College Grad Applying to USNA

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by aleash, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. aleash

    aleash New Member

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    Hello! I graduated from high school in 2011, and during my college application process was very much considering the Academy. I went to Summer Seminar, became an official candidate, and was in the process of being recruited for a sport. However, I ultimately decided to go to an Ivy League university (where I am now a junior). A large part of me always regretted not following through with my application to the Naval Academy, and I was wondering what opportunities there are for college graduates to enter into the Academy as a midshipman. I would want to graduate from the university that I currently attend (expected graduation date is May 2015). I will be 22 in 2015 and won't turn 23 until 2016. Is this possible? Does anybody know if an Ivy League education would help or hinder my application for candidacy/an appointment? This is something that is really important to me and I do not want to give up the chance to do this before it is too late. Thanks!
     
  2. ActaNonVerba

    ActaNonVerba Member

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    If I read your post correctly, you are asking if you can attend the Naval Academy after already graduating from a civilian college. I am not on the admissions board but I have never once heard of anything like this. If your education at an Ivy League college is so important to you, why didn't you join ROTC while at your school?

    To be frank, If I had to pick USNA/USMA over an Ivy League school, I would pick the academy every day of the week. You are getting an Ivy League education and military development at the academies which, in my opinion, is about 10 times harder than any civilian school. Do you actually want to become an officer in the military or are you just attracted to the allure of the Naval Academy? You can't have it both ways, and by that I mean you can't graduate from college while passing up ROTC and go to the USNA right after. If I was on the board I would see this as a student who passed up opportunities in ROTC or OCS and who already has a college degree. Anyone can correct me if I'm wrong but I think it's 100% impossible to go to the USNA after you've already gotten a 4-year degree at another school. OCS looks like your best shot right now.
     
  3. Seavoyager

    Seavoyager Member

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    I think it is possible, but I would recommend going through OCS instead. There aren't many people who attend a service academy with a 4 yr college degree under their belt. If your main goal is to become an officer, the most efficient and quickest way for you would be to finish your degree and go through OCS.

    I am not sure how admissions would look at your case or whether they would hold your education against you. You will already have gone through college, so there may be an argument against putting you through a SA when you are already satisfy the education requirement for serving as an officer.
     
  4. aleash

    aleash New Member

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    @ActaNonVerba
    The reasons I had for not choosing to pursue the Academy, ROTC, or life in the military in general were very legitimate personal reasons at the time. That is why I said that it was a regret. The way you phrased 'allure of the Academy' does not seem quite fair to me, because I am able to both want to become an officer in the Navy while simultaneously desiring four years at Annapolis. I am attracted to the experience, but it does not mean that I am not aware of the difficulties of the journey. Also, from the research that I have gathered, the requirements on the Admissions website says nothing about excluding candidates who previously hold a degree.

    and @Seavoyager
    The college experience that I have gained at my current university is extremely different academically than any experience I could have at the Academy. While I have taken various classes in the Mathematics and Sciences, my studies here are primarily in the Humanities. I would be interested in pursuing a degree maybe in the Sciences or Engineering. Therefore, I am not sure if my academic experience here at my school is extremely relevant to precluding me from experiencing different kinds of academic study at Annapolis.

    Thank you for your replies!
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    It is an odd case that probably (never???) comes up too often. I suspect your best bet would be to call USNA admissions and ask your question to get an authoritative answer. Of course if the answer is 'no', there is always OCS.
     
  6. Seavoyager

    Seavoyager Member

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    aleash,

    I understand where your coming from. The point I'm trying to make is that most people attend a SA to primarily serve their country. You will already have the necessary requirements to do so as an officer without a SA education.

    Just from a business perspective, why would I (the Navy) spend money on you to attend 4 yrs at Annapolis, when I could commission you in a far shorter time frame for less money through OCS?

    I'm not trying to discourage you in any way. Just giving you my opinion.
     
  7. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    I have been told by grey-bearded BGOs that this has, indeed, happened in the past. There is no hindrance to you trying, and if you make a good case for your entrance to the board via your interviews you could be in a very elite number of alums.

    Having said that, you have to really sell everybody along the line as to a logical reason for you to want to go and why it would benefit the Navy as well. Since you are so close to getting a commission via the OCS route, the first question will be that you appear to be more desirous of the prestige of an Academy degree than the ultimate goal of being a Naval Officer. All the Naval Academy is is a bridge to get you to that status, not an end goal in itself. Next question will be can you take starting all over at the bottom as a Plebe and being very subordinate and taking orders from guys a lot younger than you? Going on: as you know, and as a general rule, you cannot transfer credits to the Academy. Are you willing to take validation exams for the ancient courses back in your early years? This is done during Plebe Summer and there is no break to study for them. If you flunk them, are you willing to retake them as a Mid? You also would have to have a plan in mind for post-grad classes if you accumulate all the required credits before graduation which you probably will. All of this should show benefits for the Navy rather than requirements for special handling of one single Mid.

    The fact you have been in college for 3 years, to my mind is not a negative. (OK, truth in advertising here: I went to college for 2 years before I got an appointment.) But had you spent those 3 years working on a construction crew and were just now applying, that certainly would not be a negative. The maturity and developing responsibility, the focus on adult life goals and all that can be brought up. But, instead you actually went to college and got good grades (right?) and have proven that you not only can hack college-level academics but will excel. What's not to like here?

    Your challenge is to be the best salesman in the world for why this is not a bizarre anomaly but a great deal for the country. I think you can do it.
     
  8. futuremarinemom

    futuremarinemom Member

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    I believe that there was someone on this forum a year (or two or three) ago who applied to USNA numerous times and finally got accepted his senior year of college. You may be able to do a search to find the thread. He was planning to do just what you are talking about. Of course, you would still have to attend the academy four years, earning a second Bachelors degree.
     
  9. COmom

    COmom Member

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    ^^^Great food for thought. In the 2016 class, a Colorado candidate who'd completed college received an appointment. However, during Plebe summer he decided OCS made more sense since he had his Bachelors degree already.
     
  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Taking it one step further why only Naval Officer? Why not an Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, or Merchant Marine officer? It's an individual decision.

    We do many things in life that are illogical. We had a discussion about closing SAs. If the ultimate goal is just to produce officers, why not use OCS only has it's most cost effective. Why do want enlisted sailors as midshipmen when they are already serving in the Navy. Why not limit enlisted sailors to OCS only to return them back quicker?
     
  11. ActaNonVerba

    ActaNonVerba Member

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    Aleash,

    I never intended to come across as demeaning. If you want something, go for it. I've just never heard of a situation like yours happening. Your best bet? Call USNA today and ask! They are straight shooters and will tell you yes or no. Let us know what they say.
     
  12. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Despite the Naval Academy being the Navy's premiere officer training program, the bottom line is that it's a college. Most of a midshipman's time is spent with studies. Part of the challenge (by design) is to balance your military obligations with your academic obligations. This is a balancing act that students at a civilian institution do not have to face. Even ROTC students do not have the same challenge anywhere near to the level of an academy student.

    That being the case, I do not see how the admissions board would even consider somebody who has already met the bulk of requirements (and challenges) of the program.

    Like others who have responded, I have also never heard of anybody attending the Naval Academy who has already completed a 4-yr college program - not to mention an Ivy League school grad. You'd be breaking new ground. I would call the admissions office instead of wasting my time with the application process.
     
  13. USCGA_2018

    USCGA_2018 Member

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    aleash, Wow, an interesting scenario. The Road Not Taken.

    It seems to me that another 4 years to receive another bachelors degree and enter the fleet an ensign at age 27 or so is not in your best interest or the Navy. Some good points were made about being an older plebe. I just don't think you can ever go back and capture the full SA experience missed by attending an Ivy league school. That being said, you can still be a Naval officer and an Ivy League grad... Not a bad combo.

    Thinking longer term, the years spent at Annapolis could be spent in active duty earning valuable experience, promotions, pay and opportunities. It appears easier to catch up and or close the gap with your peers by going OCS rather than starting over with 18 year olds fresh out of high school. Just my opinion.

    Could you double major by adding a year to your current Ivy League school? You could maybe go for more of a STEM curriculum. What about graduate school and then OCS?

    There are far worse regrets than attending an Ivy League school. Go forward and build off of your experience and degree rather than attempting to turn back the clock. 6 years from now when you are a LT or LCDR you can tell your newly assigned ENS that just graduated from the Naval Academy how you were almost his classmate.

    I realize that these forums are dedicated to furthering interest and attendance in the SA's, so I should probably apologize for my not encouraging you to pursue that path. My two cents is worth much less than that as well, because I am just a parent of a soon to be cadet and have not served in the military myself. It's good that I have read many posts hear supporting the many great choices you have.
     
  14. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    There are cases of folks attending a SA having graduated from a civilian college. They are very rare. It's much more common for mids to have 1 or 2 years of college before USNA.

    Several years ago, I had a candidate with 2 full years of college. This person (whom I will refer to as "he" for convenience) had not taken any of the USNA courses in college other than Calc I, which was taken only after the decision to attend USNA. He did extremely well at USNA and never regretted the decision to go to school for those extra years. So, if your college courses are sociology, psychology, art history, biology, zoology, architecture, etc., USNA's curriculum might not be repetitive.

    Whether you "should" attend USNA is a different question. You will be taking direction from, and being "yelled at" by, people younger than you without nearly as much life experience as you. Now, in fairness, prior enlisted do this. But is it something you want to take on?

    Also, are you attending USNA because you want to revisit your decision not to attend (the path not taken as someone said above)? Probably not a good reason. We can't go back in life and revisit decisions. Rather, we make new decisions that sometimes redirect our lives. If you start as a college graduate plebe, it will never be the same as it would have been had you started as an 18-yr-old plebe. Trust me on this one.:wink:

    If your desire is to be an officer, OCS might be the better path. You'd be in largely the same position you would have been in had you attended USNA -- you'll be a Naval Officer.

    There's a tried but true saying: You can't go back again. In that vein, don't assume your life would somehow have been "better" had you gone to USNA. You don't know that. Sounds like you've done quite well for yourself. The challenge now is to figure out what you want to do next . . . and the best way to get there.
     

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