Transferring to Civilian College from USNA

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by bk2015, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. bk2015

    bk2015 Member

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    I'm a 4/C at the Naval Academy right now and I am considering transferring to a civilian college. I love the Academy but I realized I may have different goals in life than what I thought a year ago. I validated a lot of classes at the Academy and I would like to be challenged academically and have more opportunities in that realm at an elite civilian university. My academic OOM is 1 right now but my military OOM is not nearly as high. Will that pose a problem?
     
  2. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    I would think that your academic achievements will be the most important to civilian colleges. They look for a well rounded student with lots of EAs but will not put much if any weight on your military grade.

    Why are you disappointed with the academics? are they not challenging enough?
     
  3. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    There is no where on a civilian college application to list your military rating from USNA

    Talk to a lot of people before you resign. I know a lot of people that left USAFA and all had regrets - not that staying is always the right answer. I recommend to everyone to stay at least 2 years

    Hard to imagine USNA isn't able to challenge you academically. Talk to academic departments, if you are that awesome academically, they will find some great opportunities for research and some other interesting programs
     
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  4. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Go ahead and transfer. No one wants an officer whose heart is not in it.
     
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  5. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    Not sure how you can tell the OP's heart isn't in to being an officer? Many elite civilian universities have NROTC.
     
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  6. Norfolk63

    Norfolk63 privateer

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  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I've never met anyone who didn't feel academically challenged at USNA. Maybe not Plebe Year but, after that, everyone I know who's been there felt that academics at USNA were as tough as the most elite engineering schools. Know someone there now who breezed through plebe year but now, as a 2/C Mech E, is getting his a-- kicked.

    As you probably know, if you validate a bunch of stuff, you can do VGEP, double major, become a Trident Scholar, etc.

    Most folks who leave USNA do so b/c they don't want to serve, realize they don't like military discipline, etc. And that's perfectly OK -- USNA and the USN/USMC aren't for everyone. That said, consider where you'll go to find a more rigorous undergraduate program -- MAYBE MIT, Cal Tech or RPI.

    Bottom line -- be sure to do the research BEFORE you leave. Agree with the above poster about talking to profs, etc. Plebe academics are what they are but aren't necessarily an indication of the rigor of your next 3 yrs.

    And, as to your original question, your credits (other than stuff like seamanship or leadership) should transfer.
     
  8. FormerMid2012

    FormerMid2012 New Member

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    I am a former mid from the class of 2012.
    I separated literally just before going back for reform in 2009 (after Plebe year, and the following summer).
    Think long and hard about it. I regret it every day.
    When you do make a decision, make sure it is with a clear conscience and after much consideration.
    In my opinion, whichever decision you do make, you will have regrets. There will always be a "what if i had gone to a civilian college..."
    And if you decide to leave, you will always have a "what if I had stayed..."
    Once you separate, it would be more difficult to return.
    I'm serious, give it a lot of thought.
     
  9. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    Hi bk2015. If you poke around a little, you'll see that I attended USNA for plebe year and separated. I'm 43 now, a biology professor. I am very grateful for that year, and I also never felt regret about leaving. It just took that year for me to figure out I did not want to be an officer in the USN. I want to mention several things that I did and that I would urge anyone considering separating from any of the SAs also to do.

    1. Talk to your company officer. While that person will probably try at least a little to convince you to stay, they don't get toasters for retention, and no one in the Navy wants an officer who does not want to be an officer. Use that person to help you discern what's motivating you, why you want to separate, and importantly, what you want to move toward, not just what you want to move away from.

    2. Talk to a trusted professor or your academic adviser about options - suggested transfer locations, suggested programs, that kind of thing.

    3. Make a promise to yourself that you will not put in your papers unless and until you have a plan in place for where you'll go. For me, I figured out that I wanted to attend a lib-arts college. Then it was a matter of finding several that fit what I thought I wanted, narrowing the list, applying, and campus visits over spring break and during dead week. Every SA student has two years to figure this out. If you think you may separate this year, fill out the FAFSA now and get the ball rolling fast on applying for admissions, because selective college applications close soon.

    4. Finish the year. Earn those credits. Accomplish something worthwhile. Do not even give yourself the option of leaving without finishing the year - especially if you are #1 academically.

    5. Be open to changing your mind. I was, right up until I returned from a dead-week campus visit to the college where I eventually transferred. That doesn't mean I decided at the last minute, just that I was open to changing my mind. I thought about it every time I went to my sponsor family's on most Saturdays, and every time I was in a lit class I loved, and every time I was in a math class I loved. I was open to staying, even though I knew I probably wouldn't, right up until I got to the college, saw the place, sat in on a class (in my summer whites! hooboy!), met some people, and click-clack-clank, it was like the gears of the universe locked into place and I really knew that's where I wanted to be.

    I think if I hadn't thought about it so much, and hadn't talked to so many people, and didn't have a plan in place, and didn't know what I was going toward, not just what I was leaving, that it would have been a lot harder.

    PM me if you care to discuss privately. Otherwise, all the best.
     
  10. time2

    time2 Member

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    I think you first need to decide if you still want to be in the military, that is the main reason people attend SA's. I have never heard of anyone who thought the academics were too easy, but if you find it less challenging, then perhaps you should look for other things to occupy your free time such as joining ECA's, work on your physical fitness, join a varsity sport or perhaps tutoring classmates, etc. The vast majority at USNA find they don't have enough time for all they want to do.

    Regardless of where you go to college, success in your chosen career field after graduation isn't about who is the most intelligent or took the most credit hours, but has more to do with your ability to work with others and be considered an asset in your line of work. So it is also good to look at the bigger picture of what you see yourself doing further down the road.
     
  11. Vtmom

    Vtmom Member

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    I should have looked up this thread a while ago. My DS just left the academy after plebe year. Going thru the process of choosing a major in early spring, he realized that his passion is in his academics, not the military. Up till that point he was extremely interested in going Subs and spoke about it often and with passion. As March and April progressed and he considered leaving, he realized he was less and less driven by the military aspects than the academics and realized he didn't want to do whatever job the navy put him in for 5 years. Maybe he didn't like the idea of having no control? While he very much enjoyed the academics and professors at USNA, he wanted more...more time to spend on academics and not on the military stuff. It was a hard decision because he enjoyed those parts too, but in the end he decided to leave. DS is not a talker and never spoke to anyone about his decision except me, who encourage him to talk to professors, company officers, etc. He didn't, and I wasn't surprised. While I was sad he was choosing to leave (we are in this life too, as parents, aren't we?) I had to support his decision - even if I didn't agree with it. He tends to know himself and maybe I was too involved and wanted him there for selfish reasons? Worst part was he didn't have a plan. Which is NOT like him. Luckily he had a few weeks to get his application into Plan B university from the previous year (we had also put down a deposit there last year just in case). But it was the last/latest deadline and we have no idea of his chances of getting a spot. So now its almost July 1 and he still doesn't know if he's in. SO Moral of the story is HAVE A PLAN if you choose to leave. PLEASE. We tried to tell him to stay another semester or year and have a plan to leave, but he didn't.


    I should mention he LOVED USNA. Never one negative word. Plebe summer "wasn't so bad" and the academics were just challenging enough. He ended with over a 3.5 gpa and ranked in the top 10% in his company. It was a successful year. So some mids don't leave "because they can't hack it" or the acadmics are too tough or they can't hadle the rules. Some mids just decide this isn't what they want. Nothing bad about USNA or the military OR my son. Just a different path. And while that is hard for me to accept (at this point), I must trust my son that he knows what he wants. He did agree that he will most likely regret this decision at various times in his life, but I have a feeling that won't last long. He knows himself and he thought for months about this decision. He was successful and happy at USNA, so that decision had to be difficult for him. You just never know when something changes and they start to see their future differently.

    And OP... it doesn't matter what your reason is for leaving or if anyone agrees with your reason. You know yourself and if you aren't happy at USNA or see a different path, or want different things for yourself, you need to follow that. You won't make a good officer if you aren't happy. Please update us and let us know what you decided! It could be a help to others in your shoes.
     
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  12. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Best wishes to your DS on his new path, and good for him realizing that military life "after" was not the best fit for him, and being decisive enough to act on it, leaving before any service obligation accrued.

    This scenario is exactly why many posters here emphasize researching the military careers, culture and lifestyle of the minimum 5 year obligation, to ensure that is the real goal. The thrill of the hunt for an SA appointment for already competitive young people can at times obscure reality of the "after."

    This is all part of normal attrition, voluntary and involuntary, expected each year. Sometimes, mids and cadets simply don't know what they don't know, get to the SA, grow up a bit, and realize they are not where they should be.

    SO important to Have A Plan. When voluntary attrites came to see me as part of the separation counseling, I would listen carefully, and always ask what their plan was to break news to parents, to continue/pay for education, to support themselves or contribute at home.

    I for one appreciate you sharing this.
     
  13. Vtmom

    Vtmom Member

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    did you ever consider reapplying? I've heard people have done it and my DS was glad to know that door wasn't closed. Just wondering if anyone else has heard of this happening.....
     
  14. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    People do leave voluntarily and re-apply. They compete on the same basis, meet same age limits, etc. If they can clearly articulate how their thought process has changed, how they are better for the "time out" and how they are wiser, more mature and more committed to the path, they have a shot. Mids who leave to go on two-year church missions must re-apply, though that has been so long in practice, they usually have no trouble coming back in, as long as they still meet all requirements.

    Re-admits after voluntary separation do happen, but it's not an everyday thing.
     
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