Prep Options

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by 15Pr, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. 15Pr

    15Pr New Member

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    Hi, I was wait listed for early action this year, however I know that it is my first choice. I would much rather pursue this option in the future than attend a "regular college" however, if I am not selected off the waitlist, what is the best option for me to self prep at? I understand there are two sponsored prep schools in Alabama and New Mexico, however those are pretty far away from where I live in Maine. Can anyone give me some recommendations on colleges cadets typically apply and are accepted from? Is there still an equal chance of being accepted if I went to a state school instead of mass maritime?
     
  2. ckarve

    ckarve Member

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    Marion Military in Alabama is a great option as you will be with CGAS kids and CGA has an established relationship with them. There are many re applicants who have gone to community college/university and have done well and gotten in. I think a good starting point would be to ask your Admissions Officer for weaknesses in your application. i.e. Is it grades? SAT/ACT score?
     
  3. Momof3gr&xys

    Momof3gr&xys Member

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    I Second MMI. DS was in same boat last year. Wait listed. He is at MMI this year and has had a good year. And we await appointment news to see the direction he may head this Fall. His backup will be to return to MMI if he does not receive an appointment.
     
  4. AuxNoob

    AuxNoob CGA Admissions Partner

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    MMI is certainly an option. They have a Service Academy Prep program, CGA uses this program. With few exceptions, self preps at MMI do everything with the CGAS folks. Because it is a military school you get that exposure as well. Self preps at MMI tend to do well in getting appointments.

    I noticed you references Mass Maritime although you live in Maine. What about Maine Maritime? Wouldn't you get in-state tuition?

    Regardless of where you decide to go, what matters is that you do well when you are there. Retake the SAT/ACT, keep your nose clean, get in some community service, eat your vegetables, be involved with athletics, and so on and so forth.
     
  5. 15Pr

    15Pr New Member

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    From what it sounds like, the self prep routes at MMI and NMMI are, historically, where cadets are accepted from (out of college). Is this correct?

    Also, would maritime schools be considered "similar" in terms of the military-style schools? I am accepted and was planning on attending Mass Maritime should Coast Guard not work out, however would MMI really change my chances significantly?

    Also, to clarify, my father attended Mass Maritime which is why I applied there and not Maine Maritime.
     
  6. Physicsguru

    Physicsguru Member

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    15Pr;

    I wish I could say "Attend this school, you'll get in...", but I can't. As you already know, acceptance to CGA is a competitive process, and no one prep school has a golden ticket. There are advantages to some, but others may have different advantages. So here's my two cents worth:

    1) Where you go isn't as important as what you do when you get there. Regardless where you go, you'll still have to compete against the nationwide pool of applicants. Your chances of acceptance does go up if you do well at prep. However, if you don't make the grades, you just aren't competitive, no matter what prep school you attend. Work your hardest to learn the material and you improve your chances.

    2) Coast Guard sends their sponsored preps to Georgia Military College and to MMI. Both schools have a close relationship with the admissions office at CGA, so you'll get higher visibility. That, and the military lifestyle at the schools may help you choose if an academy is the right school for you.

    3) Other schools have self-prep programs that are successful as well (NMMI and Greystone Prep School come to mind among others). Like GMC and MMI, they will help you in your application process, give you the opportunity to improve your academic standing, and give you leadership opportunities. Again, though, it's how successful you are at the prep school that determines how competitive you are for the academy.

    4) If you attend a state maritime academy, you also get higher visibility. You'll be taking in your first year courses similar to CGA, and you'll be on a path to earn a license. In addition, there are direct commission programs that you can compete for so you can get a Coast Guard commission after graduating from the maritime academy.

    For disclosure, I'm the CGA advisor at MMI. We'd love to have you visit, but no matter what path you choose, you can achieve that commission. My last piece of advice is don't chase grades, but learn the material. You'll get the grades you deserve then.

    Best of luck.
     
  7. AuxNoob

    AuxNoob CGA Admissions Partner

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    I think any of the state maritime colleges would be excellent prep. They are engineering schools, so the curriculum is similar. Also, the requirements of a license mean you are trained in a regimented environment. If possible, retake the SAT/ACT (that is part of the prep program at MMI). Take math, physics, chemistry and English, or as close to that as your schedule at Mass Maritime allows. Keep us posted.
     
  8. AuxNoob

    AuxNoob CGA Admissions Partner

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    Well, Physicsguru beat me by seconds. What he said is right. Full disclosue: my son was CGAS at MMI, and Physicsguru was his Physics professor. My son is just about done with his 3/C year.
     
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  9. Michelle Moore

    Michelle Moore New Member

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    Curious to know how the CGA decides which prep school to send their sponsored preps to. My daughter was just selected to attend GMC and she is beyond thrilled, but we noticed that more students are reporting that they will be attending MMI.

    Thanks.
     
  10. AdamKokes

    AdamKokes Banned

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    I would say got for Maine Maritime and avoid Marion Military, since it's so far away and will be expensive. I was accepted to this school after a year of (deans list level) college work at a state university.
     
  11. Physicsguru

    Physicsguru Member

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    Adam, I say this with all due respect, you do not know this person's situation, likes, dislikes, finances, etc. Therefore, you are not in any position to make a recommendation of schools to attend or avoid.

    The ultimate goal is to get into CGA. The question is which path is most appropriate for that person. There are multiple paths to the same goal. If you look at the full thread, you'll see that the posters are giving information that they've learned through their own or their child's experience. That's the reason the forums are here...to take advantage of the experience of those who have gone before.

    One truth that is still out there: never let finances stop you from your choice of school. Every school has a financial aid office to make the cost of school affordable. Choose the school first, then work out the financial aid package to make things work.

    Good luck at KP, Adam, and to 15Pr, the best of luck getting into CGA. If you make it off the wait list, you'll be well on your way!
     
  12. AdamKokes

    AdamKokes Banned

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    Now this is complete idiocy. The reality is simple, if you are an (unsponsored) prepster at MMI, GMC, NMMI, or anywhere else the stakes are high and you must chase grades to gain a competitive advantage and secure an appointment. Your emphasis must be on grades because this is a quantitative metric which will be pivotal in the CGA's decision to appoint you or not.

    And for @Physicsguru 's information, you immerse yourself in what you are learning in order to get the grade that you want. You may like some subjects like mathematics or physics, but you may loathe others like chemistry. Regardless of your likes or dislikes, you must really absorb the material to get the grades that you want/need for an appointment.

    If I'm not in any position to make a recommendation then you aren't, because you have a vested interest in enrolling students at the Marion Military Institute. And, of course, that's with all due respect.

    Now this is madness. There is absolutely no reason anybody should attend MMI as an out-of-state prep, unless they are sponsored by an academy. There's a difference between rich and stupid-rich. If you are poor or middle income, there is absolutely no justification to burning such an amount of money at a school like MMI. MMI is simply a means to securing an appointment, a means to an end. There is a much cheaper (similar) way to the same end. And any resources/training/etc can be replicated. There is nothing proprietary about the MMI or NMMI or any of these schools. I would bet $100,000 that the quality of education at your local (Flagship) state university is superior (ten-fold) to what is offered at MMI for a much lesser cost. If, on the other hand, you are stupid-rich, then by all means burn your money, but remember that a dollar today is probably a hundred dollars 40 years from now.

    The bottom line:

    You can find amazing quality education right around the corner, don't listen to the PR Machine that is @Physicsguru , because that's all he/she is, a PR machine. You don't need MMI, you don't need The Citadel, you don't need an overpriced education which doesn't add any value to your application. What you need is hard work, dedication, and commitment to doing everything the academy (CGA, MMA, USNA, USAFA, USMA, etc) want to see from you. What they want to see is relatively straightforward. And if you give them what they want to see, you will get an appointment.

    Good luck on your path, whichever direction you choose.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2015
  13. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    @AdamKokes ...as a new poster, I'm going to suggest you take it down a notch. The adults who post here really do know their stuff. While @Physicsguru has a vested interest in promoting his school, he has done so in a very unbiased light, and has pointed out that MMI is far from the only way to the academy.

    My DS was an example of perseverance in that he reapplied after a first round denial. He chose to attend our local junior college, mimicked a 4/c schedule, did well and got in the second time around. That said, I would never presume to tell anyone that THEIR way was stupid.

    If you want folks to take you seriously, then watch your tone.
     
  14. AdamKokes

    AdamKokes Banned

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    This is nothing but a condescending, opinionated posting which contains no factual refutations. Of course, age gives you perspective. Knowledge and perspective are totally different things.

    Any rational person can see @Physicsguru 's posting history that he is biased, even simply from looking at this one thread. And, as you pointed out, he has a reason to be biased. More students (indirectly) serve his personal financial interests.

    See: The condescension that @Physicsguru replied to my original, neutral posting with.

    Wholly irrelevant. Good on your DS. If you'd like a cookie, I'll bake a dozen.
     
  15. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    Chocolate chip, please!

    And btw, you are still not getting it...your attempts at ridiculing adults with years and years of experience casts a very negative shadow on you. Not sure why you feel the need to argue with folks who have helped many on this board.

    Good luck in whatever it is you are setting out to achieve.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  16. Joe Gish

    Joe Gish New Member

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    Wow Adam. You sure have a chip on your shoulder son. If you are able to whip yourself into shape between now and 30 June in order to try to make it at Kings Point, you should try to room with JMoney457. I think you two would get along famously. Gish out.
     
  17. PupNSuds

    PupNSuds Member

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    I'm not going to say which school you should or should not go to as I do not wish to add to the heated argument above. However, I do not think you should feel that you need to go to a prep school in order to be a successful re-applicant. People have gone to state universities and successfully applied to USCGA before, including the incoming class. You should also not feel that self prepping will guarantee you a place in next year's class. If you aren't accepted next year or the following, is the prep school you are at really where you want to be?

    While I agree that you shouldn't let finances stop you from pursuing your dream school, there is certainly value in weighing the cost and benefits of one school compared to another. Debt from student loans can limit your opportunities in the future and this is a conversation you should probably have with your parents if you have not already.
     
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  18. USCGA13STN

    USCGA13STN Member

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    This reminds me so much of when that Iceman2018 guy was on here for all of two weeks...
     
  19. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15'

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    @AdamKokes I congratulate you! You've devolved the strong cynicism found only in Kings Point's most battle hardened warriors, cynicism that rivals that of a set back or deferred graduate in year 5!

    I agree though that prep school isn't a super great investment unless you're sponsored.

    Lets say you do a year and don't get in? You've shelled out significant scratch and aren't any closer to your goals than you were before. All you have are a handful of credits which you paid way too much per hour for. If I were in the OPs shoes I'd go to Mass Maritime, get my feet on the ground, start working with the MARGRAD liaison and reapply to USCGA... If the OP doesn't get in to USCGA as a rising 3/c than he can reapply again as a rising 2/c OR he can bag USCGA all together and keep moving forward to get a license, degree, and commission via MARGRAD if he still cares about the USCG commission.
     

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