VMI ---> USNA vs staying at VMI

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by VMI2017+3, Jun 7, 2016.

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  1. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    Hello, I am a first time poster, but long time lurker. This will likely be a long winded post so I thank you in advance for reading this. First, let me just give you some background on me and what my plans are. I just graduated high school and will be attending VMI this fall with the Rat Mass of 2017+3. I truly feel so privileged to have this opportunity and am ecstatic about what lies ahead. My ultimate life goal is to become a Naval Officer and unfortunately I did not receive a NROTC scholarship and will therefore be a college program midshipman. To be frank, the reason I didn't apply to USNA in addition to NROTC and VMI was because I spent too much time procrastinating on getting in shape. Having said that, I in no way am disappointed in VMI, I actually prefer VMI in many respects (such as having flexibility of branch, I also like the more austere living conditions in barracks, to name a few). The problem that I'm running into is that I'm an out of state cadet and although my parents do make a significant combined income and are in a much better position than others, I have a brother at a $50,000/year school and that's what VMI will be for me. The biggest kicker is that I don't have a contract with the Navy (or any other branch, I also applied for AFROTC), so although I plan on taking loans and hope to pick up a 3 or 2 year NROTC "side-load" scholarship. Obviously these are also in no way a guarantee. This lead me to think about applying to USNA for the class of 2021. If I got accepted than that would be a full ride guaranteed commissioning and almost walking distance from my house. That's a sweet deal. But at this point, I definitely feel that leaving VMI will be something I really won't want to do at all after having gone through the Ratline with all of my Brother Rats. I know this opinion can change, but I really am just kind of wanting to do a sanity check on if this plan makes sense as a back up to picking up a 3 year ROTC scholarship/how any other cadets in a similar situation may have handled the decision. To add further variables, I'm also looking into NUPOC and BDCP which could equal staying at VMI, but that application wouldn't be until after accepting the hypothetical USNA appointment.

    I hope this actually completely uselss hahaha. I just would like some extra opinions and advice.

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. EOD/SEALmom

    EOD/SEALmom Member

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    My daughter will be a rat with you.

    She applied to USNA this year as well as NROTC - and was turned down for both. She intends to apply for NROTC-MO this year, and hopefully she will get the scholarship, because she truly loves VMI. In many ways she feels it's a better fit for her than USNA.

    She also intends to reapply to USNA, mostly because of guaranteed AD (she plans on career military), and also because of finances. If this next year were to bring her an offer of appointment to USNA but not a scholarship....then she has an extremely hard choice to make. She will deal with that choice at that time though. I think it boils down to if you don't apply then you have no choice.

    You won't be the only one applying for either the scholarship or USNA. My daughter will be, as well as another boy she knows that will also be a rat this year. You won't be alone. The three of you can help each other through it all :)
     
  3. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    That is good to hear. Thank you for the quick reply. :)
     
    EOD/SEALmom likes this.
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    VMI, you named exactly the reasons why you should apply to USNA. If you don't get in, then you know your path. If you are accepted then it's an option to consider. $50k a year is a lot as you mentioned. Once you get to VMI you can start to see the reality or not of achieving a scholarship or advanced standing to meet your goal of a commission. I had two close friends who completed their Rat year at VMI and then went elsewhere (TAMU and the other USNA). You will have to have some open and honest conversations with mom and dad about the what if scenarios of finances.
     
  5. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    +1 to @NavyHoops
    @VMI2017+3 I think your plan is perfect. USNA is your backup plan to a ROTC scholarship at VMI. I wish you the best of luck and I hope next spring you have to decide between NROTC and USNA.

    As you know getting a MOC nomination from the Annapolis area will be a very competitive process (assuming that is where your residence is since you are walking distance to USNA). Get started on your application (ROTC, SA, Noms) now and then finalize them in the early fall while you are at VMI.

    As alternate back up you may want to consider the other Service Academies. Just to give you more options / chances.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2016
  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    First, liked this post.
    Second, forgive me, embedded in your third paragraph is one of the best typos ever. Please don't edit it. Best belly laugh I've had in a while. Just so funny in so many ways.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2016
  7. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    I plan to try to get nominated through the NROTC unit at VMI, to avoid the MOC nomination in USNA's congressional district, because that would just suck.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You should apply for all nominations available to you, regardless of whether it sucks or not.
     
  9. EOD/SEALmom

    EOD/SEALmom Member

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    Amen!
     
  10. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    This line of reasoning is curious - I thought all Naval commissions were active duty?
     
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    All USN and USMC NROTC or Mids with Advanced Standing commission Active Duty. I think the concern for any hopeful future Mid who is a College Programmer is achieving one of those two items to remain in the program past their Sophomore year and commission.
     
  12. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    I too was confused by that, applying for her makes sense because she has no contract, but NROTC commissions into AD only as far as I know.
     
  13. EOD/SEALmom

    EOD/SEALmom Member

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    The only way to guarantee a commission for Navy or Marines is to either earn a scholarship or Advanced Standing before junior year. (I'm not sure about AF). At any of the senior military colleges you are guaranteed active duty for Army, as long as you have a recommendation from the PMS. I think that's what confuses some people, because it's different for Army.
     
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  14. Smiley

    Smiley Member

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    Off-topic-ish. EOD/SEALmom, will your daughter be doing STP? Will you VMI2017+3?

    Just curious, since I know I will.

    VMI, I would definitely look at applying to USNA and NROTC. I'm kind of in the same boat. I was a candidate for both USMA & USNA, got my nomination (for USMA), but a college freshman (I think a cadet at either VT or VMI, I wasn't told exactly where) got the appointment, and I'm told that's what my district has now for the past 5 years.
    So I'm looking at reapplying for USMA, maybe both. I do love VMI, though, and I do have a 4-yr ROTC scholarship. But I, or we, might totally reconsider, VMI is GREAT and we cannot go wrong by staying with our soon to be BRs.

    I would just say that don't rely on loans and parents, they still have your brother to deal with, not to mention they probably would rather spend money towards anything besides school if given the chance. I have a small loan for now, I was kind of forced to take it to cover the odds-and-ends not covered by ROTC schol. My parents decided that they are only going to spend money to send me off, or help comfort along the way, the rest is up to me. It's a good life-lesson, so I'm glad they're actually helping in this manner.

    Another thing, and ROTC scholarship leading to commission pays a small monthly stipend (increases each year). It's enough to either just leave alone or blow it at the cadet store or Lejuene Hall. But there is also a USAA loan offered up to $35k (I believe) at a usually low rate once we are going to graduate and enter service. I know people that have used it to refinance and pay off a student loan, some buy a car, others were either geniuses or just lucky and were able to invest it, make a good profit, and pay it off quickly.

    Food for thought. See you soon.
     
  15. EOD/SEALmom

    EOD/SEALmom Member

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    @Smiley - no my daughter is not going to STP. It's a lot of money for out of state and two extra trips from the Midwest just couldn't fit into the family calendar this year. See you at Matriculation in only 66 more days!
     
  16. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    I am doing STP, and I agree with the idea of staying, if I was in your position I wouldn't even be applying for USNA, my parents per year goal budget for school cost was 30k and it's 50k since I'm in MD not VA. I'm banking on 3yr NROTC or USNA or NUPOC or BDCP...As long as I get one of those I'm in good shape financially. And I don't know if I theoretically would have had the grades to get in last year (I was too out of shape back then to waste my time applying). I'm just hoping they'll like that my grades improved senior year and such...and hopefully I get a nom, I did apply for VP and a MOC so far, but Maryland MOC noms just are super competitive, so we'll see.
     
  17. Smiley

    Smiley Member

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    Agreed. Make sure she enjoys the summer! August 20, here we come!
     
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  18. Smiley

    Smiley Member

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    Yeah. Noms here are really competitive too, though Norfolk/DC area is the coliseum for USNA competition. I knew 4 other people in 2 of my classes that were going for at least 1 SA. My buddy got into USMA on presidential, so I had hoped to join him. Bummer.
    One girl into USNA, and another guy got USAFA.
    As I'm sure anyone on this thread knows or has been told or heard, etc. Let's make sure to be "in shape" BEFORE Matriculation or else...:hammer: :help:
    ...I should probably be running a little longer everyday
     
  19. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    Luckily if MOC noms don't work we can try through ROTC.

    I've been working out daily to get ready , my main weakness is pull ups so that's what I'm focusing on. Also I'd recommend 3-5mi runs...I was told by one of my teachers who is a former Marine that 3 is enough, but I figure better safe than sorry. Definitely run on hills too.
     
  20. NAS

    NAS Banned

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    Once you get to VMI, you may decide to drop the whole Naval Academy thing and you may opt Army, or Air Force. Just be open to where your talents might be best utilized.
     

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