UVa vs. RPI NROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by 5Day, Mar 28, 2016.

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UVa vs. RPI NROTC

  1. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

  2. University of Virginia (UVa)

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  1. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    DS has a NROTC scholarship and he has been admitted to both UVa and RPI and he will be majoring in mechanical engineering. Help him decide which school he should attend.
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Two great options. Honestly, only he can really make this decision. A few questions I would ask him?

    1. Finances - Does one offer Room and Board? Does he have additional scholarships to cover those? What kind of debt will he have when he graduates? What if he decides NROTC isn't the right fit for me? What if he gets hurt and is dis-enrolled? How does that look financially? Proximity to home and costs of going home? For some this is important and others, maybe not.
    2. What school feels like a better fit? Size of school? Internships? Professors vs TAs teaching? Research opportunities?
    3. Training opportunities at the Det? UVa might win on this due to location of Norfolk and being able to get exposed to so much. Not sure, but something to investigate. Also, do they training with VT at all? Does RPI have any unique training available?
    4. First pick of service selection... What are the rates for service selection and getting their first pick at each school? How does that align with what your DS wants to pursue?
    5. Size of det... some will thrive in a small det while others might prefer a larger det.
    6. Success rate of scholarship Mids? Also success rates of Programmers? I ask this because I think a det that has a positive vibe and really supports one another will have more Mids stay in the program.
    7. How is each Det run? Maybe one that has tons of activities and is very hands on is a good fit for some. Maybe its not for others.

    In the end, the choice is his. Both are great options, but ultimately he has to pick the school and det that fits the best because that is where he will thrive the most.
     
  3. bucketheadsdad

    bucketheadsdad Member

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    My son is a freshman in the NROTC program at RPI. He absolutely loves it. He visited several NROTC units (Texas A&M, Ohio St. [only 2 hours away from home], Miami University, and loved RPI for its close camaraderie. Each class has about 30 students, so it is a very close-knit group. RPI also picks up the room/board tab for all of their ROTC students. (Also was admitted to Purdue, Michigan and Penn St., but after visiting RPI, realized that's where he felt most at home.)
     
  4. terp1984

    terp1984 Member

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    Congrats on 2 great options. I would advise go visit both units to help the decision making process. DS graduated UVA 2 years ago and loved it(wasn't too happy with the game yesterday). That is a real nice perk if RPI does pay R&B. Is the ME program any better at RPI? Maybe, but does it really make any difference once your in the fleet.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    My 0.0198754 cents would also be if finances are not an issue, besides what others have already post:
    1. Right now assume he will do 4 and leave, many kids walk in and say they are going to do career (20 yrs), but statistically very few do stay for 20. Many leave at the 1st opportunity.
    ~IMPO, I would say UVA is a better choice. UVA is considered a public Ivy. Actually is seen as number 2 in the nation, only behind Berkeley by many organizations, such as, Money, USNWR, Fortune, etc. It has a great network for alumni when it comes to employment opportunities, and their name alone carries weight from an undergrad aspect.
    2. How far away are either of these schools?
    ~ Many kids can't wait to fly the nest, but once there they can become homesick, especially if there is a long weekend, such as, Columbus Day when many kids leave the dorms to go home. Will one be close enough to go home just because they want to, or are both so far away that Thanksgiving is realistically the 1st time they will go home after moving into the dorms in Aug.?
    3. UVA is the heart of Charlottesville. The town is really there for the school and its students. I live in VA,@90 miles away and I would say UVA alumni, parents, students are just as rabid about supporting them like VT. The school spirit is amazing.
    ~ Can't speak for RPI in that aspect, but it is something to think about.
    4. Weather. Silly I know, but not everybody in this world likes tons of snow over many months. UVAs weather typically will be milder than RPI. Flipside if you love winter sports, i.e. skiing than RPI is a better option.
    5. Life outside of school. Charlottesville is not a big city, but than again, it is close enough to go to DC or Richmond on the weekend. @2 hours away, and Megabus is an easy option if you don't have a car.
    6. Sports. For my kids this was part of their decision. Again, silly, but it is part of college life experience.
    ~ UVA has great ACC athletic teams. Weekends in the fall will be full of football games. If you go to UVA, learn how to tie a bowtie because the joke about mandatory apparel is bowtie and pearls. They dress up for the games.

    Like I said, this is just my 0.019875 cents. ROTC is going to be a huge part of their life, but so will their academics and social life when you think about being a success in college and ROTC. It is a balance of everything, not just 1 aspect. You can't commission or get your 1st choice in career selection if you are so miserable at the school that your grades take a hit. Your scholarship and commissioning maybe at risk if the academic program is so hard that you request to change majors due to gpa.

    Good luck, and thank your DS for his desire to defend this great nation.

    PS I am a Hokie (VT) and UMD (parent)...not a fan of UVA, but I give credit where credit is due, and academically UVA deserves my respect that is only parallel with colleges like HYPPSM, UNCCH and Duke.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Don't disagree with anything Pima says about UVA. It's an outstanding institution. However.... and perhaps its where I grew up or first started working or something, but I've always heard of VA as a liberal arts school, while I have always heard of RPI as an excellent engineering school. YMMV, but I think much depends at which one he would rather purse engineering.
     
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  7. KP Eng

    KP Eng Member

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    I agree with @kinnem. As a practicing engineer my perception is that of the two, RPI is the superior undergrad engineering school. Socially....that's a different story.
     
  8. BlindROTC

    BlindROTC Member

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  9. Eagle15

    Eagle15 Member

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  10. BLUF

    BLUF Member

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    My experience is that the Navy tells you which school to attend and you must patition for a waiver to go to another school. This is also dependent of whether the NROTC battalion has room in their ranks.
     
  11. KP Eng

    KP Eng Member

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    @Eagle15 those ranking are for graduate school. The results I saw for undergrad had RPI much higher than UVA. I agree that you can't go wrong with either, but if you really want to get your geek on I'd chose RPI.
     
  12. Eagle15

    Eagle15 Member

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    You're right. I missed that.
     
  13. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    Thank you all for your comments. As always you have provided a lot of great questions that my son will will need to answer for himself. In a few weeks we will be visiting both schools for him to decide which is the better fit.

    There is a cost difference. DS will have to pay room and board at UVa. RPI will pick up the tab for room and board. Also,as hard as it is to believe, both schools will max out the 4 year NROTC scholarship and there will probably be a differential that he will need to pick up. Fortunately cost is not the highest on the decision matrix.

    @KP Eng where did you find undergraduate engineering rankings. I only know of overall undergrad rankings and graduate engineering rankings.
     
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  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    FWIW, the reason I placed UVA academically as an edge was due to the fact that in those 1st 4 AD years, chances are they won't be doing a lot in the engineering field. Engineering fields will advance during those years, which means to me that they will need to think about grad school to be competitive in the employment world. I would assume that if they go this route they are going to look at a degree like an MBA, not a post grad Master in Engineering. Which in that case, UVA impo would carry more weight because of their academic status.

    I would also suggest that when you make this decision ask some very pointed questions to both units.
    1. What if he decides to do Education Delay (ED), statistically how many get that option from each college?
    2. What about the chances for his career field that he desires currently? Does one school have a higher % than the other.
    ~ Don't fall for the numbers of actual mids. It is not fair if one college says they send 5 and the other says 3 unless both are the same size unit. IE the 1 that send 5 could have 50 mids, and the one that sends 3 could have 15. IOWS, the higher number is a 10% chance and the lower amount is actually a higher chance with 20%
     
  15. NavyNOLA

    NavyNOLA Member

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    Max out the scholarship? There is no max out. It's a 100% tuition scholarship, regardless of school or tuition price.
     
  16. NavyNOLA

    NavyNOLA Member

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    There are no education delays for NROTC. Also, service selection is a national competition, not by school. So, theoretically, every member of a particular school's commissioning class could get selected pilot, or SWO, or Nuke, etc.

    I think this is getting really far into the weeds. Your son should just pick the school and the unit he's going to enjoy most for four years. Years from now, nobody will really care which of these fine institutions was ranked higher than the other for engineering, and your son's future post-Navy employer will care a lot more about his Navy resume than his undergraduate degree. He should pick the place that feels right, because that's going to make him happy and successful four years from now, not numbers on paper. At the end of the day, you can't lose with either path.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You learn something new everyday.

    AFROTC and AROTC does offer ED, albeit it is very competitive and not something you should bank on. AFROTC is like NROTC where it is a national competition, but some schools do have a higher selection rate than others for various reasons.
     
  18. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    Really, DS document said $185,000. But maybe that is just to put a number to it and not the contract terms.
     

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