Computer Science and AFROTC at Various Schools

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by DDarrin, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. DDarrin

    DDarrin Member

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    Hey all,

    I was wondering if anyone could comment on the AFROTC Detachment and/or the Computer Science Department at the following schools. I am hoping to become a cyber warfare officer.
    • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
    • University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Clemson University
    • Purdue University
    • Texas A&M University
    • Baylor University
    I have looked at all the schools websites and the AFROTC pages for the school. Some school's pages are really active and some haven't been updated in awhile, so that makes me wonder about those detachments, but maybe that's not a big deal?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Akrogan

    Akrogan Member

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    Can't comment on any of those schools, but I would definitely look at the University of Central Florida. Outstanding CS department (one of the best in the nation) and outstanding/huge AFROTC detachment. I'm not a CS major, but I have taken some CS classes here, and it really is an excellent school and would work well or your goals.
     
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  3. maxib7

    maxib7 Member

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    I know that Purdue has a really good computer science and overall engineering program with on of the top AFROTC det. in the country (there are no lists of who's the best but they are definitely up there). Whenever I look up Purdue for CS they're usually in ranked in the teens.

    May I suggest Ohio State. They're Det. isn't as big as Purdue or UCF but it's still decently sized (over a 100 cadets) plus Ohio State is always in the 20's or 30's for CS or engineering. I know of a couple people who've graduated from OSU and are in cyber warfare.

    FYI this is what I've heard from multiple sources: it doesn't really matter that much what school you go to or what you major in for Cyber Warfare. As long as the school has an AFROTC program then you pretty much has the same chance to commission from it as you would at another school as long as you work hard. Also I've heard that in cyber warfare, what you major in doesn't really matter that much. There have been CS majors that have struggled and Communication majors that have excelled in it.

    Ultimately, Pick which school you like the most for what you want to study. The happier you are there, the more likely you are to commission. Because happier people stay in the program and do much better than if they are miserable.
     
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  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    JMPO, but I would not place a lot of weight into their web design/pages. Look at it like you would look at college selection. The sites have nothing to do with IF you would be happy there as a student and a cadet.

    To be successful as a cadet it is going to be a balance between enjoying both worlds, ROTC and academics. You can fall in love with an academic program, but not the unit or vise a verse.

    As a parent my suggestion would be to visit these colleges in person, but looking at your list it appears that unless the folks have a lot of money and you have a lot of free time, you will not be able to complete that task since they are scattered across the US.

    I would also suggest that if you have not found www.collegeconfidential.com join it now. That forum is filled with parents, college kids and applicants. It is like here where they have sub-forums, i.e. UNCCH has its own forum, just like Baylor or Purdue. You may be able to gain insight regarding your choices if you can't afford to attend to do a visit.
    ~ Not every school have ROTC only dorms, and there maybe posters that although they are not in ROTC, they may know cadets that are and can garner you some insight from their perspective as a friend or roommate regarding ROTC.

    As a second reason to why I would not place any weight on how often they update their web page is due to what your ultimate goal is regarding AFROTC...to commission. To commission from AFROTC you must be selected and attend Summer Field Training (SFT) in the summer of your rising junior year. There has never been any year over the last decade that HQ AFROTC selected 100% of the applicants, however some colleges do have a higher or lower % rate than the national average, part of the selection includes your cgpa and your CoC's ranking.

    Now when you place that into the equation, you can understand how it is not a big deal impo regarding how "shiny" their website looks for the detachment.

    OBTW, I don't know what state you are from, or if you need the scholarship to attend, but I would sit down with the folks about finances, especially if you need the scholarship to attend. I would also be honest about chances of selection.
    ~ IE: Not from NC, than UNCCH maybe a big reach. UNCCH is considered a public Ivy. By state law they can only admit either 25 or 30% (can't recall) from OOS, and OOS also includes International Students. I don't know many people that would consider them a safety, and I lived in NC. Now, if you garner admittance, but only get a Type 7, yet OOS, that 1st year is on your dime.
    ~~ Same with Clemson, UWM, and Purdue. They are all Public, but if the school from a bursar (billing) position as an OOS student you will need to convert it to a type 2 3 yr.
     
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  5. DDarrin

    DDarrin Member

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    Thanks. I hadn't considered that school, but will take a look.
     
  6. DDarrin

    DDarrin Member

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    Thank you. I will definitely take a look at Ohio State; it wasn't on my radar. Haha ... It's not that I'm choosing CS solely to get into cyber defense -- I really want to major in CS. I'm taking AP Comp Sci this year -- I wish there were more AP Computer classes!
     
  7. DDarrin

    DDarrin Member

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    I definitely need a scholarship to attend college. I'm a sophomore now, but think I have a good chance (based on current ACT/SAT scores) to do well on the PSAT in the Fall and am hoping to be a NMS, as well as applying for various scholarships (Eagle Scout, etc.). We're in WI, so UW-Madison would be in-state. USAFA and UNC-CH are my 'reach schools'. UW, Clemson, and Purdue, I'm already near the 75% mark (statistically) so I am hoping those are good matches, and then TAMU and Baylor (and a couple of others without ROTC) would be safeties. Where I go will all come down to $ as my parents have literally $0 to give me. Ideally, I am hoping to win a ROTC scholarship and then win a school scholarship to cover room and board. Baylor, for example, has an awesome scholarship for ROTC students, so I will be applying to any and everything each school has.



     
  8. maxib7

    maxib7 Member

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    have you heard of CS50 from Harvard. I took it when I was a sophomore and it's what sparked my love for CS: https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-computer-science-harvardx-cs50x

    I loved watching all the lectures and doing the problem sets. Plus it was cool to take an actual course from Harvard for free (no college credit). They also have other cool CS related courses. I took one in cyber security and another one about mathematics and computing
     
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  9. DDarrin

    DDarrin Member

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    Thanks! I hadn't seen that one. I took the CS101 from Stanford through Coursera awhile back and enjoyed it, but hadn't seen this one. I will definitely check it out!
     
  10. Stemmom

    Stemmom Member

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    If your stats are competitive, Carnegie Mellon offers free room and board for ROTC scholarship recipients. Univ of Md College Park has one of the best computer science programs too and strong AFROTC and AROTC programs. Cyber is huge at UMD with many local opportunities for research and internships too.
     
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  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    UMDCP is very expensive as an OOS student, and they give no breaks for ROTC cadets like other colleges...i.e. will not charge IS because they are cadets. UMDCP AFROTC is a very strong unit. It has been ranked 2x in the last 8 years as the top large category unit in the nation. They have several military fraternities (Arnold Air, Silver Wings, Angel Flight and Honor Guard). They also do what is called GMC night. GMC night is where the freshmen and sophomore cadets meet up in the det. lounge 1x a week. The det. orders in food (pizza, subs, wings) and they just hang out playing crud, foosball, Xbox, or watching a movie. It is popular with the cadets because UMDCP dorms students across the campus, the way they house the students is broken down by the school programs, i.e. Honors, Gem Stone and Scholars live in specific dorms, traditional students live in the other dorms. Thus, this is a way for them to see each other in a social setting. Our DS not only did GMC nights, but was in Arnie Air, and instead of going back to the dorm between a long class break he would hang in the lounge with other cadets.
    ~ When he got married, is best man was the guy that left AFROTC, and another groomsmen was a cadet with him.

    My DH and DS are both alumni of UMDCP det. 330
    ~ DS was in the Scholars program for govt. & Politics. I do not know if it is still a requirement, but it was when he attended, that to graduate from the Scholars program the student must do an internship for at least one semester. Due to that fact Stemmom is correct there are a lot of internships offered to students. DS interned on the Hill for a Senator. ~~ His closest friend was a computer major and in AFROTC. He also interned for a company throughout his college career. As a matter of fact he opted out of his AFROTC scholarship after he came back from SFT, and the AF promptly handed him a bill for 43K. He took a personal loan to pay back that amount, but he was okay financially because the internships that he had were now paying him $30-40/hr 20 hrs a week and full time during winter and summer breaks. He did not take any other loans, but the 43K to payback the AF scholarship. He had several job offers lined up before graduation, all of them starting in the 6 figures.

    The one thing to remember is, just like many other state colleges, UMDCP by state law can take no more than 30% from OOS and OOS includes international students. Point is OOS typically will have higher stats than IS for schools like UMDCP and UNCCH, thus do not look at the avg. stat, but look at the avg. OOS stat. If your school has Naviance you will be able to get a better look since it is comparing kids from your HS that have applied to the schools on your list.

    For the OP, although I believe UMDCP is a great college, they are notoriously cheap when it comes to their merit packages. The Banneker Key scholarship is their top scholarship, but it is very competitive, think of those students as matches to UNCCH, Duke, Notre Dame, USAFA, etc. The problem for anybody that plans to use the AFROTC scholarship and merit, some schools like UMDCP give the merit out in a bulk amount that will be equally divided across the 4 years. UMDCP generally will increase the cost of attendance by 7-10% annually, thus as time goes by you will go deeper in the hole. The same is true if you get a type 2 (type 7 would not work for you because they will charge you OOS and their tuition is going to be over the type 7 requirements). Type 2 has been capped at 18K since 2008-2009 academic year.
    ~ When DS started between his AFROTC scholarship and his merit it was a free ride, but by the time he graduated the bill owed was more than the scholarships were paying out. Just food for thought when you start the true start of your search next year.

    Finally, if USAFA remains on your list I strongly suggest you apply for SLS next year. It is open to HS juniors, applications open up in Dec. Attending it does not equate to an appointment, but it will give you a little glimpse of life there.
     
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  12. Stemmom

    Stemmom Member

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    I was assuming OP would get an ROTC scholarship for tuition/fees in which case UMDCP would possibly not be too expensive. If received Commanders scholarship too there is a small extra stipend.
     
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  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Yes, but the OP would need either a type 1 or a Commanders scholarship for them to be able to attend. UMDCP tuition alone is currently 31K OOS. A type 2 would only cover 18K. Total OOS cost for attendance is @43K. To make it doable for them, they would need if awarded anything, but a type 1, at least 25K annually in scholarships.

    Type 1 scholarships make up only 5% of all scholarships awarded, and in pure numbers less than 50 recipients nationally. AFROTC is not like AROTC and NROTC where they have limited scholarship slots per unit. They couldn't care less if 1 unit has 100% on scholarship and another has 0%. Now place that number against 5000 applicants boarded. Commanders scholarship usually go out to type 1 candidates because they use it as a recruiting tool. The candidate would have to withdraw their name from the HSSP selection board if they accepted the scholarship.
    ~ Can be an iffy situation if awarded the Commanders scholarship in Sept., because they will not know if they are admitted to the school until Nov. at the earliest, which for the OP would be highly risky as an OOS applicant.
     
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  14. DDarrin

    DDarrin Member

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    Thanks Pima and Stemmom.

    I did have Carnegie Mellon (and MIT, plus 6-7 more schools!) on my first college list, but my parents wanted me to narrow down my list to 10 total as it costs so much to apply to schools (plus taking required tests & having them sent to so many schools). Since statistically the chance of getting in to MIT and Carnegie Mellon is so small, the additional SAT II tests took them off my list (they were the only schools that required it). I tried to limit it to two 'reach schools' (for me, schools that I am competitive for, but they admit less than 25% of applicants), mostly good fit schools, and a few safeties.

    We don't have Naviance.

    Wow, UMDCP sounds amazing! The GMC night sounds fun.

    I will definitely be applying to SLS!
     

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