NROTC Decision Time: Y/N by Tuesday!

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by 2013vgurung, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. 2013vgurung

    2013vgurung New Member

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    Hello all,

    I am new to this forum and actually joined up just to ask this question! So heres my current situation:

    I am a current senior in high school and a candidate for USNA Class of 2017, and I also applied for NROTC (schools were MIT, Cornell, UVA, CMU, Gtech, in that order). A few weeks ago I received my LOA to the Academy. I have nomination interviews scheduled later this month.

    Yesterday I received a phone call from my local Navy recruiter, and he said that before he sent my application to the national pool he said his commanding officer had the power to guarantee a few candidates the scholarship to one of their selected schools, and that he was willing to give it to me. Of course I was ecstatic, this situation is beyond my wildest dreams :). Now here is the thing. He said that he could only guarantee the scholarship, not a particular school, so it could be to any of my list of five. He also said that he needed a yes or no answer by Tuesday (this Tuesday!!! The day after Columbus day!). This decision would also be binding, so if I say yes with the hopes of getting into my first or second choice (which I would prefer over USNA), its possible that I might be awarded the scholarship to one of my 3rd, 4th or 5th choice schools (over which I prefer USNA).

    He said that his CO is also doing this partly because my school does not calculate class rank, which would hurt me in the national pool because apparently class rank is very important. Basically, he was saying that if I wanted NROTC that this is it. Now, my ideal situation would be first learning which school I would be assigned to then choosing between that plus the NROTC scholarship or USNA (if I get the Nomination as well). It really stinks that I must say Y/N to NROTC so soon, and that it will be binding.

    Thank you for bearing with me through this long post btw....anyways, I would like to know your opinion. Should I take the scholarship even though I might get a 4th/5th choice school to which I would prefer USNA? Do I decline this special offer and take my chances in the national pool and wait on USNA nominations?

    Lastly, I wanted to say that I had never heard of this type of guaranteed yet BINDING, short-notice, NROTC Scholarship offer. Has anyone ever heard of this before? I know that NROTC hates losing kids to USNA and I sincerely hope he isn't twisting the facts a little to nudge me towards accepting the NROTC scholarship. I want to become a Naval officer and serve my country either way, but I would still like to choose what I believe to be the best path for myself for the next four years!

    Sincere apologies for the long post, but I have so much going through my head right now. Any and all comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Just to make sure I understand where you're at, you would prefer MIT or Cornell over USNA... and USNA over UVA, CMU and GTech. You also have an LOA in hand for USNA. You don't mention your desired major but I assume it's some form of engineering. I further assume, at this point, that you have not yet been accepted to any of the schools you listed.

    The NROTC scholarship, even though guaranteed, requires you to get accepted to the college where the scholarship is awarded. This is probably why the recruiter said they cannot guarantee the college the scholarship will be awarded to. For borderline cases sometimes the NROTC unit has influence with the college, and sometimes it doesn't. So even if NROTC wanted to give you the scholarship to MIT or Cornell, it doesn't mean you'll get to use it there. Now, based on the schools you listed, the NROTC guarantee and the LOA you obviously have an outstanding resume, so you may not have trouble getting into any of these schools. Then again, almost all applicants to these schools have outstanding resumes, so the competition to be accepted to the college is also intense.

    As a point of interest, UVA (at least) is limited as to how many out-of-state students it can accept due to state law. You don't mention where you live so this may or may not be a factor. Competition to get into UVA is also intense.

    Since you list MIT and Cornell as your first and second choice, I'm assuming that the military aspects that USNA offers is not especially important to you, but that you would "include" it primarily because of the education that USNA offers. Yes, I understand your desire to serve and that you're determined to do so in the Navy, but that the military aspect is not necessarily integral to your college choice. If that's truly the case, then some insight into why USNA is rated where it is might be useful, especially since the other schools are no slouch institutions.

    BTW, I'm assuming you'll get a nomination to USNA with your resume and LOA in hand, but that isn't guaranteed either and might also depend on where you live. If you live in an extremely competitive district it could be problematic. Probably not a real issue but at least a theoretical possibility.

    Costs: USNA covers everything and pays you something for going there. NROTC covers tuition, books and fees. You and your family will still be responsible for room and board. I don't know how important the financial aspects of this are to your decision, but it bears mentioning.

    Summers and vacations: Bottom line, you'll have more free time with NROTC. USNA will tie up more of your summer for training than NROTC will.

    No one here can decided for you. Further I'm sure we all wish WE had this problem... USNA seems like the safer bet if I were placing odds on getting in (given the LOA). I suppose MIT and Cornell are probably within reach but no guarantee. Assess how badly you want USNA over the other schools. If there is really no advantage to USNA in your mind, then I'd go the NROTC route. If USNA does have an advantage over the others, I'd make the safer play and go for USNA. Keep in mind that USNA will be a different quality of "tough" compared to NROTC at MIT. This is stuff you have to wrestle with.

    I do not envy you your decision, but I would say once its made don't look back. It's not like there is really a bad choice here.

    Congratulations! You're obviously an outstanding catch for any institution of higher learning. Good luck in your decision and please keep us posted. I know this rambled but I hope it gave you some things to think about. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    BTW _ here's my surmise regarding this being a BINDING NROTC scholarship. I suspect these few commander scholarships are a recruiting tool to entice people into the Navy and NROTC who have excellent chances for great academic scholarships at the finest institutions of learning in the country. I'm sure they don't want to waste these on someone who would not be committed, but would instead rather give them to someone else. And they certainly don't want someone to back out at a later date, which would preclude their whole purpose in offering it. They don't want to lose someone because they got a full ride to, say, Harvard. later in the college application season. It's probably similar in intent to an LOA in that regard.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  4. 2013vgurung

    2013vgurung New Member

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    First, thank you very much for the prompt and thorough reply, I really appreciate it.

    Sorry I should have mentioned: I DO live in Virginia, intended major is Aerospace E or mech E.

    Thank you for your feedback about the differences between USNA and doing NROTC at a civilian college. I guess you're right when you say that the military aspect of USNA is not the most important factor for me. I guess I see the unmatchable (if that's a word..) education I would receive at a college like MIT as more than making up for the less engaging Naval lifestyle of NROTC. I need to think about this even deeper to really ensure that I have my own priorities straight when I am comparing these options.

    I had never ever heard of a binding NROTC scholarship offer before and can only wonder what would happen if I agree, but do not get into the NROTC school I am assigned to. Would I still be able to continue with the USNA nomination process if I accepted this binding NROTC agreement, just in case I did not get into my NROTC school?

    Thank you again, I do realize how lucky/blessed I have been to be in this kind of situation. Hard to think straight when I all of a sudden have such a choice to make.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You ask a good question about USNA vs the binding scholarship. Unfortunately I don't know the answer. In the normal NROTC scholarship case an appointment to the Academy would supersede the NROTC scholarship and you would not be under any obligation to proceed with NROTC. Actually, in the normal case, you're not under any obligation to proceed with NROTC anyway, you could always back out prior to the start of school, but of course I (and I'm sure NROTC) would discourage it. This is a good question to ask the recruiter.

    In my own way of thinking, if the ultimate goal is to entice you to a Navy career vs the full ride at Harvard, for example, then I would think there would be no problem if you were to accept an appointment to USNA. However, I am a mere mortal and have no actual knowledge of such things, so you need to ask the question of the recruiter.
     
  6. Pmh

    Pmh Member

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    This is the first time I have seen or heard that having a high school that does not rank will negatively impact someone's NROTC scholarship application. I would be interested if anyone can confirm or shed any light on this issue. Seems illogical, and unfair to applicants coming from high schools that do not rank.
     
  7. Roxymom

    Roxymom Member

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    class rank

    My sons' HS does not rank and it certainly does not help. It uses decile. If you are in the third decile that means you could either be in top 21% or 29%. Big difference in a highly achieving suburban puplic school.
     
  8. 2013vgurung

    2013vgurung New Member

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    Indeed, I want to join the Navy either way I wish my recruiter would let me possibly choose USNA over the NROTC after the school assignment had been made...but this is the nature of this guarantee, that it is binding and that I will go to the NROTC school whichever it may be, even if I prefer a possible USNA appointment.

    Thank you Pmh and Roxymom for clarification, I wish my high school provided class rank but that is something I cannot change. Kinnem, I will take your advice and talk to the recruiter again about it, but I know he would prefer me to take this offer. We shall see what he says...
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    A wise decision. Of course he would prefer you select NROTC, but I'm confident you will be given the straight dope and it never hurts to ask questions and make sure you're clear on all options. Of course if you're going to ask at the same time you inform him of your decision have your course plotted out for every possible answer. Sorry to state the obvious but one never knows with you young'uns.... well, at least with MY young'un. :smile:

    Please let us know how it all turns out. We're all interested for our own educational purposes if nothing else and we can perhaps use that info to help someone else in the future.

    Hope all your dreams come true! :thumb:
     
  10. terp1984

    terp1984 Member

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    You have a nice problem to deal with. The end result is the same, you will be a naval officer. You have the choice of what kind of college life do you want and what you want to study. My DS had a September LOA but also applied to MIT, Stanford, Dartmouth. He had 800MSAT and state ranked runner, near the top rank of a prep school but did not get into these schools. He eventually turned down the appointment to go to UVA which he loves.. He did nrotc for 2 years without a scholarship because he never applied for rotc while in high school but now has one. Some schools you are interested in will be better than the academy in certain areas of study. For service selection you have about the same percentage for all the assignments(except seals) vs the academy. Financially, the academy is the better option as you have nearly no expenses unless you have other scholarships to pay room and board. Good luck.
     
  11. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    !!"

    The recruiter is doing his job well. However, understand he is meeting HIS objectives, not YOURS. He might really like you as a person, and want to go out of his way to give you straight advice, but that is not his job nor his objective. He has numeric objectives to fulfill, and he's doing just that.

    The Naval Academy trumps all else. If you accept any NROTC scholarship offer, whether "binding" (whatever that is supposed to mean), or any other form of NROTC National scholarship, an appointment to the Naval Academy, and your acceptance of such, nullifies the NROTC scholarship.

    No NROTC scholarship is binding, in any case. If you accept an NROTC scholarship to UVA, and don't show up the first day of orientation week, no harm, no foul, but your scholarship is voided. You get to change your mind, you get to not show up. Further, you have an entire year to decide whether a Naval Officer commission is really what you want. If you participate in NROTC your freshman year, then decide over the summer that you've realized it just isn't for you, you may show up to school the first day of your sophomore year, go into the NROTC office, and withdraw from the program. Actually Naval Academy mids have TWO full years to decide it isn't for them, and withdraw without any financial or service obligation. Finally, there are a number of Naval Academy appointments each year given to NROTC freshman mids. Assuming you fail to gain an Appointment this year, you are able to re-apply while in college as an NROTC freshman. Your Nomination would come from your NROTC Professor of Naval Science.

    So, basically, the recruiter is using a sales tactic not uncommon on used car lots "I can give you $1,000 off this beauty, but ONLY if you buy the car TODAY! (and it's ten minutes to closing)". If you KNOW you want that car, then take the $1,000. If you aren't sure, walk and come back another day when you've had time to think about it.

    Now, back to your Binding offer. You now know that it is not binding with respect to an Appointment to the US Naval Academy. So, Tuesday's decision is limited strictly to the five choices you listed on your Application.

    MIT
    Cornell
    UVA
    CMU
    GaTech

    Do you know enough about each school, and the NROTC program there, to know that you'd be fine with your 5th choice? Your 4th choice? If you know you wouldn't even accept the Scholarship to GaTech but you listed it only because the Application asked for 5 schools, then that is different from being willing to attend GaTech.

    If you are awarded a scholarship for use at GaTech, can you afford decline that Scholarship Award and attend UVA (or any of your other schools) without a scholarship but still join, participate in, and become commissioned as a Naval Officer out of UVA (or them)?

    Are you willing to accept a Scholarship Award for use at GaTech now, vs. waiting to see about the other four?

    Understand that if you hold out for MIT or Cornell in the National Pool, and are awarded an NROTC scholarship to one of those two, and then fail get get into the awarded school via Admissions, you lose use of the Scholarship Award anyway? You may then petition to have your NROTC Scholarship Award transferred to another NROTC unit (to a school you DID get into), but the odds of that are at best 50/50. I'm sure you know the odds that you will get into the Awarded school increase with UVA and GaTech vs. the other three. Every applicant actually must wrestle with that reality, and the order of school placement within their Scholarship Application.

    So, you've got a lot of thinking to do (about NROTC... leave the Academy out of it b/c it trumps NROTC) about trading a sure Scholarship Award that might be to your 5th choice, for an unsure Award that might also be to your 5th choice! The uncertainly about getting in through Admissions is irrelevant to you choice tomorrow, because whether you take the Guaranteed Award, or wait for the National Pool, neither guarantees you'll get into that school through Admissions.

    Oh, off topic, but if you're interested in Engineering, then why UVA vs. VATech? I don't get that one. I learn something new every day but I didn't know UVA had Engineering. Does VaTech not have NROTC?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Not sure

    Hi dunninla. I would like to believe everything you said is correct, and it certainly is in the normal case. It also makes sense to me in this particular case. However, I'm not sure there isn't something special about this NROTC scholarship that is handled outside the normal board process. I think its incumbent on OP to confirm this is correct if at all possible. If he is unable to do so then I would proceed as though what you describe is correct.

    Don't mean to challenge you but I've just never heard of one of these scholarships before so I think OP needs to be careful (as he should be when taking on any committment).
     
  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Not sure about USNA superseding NROTC

    Hi dunninla. I would like to believe everything you said is correct, and it certainly is in the normal case. It also makes sense to me in this particular case. However, I'm not sure there isn't something special about this NROTC scholarship that is handled outside the normal board process. I think its incumbent on OP to confirm this is correct if at all possible. If he is unable to do so then I would process as though what you describe is correct.

    Don't mean to challenge you but I've just never heard of one of these scholarships before so I think OP needs to be careful (as he should be when taking on any committment).
     
  14. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I think a way the OP might accomplish that, aside from asking his Recruiter to clarify what "binding" means, is to contact the NROTC recruiting officer at UVA, or any other school on his list. I think what you are concerned about is whether OP's acceptance of the NROTC offer, if he chooses to do that, would remove him from being able to accept an Appointment from the Academy. Since it is true that a mid may fail to join NROTC after winning a Scholarship, may withdraw even after being in NROTC for a year, and may leave active participation in NROTC with a Appointment to the Academy, how on earth could NROTC tell the Academy whom they can and cannot Appoint? Doesn't make any sense.
     
  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I agree. Doesn't make sense. But then again I've seen things that make less sense. Calling one of the units (esp. UVA since it's in-state) is a great idea. As I said, if he can't confirm he should proceed as you suggest... since that seems to make sense.
     
  16. k2rider

    k2rider Member

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    Well, by now you've already had to have made your decision but if I was in your shoes, I'd accept the academy nomination. As impressive as those other schools may be, being a graduate from the Naval Academy may be the most honorable, prestigeous goal you could achieve....short of graduating from West Point :biggrin:
     
  17. 2013vgurung

    2013vgurung New Member

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    Thank you everyone for the input, thanks especially to dunninla for clarifying that whether or not I accept this offer the USNA option is still there.

    So I spoke with the recruiter on the phone again today, it seems that when he said "binding" last week I assumed he meant that I would HAVE to use the scholarship if I accepted, which brought about all my questions about this vs. a possible USNA appointment. He assured me that the USNA option will still be there, and that this was simply an ISR (Immediate Scholarship Reservation) meaning that I could skip the national pool and automatically be awarded the scholarship. There is absolutely no downside to this like you said,

    "trading a sure Scholarship Award that might be to your 5th choice, for an unsure Award that might also be to your 5th choice! "

    As such, I accepted his offer wholeheartedly and now have one last officer interview next week with a big shot from Richmond.

    I guess I had a lot of questions because he gave me a very vague idea of what exactly he was offering ("guaranteed but not to a specific school, binding if you accept, need Y/N by tuesday, my CO has the power to grant this to you"), but now that I know exactly what I have been offered (http://www.cnrc.navy.mil/publications/Forms/1100.32.pdf , if curious) I have accepted.

    Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would now have this choice....a full NROTC scholarship to an excellent engineering college or a possible USNA appointment (hopeful about the Nomination!)..thanks again to everyone esp. kinnem and dunninlafor their insights.
     
  18. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    COngratulations! I have one more recommendation for you. Run out now, NOW, RIGHT NOW! ... and buy a lottery ticket.
     
  19. 2013vgurung

    2013vgurung New Member

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    Good idea, will do :)
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    One suggestion is if you get an apptmt., place the deposit down to hold your spot at the school.

    Typically, this deposit is @$300, many schools will refund this money if you inform them by X date you will not be attending their school in the fall. Some will not.

    The reason I believe you should do this is this board is littered every yr with appointees that never complete BCT. There have been some that left on their own accord, some that were injured and could not complete BCT. Paying that small amount guarantees come Aug. you will not be forced into attending your CC and you can attend your plan B.

    It is JIC, G forbid you play Baseball, LAX or any spring sport and get injured in May, 6 weeks from I-Day. If you paid the deposit plan B is in place even as a medical turnback.

    Congrats and best wishes.
     

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