Non-Sponsored Prep

Discussion in 'Service Academy Preparatory Schools' started by SAG, May 1, 2009.

  1. SAG

    SAG Member

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    Does anyone know which Public Military Prep schools (Marian, New Mexico, Valley Forge, etc.) sends the most candidates to USMA?
    On another note; is it worth attending a SAP program as a non-sponsored candidate??
     
  2. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Valley Forge is not public.
    The three you mentioned are military junior colleges with service academy prep (SAP) programs but they are not the only ones.

    You might be able to find the data on their website, MMI published their appointments numbers here:
    http://marionmilitary.edu/about-mmi/sap%20assessment.da

    Think about what you would do if you didn't get an appointment in round two -
    If you are in a SAP program at a military jr college you can stay there another year, get your associates degree and move onto another college or apply again.
    You can also enroll in the ECP program.

    If you were offered an ROTC scholarship you can use that -apply again and be well on your way to your bachelor's degree and a commission if it doesn't work out.

    Only you can decide and if you are interested you can call the schools and speak with their SAP program coordinator.
    Good Luck
     
  3. JerryB76

    JerryB76 Member

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    Greystone Prep on the campus of Schreiner University also takes non-sponsored candidates and has a very good track record getting appointments for them. They have a website and a Youtube video, you might want to check them out.
     
  4. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    ^ Any idea what the numbers are on West Point appointments.

    While Greystone is an approved prep school for USNA it is NOT on the approved list for AOG scholars for West Point.

    For a candidate who is looking to re-apply to West Point, I am not sure that Greystone is the best choice. This is not to say that a Greystone student will NOT get an appointment.
    West Point likes to see candidates take ROTC in college. That can happen either at a Military junior college or a Civilian college and enrolling in their ROTC program.

    The most important thing you can do if you plan to re-apply is to assess what your weaknesses are/were and plan how to fix them.
     
  5. JerryB76

    JerryB76 Member

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    I thought SAG's question was about non-sponsored prep programs in which case the AOG Scholars program has nothing to do with where he or she decides to go to prep school.

    This year Greystone was approved by both West Point (AOG Scholarship Program) and Coast Guard as a qualified prep program. The results of the visit to Air Force are still pending offical endorsement.

    This year's Greystone class had 9 (4 on USNA Foundation Scholarships and 5 non-sponsored) students, 5 recieved appointments to USNA (4 were on Foundation Scholarship); 2 recieved 3 appointments each (USAFA, USMA and USNA for one student, USNA, USMMA, USCGA for the other student); and two are on waiting lists (1 for USMA, 1 for USNA).

    Greystone is designed to be future Service Academy agnostic. All programs are concidered and all candidates not in a specific scholarship program are encouraged to apply to as many of the five major Academies as possible. There are current students from Greystone at both USNA and USMMA, in the past students have recieved appointments to USMA and USAFA, but much to the Board of Directors ('55 USMA Grad and 30 year USAF officer)amazement they have decided to attend USNA or USMMA.
     
  6. SAG

    SAG Member

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    I guess I should clarify my question with some more info. My son is currently a Jr. and his SAT/ACT testing is on the weak side and he wants to investigate a prep option. We visited Valley Forge, but he wanted to investigate other options. Options where he would have the best chance to prepare academically for admission to West Point (his 1st choice), otherwise he will consider a Senior Military College.
     
  7. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Are you talking about his spending his senior year in high school prepping at Valley Forge? If so then be advised that neither MMI not NMMI have high school programs any longer.

    If he is a junior in high school, I urge him to apply. Even if his SAT/ACT is on the weak side.
    Reason being - let West Point decide. If they like him but determine he is a little weak academically they have the option of offering him a prep program. either USMAPS or an AOG scholarship.
    He should also apply for a ROTC scholarship this summer so he gets that going early.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
     
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    What do you mean by "approved as a qualified prep program?"

    CGA Scholars (USCGA's sponsored prep program) currently only uses NMMI and MMI.

    Are you saying that Greystone will also be used in the CGA Scholars program next year?
     
  9. JerryB76

    JerryB76 Member

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    I was not at the meeting between the Coast Guard Academy and Greystone's Board of Directors Chairman and Greystone's Director, but that is their understanding.
     
  10. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Then where did you get the information? From Greystone or the USCGA?

    If it came from Greystone, I would not believe it until I saw/heard verification from the USCGA and their CGA Scholars coordinator.
     
  11. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I also find this intestesting. When my daughter was awarded her AOG scholarship it specifically stated that she was required to attend a Military Junior College - unless she was a recruited athlete. (Then she could attend a number of post-grad boarding school programs.)
    Perhaps they have changed the requirement of a military junior college but they are certainly pushed in that direction. Given the price differences between the two programs I would not expect to see many AOG scholars at Greystone in the near future.

    This is confusing to me. Are the students who received multiple appointments counted in the 5 who received a USNA appointment? If so then one non-sponsored student received an appointment. Otherwise 3/5 received appointments but where do the other go from here. That is a huge question to me.


    Yes, I understand that. It may be a great option for a kid who just wants to attend a SA - any SA. Not a bad deal to spend $22,000 and get 4 years of a free education, if it works.
    However, it may not be the best choice for the student who wants to just apply to West Point and be an officer in the Army. It may in fact delay his commissioning and prevent him/her from moving on to the ultimate goal.
    While all SA's look for certain attributes in candidates - they don't all look for the same qualities in the same way. Depending on the candidates strengths and weaknesses there may be cheaper and easier ways to win an appointment.

    Further, the Military Junior Colleges - such as MMI and NMMI, have the same advantages as Greystone - PLUS the distinct advantage of living a military lifestyle and exposure to the military culture through ROTC. This advantage removes the "romance" and assists the candidate and the academy in determining that he has the "right stuff".
     
  12. JerryB76

    JerryB76 Member

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    Greystone Prep Information

    I just want to answer a few specific questions about the Greystone program that were asked in this thread.

    In February of 2009, the Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Director of Greystone met with the Superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy and their Admissions department. After a comprehensive brief on the Greystone Program, the Coast Guard Academy said Greystone will be included in the list of approved prep schools in the future. At a meeting the same week with West Point Admissions and the AOG scholarship representatives, the same result was obtained.

    The AOG scholarship program like the Naval Academy Foundation Program are needs based programs. They use a formula to determine the split in cost between the scholarship program and the family of the applicant. Schreiner University does provide a grant to all Greystone students and regardless of where they are from, charges them in-state tuition. There are other grants and loans available to help defray the cost of one year of University education. I am unfamiliar with the Coast Guard program, so I cannot comment on how they would manage the tuition or tuition assistance for a Greystone student.

    This year 9 ( 12 started the program, 3 dropped out for various reasons) students completed the program with the following results:
    (Note: I numbered each student randomly, the number is not indicative of any kind of rank or GPA, it is strictly used to make it easier to distinguish each candidate.)
    Candidate:
    1. Naval Academy Foundation – Naval Academy Appointment
    2. Naval Academy Foundation – Naval Academy Appointment
    3. Naval Academy Foundation – Naval Academy Appointment
    4. Naval Academy Foundation – Naval Academy Appointment
    5. Non-sponsored – Appointments offered to USAFA, USNA, USCGA – Accepted USAFA appointment
    6. Non-sponsored – Appointment offered to USMMA, wait listed USCGA and USMA – Accepted USMMA appointment
    7. Non-sponsored – Wait listed USNA
    8. Non-sponsored – Wait listed USMA
    9. Non-sponsored – Appointments offered to USNA, USMA, USCGA – Accepted offer to USNA.

    The two wait listed students (7 and 8) have several options if they are not picked up for their Academy. They can return to Schreiner University as Sophomores or they can go to any other college of their choice and take their 36 credit hours with them.

    West Point has offered 5 appointments (not counting the two wait listed students listed above) to Greystone students over the past 5 years and as I stated above, will list Greystone as an approved prep program in the future.

    All the other comments and questions about Greystone, the policies or decisions of admissions or scholarship organization, or the reasons why certain prep programs or life styles are “preferred” or not preferred are subjective comments by the individual who wrote the comment and should be interpreted in that light.
     
  13. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    Jerry are you affiliated with this school?
     
  14. JerryB76

    JerryB76 Member

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    Greystone Prep Affliation

    I am not affilated witrh the school directly. My daughter went to Greystone and I know the Director on both a professional and personal level. All the information I provided came directly from Greystone.
     
  15. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I can only speak to what USNA recommends for unsuccessful candidates:

    (1) Find out what was lacking in your package. Ask CGO directly.

    (2) If it's academics (classes, grades, SATs), attend a regular college (can be community college) and take to the greatest extent possible the courses a plebe takes -- Calc, Chem with lab, English, World History. Doing well in these classes at a college level helps demonstrate that you can handle the work at USNA.

    (3) If it's something else (athletics, ECAs, leadership), discuss with CGO and your BGO ways to work on those while still doing #2 above.

    Some unsuccessful candidates believe that they need a more "structured" environment to help them improve enough to be accepted to a SA. That could include, for example: tutoring, study skills, time management, test-taking strategies, physical training, etc. In some cases, a prep school may be able to provide help with some or all of these things.

    I'm sure there are many good -- and some bad -- prep schools out there. Before you plunk down your $20,000+ to attend one on your own (non-sponsored), consider some of the following:

    (1) What can/will they provide that you can't do for yourself and does this address a major weakness that you have?

    (2) Are any credits you earn transferrable to a SA or the 4-yr college of your choice? If they are affiliated with a particular college, is that where you want to go? IOW, if for whatever reason, you don't end up at a SA, will that year have been "wasted" in terms of academic credits?

    (3) What does the SA of your choice say about the school? NOT what does the school say the SA says about it. If you are unsure, check with the CGO (or equivalent). They obviously can't make recommendations but they can indicate if there is any "official relationship," how many students were offered appointments over the past few years, etc.

    There is no single right or wrong answer. But, there is NO guarantee that you'll be offered an appointment even if on a sponsored scholarship -- without one, you take your chances. As always in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So, do your research carefully -- a prep school may be exactly what you need to get into an SA or may simply be a waste of time and money.
     
  16. jscam87

    jscam87 Member

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    usna85-excellent post
     
  17. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I have been mostly away as of late and have not had a chance to respond to this comment which is assume is a thinly veiled accusation against me making up stuff.

    I am going to stand by my comment for now that The West Point Preparatory Scholarship Program wants their scholarship winners to attend a Military Junior College - here's why:
    The letter my daughter got two years ago states in part:
    Now - is the letter two years old? Yes. However, while Greystone Prep (and other civilian programs) may prepare students well academically there is no military preparation which the letter explicitly states is helpful.

    As USNA1985 so eloquently stated:
    Good advice.
     
  18. J Collins

    J Collins Founding Member

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    I have a few questions....

    1) If you (term used loosely) have a desire to go to a SA.... why would you choose to attend a "prep school" that doesnt have the same military lifestyle of the SA???.. i.e. wouldnt you want the uniforms, and the "military" kind of life so you are PREPPED for the SA ????

    2) Why does every post about Greystone sound like a TV commercial??

    Thank you.....
     
  19. SAG

    SAG Member

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    Reason for Question

    The reason I posted this question was because I felt that my son was not going to get a nomination or a sponsored prep nom because of his very weak SAT scores.
    I didn't know if there was any value in going to a prep year ( say at Valley Forge) or a military Jr. College as a non-sponsored student. The ECP program is not an option he would like to take after discussing it with an ROTC recruiter.
    Plan B is a Senior Military College, such as VMI or Citadel.
     
  20. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    MOST (not all) people want or need to attend a prep school to improve their academics. Whether it has a military orientation or not isn't really the issue. A prep school that is not actually associated with the military is essentially a "pretend" military environment. That type of environment may be great for certain people for various reasons. But for someone who is well qualified to attend USNA other than needing add'l academic help, I don't know that it makes any difference whether that help comes at a military school or non-military school.

    Maybe you should read those posts with the same approach you would view a TV commercial.:smile:
     

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