Texas A&M - Awesome financial aid!!

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by shanagan, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. shanagan

    shanagan Member

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    Parents & prospective students - going "contract" is not your only choice for commission after college!

    We were hoping for a Navy scholarship but unfortunately my kiddo didn't make the cut (hrrrmmmm :thumbdown:).

    But the kiddo had his heart set on A&M... And not only is he there right now, he's there completely "free" thanks to their amazing financial aid. So he's majoring in aerospace engineering, he's fully paid for, and he's not contracted with the military. But should he choose to do so, he will still enter the service as a commissioned officer. IF that's what he chooses.

    Please don't feel as if you are out of luck if you don't get the full scholarship from a branch of the military - financial aid is your best friend, and they are AMAZING at getting their jobs done. Additionally, if my kid decides to change his major... there are no repercussions.

    Something to think about.

    Good luck to you all, and btw - GIG EM!!
     
  2. Shelbyboyz

    Shelbyboyz Member

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    Shanagan, we are just now looking into a plan B and DS has expressed interest in Texas A&M - we were going to look at applying for an ROTC scholarship, but your post caught my eye. How can I find out more about the route your son took? This is my oldest child and I am new at this! Btw, DS is a USNA and USMA candidate. Thanks for the info!
     
  3. shanagan

    shanagan Member

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    Good luck to you and your son! The competition all the way around was fierce last year, and I assume it will be this year as well, so IMO coming up with a plan B is a great idea!

    If you are able, my first step would be to go to www.aggiecorps.org and look for the Visit the Corps page - our Spend The Night With the Corps (SNWC) visit was what turned the page for us and sold us on A&M & the Corps - both for my son and for us, as well. Great information.

    From there - apply to A&M & get your acceptance letter in hand. It's better to have everything done before you need it, rather than later. So as soon as you can apply for the college & for separate ROTC scholarships, go for it! We actually went backwards - he came to the idea of an ROTC scholarship later, and we felt as if we were playing catch-up all the way. It worked in our favor later, I believe (more on that in a sec) but I can tell you right now, you have never gone through anything like the WAITING with both the acceptance letters and the scholarship decisions.

    Basically, what happened with us seems to be more the norm for "regular" (non-contract) college students - he applied to A&M, was accepted, then we went into scramble mode for scholarships. Then our financial aid started coming in - we have some smaller local scholarships, but the lion's share came from A&M and a Texas residents loan program called a B-Ontime loan - essentially if he keeps his GPA (or GPR as they call it at A&M) above a 3.0, the loan is completely forgiven. I would not doubt there are similar loans available, plus additional financial aid for out of state students. The waiting to find out was terrible here too - it's a long, scary process.

    If you are not from TX and if your son joins the Corps, he will be given the in-state tuition rate, so right off the bat you are looking at a HUGE savings if you are from out of state. Additionally, if I am not mistaken, virtually every cadet receives a Corps scholarship of at least $1000 - and believe me when I tell you they start to add up quickly!

    From there, if your son does not receive - or elects not to commit just yet - a contracted scholarship, he may still easily elect to be commissioned upon graduation. As General George S. Patton once famously said, "Give me an army of West Point graduates and I'll win a battle. Give me a handful of Texas Aggies and I'll win the war." It's a GREAT path to commission, along with a beautiful campus (the friendliest in the world, for sure) ridiculous and funny and stunningly beautiful traditions (google A&M Silver Taps) and offers exceptional ROI.

    Obviously I'm a fan - but I should note that before my son's SNWC visit... I'd never once considered that we'd have an Aggie in the family. Now not only is he there (and loving EVERY minute of it - go S-1 Spartans! Build the HELL OUTTA BONFIRE!) but my extraordinarily anti-Aggie/t.u fan (some know their bitter rival as UT) 17yo daughter has changed her tune and hopes to attend.

    So if y'all have ANY questions, don't hesitate to ask. And don't hesitate to back me up and ask more detailed questions, as well. I tend to go on, just a little. ;)
     
  4. PositiveThinking

    PositiveThinking Member

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    Hey Shan! It's great to hear from you again, and I'm so glad things are working out so well for your son. I would also encourage everyone to check out Texas A&M and the Corp of Cadets - a great school and an amazing program!

    Gig 'em Aggies! (our daughter is Class of 2012 A-A-A-Whoop! :biggrin:)
     
  5. shanagan

    shanagan Member

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    Hi Cindy! I had to lick my wounds for a while. LOL But... WHOOP! I cannot WAIT to get back down for the Tech game! (We're hosting friends whose son goes to Tech so we had to make the decision to skip the parents w/end - but it should be worth it. We just went to the Tech/t.u. game with them and can't wait to show 'em how Kyle Field rolls. To be honest, I almost feel bad and maybe preemptively embarrassed for them or something. I can't explain it, but bet you you know what I mean.) So, so long until the end of October, though. We actually ended up making the 6hr (one way) drive three w/ends in a row, because of course I had to be at fish Review, then again last minute decided to go to the SFA game.

    As I'm sure you remember all too well, getting in touch w/my fish is proving to be a BIT annoying. He is absolutely loving it and busy with FDT and now Student Bonfire and you know, aerospace engineering. LOL I couldn't be happier with his choice, and judging by the fact that I talk to him for what feels like 10 seconds every Sunday, neither could he.

    I guess it's not threadjacking if I jack my own thread, so, I'll go stalk your other posts now but in the meantime also just ask.. where'd your son end up? And what unit is your daughter in? As I mentioned above CJ is a very happy Spartan.I thought he'd go N-1, but decided S-1 at the 11th hour. Of course, I'm convinced no matter what unit they choose, it turns into the right choice.

    I think I've definitely been drinking the kool-aid, and am the loudest and proudest Aggie Mom, Class of '14, for sure! ;)

    ETA: He's at Annapolis?! Congrats!! I'll shut up about my 6 hour drive now!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  6. MorganC

    MorganC Prospective

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    Texas A&M is the most wonderful place on earth.

    God Bless the Corps.
    Thanks and Gig 'Em!
     
  7. shanagan

    shanagan Member

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    Couldn't agree more (it it weren't obvious lol). :thumb:
     
  8. rudyinok

    rudyinok Member

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    I've been enjoying your posts, thanks!

    my son is a HS sophomore. we're from Oklahoma. he was initially interested in USMA, but he got to meet some Navy fighter pilots last week, and now is intriqued with Navy. thus, we're looking at Navy ROTC options, also.

    My dad is an A&M alum (his BS degree), so I've always had A&M in the back of my mind for my kids.

    I'm hoping my son can go to some of the overnight weekends with the corp in the coming years. He is a CAP member, a 4-H member and an FFA member, so he qualifies for 3 out of the 4 programs, I believe.

    the stuff you read about A&M makes it sound VERY difficult to get accepted though -

    I'm also wondering how our small high school courses will stack up next to the Texas High School course requirements I am reading about.

    anyway, just wanted to say thanks for all your aggie posts.:smile:
     
  9. shanagan

    shanagan Member

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    I am so glad I happened to be awake when this came through!

    I can tell you that if your son's ACT/SAT scores are good and his transcript looks good, APPLY. When I say that we are from a small school district, think "23 graduating seniors." Seriously. And out of those 23, two are now Aggies. (They are the only Ags from our town in the last 15+ years - it isn't like we're an Aggie town, quite the opposite!) My son is an aerospace engineering major, and his math was good on the ACT - but he ended up taking a "pre-calc for aerospace engineering" course at A&M because his math wasn't as good as it could/should've been. But the course was there for the taking - they know that some districts aren't up to par, and have options available to get them there. Pretty amazing, really.

    I honestly believe the trick is letting A&M know that you're serious - go on a visit, apply the minute you can (even before the final ACT/SAT scores are in) and above all, make sure they know you're interested in the Corps.

    We were.. well, we were scared he wouldn't be accepted. There's no other way to put it. But tonight he's in Arlington with his "fish buddies" having some fun at a buddy's house before tomorrow's big A&M/Arkansas game at Texas Stadium (they march in - WHOOP!) and I have got to tell you something my husband spotted on campus somewhere: And if you want a little more... Join the Corps.

    We're six hours from CS, so I know as well as most how long the drive seems - but I guarantee you this... if you schedule a SNWC visit, that'll be the end of it - you'll all be bending over backwards to get your son there, and then YOU will be making the drive every chance you get. I'm sure your dad has told you, but it's something that must be experienced... It's something you can't understand from the outside, but can't explain from the inside. And I'm just a MOM - I'm not even there! LOL

    Two other bits of info - there are two other killer pathways into A&M. Blinn Community College and A&M Galveston. If his grades are "iffy" apply to Galveston. They have a program where they can move into A&M seamlessly after a year - it isn't even a transfer, it's just a "move" - and they are considered full Corps members from the start. Blinn team is another pathway - the students live on campus (guaranteed Corps housing, no less) and can move into A&M if their grades are up to snuff. I've forgotten most of what I knew of those two programs, tho - so google them as a backup.

    I have to say, though... we're just past mid-terms and there is absolutely nothing - not one thing - I'd warn you about. The Corps is simply amazing in "making" your kid join into something bigger than themselves, and expecting them to excel. Period. I look at our friend's kids and just wonder how I'd ever manage being anything but a Cadet's mom. The thing that amazes me over and again is that while so many ppl have to worry about what trouble their kid may find, I have to worry ("worry") that he's involved in too many campus activities. And in all honesty, all of that without a HINT of hazing. The thing I've come to trust is that he's in the hands of his cadre - and his cadre knows that they're responsible for creating good Aggies. It's just amazing. Really. It's like not only does he have a unit helping him succeed, and 2000 cadets, he has a 49 thousand member student body expecting him to represent A&M. They WANT him to succeed. They're watching his back.

    I'm just not sure you can find that anywhere else but Aggieland, and obviously I will shout it from the rooftops. :)

    Oh, also... your son needs to check out the S-1 Spartans when he comes down to visit. Apparently there's a good kid or two there. ;)

    edited to add: So funny... I'm sitting here in my Corps Parents t-shirt, drinking from my A&M travel mug.. and 11 months & 1 week ago.. we hadn't even been down to visit yet. They tend to make an impression on you in a hurry. lol
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  10. MorganC

    MorganC Prospective

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    S-1 Spartans... That's the unit I'm joining next year!

    When I was at A&M for JCAP, the admissions advisors said that visiting campus looks great on an application and shows that you really want to go there. Also, be sure to check off that you plan on joining the corps. Apparently it gives you a bit of a leg up in admissions.

    By the way, I'm over 10 hours away from A&M and I've already visited twice (hopfeully I'll be admitted so I can make another trip).
     
  11. shanagan

    shanagan Member

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    What a coincidence - you'll love the unit! They really have tried to focus on the balance of being an Aggie and a Corps member, and are building a great foundation of leadership within the unit. :) Also, I know for a fact you're going to have some great sophomores!
     
  12. shanagan

    shanagan Member

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    By the way, good luck, MorganC!!
     
  13. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Females in Texas A & M Corps of Cadets

    To all you Aggie fans out there: I am wondering if the Corps is equally wonderful for females. We are in Washington state so we cannot visit campus easily. Our son (now a 3/C at United States Merchant Marine Academy) had A & M as his ROTC back-up. We are totally convinced it is a great school and ROTC unit. Now our high school sophomore daughter is looking at colleges and considering ROTC (probably Navy). We wonder what it is like for female cadets. How many are there? How do the "civilian" students interact with female cadets? Do the females also act as campus escorts? Daughter questions whether she might be happier at a college where ROTC and uniform requirements are a once a week thing or at a service academy where everyone is in the same boat so to speak versus A & M where it's kind of in between. Also, I think most of the Corps seems to be Texans--any problems or issues with out of state cadets? We would appreciate any thoughts or experiences you Aggies might have with respect to females in the Corps of Cadets.
     
  14. shanagan

    shanagan Member

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    kpmom, you should PM PositiveThinking (she posted earlier in this thread) - her daughter is class of 2012, and will be able to give you more information.

    Good luck!
     
  15. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    shananagan: Great reading your posts. We are an Aggie family from the Texas Panhandle. Middle son, however, is at USNA. But, I am helping a young friend from B/CS area whose parents are dear, dear friends of mine do his application, etc.


    This young man wants to be in the Corps and band. We are just now completing his app. His family life is in total disarray as his Dad is battling what is becoming more and more apparently terminal leukemia. His folks are back and forth to Houston several times per week, maybe staying a month for an experimental treatment, etc.

    So, we are just now getting his app complete. The very next things we are going to do is apply for Corps scholarships and 4-H scholarship. My son's back up plan was TAMU. He did not receive corps scholarships, I think because he received a huge award from the engineering department. Anyway, my friend is dealing with staggering financial challenges as a result of this illness (thank God for insurance, their bill from MD Anderson for a bout this summer was 1.2 million!)

    Anyway, any suggestions you have would be great. PM me if you can!

    Jenny
     
  16. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Texas A&M ...

    So does Washington State.

    RGK
     
  17. shanagan

    shanagan Member

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    Jenny, how heartbreaking. It sounds to me as if you are on the right path. You're all in our thoughts as you try to help your friends.
     
  18. shanagan

    shanagan Member

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    Good to know - I think as the boards start passing now, it's important information to pass along to those who may feel it's just all "over" without a big scholarship.
     

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