Prep School vs. ROTC

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by RCave, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. RCave

    RCave Member

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    I've been worrying myself to death over what would happen if I don't get an appointment next year, so I just had a few questions.

    I'm going to be applying for ROTC scholarships, but I'm rather certain that if I don't get an appointment I'm going to go straight to Northwestern Prep or somewhere similar. At this point in my life I can't imagine going through the ROTC program of a Civilian college with 40,000 students. If I were to receive an ROTC scholarship, what would happen to it? Say I receive a scholarship and go to NWP, would I have to reapply the next year if I still didn't get into the Academy?

    I just feel like the Academy is the only place for me, where I've come to the point where it isn't just an option anymore. I'm doing everything I can in terms of preparing for the physical assessment, Texas boys state, starting CAP, etc. but I never feel like it's enough.
     
  2. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I can see you are very passionate about getting the academy experience, but take a step back for a second before it turns into an obsession.

    1. Tons of AFROTC programs have less than 10,000 students

    2. AFROTC is still very competitive so treating like a last resort isn't realistic. You have to compete at a high level.

    3. At the end of the day when you commission you have the same gold bar on your collar as everyone else whether it was earned from OTS, ROTC or the academy. For the MOST part your airman or soldiers don't care where you graduated, they care about how well you can lead.

    I am an AROTC grad and I can count on one hand how many times someone has asked where I commissioned.
     
  3. RCave

    RCave Member

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    Just the campus, the size of the student body, the quality of the education, student-teacher ratio, it being free, it being in Colorado, the military training and opportunities, etc. makes it stand out over everything else for me.

    Of all the things I've read about the Academy(along with being on base dozens of times when we lived 5 miles away) there hasn't been a single thing I don't like about it. I can't see myself anywhere but the Academy, and honestly I want the military environment. I don't want to be around normal college students.

    It's the Academy vs. Corp of Cadets at Texas A&M for me. Academically the Academy is leagues ahead, not to mention how much it'd help me to have smaller class sizes.

    I just won't give up on the Academy until I absolutely have to. If anyone has any info on how many from NWP get an appointment, I'd appreciate it.

    I'm spending a day with the corp in August, so maybe something there will make it more appealing, but until then I can't imagine settling for a regular college.
     
  4. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    I agree with Aglahad - keep your eyes peeled and make sure you're evaluating all your options when making a decision. The Academy is great, and ROTC at civilian universities will give you a different, but by no means worse experience. The commandant of USAFA is an A&M grad, and I've had instructors here who are A&M grads.

    But to answer your original question, yes. If you go to NWP you would have to reject your ROTC scholarship, and if you wanted one the following year you would need to reapply.
     
  5. bmw17

    bmw17 NWP 2012

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    RCave, I was in the last class at NWP and will be entering USAFA in June. If you get a Falcon Foundation scholarship, your chances of getting an appointment are probably 99.9%. Obviously, it's "not guaranteed." My observation is any falcon foundation scholar will get an appointment as long as they don't have a terrible attitude and/or really poor academic performance while at NWP or during second semester. Out of the 38 Falcons, I believe 37 received appointments.

    As for free agents, not all of them have USAFA as their first choice so it's more difficult to come up with a comparable statistic, however, many free agents did receive an appointment to USAFA. That being said, there were people who did not get their first choice appointment to USAFA. Many of these kids (all of whom are very bright and accomplished) are either going to a different SA or doing an ROTC program. Also, some are planning on reapplying for the third time next year.

    If the slight possibility of having to reapply more than once is just not working for you, then I would suggest AFROTC or a corps of cadets program. But if you are the type of kid who will apply to USAFA until you either get an appointment or turn 23 and can no longer apply, then I would strongly suggest NWP.
     
  6. RCave

    RCave Member

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    Great! Thank you! That was exactly the kind of info I wanted. Do you mind if I PM you to ask a few questions about NWP?

    I'll probably apply twice to the Academy before giving up if I have to.

    I have a few other questions that aren't exactly related to the original topic, but I'll ask here to prevent spamming new threads.

    What kind of certifications/licenses will the Academy consider? I know that a Personal Pilots License is acknowledged(too expensive for me) but what about activities such as Israeli Tactical Shooting training, Skydiving certification, motorcycle license(doubt it but just asking since I have it), etc.

    I would LOVE to be on Wings of Blue someday so a skydiving certification would kill two birds with one stone if that would help my application as well.

    As always, thanks for the help everyone!
     
  7. falcongirl

    falcongirl USAFA grad

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    Actually, I don't think any of those would help with admissions. A private pilot's license allows you try out for the cadet Flying Team and lets you skip IFS (Introductory Flight Screening) if you choose pilot as your AFSC, but doesn't count for admissions points.

    I am an avid skydiver myself (not on Wings of Blue), but a USPA license won't have any bearing on an academy admission. You do not need any civilian skydiving experience to try out for Wings of Green.

    Cadets are not allowed to own or ride motorcycles, ATV's, etc. while enrolled at the academy (leadership deems them too dangerous).
     
  8. RCave

    RCave Member

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    Hmm.. I was told by another appointee that a pilot's license does help.

    Can anyone verify?
     
  9. bmw17

    bmw17 NWP 2012

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    I think there is a slot to put down if you have your PPL but I'm 99% sure that it really doesn't effect your application, especially since it costs so much. Like Falcongirl said, it will only help you in regards to the powered flight team.
     
  10. bmw17

    bmw17 NWP 2012

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    and feel free to PM me about NWP!
     

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