Marion military institue Service academy prep program. Good or bad?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by FUTUREMID2015, May 28, 2011.

  1. FUTUREMID2015

    FUTUREMID2015 Member

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    I am heavily considering the SAP program at MMI as i reapply for the Naval academy. I am just curious as to what some of you guys thing. I know that Academics are the thing that kept me out of the Class of 2015. I've already gotten some great feedback about the program from admissions and a BGO but i just want to make sure i'm, making the right decision. i did not get a foundation scholarship so i will be paying for this completely on my own. If there is anyone who has gone through this program, or knows more about it any insight would be great. I'm still a little fuzzy about how program works.
     
  2. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Well, it's no garden spot, but I think it's a decent shot for getting folks another shot. Justamom's dd went there after rejection from USNA. Got into USMA. She'll likely lend some meat to the Marion bone.
     
  3. CAmom2015

    CAmom2015 Member

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    Although, I can't answer your exact question regarding knowledge of MMI, I would like to endorse the SA prep schools that contain either Jr college or university courses as part of the program. No matter which way you may decide, college vs MMI, there are no guarantees! There are young men and women who make it in from both of those pathways, and they are young men and women who don't. The rejection letter my DS received said to go to college and take the same type of courses you'd be taking if you were a plebe at the academy, and reappy. Our son decided to attend a SA prep, Greystone, which in some aspects could be considered similar to MMI. The benefit of both of these SA prep schools is that while attending you are earning college credits and receiving guidance on reappying. Our son found it to be very helpful and he made many friends who will be future leaders in many branches of our country's military. He received appointments to USNA and USMA . Oh, and he was not sponsored either. Ultimately, its what you do while you are at college or prep that will make the difference. Study hard, retake SAT or ACT's if needed, volunteer (it's rewarding to make a difference in other's lives). If you go to collge instead of prep look into those that have an NROTC program.
     
  4. njbaseball

    njbaseball Member

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    My
    My DS who was also denied a spot for the Class of 2015 at the Naval Academy will be attending MMI as an un-sponsored cadet. The NA is truly where he wants to go and it is his feelings that he will have a greater shot at it by attending one of the Prep programs and taking part in the SAP program. When we visited and talked the Col Lewis, who is over the SAP program and the President Col Mollahan, they explained that if you do your part which is study, make the best grades and keep your nose clean,then they will do their part and try to make it happen. They want to see you succeed and follow your dreams. The academic program is mirrored to that of the SA's and you will take the ACT's and SAT's every time they are offered to get your scores up. YOu will learn how to march, shine shoes and keep your room clean. LOL All of this while not having the stress of "plebe summer" YET!!

    My DS was devastated about not receiving an appointment after working for years to make his resume be the best it can be. But he is very much looking forward to going here and starting the next phase.
     
  5. PositiveThinking

    PositiveThinking Member

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    Best of luck to your son, njbaseball. It sounds like he's got "the right stuff" to make his dreams happen! Keep us posted. :thumb:
     
  6. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Where is Just A Mom when she could add some real value to your question! She's had some personal experience here, seen it up close, in this scenario, as an option for reapplying. Got her dd into USMA, not USNA.
     
  7. njbaseball

    njbaseball Member

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    Positivethinking.....

    thanks for the compliment. He does have the "right stuff" . A very determined young man who knew what had to be done to be competitive and got it done. Licensed pilot, eagle scout, salutatorian, and many accolades in school. Just was not his time this year. But he knows that "God is in control" and we have both learned that "his timing is perfect"
    I will definitely keep you posted.
     
  8. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Impressive ... his achievements and his faith.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I can't speak to this particular program. However, as a general rule, prep programs are useful for those who need additional help with academics, test scores, or athletics. If you did fine in the above but were a "victim of the numbers game" (i.e., there were just too many well-qualified applicants), you're better off attending college. Talk it over with your BGO, if you had a good relationship with him/her.
     
  10. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    MMI is, of course, a college. I think the question is, for non-sponsored students, is it a college where you want to spend a year of your academic career in the event that you are not accepted at USNA next year.
     
  11. Brookhaus

    Brookhaus Member

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    Everyone going the SAP route, whether sponsored or not sponsored, should ask themselves at least three questions. First, will the SAP program help me address a deficiency in my application. Second, if I successfully complete the SAP program will I have substantially increased my chances of admission. Third, if I am not admitted after completing the SAP program what are my options.

    Sponsored preps can easily answer the first two questions with a yes, and assuming they successfully complete the program will likely never get to the third question. It's not the same for non-sponsored preps, especially those hoping for admission to USNA. The size of the USNA sponsored prep program appears to have been shrinking over the past few years. This past year, there were only three sponsored USNA preps at MMI (I believe all were admitted to USNA for 2015). There were far more USMA, USAFA and USCGA preps at MMI.

    Our DS attended MMI this past year as a sponsored Falcon prep. MMI has a great, great SAP program and it will help you address academic and test score issues, and will also help you demonstrate to your chosen academy that you are serious about attending a service academy and won't back out. BUT, you must keep in mind that there very well may be non-sponsored preps (no matter what prep school they attend) that are not admitted to their chosen academies even if they successfully complete an SAP program.

    The MMI faculty, staff, Col. Lewis and President Mollahan are totally committed to helping you succeed. They are accessible, interested and seem to truly care about all the students. They will know your name and why you are at MMI. But they cannot work miracles--the unfortunate fact remains that in the academies' eyes the sponsored preps come first, non-sponsored second. Makes sense--if someone is paying for you to attend a prep school, they have a vested interest in your success. (And, because it appears USNA is at the low end of prep admissions, if you are willing to attend one of the other academies you absolutely should apply to it as well as USNA while you are at MMI.)

    As for Marion, it is a very small town with little nearby. There are a couple of fast food places (Hardees and Subway), the usual Chinese and Mexican restaurants, a food store, drug store and not much more. However, this can be an advantage--you will spend most of your time on-campus bonding with others in your Company and focusing on academics except for occasional Friday or Saturday nights when you can go to T-Town (Tuscaloosa) or Selma if you have a car or know someone who does. On some weekends you might even make it to Gulf Shores or Pensacola, but that is rare.

    As for the MMI experience, you will take the same courses as those at the USNA take their first year. Your MMI professors will write recommendation letters for you, as will Col. Lewis. You will attend an SAT/ACT prep course on-campus. You will retake the SAT and/or ACT, perhaps more than once. You will wear a uniform every day, clean your room and the bathrooms and be subject to inspections, learn to march and parade, be restricted to campus on certain days, and observe a chain of command. The cafeteria food is mediocre but generally tolerable, and the weather is, well, it's Alabama so you can expect heat. The dorms are undergoing renovation and are air-conditioned, but it certainly isn't a hotel. Living conditions are spartan--exactly what you will get at the academies maybe even a notch lower. There is a nice indoor swimming pool that is opened to the cadets a couple of times during each week, and there is a renovated weight room with enough equipment to keep you busy. There is also a golf course adjacent to the school, a baseball field and a track. The campus is compact, so you won't have a long walk to classes, the gym, pool, library or the cateferia. During holidays, MMI arranges for a shuttle bus to take cadets to/from the Birmingham airport so that they can get home and return to MMI. You will mature, grow and develop lasting friendships at MMI.

    Having said all that, I can tell you that our DS received from MMI the best possible preparation for USAFA. He would choose to do it over again in a second. He is confident, mature and as ready as anyone could be for BCT and the Academy. MMI did this for him, and it might very well do it for you, too. Just be sure you are realistic about the possible outcomes.
     
  12. USNA1986

    USNA1986 Member

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    Excellent post, Brookhaus! Thank you.
     
  13. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Ditto ... informative, nicely communicated post on the subject.

    Question: Would you speculate your son feel the same way were he a failed Service Academy candidate? Your candor about that possibility, perhaps even likelihood for USNA candidates, is valuable and appreciated. This stuff is too consequential to be sugar-coated or mere cheerleading.
     
  14. Brookhaus

    Brookhaus Member

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    Whether to attend MMI or another prep school as a non-sponsored prep is a very highly individualized decision. Our son visited civilian universities during his senior year and decided his strong preference was to attend a military college, preferably the USAFA, even though he had an AFROTC scholarship that he could have used elsewhere.

    Had he not received the Falcon scholarship, he likely would have enrolled at MMI as a non-sponsored prep, applied again to the USAFA, and taken his chances. If it didn't work after his first year, he said he probably would have returned to MMI and tried again after his second year. For him, a civilian university with AFROTC just wasn't how he wanted to spend four years (or even one year) and he essentially scratched that option from his list. Others might very well feel differently, though.

    To be honest, if my son had been interested only in the USNA and was not sponsored I would have tried to discourage him from going to a prep school. In my view, the numbers just don't suggest a good chance of USNA appointment without sponsorship. I would be more optimistic about the chances for appointment to the USAFA, USMA or USCGA after a non-sponsored prep year.

    My son knows of a few non-sponsored preps that attended MMI this past year. Some of them were appointed to their chosen academies and some were not. He does not know of any non-sponsored USNA preps at MMI last year (he could be wrong but doesn't think so--interested persons can confirm this with Col. Lewis at MMI).

    One thing is clear--the non-sponsored preps must perform in all areas (academics, test scores and CFA) as well or better than the sponsored preps to be competitive and maximize their chances of appointment. And you must bear in mind that even if you perform well enough for appointment to the USMA or USAFA, you still might not get into the USNA (or vice versa). I would suggest strongly that anyone attending a prep school as a non-sponsored prep (particularly those trying for the USNA) also apply during their prep year to at least one other academy and to a civilian university.
     
  15. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Great insights and post, Brookhaus. Clear and illustrates some of the benefits, realities, and risks of this process.
     
  16. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I'm guessing this is in large part because USNA also has NAPS as a feeder, at least as far as USCGA is concerned.
     
  17. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Aside from USCGA, they all have prep schools. One of our bigger government boondoggles, I'm afraid.
     
  18. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Interesting supposition. Would you mind sharing the 'numbers' which caused you to reach these conclusions.
     

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