VMI or Citadel or Norwich

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by OhioWrestler, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. OhioWrestler

    OhioWrestler Member

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    My son has received acceptances to VMI, Citadel or Norwich for the class of 2016. His plan was to follow his older brother who is a plebe at USNA...unfortunately, his ACT/SAT scores were not where they needed to be to gain admission. He is interested in having a career in the military and will be attending one of these 3 schools next August.

    Can anybody provide any insight into these schools? Good/bad, academics, student life, etc.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. cisco

    cisco Member

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    Each of the SMC's are great schools. Let him think on the location of each schools that would interest him, for example, in Norwich it gets much much colder than it would in the Citadel (S.C).

    Me personally, I prefer VMI, Norwich, Citadel in that order.

    What kind of degree is he seeking? VMI doesn't offer as many as Norwich or the Citadel do.

    Just many factors go into whatever interests him the most.
     
  3. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Just a quick question, although it might be too late. Did he apply to USNA?

    I had one of my Squadron Commanders in the USAF tell me this gem, and I've posted it from time to time: "Never self-eliminate from consideration of something you want. It's someone else's job to tell you no."
     
  4. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Here's a few things to look at for these SMCs:

    1. Visit each of them (preferably an overnight). You will find that one feels like "home".

    2. Outside of the military, the alumni networks for the SMCs are more regional (e.g., Norwich is mainly England, while VMI is mid-Atlantic, and The Citadel is in the southeast). Of course, there are grads and clubs from each school dispersed everywhere, but statistically, grads tend to end up in the school where the SMC resides. So, if you plan to have a post-military career in South Carolina, statistically, you would have a better alumni network if you attended The Citadel than Norwich (converse is true if Boston-area was your home).

    3. Weather is a factor. If you're a snowbird and love to ski, Norwich is your best bet. If you love hot weather, The Citadel might be best.

    4. Civilians on campus. Norwich has them (although bulk is Corps of Cadets), while others do not. Not sure if this is important to you.

    5. Look at funding sources and cost of attendance. This can be important down the road.

    6. For military career, there is no advantage from either SMC. The one thing I can say, though, is that if you are in the National Guard in one of the states like VA, VT, or SC, it's likely better to come from the state where the local SMC is located. Active duty military is different.
     
  5. pennak

    pennak Member

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    My DS is currently a Rat at VMI and he had the same choices last year (plus the Corps at A&M) I echo everything that patentesq just said. I would stress the overnight visit, preferably during the early part of the year so as to assess their initial freshman experience (The Ratline ends at VMI with Breakout in late January or early February). The look and feel from a visit is really important, IMHO. We visited all the SMCs with my DS (save North Georgia) and it made all the difference in his decision (and yes, it was all his decision, as I think it has to be -- if the money is available to make that possible).

    I can't speak to the academics at Norwich or Citadel but from what I can tell they are excellent at VMI ... and tough. The average GPA of the Ratmass at VMI after one semester is roughly 2.02. My Rat would argue that VMI is the toughest SMC in the land, but then one would expect him to say that. :biggrin:
     
  6. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    My earlier post contained an error. Norwich is not in "England"; I meant "New England" or "northeast." :thumb:

    Here's one further thought. Outside of the military (where everyone knows all about the SMCs and what they provide), there may be civilian employers (non-SMC grads) who are more familiar with the SMC situated in the region where you are seeking to gain employment than the SMCs located in other areas of the country. I suspect that if you were to reside in South Carolina after your military stint, nearly every prospective employer has heard about The Citadel in that state and the excellent education provided there, while many are not as familiar with the academics of, say, Norwich. This is likely because the hiring person has seen more resumes from The Citadel than from Norwich. However, in Vermont, the converse would likely be true.

    If you are indifferent about where you see yourself working post-military, then this may not be a big factor. However, if you ultimately see yourself residing in the place from which you originated prior to miltary service, it could be a factor to consider. Oh . . . if you think you're in for a career, just know that you will think hard about that question after your first combat tour.
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    If he likes EXTREMELY large rings that make it hard to close his hand... I think VMI is the place to go... :wink:
     
  8. i1c5x1

    i1c5x1 Member

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    Patent--
    You mentioned that the the Citadel does not have civilians, it does :) I'll be one next year with luck.

    They have a veteran day program, which goes to classes with the cadets, but as civilians. A undergrad evening program, and a graduate program open to civilians :)
     
  9. OhioWrestler

    OhioWrestler Member

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    ---
    Yes, he applied to USNA. Admissions told him that he should probably accept one of the offers from the schools (VMI/Citadel/Norwich) that he had been offered admission into.... I am no genius..but I am thinking that was a definite no.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    True. The rings are different for the uniformed and civilian sides.
     
  11. pennak

    pennak Member

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    If you want to look into VMI from a former VMI professor's prospective, get a copy of Stewart W. Husted, The Hard Corps, 21st Century Leadership Development You will find in paperback on Amazon.com.
     
  12. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    My apologies, i1c5x1. I wasn't aware that The Citadel had civilians on campus. Thank you for sharing this point and setting the record straight! (this is the beauty of SAF, because errors are promptly corrected). Good luck with your studies next year!!! And thank you for your service!
     
  13. i1c5x1

    i1c5x1 Member

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    The program is very new :p It has been verrryyy interesting working through their old systems and new rules that were not quite up to speed with what I was doing. Originally, Veterans could attend school with the cadets, but not do ROTC. So I will be the first to be a vet and go through ROTC to commission.

    Seeing Veteran creeps me out...I feel a little young to be one...I imagine the older grandpa aged guys...

    :)
     
  14. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    OhioWrestler, don't give up the USNA fight until you actually have a rejection letter in hand. Your son should continue to do the things to make his file complete. I wouldn't take what someone in the USNA admissions office told him over the phone as an indication that USNA is a dead end. I won't share the details, but last year, my DS received some entirely erroneous (bordering on utterly idiotic) advice from USNA admissions.
     
  15. CitadelGrad

    CitadelGrad Member

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    There are civilians on campus, but exposure to them is extremely limited. During my four years I can remember attending classes with only two veteran students. They were both retired NCO's. As for the evening program and civilian graduate students, I can't even recall seeing any of them. While they are on campus for their classes, the cadets are in mandatory study period, usually in the barracks or library.
     
  16. jimzwife

    jimzwife Member

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    My son is a knob at The Citadel this year. We are, like you, from the north. If your son decides to go to Charleston, which is unbelievably lovely and a very fun place (for you; the knobs don't have any fun at all, ever) he needs to prepare for the fact that it may be the hottest place in the world. My son did the summer CSI program, which is the best money I have ever spent, and they ran every day in temperatures over 100 degrees. When we were there for Parents' Weekend in mid-October, it was in the 80's. Through all of this the cadets are in uniform, including wool uniforms for parades. Next year they are going to switch to long-sleeved duty uniforms with ties, for every day. Except for PT, they don't leave the barracks out of uniform. This may sound like nit-picky detail but life for them is hard enough without the pressure of being a northerner who spends the first month fainting and/or throwing up! Apart from that, The Citadel is a fabulous school with a tremendous president, and a beautiful campus. It takes a lot of pride in its reputation as an engineering school, but my son has already had several excellent professors in many departments. We couldn't be happier, and he is at the exactly prescribed level of misery for a second semester knob. Go Bulldogs!!
     
  17. Fuji

    Fuji Member

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    Dear OhioWrestler,

    Although I hold a special place in my heart for Norwich, my Alma Mater - your son could not have better college choices!

    I very much encourage him to look at the things he wants to do while in college - and choose the college that offers those things.

    As a counselor - I encourage students to not consider academic majors in their choice. Many students change majors while in college - so - difficult to choose a college because of a major.

    If your son is involved in clubs/activities/sports - and knows he would like to continue in any of those areas - have him check out those colleges to see if they offer - then have him have DIRECT contact with cadets involved in those areas.

    For me - I was a swimmer - and Norwich swimming was a key component to my success at Norwich.

    No matter where he chooses to attend - he made the right choice!

    Fuji
     
  18. citadel11mom

    citadel11mom Member

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    The Citadel-one parent's perspective

    My son graduated from The Citadel in May of 2011. I've blogged about our experience for the Off the Base blog site and also my own site. You can find the entries for both here:doriegriggs.wordpress.com
     
  19. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    The Citadel has more commissioning slots (and subsequently more scholarship opportunities) because it has the largest cadet corps outside the FSAs and has large ROTC detachments, if he is a wrestler they also have the best program by far.
    The Citadel has more academic programs than VMI or Norwich, the facilities and social life are superior as well. Havent compared but I think our ring is as large as VMIs.

    -Citadel '80
     
  20. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Well-while I am certain that virtually all alums of any of these schools can make claims about why they are "better" and would cite numbers like %commissioning, national rankings overall and by department, etc...the general ettiquette and intent of the forum is not to post "mine is bigger" comparisons.
    I would caution any so inclined to neither respond to this post nor engage in these kind of arguments. The OP wants to know the physical and environmental differences between the schools- not see a furrball of a fight between alums or parents over which is "better".
     

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