Pros and Cons of The Citadel vs. VMI

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Nick0726, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Nick0726

    Nick0726 Member

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    I'll start by saying that I'm not trying to start a Citadel vs. VMI argument at all. I'm an interested student, and I was wanting some feedback from those of who who have experience with these schools.

    I was absolutely committed to VMI until I got my info packet from The Citadel. I've now been watching their videos, and they are starting to sway me! What are the pros and cons of attending VMI vs. The Citadel? I love the military atmosphere of both colleges. I also can see myself thriving at either Charleston or Lexington.

    I'm looking for the absolute best SMC experience to prepare me for a career in the Army.
     
  2. mperri215

    mperri215 USMMAPrep18

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    watch the invisible war. look up cases of sexual assault. many men get assaulted at citadel. I am so happy I am not attending there after receiving acceptance.
     
  3. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Wow
     
  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    mperri's comment above is Utter Nonsense

    Nick- there is not an answer to your question. The "best SMC experence" is the one you make. Are there some differences between the schools? Yes. They offer some different majors, and they are definitely in different urban settings. Are there a lot of similarities? Yes. Can anyone tell you which is best? No. There are folks on here who can tell you all about the school they went to- but none that I know of who have the direct experiences at both to allow them to make an honest comparison between the two schools. The best suggestion I can think of is to visit both schools on an overnight weekend, and talk to the Cadets and the academic department of your intended major and then make up your own mind. I think you would be well served at either, but honestly- you are at the point where you really have to keep your own counsel and make your own call.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  5. kewebbjr

    kewebbjr New Member

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    I am also trying to chose between VMI and The Citadel. It's a tough choice. Both are great schools.
     
  6. CitadelGrad

    CitadelGrad Member

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    It is a tough choice and one that I had to make a long time ago. I visited both schools and fell in love with Charleston immediately.

    Looking back on it, I'm sure I would have been happy at either school, but I certainly never regretted going to school in one of the most beautiful and historically significant cities in the country.

    Look at both schools closely and if you decide that you can't decide based on that alone, consider the surrounding environment.
     
  7. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    mperri comment is not just utter nonsense, its classless trash that should have been deleted immediately.

    I was a Virginia resident who looked hard at both schools, honestly I was sold not only by the climate and beauty of Charleston as well as the larger academic offerings and what I felt were better facilities. There are many similarities and many differences, both great institutions that produce exceptionally succesfull graduates in all walks of life and an experience you will get at no other college except the FSAs. It can be a subjective decision, you need to consider what you want out of college and do your homework to figure out which one best meets your wants and needs.
     
  8. Nick0726

    Nick0726 Member

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    Anyone know which school has more Army ROTC scholarships available?
     
  9. keydet2016

    keydet2016 Member

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    When everything is taken from a person, the only thing left is your character and heart. VMI takes away everything from you and gives it back little by little over four years. You will literally earn back the right to talk and look around someday. Physically, emotionally, and academically everything is a challenge. You will be stressed out and tired. And when you learn how to deal with stress, and learn how to deal with "tired", well that's when you become prepared for life and your military or civilian career.
    Also I love VMI, but if I wasn't here I'd be at Citadel because we are the last two schools with a real four class system. Bracing and straining, call it what you want I think VMI and the Citadel are almost the same, but VMI is a tad bit more spartan.
    And again, Knob year and the Ratline, in my opinion, are the last remaining true tests of a man (or woman since 1994). Both are awesome.
    Rah Virginia Mil
     
  10. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 Member

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    Or 1997, in VMI's case. :thumb:
     
  11. zrxkuma

    zrxkuma Member

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    if your not a senior, I highly recommend an overnight at VMI if at all possible next year. in my DS's case, it made up his mind and he'll be attending VMI in the fall.
     
  12. glen

    glen Member

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    Citadel vs VMI Army scholarships/commissions

    NICK0728

    These are stats from last year based on The Citadel website (see class profiles). Almost by virtue of its larger Corps of Cadets (2,200 vs VMI at 1,500), there will be more opportunity for especially Army and Marine scholarships at The Citadel -

    Military scholarships The Citadel
    Army 293
    Navy/Marine 160
    Air Force 63

    Commissions total all branches:183 (2012) versus VMI: 112 (2012)
    Army 92 vs VMI: 56
    Marine Corps 42 vs VMI: 20
     
  13. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Glen I don't think the number of 2012 Army commissions for VMI is correct- that may be the number who commissioned on graduation day, but my understanding is an additional 21 cadets commissioned in the summer after graduation and completion of LDAC and 5 more from the class of 2012 commissioned in December.
    http://www2.vmi.edu/Media/multimedia/superintendent/2012/HTML/index.html#/14/zoomed

    I would echo the advice to visit on a sponsored overnight visit- do so as early as you can. And to make the most of it- you have to think about what you really want to major in while you are at school. I talk to way too many prospective Rats who have nothing but questions about the military side of things without them having any questions about academics and prospective majors. My standard caution is to make sure they understand that they are signing up for a military college, not the Army. From my perspective - the biggest cause of failure at these schools is failure to succeed academically. It is a real challenge- a tough, academically rigorous small college program combined with a 24 hour military life style. You can make it thru the military with flying colors, but you will still be an excadet if you don't pass all of your courses. And- lots of cadets start both of these schools certain that they are going to be the reincarnation of George Marshall or Chesty Puller, and by graduation day are eager to start a civilian career so that major really matters. so think about that and go spend a night, walk around and talk with cadets, professors, and then the ROTC departments and then make your decisions
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  14. glen

    glen Member

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    Citadel vs VMI Army scholarships/commissions

    Bruno:

    It may be VMI counts OCS graduates as opposed to those who receive commissions during its annual graduation. The Citadel numbers published are those for Cadets and MECEP, Navy midshipmen who are scheduled to receive their commissions during the May graduation - and does not include those who receive commissions later through OCS. Typically there are a number of graduating Seniors who do go to OCS and receive their commissions after graduation as do VMI Cadets. So its difficult to capture these numbers. As to the number of Commissions - again it is hard to get accurate (honest?) numbers from ROTC granting colleges. The Citadel publishes its numbers in Press Releases with Class Profiles on the Public Affairs Office web page. This is my source. The Citadel also publishes the number of current Cadets on 4,3,2 year scholarships for each branch. These are even more difficult to find for other colleges, but this is what the person who asked the question was looking for - scholarships from military branches.
     
  15. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Those 21 Army grads that the Supe's letter references weren't OCS graduates- they were Army ROTC First Classman who got a waiver from going to LDAC after 2d class year and didn't go to LDAC till after graduation (for various reasons though most typical in order to get thru summer school and graduate on time- the two kids I know who deferred were for that reason.) That's been a not unknown practice at VMI for the last couple of years- graduation with your class being a higher priority than comissioning with your class, though I believe that the PMS was told by the Army to reign it in this year. You are right though - it's very hard to find this information and finding the # of scholarships in one location is even more difficult.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  16. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    I have met a few Army Officers who are graduates of the Citadel. Citadel is a great school to be represented by these fine young men.
     
  17. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    As have I :thumb: Typically, while VMI and the Citadel alums will give each other good natured flak amongst ourselves, virtually all of the alums that I know from VMI, the Citadel or Norwich give each other a lot of respect and recognize each other as kindred spirits and present a pretty solid front to the outside world. I would root for the Bulldogs in everything except for a game against VMI!:wink:
     
  18. blindfire

    blindfire Member

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    I ask that you please do no base your opinion on videos of an institution. The goal of marketing media is to largely attract individuals. Therefore, they only show 5% of an institution. I recommend visiting both schools and speaking with alumni.

    The Citadel and VMI are excellent schools to prepare young men and women for commissions in our nations military or civilian professions. Like most any institutions of higher learning, The Citadel and VMI are not perfect. Nonetheless, I believe they will prepare you much more effectively in leadership and ethical training than civilian schools with ROTC programs.

    The Citadel and VMI both offer commissions in The Air Force, Army, and Navy. VMI has produced top 10 ranking nationwide ARMY ROTC cadets. Likewise, The Citadel's Army Cadet Battalion was ranked number 1 in its region a year or so ago. Speaking with civilian ROTC cadets who've participated in Marine OCS, they can validate that VMI and Citadel cadets have fared exceptionally well during the program. Prior Enlisted individuals who've earned commissions through the STA Program at The Citadel have outperformed their peers. (The #2 ranking Navy SWO in the nation this year was a Citadel graduate prior enlisted, as were two others who were in the top 10)


    With regards to academics, both institutions offer a rigorous core curriculum. While their core courses are not technical in nature to their service academy counterparts, Citadel and VMI's engineering programs have earned national accolades. Both The Citadel and VMI were tied for #21 in top undergraduate engineering programs where doctorates are not offered (USNEWS 2012).
    VMI was ranked #70 in National Liberal Arts Schools, and The Citadel was ranked number #1 in Southern Public Colleges which offer up to a masters degree. For Forbes ranking VMI was #115 and The Citadel was in the 300's.


    For postgraduate fellowships, VMI has produced numerous Rhodes, Marshall, Gates Cambridge, and Truman Scholars, Whereas the Citadel is mostly a Fulbright granting institution (23 winners) with Truman winners.

    The Citadel in terms of demographics offers the beautiful Charleston SC (one of the top 10 most beautiful cities in America), While VMI in Lexington VA is more rural.

    If you want to factor alumni success through awards and ranks then it can be compiled as follows:

    The Citadel has produced four Navy Blue Angels (including the current cmdr), six governors, three US senators, one astronaut, and 1 four star general and 27 three-star generals, three or four current NFL players. Many CEO's

    VMI has produced 7 four-star Generals including 1 five-star (1 Army Chief of Staff, 1 Air Force Chief of Staff, 2 Marine Corps Commandants), 1 Nobel Prize Winner+Secretary of State (Gen. Marshall), Four Medal of Honor Recipients, Many CEO's


    Both institutions have a rich history dating back to The Civil War and have countless alumni who have sacrificed their lives for our country. Both have strong alumni communities.

    The Citadel has both an undergraduate corps of cadets and also a civilian graduate program, VMI is solely comprised of an undergraduate corps.

    I honestly believe both are fine schools. What determines your future as a competent officer or business leader is largely driven by the opportunities and legacies you take and leave as an undergraduate. You can spend four years doing the bare minimum and leave with a sense of regret, or you can become a top ranking army cadet, Rhodes Scholar, and Regimental Commander/First Captain. The choice and path is ultimately up to you. Seize The Day.
     
  19. eagleman

    eagleman Candidate

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    Nick0726,

    I just finished knob year at The Citadel. If you have any questions don't hesistate to ask.

    But at the end of day, both schools are going to give you an experience that will challenge you beyond anything you have ever done before, both physcially and mentally.

    I am not exactly sure how it was phrased, but it was once said on this forum that to choose between VMI and The Citadel is as simple as choosing where you would rather run: either in the mountains or on the beach.
     
  20. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Excellent post- Thank you Blindfire!:thumb:
     

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