UnivTexas ROTC vs. Texas A&M Corps

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by TexanFutureSoldier, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. TexanFutureSoldier

    TexanFutureSoldier Member

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    Right now I'm picking a backup school in case my quest for a SA slot fails.
    I've pretty much narrowed it down to UT and A&M (I live in Texas, I want to major in Engineering, and both are good schools).
    I've done research on both schools, I have a pretty good idea of the pros and cons of each one.
    But I have some questions about the ROTC programs. (I'm looking at Army and Air Force)
    I know that A&M is a SMC, and so the military experience is much more immersive than UT.
    However, I've talked with several A&M Corps guys who've told me that doing Engineering AND the Corps is a very difficult endeavor, and that most guys who try to do both end up having a hard time and taking 5 years to graduate.
    I know there are engineering outfits in the Corps who specialize in trying to retain engineers, but I don't know how effective they are.
    So my question is this: Would it be a better idea to go to UT, have an easier time, be able to log a higher GPA, and thus have a better chance at getting the job slot I want when I get my commission,
    OR
    Is it better to go to A&M, get a somewhat lower GPA due to heavy workload, but have the more hardcore training that the Corps provides?
    Also, when ranking cadets, do the services do a nationwide rank or are you ranked among the cadets at your detachment? Basically, if I go to A&M, will I be competing against UT guys based on GPA?

    Sorry for the wordy post, and thanks in advance for y'alls advice :thumb:
     
  2. gojack

    gojack ....

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    Are you talking UT Austin? UTA is more selective than Texas A&M
    Usually a backup school choice is less selective,
    like University of Arkansas - 5 yr AROTC scholarship to complete Engineering, and a free room.
    Or North Georgia College & State University-another SMC

    Texas has a lot of other universities also, just UTA is THE flagship.
     
  3. MorganC

    MorganC Prospective

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    For Texas residents it is fairly easy to get into UT Austin and Texas A&M because of the top 10% rule.

    What happens if you don't get into an SA, re-apply in college, and still don't get in? Where could you see yourself finishing a degree and being most happy?

    There are many engineering majors in the Corps that do just fine with GPA. If you are nervous about this, contact the Corps and they are very helpful. The Corps experience is one of a kind and that's all there is to say. From the outside looking out you can't understand it, and from the inside looking out you can't explain it.
     
  4. TexanFutureSoldier

    TexanFutureSoldier Member

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    @gojack: MorganC is right, it's easy for texas residents :shake:
    @MorganC: I'm more of the A&M type, though I haven't visited College Station (yet). I'd love to do the Corps, it's the GPA issue that worries me. I presume you have personal experience with the Corps though, so I'll see what I can do to contact them.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Think about what you really just stated.

    You are afraid that academically in the Corps at A & M will be too hard to maintain a strong gpa and require 5 yrs or hurt your OML at the least.

    However, this is your back up school to an SA where everyone must graduate in 4, and most if not all will tell you that an SA is harder all around.
    25% of SA cadets do not graduate, I don't know A&M's retention rate, but I would bet it is higher than 75%.

    If you feel you can be one of those 75% graduating from WP, than you should not concern yourself with this issue at all, and pick A & M as your number 1.
     
  6. Packer

    Packer Member

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    You have to look pretty hard to find universities with 4 year graduation rates better than 75%. 75% 4 year graduation rate is very good. Although comparing service academies and university graduation rates is an apple and orange comparison that starts with a difference in selectivity and finances.

    For what it is worth TAMU 4 yr graduation rate is around 45%, 6 year is around 80%.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I should have said ROTC students. I am betting that the rate for ROTC is higher than non-ROTC at TAMU, especially for scholarship. Afterall the OP's assumption is scholarship recipient, which puts them back into my premise of 4 yrs.

    That was my point, if you believe as a scholarship recipient you can't graduate in 4 at TAMU, than the OML is not an issue because how could you do it at WP? WP is not going to give you 5 yrs to graduate.

    If the rigor of the school as Plan B first choice is making you question your ability academically with Corps, than you need to be honest about your chance of academic success at the SAs,

    If you feel that there is no issue, than IMPO it is a match as Plan B.

    Remember if you are scholarship in a program that they say is 4 yrs., it is 4 yrs, and to extend to 5 on scholarship requires their approval to maintain the scholarship. Hence, it is not apples to oranges. They expect you to graduate in 4 yrs. when they offered a 4 yr scholarship, just like WP expects you to graduate in 4, otherwise you are outta there...same with the scholarship. Apples to apples.

    Let's also be honest, WP has stated that 2016 class will enter with fewer cadets, and Clarkson + Marist both have stated AROTC scholarships are being reduced. I saw that with our DS's AFROTC friends on scholarship, don't pull it and they will revoke it. JMPO, but gone are the days of getting a 4 yr scholarship extended to 5. These are fiscally tough times for the military. Grades are going to matter not only for OML regarding jobs, but for the Army it will matter for AD selection.

    Clarification, I am not saying take an easier Plan B college for a higher success rate. I am saying that if TAMU looks daunting you have bigger questions to answer than UTA and TAMU as Plan B from an academic perspective.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  8. gojack

    gojack ....

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    4yr grad rates

    United States Naval Academy 88.3%
    United States Military Academy 82.0%
    United States Air Force Academy 78.0%
    The Citadel 67%
    Virginia Military Institute 64%
    Virginia Tech 53%
    UTA 51%
    TAMU 45%
    Norwich University 39%
    North Georgia College & State University 24%
    Texas College, Tyler Texas 2.4% :eek:
     
  9. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I agree that scholarship ROTC cadets are of similiar/same caliber as service academy cadets. The environment is quite different though. A fifth year is available for certain majors with scholarship payment requiring approval. In recent years approval has been routinely given. The following is from Virginia Tech's AFROTC website:

     
  10. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Whats going on in Tyler, Texas?!!!!
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I can't remember which, Citadel or VMI, but don't they have a reg. stating that if they don't get a scholarship by Jr. yr., they can't get commissioned?

    If I am correct that would explain the rate for graduation, since many would know by the end of their soph yr. Why put yourself through that training if you are never going to be commissioned?

    I believe for VT, if the cadet, even non-scholarship, does not complete the first semester, or something like that in the Corps, they are kicked out of VT. Reason why is they do admit students for Corps purposes. That would also explain the retention rate, not every VT cadet admitted actually sticks with it, if they leave before October/Nov, VT has the option of not letting them return in Jan. You can be in the Corps and not ROTC, but you can't be in ROTC and not the Corps. at VT.

    Numbers can be manipulated to what is desired. You have to look deeper in the numbers/stats to see the real truth.

    As I said, the OP is basing this on scholarship, which is not the typical admit for ROTC cadets at any school. Most colleges do have a 50% rate, but when you look at Scholarship that number is different.

    Packer, yes, in previous yrs the 5th yr has been routinely given, but I am not sure now how often it occurs. AFA cut their incoming class down by 20% for 15, what do you think the chances are they will give a 15 AFROTC cadet the 5 yr extension option on scholarship, especially when only 50% of cadets are getting SFT?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  12. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Quite sure this is not true at VMI. Have no idea about Citadel.

    I'll have to get the crystal ball out to answer that one . . . . darn, its cloudy in the crystal ball and I can't quite make out the future.

    Two universities AFROTC Commanders have told us the 5 year deal has been almost a rubber stamp. They advise to sign up for 5 year program and then try to get it done in 4 because from a manpower forcast standpoint and the way fiscal years run it is relatively simple to move from 5 to 4 year commissioning date but it is fairly difficult to move from 4 year to 5 year commissioning date.
     
  13. TexanFutureSoldier

    TexanFutureSoldier Member

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    @Pima- "That was my point, if you believe as a scholarship recipient you can't graduate in 4 at TAMU, than the OML is not an issue because how could you do it at WP? WP is not going to give you 5 yrs to graduate."

    Here's the thing, is that at WP/AFA, they have a significant number of engineers, and so they can't require that cadets do too much (although it's still a lot of work, I know), and they basically set up your course schedule for you. In contrast, at A&M, a significant part of the Corps has non-technical majors, so the Corps can require its cadets to do more Corps related stuff, while the engineers have to juggle that with an engineering curriculum that's not made specifically for its Corps people. This is why a lot of the engineers seem to take 5 yrs to graduate (and, judging from the fiscal situation, a 5 yr scholarship is a liability)

    Keep in mind what I'm saying is based on stuff I'm hearing from former Corps guys, I don't have any statistics to back it up.

    Pima, I understand what you're saying about being able to hack it at both the SAs and A&M, but my concern is that if I go to an SA, I'll be competing with people who are all going through the same amount of suck I'm going through, whereas at A&M, I'll be competing with a lot of non-tech majors (less academic suck) and possibly with cadets from other ROTC programs (less physical suck) which will put me at a disadvantage coming out. This is the only reason that I'm questioning A&M. Are my concerns warranted?

    Also, Packer, do you have a source on the 5 yr scholarships getting a rubber stamp? Just so I can do a bit of research on my own.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  14. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Texan: Sent you a pm.
     
  15. gojack

    gojack ....

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    Keep in mind, the Army OML is national,
    so your GPA is going to be compared with everyone
    including the 'General Studies' & 'Outdoor Education' Majors
     
  16. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Certainly not VMI.
     
  17. MorganC

    MorganC Prospective

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    While some Corps Engineers take longer than 4 years to finish their degree, there are MANY cadets that complete it in four. I know a few personally that just graduated.

    The attrition rate of classes after 4 years in the Corps was 40% in 2010.
    The attrrition rate for just the freshman class was 23% in 2010.

    The Corps isn't easy, and it's designed that way. But they want you to succeed.

    To me, the most important thing here is the chance of getting stuck at your backup school for an entire four years and not being happy with it. If you choose to go to a school that is easier but then get denied a 2nd/3rd time for an SA, you're gonna more than likely be getting a degree from there.
     
  18. TexanFutureSoldier

    TexanFutureSoldier Member

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    @gojack, I just did some research on the OML system. From what I understand, it's basically 40% GPA, 60% Leadership/Physical. You don't get brownie points for being an engineer or going to a SMC. So I suppose I'd just have to be awesome if so I can branch where I want.

    @MorganC, I think I'd be happy with either UT or A&M. I suppose my main concern is looking 4 years down the road and getting the highest possible spot on the OML.

    Also, A&M's AFROTC Det. is 5x the size of UT's. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

    Thank you everyone for helping me clear this up a bit.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Back to the OP.

    Honestly, I am speechless, especially for AF/NROTC since scholarship cadets the majority are engineering...yep 85% are engineer/tech field. Want an AFROTC scholarship type 1, you have to be the top 5% of the 5% offered scholarships. This is not throw your name in and win!

    Who on earth told you that the majority are non-engineer?

    I am going to take the leap and you are asking why UTA over TAMU because TAMU is more stressful.

    I can't speak for UTA or TAMU regarding OML. I will say our DS in the AFROTC system attends a UTA type school, nick4060 attends a school akin to TAMU. Both are 2012 commissioning class. Nick's group had 100% get their 1st choice for rated, they had 65% get SFT. DS's school had above the national avg, but below Nicks.

    To answer your question, if you love TAMU go to TAMU as Plan B. If you love UTA, go to UTA.

    Easiest way to hurt your military career opportunities as an ROTC cadet? Hate the school that you will live at 24/7 for 4 yrs.
     
  20. TexanFutureSoldier

    TexanFutureSoldier Member

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    Like I said, I've been talking to some of the Corps guys. Yes, I know this is a non-representative sampling, and no, I don't have any statistics, I was just hypothesizing that due to the rigor of engineering + corps at A&M, there would be fewer engineering majors.

    As for what you said about nick4060, THAT'S the kind of information I was looking for :biggrin:. If the rotc program at VT (I checked his profile) has those kind of numbers (especially for rated) then that pretty much assuages my doubts about getting a good OML slot from a SMC.

    In which case I'd prioritize A&M, since I like everything else about it. Thanks Pima :D
     

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