Is the CGA too small?

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by lizadventures, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. lizadventures

    lizadventures Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm a current junior considering the CGA, but to me the biggest drawback is the tiny student body. I'd be very hesitant to attend a college with a student body smaller than my high school. To any students, alums, etc. - does the academy seem too small?
     
  2. rjb

    rjb Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    35
    USCGA size

    You see the size as a disadvantage, but many see it as a big advantage. It is more personal and you are less likely to get lost in the crowd. But if you are looking for some big college campus experience, perhaps USCGA is not for you.
     
  3. Jess

    Jess USCGA Hopeful

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    I personally see it as an advantage as well.
    I'm applying to the USCGA next year, and the class size for me is one of the pros of the academy.
    I come from a large high school (2,000+), so I lack a sense of tightness and bonding of the student body.
    The class sizes will allow you to not only spend more time one-on-one with professors, but also get to know everyone personally.
    But yes, if you don't like small academies, then USCGA will not be a good fit for you. You can try USNA. The Coast Guard and Navy hare both geared towards the nautical aspects of military. USNA's class size is also much larger than USCGA's.


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  4. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    9
    I had 3500+ in my high school and hardly noticed the small size of the Academy when I was there. I realized I probably couldn't even name 1000 people at my high school if I saw their face so 2500 that were "missing" at the Academy made no difference to me personally.
     
  5. coastiefam

    coastiefam Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    1
    The size of the CGA is also a reflection of the size of the service.

    My husband loves that he is still serving with classmates (Class of 92) and knows people everywhere we get stationed.

    The CG's small size has many advantages. Have you visited the Academy? It might give you some insight into the camaraderie and see if it's the right fit for you.

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  6. lizadventures

    lizadventures Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the responses. My goal is to go to a service academy, so I've been looking into all of them, though Navy is my first choice at the moment (and I know things may change). BR2011, I can't name 1000 people at my high school either, so you do have a point there. I started the AIM application but forgot to ask my counselor for a rec until now because I've had so many other things going on, so I don't think I'll meet the deadline. If I get everything except the rec in on time and my counselor replies to their email a bit (like a week) late, will they still consider my app?
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    My personal opinion? No, it's not too small. In fact, I think smaller is better. You will know every classmate, and basically everyone a year ahead and behind you. You will know a majority of the people two years ahead and behind you. And you will know some of the people three years ahead and behind you. A single class at the Naval Academy is larger than the entire Coast Guard Academy (all four classes).

    Draw back? No getting lost in the crowd (that's not really a drawback). You CAN be a wallflower, and some manage to skate by at a USNA-size service academy. You can't really do that at CGA.

    The officer corps in the Coast Guard is tighter than any other service. You will see some of the same people over and over in your career.

    That means if your a bad officer, people WILL know. And if you're good, people WILL know.

    There are 50,000 Navy officers. There are 6,000 Coast Guard officers. You would expect a smaller service academy to feed such a small service. Can't have 1,000 new officers dumped into the fleet each year.

    Also, consider this, there is no ROTC program for the Coast Guard. So, 40% of the officer corps is fed by the Academy. The other 60% comes from OCS and direct commissions.

    I'd say that's a pretty select group of officers. But then I am biased.
     
  8. 1984USNA

    1984USNA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    Too small for what? I imagine it's exactly the size the Coast Guard needs it to be.


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    459
    Years ago, the size of USCGA was the main reason I didn't attend. However, my situation was different than the OP's. I came from a VERY small h.s. where I knew everyone and wanted something different for "college."

    I don't regret my decision but I can tell you that, at reunions, there are literally hundreds of people whom I don't know. That's a bit sad.

    As noted above, there are tremendous advantages to a smaller enrollment and the number suits the size of the USCG. If you came from a large h.s., you might very much enjoy the more personal atmosphere.
     
  10. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    I don't believe that you would regret going to the USCGA because of its small size. I went from a HS graduating class of about 600 to VMI where my graduating class was about 225. It was a great and really positive change. My academic classes were really small and for better or for worse- your professor knew who you were. I knew virtually everyone in my class and have fairly frequent contact with a pretty large % of them to this day. Is it different than going to UT Austin would be with its 55,000 students? Undoubtedly. But at the end of the day- the small size means that you really do have a shared experience with your classmates. I think small is generally a huge positive and I certainly would not change that experience.
     
  11. capolo13

    capolo13 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    28
    Considering and dismissing a Service Academy based on size is not exactly the most prudent option. You may do 4 years at a service academy, but what's more important is the first word, not the second. Which SERVICE do you want to be in? Because you are doing 5 people in that service, and that will ultimately determine the course of your life far more than the number of people in your class. Just my opinion.
     

Share This Page