my offer of help for the Army ROTC scholarship candidates

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by educateme, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. educateme

    educateme Member

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    My son got a 4 year scholarship to his top schools - it worked out about as well as I could have possibly hoped for. He is applying to ED to his top choice now. (way past the ED deadline, but my son worked it out, even before the board results came out, with the school's admissions office and the PMS of the battalion that should he get the scholarship, he plans to apply ED, so they agreed, well in advance, to a deadline extension).

    Since I gained so much support got such good advice, I would like to pay back by helping the next generation of scholarship applicants.

    I have done a lot of research on how best to strategize to maximize the odds of getting a scholarship and getting into the school or how to produce a best possible combination of the scholarship and school admissions results. I have been accused by some folks here as having gamed the system and operating like a helicopter parent. However, I stand by my assertion that there is a tremendous room for strategizing (most of it is really way above the pay grade of a 17 year old), especially if you are gunning for a popular battalion and a school well known for academic rigor and highly competitive academic scene.

    The big piece of the strategy revolves around the timing of academically competitive schools' early action/early admission schedule (meaning the first AROTC board in October), but still, a good portion of what I learned applies even for the second board.

    So, if you have a question, post it here: If I have any advice, I will do my best to answer. This is my way of saying "thank you" to all the folks here who patiently answered all the stupid questions I had.

    One caveat though: my strategy piece was mostly about popular battalions in high demand and competitive very expensive PRIVATE schools (every single one of his school of choice was an expensive private school, and as such, all the 4 year scholarship offers were made to expensive schools).

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  2. Rebel91

    Rebel91 Member

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    educateme - for full disclosure, it seems from your other posts that your S got offers from #2-4, not his #1 choice. I do concede that you have completed extensive research, but there are many different stategies that work. The fact that the PMS and Admissions will allow your son to adjust his application from RD to ED is a gamble (certainly not the policy), many schools would never allow applicants to change the type of application decision - it opens them up to potential lawsuits from applicants who completed all the required supplements and binding agreement on time.

    For those that will apply to the remaining boards this year and to future boards - there are no perfect formulas or strategies, what worked for educateme or my son or the young man I saw that received the offer to Princeton, it comes down to individual effort, performance and a single factor that you will not control - the competition.
     
  3. educateme

    educateme Member

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    you are already doing way more than my son and I did in his junior year. You are way ahead of the pack.

    Based on everything I heard, the general consensus I heard on the street (if you know what I mean) is, you choose the school first. Then the ROTC battalion second.

    I believe the most important aspects of a strategy are:

    (1) your kid's interaction with the battalion officers
    (2) the dynamics/relationships between the battalion officers and the school admissions office
    (3) school of intent list
    (4) the campus location of the battalion: whether the school is a HOSTING school or a cross town affiliate school (this seem to matter more for expensive private schools).
    (5) EA/ED policies of the school

    Most of the factors I listed above - you don't need to worry now: it's the to do list for next spring/summer/early falls.

    However, since you are planning for a campus visit, here is some food for thought for deciding which schools to visit.

    One thing I shared with my son regards the academic part. There are schools with a reputation for grade deflation. I advised my son to not put these schools on his school of intent list. When my son competes for the branch position in his college senior years, everything is determined by the rank order, and 40% of the ranking will be determined by the GPA (this is huge). In the Army, Podunk Univ 3.8 trumps MIT 3.6. As such, if other factors are similar, it's best to stay away from schools with well known grade deflation reputation.

    Of course, this also must be put in perspective. For instance, for the University of Chicago that has a singular position in the annals of American higher education for its famed academic rigor and strength and yes, all that Nobel winners (the largest such collection in the world among universities), OK, perhaps it's worth it. However, if a school has 10+ academic peers, there is really no reason why my son's chance for a select branch should be compromised by the artificial grading policy of that school. For this reason, he dropped 2 schools that are highly regarded academically that were on his original school of intent list.

    If this is something that strikes as a worth while consideration, then you might want to take that into consideration for putting together a campus visit list.

    All the other things I mentioned above, let's discuss it again next spring. there is a lot to cover.

    Again, I applaud you for thinking and planning ahead. Just based on this, I can tell the outlook for your child is already bright.

    Please note: my input is about Army ROTC. Whether any of it applies to Navy or AirForce, I can't tell.
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I agree with Rebel91.
    I have a son that is a MS3 in AROTC on scholarship and my younger son just recieved his scholarship offer in the mail today. Over the last 2 1/2 years we have built a relationship with the PMS at my son's school. I have to echo his sentiments on the scholarship process, it's a Crap Shoot sometimes. You can try and stratagize every aspect of the system but it comes down to the fact that you fill in the blanks and take your chances.

    My younger son was told that there were 45 candidates that put the same school on their list and the scholarship was awarded to only my son and one other on this board. I tell you the truth, my son's first reation was "How did I get the scholarship" there were others with much higher grade and test scores that did not make it this round. All you can do is make sure you list every activity that might help him on the application, don't be shy, put down everything he's done you can think of. Make sure he is comfortable and just be himself at the interview, the interview can help a lot. Other then that there is not much you can do to effect the outcome other then school selections.

    Choosing a school where your son is in the upper half of the academics for incoming freshman will help in maybe making him more competitive fot that school's program. The ROO and PMS will see a list of all applicants that have listed their school, they will then select those on the list that they would accept as either a 4 or 3 year scholarship.

    As far as selecting a school, my son is at the University of Idaho, some may consider that a Podunk University, my son or ourselves do not however, he can't imagine himself anywhere else. The new Commandant of the Marine Corps and member of the Joint Chiefs is a graduate of the University of Idaho and Marine Corps ROTC.

    Don't try to overthink the process, meet with the PMS at each school your son likes and get a feel for the stats needed to be awarded a scholarship. They are there to help you and will tell you the same thing, leave the stratagy to the Army.
     
  5. educateme

    educateme Member

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    rebel,

    yes, my son got the #2, 3, 4 schools, but after the submission deadline he was already shifting his priority to #2 any way, and when the results came out, he was miffed that he did not get #1 mostly out of his "pride" rather than preference. I have always preferred #2 from the beginning. That's why well before the board results came out, he already considered the ED to the #2 school as a default choice.

    Anyway this is just a minutia.

    I am NOT telling the world that the strategy my son used is a panacea. I am simply saying, this is what worked. This is a free advice, it's worth as much as people paid. However, I would welcome diverse experience and advice from other people if I were in a position to collect data and insight. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Regarding the RD to ED conversion, well, this is what I mean by strategy. As it happens, my son's stats puts him in a top 10-15% zone of the enrolled students at this ED school, so the odds would have been good for his RD acceptance. However, he wanted to do ED so that by mid December, he is all done.

    Suppose his stats puts him in a range of 50-50 admissions chance. then, ED would have been tremendously helpful. There are studies that show that in academically competitive school, applying to ED is like getting another 100-200 points more in SAT (depending on the school).

    So, for an ROTC scholarship candidate whose board results are coming out a week or two past the ED deadline, it would mean A LOT if s/he can get a deadline extension. I don't know whether it can be done in all colleges, but I thought about this well in advance, and advised my son to work well in advance with the PMS/ROO of the school, and yes, it worked for him. So, this is just another example of how a well laid out game plan really helps. When my son approached the PMS/ROO about the possibility of getting their help in getting the ED deadline extension, they said "gee, I have never thought about this. Nobody ever asked it, but hey, sounds like an interesting idea. Let us talk on your behalf to the admissions office". So, it's they who worked it out for my son. This is where the chummy relationship between the battalion and the school admissions office really helps, and this is one reason why you might look quite closely at which competitive school the battalion officers have a good, influential relationship with. I know for a fact that in some schools, this simply does not work.

    Now, there is a really shady way of getting a "de facto" ED extension, but that's REALLY gaming the system, and I won't discuss it here.
     
  6. educateme

    educateme Member

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    I understand that when I say, there is room for a good strategy, it somehow really ruffles the feather of a lot of people. I got similar replies when I had a related threads a few weeks back.

    We all want to believe that everything is fair, and all one has to do is to do one's best without any machination and the end results will reward those who worked hard.

    I am NOT saying that a candidate without basic qualification can get the scholarship. I also believe if you are an outstanding candidate in ALL dimensions, you will get whatever you set your heart for.

    However, in the real world, other the defective products and products that sell themselves, a vast majority of products sell well or not depending on how that product is packaged, presented, and marketed.

    What I was trying to share with other people is, how to better their odds of optimal outcome with careful management of the whole process.

    Let's do this. If there are folks who would like to hear about my experience, PM me. Other than that, I will go quiet. Obviously, this thread has a potential for turning controversial, and I do not enjoy having to defend myself and my approach.

    Again, my advice is mostly about highly getting a scholarship to top academic schools. I do NOT mean to dis-respect other types of schools. I just don't have any insight or experience so I can't say anything. I am trying to share my actual experience and input in the areas where I did my research on. (My son learned that the competition for this board's scholarship for the school he choose was 30:1, meaning there were 30 candidates who put this school on their school of intent list for every scholarship that was given out in the October round at this school)
     
  7. cjs

    cjs Member

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    Educateme, you may want to stop discussing the fact that your son gets to apply ED to his school past the deadline as you have discussed which schools in the past. I can tell you that if I saw this and my kid missed the deadline and wasn't allowed to apply past the deadline or even did apply to that school, I would be calling there and raising hell.
    The PMS went to a lot of trouble to help your son and I'm sure they never thought that this would be put on a public forum for everyone to read.

    Just a friendly piece of advice for what it's worth.
     
  8. educateme

    educateme Member

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    the school name has never been mentioned and there are multiple schools that fit this profile. In fact, none of the schools that my son was considering was ever mentioned by name.

    Nevertheless, I see your point. As I mentioned above, I sense a lot of uneasiness about the strategy aspects of the whole process. I respect people's sentiment about this subject matter. Perhaps, it's best that I give more pointed input to those who are seeking it by contacting me directly.

    Good luck to everybody.
     
  9. cjs

    cjs Member

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    educateme, I send you a PM on the subject of the school lists.
     

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