around the other midshipmen a whole bunch. I'll also call each of the units and ask some of my questions and the questions you suggested I ask. Based on what you have said I'm starting to think it would be easier to switch to Georgia Tech because the unit is on campus and I live closer to it. Still gathering info though.

    Many people have also suggested I call Stanford and tell them I got this scholarship, and that will significantly increase my chances of being admitted because it's guaranteed money to them. Thoughts?
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Some schools talk to ROTC, some do not when it comes to admissions. I would suggest contact the NROTC dept and ask point blank do they talk to the admissions dept at Stanford.

    UNCCH talks, UVA doesn't, both are top colleges in the country. It varies school to school.
     
  18. eccday

    eccday New Member

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    From the UC Berkeley NROTC Unit website:

    Midshipmen who attend Stanford, Davis, and Cal Maritime carpool on Thursdays to attend the weekly Leadership Lab and Naval Science classes. Recently, UC Davis midshipmen have been driven in a unit-sponsored van. Note that while Stanford freshmen are generally prohibited from having a car on campus, one can get a waiver for participating in NROTC; see Parking and Transportation Services’ website at http://transportation.stanford.edu/parking_info/ResidentStudent.shtml#froshwaiver for more information. Because of the one-hour drive for many midshipmen, mandatory activities at the Berkeley campus are kept to a minimum and clustered on Thursdays.

    perhaps commuting wouldn't be that big of a deal anyway. I guess I still wouldn't see the other midshipmen though.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Not to be the rain cloud, but what about PT?

    Lead lab is held at godly hours, PT is held at un-godly hours aka O dark thirty.
     
  20. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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