Deciding "around" Kings Point?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by SnerdlyBosco, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. SnerdlyBosco

    SnerdlyBosco Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Son remains a hold candidate at Kings Point, and while we are hopeful, we are also making a trip to visit SUNY Maritime, Massachusetts Maritime and Maine Maritime. He has been accepted at all three.

    I wonder if the old salts in the forum might suggest some questions to help distinguish the differences between the three institutions as we visit. Both he and I have a list to cover, but we would appreciate anything that might fill in the category of, "I wish I'd thought to ask."

    Not seeking a recommendation of which to choose (although comments are welcome). Seeking, rather, the points that might help son (and father) discern key differences on our own.

    Again, we're still hopeful for KP, but realize he might have to make a different choice (and send a deposit) while he waits out a possible last-minute call from USMMA.

    He's already talking about reapplying, no matter where he might be.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. cmakin

    cmakin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    688
    Likes Received:
    74
    The state schools offer a wider curriculum than KP, and I believe that one does not need to take part in the license program. KP tends to have a more militaristic program than the others, but I know Mass in particular is a bit more rigid than SUNY. The big advantage, in my view, with KP is the at sea training. The state schools cadets get their sea time onboard the school ship. I also understand that they can get some commercial sea time, but that is not always the case. With KP, the sea time is all commercial. As an engineer, this is VERY important as it exposes the cadet to the current equipment that is operating in the "real world" and also gives one an opportunity to work in different types of plants. I know that I sailed on 6 different ships as a cadet, with only two ships of the same class (but that was when there were a lot more options). It also exposes the cadet to the actual lifestyle onboard a working vessel, and that is quite a bit different from a school ship. This isn't to say that the state schools don't do a great job, because they do. Back when I was sailing, some of my best assistant engineers were from all of the schools you mentioned. Of course, some my worst were, too.

    The other thing that comes with a KP education is the reputation in the workplace, both good and bad. I have found it to be a great asset in shoreside employment and with most superintendents and HR departments for shipping companies. At times, the reputation is the opposite with those actually onboard - but that isn't to say that I ever found it to be a hinderance.

    There is no problem with holding out, however. I know in my day (and I have mentioned as much here on this board) there were alternate appointments made right up to just before indoctrination started. I was initially an alternate, but ended up getting an appointment within days of the principals. I, too had alternate plans (but not a maritime school) and the maritime industry's gain was the civil engineering world's loss. . . Or that depends on who you talk to, anyway.
     
  3. donar

    donar Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    Questions

    Some Maritime schools will allow you "resident" tuition, if your home state does not have a Maritime school? Ask them about their policy.

    Also ask if if they will refund your deposits if your son receives a USMMA appointment (which can come as late as the July reporting date).

    Is your son leaning toward "deck' or "engine" ? If "deck" do they have a simulator? If "engine" find out what lab facilities they have. Collect statistics on graduation rates, employment after graduation, sucess rates on license exams etc.
    Are their programs accredited? By whom?

    You should also enquire about how they satisfy sea time requirements for license.

    If you visit be sure to talk to some of the students (not just the administrators). When making your decision, you may also want to consider travel contraints (cost & time) between your home and the school.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  4. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    I don't know to what extent this matters, but I thought I'd throw it out there...

    (Some background-I had some interest in the maritime schools when I was in high school; however, by around the end of my Junior year I had a gut-check and realized that I would prefer to study liberal arts subjects and seek an active duty commission.)

    I had visited Maine Maritime when I was still considering the maritime schools. I thought the people were quite friendly and a bit more relaxed about the regimental aspects of their program. The place is in the sticks. I ultimately went to VMI, a place also in the sticks; however, Lexington, VA is Paris compared to Castine, ME. That said, it is a very charming location on Penobscot Bay. It depends on what you're looking for. As tends to be the case with military/maritime schools no matter where they are located, you end up spending most of your time on campus.

    It was coldish there on a summer visit, so I'm sure the winter is interesting. The summer cruise, however, looked pretty cool.

    SUNY is in the Bronx and is obviously much more urban.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  5. SoccerMom2015

    SoccerMom2015 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Other options-

    Our son was determined to go into a Maritime program, and while he was awaiting acceptance into USMMA, he pursued Mass Maritime. He was accepted, and we even paid a non-refundable $400.00 deposit to ensure his spot for Fall 2011. He was anxious to play soccer, and this school was the next best option for him if USMMA didn't work out. We visited Mass Maritime and found this school to be a very solid backup school. Our state does not have a college with a Maritime program, so we were eligible for slightly more than in-state tuition which was much better than what some of other Maritime schools could offer. In the end, he was accepted into USMMA and he's working hard, and learning alot. Mass Maritime is worth a visit, and the Cape Cod area isn't too difficult to get to. We forfeited the $400.00 but in the end that $400.00 was worth the guarantee that his 2nd choice was locked in. Good Luck
     
  6. cmakin

    cmakin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    688
    Likes Received:
    74
    I have taken some classes at Mass some years ago. They have a fine facility and as you state, it is pretty easy to get to. I have also sailed with Mass grads and have found them as capable as any other mates/engineers that I have worked with. It is a decent school.
     
  7. Kram1

    Kram1 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is he playing soccer at Kings Point?
     

Share This Page