On-Campus vs. Cross Town AFROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Tkaler, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. Tkaler

    Tkaler Member

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    I am looking at a few schools and they are pretty even to me right now (though they are very different schools!).
    One has an on-campus detachment, which hosts about 12 schools (~100 cadets total). The other is a cross-town (about 50 cadets total, 7 schools).
    Is it really nice to have the det on campus? It seems like it would be a real pain to go cross town, as I would have to go 3-4 separate times per week.
    Thoughts?
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    It can be a pain but it depends on the schools and the situation. Some cross-town units are large enough that they PT on their own and the officers come to your campus for military science classes. That just leaves commuting for labs. Commutes in some areas can be hell. Given your description I imagine you'll be going to the host campus 3-4 times a week as you say.

    And then there are host schools where the host campus is a 15 minute walk away or a 10 mile drive down a major country road, which is a pretty easy deal.

    You'll need to identify the schools you're looking at to get specific feedback and perhaps even contact the cadre or ask during a school visit. I will say that being at the host campus is always easier, but don't let that keep you out of a school that otherwise would be right for you... provided you can handle the commuting reasonably well.
     
  3. 719Frontier

    719Frontier Member

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    Depends on the School

    I thought I would throw my 2 cents in on this one. I am a cross town in an area where commuting is...less than easy. I go to college in the city where having a car is not allowed by the university. My det is on one side of the city and my university is on the other. Thus, we rely on the subway/bus system.

    Our biggest problem to work around is that the subway doesn't open until 0500 in the morning during the week, and we often have to be at the det by 0550, which is not enough time to commute on the metro. So during the week, we have to take the city bus which runs 24hrs and is often unpredictable based on traffic etc. All this means we have to leave even earlier. One-way fare on the metro is $2.10 so figure $4.20 going there and coming back. The bus is a little cheaper, but still a financial obligation you have to consider.

    If you have your own car, and parking is cheap, it might be a different story. Our det is 60% crosstown and everything takes place at our host university.

    You have to make sure you go to a det that allows you to be successful. Had I known I was going to do ROTC (I'm a 250), I would have chosen a different location to go to college simply because the commute is madness. But at the same time, I love my det and can't picture being in a different one :)

    Also, check to make sure the university you go to gives priority registration for classes to ROTC cadets if you're going to be crosstown. This has saved my life in that building a class schedule around ROTC, and especially allowing enough time in between your classes for your commute (with traffic/uncertainties) can be difficult if you're competing in general registration with everyone else.

    Sorry that was long-winded but its a couple things to consider. Best of luck!
     
  4. MtnMom

    MtnMom Member

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    DS will be at a partner school, guessing that's a cross-town affiliate. The ROTC rep(?) was actually at the school when we went on a tour (it was Spring Break). He explained that all the PT and classes were taken on his campus. Which is helpful because the commute to the host campus would be difficult. He also explained that they have a van that they use when they have labs there.

    Sounds like every school has a different situation. Like kinnem points out, perhaps identify the school or ask the cadre about the details and how other cadets are doing it. DS even had a MSIII cadet email him and gave him an open invite to ask questions and workout with the other cadets. I am new to this, so hoping my info can help, as other posts have helped me. :biggrin:
     
  5. Adelita

    Adelita Member

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    It REALLY depends

    It really does depend on the detachment so ask the cadre at the wings you are considering. My detachment has AS classes and lab on Tuesdays and a PT session right after lab that all cadets have to attend. Then the crosstowns from far away detachments either PT with ROTC units at their own school or submit PT logs (integrity first!) for their other PT session. FTP have to show up at 0530 for pre PT stuff and one of our crosstowns is like 2 hours away so I am glad our wing has arrangements set up. It's definitely a commitment but depending on where you decide to attend it can be more or less of a commitment.
     
  6. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    It depends, but my experience has been that AROTC is more accommodating in this area. My school is the host for army, AF, and navy and army holds seperate PT sessions at a cross-town school that a lot of their cadets attend so they only have to come the host school for LLAB. But the AFROTC at my det doesn't do that. We have over 100 cadets (13 cross-town affiliations) and a large percentage of them are cross-town students. You have to attend 2 PT sessions per week out of the 4 offered, 2 at 6am and 2 at 3:30pm. If you're cross-town and have a class that conflicts with afternoon PT, you have to drive up to the host school 4 days a week because morning PT isn't held the same days as LLAB. Thankfully, I attend the host school, but I know someone who had to leave, notice I said leave and not wake up, at 4am, take two subway trains, and walk 15 minutes to get to morning PT all last semester.

    Of course, every Det is different, but if the two colleges you are trying to decide between are equally appealing to you as far as accademics and financial aid go, my advice would be to go to the school that is the host. Just be honest with yourself about what you're capable of handling. Check to see how close you would be at the school with the cross-town agreement. I also know someone who's school is close enough that he just walks there for PT in the morning, others carpool pretty easily. About half of our upperclassmen are cross-town students so there is no bias against them, but commuting all the time does take a toll. I live off campus and commute 30-40 min every day both ways to my school and it can really wear you down constantly getting up at 4am and not leaving school until 7pm with hw left to do for several days in a row, I can only imagine how I'd handle being cross-town too. But, if the cross-town school is a way better deal for you financially or academically, I'd suggest you go there, so long as you're willing to trade a few extra hours of sleep for paying several thousand dollars less for school or for going to a better school for your major. It'd certainly be worth it.
     
  7. Tkaler

    Tkaler Member

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    Thanks all for the informative replies.
    My two schools are very different, one being the large State flagship (about 15 min from home) and a small, private Jesuit institution (~8 hr drive). I have been accepted into a few programs at the state flagship, so even though I prefer a smaller school, I think I will find plenty of community.
    The state flagship is the host U. Between a few different scholarships, I have a full ride (tuition, R&B, everything) for four years.
    The Jesuit school is a x-town. My last three years here would be paid for, however the first year would cost me about $20k.
    Both are solid schools in my chosen major. I am currently leaning toward the state flagship (I love the idea of free!).
    Again thanks for the info
     
  8. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    I'd say your leaning in the right direction then:wink: Good luck with whatever you decide!
     
  9. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    There is no question that being cross town is much more difficult than being on campus, period end of story. How much more difficult depends on the university. But it will be harder. When you couple that with the difficulty of going to college and the difficulty of ROTC in general, I would certainly try to look really hard at a host school.

    That being said, you have to weigh your priorities, and options when you make your final decision.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Just a Mom's opionion...and a posters opinion too.

    Along with what other's have stated here are a couple of things to think about.

    Our DS went to a large flagship college, where Football and Basketball games were part of their weekend life.

    He too was in a scholars program. They did not have ROTC dorms, but did for their scholars programs. It immediately gave him 2 small select social circles...ROTC and the scholars program. The large university immediately felt close knit. Many of the kids in his dorm were in a majority of his freshman class. He never felt like a number, he never had that try to find my niche feeling.

    His det was/is also very active. They have 4 AF fraternities, and a weekly GMC night.
    ~~~ If you go xtown, now add in will you feel like hauling it back to hang/join in when they have these activities.

    His det. also has required volunteer work....clean up the football stadium 2X a semester. Same with the basketball arena. Key word is REQUIRED, not volunteer.

    Finally, as you move up the ladder in AFROTC, you will have higher jobs that may require more face time in the det. This is going to be the same time you are an upperclassman where the classes are not offered 5 times, but maybe 1x or 2x a semester. Creating scheduling conflicts.

    I am not saying don't do xtown, but I have also seen some cadets feel like they are not getting the full ROTC experience because the majority of the students at their college are not in ROTC, and they don't get the life....why do you have to get up at 4 to work out, that's stupid! Why are you flipping out on your cgpa, you have a 3.1, (SFT yr).

    You have to look at everything. I agree if you like a school more, than go there, but college is part academic, and part social. Many ROTC cadets by the time they graduate would say it is part academic and part ROTC because their social circle is ROTC.

    At DS's det by the time he was a 300. If he had a break between classes he did not hang out at the student union. He went to the det., and played Xbox, foosball, or crud with the other cadets.

    Good luck in your decision.

    OOPS I forgot to say one more beauty of being at the host college. If there are paperwork issues, you can just pop into the det at your convenience. Xtown, you are making an appointment, which can jig into your schedule.
     
  11. Tkaler

    Tkaler Member

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    Thanks for the info! To add another question...
    What are the advantages/disadvantages of a large det?
    The flagship school is quite large, with around 100 cadets. To me, it seems as though this would provide me with some opportunities already in place, better facilities, etc.
    However, a smaller detachment would give me more face time with the cadre and the possibility for a higher COC ranking...
    Thoughts here?
     
  12. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    I go to a large det and there are plenty of opportunities to shine as a 100. I've had several leadership positions already. And I'm not sure it's necessarily a good thing to get a lot of face time with the cadre, that only usually happens as a GMC if your in trouble or have to keep reporting things about your medical or citation(speeding tickets, etc) history. As a POC, you spend more face time with the cadre on a regular basis, you can get plenty of healthy face time with your AS100 class instructor though if you requested to ask for advice and such. It's especially good if they've served in an AFSC you want to go into. You can also get extra face time if you join Arnold Air, honor guard, or any other EC at the det. Some of the cadre even come play sports with us sometimes. At this level, the main people evaluating you will be the POC and they talk to each other about the GMC, who's doing we'll and who's struggling. It's good when you report in to your flight leader and they say that other POC have been giving them good feedback about you. Word of the outstanding cadets goes up the ladder. IMO, being at a large det doesn't make it hard to stand out. Despite what you'd think, its a close knit group and you still get that same sense of community as at a smaller school.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Although 100 cadets seems like a lot, it really isn't. By the time you become a 300, your peer group would be about 15-20 cadets. Attrition rate in AFROTC is 50%+. Thus, if there are 35 cadets in 100, 35 cadets in 200, @15 would be the commissioning class size.

    A smaller det may commission with 5 or 6.

    Yes, things can be different. For example at a larger det they can have all 4 military fraternities, a smaller det probably won't have all 4. A larger det may have weekly GMC nights, a smaller det. probably not. A larger det the cadets hang out in the det lounge between classes. A smaller det. probably not.

    As far as the face time and ranking. The fact is even if there are 50 freshman, you will have a class instructor, and the CoC relies on them for input. If you belong to a military fraternity, they have a cadre adviser. They will get to know you outside of the classroom/pt environment. GMC night there will be cadre still in the building, again your face and name are out there. Hanging out between classes in the lounge, you will interact with them as they walk back and forth to their offices.

    It doesn't take long to be known in a large det....if you give 100%.

    I am sure many have a positive position for going to a small det. I will let them give those points. I am just saying, a det with 100 cadets is not as big as you may think if you use the opportunities offered.
     

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