VMI vs Prep school

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by KGLA, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. KGLA

    KGLA New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    My main goal was to attend a service academy; however I did not receive an appointment. The good news is I was accepted to VMI, so as of right now my plan is go there.

    Since the service academy is still something I think about, I was wondering if it would be worth a year at a prep school (FUMA, Valley Forge, etc.) in order to increase my chances of attending a service academy if I decide to reapply. Or should I forget about it?
     
  2. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    28
    Why not just transfer from VMI? I know that its very possible to complete Rat Year at VMI and get a USMA appointment (didnt a poster just have this dilemma?), but I think what you'll find is after a year like that at VMI, you'll love it so much you won't want to go to West Point anymore. I've also heard Rat Year at VMI is harder than Plebe year at USMA :thumb: Either way, I can't make this decision for you, but I think VMI is the obvious choice seeing as you can transfer from there, and if you don't get an appointment, still commission as an officer.
     
  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,089
    Likes Received:
    2,444
    Everyone has different opinions on Prep School vs. a year of college. I know several people who transferred from VMI to USNA to include a prior enlisted sailor (so he went through boot camp, rat year and plebe year... dude deserved a break after that! He also said plebe year was much harder than any of them... so once again all subjective and what is hard for one is not for another, pick what best suites you to succeed). My best bud left VMI for Texas A&M (he hated VMI... so no, not everyone loves it, just like any school). I know many foundation students, unsponsored prepsters and those who did college for a year (ROTC and non-ROTC). There are positives and negatives to each path. Recommend once you are able to talk to your counselor about why you were denied you assess where your weaknesses were and talk to your BGO on the different options. If you go to a Prep School really do your research. Is that school used as a foundation school? What is their success rate for admittance for unsponsered preps? What is the course load? Do they have counselors to help you reapply on campus?

    Ensure you read the re-apply sticky on this forum. It has great advice. The key is succeeding with a plebe like schedule... so chem, calc, english, etc. The Rat system is hard, how will your grades do under that environment. Obviously USNA understands that. The biggest benefit to a year of college is you gain credits and it moves you down the path towards graduation in case you don't reapply or don't get accepted.
     
  4. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    0
    FSAs are overrated; sure the free ride is nice but the reality is they aren't any better academically and most would agree the first year system at VMI and The Citadel is actually tougher, their grads do quite well too.
    The service academies aren't cost effective and are a boondoggle, they survive only on reputation and powerful alumni support.
     
  5. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    I don't mean to offend, but I hate posts like this. It makes SMC grads look like a bunch of bitter also-rans. It always seems to invite SA grads to come onto the thread and trash our schools and alums. "We are actually more hard-*** than West Point because we scream more/do more PT/do other archaic ****, etc." It's BS. The service academies are grueling and so are the SMCs.

    VMI might have more people yelling at you, but the academic requirements (being similar to a traditional LAC) are probably not as intense as what a plebe would carry at a SA. As a liberal arts major at VMI, I didn't have to take physics, calculus, or engineering courses. Sure, my classmates in science/tech majors did, but everyone at USXA has to do it to some extent.

    There are people at VMI and The Citadel who didn't gain an appointment to the service academies. I was one of them. I'm not bitter about it, though.

    OP: VMI is a four-year college. It's not a prep school, and you should only choose to go there if, at least in your mind, you are planning to finish the experience. It doesn't mean that you can't change your mind, but-and this is just my opinion-it's not a good approach to look at it as a way to bide time until you can apply to West Point again. I mean, Patton did exactly that and he turned out OK, so if you find yourself still fixed on USMA after the Ratline, go ahead and re-apply. I'm just saying that it probably isn't your best move to start as a Rat with that attitude.

    If you won't be happy with anything other than West Point, go to community college and take plebe courses. Get good grades and work out. If you want VMI, commit to it (at least initially).
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  6. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    0
    well ace I merely offer an opinion, unless the 1st amendment has been suspended on this board. And the SA people don't need an excuse to trash talk because I hear it all the time, tired of all the cracks about 'cheap imitation' and 'state imposters". Based on my many years of military experience serving with SA grads who have inflated egos and questionable leadership skills I reiterate my statement and tell you in no uncertain terms the taxpayers are getting a raw deal. I find it interesting that a Naval Academy grad once told me he would rather hire a VMI or Citadel grad because in his experience they are better workers and leaders; careful about shooting the messenger.
     
  7. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    You see, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States only pertains to an individual's interactions with a government entity (it is incorporated and applied to interactions with state governments via operation of the 14th Amendment).

    This forum, as a private entity for forum members, can establish whatever rules it wants as regards to what is allowed to be posted. So, no, the cops aren't going to arrest you for posting what you did. They also aren't going to arrest me for posting my disliking of what you said (also protected by the First Amendment, by the way). The forum mods might, however, take issue with you trashing the federal service academies on a website called "Service Academy Forums."

    I'm a VMI grad and have military experience as well, and I served with people from the service academies and all other commissioning sources. Good officers and shi#ty ones from all places. Your comments to the contrary are broad generalizations that do not match my experience or that of the officers I served with.

    That one USNA graduate might have said something to you regarding a preference for hiring SMC graduates is hardly an unequivocal endorsement of VMI and The Citadel as being "better" institutions in comparison to the USXAs. Your posting of your experience doesn't make you the "messenger" of that overall sentiment. It is your opinion (you are only the "messenger" with regard to the one interaction).

    If I had to guess, I'd venture to say most USXA graduates would not feel the same way as your one cited Naval Academy alum. At any rate, one can be proud of VMI and Citadel's repuatation without throwing sticks and stones at the service academies. They USXAs have produced countless officers for our Armed Forces. I somehow don't think they were/are all arrogant sh#theads. I'm sure there were some, but I've known plenty of arrogant VMI grads, too.

    If a USXA grad calls your school a "cheap imitation," then tell him or her to "fu$k off." Simple.

    It never happened to me in the service, because most of the USAFA guys I worked with were good dudes. In fact, I found them more likely to relate to my college experience than that of a ROTC grad from State U. (again, though, it really didn't make a difference where someone went to college in evaluating performance). Plenty of times, when just talking about school experiences, a USAFA guy would say "did you guys do XXX, too?" or whatever. There was curiosity and mutual respect. I'm not going to say that I didn't run across one or two dingbats from the service academies, but that's on those individuals and is no reason to condemn the institutions. I'm sure there is a USXA grad out there who can tell you about meeting a dingbat from VMI, but again, that isn't a reason to close the school down.

    All that said, you are certainly free to dislike the service academies. Maybe, though, "Service Academy Forums" isn't the best site for those feelings.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  8. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    115
    I didn't attend one of the SMCs, though one child is attending one, and another is deciding between an SMC and a state maritime school. I didn't serve in the military. But I must say, I liked what you said. I know one Scout from my son's troop who is currently at VMI, and several who've attended various federal academies. We've had Scoutmasters from VMI, and from West Point. Some of the great Scout dad's have been from the military, one from The Citadel, some from ROTC, some from PLC. Wonderful fellows well met. As a federal prosecutor since 1987, and many years before that a street cop, I've investigated and prosecuted cases with agents from all of the principal federal agencies. One friend, a former FBI Special Agent, who retired as an AUSA and who is now the elected District Attorney for a county in New Mexico and I had a running disagreement. He felt most of the FBI Special Agents he worked with who'd been local cops were, well, not his favorite kind. I, on the hand, had a special affinity for folks who'd worn blue and wrestled a drunk at 3 in the morning or worked a family fight or had to draw down on somebody and make the split second decision about whether or not to put lead downrange. I felt it made 'em better investigators. Two folks, same job, had different experiences and takes on the same issue. The point being that I've found there is a bell curve in just about everything and one can find hale and well met folks and others who engender more earthy epithets just about everywhere. Anyway, that's my two cents.
     
  9. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    Aprreciate the comments, and your example makes sense to me.

    There are probably FBI agents with prior LE experience who suck and those who are stellar. Doesn't mean that we should stop having prior-LE FBI agents (or, conversly, that all FBI agents should have prior experience).

    It's the stereotypes that I don't like.

    BTW: I'm also an attorney with everyone's favorite uncle, but not DOJ.
     
  10. Mom-Team Smith

    Mom-Team Smith Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    More than one way to success...

    I have one son at USMA, one who is Army enlisted, and one entering VMI in the Fall. All three have the ultimate goal of serving in the Army. Each of them had to find the right path for them to achieve that goal. Although they certainly engage in the smack talk and banter of comparing/contrasting their chosen path, they all respect the choice of their brother.

    Find the path that is right for you. Respect the paths others may take.
     
  11. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    115
    :thumb:
     

Share This Page