USAFA or USNA?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by P0wderedM1lkMan, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. P0wderedM1lkMan

    P0wderedM1lkMan Member

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    Hi forum goers I have been really having a lot of trouble deciding which academy would be my first choice on my application. I want to major in Aeronautical Engineering and hopefully go to MIT for graduate school afterwards. I understand both the USNA and USAFA are both fantastic schools but I don't really know which would provide a better curriculum for my choice in major. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  2. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    Only you can make that choice. My son had his choice of either and he chose USAFA because it was the better fit. You can't go wrong either way.
     
  3. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Pick the service you want to be in. If you graduate, you are pretty much guaranteed to serve in that service longer than your time at the academy. So, the real question is not USAFA vs. USNA but AF vs. Navy.
     
  4. P0wderedM1lkMan

    P0wderedM1lkMan Member

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    Thanks for the replys guys, so are you saying that USAFA and USNA have equivalent curriculum in Aeronautical Engineering? This is my deciding factor and I really want to know whether it would be better to learn at the USAFA or USnA
     
  5. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    I suggest you visit both of the schools and get a gut feeling and decide from there.
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Why don't you realize that first, u need to decide if serving in the military is your first priority. Next, as ramious pointed out, the academy is a small part, you need to decide which branch u want to serve. Next, u don't have full control on whether you receive an appointment or not, so applying to both might be the answer. Finally, your major in the academy doesn't necessarily mean that is the job u will get. The needs of the military come first.

    Once you recognize that, and you can live with outcome no matter which way, the decision will be quite simple. Trying to choose which school has the better aero major is futile once u realize that both are good and any job in that branch of the military requiring that major, means that education will be quite good.
     
  7. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    What he's saying is that you shouldn't be making a choice of service academy based on the curriculum. The choice to make is between the Air Force and the Navy/USMC.

    The academy is four years; the service you join will be your lifestyle and career for at least five years, perhaps more. Your major and your years at the academy are dwarfed by your service in whichever branch you choose.

    The Air Force and the Navy/USMC are quite different. Are you sure you want your undergraduate major—of all things—to be the "deciding factor"?

    I definitely recommend a visit to both academies. There is a feeling that you will get when you are at the right place.
     
  8. P0wderedM1lkMan

    P0wderedM1lkMan Member

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    Thanks again for the replies, I might not be able to visit the USAFA since I'm on the East Coast but I will visit the USNA. What is the lifestlye at USAFA compared to what I would find at the USNA and moreover while in service of the Airforce or Navy.
     
  9. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    Not to be harsh, but are you saying you wouldn't visit say Stanford to see what it was like because you live on the East Coast? Getting to Colorado Springs isn't that expensive. Just make it a priority, plan the trip out and do it.

    Do more research - there are lots of videos out there on both academies and definitely research the AF / Navy missions. Don't depend on these forums to do it for you.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    greentrees,

    Not to be harsh, but nobody here knows the posters financial situation. To say it is not that expensive to visit from the east coast is a fallacy, unless you think spending 1000-1500 dollars is not a lot of money for a 3 day weekend. Personally, I do find it expensive. Do the math. Airfare, car rental, gas, hotel, and food for at least 2, since I am sure he is not going by himself. For some that amount is equivalent to several months car payment, or maybe 1 mtg payment. Harder still for some if they have children in college that they are paying money instead of loans. Honestly, if our DS2, child number 3 was the OP, it would be a no go until the appointment because of everything I just stated, unless DS2 went into our backyard and somehow found that elusive money tree we have been searching for during my entire marriage.

    Leave money out of it, but since we all know many applicants play sports, and have other commitments, such as jobs, timing is an issue. At our DS2's school they are already in FB practice 5 days a week. Miss a practice during the summer you must practice for 3 days in a different way, (gear/helmet issue), you cannot miss more than 2 practices. FB season, is the same way, you have to re-start training again before you can play the next game. Varsity only plays on Friday night. Logistically, it isn't an option until the season is over, which is the end of Nov. if you don't make district. Dec if you do.

    Let's also remember many MOC's interview, which means if he has 3 interviews they will be held on weekends. Plus SAT/ACTs taking up weekends. This is also on top of being smart and doing Plan B...college w/AFROTC scholarship. AFROTC scholarship also requires an interview too. He could have every weekend booked until Xmas.

    P0wderedM1lkMan,

    I wouldn't worry about visiting right now, if you get an appointment from both, than go out and visit. Even if it is fiscally hard, it makes sense since this will be 4 yrs of your life, but until that time, don't stress yourself thinking you have to go and visit.

    I agree with others, in the end of the day your time commitment AD will be longer than your SA career. Up to 3 X longer if you go to grad school right out of the gate with a UPT slot. Grad school is concurrent, but the clock for pilot does not start until you are winged. UPT is 1 yr long. The AF does a bait and switch in a way because they tell you that is a 11 yr commitment, but people don't add in the 1 yr at UPT, so really is 12 yrs if you graduate. Add 1,2,or 3 yrs depending on the grad school, and you are at 13-15 yrs.

    In other words if you go to MIT, assuming it is a 2 yr program, and than UPT, you will be 36 yrs old before you can leave the AF. Almost 50% of your life will be in the AF, 100% of your adult life. I am assuming you want to fly because usually that is why people are torn between the Navy and the AF, a SWO will not want the AF because last time I checked the AF doesn't have boats!

    That is how IMPO you should approach it. My adult life. The AF is not for everyone, nor is the Navy. If the idea of being landlocked at Sheppard AFB as a FAIP is revolting to you, you have your answer. If the idea of being out to sea for 6 month is not your dream either, you have your answer.

    Good luck, and whatever you choose, thank you for your willingness to defend this great country.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  11. P0wderedM1lkMan

    P0wderedM1lkMan Member

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    Thanks a lot pima and others. I did not really look at my choice in academies that way and all of your advice will definitely help me in my decision.
     

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