Why does VMI have such a low "returning students precentage"

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Exar Ganis, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. Exar Ganis

    Exar Ganis Member

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    Basically, just as I titled this thread. Only 76 percent of all cadets return for the next year. Is there something I should know about?
     
  2. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Are you talking about freshmen? In other words, are you quoting a stat that says that 76% of freshmen return for their sophomore year?

    Can you post where you got this statistic and for what year?
    Also, do you have stats for a range of years? Access to a range can help determine a trend.

    I am no expert in college retention - but after having sent 3 kids off and looked at a lot of different school I don't think 76% is alarming. I think it might be about average.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2007
  3. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Memory kinda fuzzy but I think the last thing I saw was that about 70% of entering freshmen graduated in 5 yrs or less.
     
  4. Exar Ganis

    Exar Ganis Member

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  5. justawife

    justawife Founding Member

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    My son has a friend who would be a senior this year there. The rat year is bad, he lost 30 plus lbs that year. The average GPA freshman yr is barely a 2.2. If you do pick VMI, there is a summer program where you take a class before you begin the rat stuff. You are a normal student then you go home for a few weeks and then you go back for the rat year. The week before breakout is brutal, worse then He77 week at USAFA.

    I know he really likes it there, but has not contracted with any of the services to commission. Yes you can graduate from VMI and not go into the service as an officer.

    So to the reason he is not graduating with his class. At the end of his freshman year he joined the Virginia National Guard. They had just gotten back from Iraq. He had been told that he would be not touched for any deployment until after graduation since they had just returned from Iraq. Well he drill and did his 2 weeks over the summers and was called to AD in March. He spent the this summer in the south getting ready to deploy and left Monday for Iraq.

    There are 6 of them who are going to war before their senior years. No they are not changing their rings. As a senior who has been to the fight when the come back for their last year they will not have to sign out or really have the same rules. These guys will room together.

    Many who go there figure out being a rat is not for them. When you can go to school, have your car and not have some one yell at them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Aside from the fact that this is a Military school - one would expect a certain amount of attrition - there are many factors why freshment do not return.

    Academics, finances, family situations - add it all up and 76% may not be a bad number. Schools with high acceptance rates tend to have high attrition. It is not that they accept unqualified kids but academics do get a lot- in the best situations. VMI being a State school has a certain obligation to accept residents of Va., so that may be a factor as well.

    According to the same website - The Citadel admits 57% of applicants and has a 82% return rate. VMI admits 57% of applicants and has a 76% return rate. I compared The Citadel because it is similar in mission to VMI.
    Incidentally, Norwich did not report its return rate.
    Keep in mind that these are self reported statistics. One also has no way of knowing how old the stats are.

    Exar Ganis - this is definitely a good question to ask admissions.

    If you like the school and the mission don't let this deter you. I have a daughter in her 3rd year at a "unique" college - (school has an academic, work and service requirement) - with only a 69% return rate - she happens to love it there - but apparantly a lot of kids don't like to work.
     
  7. Exar Ganis

    Exar Ganis Member

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    Yea, it interests me though. Maybe a majority of them apply to service academies the following year, and accept appointments. I heard VMI is pretty hard core though...
     
  8. CALMOM

    CALMOM Member

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    When my son visited there and met with an Admissions rep, he was very clear in telling us that "x" number of students enter and some will not complete their first year. He was thoroughly honest stating that one must examine their personal decision to admit because it is a tough road. You can't just go there because Dad did, it's got to be in your heart.

    VMI and the Citadel (toured there too), want their applicants given truthful, honest information before making such an important decision.

    No snow jobs.
     
  9. CALMOM

    CALMOM Member

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    One more thought....

    Check out VMI's recently revamped website, www.vmi.edu and you will find this issue of "preparation" addressed. The website is impressive and the photo gallery is awesome.
     
  10. Exar Ganis

    Exar Ganis Member

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    Wholly.. definitely hell hole #1...

    Some people told me that VMI physically is much more difficult than USMA. True story?
     
  11. Armydude2012

    Armydude2012 LT

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    Your correct on that one. I have been doing some research lately and from what I can gather your Rat year is full of sweat parties more sweat parties and more hazing than you would ever get at a federal military academy. If your dont believe me go on youtube. You will see things that a VMI admissions officer wouldn't tell you about.
     
  12. Exar Ganis

    Exar Ganis Member

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  13. wrow

    wrow New Member

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    To give you an idea, my class matriculated around 435 rats, and returned as sophomores with around 350.

    Why? Rat life is hard, and it's definitely not for everyone. During my hell week around 25 rats quit. Not only are you being treated like a lower form of life, you have no access to cell phones, AIM, a car, and while you're being physically harassed, you also have to worry about your full time class load.
     
  14. futurewarrior

    futurewarrior Member

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    You will not have any problem finding things at USMA to physically challenge you, whether they be forced upon you or things that you pick, like which intramural sport to do. You wanna run marathons? You got it. You want to get smoked? There's plenty of that too.
     
  15. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    With respect to hazing...you would be right. Part of Congressional oversight and a national spotlight naturally means some of the needless extra stuff you may see at VMI or the Citadel gets the ax at a place like West Point.
     
  16. time2

    time2 Member

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    I guess it depends on your definiton of 'hazing'. I just watched the youtube video mentioned above and while I see a lot people yelling that really isn't anything different from what I have seen from all of the Academies in various documentaries, etc.

    Starting at about 4:35 into the clip, you can clearly see a camerman with a credentials badge on the main floor holding a professional videocam. If the adm didn't want anyone to see what goes on or they were in fact doing something inappropriate, strange they would hire a cameraman to capture it all. (The youtube vid was taken by someone on the second floor).
     
  17. Learymom

    Learymom New Member

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    VMI Attrition

    I grabbed an old thread to ask the question again...
    My DS matriculated on Saturday 17th and is no home Monday the 26th..

    By Tuesday he said all but his company had already lost cadets, he's not certain of the numbers, but that's pretty staggering just to think about it...

    What I learned a little late is VMI is the only military type university that allows upper class cadets to run all the training.. they are not supervised by faculty or other adult staff members... so much attune to what happens at VMI stays at VMI..

    My DS came home traumatized and showing signs of PTSD, and I know what I'm talking about I'm an Active Duty US Army Colonel with 28 years of service and counting.. if my sergeants or lieutenants did what the "cadre" did / do.. they would receive ART-15s and if they worked for me my career would be over.. I'm all for tough training.. but physical and mental hazing has no place... in our service and especially not in our colleges and universities
     
  18. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    I have a couple friends at VMI, and I'm 90% sure every company there has at least one TAC officer or NCO, which is the exact same scenario at The Citadel.

    With all due respect to you and your son, the introduction to any 4th class system, be it the Ratline, Knob Year, Beast Barracks, Plebe Summer, Basic Cadet Training, whatever it may be, comes upon a new cadet or midshipman with an intensity and ferocity that I doubt would have ever been close to previously experienced. It sucks, plain and simple. Be it a certain mental fortitude, or just as likely an unidentified variant of insanity, some people for what ever reason can just tolerate the bulls*** train that's barreling towards them. Other people probably have more sense than to put up with it. Regardless, some leave and some stay. I've never heard of a kid dying from a 4th class system from any SA or SMC where the case had anything to do with "hazing" whether or not it actually occurs. There are militant fraternities at civilian schools that are worse. I guarantee you there's a few ROTC cadre that are a lot more deadly than any Hell Week squad leader.

    Again, I'm not trying to be patronizing or smart. You're son indeed probably went through a traumatic event, both VMI and Citadel are known for being much harder than any SA. Harder not necessarily meaning professional. There's always "that" set of just a few upperclassmen that earns us this reputation. I really am sorry, because it seemed your son really wanted VMI and may now be disappointed that he didn't make it. Best wishes to him, and I hope you don't develop a grudge against SMC's. We're a horse of a very different color.


    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Sir Ernest Benn
     
  19. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Wow, five year old thread resurected. That might be a record.

    To be fair, it's not surprising to lose new students those first few weeks... there are a number of "wait.... we have to do WHAT?!" looks on their faces when they arrive. Some knew what they were getting in to, and a small number had no idea (how they had no idea... I have no idea).
     
  20. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    If it's as bad as you say you might want to pursue it with VMI. You make it sound like something very untoward happened, and if so, something should be done about it. If everything was within the school's guidelines then at least you both will know that and not be left wondering if something needs to be addressed there.
     

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