PLAN B

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by maxr3m, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. maxr3m

    maxr3m Member

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    Should son get injured (God forbid!) before or during BCT and not be able to attend USAFA Class of 2014, should he also accept admission to another college in conjunction with appt?
     
  2. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I'd like to get input on this as well. I posted this on the Naval Academy board, but will post my question here too (since it's about the same!):

    My son has an appointment to AF (and hopefully one to Navy as well). We planned (based on advice on these boards) to accept State U, just in case anything happens between now and the end of the summer. I looked into housing and found out that I risk $6000 by signing a contract, but that housing is always available (just might not get your first pick or have to go for slightly pricier) so we won't do the housing and just scramble for some if the worst-case-scenario occurs.

    However, when I was posting about it on the State U board on College Confidential (learning about the housing) and mentioned my son was planning on an academy, but still accepting State U, I had someone post that it would be an "Ethics Violation" for him to accept both as of May 1 (since you can only accept one "college" legally and academies are colleges)! Now I find it strange that I haven't heard that before on the SA Forums, either here or on CC, (which are all about ethics) if that's the case, but I certainly don't want my son getting into trouble at an academy because mom insisted on a backup school for him!!

    Anyone know?
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Ok; this is just one person's opinion. My son was quite fortunate. Besides the air force academy, he was accepted; with scholarships; to 3 other schools, as well as 2 others without scholarships. He held each one until the very latest. Each school and scholarships have different NLT requirements. 1 school was a merit scholarship that included tuition, room and board. That expired in May. So he basically let them run out. The 2nd was a private scholarship that was a 110% scholarship. Meaning it included everything needed for school; plus a stipend for spending money. That one didn't have an expiration, but it was only for students from Wyoming applying to Michigan State. Well, he didn't want to stop another wyoming student from getting the scholarship, so he declined in time for them to offer it to another Wyoming student.

    Finally, he/we kept the 3rd which was a full ride scholarship to state. He kept that one and never even called them back. Final registration for classes is mid-august, so if he got hurt or changed his mind; prior to the end of BCT, he could still register for classes. When he didn't register by the cutoff, the scholarship was simply withdrawn.

    My suggestion is to check when final registration is. Find out if s/he has a scholarship, are there any deadlines. Some require a small deposit for housing. (One of my son's schools was like $300). Considering how much we are saving going to the academy, we easily paid that deposit. (No, we didn't get it back; but that's up to the school). That was one of the schools that didn't have a scholarship. Same thing for one of the scholarship schools. Don't feel bad stringing the other schools around. To them, it's a BUSINESS. To you and your kid's it's your LIFE. Your life and that of your children is more important than their business. Hold every option open as long as you can. But the moment you have to start paying money, you'll have to make a decision.

    Anyway, that's just my opinion. If it doesn't require deposits, or such that is a lot of money (To you); then hold that option open as long as possible. Best of luck. Mike...
     
  4. 2011's Mom

    2011's Mom Parent

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    I suggest contacting the other school and explaining the situation. I have heard of many people that have done that and in so doing they were being up front about it and the other school typically understood. In our case, D only applied to SAs but I forced her to apply to the local state school. She was accepted to the local school and we strung them along but around the deadline she called to tell them about USAFA and that she wanted to keep them as a back up. They were understanding and the end result worked out. Because it was a local school, we did not put any money on dorms etc. because she could live at home for a semester or so.

    Towards the end of BCT a representative called for an update and at that time we withdrew her name. I think an important part of it is being up front about it. She felt better about it, as we all did, and the school was thankful for our frankness. I suppose it could go the other way, but I have not heard of that happening. I remember on this board, or CC, that this was discussed in some detail a few years ago when D was going through the process so a old search might find some old threads.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You are not unethical for waiting until May 1. It is their deadline and you are within your rights to wait. I disagree about "stringing them along", even if you go through back channels and talk to the school. You need to make a decision when it is demanded, we can't all live life with a safety net. By "stringing them along" there will be a child that lost the option of attending their dream school. I believe that is what CCers are trying to impress upon you. It is not unethical to do it, afterall, you worked the system, but only you can determine if that was right and how you as a parent will feel at the loss of your child's dream when someone else "strung along" the school for their child's benefit.
     
  6. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    We did the same thing last year. Our daughter was accepted to USAFA, her first choice school, but applied to a number of other schools and for ROTC scholarships. We held open two state universities, one in our home state and one out of state until after BCT. We were honest with both state schools -- both were familiar with SAs and understood that an injury or serious illness during BCT might result in a medical turnback, for one year or for good. We paid the basic tuition deposit at each school but did not pay the dorm deposit at either state university -- figuring that if worse came to worse, she could live at home (in state school) or with relatives (out of state school). As soon as she finished BCT and went through Acceptance Day (August 5 this year), our daughter asked us to release the two state schools -- which we did, in time to avoid having to pay tuition, room and board, etc. It's a juggling game -- but things can happen and some cadets do not make it to, or through BCT, because of injury or illness. A back up plan makes sense.
     
  7. 2011's Mom

    2011's Mom Parent

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    I didn't mean to imply that we waited beyond their due date, and perhaps my use of the phrase is, "string along" is over stated. My D made it clear to State U before the deadline that they were a back up in case she didn't complete BCT. It was all on the up and up and State U certainly had the option to tell her that a deadline is a deadline and take it or leave it. Neither was it a "back channels" conversation - she discussed it openly and forthrightly with admissions at State U, no special favors just an honest conversation. Admissions was fully aware of the situation and that they were truly only a safety net and they were fine with it. That action did not in anyway take a spot from someone else. They were notified at the end of BCT (early August) that D would not be attending. Classes began at that school in late September. It is my understanding from admissions at State U that they would back fill from the waiting list.
     
  8. singaporemom

    singaporemom Member

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    If all parties are honest with each other, then I don't think anyone should worry. You are doing what is right for you and your family and you brought the admissions departments from your Plan B schools into the conversation. I've had friends whose children were rejected at schools, only to call admissions just weeks before the start of school and the student gets in. I'm sure there is a lot of last minute shuffling going on.

    Cadets would not have this issue if they didn't have to worry about medical turnbacks during the summer. But that is the reality that must be dealt with.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    2011 Mom,

    Unfortunately because we were talking in generics, I was trying to explain that IMHO it is wrong if you use the back channels. For example, in VA, MD, or NC if you wait until the end of BCT, to drop that State U, you really have taken a spot since the State schools start within 2 weeks from that date. They all start in August, which means kids that were wait listed already paid their deposits to another college and if they decided to swallow the deposit for their safety to get into their wait listed at last minute, then the safety will take the hit and so on and so forth. In your area they start 6-7 weeks later, that is a huge difference. Even in NJ they start orientation 3 weeks after BCT ends, hard to backfill with a wait list unless they are the states safety of safeties, which I doubt SA applicants are typically applying to.

    I do not have issues with people who wait, it is their right. I do not know what State U that your child applied to. Let me give an example, your child gets accepted UNCCH, holds that spot until Aug is totally different than your child getting accepted to UNC Wilmington. Number 2 in the nation for public university compared to non-ranked, where anyone can go into the registrars office and sign up for 12 credits. PSU and SUNY also have satellites. In VA and MD, neither have satellite state campuses like UNC, either you are in at UMDCP or UVA or you are not, there is no secondary campus you can start at and transfer to the "big league" from within the system. It depends on the university and the state.

    In the end this topic goes back to the problem of responses being generic regarding "Plan B". Some state U's are highly competitive, almost Ivy, or at least in the top 20 for USNWR, some are the safeties of safeties. It all depends on your state and how that state U is ranked. To say to someone to hold the spot until after BCT for UVA when they start before Sept 1 is a different story than to someone who is applying to Christopher Newport University, a state U in VA.

    I am not trying to rile or cause a fight. I am expressing my opinion, that to me sooner or later you must call the ball, and that your decision has an impact on someone else's life. You and everyone else must do what is right for your child. As parents, as selfish as this may sound, our job is to protect them and make sure their dream comes true, our allegiance is to them and nobody else. Neither of us are right, neither of us are wrong, it is all about where we decide the line is drawn, and only we can decide where to draw it and when. Nobody should feel that they are unethical if they have full support from their Plan B University...GUILT for the impact on a child that is a stranger is a different story.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    The only time you really hurt another person's potential for getting a scholarship or into a school, by you waiting until the very end; is if it's a private scholarship. If it's a merit based scholarship; provided by the school; if you don't accept it, they aren't going out looking for someone to give a scholarship to. It's up to the applicant to apply for those. They get them, or they don't. If you turn it down, there isn't someone getting a last minute call. It's not like getting an academy appointment where some are offered all the way up to a few days prior to BCT.

    A private scholarship on the other hand could affect someone else. That's why my son felt obligated to turn down his scholarship to Michigan State. He wanted them to have time to offer it to another student from his school or state. He knew if he got hurt or changed his mind and couldn't attend the academy, that he wouldn't be able to afford going to michigan state, and would have to use a different option. But that was what we understood by giving up the scholarship. But he didn't turn down the merit scholarships or other schools until the last day of THEIR SCHEDULED LAST DAY!!! They made the date, not my son.
     
  11. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Both my boys put in deposits at private civ colleges (to which they had free tuition and most other expenses covered), but we called the ad.coms. and let them know that the guys would be going to USAFA and that their school was a fall back position should they become injured or ill. Both civ colleges accepted them (and our money) with the understanding that the guys would get last choice for dorms, course schedules etc. So, one asked for $200 and the other for $800. The second was especially painful for us, but we did it anyway. There are some families who feel that having a back-up encourages the kids to leave BCT if/when things get tough. My kids never looked back, despite a broken nose during BCT and other less significant injuries.
     
  12. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I think that to suggest that anyone should feel guilty for keeping their options open is wrong. Our son talked to 4 of his 'other' choice schools about keeping a spot for him in case something happened during BCT. Two of them politely refused, and two were happy to let him keep the spot and scholarship open until he knew that he was safely past Acceptance Day. We paid a housing deposit at one of the schools to keep a dorm available.

    The difference for Academy cadets is that if they are turned back during BCT, there is no other option but to have a slot ready somewhere else. If a regular student or ROTC cadet are injured before school starts, they can still attend school where they are enrolled. They may not be able to participate in everything, and they may have to give up the ROTC money, but the spot in the school is still there. If an Academy cadet cannot finish BCT, they cannot go to school at the Academy.

    If another school is willing to hold a spot open for a student because they feel that it is worth it, then you should take them up on their generosity, and feel no guilt for doing it.

    Stealth_81
     
  13. lga

    lga Member

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    BCT Stats?

    I know if a student is ill or injured before BCT starts, they will not be admitted to the Academy in that year. Does anyone have some stats on how many students (or %) really 'fail' BCT (due to injury, illness or performance? I'd like to think there are not many there.
     

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