Maybe in some cases, a candidate is better off to apply later?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by educateme, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. educateme

    educateme Member

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    the party line on this forum is, for the 4 year scholarship, it's best to apply as early as possible.

    However, based on my recent private conversation with one active member on this forum, I am starting to think, perhaps not. I believe this is an important consideration, so I am opening a thread to the general community. My son is already being boarded this week, but this may help applicants for the next year.

    Here is the scenario. Please add your comments/observation.

    (1) Scenario One: all the battalions are free to fill their entire slot from the first board on.

    In this case, indeed, the applicant should apply early as early as possible. If the applicant was not boarded for the first board, there may not be any spot left for the second, third board on in his/her favorite battalion if the battalion is a popular one. Besides, applying early allows the applicant to get a second or third bite out of an apple in case the first board was not successful.

    (2) Scenario Two: this is the problematic one. Suppose the Cadet Command tells the PMS of a battalion/school that you have 10 allocations, but during the first board, you are allowed to fill only 5.

    Previously, I thought the PMS will get the list of the applications who will be awarded scholarship from this board and who put his/her school on the school of intent list, and THEN say "yay" or "nay". IN this case, the PMS can choose his "5" as he sees fit, regardless of their rank order on the OML among the applicants as long as they are all scholarship recipients in this board. If this is the case, by all means, it's advisable for the candidate to apply as early as possible.

    However, I learned in my private communication (PM) that CC will go through the OML list, and start awarding scholarship to schools whose PMS did not say "nay" to a particular applicant. Suppose they are awarding 1000 scholarships in the board, and the applicant's rank order within this OML is 900. If this is the case, by the time the CC reaches this candidate, it could very well be that the the quota for this particular board fro the school X the candidate really wants may be already filled. Hence, the candidate does not get the scholarship to his favorite school or even top three schools, etc. Maybe he will get a scholarship to his #5 and #6 schools. It is even possible that he may not even get any scholarship even though his OML is still within 1000 --- because, the PMSs of his #6 or #7 school school said NO since their schools were too far down the list in terms of school of intent priority, and the first 5 schools that were really popular may not have any spot left by the time the CC reached him as a ranked order 900 candidate.

    I also learned that the first board applicant pool is the strongest, and the pool is getting less competitive in later rounds. The candidate I describe above whose total person score put him at 900 OML out of 1000 that are getting scholarship from the first board may have been good enough to be at 100 on the OML in the second board. If that is the case, he would have had a great shot at getting a scholarship to this #1 school, provided that the CC did not let all the available quota for the #1 to be filled in the first board (which, I am told is more or less the case).

    Granted, if you can "trade" national scholarship in May but the odds are not for a very popular school.

    If my analysis is correct, if your WPS (whole person score) is likely to put you on a lower part of the OML rank order of applicants among the ones who are getting scholarship in the first board, you are ACTUALLY better off not to be awarded a scholarship, and get rolled over to the next board, where you are likely to be among the top list.

    The whole problem is, once you get awarded scholarships to schools that were not high on your list, there is NO way to revisit this issue and have a shot at your favorite school in later board. The only avenue left for you is trading in may and that's far from the sure deal.

    What do you think???
     
  2. mtnman17

    mtnman17 USMA Appointee 2015

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    Do you know that they do it like this? Because if they don't and you apply late and all 10 slots fill for school #1 in board #1, you're about as happy as a leprechaun in 14" of snow.

    Calculated risk:rolleyes:
     
  3. educateme

    educateme Member

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    I don't know for sure what they are doing this year. They changed the the way they operate this year - only three boards etc.

    One PMS my son talked to a couple of months ago told him that last year, in the first board, they let him fill only 3 out of 6 for that particular school (the PMS had more slots, but for different schools with the cross town affiliate arrangement).

    As I said, if they allow PMS to fill all the slots from the first board on, you are definitely better off applying as early as possible. If not, you may actually have a better shot at getting the scholarship to your #1, popular school, if you were passed over during the first board.....

    Ah............ complete rationality is not what I am starting to see here......
     
  4. k2rider

    k2rider Member

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    I can tell you that my daughter went on last years January board and I think it was #4 of 6 but only the 2nd she was available for due to applying later (October 10th before we wer donw with everything is I remember correctly). I can tell you that *from reading this board* in January that many ROTC programs were full. I specifically remember Ohio State and VMI off the top of my head but there were others as well.
     
  5. educateme

    educateme Member

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    K2rider,

    Last year, January board was, I believe, was the third board (please correct me if I am wrong). I do know that some popular battalion's slots were full by the end of the second board.

    What I am curious is whether there were schools/battalions that were full by the end of the first board. If CC makes sure it does not happen, then there are some cases where a candidate with a lower WPC was able to make it to that school in the second board, while a candidate with a higher WPC was not given a scholarship to that school due to the fact that the first board pool is a much stronger pool.
     
  6. gojack

    gojack ....

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    here is my theory...

    Pick a Det. where you are in the top 10% of applicants.
    Apply very early
    Visit them
    Overnight with them
    Call them
    Woo them
    Send them flowers...
    Make certain all the secretaries know you by name
    Tell them you only want to go to that school, nothing else will do.
    Put them as #1 Choice on your application.
    list all your dream schools after that...
    Turn down the dream schools,
    Take the scholarship to #1
    Join honors, study hard, work like a dog, First in & last out, Ranger challenge and the whole 9 yards, graduate 1st in your class,
    with double majors, a minor and a Masters in 4 years, DMG, Summa Cum Laude, Sigma Figma Pi...


    and yes you can do a masters in 4 yrs
     
  7. Centhea

    Centhea Member

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    I think it would be better to have the most opportunities to compete for the scholarship. Getting the scholarship at a different school would be preferable to not getting the scholarship at all. If more board reviews result in going to a different university, so be it. Kids will adapt and make the most of their experience. I'd hate to see a well qualified candidate try so hard to get exactly the school they wanted that they missed out on getting the scholarship.
     
  8. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    There are not as many "2nd chance" scholarships (ones that get refused the first round) as you might think at top schools. A lot of these PMS' thoroughly check out their candidates to see who is highly likely to sign on (and give a green light to CC accordingly) because they would prefer not to choose candidates from later rounds.

    It is more important to have your choices clear in an early round than to have your choices made for you in a later round.
     
  9. The OC Josh

    The OC Josh Member

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    There are also ways to change your scholarship schools after the letter is sent but before May. I was awarded a scholarship from the first board last year. I got my letter and only had in state schools.(I had applied to 3 in-state[2 Private], 2 out of state[Private]) Because I was in contact with my #1(Out of State) I found out that supposedly been a mistake. I was able to take a chance and transfer my scholarship to my #1. Although I applied EA, I didn't know if I had gotten accepted because it was a reach school. It was a risk I was willing to take and eventually it paid off. Now, I'm at my dream school, contracted last week and loving college :)

    Bottom Line:Keep in Touch with the PMS and he/she might be able to work things out. My story is unique, but shows that its not impossible to change schools. PM me if you need any more info.
     
  10. educateme

    educateme Member

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    But, what would be the case if the CC let them fill 60% of the quota in the first round and reserve some spots for the second round or so? Two PMSs my son talked to told him that last year the CC did not let them fill all their quota during the first round. Both schools's quotas were full after the second round.

    In this case, isn't it possible that a candidate with a lower WPS was able to get a scholarship for the school in the second round while one with higher WPS was not during the first round?

    Again, as it stands now, this is a moot issue for my son: he is already being boarded. I think this is really food for thought for the next years candidates.....
     
  11. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Last year's first round was unusually selective from my memory of things, so I can see why they had schools hold up scholarships for round 2. With only 3 boards this year and likely a larger first round, I cannot see them limiting a unit's choices within the first round.

    And I think that CC tweaks the system every year, so this year's experiences won't map perfectly to next year's process either.
     

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