do we have to become AOG members?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by falcon16, May 28, 2012.

  1. falcon16

    falcon16 New Member

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    hi all,

    As new appointees, are we obliged to complete the form to become an AOG member now? We're kinda of on a tight budget, and 700 dollars is expensive...
     
  2. ctuma2

    ctuma2 Member

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    Same with me (tight budget- I don't have $700) and I don't believe it is required at the moment since it does say you can become a part of it at graduation.
     
  3. DGS

    DGS New Member

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    I hope not... I kind of threw away the papers as soon as I saw the price. But for real, there is little likelihood that they would make us do that sort of thing at that cost.
     
  4. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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  5. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    It is not required. There is another option than paying it all in full at one time. You can have it deducted from your pay monthly at a much smaller amount and then it will be paid for when you graduate. TOTALLY OPTIONAL!
     
  6. FightingFalcon

    FightingFalcon Parent

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    The life insurance they offer is totally optional too.
     
  7. Dad

    Dad Member

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    AOG Web Guy

    Your parents will want a Class Club Membership so they can access Web Guy during BCT. It is only $20.16 per month. We did buy the membership for DS because it said on the advertisement that Web Guy was included. Found out at In-Processing that was not the case. Worthwhile program for graduates, but certainly not necessary as an incoming Basic Cadet.
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As others have said; no you don't have to become a member. Also, as others have said; it is definitely a worth while organization. They are who assist in funding your son/daughter in having many opportunities away from the academy during their 4 years. They assist all the candidates with a lot of things that would normally cost more.

    I understand when someone says they are on a tight budget; but I personally had to look at day one: "In perspective". Here's my perspective.

    1. If my son had not received an appointment to the academy, he would be looking for scholarships to a traditional university.

    2. The "CHEAPEST" educational opportunity outside of the academy would have been "State University". Even with a full ride scholarship, it would have cost me/him/us approximately $600 a month to handle housing/food/expenditures. This is on the cheap end.

    3. My daughter went to State-U and was also a "Resident Adviser" in the dorm which gave her free Room/Board. Our only expense for here schooling was approximately $2500 per year. We also gave her a spending allowance of $200 per month so she wouldn't need to get ANOTHER job and could concentrate on school.

    4. My son has/had everything paid for at the academy, PLUS he gets a monthly pay from the air force at the academy. We still gave him $200 a month for spending; like his sister.

    5. MAIN PERSPECTIVE: On the very cheapest educational possibility if he didn't get an appointment to the academy..... We saved AT LEAST $2500 PER YEAR. That's assuming he had a full ride scholarship.

    When put into perspective: A one time expenditure of $700, which doesn't have to be paid all at once; and what your cadet, and you get for that money, is definitely not expensive. Not considering what you WOULD HAVE PAID if they didn't get an appointment. But if you believe that you wouldn't have had to pay ANYTHING for their education had they not received an appointment...... then it could seem to be an expensive request.
     
  9. DK6732

    DK6732 USAFA Cadet

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    I'm paying for mine through monthly deductions.
    I hope people arn't throwing away paperwork without reading ALL of it. :wink:
     
  10. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    So is my C2C! We just felt, standing in line waiting to start I-day 2 years ago, that it was a worthwhile investment!
     
  11. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    CC. If you could expand on what the AOG does for the cadets, that would be helpful. :smile: The AOG paperwork is due by June 1st and my DS asked me "is this worth it". I've pulled up the AOG P&L statement (see http://www.usafa.org/Documents/AOG/Financial Reports/2011 Audited Financial Statements.pdf )and I am trying to decipher what they do. I am staring at the "AOG Member Benefits" and here is what they mention: a register of graduates, member directory, email forwarding life, golf reservation, tours, shop discounts, T-Mobile discounts, visitor center discounts, Doolittle Hall Discounts, USAA MasterCard etc.

    The bullets that looked more substantial were the Career Services, and Dependent Sponsorship. Each of those bullets were given a 6-8 word description. As an outsider looking in, it looks like fluff. :redface:

    We are a non-military family so I'm leaning on your opinion based off of experience. A well written fact sheet will attract a higher amount of cadets. Without more information, I would recommend for him to sign up at $60 a year if it made sense for him in the future. With an ending net assets of $29M, I know a lot of people are convinced it is worth it. So if anyone could expand on the advantage of committing in advance to a $700 membership, I'd appreciate it. :)

    I probably will pay the total amount if it makes sense. But the AOG didn't make a convincing reason to join using their 1 page highlight sheet. I'm sure others are feeling the same way so this is thread might be helpful to others.

    Thanks!
     
  12. Nav84

    Nav84 Member

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    I am a lifetime AOG member and I currently have access to Web Guy (without paying the $20.16 per month). That makes believe that if an appointee joins the AOG now as a lifetime member, their parents should have access to Web Guy this summer. Not sure about the year-to-year membership renewal. Probably worth a call to the AOG if someone is interested.
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    mn-Dad. The AOG has contributed to the athletic facilities that all cadets use. They have helped augment the cost for cadets to do summer immersion trips to foreign countries. They have offset the cost of travel and billeting for club sports when traveling to another location. You already mentioned many of the things on their website.

    Basically; the AOG is the "Alumni Association" for the academy cadets. Just like most universities have "Alumni Associations" who contribute back to the university, that's what the AOG does. They are involved with many of the awards ceremonies and awards given out. Supporting memorials.

    I know that $700-$850 is a lot to give (Depending on if you're a cadet, family member, etc...), but it's a "LIFETIME" payment. That's a 1 time payment. You can also make monthly payments.

    There is another option too. You can have an "ANNUAL" membership. It's $60 PER YEAR. It's renewed annually. You could go with that initially and always get a lifetime membership for your cadet later. There are a lot of options. I do suggest emailing or calling the AOG. They are some really good people, and will assist you and answer any questions. Later... mike....
     
  14. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    Thanks CC. I will call them. You made a convincing argument.:) I will politely explain that the AOG website / cut-sheet needs to let people know the good that they do.

    I will report back once I learn more. :)
     
  15. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    I just spoke with Don over at AOG (a very nice man by the way). He confirmed what CC said. They fill in the gap where the government cannot on a as needed policy. :thumb:

    I learned more about the pricing. Year 4 is the only year where you can buy a life-time for $700. If you plan on paying $60 a year using the annual plan, then you cannot pay until you graduate. You STILL can buy a lifetime membership but it will be at least $850 in 2016. $850 is the 2012 rate and it is expected to rise like every other item because of inflation. So you would save a minimum of $150 ($850-$700) if you buy in now.

    It was not mentioned in the paperwork but in the event that the cadet does not graduate, Don said you will get all of the money back.
     
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    You are completely correct. My suggestion on the "Annual" membership, was to give you the opportunity to see how the AOG operates; what you get; what your cadet gets; pros/cons; etc... Yes, you will pay more, plus the $60 you paid; but if you chose not to support the AOG, you'd only be out $60 instead of $700. Whereby if you figured they DID do good things and you wanted to support them, then you'd be "Happy" to support them, and the additional money probably wouldn't bother you.

    Are you taking a risk? Yes. I can honestly say that our family probably saved at minimum $200 just in 15% discounts at the academy gift shops and visitor center. That's just "OUR" immediate saving. When I donate, I don't expect anything in return. I simply want the money I donate to be used for what the receiving organization said they were going to use it for. The fact that I've saved at least $200, means I didn't actually donate as much. It's definitely an individual choice for each person. mike....
     
  17. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    My DS signed up for the AOG. We deemed it worth it because of the overall support. He too is looking at it like a donation. :)
     
  18. Nevada4

    Nevada4 Member

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    Folks, if money is tight, IMO this should be a fairly low priority. I am a grad, AF retired, lifetime member and father of 2016 appointee. AOG is geared towards graduates and giving back to the Academy. It has class news (only for those classes that have graduated) and many other good articles for grads. I do not believe I would have spent much time looking at the magazine or doing AOG events while I was a cadet. However, a lifetime membership does gives you access to Webguy. Yearly membership does not. My son will enter with the class of 2016 and we did not get him a membership. We will, probably give him a membership as a graduation gift. I do not believe that the price will be substantially different 4 years from now. If money is tight, DO NOT stress over this, pay $20/month for webguy (and magazine) for the summer and maybe help your son out with a membership when he graduates. Just a different opinion.
     
  19. scraper

    scraper Member

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    If money is tight then many things take a back seat to current needs... We as parents decided to buy this for our cadet but pay a monthly installment so when he graduates it will be paid in full for him and at the same time we enjoy all the benefits of webguy etc; Make sure we are talking about things being tight and not beitng a tight wad LOL!:shake:
     
  20. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I understand tight when it comes to money. I'd be curious to see a thread that talks about "what if". What if my son/daughter/i didn't receive an appointment to the academy? Let's be honest. There is not 1 college or university in the world that gives you this education, housing, food, medical, dental, plus pays you $900 per month. If things are tight financially with receiving an academy appointment, how much tighter would it have been without an appointment? Even the best scholarship in the world doesn't give you financially what the academy does. What would you have done financially then? 2nd mortgage, student loans, etc... Even a community college, living at home, and working part time isn't as good as what the academy does for you. Just curious why $700 1 time is such a deal.

    Whether its worth this for an aog membership is a totally different discussion. I've just seen over the years where people talk about how tight money is and their kid at the academy. I can't think of 1 scenario other than not attending college at all that is as "less tight". Anyway, I just find it curious.
     

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