Hard decisions ahead

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Zeringu_One, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Zeringu_One

    Zeringu_One Member

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    Well up until now the citadel has always been I place I've wanted to go, but not sure how to get there. Paying for it would be the issue. I have completed my AROTC scholarship and I think I've got a good shot at the instate college I want to go to (LSU!) but not the citadel. It might be helpful to mention that I am a pretty good runner with great times and three state championships under my belt. Yesterday, the crosscountry coach at the citadel emailed me and wants to take me on an official visit where he will fly me up to South Carolina, assign me a freshman on the team to be my guide. He says I will get to sleep in the barracks, attend practice and classes with my assigned freshman. I am super excited to be presented with this wonderful opportunity.
    I have a bunch of thoughts running through my head right now and would appreciate answers.

    Does anyone have any personal experiences at the citadel they could share.
    Is attending the citadel more helpful for a career in the military than a regular college?
    Anything else I should know about the citadel?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. adesa1996

    adesa1996 Member

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    Attending a SMC such as the Citadel will help you be more prepared for military life as your living it for your 4 years as a cadet, while at LSU your only doing it for maybe 2 hours a day 2 times a week. The Citadel probably has many many more successful military alumni than the LSU AROTC Program.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Attendong an SMC has a huge edge for AROTC. You will be guaranteed active duty upon commissioning,, whereas if you go AROTC that guarantee does not exist.

    As far as adesa's assumption about ROTC I disagree.

    1. It may be 2 hours/2 days a week the first semester, However, as you go up the cadet rank it is going to be a lot more, think closer to 20 hours a week as an MSIV.
    ~ Plus, many units require mandated volunteer hours, especially colleges like LSU. These are huge colleges, and one way the unit fills their coffers is cleaning the football and basketball stadiums after a game. I know for our DS he had to clean them at least twice for FB and a lot more for basketball. They also do philanthropic projects. DSs AFROTC detachment does the Susan G Kohmen run....they are the front of the pack running with the US flag.

    2. Although the Citadel has many illustrious grads, I wouldn't take the leap or infer they create better officers. One of the best Generals in recent history was ROTC that did not attend an SMC. General Colin Powell.
    ~ I agree they would have more than LSU, but than again, I look at numbers, and LSU may have 50? commission annually, how many does the Citadel have? Odds are just from the pool size the Citadel will have more, especially since it is an SMC. Again SMCs will go AD, whereas ROTC maybe not.

    I think the Citadel is a great school, and without a doubt you should do the visit because the fact is not everyone is made for the restrictive SMC life. Better to know that by living a few easy days on an overnight visit than getting there in August and say OH crap what did I get myself into?

    I would say something to think about that is a huge plus for the Citadel is that the alumni has a great network like an SA. Sooner or later you will have a job that is not in the military. You don't know when you leave an enter an interview for a defense contractor if that is going open doors for you. It may or may not, but in the military world the name of the Citadel does have networking connections like TAMU, VMI and in Virginia,VT.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I'm going to agree with PIMA on this one.

    You should take advantage of the offer to visit the Citadel and talk to the coaches and do the overnight.

    Only you will be able to decide whether you can afford the Citadel without a scholarship, I would look into whether they offer athletic scholarships for your sport.

    As far as whether attending a SMC is more helpful then a traditional university, I again agree with PIMA. The main advantage to a SMC is that you will have a better chance at Active Duty, while it is not 100% guaranteed, most graduates commission Active. While you have a better chance at Active Duty at a SMC, you will still be placed on the same OML as every cadet in the country for branching. Attending a SMC gives you no advantage when it comes to branch assignments.

    The most important thing is that you select the Citadel because you love the school. the environment, and what they have to offer. Make sure you realize that the lifestyle is 180% different then a school like LSU, and be willing to live it for four years.

    Being successful as an officer in the Army has nothing to do with where you went to school in my opinion. When you graduate you attend BOLC with those that attended SMC's, West Point, and Traditional Universities. The trainers could care less where you went to school, you all starting from the beginning again as a 2LT. How you perform as an officer will determine your success, not where you went to school.

    LSU is a large, well known school with a good ROTC program, while you may be living a 24 hour a day structured life at the Citadel, the actual ROTC Curriculum is the same as every other school.

    To add to PIMA's example, the current Commandant of the Marine Corps is a graduate of NROTC from the University of Idaho, success can come from anywhere.

    Just make sure you select a school that is a good fit for you, academically, socially, and financially, do this and your chances of success will be much better.

    EDIT;

    PIMA mentioned the alumni network at the Citadel which I agree can be strong. I live on the West Coast, the PNW to be exact, to be honest, most of the people out here have never heard of the Citadel, or VMI, or....They have however heard of LSU, mainly because of football. My point is that a network is a good thing, but they are not exclusive to the SMC's and sometimes are more of a regional network or specific to certain fields.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  5. glen

    glen Member

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    Hard Decisions Ahead - Attending The Citadel vs LSU

    I am a Citadel grad and do volunteer work for the Admissions Office. Can't offer or promise you anything but to try and answer questions if appropriate. First - if you got an invite from a coach for any varsity sport that you wish to play in college, first thing is talk with your HS coach and make sure you have a good discussion with him about you interests. I understand they can then communicate with the college, and help you with questions. Don't know if LSU is also interested. Ask your HS coach to find out. All any alumnus can do is point you to your HS coach to ask questions. Priod - no more about sports.

    Before you think about military commission - think about what you intend to study in college. Consider where you want to spend the next 4 years. But most of all consider how (if you do not get a full or mostly full athletic or academic scholarship) you will pay for college. If you are interested in The Citadel - consider as an out of state Cadet you will pay more than an in state Cadet. The best programs at The Citadel are its STEM programs - including Civil, Electrical and Mechanical engineering - where you will be taught by full professors not teaching assistants (likely at LSU you will have 1st and 2d year classes taught by graduate assistants). At The Citadel - the entire entering class you will be in will be less than 700 or so as a Freshman. At a large university - this may be what a 101 class in English or biology! Your average class size at The Citadel is 14 or 15 students.

    As for the question about an SMC vs civilian university and ROTC/military commissions - some of the above comments are very true. On active duty in the Army, some of my best superior officers were from civilian universities. However, if active duty in the Army is your desire, and you are qualified by grades and pass medical examinations, a PMS at an SMC can in fact as of this writing guarantee you an active duty assignment vs an ROTC civilian school. This is always subject to DOD requirements and needs of course - and your assignment may not be your first or second choice - DOD decides this based on your qualifications, degree, grades and how you do at ROTC camp.
     
  6. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    Yes the College live will be 180 different. Not sure as the route my Citadel DS would take if he had it to do all over. The Citadel you will live in barracks all four years with limited leave and access to the local life. Of course it becomes less restrictive as you progress but still restrictive.

    As Glenn points out ..... look at the academic major, look at cost vs gain, and personal commitment. Your approach will be different at The Citadel than LSU.

    And depending on your goal The Citadel commissions more Army officer’s than any other next to West Point. On a side note, if you can swing the money, no way you would not love Charleston life. The issue is, getting leave to enjoy it.......
     
  7. SGTLee

    SGTLee Member

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    Cluelessparent

    Sent you a PM....Thanks!

     
  8. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    SgtLee Need to clear some Pm's Thanks
     
  9. keydet2016

    keydet2016 Member

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    The real question lingering here is....Viking night 2014?
     
  10. NAS

    NAS Banned

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    Vote "yes" to Viking Night 2014...
    Nothing boosts morale more!
     
  11. cidmom

    cidmom Member

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    Congrats on your official visit offer. It's a great opportunity to experience the Citadel.

    My DS is a knob there. Paying was an issue for us as well. Thankfully he was awarded a 4 yr AROTC scholarship. On top of that, if you have a 3.2 GPA there is a Citadel scholarship you qualify for ($3500).

    If you have other questions, you can PM me.
     

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