VMI vs. The Citadel

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by alexkrills9, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. alexkrills9

    alexkrills9 Member

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    Both schools are considerations, but to the untrained eye they seem to essentially be the same thing. What are the differences? Is one more respected? And im planning on majoring in History, which has a better program?
     
  2. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    The truth is that they are not all that different compared to their differences with other colleges including the other SMCs. In my opinion- you ought to go visit each of them, spend a prospective Cadet weekend overnight, spend time talking with Cadets and the faculty in your majorand then decide which one is the better feel and fit for you because truthfully what you will mostly get from an open ended question like yours is somewhat passionate Alumni opinions. They are both good schools- Their facilities are pretty similar, their programs are pretty similar and they are fairly similar in size- (Citadel is slightly bigger- 2200 vs 1600). They have a few different majors that they offer, and life in the Cadet corps feels a little different (but not much), and they are located in pretty different locales, but that's really about the extent of it. Best advice I can give you: You should go spend time and make the decision yourself.
     
  3. angryundead

    angryundead The Citadel | 2005

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    This is going to be the best advice. Traditions are similar but vary widely between the two. It really comes down to if you want to be near a large-ish city or not. And also if you handle hot or cold well.

    I don't know how hot it gets at VMI but you can expect Hell Week (Military Indoctrination Week) to crest 100F almost every day. The winters are exceedingly mild. The lowest it gets around here is about 25 or 30. And only early morning then. I don't think I had to do PT with frost on the ground more than a few times.

    And, of course, Charleston is a wonderful city.
     
  4. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    at the risk of sounding biased as a grad will have to disagree with Bruno and say that The Citadel has the superior facilities; the barracks, mess hall, field house, football stadium and several classroom buildings have been rebuilt in the past 20 years and most of the others have been heavily renovated. Add to that an on campus yacht club and beach house on The Isle of Palms. As a Virginian the campus, sub tropical climate and the amenities of Charleston were more than enough to lure me away from VMI but several high school classmates went there. Both exceptional schools but in different worlds.
     
  5. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    And there you go- VMI has spent > $250 million in facilities just in the past 5 years but bob80q is certain that his is better based on what he thought in 1976. Who could argue with that? :rolleyes:
    alexkrills9-personally I would suggest that you go visit both and make your own decision.
     
  6. angryundead

    angryundead The Citadel | 2005

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    Four of The Citadel's five barracks have been re-built since 1999. Watt's barracks (my own) is now the second oldest. I won't say it's an impressive facility. Most of the time the climate control works in a decent manner.

    Other than that the facilities are pretty nice. Indoor pool... but I suppose VMI has that. The rifle range is not what is available up at VMI, or at least I've heard that. I think The Citadel's rifle range is restricted/available only for marksmanship teams. (That is terrible, by the by, but land and space on the Ashley river is quite precious.)

    Still have to walk outside to get to the showers in the barracks. Just no brutal winter to contend with.

    I've never been to VMI though. I'd love to take a tour one day.
     
  7. mvmom

    mvmom Member

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    point made... you have never been to VMI! Go check out the two school yourself and make your own choice
     
  8. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    thought I heard that most of the money at VMI went to the football stadium and a new leadership center. '76 was quite a bit more than 20 years ago - touche.
     
  9. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 Member

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    The leadership center did receive a fair bit of funding, but it was opened the same semester as the new new ("Third") barracks. Both were dedicated during the Spring 2009 semester.

    The renovations to the football stadium were completely funded by one Alum who made a directed donation to the football stadium, which is why it was renamed Foster Stadium once the renovations were completed.

    That's the extent of my knowledge on that stuff. I've never been to The Citadel, so I really can't compare the two. :smile:

    Good luck,

    Jackie M. Briski
    VMI Class of 2009
    First Class PVT (Ret.)
     
  10. zrxkuma

    zrxkuma Member

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    This question was posed to General Peay at an overnight at VMI this year. The answer he gave echoes Bruno's answer. He focused on the differences in surroundings (city or up in the mountains) as well as stressing the need to visit the Citadel before finalizing their decision. My DS was sold on VMI when he got out of the car. He said the place spoke to him like no other school we had visited including Anapolis. In the end, unfortunately, it's what vibe the perspective cadet gets.
     

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