Norwich or VMI

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by pathnottaken, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. pathnottaken

    pathnottaken Member

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    My son has narrowed his selection down to Norwich or VMI. He is doing all the right things - research talking with people, exploring the History Department esp. Military History to see which might fit him better. He is developing a balance sheet to help him choose. So far it is a tie!!!

    Please give him ideas or opinions on advantages and dis-advantages of each.

    I know it is wide open request but I thought it could be an interesting thread and helpful for many stalkers

    thankyou for your inputs

    PS My input to him was if he got a three year scholarship because he worked hard and performed well his freshman year, he would pay $8000 less per year going to Norwich. (By he I meant I would) :biggrin:
     
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    If all things are pretty equal for both school, then have him think hard about the academics. Which school does he feel he can thrive better academically. GPA is 40% of the OML. While a SMC guarantees Active Duty, it does not guarantee Branch, for branch selection he will compete with every cadet from every school.

    The best thing he can do is look past the ROTC and cadet corps, and look at where he will do the best academically. Sounds like he would enjoy either school.
     
  3. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Good Advice, I may add that for the SMCs nothing is guarenteed for active duty. He still would require PMS approval to get active duty. The choice of school always ends with the question of where he fits in and prefers. Most of the time it is the best answer.

    I always felt a "real" advantage of the SMCs for my son was the military lifestyle. Learning to march, wear your uniform, make your bed, etc are part of the daily education. The lockdown aspect for the freshman is helpful in that they have an opportunity to really focus on grades and get in shape. Not much else they can do that first year. At my other kids schools there is too much of a party atmosphere for the freshman. Then again for some it is really difficult to adapt and accept that SMC lifestyle. It can be stifling and overwhelming for some. In the end the college choice should always be what is the best fit for the individual. The best opportunities and advantages are self made.
     
  4. pathnottaken

    pathnottaken Member

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    We took tours and asked questions, and they came up a tie so we are looking for some alittle bit of information that will break the tie. Once the tie is broken I know the score will become 100 to 0 and he will made the "right choice". and be fully committed to the school.
    We were able to talk to a few cadets, but would like to here from more people, especial those who made the choice between different SMC's.

    This is the stuff one can pick reading the college info(sent and wesite). We are hoping for more detail stuff on opportunities and daily life after graduation, etc.

    Education:

    Norwich has War and Peace Degree
    VMI has the John A. Adams '71 Center for Military History

    Norwich 14:1 stduent:teacher
    VMI 11.3:1

    How are the profs. Is there one or more really great one.

    Student Life:

    Norwich 60:40 cadet :civilian
    VMI 100% Cadet

    Both has there advantages and dis-advantages.

    Can one get a break from the cadet life if they needed it for even just an hour or two at VMI?
    Is the culture to loose at Norwich and one is out of the cadet lifestyle too much at Norwich?

    Military opportunities

    Norwich has The Mountain and Cold Weather Company and Cavalry
    VMI has Tanker Platoon and Special Action Detachment

    Norwich has cadet run system.
    VMI has George Patton.

    Sports:
    Norwich Division 3 -
    VMI mostly Division 1A

    Misc.
    Norwich's Ring
    VMI alumni
     
  5. keydet2016

    keydet2016 Member

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    I've seen vmi cadets with a lot of different schools ad proficiency badges. Army airborne and air assault. German military proficiency. Jungle warfare pins from the British military. Combat diver schools. Army mountain warfare to name a few.
    Also cadet life at vmi is, in my opinion, tougher. You have to be in uniform at all times in the county and you're under constant scrutiny to look sharp and act accordingly. You're always surrounded by cadets and a military environment. We don't even have beds. I'm not going to talk down on Norwich, but at vmi the cadets that graduate learn to live with less. the philosophy is that if everything is taken away, and the physical and mental limits are pushed; then thats when your true character is tested. At vmi, there is a saying "hard lives build hard men" (and women!)
     
  6. KarenH

    KarenH Member

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    DS attending VMI this fall, 3 year AROTC scholarship. He did not visit Norwich because International Relations and languages were stronger at VMI and that is his focus. The second reason was location - he has had enough of the Northeast and wanted to try something different. One thing that really hooked him after an overnight visit, that I don't see in your list, is VMI's honor code. We saw personal possessions just laid on the sidewalk, left unattended, while cadets went about other business. After talking in barracks with cadets he felt VMI's honor code was taken very seriously; even more so than at the SA he visited.
     
  7. emwvmi01

    emwvmi01 Member

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    Some thoughts on VMI

    A few thoughts from a serving officer (caveat I graduated over a decade ago and was the Cadet Recruiting Officer at VMI my first class year). I have over 10 years active duty in the Army and have worked with and commanded students from various commissioning sources and now serve as an instructor for Army Captains. I am of the fixed opinion after rating nearly 20 lieutenants and teaching over 60 officers on a daily basis from all commissioning sources that officers are more shaped by the individual and less so by the commission source. I have trained two Norwich graduates and about a half dozen VMI grads in the last year.

    Education
    VMI has in the past decade had two Rhodes Scholar selectees from the Corps. Academic stats would be another comparison and I am sure they are available in a variety of forums for things like average SATs and GPAs.

    I have a BA in History and will receive an MA in International Relations this year. A broader undergraduate degree like History will keep more doors open than a specific program like Military History or American History. Now if your DS pursues an Advanced Degree in history he'll want to narrowly specify. However at the Bachelors level it is more about developing a broad based education and the ability to clearly and cogently present arguments.

    Student Life:

    Norwich 60:40 cadet :civilian
    VMI 100% Cadet

    Both has there advantages and dis-advantages.

    Can one get a break from the cadet life if they needed it for even just an hour or two at VMI?
    In short yes most Sundays are free of training in the morning. The rats still walk the ratline and may have one or two formations but very rarely any yelling or workouts on Sundays with the possible exception of Sunday nights as older cadets return. Additionally, parents can visit often on Friday and Saturday evenings and sign cadets out for dinner in the area.


    Is the culture to loose at Norwich and one is out of the cadet lifestyle too much at Norwich?

    Military opportunities

    Norwich has The Mountain and Cold Weather Company and Cavalry
    VMI has Tanker Platoon and Special Action Detachment

    Norwich has cadet run system. VMI system is also cadet run as well both the Regimental System and the class system inside barracks.
    VMI has George Patton,
    (and George Marshall, Jonathan Daniels, Jackson, Chesty Puller plus two guys from the Real World and a bunch of others. Norwich has some great alum too like former Army Chief of Staff Gordon Sullivan).

    Sports:
    Norwich Division 3 -
    VMI mostly Division 1A

    Misc.
    Norwich's Ring
    I think both rings are 44 pennyweight. They are both easily spotted.
    VMI alumni[/QUOTE]


    A few other notes on VMI would be the quality of outside speakers. Between 1997 and 2001 I heard Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, David McCullough, Steven Ambrose, Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner and multiple governors of Virginia. In the last five years VMI has hosted Senator McCain and Governor Romney, Secretary Clinton, Vice President Cheney. For Army ROTC cadets there is the annual Marshall Awards too for the top cadets from ROTC around the nation which brings in the Secretary of the Army, Chief of Staff and multiple General Officers. The program is for the cadets from all 270 detachments but VMI cadets get to attend the larger group sessions. The fact that the current Superintendent is a retired four star who commanded CENTCOM and is a grad helps in keeping an active dialogue with all branches as well as a Board of Visitor Member and Alum in GEN Jumper who was the Air Force Chief from 2001-2005.

    In short I would consider your DS. VMI is a great place to be from and a tough school to be at. It tends to be very socially conservative in nature. The climate is fairly comparable to what you probably see in Maryland. These are all issues to consider. Norwich will be different in the fact that it is in New England and there will be a bit more progressive views with that plus the addition of a civilian student body. If your DS has feelings on any of those issues I would consider those factors. I would not worry about "better" or "worse" as far as commissions go. They all read the same and everyone is a 2LT in May 2017.
     
  8. pathnottaken

    pathnottaken Member

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    Just finished signing the acceptance letter my son filled out for VMI.

    VMI won out after visiting the Post this week. He seemed to like the idea of cots over bunks. He also liked the language requirement for all BA candidates. He is picking between Arabic and German (four years of it in HS).

    Hope to meet many of you follow parents of Rats this summer.
     
  9. SuaSponte

    SuaSponte Member

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    Great for him, I'm considering both VMI and arabic (will be very interesting).
     

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