Choosing College Dillema

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by stlcards2012, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. stlcards2012

    stlcards2012 Member

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    Right now I have four choices in front of me, five depending on the outcome of one of my other applications

    1. USMA
    2. USNA
    3. VMI, go through ROTC, probably Army/NROTC MO
    4. Citadel, I have a Citadel Scholar Scholarship, same deal with ROTC
    5. Washington and Lee (If accepted)

    I am currently leaning towards WP but I would like to hold onto either 3/4/5 in case I get injured. Does anyone have any experience with this type of situation? Also open to any comments on the merits of any of the school. I am thankfulk for the options and praying for guidance.

    Thanks,
    Stlcardslca
     
  2. keydet2016

    keydet2016 Member

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    Did you get appointments to all these schools? I go to VMI, and have friends at USMA and USNA. At VMI, I promise you will earn everything and be handed nothing. VMI does not bestow rank like SA's. I am not going to ruin any fun things for you if you decide to attend VMI, but I also promise you that VMI has a more physically demanding Ratline than WP and USNA. My USNA and WP friends are amazed at how demanding the Ratline is.
     
  3. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    Depends on what you're looking for. Would help to be more specific.

    As far as holding on to stuff goes, you'll lose NROTC for good if you matriculate at USMA or contract with AROTC. I know that for a fact.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You are wise to hang onto one. As others said, the one to hang onto depends on what you want out of college. Nuensis is correct. But then again once you matriculate or contract you won't need the others, so although interesting, it's not really relevant. Of course to hang onto one you'll need to make the necessary deposit. Think of it as an insurance payment.
     
  5. stlcards2012

    stlcards2012 Member

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    keydet2016- Can you tell me how VMI is more physically challenging than the service academies?

    I am not necesarilly sure what I want out of college, other than the fact the I want to join the military and make a career out of it. At the moment, I am leaning heavily towards the USMA/Army route because the possibility of being forced to become a SWO is too great at the Naval Academy, and that is one of the few jobs that I really do not see as an option. Infantry/Special Ops is my top choice right now, but that coul always change in four years.

    I willl be making my decision within the next two weeks but want to be onen hundred percent sure before I start declining appointments lol.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Its good you're exploring this. Just know that you'll never be 100% sure... damned close maybe, but not 100%
     
  7. keydet2016

    keydet2016 Member

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    VMI is what you want it to be after the Ratline. I will try to tell you as much as I can without spoiling surprises. At VMI during the Ratline there are sweat parties and RDC workouts. You can look online and not find very much about it. I can tell you this though, the Governor of VA has to approve sweat parties, and there has to be a bunch of EMT's there because it's super intense. And the RDC, aka Rat Disciplinary Committee, issues physical punishments for every little thing you do that is wrong. USMA cadets aren't "pushed" (aka made to do pushups if found deficient in certain knowledges) on the way to class every day. Every day. Rain or shine, there are guys out there making sure you memorize your knowledge. And RDC workouts, which are usually an hour or so, are on weekends and sometimes during the week. A theme I encountered during the Ratline was that they try to physically drain you. And sleep deprive you close to the legal limit. This is so you get stressed/tired and learn how to deal with that for the future. The class of 2010 RDC President came to talk to us after breakout and one of his statements sums it up. "Sweat parties and RDC workouts would cause 'severe and irreversible psychological and emotional damage to our brothers and sisters at federal service academies". Lastly, I don't mean to trash-talk, all these schools are awesome but I feel VMI is the most physically tense.
     
  8. stlcards2012

    stlcards2012 Member

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    Well, physically intense is definitely a huge plus. However, does this continue through the year or does it mellow out? Also, can you tell me some more details about the life during the school year?
     
  9. keydet2016

    keydet2016 Member

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    After Breakout, I PT twice a week with my ROTC. Then club sports two times a week, and the last day is military training. It's just basic survival, squad tactics, and weapons training. It's as intense as you want it to be after breakout. You can join ranger challenge or a club sport that is super hooah for guys (or girls) that wanna go infantry and/or spec ops. You can work out with whoever pretty much when you want.
    Cadet life...
    Ill answer this from a 4/C POV. The week is a balance between your academic schedule and PT'ing. Throw in two or three formations a day, mandatory briefs, and your study time after supper...it makes a full day.
    It really becomes a blur, and being task and time oriented is key to success. Your daily life is going to be a strange mix of college academics and learning soldier/leader stuff. Lastly, you will develop a sense of humor and a bond with your br's that will last forever. Hope this helps, any more questions feel free to ask away. I love vmi and what it helps you become!
     
  10. glen

    glen Member

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    Choosing -

    Keep all of your options open until you absolutely need to choose a college or academy. If your absolutely certain you want a military career then go to one of the service academies. The ring knocking alone is reason to do this.

    But if you are like most 18 or 19 year olds and wondering what your life goals are - you may want to seriously consider VMI or The Citadel. At these distinguished military schools you will join Corps of Cadets with great traditions, tough 24/7 military training, and most important - flexibility to choose not only your academic major, but what service you would like to enter - Navy, Marine Corps, Army or Air Force - and also what level of service - active duty or reserve or some mix. You also have the option to accept an academic scholarship if you qualify (and you say you do at The Citadel), and have even more flexibility to choose how you serve after graduation. At The Citadel - you will have one of the top public colleges in the South, # 17 ranked undergraduate engineering program in the nation, one of the best business schools in the nation per Princeton Review. The Army program dates back to 1842 producing officers and men for the US Army in the Mexican War. The Navy program dates back to the 1970s, but The Citadel was producing Marine officers as far back as WWI - so many that the Naval Academy became worried the service was choosing too many Citadel Cadets for commissioning. The Citadel NROTC unit was the first Marine Corps oriented NROTC unit, and is the birth place of the Marine Corps MECEP enlisted commissioning program allowing Cadets to train with and be trained by some of the best enlisted Marines. The Air Force Program also is highly rated. And to top it off - The Citadel is located in Charleston, SC - the # 1 Tourist destination in the World according to Conde Nast Magazine

    Good luck - choose wisely and then don't look back
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Boy, that last one is tough to believe. It's not Paris, Rome, Berlin, Hawaii, Moscow, London? It's Charleston, SC? Someone is spending too much time watching "Gone with the Wind" or something! Or perhaps their sample population all lived in Columbia, SC? :shake:
     
  12. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    LMAO :yllol::shake::biggrin::yllol::shake::biggrin::yllol:
     
  13. glen

    glen Member

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    Charleston SC # 1 favorite Destination in the World

    LOL -
    I of course am just reporting the results of Conde Nast's 45,000 reader poll. It all depends on what it is you are interested of course. Personally if I were on vacation, I would rather be seeing the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia than eating shrimp and grits for a week in Charleston. But as a place to go to college and for parents to visit - there is no better place to be. Having been to Rome, Paris, London, Zurich, Berlin, Shanghai, Hong Kong, etc., and many other "world cities," I can say that none have all the charm and attractiveness that Charleston, SC has in one place - great weather, clean air, great beaches, great restaurants, great history back to pre-Revolutionary times, nice polite folks (voted most polite in the US), and of course The Citadel since 1842. Here is the news article I got this from:

    "According to readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine. For the second year, the South Carolina destination famed for antebellum architecture and fine dining was ranked the No. 1 U.S. destination in the magazine's Readers' Choice Awards survey, taken by a record 46,476 people. Charleston also was anointed the favorite city in the world (pretty amazing considering Paris, Rome or London often have a lock on such laurels). Ranking criteria included atmosphere, friendliness, lodging, restaurants, culture, attractions and shopping. Charleston's "food, history, architecture and people are wonderful," one survey respondent was quoted as saying. "A bucket list city!" Rounding out the top five U.S. cities: San Francisco, Chicago, Santa Fe and New York."
     
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Well I definitely agree that Charleston is a great place to visit. I;ve been a couple times. My favorite was the weekend I took my boy with some others from church and we spent the weekend bunking on the Yorktown and seeing Sumter, etc. The architecture IS charming. The Battery is a great place to see as well.
     
  15. keydet2016

    keydet2016 Member

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    Lexington has some nice...trees. Rah Virginia Mil.
     
  16. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    On one hand, yeah, no chance of SWO if you go Army. Not like they have ships or anything.

    On the other hand, USNA graduates plenty of Marines, and if you're willing to prove yourself you can earn a commission in the USMC.

    And if things do change in four years (who knows, maybe you discover that subs are super cool), USNA has a very wide variety of options that will remain open to you.

    And Annapolis is nice. Better than in the middle of nowhere like USMA and USAFA, at least.
     
  17. CitadelGrad

    CitadelGrad Member

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    USAFA is in the middle of nowhere? Are you kidding? Colorado Springs is a wonderful city and Colorado offers an endless supply of activities.

    I did two tours at Ft. Carson and go back to the Springs as often as I can.
     
  18. stlcards2012

    stlcards2012 Member

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    I know, that makes the decision between USMA/USNA so much more difficult! They have more options and also have great choices in what interest me now. For awhile the USNA was my number one choice, and I still cant seem to distingush which one I should attend.

    About the towns- personally, I absolutely LOVE the surroundings of USMA and VMI. Lexington is a nice city and the surrounding national parks are amazing and its a similar situation with West Point. Definitely a plus.
     
  19. stlcards2012

    stlcards2012 Member

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    Here are a few questions I have for you.
    1. How much free time do you have?
    2. What are the weekends like?
    3. What made you choose VMI? Did you consider attending a SA?

    Also, here is a question for everyone: Are their any signficant differences between the Citadel and VMI? What are your viewpoints on each college?

    Have to decide within the next two days about the Citadel Scholarship, so its crunch time. Leaning towards VMI as I like the location better and I do not want to accept a scholarship that I will not be using (If I attend an SA).

    Any thoughts are welcome.
     
  20. glen

    glen Member

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    Choosing college - difference VMI vs Citadel

    Similar concept but different traditions and some different majors. VMI and The Citadel are both 24/7 Corps of Cadets focused on undergraduate education. The Citadel does have a night graduate school program and a few veteran students as well as Marine Corps MECEPs on campus. VMI has a Mechanical Engineering program in addition to its Civil and Electrical engineering program. The Citadel offers a Computer engineering program and Enviromental Engineering program in addition to Civil and Electrical. VMI Eng School is ranked #21 and The Citadel is ranked # 17 for undergraduate programs. Otherwise similar. VMI Corps is around 1,400 or 1,500 and their average SAT scores are maybe 50 - 100 points higher than Citadel. The Citadel GPA High School ave grades are around 3.6. The Citadel accepts 56% to 65% of applicants, VMI somewhat less, but The Citadel has 2,200 in its Corps of Cadets. You can see all of this on line as well as view all the majors and minors. But the absolute must is to go and see both campuses and stay for a weekend before you decide.

    As far as military traditions and quality of their ROTC programs, both are top flight large programs. The Citadel has produced over 270 Flag Officers, and VMI about 260 Flag officers. The Citadel Army and Marine Corps programs are top notch and the Army program produced officers for the US Army as far back as the 1846 Mexican War. The Army program consistantly wins the MacArthur Award as the best large Army ROTC unit. VMI and The Citadel both have great NROTC programs. The Citadel was the first Marine Corps oriented NROTC program, and Citadel alumni have been commissioned into the Marine Corps since WWI. It is also the birth place of the Marine Corps MECEP program with about 40 top enlisted Marines on campus each year.
     

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