VMI to USMA

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Jarhead1775, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Jarhead1775

    Jarhead1775 Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm attending VMI this year and have plans to reapply to West Point and will consider it heavily in my plans for next year (2015). I was very close to getting in for the class of 2018, as I got my nomination, was 3 Q'd but was not selected.

    I am majoring in International Studies at VMI and will be taking the following classes my first semester:

    Biology w/ lab
    Wellness
    Chinese
    World History
    Probability and Stats
    Intro to Officership (Army ROTC)

    For a total of 14.5 credits. I will be playing club rugby and plan on maxing the APFT as I'm very close already. Am I looking good as an applicant?


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  2. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    I'm just the mom of another CC who was QNS, like you. It is my understanding that the first semester freshman year is very important and should mimic what you'd take at West Point so admissions can see how you do in rigorous classes. That being said, your schedule does not appear to have the rigor I would expect. Remember, cadets take 18-20 hours, not 14.5.

    My son is also reapplying. At the moment, he does not have a math class in his schedule due to the school having too many students and not enough sections. He is checking daily to attempt to add Calculus to his schedule. He will take it online if necessary, but he WILL have Calculus next semester. He does have Chem, which is a plebe class, too ...and has a total of 18 hours.

    Like I said, I could be wrong, but everything I've ever read about reapplying says to mimic the plebe schedule as closely as possible.
     
  3. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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  4. Jarhead1775

    Jarhead1775 Member

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    Thank you both. Wellness is a PE class and is not much more than a glorified health class. I already tested out of Writing and Rhetoric for the year, which was 3 credits a semester. So originally I had 17.5 and now have 14.5. Is that any better for me? I can't choose my classes anyways per se, as VMI does that for me. Doesn't going to an SMC give me any kind of advantage in admissions? Won't the admissions board recognize that my number of credits will be affected my the rigorous military environment I'll be in? I'm not one to make any excuses, I'm just curious as to how admissions weighs those factors.


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  5. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    1. If you tested out of a class, you have space to add one to your schedule. Do so.
    2. Talk to your adviser and I bet you that you do have some choice...VMI does not select all your classes for you, but has a suggested schedule. You are a unique case as you are applying to an academy.
    3. You have NO advantage over anyone else. SMC doesn't get you bonus points. I may have neglected to mention my son is also attending a SMC. That means he takes MilSci, does PT, and wears a uniform. What's your point?
    4. Rigorous military environment? really? Because you do PT in the a.m. and take a milsci class? Because your room gets inspected? Because an upperclassman might be a jerk to you? No, no bonus points.
    5. You are just one of a thousand students who was qualified, but not selected to West Point. Many of them will not reapply...but many will. What makes you a better choice this time around? If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten. How are you gong to stand out? Your schedule does not say "look at me." Sorry.

    You might think this is harsh; however, you asked what we thought and there it is. You can choose to take my advice and that of others who will likely post and have a better shot at West Point...or you can continue on the path you are on--and give those who really want in (and are working their butts off to prove it) a better chance.
     
  6. Akrogan

    Akrogan Member

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    I'm looking at reapplying too...

    My schedule is:

    1.) Precalculus (Doing trig this summer), so Calc 1 in Spring
    2.) Chemistry for engineers (Lecture and Lab)
    3.) Introduction to Engineering (Lecture and Lab)
    4.) AFROTC (Lecture and Lab)
    5.) Music History (Required gen ed)

    Do you have any advice as to what I could possibly add? AP credits cover all my english/humanities/social sciences, in addition to covering bio, earth science, etc.

    Thanks so much!
     
  7. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Psychology, philosophy, advanced comp, literature, economics....Check the link that dixieland posted to get ideas. If you test out of classes when you're admitted, you pull down classes from another year (& get the oppty to double major). Make sure you are taking enough hours to look like you're working hard. Your schedule has the rigor they are looking for. Original poster's schedule lacks rigor.

    The universities typically have a different philosophy about freshman year. They want you to take it easy and work your way into a tougher schedule so you can be successful. (Oldest son was suggested to take just 14 hours...I had a fit!). West Point wants to see you handle tough now. If you can do tough, then maybe, just maybe, you can handle the time and intensity that is known as plebe year.
     
  8. Akrogan

    Akrogan Member

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    Aha! I think I'll add on Spanish and an intro to computer science class, that will definitely be quite solid! And even if I don't get in this time, those credits can be applied towards a double major or minor (Currently Civil Engineering). Thank you!
     
  9. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Now you're thinking! Good luck w/ your app!! Get it done early! (early in my house means before he reports to college)
     
  10. Craig

    Craig Member

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  11. Jarhead1775

    Jarhead1775 Member

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    So several things here:

    1. I don't understand at all why a frat boy who parties at a civilian school is valued higher than me who will have the experience of Rat Year under my belt just because they are taking calculus. I am going to be getting valuable leadership, military, and physical fitness experience that you cannot find anywhere else. Why do only academics matter?

    2. No. I REALLY don't choose my classes. I just looked on my portal one day and there they were. All I did was fill out a preference sheet asking what science I preferred to take, what ROTC I wanted to be in, what my major was, and the language I preferred. I did no scheduling. I can ask to put more classes in though, sure.

    Please don't think you're advice is lost on me. I am just trying to further understand you, as I have heard things that are literally the exact opposite.



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  12. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Jarhead, perhaps you would do well to contact your RC. My DS found his to be very helpful in planning what to take his freshman year. The RC was fully aware that DS would be attending a SMC as well. Another resource would be your FFR. Again, the FFR my DS spoke with gave him specific guidance on how to have the BEST file to put forth to the admission board.

    Hopefully 845Something will weigh in here and give you his thoughts on your classes...I am just the mom of another QNS...and there are many of you all. I'm sure the pressure of freshman year at a SMC is a little more so than "frat boy taking calc," but honestly, those I know who are reapplying will likely skip the frat to have more time to study calc. They will use the extra time to do things like rifle team, mountaineering, Sandhurst competition, volunteer, tutor, or some other such endeavor.

    Again, do what you want. I'm just trying to be helpful. Those who don't show they can handle a rigorous course load may find themselves doing something else next July--as opposed to attending Rday. :cool:
     
  13. RLTW

    RLTW Member

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    Jarhead,
    You are likely to hear a wide spectrum of thoughts here and elsewhere. The closer to a direct contact with USMA, as in the RC or as close to Admissions as you can get is more likely reliable. In the end you have to make and live with your own decisions so it is good to stay open to what may be contradictory messages, to a point. The rest of us can only base our comments on as much interaction with the process as we have had, such as my DS and his experience.

    That said, as you can read elsewhere, the final decision *always* comes down to the competitive situation you are in. To paint yourself as the only serious contender and a victim of an out of control situation is pretty risky (reread your response #1 above as it comes off to me like reading “everyone else besides me is lame, just ask me” and #2 as “this is all happening to me out of my control”). Those are pretty telling messages.

    Academics is the key to success not only getting in, but staying in, and where you go beyond that. Stack rank rules, and academics leads that. What it is, bro. Calculus itself may or may not be your competitive edge (not knowing your direct competitors no one can say except USMA) however beyond that, might be worth reconsidering your perspective. Own this. Take the advice, consider it all, make your choice, and make it work for you.

    Keep your head on a swivel and drive on! Anything can happen!

    Best of luck,
    RLTW
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  14. 845something

    845something Member

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    The class that Jarhead is missing that stands out to me is English/comp, not Calc. Probs and Stats is another core class at West Point so that will be just fine with that Math.

    Recommendations:
    1) do your best...4.0 is the goal to max out any bonus from your college semester. GPA & credit hours are the objective measures to determine that bonus; however, there is some room for a subjective evaluation...type of courses and the overall environment...
    2) so you need to make sure you explain how you got those specific courses to your RC
    3) make sure your focus is on grades and you don't get too distracted by sports, working out, clubs, working out, or being a highspeed Rat...a 3.0 might maintain a scholarship and a 2.0 is fine to stay on a sports team; however, you are going to lose more academic points than you would possibly gain in leadership potential.
    4) the APFT doesn't matter for USMA admissions, you'll have to do well on the CFA, which means training for that as well.
    5) balance what you need to do to successfully gain admission to USMA while realizing you have a great path to becoming an officer there so you better set yourself up for success there if you still don't get into USMA.
     
  15. Jarhead1775

    Jarhead1775 Member

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    These are the replies that I was hoping for. This is beyond helpful and I'm a little more confident to what I need to focus on Rat year. So since I tested out of Writing and Rhetoric, with my AP exam, what should I take in it's place? The same class at a higher level? A writing related elective?

    Thanks once again. This community has never failed me on this journey. It will be a very interesting year!


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  16. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Reapplying fun facts:

    - about 25% of the class are not coming straight out of high school
    - take a rigorous schedule. Preferably: Calculus, English, US History and Chemistry w/Lab
    - make all A's (A's will give you the biggest bonus to your WCS. B's a bonus too, but smaller)
    - retake the ACT/SAT and raise your score for more WCS points!
    - your file will not be considered for qualification until admissions has your 1st semester transcript
    - you are building on your high school file, not starting over.
    - As far as the process of reapplying - dig out your 'Instructions for Candidates' and peppered throughout the instructions will be what to do if you are reapplying. It will say along the lines of 'if you are a prior candidate, then.....'
     

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