Considering I'm from the west coast.

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Chris94, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Chris94

    Chris94 Member

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    I'm currently awaiting the USMMA's decision on offering me an appointment or not. I received a 3.6 GPA and 1700 SAT in high school (graduated 2013), volunteered for several organizations, most notably at our local VA Hospital, I'm currently the team leader in the social media department for a national draft for Dr. Ben Carson for president, I was the founder and president of a club at my high school, and I'm currently attending community college while working part time and getting my private pilot's license. Those are the things I put down on my application for the most part.
    My main question is: do I have a better chance of receiving an appointment to the Merchant Marine Academy if I'm from the West Coast (California)? I know the competition is pretty stiff if you're from New York, but I'm not sure about here. My liaison officer told me that they were trying to get for applicants from the west coast.
    Any info would be much appreciated!
    Thanks!
     
  2. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    California much like New York tends to be very competitive. However being from California, have you also looked into Cal Maritime and the student incentive program?
     
  3. Blondie1

    Blondie1 Member

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    Good suggestion to check out Cal Maritime in Ca. Worth taking a look at. They also do NROTC through UC Berkely. Their graduates are highly sought. Limited majors though.
     
  4. Chris94

    Chris94 Member

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    I have actually been accepted to Cal Maritime. If I do end up going I will be doing NROTC.
     
  5. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Hmmmm ... NROTC at "Casual" Maritime. An oxymoron if I ever heard one. I was docked across the river in Crockett during sea year and went over to check out the campus. It was major culture shock just walking around.

    If you don't get in this year and you reaaaaaaaaly want to go to KP, do a year at one of these schools and apply from there. Your odds of getting in will go up exponentially.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colleges_and_universities_in_North_Dakota
     
  6. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    Yeah I'm sure it was a major culture shock; sorta like going from Kings Point out into the real merchant marine..:rolleyes:
     
  7. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    For some maybe. My first cadet ship was not my first seagoing experience.
     
  8. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Since I have a bit of experience in this matter (although from ancient times), I will chip in. I am a California native and was still living there when I went through the process. I didn't have a killer GPA, but had decent SAT scores. I was nowhere near as active as you are with extracurricular activities, and did not attend any community college classes (although was offered calculus my senior year). I was an early alternate for appointment, but was appointed very quickly (March or April, I think) of my senior year. I don't know that being from the West Coast had any bearing on my chances to get in. That said, being from the West Coast precluded my from making any visits to the campus for orientation or any other reason. I don't believe that it would have made a difference. I can't recall the reason, but Cal Maritime wasn't an option for me. My "Plan B" was to attend the South Dakota School of Mines, and I was accepted and had funding in place.
     
  9. Chris94

    Chris94 Member

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    what about going to a prep school or perhaps doing one year of NROTC?
     
  10. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    The General advice I would give to pretty much anyone ...

    Why the rush to go right after high school? Take a year or two, go to community college and rack up a bunch of credits to transfer. It won't change your class standing, you'll still have to go in as a plebe and do all four years, but if you can take that many less classes and carry a course load more reflective of a normal school you will find the experience that much more enjoyable/tolerable and your GPA will likely be higher. In addition to that you will have a couple more years under your belt and will be more mature going in so the Regiment will be easier to deal with.

    ... just my $0.02
     
  11. kpjoe

    kpjoe Member

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    Does going to a college for a year or two increase your chances of appointment significantly? How much of advantage does it give you over just high school applicants when admissions looks at your application?
     
  12. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    As I am not in admissions I can't speak definitively to this buuuuuuut ...

    I had short-lived classmate with a 4.0 in HS and 1600 SAT scores who failed out in the first quarter. I had less than a 3.0 in HS and less than 1100 on my SATs yet I graduated ... On some level, college admissions is just educated guessing. Grades, activities, standardized tests are all really just tools to give admissions a feel for how you MIGHT perform at KP.

    Priror college demonstrates that you have the capacity to do successful college level coursework so anything you can do to minimize the guessing part can only help you.
     
  13. Liviu

    Liviu Member

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    I suspect you got below 1100 on the SAT when the minimum required score for CR was 510 since today one needs to get at least 1100 to be considered scholastically qualified. I'm amazed though that you made it through admissions given your low SAT and GPA. Were you offered a principal appointment after being placed on hold? I'm asking this because admissions is quite competitive according to data from previous years. I don't know whether the SAT is a good tool to predict college academic success. Maybe in some cases yes and in others no, but as to the GPA, I believe it should reflect to a great extent a student's academic potential. I don't know what was the problem with your aforementioned classmate, but I'm not surprised to hear about such cases because they're common. Anyway, congrats on your graduation!
     
  14. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I remain convinced that I was admitted to KP through a clerical error. I recall being an alternate the 1st time I applied, they never even acknowledged my second app, and I finally got in the third. All I really recall about my third try before finally getting accepted was my phone conversation with the then director of Admissions when he called me and asked "we are all wondering ... what exactly have you been doing for the last two years?"

    I would say the SAT is a decent predictor of potential since it is more about how you can think than what you know while the GPA is really only reflective of that person in that school. I know too many people who got crappy grads in one school and flourished in another because it was a better fit for them. Particularly when transitioning from HS to College and you consider the vastly different pedagogical and andragogical approaches to learning. In my case the lackluster SAT and GPA are simply a reflection of lack of effort, I barely cracked a book throughout HS and KP. I had a good friend who was about to get disenrolled as straight deck (barely a "major" in my opinion:rolleyes:) and fought tooth and nail to change majors to engine. The admin thought it was crazy for anyone to think they could succeed as an engineer after failing spectacularly as a deckie. She graduated as an engineer with a comfortable GPA.

    Sometimes getting in depends on the year you are applying, it all depends on the gene pool. You might rank 8 of 8 one year and never get a second look, then be ranked 2 of 4 the next and get in straight away. There were five of us from WA my plebe year. I don't know how many applied or turned down appointments. Incidentally, 4 out of 5 of us graduated and the one that didn't was by their choice.
     
  15. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    back in the day I majored in 'Nautical Science' or 'Nautical Science Fiction' as my engineering classmates referred to it.. :shake:

    and I once had one of those 'genius' :rolleyes: cadets that scored in the mid 1500's on his SAT. When I asked him what temperature in Fahrenheit water froze, he answered 40 degrees..:eek:.. I mean COME ON.. EVEN a deckie should be able to get that right!!:smile:. Needless to say that gadget didn't making to graduation.
     
  16. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I saw many friends take "deck ops", or as the rest of the regiment called it ... Liberty
     
  17. Liviu

    Liviu Member

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    The SAT math section only tests basic mathematical concepts and the reading section proves that you're able to read academic content material which in my opinion is something mandatory for a well-rounded high school graduate who aspires to a top-notch college. For an engeneering school, namely, for a service academy that in my opinion needs to be technical oriented (working in the Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force or Merchant Marine requires technical aptitudes), subject tests with high scores in Math level 2, Physics and Chemistry would be a good predictor for academic success. But anyway, everything depends on you to succeed. You can be smart, but lazy at the same time. Smart students do not need to dedicate so much of their time to academic study as average or below average students do, and the result may be the same. When I said that GPA should be a good indicator, I was referring to those who really did efforts in achieving top grades. It is true indeed that if one has potential to succeed, but does not take enough steps to use his/her potential effectively, he/she might be satisfied with a lower GPA obtained mainly due to his/her intelligence and ability to pass the exams with the least possible efforts. But if he/she decides to become motivated while in college, then the GPA may be significantly higher than the one from high school, and in this case we can affirm that GPA isn't a good predictor(but that's because of the students' attitude towards academics). If we want to refer to students who maintain a constant rhythm while in school and use their potential at the maximum, then there shouldn't be discrepancies related to grades, rank in class, etc. It is odd though that you didn't make strenuous efforts as regards the academic part during your years at KP and still managed to maintain an acceptable academic situation and graduate. Kudos to you! That means you're a smart guy. I'm sure others strived a lot, but maybe they were below you because they weren't so competent or they were at the same level with you, but with the cost of working harder. Those who were above you maybe were smart, but more motivated and diligent than you. As for the student that shifted majors, I guess this case is at least freak if not entirely odd. That happened because of him. Maybe he had his reasons for not wanting or being able to complete the deck major accordingly. Since he manged to make it through engeneering, he undoubtedly could have made it through deck(logically assuming). Why do you think deck is barely a major ? Is that because it's easier than engeneering majors? That's obvious, but if one feels it fits him best then he should go for it unhesitantly. What about band company? Any impartial opinions? I'd be glad to know them. It is very interesting your situation of being accepted from the third try. So now seriously speaking, what have you been doing for the last two years? :)) I've heard from admissions that students who are away from an academic environment for more than a year struggle and frequently fail when they come to the USMMA. Is that true? Thanks man.
     
  18. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    My personal belief is that interest in the material and want to be at the school make a huge impact on your grades. My Engineer friend just wasn’t interested in being a Mate so she just never engaged in the material and it never soaked in. Her study habits and grades both improved with dramatically harder material because she just liked it better. I also knew smart people who failed at KP but succeeded at other Maritime schools, not because KP is that much harder but just that they never wanted to be at KP to begin with.

    I also firmly believe that there are so many variables that go success/failure that GPA as a means of to rack and stack people is meaningless once you leave the institution. There are people with shiny GPAs doing nothing and Anchomen who found great success. GPA has nothing to do with being “smart”. There were people with lower GPAs who studied a ton more but had no hiccups on the road to graduation … I stood before the dean and superintendent while flirting with disenrollment four or five times. Which one was really the “smart” one?

    Deck … Ahem … “Nautical Science” is a few maritime classes surrounded by a ton of electives. Heck, the old dualies were Engineers who took a few deck classes for their electives and ominus dominus … You’re a Mate! Seriously … Why did the deckie cross the road? I don’t know but he got three credits for it. Darnit, I’m reaaaly serious this time … My love of dumping on deckies is to be taken with a grain of salt. It is good natured ribbing of my A/C loving, sunglass wearing, suntan sporting brothers topside.

    As for struggling after being away from an academic environment … I can certainly see it being a struggle but without empirical data I would shy away from statements like “frequently fail”. You might be able to make generalizations but there are going to be plenty of exceptions too.

    I’m not even going to go into the band :rolleyes::biggrin:
     
  19. Liviu

    Liviu Member

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    How could the climate at the academy be described? I'm referring to midshipman to midshipman relations and midshipmen to academy staff relations. What chances does one have to obtain employment upon graduation? Is it true that the employment rate is 100%? How will the academic situation impact the chances of getting a job in the maritime industry?
     
  20. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Someone once asked me my favorite and least favorite things about the academy. "The People" was my answer to both questions. You will have no better friends the rest of your life. "I'm a Kings Pointer" will make someone you just met into your long lost brother. I met a fellow alum recently for the first time (I already knew who he was because he was a couple years ahead of me) and within 5 minutes we are telling sea stories like we were roommates and sea partners all four years. There will be a few bad ones too but they can only ruin it for you if you let them.

    I don't know about 100% employment but you shouldn't have much of a problem getting a job. Engineers typically fare better than Mates. It may not be the job you really wanted and it may not even be that great, but it will be a job and every job can be a stepping stone to something better.

    Only one person ever asked me my GPA and that was 15 years after graduation?!?!? I just ignored the request and it never came up again and didn't impact me getting the job or not. When I went to work for uncle Sam they wanted transcripts but that were just looking for evidence of specific courses to be able to qualify me for the specific job series.
     

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