VMI Open House March 25-26

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by solon, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. solon

    solon Member

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    I am excited about visiting VMI for this open house. Mostly because it will probably STILL be snowing in Michigan and won't be at VMI. Will we get to do a formal "admissions interview" during this weekend? Any tips on what to expect?
     
  2. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    VMI

    You might want to call and see about scheduling one. They would be happy to fill you in on whether or not its something to pursue and make arrangements. Not everyone has a formal interview. Are you staying overnight? Talk to the Cadets and find out what its REALLY like. Dress neatly, but don't over do it and look like a "tool".(As my son would say) Leave the 3 piece suit at home, but a dress shirt and nice pants are never wrong, especially for an interview. (for God's sake don't let your boxers show):biggrin:(my pet peeve)
    If you have an interview, be honest and don't be afraid to ask questions. Since you are traveling so far you need to gather as much information as you can while you are there. It may seem like they present the school with a lot of hype at these events.( I was a doubting Thomas so to speak at first)..Honor code is a big deal,,,blah blah blah(I didn't buy it ..that was my initial reaction)...but they take it seriously, and what they are trying to sell is the legitimate product. It is a great school steeped in history, and it isn't hype although it seemed that way to me at first. There aren't many schools like it, and DS will be matriculating there this fall, so feel free to ask any questions. Good Luck.
     
  3. solon

    solon Member

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    I tend to dress kind of formally anyway. I got to a Christian prep school with a uniform dress code. That's a good suggestion to call ahead to see if they'll do an interview. I doubt that I'll get back to visit VMI before application. What area of study is your son pursuing? Did he go ROTC route? How competitive was it?

    Thanks for the heads up on the "rah-rah, our school is great" spiel. Both parents are going with me. Dad tends to be a cynic (he's a lawyer, it's the nature of the beast).
     
  4. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    Like I said..I can't say I'm cynical...but I don't instantly believe everything I hear...I look for fruit..being from a Christian Prep school you will get the reference. And there is plenty of quality fruit in the lives of the Cadets you will talk to. They seemed really "squared away". Most that my DS talked to said it was the worst thing they ever went through their first Semester as a RAT...yet they would not want to be anywhere else.
    DS major is Elec/Comp Engineering. All Cadets must choose an ROTC. You have to take ROTC but you are not obligated to commission unless you are on a ROTC scholarship and even then you do not have to commit until day 1 of your Sophomore year. But if you get ROTC money and you decide you don't want to commission then the next 3 years are at your expense. He is teetering a bit there. He put Navy on his application, but did not get a NROTC scholarship.. but if he gets an Army scholarship he may change his mind. He applied for ALL the ROTC scholarships. Truth is..he wants to have a military life..but he is going in somewhat blind so to speak because he hasn't a clue as to what he is getting into except for talking to recruiters, a few brief conversations at ROTC detachments(excluding the interviews) and some friends that have gone the enlisted route out of HS. He is 18 and knows he doesn't know enough to make an educated decision because of lack of exposure to the military. He has some reservations about if the Army will allow him to use his ECE education or if it gets put on a shelf for a few years. He still has questions this far into the process but he has time to sort it out. ROTC scholarships are very competitive..this year it seems moreso. As far as the competitiveness of VMI, the VMI website lists the stats on the previous matriculating class so you can look and see where you stand..DS gpa is higher than their average SATS middle..but he is NOT a jock/team captain or Eagle scout, but he is in shape.
    While there for the weekend you will hear the teachers claim they are REALLY available to you if you need help...The Cadet's we talked to backed that statement up 100%. If you are having trouble in a class help is there. Classes are really small so you get a lot of individual attention. There placement rate for graduates is excellent.
    They have many Christian Bible studies that are held throughout the week and Sundays you can attend services on Post or even be adopted by a family from one of the various denominations in town. So you can relax on someone else's couch for a little while.

    As far as the weekend. They will send you an Itinerary. It is an easy schedule to follow and there are opportunities for your folks to hear about financial aid, student services, meet all the ROTC staff at a meet and greet where they feed them snacks etc. When we were there they had a parade,fired the cannons...a great presentation.Its very well organized and they cover pretty much all the basics so you can make an informed decision.
    You will get to stay in the barracks and eat in the mess hall with your family on the first afternoon. Most of the Cadets said that they get used to the food...we will leave it at that:biggrin:
    As far as competitiveness..DS was 560ish in all categories on his SAT's. AP Calc, History and English this year..AP physics last year and a double (2 credit)honors Chem class...He carried a very heavy Junior year schedule and is taking all the advanced computer classes this year. 3.86 unweighted GPA when he applied. Varsity Baseball 2 years. Honors chorus, Drama club, yearbook, Youth Group leadership, Sunday School teacher, Worship leader in church band(keyboard), National and Spanish Honor Society....I just know he is always staying after school for something. He was treated very well by EVERYONE there...and that Southern hospitality off Post is nice too. Make your hotel reservations early...it seems every time we've been there there is a horse show in town:biggrin:
     
  5. solon

    solon Member

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    The only surprise was that it snowed in Virginia this past weekend. Open house at VMI was a great experience. The profs were interesting and approachable. The students were fun and positive. The barracks were lousy, which is the whole point, right? I know it's really tough, but I could see myself at VMI. The faculty even impressed my dad (a U of M grad). I met a few alumni when we visited friends in Leesburg. An alum (class of '68) called me tonight to ask how he can help. Everyone talks about how they have stayed close to classmates. Really cool. Thanks VMI!
     
  6. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    Glad it went well for you. DS has talked to several Alumni while going thru the decision making process and they seemed genuinely happy to take the time with him to talk things through. Take advantage of that and get every question answered. DS still came up with a few questions after spending the weekend. I imagine VMI can be the greatest school on earth if its the "right fit"..likewise, I imagine it could be your worst nightmare if its not. As far as the barracks, DS spent a week there last summer and his room was well over 100 degrees until they got the windows open and the fans on and it didn't seem to get much better. He is thinking that will be a hard adjustment. Then again, you may be so tired that it won't phase you:shake: DS has had the life of an only child for 6 years since my DD got married and has not had to share space with anyone. His room is our finished basement and its big..I think the tight living space is going to be :eek: for him. He will appreciate quiet and privacy when the breaks come I am sure.
     
  7. pennak

    pennak Member

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    Hey, Salon: My DS was been admitted for this Fall and it is one of his top schools. He'll be making that decision soon, within the next few weeks. If you are considering it, remember that you will have to be in ROTC in one of the Branches (they have all four) and you will need to be in very good shape. Take a look at the VMI website for details on the Vmi Fitness Test. Minimum 1.5 mile time is 12:30, top marks for 8:30. Pull ups and crunches too. I very much agree with Bjkuds' remarks, VMI is the real deal (and I am one of those skeptical lawyer Dads -- I prefer "skeptical" over "cyncial"). It may be the most challenging of the SMCs physicall and mentally. Certainly the honor code admits of zero tolerance for honor code violations. it is also very highly ranked academically -- check out the Forbes ranking.
    http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/11/be...g-ranking-opinions-best-colleges-10_land.html
    My DS and I did the weekend trip last Spring (2010) and were and remain very impressed. Good luck to you.
     

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