Valley Forge

Discussion in 'Service Academy Preparatory Schools' started by jebdad, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. jebdad

    jebdad Member

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    Working on plan B with DS. He says if he is not accepted he hopes for prep school or sponsored prep but if neither materialize would like to self prep. I was doing a little research on MMI, NMMI and Valley Forge among others. Are any of the prep schools better for USMA? Anyone have any experience with Valley Forge? I noticed that it is twice as expensive as others. Is there a reason for such a difference?

    DS will only prep where can also earn college credit in case he does not get in the second time around he has not lost a year.

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Here is an older thread on the topic.
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/vfmc-vs-nmmi-conflict.24086/

    There is a pretty good explanation from a rep from NMMI on the fact that they are a Land Grant institution and mineral rights allow them to charge less.

    There is also a post from the VF rep that explains the high cost of their location that makes them more expensive.

    I hope this helps.
     
  3. Physicsguru

    Physicsguru Member

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    I can give you some feedback about MMI, since I teach there. The largest group of sponsored AOG scholars attend at MMI, and self-prep students take the same courses as the AOGs. As far as college credit, we are a two-year college accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, so classes do earn college credit that is transferable. Should he stay on for a second year he can earn an Associates Degree.

    In addition to service academy prep, MMI has Army/National Guard Early Commissioning Program, as well as students earning Associates degrees that are not taking a military commitment. All students are college students, and are members of the Corps of Cadets.

    Best of luck to your son. Keep doing the research, and please contact the admissions offices of any of the schools you are interested in. Each of the Military Junior Colleges have Service Academy Coordinators that will answer any questions you have.
     
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  4. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I have not seen any definitive data that self prep is better than attending a regular college when reapplying to West Point.

    I give credit for MMI for providing more information

    https://www.marionmilitary.edu/about/sap-assessment.cms
    In 2014-2015, 23 sponsored cadets and 6 self prep cadets from MMI received USMA appointments. 2013-2014, zero self prep. 2012-2013, 3 self prep.

    https://www.marionmilitary.edu/skins/userfiles/files/2014-15 SAP Program Analysis.pdf

    For 2014-15, 8 non-sponsored, 7 completed the program, and 4 recieve appointment (which is different from 6 stated above)

    Valley Forge is "in the average year, over a dozen graduates of the Service Academy Preparatory Program are accepted by . . .."

    Some advantages I see with a regular college route are no need to worry about credit transfer and should be already enrolled in a ROTC program and applying for 3 year ROTC scholarship.

    An advantage I see with a self prep is experiencing the military college life style (i.e. uniforms, discipline, and etc). I am sure there are more.
     
  5. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    There are about half a dozen good quality private prep schools to explore that will fit your personal needs and more importantly preparing you for your Plan B and C.


    Here are some points to consider……this will apply to both college or prep route


    If you do poorly in your academic work this will not be competitive

    Your academic schedule must mirror the first year of a service academy

    You will need to maintain physical fitness performance (avoid freshman 30)

    Continue will the three pillars, academics, leadership and physical fitness

    You will need another nomination

    Scholarships are available for both

    No guarantee for an appointment even if you are sponsored


    College-

    You will need to take English, Math and Chem with a lab at a minimum

    Pros- credits will carry on to the next year-continuing with your education

    Social experience

    Your college may have an ROTC program to become involved

    Cons- Classes maybe full for high demand

    Social experience-could distract you from desire to attend service academy

    No ROTC program or can not participate

    College does not have guidance or connection to service academy

    Credits will not be transferable

    Not an emphasis to improve ACT/SAT test scores


    Prep School-

    Pros-

    You will be taking course work that will be similar to first year

    Course work will improve your study skills

    You will be taking ACT/SAT test and will improve those scores

    Credits may transfer to four year college

    You may have an advantage when seeking a nomination

    Prep schools do have connections with SA and some report often

    With improved ACT/SAT test results will open more opportunities for Plan B and C if not selected to SA

    Cons- Expensive prep schools

    Credits may not transfer

    No guarantee for an appointment

    A year behind your peers if this is important to you

    MemberLG brings up a very good point about definitive data in regards to self-prep and attending college to build a better application when reapplying. Because there isn’t any. Its all just speculation from gathering information based on personal experience.

    I hope this helps and its not impossible to get into a SA on a second and third attempted. You must understand only about a third of a class are direct appointments. I feel when you have a year under your belt, you'll be that much more mature and prepared. This make a huge difference.

    Push Hard, Press Forward

    Note: NWP splits their program. The first semester is course work sharpening academic study skills, improving vocabulary, sentence structure, math, chem with lab work. You will take ACT/SAT several times and have improvements. The second semester you attend a college near you. They are recognized by all academies and qualify for USMA AOG sponsorships.
     
  6. jebdad

    jebdad Member

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    When is the appropriate time to apply to these schools? Do you wait to see if you get a denial from WP and then apply to prep school or is it best to apply now?
     
  7. AuxNoob

    AuxNoob CGA Admissions Partner

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    While this is specific to USCGA, I had a student who did not get an appointment, and was able to get admitted to MMI as a self-prep late in the spring. I vaguely remember that they keep slots available in the spring for such a purpose. However, PhyicsGuru can speak to that better than I.
     
  8. Physicsguru

    Physicsguru Member

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    For the academies, the slots will fill up by around the middle of May. By that time you should know what the status of your son's application will be. At MMI we don't have an application deadline, but the sooner he applies, the sooner he can be accepted and apply for any financial aid he's eligible for. Also, check in is usually during the second week of August. You'll want to spend the summer getting him ready for the move to college.

    I would say start shopping around after the SA application deadline in February. This will give you plenty of time to make phone calls, write letters, and make campus visits. I will say the best time to see any school is during the spring while there are students on campus!
     
  9. Zmansmom

    Zmansmom Mom, forum stalker

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    My son is at MMI after having been wait listed last year at USNA. He had been accepted to several civilian colleges but none of them seemed like the right "fit" for him. We were fortunate to have found MMI, and it felt right to him when we visited. They have sponsored and non-sponsored preps for each academy there. The sponsored have to work a little harder (since they aren't sponsored...) but they get the benefit of meeting the academy representatives that come on campus to meet with the sponsored cadets, as well as having guidance from administration and staff who know how and when to give the CFA and all of the other ins and outs of applying/reapplying to an Academy.
    Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth...
     
  10. KP2020Dad

    KP2020Dad DS - USMMA '20

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    I can only tell you our experience with MMI. There were some doubts, initially, due to it's unique location. However, MMI has been a fantastic opportunity for our DS. He is a USMMA sponsored prep and he seems to be thriving at MMI. It has confirmed his choice to attend a service academy. While there is no "night life" at MMI, there is plenty to do inside and outside of the classroom. While the academics are demanding, he has found time to participate in intramurals and honor guard. My wife attended "parents weekend" and attended his classes with him. She left very impressed. It's worth checking out. Good luck.
     
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  11. Rugbyftbllaxmom

    Rugbyftbllaxmom Member

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    I just looked up the price of VF (43k) says AOG scholars receive about $20 k scholarship from them .that is more than the 1/3; so does AOG generally put in 1/3 of the original 43k and VF just happens to kick in more since so much higher prices than the others? ..... And then student pays the remainder plus fees and uniforms etc?
    Has anybody had a preparer there or had any recent contact about pricing? I will call tomorrow but just curious any first hand experience.
    Thank you
     
  12. SpadGuy

    SpadGuy Member

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  13. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    ^^ Just to clarify those data a little, from the table caption in the article SpadGuy linked:

    "The U.S. Department of Education requires all private colleges that award federal student aid to participate in an annual test based on information from their audited financial statements. The department develops a composite score on a scale of negative 1.0 to positive 3.0, based on financial ratios that measure factors such as net worth, operating losses, and the relationship of assets to liabilities. Institutions with scores of 1.5 to 3 pass. . . ."

    This is a comprehensive list of all 1,889 private colleges/unis that are authorized to disburse federal financial aid. Valley Forge Military College's score is 2.5 out of a maximum of 3, and Wentworth MA & JC's score is 1.5, as SpadGuy posted, so both institutions pass DoE's financial responsibility test.
     

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