College Grad

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Hawk88, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. Hawk88

    Hawk88 New Member

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    I am currently a Junior in college (not doing ROTC), and until recently was always told that I could not receive a vision waiver for the military. Now that that window is open(ing), I am reconsidering a career in the military.

    The way I see it, I could apply to West Point (I will be 22 when I graduate) or OCS. I understand that going to WP would give me 2 BA's, but that is not what I am concerned about; I want to be the best officer that I can be and I think that West Point would do that for me.

    Is West Point open to taking college grads / has this ever really happened before? Or is it better for me to do OCS since I'll already have my BA?

    Also, how much would my high school information matter for the application or would having a college degree really help (or hurt) me?

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Yes - it has been done before. Some are ones who don't get in on the first try and will keep applying until they get too old. And some of them are college grads.
    - Your college courses will not transfer. During Beast, you will be given some validation tests and you could validate out of some classes. Even then, you will not graduate early. Everyone is at West Point for 47 months. No more. No less. What validating may allow you to do is take more advanced classes (which puts you with cadets that may be closer to your age) and can possibly enable you to double major if you want (which is usually hard to do otherwise).
    - you will graduate with a BS not a BA

    Admissions stuff:
    - you can not have turned 23 as of R-Day (end of June)
    - you will need a nomination
    - I doubt that you will have to take ACT/SAT or provide high school transcripts. You will have college transcripts to submit instead. Hopefully you have done well in college!
    - you will need to be medically qualified (DoDMERB)
    - you will need to be physically qualified (CFA)

    Pros:
    - you will be a West Point graduate :thumb::thumb:
    - you would be able to double major
    - you could excel academically
    - you could be First Captain, Rhodes scholar etc

    Cons (actually just things that you need to realize and consider):
    - the year you enter, you as a 22 year will be in a class comprised mainly of 18 y/o 'kids' fresh out of high school. There will be some who went to USAMPS/Civil Prep and will be 19 and there will be some soldiers who could be your age but the vast majority will be 18 years old. They will seen VERY immature to you. Can you handle that?
    - You need to be prepared that your chain of command will most likely be cadets that are younger than you. Can you handle cadets telling you what to do and what not do who are 2-3 years younger than you?
    -Plebe year - your roommates will probably be 18 year olds just fresh out of high school and most likely more immature than you.
    - You will not be 'recognized' by the upperclass cadets until graduation of your plebe year. You can't socialize with them or hang out with them. Only with your class, whom most all will be younger than you.
    - West Point, being a military academy, has extreme restrictions on your life style, especially your Plebe year. After 4 years of regular college life and all the freedoms you experienced there, can you tolerate the regimented life style at West Point? You can't really date. You can't skip classes. Your day will start before 7am with required breakfast and then classes ( and you thought 8am classes were bad!), then required lunch, afternoon classes and labs, sports/intramural time, dinner, evening study time and then taps at 11:30, and it starts all over the next day. It may be a hard adjustment for someone who has had a lot of freedoms for the past 4 years.
    - No drinking as a Plebe even if you are 21.
    - As a Plebe - you will have 1 pass per semester (excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring Break - those are considered leave which everyone gets). Good news is that you get more passes with each year.
    - Dating - if you are now dating someone, it will be very difficult to sustain that relationship while at West Point.
    - Your college friends will be graduating and out in the real world with jobs and maybe marriage and you will be years away from that.
    - you will owe 5 years Active Duty service + 3 years Reserve after you graduate from WP. That means you will be 26 at Graduation then tack on 5 more years and you will be 31 when you finish Active Duty.


    Advise:
    - contact the Regional Commander at West Point for your region and talk to them
    - you need to do a day visit before you make this kind of decision. Maybe in your circumstance, they would allow you to do an overnight. This would truly the the best way for you to see the lifestyle of what you are considering committing to.


    OCS:
    That is definitely the quickest route for you to officership in the Army.
    Maybe someone else on these forums will chime in here and offer their experience/opinions on OCS in your situation.

    You are certainly to be commended for your desire to serve and the route you are willing to take to do that.
    Arm yourself with all the information you can about what you are considering before you make this decision.
    Good luck with whichever route you take! :thumb:
     
  3. Hawk88

    Hawk88 New Member

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    Thanks for your response.

    The being older part doesn't really bother me. The hardest transition I think would be not drinking at all (especially being 22) and being so restricted, but I'm ready for that.

    I'm really curious as to how much my high school transcript will weigh, and how much having a college degree will help (if at all, e.g. would a HS 3.5 > 3.0 in college?).

    PS - 8am classes are the worst!
     
  4. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    I doubt your high school transcripts will matter at all if you have spent 4 years in college and have a degree. That would be like looking at middle school grades. They look at high school grades because they are the most recent.
     
  5. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    I second America's Finest here. West Point is interested in seeing that you can do college level work. A high school transcript is not going to tell them that, but college transcripts will. Is a 3.0 good enough? Honestly, I don't know. A lot will depend on what you took and your major as some majors are more academically challenging than others. A good person to ask that question to is your Regional Commander.

    RE 8am classes. The difference is that at West Point every cadet will be up with you at Breakfast formation in those early hours of the morning which might make it more tolerable than at State U when you have an 8am class but roomie and half the people on your hall don't.
     

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