Prospective Cadet

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Citadave, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Citadave

    Citadave Member

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    Heya

    I'm a HS junior with a very strong interest in The Citadel. I hail from Jersey, and aspire to become a commissioned officer in the Navy.

    Intended Major: Political Science (maybe History... leaning towards PoliSci)

    SAT Scores:
    Writing: 690
    Reading: 630
    Math: 550

    SAT Subject Test:
    US History: Scheduled to take it in June. I know for a fact that I can get a +700.

    HS GPA: 3.1

    ECs:
    Trumpet (7 Years)
    Marching Band (3 Years; Band Officer)
    Rowing (Crew) Team (3 Years)
    Jazz Ensemble (2 Years)
    Brass Ensemble (2 Years)
    Op-Ed Contributor for my High School Newspaper (3 Years)
    Delegate, Model United Nations (1 Year)
    Vice President (HS Young Republicans Club)
    Intern (Christie NJ Gubernatorial Campaign) (Summer 2009)
    Volunteer (Congressman Garrett Re-Election Campaign) (Summer 2008)
    NJ Boys State (Summer 2010)

    Awards:
    National Latin Exam - Silver Medal (Latin III Prose)
    National Latin Exam - Bronze Medal (Latin II)
    Working on this... Still got some time.

    Senior Year Schedule:
    Latin V Honors (fourth year of Latin)
    AP Mircoeconomics/Macroeconomics
    AP US Government & Politics
    AP European History
    English 12 Honors
    Band (Highest Ensemble)
    Trigonometry/Advanced Algebra

    My weakest point is math. GPA took several hits from math during my freshman and sophomore years.

    I was wondering as to when I should apply. I've heard from sources that a large number of HS students apply as early as June or July. I'm visiting the Citadel this May. I've also heard from a few sources that being in the Regimental Band isn't the most fun experience in the world. I've been considering going for the Band - any advice on that?

    Also, are there any other military academies or colleges that I could get into?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  2. Mrod21

    Mrod21 New Member

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    Other military colleges you should look into are Norwich University and VMI
     
  3. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Citadave: If what you are mostly interested in is a military college experience-There are 6 colleges that are termed "Senior Military Colleges". All of them offer NROTC - going down the list:(you already know about the Citadel so I won't list it)
    Norwich University: in Northfield VT- Private college is about half military and half civilian student body. It is the granddaddy of all of the military colleges - founded in 1819. I think that the total school population is around 2500 (KernalD- jump in here and flesh this out if you please?)
    Texas A&M- is a very large State University in College Station TX (45,000) with a Corps of Cadets numbering around 2500 (sorry not sure of the exact size of the Corps). Although they are a relatively small part of the total student population, the Aggie Corps of Cadets is a big presence on campus.
    Virginia Tech- Another Large State University (>30,000) located in Blacksburg in SW Virginia. Corps is about 800 Cadets- not s big a presence on the campus as at Texas A&M- (at both of those schoolsthough the marching band is a big deal)
    North Georgia- Located in Dahlonega. This is also primarily a State University with a Corps of Cadets on campus- I don't know much about this school although a friend of mine- Gen Dave Grange (USARet) graduated from there.
    VMI - located in Lexington VA- VMI is the oldest of the State Military college is the only one of the military colleges that is totally undergraduate and totally military. VMI has a total of about 1500 cadets.

    All of the above have different strengths and appeals- VMI, Norwich and the Citadel are significantly smaller than the others- which typically translates into smaller average class sizes, and more individual attention from the professors. All of them have strong ROTC programs- and I think all of them host all 4 ROTC programs.

    If you are interested in the Navy after graduation and a military college experience- you also ought to look at the State Maritime Colleges/Academies. As a resident of NJ you would qualify for instate rates at NY Maritime (Ft Schuyler- Bronx NYC) and I believe in-region rates at Massachusetts Maritime (Buzzards Bay at the entrance to Cape Cod). Other states which have maritime academies include- Maine (Castine ME) Texas (Texas A&M -Galveston) and California (Vallejo CA). All of these schools are military colleges which primarily prepare cadets for positions in the maritime world including but not restricted to licensed deck officers and engineers aboard American Merchant Ships. They do this by combining a traditional college academic experience with annual 2 month training cruise aboard the Colleges Training ships. These schools are especially strong in Engineering majors and international/marine business.

    I hope this gives you something to think about
     
  4. Fuji

    Fuji Member

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    Bruno,

    Thank you again, sir, for promoting all of the senior military colleges and state maritime academies!

    Citadave,

    In response to your original post - if the Citadel does not offer you acceptance with the background you listed - and you get disappointed by that - the best way you can get revenge...would be to go to VMI! :)

    Just kidding.

    I encourage you to make your way through this forum - there is a lot of good info about The Citadel posted in a bunch of different subject/threads.

    Looking at your background - I have no doubt you will be successful - where ever you decide to go to college.

    Fuji
    Norwich 84
     
  5. SF49ers

    SF49ers Member

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    I would apply in July/August, so that you can get your acceptance earlier and will have more options for pre-knob visits. The pre-knob visit really gives you a feel for being a knob, and is an invaluable experience. Additionally, if you get your application in earlier then you will have a greater opportunity for scholarships from the school.

    While I'm no admissions counselor, I would say that you have a good chance of gaining admission. But definitely consider applying to other schools, particularly other SMC's. I love The Citadel, but some people find that VMI, Norwich, or any of the other military schools are a better fit. So don't limit yourself.

    As for Regimental Band, all I have to say is that they are a great company. No, I am not from Band, but I do respect them. I haven't heard too many people giving them crap, but I do know that some do. If you enjoyed playing music in high school, then I would definitely consider it. And here's an interesting fact for you: This year's Regimental Commander is a Navy contract from Band Company, and he had the highest PT score in the Corp this year.
     
  6. sturner11

    sturner11 Member

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    Personally, I think besides the somewhat low SAT Math and GPA, you can be competitive for a spot at West Point (Maybe even the Naval Academy, but math is very important there).
     
  7. Citadave

    Citadave Member

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    Thank you very much for the responses. I do have a few more questions, though.

    My best friend is also hoping to go to the Citadel. His GPA is around a 2.8-2.9 and his SAT scores aren't very high. He's very strong in athletics though (football, winter track & spring track), and he's been targeting for the Citadel since the 8th Grade. He's participated in numerous programs and activities over the past few summers (he went to a youth military boot camp of some sort in Virginia last summer) that will bring weight to his application, and seems like a very good candidate for the Citadel. I'm aware that the Citadel has to take in a certain number of South Carolinian students, so I was curious as to the chances of he and I both being accepted from the same high school in New Jersey?

    Also, I was curious as what I could be doing this summer that could help my application for the Citadel, and could possibly help prepare me for life there. I've searched for summer programs at the Citadel, though I haven't really had any luck. In June, I'll be participating in the American Legion's Boys State program, and for two weeks after that I'm going to be in Europe on a music tour for selected high school students in my region. Are there any programs or camps or anything that I could be doing? A friend of mine mentioned the Freedom Alliance's Military Leadership Academy - should I look into this?
     
  8. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Bruno's post should be a sticky (with an addition to include The Citadel).
    Great overview of the SMC's :thumb:
     
  9. SF49ers

    SF49ers Member

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    While the Corp of cadets is composed of a hefty percentage of SC residents, I don't think they have a "quota" to meet. There are plenty of cadets from up North. The other thing to keep in mind is that there is a current upward trend in the number applications and the number of matriculating knobs. The Class of 2013 had the most applications ever, and had an entering class of 721, the third highest in school history. Additionally, there is a very, very high likelihood that The Citadel will bring back Sierra Company (was around briefly in the 50's to accommodate the large number of cadets after WWII). So I would encourage your friend to apply if he wants to go here.

    I would just recommend doing PT on your own and making sure that you get your summer assignments done before you get here (read The Killer Angels, take the computer competency exam, etc). There is a Citadel summer program called CSI that is for incoming knobs - They teach you some military basics, take 2 classes, and get you in good shape PT-wise. I didn't go to it, but I've heard good things. But honestly, just make sure you're in good shape when you matriculate, and enjoy your summer. Knob year is long and you'll be quick to reminisce about the freedom you had during the summer.
     
  10. Citadave

    Citadave Member

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    That's very good to know (about the class size & Sierra Company), thank you very much.

    I'm planning on sending my application either towards the end of July or after I come home from the Freedom Alliance's Military Leadership Academy [if I go] (does anyone know anything about the Freedom Alliance's MLA? Anyone know anyone who went there?).
     
  11. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Citadave- I will preface by saying- I have never heard of the "Freedom Alliance Military Leadership Academy" so I really can't tell you anything about it. But I am curious why are you going to do that this summer & what do you want to accomplish by going there? I am I suppose a little skeptical of programs that purport to teach values in 2 weeks and
    yet there are no former military people and certainly none with a Ranger Tab in the postions of authority at the place (go into the "Cadre Tab and look at the bios of the President and his staff- the President is a former newsman and the Academy Director hopes to be a Marine. The Executive Director was once in the Virginia National Guard- but looking at his picture and reading his bio- he looks like he is now about 20 years old so I kind of think that when the 29th Division went to Afghanistan - he wasn't with them. Again- I can't help but be a little leery of this particular establishment- perhaps without reason, but there it is. One thing that I don't it will do is give you a leg up later on your classmates as a Knob at the Citadel- in fact I'm pretty confident that some of the Citadel cadets on here would quickly disabuse you of that notion.
    If you want to productively spend several weeks and at the same time get a feel for life at a military college- I know that Norwich University for example has a summer leadership program that is something of a feeder to the school- similarly Mass Maritime has a maritime oriented 2 week leadership program. Both of those programs would give you leadership challenge while also exposing you to the schools and the chance to talk to Cadets about their experiences- while not the Citadel they are similar enough to give you a chance to get some real insights into the life of a Cadet. I don't think that the Citadel offers a similar camp but I may be wrong.
    Just some thoughts for your consideration- they aren't gospel- just an opinion.
     
  12. Citadave

    Citadave Member

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    Thank you very much for you input. I asked a friend who served in the Navy for several years about the program, and she gave me the same exact analysis. I would go to either Norwich's or Mass. Maritime's leadership programs, however I looked at the dates and I won't be able to make it due to my music trip. Instead, I think I'm just going to go for an internship with my Congressman for the five-six weeks I have left (maybe do a Foreign Policy course somewhere; not sure) of my summer.

    I'm going to be visiting the Citadel towards the end of May, and I'm going to be having a formal interview with someone from the admissions office. I know I have more than a month before the interview, but what kind of questions should I be thinking about?
     
  13. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I think that's a pretty good way to use your summer- an internship with a Congressman is certainly an experience few get. Will you get the chance to do an overnight at the Citadel?
    Question that I would have if I could shed 35 years and be in your shoes would include:
    -What is the daily schedule like?
    -What is the attrition rate and what do most cadets leaving cite as the reason for doing so?
    -What kind of academic preparation do you expect to see (HS Course load) for the majors you are interested in?
    -What kind of placement program is there for graduates- and where did people who majored in the field you are interested in get hired?
    For the ROTC department:
    -How many commissions did you grant for the class of 2009 and 2010? What kind of initial branch assignments did they get?
    -How many scholarships got awarded for 2010 entering class? Do you anticipate more or less than that in 2011? Did you award any on campus scholarships and if so what did the profile of those scholarship winners look like?
    - How many NonScholarship Cadets were commissioned? What are your chances for getting a commission and active duty if you don't have a scholarship and are a college program cadet?
    IF you are talking to Cadets:
    - DO YOU LIKE IT? How come?
    - Would you do this Again?
    - What did you really like? What did you hate? How bad was Knob year really?
    - What is life in Barracks like?
    - How stressed for time are you - do you find it hard to make time for your academics in the middle of all the military stuff that is going on? How did you deal with that?
    - What would you recommend doing to prepare physically and mentally for Knob year?
    - Will they really kill me and eat me because I am from NJ and not South Carolina?:shake:


    Whether you do or don't get an ROTC scholarship- what kind of aid packages are available;what is the size of the average financial aid package (grant / Loan) and when do you typically hear about them?

    I'm sure there are a million more- that's what comes to mind at first scan. I always try to stress to kids going to Military Colleges that it is really important to understand that while the framework is a military one- underneath it all is college and college academics. So make sure that you don't just focus on the "Life in the Military College" type of questions and get a good feel for the academic programs you are interested in.
     
  14. Citadave

    Citadave Member

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    I've looked around online, and I apparently cannot do an overnight until I'm accepted academically... I'm still going to make the most out of my visit though.

    But thank you very much for all those questions. I'm sure that they will definitely be helpful for my interview next month.
     
  15. tucker92

    tucker92 Member

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    My daughter (also from New Jersey) visited The Citadel last week. Even though school was not in session, she was very impressed, as were her parents. Our tour was led by an admissions officer, who was very informative and impressive. We also talked with Army ROTC and other personnel, all of whom were great salesmen. My daughter will definitely be taking another overnight trip there this fall, and to VMI as well.
     
  16. Citadave

    Citadave Member

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    I have a few more questions...

    1) This will be my first actual college interview. I was just curious as to what I should actually wear to the interview & tour, and what kind of questions should I thinking about right now?

    2) Would you recommend any books/literature that I could pick up that would give me an enhanced understanding of Citadel/military college life? I've just started Pat Conroy's The Lords of Discipline which illustrates cadet life in the late 60s, but could you recommend anything else? (I have a significant amount of downtime at crew and could probably finish a few books before the season ends)

    3) I've heard from a buddy of mine that the Citadel doesn't actually read or require essays. Is this true; and if so then why don't they consider it?

    4) As of right now, the Citadel is my #1 choice on my college list. But I was wondering as to whether or not I could get into VMI (my GPA is a little lower then their average for HS students)? I may be visiting VMI sometime this summer, though I want to be sure that I stand a chance before I head down there as I gather the Institute is more difficult to get into than the Citadel.
     
  17. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 Member

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    Take The Lords of Discipline at face value, for now. You won't be able to truly understand and appreciate the beauty and mastery of the book until you've been at The Citadel (or VMI) for a year or two. Reread it at the end of sophomore year.

    The Lords of Discipline is one of my favorite books. It is a bit of an anomaly in that it's also one of my favorite movies. There's a little bit of Will McLean in all of us current and former First Class Privates.

    Good luck,

    Jackie M. Briski
    VMI Class of 2009
    First Class PVT (Ret.)
     
  18. Citadave

    Citadave Member

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    I've just visited the Citadel and everything went well (and the school has definitely become my #1). I was very impressed by everything about the school. I spoke with a guy from Admissions, had a tour led by a recent graduate (who was excellent, for the record), and I spoke with the band director for a long while. I've also gotten in touch with several alumni in my area and I'm going to be meeting with them in the near future.

    I'll know if I'm in by Labor Day... my senior year is going to be lovely LOL.
     
  19. Kernal D

    Kernal D Member

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    Norwich University Corps of Cadets

    Citadave...

    I believe both you and your friend to be very competitive academically. Although we like those 3.0+ GPAs...at Norwich we try and look at the whole package. I would encourage you to go to:

    http://www.norwich.edu/admissions/moreinfo.html

    And get on our mailing list. You can also call our phone line at 1-800-468-6679 and ask to speak with a counselor.

    Another option for this summer is to attend one of our summer camps.

    http://www.norwich.edu/admissions/summerprograms.html

    We have found that students who participate in these programs adjust better to life in The Corps. As a matter of fact six of our last seven Regimental Commanders have either attended one of the programs or worked on my staff.

    If you are interested in ROTC we have all the programs at Norwich. The university is considered the "birthplace" of ROTC.

    http://www.norwich.edu/cadets/navyrotc.html

    No matter what your final decision...the most important aspect will be "fit." Visit our campuses...visit and/or call our admissions staff...attend our open houses and other programs...because when you arrive on campus...you want to make sure you made the right choice.

    Best regards...
     
  20. Citadave

    Citadave Member

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    Okay, so it's been a while and I'm sending in my application this week so here are some updated stats...

    I have my entire application filled out and it's ready to be sent, however I've got a few questions on the application essay... I looked around on this forum and I found that the Citadel doesn't even look at the essay. Is this true, and if so should I even bother writing one up?

    Also, I'm pretty much locked on to the Citadel, but on the application they ask for other colleges to which I'm applying. I don't actually plan on applying to any other colleges (I'm applying this week, so I'll know very soon and if there's a problem then I'll deal with it), so should I just leave this area blank? Or should I just list three other SMC's?
     

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