hello and thanks

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by gator guy, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. gator guy

    gator guy Member

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    Hello and thanks for such a helpful and informative forum. Is any one aware of the attrition rates at the various academies? I have heard that 40% of the entering class at the CGA will not complete the program. Is that accurate? What are the reasons? I know that the academics are intense and the physical and time requirements are demanding but are the dismal stats due to academic failure or just getting smacked in the face with the reality of military life?
     
  2. xchefmike

    xchefmike Member

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    Sounds wrong

    I dont think that is accurate
    USNA has less than a 15% ATTRITION RATE

    and for athletes a 95 % graduation rate per NCAA

    I would guess that USCGA is similar

    :thumb:
     
  3. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    According to the CGA website the number is 63% of the entering class will graduate.
    That would be a 37% attrition rate. So yeah gator guy is close.

    There are many reasons for this - some won't make it past the first summer. Some will have medical problems, honor problems, academic problems, change their mind etc... when you factor in all of that it is easy to see how the numbers add up.
    The Coast Guard Academy doesn't apologize for this - nor should they.
    Bottom line - if a cadet really wants to graduate - they will (barring unavoidable medical situations).
     
  4. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    For the Class of 2007, the retention rate was 75%.

    304 admitted, 228 graduated.

    My guess is that unlike the candidates to other SA's, perhaps their candidates don't view the USCGA as rigorous or as "military-like" as the others, and they are sadly made aware that is not the case?

    The academics, physical training, and military bearing are just as intense there as they are at the other SA's, but as you said, "getting smacked in the face with the reality of military life" may be more than they expected?
     
  5. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Yeah - that was the highest retention rate of any class.

    I don't think their attrition rate is much lower than the others - USNA's has been very high for the past few years.

    USMA's is about 75% - I think.

    One thing to remember - USCGA is very small - 300 or so per class as opposed to 1200-1300 that USNA/USMA admits. So it doesn't take much to skew the numbers.
     
  6. beatkp

    beatkp Member

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    Attrition rates at Coast Guard have always been high but they’re getting lower. Of the 400 cadets entering in July 1964 as the Class of 1968, only 152 graduated. I believe the class of 2007 was one the lowest attrition rates ever. The four class system is at the Coast Guard Academy is really tough on a cadet, that coupled with 70 % percent of CG Cadets playing NCAA D3 sports (time management becomes more difficult) and hard academic load makes for a frustrating 1st year. Being a smaller academy, a cadet has a wide radar cross section, its a bit harder staying under the radar then one of the larger academies.
     
  7. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    USMMA closely matches USCGA in those numbers as well. Posted on the Alumni website are the actual numbers & it looks like the average is about 100 kids out of the estimated 300 going in, don't make it to graduation. 216 graduating in 2006 was actually one of the higher numbers.

    Gator Guy asked for reasons why the numbers are so high at academies.
    You come closer to answering your own question there. Its all of that, wrapped up in a bundle. Its just that tough. Working every second of every day to keep yourself afloat while living on 4/5 hours of sleep sometimes can kill. The academics are what get most at KP & I've heard tell its much the same at CGA. Then there are the kids who just can't lock on to the dedication needed & they buckle. So many reasons that I could probably write a book.
     
  8. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    keep in mind - these kids graduate in 4 years. there is no 5 and 6 year plan. if you look at the numbers of kids who graduate in 4 years at many state universities they are not far off.
     
  9. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    KP has in place a "set back" system. I don't want this to sound like I'm correcting JAM. She's my buddy. I just know this system is at KP. I don't know about other academies. Set backs are kids who the academy feels can make it if offered the second chance. For example, if an '09 kid fails a part of his sea year project but is doing great in everything else, the Academy might deem it worthy of setting them back to the class of 2010 & making them re-do that portion of the project. 5 years to graduate at KP is not too unusual. Keeping in mind that KP is on a tri-mester system making the school year 11 months long, plus a year at sea, it makes KP like no other academy in many regards. Perhaps thats why they offer some kids set backs. Wish I could better explain it. Oh well. I'm on head cold medicine so Bleeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaa.
     
  10. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Thanks Jamzmom - correct me anytime!

    Yeah - I was trying not to complicate the issue - I knew there was something like that at KP - didn't that guy graduate last year after something like 8 years? A record I think.....
    The other academies will let you graduate late or repeat a year but it is very very rare from what I hear - exceptional circumstances.

    I think it's more likely for one to be dismissed than take longer than 4 years.
    For the most part you are in and out in four.
     
  11. mnolan

    mnolan Parent

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    Graduation rates

    I am a professor at Purdue University, a state school with a large engineering program, and very active ROTC, so kind of similar to the academies in some respects. (my daughter want to attend USCGA next fall).

    I looked up our official data, and for the 2000 freshman class at Purdue (the last one to have 6 full years of data), 6,630 freshman showed up in the fall, 86% continued into their sophomore year (so a 14% attrition rate over the first year). Only 41% of the 2000 freshman class graduated in 4 years (and that was a record high....typically it is in the high 30's). 66% graduated after 5 years, and 72% of the incoming class graduated in 6 years.

    Based on my personal experience, I suspect about 1/2 of the "dropouts" in fact left college, the other 1/2 probably transferred out to other schools (or took longer than 6 years to graduate!). Many left for the same reasons listed by others; poor time management, not ready for college, not what they expected, etc..

    So the numbers at USCGA and the other academies don't really look so bad.

    Mike
     
  12. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    JAM - LOL Yeah that particular guy made for alot of kicks & giggles for the Academy. I think it took him 6 years. Son says that this guy may be the only living example of that happening. "Exceptional circumstances" is the perfect phrase for kids on the five year academy plan. It will be a most happy day if mine makes it through. We're gonna have the biggest party ever 'round here!

    Interesting info Mike. Good to see a case in point of ROTC there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
  13. gator guy

    gator guy Member

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    predict success

    Is there any particular factor that seems to correlate with success at the academies? I would define success as actually graduating from the academy. Is it the math sat score, class rank,prior exposure to the military?, or, is it the intangibles such as motivation,determination,and the will to survive? I would think that the various academies have boat loads of data that they have looked at. What do the success candidates have in common? What do the unsuccessful candidates have in common? Any thoughts?
     
  14. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    In my opinion motivation and determination are more important than anything else. If you don't have the motivation to make it through the tough times you are not going to make it.
     
  15. gator guy

    gator guy Member

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    service academy attrition rates

    Thank you to everyone for the imput and info.My son is applying to the USMMA, USNA, and the USCGA.He is extremely patriotic, motivated and determined.While we are all very proud of our respective sons and daughters, it is awesome that there are thousands of young men and women with similar goals. Anyone who has totally lost faith in the youth of america should show up at a congressional nomination interview appointment and meet some of these exceptional kids.
     
  16. momoftwins

    momoftwins Founding Member

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    gatorguy,

    I suspect that the correlation studies have been done, but that like the CFA, there is a bit of mystery. Take a look at the profiles of incoming classes. That's where you'll find the criteria the academies are seeking. For example, if 90+% of incoming students were high school athletes, then there is a reason the academies think this will lead to success. Same for NHS, etc.
     
  17. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I have been thinking about this very question for a few days...

    MY VERY OWN OPINIONS FROM MY OWN OBSERVATIONS -

    I see it as two separate questions:

    1. What factors correlate to successful admission into the academies?

    2. What factors correlate to successful graduation and commissioning from the academies -

    On the surface one would think they would be the same but really they aren't - getting in and actually graduating are two separate things.

    For admissions - the academies in general look for the student who embodies the scholar, leader, athlete persona. You don't have to be great in all three - but along the way I have told my daughter to remember that she is competing against the 4.0, Class President, Varsity Football player - big shoes to be all three - most cadets aren't.
    If you are really really great in one that can offset a weakness in another quality.
    Academics - there is a standard you can't fall below - but weakness in English or Math can be made up at a Prep school. Most of those kids from what I have seen are leaders and athletes that need an academic boost but have academic potential.

    Leaders - Team captains, class/student body presidents, officers in clubs, eagle scouts, civil air patrol etc..... Being dedicated to one activity is better than belonging to a lot of clubs and not contributing much.
    Volunteering is great - but go a step further and be really involved - organize and lead.

    Athletics - over 90% of all USMA cadets were Varsity athletes. Athletics not only shows you can handle the physical aspect of the academies but shows team work, dedication, perseverence and motivation.
    You don't have to be a 3 sport athlete - if you are really involved in one sport year round that is great. Aerobic team sports are even better.

    Desire to attend - I don't think people give this enough credit - while you may not get in the first try, if you really want to go many people try again successfully. Show interest in your application. I think one of the "dangers" of forums like these is that candidates get their answers (which may not be correct) and miss a great opportunity to call their admissions officer. While you dont want to over do it - I think they will be honest and forthright and help you to see your deficiencies and overcome them.

    Part II - Actually graduating-- Later.........................
     
  18. gator guy

    gator guy Member

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    excellent points

    Thanks to all for your perspectives. Just A Mom, I'am anxiously awaiting your posting of part II
     
  19. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    OK here goes - this is just based on my perspective of my daughter going through the admissions process.

    The question is:
    Some people will say having a high Math SAT score or being a varsity athlete or being an Eagle scout all are major factors in attaining success at a Service Academy.
    I don't really believe it. It is much simpler than that......

    West Point sums it up perfectly - they tell candidates and cadets - If you cooperate you will graduate.

    IMHO - success is totally dependent on the cadet.
    I have been told by admissions reps for USMA that every candidate that is appointed to USMA has the ability to succeed and graduate. I beleive that is true for all the service academies.

    Yes, there is an attrition rate. There is an attrition rate for all colleges and universities and I think with a 75-80% graduation rate is pretty good for a service academy.

    Remember folks - we are dealing with young adults - they are still "finding" themselves. Some won't like military life, others will fall in love, others will finding that conforming is a daily struggle and not worth it. Leaving an academy is not the end of the world, cadets should not be stigmatized for it. It doesn't mean that one is dumb or weak or unpatriotic.

    Bottom Line - success is attainable for each and every cadet. They all are capable of attaining success.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  20. gator guy

    gator guy Member

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    JAM, I like the positive tone of the bottom line...success is attainable for each and every cadet.
    I feel that each service academy demands a good deal of sacrifice,commitment,perseverance,and discipline from every midshipman or cadet. As it should be, those things in life that are the most difficult to achieve usually have the greatest value. The ability to overcome significant obstacles and challenges is what produces great leaders.
    I have deep respect for those who choose to serve and defend this great nation. I also respect the decision of those who choose to leave the academy, but from a taxpayers perspective, I would hope that decision occurs sooner rather than later.
     

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