Help please

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by arctic95, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. arctic95

    arctic95 New Member

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    I am new to this forum, sorry if anything I say sounds stupid but i am really new to this military academy stuff haha. I applied to the Citadel probably in November and was recently academically accepted, and have a physical soon to get all those forms all filled out and mailed in. I really want to go to this college, but there is a major problem, it is around 42,000 for out of state cadets. Now, I have asked them about getting in state tuition ( because I know a ton of colleges do this) and they acted like I was stupid for asking. I realize they have scholarships but not everyone gets them obviously. So here is my question, how do people fund this sometimes? There is NO WAY someone making a career out of the military (which a lot of people that go there do) pay 42,000 for four years. So how do people do this? Another thing, is everyone keeps telling me ROTC pays for your college, but if that is the case why is there scholarships people compete for? Sure, I don't doubt people get full rides, but it seems as if not everyone does so is it true that ROTC really does pay for itself?
    Sorry again if I sound clueless but my parents and I are new to this and are just trying to find answers that I either cant seem to find, or are unclear. I would really like to attend the Citadel, but if I cant, then I cant. Life goes on, I will just do ROTC else ware. Thanks
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    A few things to discuss here:

    ROTC - No ROTC program pays for all of your college. ROTC programs pay for your tuition, fees and pays you a stipend for books which may or may not cover all you book costs. You still need to pick up room and board. Given you have been accepted I have to assume you're a senior. You should have applied for a ROTC scholarship months ago. Although many scholarships have been awarded already it is still not too late. The deadline for submitting an application for Naval ROTC is Jan 31. The deadlines for Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC have already expired. If you are going to apply for the NROTC scholarship you will need to really focus on it over the next two weeks as there is a lot to do for the application including essays, sending transcripts, interviews and perhaps a physical fitness test if you are interested in the Marines. Google NROTC scholarship for mor info.

    FAFSA - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid. All colleges require you to fill this out to receive financial aid (at least all I know of). You and your parents should fill this out as soon as possible. Your parents will need to complete their 2012 tax returns for a final application but they can perhaps complete a "draft" using their tax return from 2011 and their final pay stubs for 2012. The school will award need based aid based on this application which could include student loans and part-time jobs (there is a more official word I can't think of right now).

    Merit Scholarships - The Citadel awards millions of dollars worth of merit scholarship each year. They use you original college application as input to determine who is deserving of merit scholarships so no additional effort is required on your part. (see here: http://www.citadel.edu/root/cadet-scholarships and here: http://www.citadel.edu/root/finaid). You can also search for other merit scholarships online through the college boards (I believe). If you parents belong to a union they may offer merit scholarships or their place of employment may). I'm guessing your the first in your family to attend college based on your lateness in starting and that you seem a little lost at this stuff. There may be scholarships out there when you search online that are aimed at such people. Look around.

    Schools normally notify their accepted candidates of any financial aid package they will offer no later than early April so that students can make their decision by the May 1 deadline most colleges have.

    I expect there are books titled something like "Financial Aid for Dummies" (no disrespect intended) or something along those lines which might be useful for you to look into. Try Amazon for searching but perhaps purchase at a local bookstore as time is of the essence. You should have been working on all this stuff months ago.

    As far as my own families experience goes at another out-of-state school:

    1. We had enough in savings dedicated to his education to cover about 3 semesters of in-state tuition. We had been saving regularly since he was about 4.
    2. The college offered him a merit scholarship which brought the tuition down to almost in-state rates so I didn't see the difference as a financial obstacle
    2a. My son took out student loans which made up the difference between in-state and the reduced out-of-state tuition. That was part of the deal to attend school out of state.
    2b. My son saved his summer earnings so he would have some jingle jangle in his pocket while at college.
    3. Son enrolled in NROTC in college without the scholarship (called a college programmer) and competed nationally for an NROTC scholarship each semester starting the second semester of his freshman year. He was awarded a 2.5 year NROTC scholarship this past December so tuition was paid for by the Navy this spring.
    3a. We had other financial resources to draw upon if the NROTC scholarship did not come through.
    4. Mom and Dad pick up Room and Board. We'd be paying Board anyway if he was at home and we can cover Room out of pocket although it's a stretch.

    I hope you applied to some public in-state colleges as well which will be more affordable if the financial aid you can gain is insufficient to cover your costs. Beware of taking on too much debt.

    Hope this is helpful.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    One more thing

    I should add one more thing to the above. The NROTC alumni at the school my son attends, in conjunction with the college, offered a scholarship to all NROTC college programmers (without the scholarship) which brought the tuition down to the same rate he would have paid with the merit scholarship. Again that was close to an in-state rate. It was only open to those who successfully completed the NROTC freshman orientation and obviously applied only as long as they remained enrolled in the program. We could not take advantage of this as his tuition was already at the lowest rate allowed for out of state students. I don't know if The Citadel's ROTC units have anything similar. I kind of doubt they do as I expect they have too many students enrolled in a ROTC program to make it financially feasible. However, it wouldn't hurt to contact the unit's at The Citadel and ask. The worse that can happen is that they say no.
     
  4. arctic95

    arctic95 New Member

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    Thank you a lot for your insight! So since I didn't apply for the army ROTC scholarship (we assumed I had been entered for all ROTC scholarships because the Citadel's scholarship page says all incoming freshman are automatically entered in all available scholarships and we didn't know this was how it worked.) Dang, I'm kinda irritated now especially since I did ask the Citadel if there was another ROTC scholarship that was more national or through like the army and the people that work their who have been terrible help so far said they didn't know of anything but their own. Soooooo, should I just go this semester then apply for the ROTC scholarship all the rest? Im thinking thats probably what im just going to have to do.
    And my parents make enough money that there is nooooo waaayyyy I will get financial aid, problem is, they arent paying for my college (for many reasons and i completely understand ). Someone today just told us what i can do is revoke their claim as a dependent and then do the financial aid and I guess then I can get a lot of it, but im going to have to look into that more.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    That suggestion may be worthwhile. It at least begs investigation. Financial Aid is relative to what your parents make AND tuition. With tuition so high I wouldn't rule out getting some financial aid. Nevertheless the college will expect your parents to pay something, especially given your comment about what they make.

    I'm afraid what they meant was you are automatically entered in the scholarship that the college awards, not others.

    There is still time to apply for NROTC Marine Option if being on the ground is what you like.

    Before you just go off and pay the full tuition for The Citadel, I would be in contact with the ROTC unit(s) there. One question I would definitely ask is how many and what percentage of students get an in-school ROTC scholarship. I would also ask as what point during their schooling they typically receive the said scholarship. It's always possible that you won't get one. It is also always possible that you might not get one until your rising junior year leaving you to pay for four full semesters of tuition.

    Work a backup plan to attend an in-state school offering your major and also offering the ROTC program of your choice. Be prepared for the possibility that the Citadel is not for you. You won't have to make a final decision on a school until late April (in time for May 1). This gives you time still to work the finances and consider the package each school offers you.

    I wish you had found this forum sooner, but it is what it is. The only other alternative I can offer, and I'm not crazy about it, is putting off college for a year, working in the interim and saving every penny you can. Re-apply for next year and also apply for the appropriate ROTC scholarship then.

    Good luck in your endeavors. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  6. hathcoam

    hathcoam Member

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    arctic-have you considered any of the other SMC's? The Citadel is one of 6 SMC's in the country and they all have different costs. We live in state for the citadel and its still like 25k per year. My daughter was the first accepted cadet to the citadel for Fall 2013; however, she found that the University of North Georgia is less expensive. North georgia is one of the 6 SMC's so the effect will be similar to attending the Citadel (although North georgia is Army only). North Georgia offers in state tuition(like 18000 a year) to ALL Cadets regadrless of state of residence. Just thought that i would put that out there.
     

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