Plan B

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by cfire, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. cfire

    cfire New Member

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    Hi - Wondering what some of you did about the plan B option. Our DS has received an appointment to USNA and has accepted. If the unthinkable happens and he gets injured, he has been accepted to a number of other schools. Did your DS/DD also accept admission to another school and start that process 'just in case'? We certainly hope that everything goes according to plan, but we also don't want to be stranded if disaster strikes.

    Thanks for all of the great info on this site. It's been invaluable!
     
  2. AFAYahoo

    AFAYahoo Member

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    I think its pretty common to accept admission, send in a housing deposit etc. to the Plan B (and maybe C D etc) school, especially since the majority of the academy nominees don't hear until late March or even a little later if they are going to get an appointment. It costs some money since its probably not refundable, but its a small amount of insurance to have in case your son would happen to get injured and couldn't report to USNA. My son sent in the deposits, filled out some paperwork etc for his Plan B last year and then contacted them the day he was flying out to the AFA for basic training. They were nice enough to say they would keep his file/application and scholarship for a year if he changed his mind for whatever reason! Luckily he didn't need it!
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I agree with yahoo. Considering u r saving about $400,000 on your child's education, a few dollars to reserve a spot at plan "B" is reasonable.
     
  4. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    This is very good advice. A $300 non-refundable security deposit is nothing in the scheme of things.
     
  5. am1

    am1 Member

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    Did the same thing for our DS in Fla....along with maintaining the College Pre-Paid payments thru the end of his senior Year. DS recieved EA Appointment at USCGA in January and accepted right away.

    Sculler Dad
     
  6. usmcparent

    usmcparent Member

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    Ditto here. Plan B has been executed and DS will even attend one of the summer sessions to actually register for the fall semester. If the BFE comes in and upon successful completion of BCT (basically avoid injury) the withdrawal process from plan B will begin. We didn't want to risk losing the full tuiton scholarship awarded to DS (non AFROTC).
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I think this is one of the BEST things about the academies. "Albeit, probably unintentional". They start their basic training in the beginning of the summer. If you make it to August (First week of August for Air Force), then you're at the academy as a cadet. If you don't make it til then because you decided it wasn't for you; you got sick/hurt; or some other reason, you would normally be gone by some time in July. (Assuming going half way through). Most civilian universities/colleges don't start school until the end of August. You've got plenty of time to walk right into your Plan-B school and no one knows the wiser.

    Some will say that they don't want to pay the few hundred dollars, that most times in non-refundable, for the plan-B school security deposit. Some say they can't afford it. I simply can't buy that. Financially; if you wind up at the Plan-B, you were going to spend that anyway. If you stay at the academy, you will save the amount you spent on the security deposit in approximately the FIRST WEEK at the academy. Even a normal cheap university at $50,000 for 4 years; 50% scholarships etc...; divided by 4 years; divided by 9 months; divided by 4 weeks in each month; comes out to approximately $173 PER WEEK at college that you WERE going to spend at the civilian university. A week or two at the academy; "NOT PAYING FOR ANYTHING"; you've recouped that money. And if you still think you can afford the small security deposit, that somehow you were going to pay anyway if not accepted to the academy; then have a yard sale and get the money.

    Bottom line: Continue with your Plan-B school as if there was no academy. Pretend the 6 weeks of BCT is simply "Summer Camp". (For financial purposes). If you son/daughter makes it through BCT and becomes a cadet, drop everything with the Plan-B school. If for whatever reason they don't make it through basic training, pretend it was a summer vacation. They are home again and ready to start college at Plan-B. best of luck. mike....
     
  8. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Times 4 in our case.... :eek:

    But I fully concur with you. Cheap (relatively) insurance...

    :biggrin:
     
  9. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Based on the advice of another USMA parent, we ultimately decided to keep the local, less-expensive state school as the Plan B option last summer (and declined all of the admissions offers at the obscenely expensive private schools), which explains why the deposit is lower.

    One thing worth discussing here is whether it is useful to inform the SA cadet that you've got their back covered or not and have paid the deposit at a local school. I recall thinking initially that it would be beneficial not to inform my cadet that he had a slot open at the local school, as an extra "all or nothing" motivator to make it less likely that he quit when things got rough at BCT. Ultimately, however, I decided to tell him that he had this option. He is doing well and is very happy at USMA.
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Each parent knows their kid best. If you think your child is the "Zack Mayo" (Officer and a Gentleman) type who fights to stay in and says: "I have no where else to go", and that's their motivation for doing well at the academy....... then I guess you could withhold from them that you have a backup for them.

    Me personally; if I thought my son was this type, then I'd have a bigger concern. I'd be concerned that he isn't at the academy because he wants it, but because it's a free education and it was his only real option. Fortunately; I don't believe that this is the norm. I believe that the overwhelming majority of applicants/cadets really DO WANT the academy. Therefor, having a backup because of injury/illness wouldn't negatively affect their motivation to try and excel.

    Now this isn't to say that many applicants/cadets who truly want the academies know what they are really getting into. Most have absolutely no idea what they are getting into. The worst are those who did JrROTC and CAP in high school. They think they know what the military and academy is. That they have a leg up and are prepared. They have no idea. Some of these will quit in the first couple weeks of BCT.

    No; you should definitely have a backup plan to the academy; and your son/daughter should know about it. If you think knowing will affect their motivation and efforts at the academy, then you have a MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM. Your child probably doesn't really want to be at the academy. And yes, this is a totally different topic, but WAY TOO COMMON. There are plenty of candidates/cadets who aren't applying/there because they want to be. They've rationalized; usually by their parent's input; and are doing it for the "Free Education". And parents are the worst. It's not their lives. Most look at it from the financial position of: "Cool, I don't have to pay for college". Some kids don't want to burden their parents and they accept the appointment. Some simply trust their parents and if they say the academy is a great choice, they go for it. Anyway; that's a different topic.

    1. Have a backup to the academy
    2. SECURE that backup through BCT
    3. "Most" don't cost a lot for a security deposit
    4. Make sure your child is part of the entire process/decision
    5. If you think you shouldn't tell your child that you have a backup school in place because you think it will affect their motivation and effort at the academy, then you have bigger problems.

    best of luck. mike....
     
  11. Romad

    Romad Member

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    "Based on the advice of another USMA parent, we ultimately decided to keep the local, less-expensive state school as the Plan B option last summer (and declined all of the admissions offers at the obscenely expensive private schools), which explains why the deposit is lower."

    Same here, none are ultra high schools, but the Son wasn't sure until recently which of the schools he was accepted at would be the one he would attend (they were all good, but different in their own right) so we placed deposits at all of them to have the maximum number of options. (I'm obsessive compulsive that way)

    Interestingly enough, He could have attended one very big name Eastern Ivy League for free through a family scholarship fund set up there, however, he apparently watched way too many episodes of the Sopranos and wanted no part of it...

    Go figure....

    :rolleyes:
     
    Kirkmanj likes this.
  12. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    My Son did Plan "B" at one of the Maritime Academys. Two years nomination to all Academys and just didn't make the cut. Accepted to maritime and is now in the SIP program for Navy Commission and PLC. He loves the hands on for a Marine Engineering Degree with an unlimited license and winters in Ecuador, Panama, Veracruz, Barbados and Virgin Islands. Has his TWIC Certificate. Not many graduates of the Naval Academy can navigate, pilot a ship, fix an air conditioning unit, run a good bead on a weld or work as a tool and dye maker on a ship. Graduates of the Maritime Academies can do all those things. Depending upon where you live you may be eligible for reduced tuition.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  13. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    I'm an admin on a little group on facebook for West Point Moms. Last summer, we heard from a mom whose cadet was having a tough time w/ her feet and a few other issues. She made noises about quitting, and ultimately did. When all was said and done, she said it was just easier to quit when it got to that point because she knew she had her plan B all paid for (deposits and such). This was a kid that was totally gun-ho West Point all 4 years of high school. Her mom, in hindsight, thinks having the backup bought and paid for was a bad idea. She thinks if her daughter had "stuck out" beast, she'd be happily finishing her plebe year now. We'll never know--just wanted to throw this out there.

    For my cadet (graduating in 2 months!), we chose not to pay any deposits. I figured if he was hurt, he'd do the community college thing for a bit, and then go the next year to the school he had chosen as a backup. My son had so many friends on the wait list...he hoped to make room for at least one of them.
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I still contend that if an individual drops out of the academy that easily; because there's a plan-B already in place; then there are other issues. And it's probably good that they left the academy.

    A person can be "Gung-Ho" about the academy for 4 years in high school, but that really doesn't mean anything. It doesn't matter if you did CAP, JrROTC, Scouting, Summer seminar, etc...; you have NO IDEA what you're getting into until you're there. Even the military brat who has lived their whole life with that military lifestyle, has no idea what they are truly getting into.There have been plenty of cadet who have said: "I've wanted the academy and military my whole life", and they've dropped out during BCT.

    If they truly wanted the academy; and STILL WANTED the academy after a few weeks during basic training; then having a backup school wouldn't have made them quit any sooner. Now; NOT HAVING a backup school can definitely have an individual "Suck it up" and stay at the academy instead of quitting. But I think that's even worse. If they WOULD LEAVE if they had another choice.... then they SHOULD LEAVE. When parents take out the financial benefits and prestige of the academies out of the equation, we ALL want what's best for our kids. And if a kid drops out of BCT/Academy, and they do so more easily because there's a backup school in place, then they really did need to leave. They either:

    1. Didn't really want the academy. They were there for the wrong reasons.
    2. The academy wasn't what they thought it was going to be and no longer like it.
    3. Or, they aren't mature enough yet for this type of lifestyle.

    Either way; if they left that easily, because there was a backup school in place, then they needed to leave. They had no business staying at the academy. 95% of new trainees have no problem hanging in there. And most of the ones who leave later on after becoming a real cadet/student, usually do so for academic purposes or a reassessment of their desire for the military. But quitting so easily during basic training is because of the reasons i posted above. And if having a backup school in place makes them quit that much sooner or easily; then that's even better.
     
  15. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Mike, I actually think "desire" and "perserverance" are two distinct human qualities. I further think the latter quality is a learned skill. Some cadets have their first encounter with perserverance at the SA summer training and those are the ones more prone to quit. Others, however, have a lot of experience with perseverance and when they hit the SA are more likely to say, "This ain't nothing. Bring it on!" Both can agree, though, that the CBT experience is not a "walk in the park."

    Saying that the reason an individual didn't persevere is because they did not possess the requisite level of "desire" to attend the SA in the first place is too simplistic and misses the valid point that mom3boys was making. A candidate can have all the desire in the world to attend the SA but have a very low perseverance threshold. Testing one's perservance levels, I think, is one of the objectives of the CBT summer experience. Those with a low level of perservance are dropped from the rolls.

    To make my point, I am certain that there currently are many cadets at the SAs with very low "desire" levels to attend their particular SA (especially during the dreary winter months), but possess very high perseverance levels. And those are the ones who graduate.

    I think your point made earlier is best, "Each parent knows their kid best" -- what may work for one child may not work for another.
     
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    You definitely bring up a great point patent. But my main point is that a person can have had the desire to go to the academy for 10+ years. They could also have the perseverance that you speak of. However; most (Overwhelming Majority) really have no idea what they are getting into. I don't think most during BCT think that it's too difficult. I think almost all of them can handle it both physically and mentally. But I've seen way too many who get there and find out that it's not what they expected. It's not what they desired for the last 10 years. Most will say that it's not what i thought it was going to be, but I still want it. There are however some that realize it's not what they thought it was going to be and hey decide they don't want it any longer. Doesn't mean they still might not want to be part of the military. That's still possible; just not the academy.

    Some here will remember "Mars Boy". Prior to the academy, he was one of the most gung ho applicants. All over his local newspapers. He spoke of all he wanted to accomplish at the academy and military. He only made it through the first semester. Worse yet, was how his attitude totally changed.

    I still contend that if a person gets to BCT and they are more prone to leave because they have a backup school lined up, then they should leave. I'd rather see that then the person who wants to leave just as badly, but they stay because they don't have any other options. Every trainee at least once expressed to their squad mates; parents; friends; someone that the place sucks. But somewhere in their decision making, they realize that nothing is perfect and they still have the desire. Even if it's not what they thought it would be. And they realize the good outweighs the bad (For Them). Even if they all had backup schools lined up, I don't think they'd leave. But the one who would leave that easily because they had a backup school lined up, should leave.
     
  17. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    ^^^Great post!
     
  18. cfire

    cfire New Member

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    Thanks to all for the great information. We really didn't think about the question of keeping our DS from knowing there was an 'out' in place for him. I think he will be fine knowing that his backup is in place and he certainly is motivated now to go to the Academy. Also, I believe it helps as he plays his sports this spring to know that it isn't the end of the world if he gets injured.

    Playing to not get injured = getting injured in my experience.

    Thanks again for the replies!
     
  19. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    Agree with what has been stated above. We accepted at state university and paid deposit. Once our daughter made it through Basic -- we told the state school what we were doing (including the Honors programs into which she had been accepted) and deferred admission at the state school and the honors program for a year (just in case). She made it through first year (no major injuries, no illnesses and academically in good standing). We informed the state school and the honors program that she would not be attending. Again it depends on your son or daughter. For some, having that back up after Acceptance may not be a good idea -- in case it makes it too easy to give up when things get rough during freshman year at the Academy but it worked for us. She is now a Junior -- for her, knowing that she could transfer to state university helped her to stay at the Academy through freshman year and sophomore year. That was true even after her sophomore class lost a number of cadets who left the Academy (either voluntarily or were separated for various rules infractions last spring). Ring Dance is now on the horizon -- graduation seems within reach. The deposit on a good Plan B school gives everyone some piece of mind in case something happens -- at least up to Acceptance Day. Beyond that it is a family/cadet choice on what to do.
     
  20. sam9080

    sam9080 Member

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    ambivalent about Plan B

    Hi,

    I appreciate all of the feedback regarding Plan B. My son accepted appointment to USNA which is his first choice! He also received NROTC- Marine option full 4 year scholarship to RPI which is his second choice and the only college he applied to. I am ambivalent about putting down the deposit not because of the money. If he gets hurt he would not be able to attend USNA or utilize Marine scholarship at RPI. I would not be able to afford sending him to the college without the scholarship. I would appreciate any advice regrading the deposit.
     

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