For those of you who received appointments...

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by KNP, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. KNP

    KNP Member

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    OK, you have the appointment, you accepted the appointment, you fully intend to keep up your grades and your parents have wrapped you in bubble wrap...(and you aren't in to partying or doing stupid things (pretty much))

    So, do you keep applying to other schools? Or do you send a nice letter of declination? It would be one thing if it was a pretty simple procedure, but the schools my son is applying to require visits and interviews which will mean missing school and when you are taking 5 AP classes, missing a day can mean a lot. I guarantee I will not be putting deposits down on tuition, so he won't have the college to fall back on if he doesn't make it or gets injured--we will cross that bridge when and if that happens.

    Of course, he doesn't see the need, but I defer to you experts.
     
  2. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I thought May 1 was the magic day in America. There is a quasi-treaty among all major colleges in the United States that this is the day that you have to decide. I thought the USMA deadline is May 1 for that reason.

    Some might argue that it might be worth sending in the deposit to a "Plan B" school (about $300.00), just in case something weird happens between May 1 and June 27 and the appointee lets the USMA appointment slip through his/her fingers. Schools HATE this, because it messes up their student planning. But once you decline an offer, you can't get it back.
     
  3. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I'm a cadet mom and my cadet had backup schools. In the fall of his senior year, he applied to 2 excellent state universities as well as VMI and was accepted to all. He also got an ROTC scholarship. He was very realistic about the competition for West Point and made a practical backup plan. He did not have to decline the schools' offers until May and the only money that he spent on them were the fees for his applications.

    My cadet's friend had an LOA and did not apply to a single other school. My kid had his appointment 4 or 5 months before the friend finally heard back from West Point. It was a terrifying time at the end for the friend because there was not a backup plan in case the West Point dream fell through.

    In my area, competition for state universities is fierce and I'm not sure it is realistic nowadays to think a top school would have the space or allow your kid to pop in and enroll in the 11th hour. I would definitely not want to settle for a subpar school just because of the extra work required to find a good backup college. JMHO
     
  4. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Your cadet will make an excellent officer, Dixieland. Contingency planning is a critical leadership trait. Even Gen. Eisenhower had a backup plan -- he wrote TWO letters on the eve of the Normandy Invasion, one to be read in the event of success and one to be read in the event of failure. I think most people on this website understand the concept of contingency planning and thus apply to all of the service academies and for all of the ROTC scholarships. I, for one, will insist that my DS not play his hand until all of the cards are on the table. For example, if he gets admitted to Harvard on a 4-year AROTC scholarship and has an appointment to USMA, then he has something serious to think about. We're not at that point, though. I view my role as a parent to temper his excitement about receiving an appointment and to teach him the concepts of contingency planning and calculated decisionmaking.

    KNP: As I understand it, once a candidate accepts an appointment, you belong to the military and your options have narrowed. But I do not think you have either a moral or legal obligation to withdraw your other pending applications at other colleges, because accepting an appointment at USMA does not work like the contract that many colleges seek to impose for, say, "Early Decision" applicants (where the applicant agrees in advance to affirmatively withdraw his/her other pending applications if accepted to the early-decision college). My recommendation is to simply let the others sit for now and even fill out the financial aid application and keep any acceptances in your back pocket as an insurance policy. Of course, come May 1, when the schools to which your son has been admitted do not receive the required deposit, they will understand that to mean you have declined the offer of admission at that school. Prior to May 1, you have two options: (1) pay the $300 deposit to one backup school, or (2) purchase multiple layers of bubblewrap and hope that nothing unforeseen happens between May 1 and R-Day on June 27 (such as illness that would medically disqualify your son). But of course, barring any unforeseen event like illness or a brush with law enforcement, your son is going to USMA if the offer of appointment has been accepted.

    This is my first time navigating through this process with my eldest child, so hopefully my understanding is not off the mark here. But I have read everything produced from the schools very carefully, and this is how I understand the way the game is played. I expect that the moderators will set me straight if I am off the mark.

    I do know first hand that admissions officers at regular colleges view it as repulsive that some students pay the $300 security deposit and then contact them later to say that they've reconsidered. But these very same admissions officers will not reciprocate by allowing students who have previously declined an offer to change his/her mind and matriculate at the college if unforeseen circumstances happen. In my view, "What Comes Around, Goes Around." Considering the enormous benefit that USMA provides, a $300 "insurance policy" for a two-month period is a pittance. Hopefully, you will be in the situation come R-Day with your son getting yelled at by the cadre and all the worrying about contingencies will be over!

    Congratulations to your son!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  5. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Yes, I'm sure they do. However, my post was directed to KNP who had asked "do you keep applying to other schools." I simply related my son's plan because he was realistic about the difficulty of getting into West Point. He did not apply to any other service academies because he wanted to serve his country as an Army officer. So, no appointment for him would mean he would have to find another way to be an Army officer and get a college education.
     
  6. bpu

    bpu Member

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    Many schools, especially state schools, will let you "defer" your admission to the second semester. That may push the May deadline back to Sep/Oct timeframe instead of May 1st.
     

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