Citadel Vs. VMI

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by walk97, Oct 7, 2015.

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  1. walk97

    walk97 Member

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    I am currently in the process of applying to three service academies. However, I am also as backup plans looking at VMI and the Citadel. I was just wondering which would be the better school to attend? It seems as if VMI=Army and Citadel=Navy. What is the difference between the two? It seems like VMI may be more academically challenging, but the Citadel has a very strict experience. I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on the differences and on which one may be the better of the two? Thank you!
     
  2. Wilco

    Wilco Member

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    VMI vs. Citadel "which one may be better of the two?"
    Cannot tell if your are serious in your inquiry or looking to start another online battle between alumni, for which I will await their response to your inquiry.
    Search the forum under VMI and Citadel there are reams of discussions on the two fine institutions.
    To really enliven things perhaps posters will take time to also opine on Auburn v Alabama; Army v Navy; or .30-06 vs. .270? (Disclaimer that is a joke.)
     
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  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Auburn is better than Alabama, Army is better than Navy and VMI is better than the Citadel.... Oh and .30-06 is better than .270.
     
  4. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    I highly recommend you visit both campuses.

    My son visited USMA, USNA, VMI, and Citadel on one trip. He actually spent 4 days at VMI and attended the summer soccer camp. After the dust settled, he leaned heavily toward Annapolis and Charleston which was a reversal of his thinking! He originally favored USMA and VMI. He couldn't put his finger on any specifics...it just felt right, the town was more comfortable for him as well. Ultimately he ended up attending a university out west at enrolling in AROTC for financial reasons, but he came close to going to The Citadel.
     
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  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    walk97, better is a subjective term. You need to research and if possible visit both schools. The school that is better is the one that you feel most comfortable at, can afford, offers what you are looking for. All those things will set you up for success. The school isn't going to make you an officer, what you do with the opportunities at the school are what will make you the best officer. If there is no ROTC scholarship, and you are OOS, these schools can be pricey. What other scholarships will each school offer could play into this. VMI is much more isolated than Citadel. There are tons of threads within the Military Colleges Forum on this site addressing this exact topic. Recommend you search for them and read them.
     
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  6. walk97

    walk97 Member

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    thank you!
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    just want folks to know i am watching this thread and will take action if it gets out of line.
     
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  8. usarmystrong97

    usarmystrong97 Member

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    I'm a knob at the citadel right now, so if you have any questions you can pm me
     
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  9. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD Member

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    Is one color better than an another color; is a Bierstadt better than a Renoir? You are going to find many passionate alumni of each of those institutions who are justly proud of their respective institutions. You can also find alumni of the federal academies, other senior military colleges (SMCs), and other Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs at more traditional colleges and universities who are similar proud of their respective institutions. You've received great advice, try to visit both institutions. I've known men who went to The Citadel and men who went to VMI and each are all great individuals. I'm glad Kinnem is reviewing the posts and will, presumably, will close the thread if it becomes snarky. My son's best friend from high school is at VMI as a sophomore and it is great fit for him. Another of our son's Scouts friend is at Norwich as a sophomore and it is great fit for him. We've had Scouts from our troop at all of the federal academies and they report having had a great education. We've had Scouts go the ROTC route at various colleges and they were happy there. My kids are both at a different SMC, and they've been happy at their school. There are similarities between VMI and The Citadel, and some differences too; as there are between all of the SMCs. Can you get into one or the other, or both, or other schools? Can you afford the schools if you don't get a ROTC scholarship? Are the majors what you want, are the study abroad opportunities what you want, how hard will it be to get home for Thanksgiving (believe me, as a parent paying for quickie Thanksgiving trips home for kids well over a thousand miles from home when they'll be back for a month in just a couple of weeks - it's something to think about)?

    Bottom line, at the risk of sounding like an out-of-touch parent; it's a question that can't be answered, and on some level, ... , well, never mind; I couldn't figure out a way to write what I wanted to write without being jerk; so we'll leave it as being a question that can't be answered; one that isn't amenable to an arithmetically correct answer - as in one answer is right (2+2=4) and all other answers (2+2 = Orange, Orangutan, 17, Internal Combustion Engine, etc.) are wrong. In other words if you do your homework and research the sundry institutions, it'll turn out fine wherever you end up. Good luck and best wishes.
     
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  10. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD Member

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    More of .308 (7.62x51) and .45 ACP guy myself.
     
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  11. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    Now kinnem, who would you be watching :)

    My DS just graduated from El Cid. The place Citadel cadets love to hate. I imagine the two schools are very similar in a lot of ways, more than some want to admit. Yes Charleston is a busier town. My son visited both and I liked the VMI campus. I actually thought he would choose VMI. Especially the deal they offered him. But who can resist the coastal palms.

    As far as academics, I am sure one may have a better program than the other per major etc. The Citadel is a ranked engineering school. As far as a Navy school, not sure where you are getting that from. Can't remember the exact total commissioning number at The Citadel but Army was near 100. The other branches combined did not total 100.

    As said above visit both, look at majors, and the local area. And do what feels right. After you get to either, I bet it will be the right choice.
     
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  12. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    Oh and you all know... for versatility 7-08 all day.....
     
  13. majstlo

    majstlo Member

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    I love my M-1 carbine even if it doesn't have the punch of some "big guns" - LOL. The Citadel commissions the most Army officers of any ROTC program and is usually the leader in producing Marine Officers. As for more academically challenging probably a tossup, VMI has a lower acceptance rate but only has to fill 2/3 as many slots as The Citadel.
    Lots of 'intangibles' to also consider; city vs small town, beaches and ocean vs mountains, in state vs out of state etc. Do your homework, visit each school and make an educated choice, sometimes you just go with your gut feeling.
     
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  14. turtlerunnernc

    turtlerunnernc Member

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    Definitely visit both if you can. DS was accepted to VMI, Norwich and Citadel. He was deciding between Norwich and VMI, he never felt the tug for the Citadel and I don't really know why. We never actually made it to Norwich either because the minute he set foot on post at VMI for his overnight "it felt like home". He is a Rat there now and loves it.

    They are both great schools, with great programs and reputations. I don't know if anyone can answer your question except your child because while to my DS VMI seems better than the Citadel but yours may feel the Citadel is better. It really is a individual thing. And in reality, I don't think there is a bad choice out of the two. Really can't go wrong..
     
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  15. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Oh please. Everybody knows that Bierstadt is better than Renoir and Dark Green is the best color of all. ;) Truthfully- you can't go wrong - so decide what you want to major in as they don't offer all the same majors, see if there is more money involved from one or the other, visit both and then you are in the position described in this song by The Lovin Spoonful:
     
  16. NAS

    NAS Banned

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    There are similarities, but these two schools have many differences.
    For Example:
    VMI is in a beautiful small town and in more of a rural setting compared to a gorgeous bigger-city like Charleston which is growing fast and definitely urban.
    VMI is smaller: student body of 1450 cadets compared to 2400 cadets, 1500 non-cadet students, and online distance students. VMI is more selective: 40% acceptance rate compared to 70%. VMI commissions 50% of its graduates into the military compared to 30%. While VMI is heavy on the Army and Marine Corps side, it graduates many into the Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard. Interesting fact: Aside from West Point, VMI has produced more Army generals than any other college/university in the US. Another difference is living conditions: everyone is in one barracks compared to several separate barracks, and you sleep on a cot at VMI--the rooms are very austere--it's a more Spartan environment. Rankings are also different: VMI is nationally ranked (not regionally) with the academies--it's engineering and math programs are consistently ranked in the top-tier--Money Magazine, Forbes and others recently ranked VMI as a Best Buy and best return on investment, etc. the endowment figures are also very different...
    In some ways, they may be similar, but so are some of the other "military colleges."
    Best way to decide though, go visit.
     
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  17. Chris Abbott

    Chris Abbott Member

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    I find it interesting that these are considered "backup plans". My roommate at VMI had an appointment to the Naval Academy and chose not to go, graduated First Jackson hope (Valedictorian) and went on to become a Marine Officer, currently a Senior Major. I hoped my son would go to VMI, we visited all the schools, but he decided to take the SAP program for WP instead. I think you need to visit all the schools and specifically your desired major. It's not which is better, but which one fits your personality and ambitions. I would stand beside any SMC or SA graduate, the end result is 2LT.
     
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  18. NAS

    NAS Banned

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    Chris,
    Great points. Today VMI's role as a "backup plan" is greatly diminished. Instead, my understanding is that potential students are having backup plans with other SMCs if they don't get into VMI... that is another difference in this case...
     
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  19. Chris Abbott

    Chris Abbott Member

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    Yes, to put in perspective, they enroll about 400 cadets annually, they shoot for 52% in state and 48% out of state. After you remove the athletic recruits, you have about 150 slots for both in and out of state. Many of my classmates if they were to enroll today would not get in due to the academic requirements and while the minimum requirements are not as high as the SA, the actual numbers of enrolled students would be much higher. I can assume it's the same at Citadel with just a slight increase of size.

    Point being, I wouldn't treat this as a backup, I would say these are all of my first choice schools, do everything to get accepted and then have options. Best of luck to you.
     
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  20. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Or as plan C have a more reliable backup plan.
     
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