Applying to VMI and The Citadel after a break :X


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Sep 29, 2008
I have a little bit of a unique situation.

I graduated High School in 2007, did not know exactly what I wanted to do with myself, and wound up running a franchise for a multi-million dollar marketing corporation for the past 16 months. This past July, I finally made my decision; my ultimate goal is to be commissioned as an Officer in the US Army (it was something I thought about extensively in High School but put aside because I bought into the whole "quality of life stinks, you'll never have a family" discussion that my father, a vet, had with me - probably should have sounded an alarm bell that he does have a family, lol).

So, now I'm getting back into the wonderful world of college admissions :thumbdown: and I'm lost. haha.

I'm beginning to see that The Citadel encourages students to apply reeeally early; I only sent in all of my materials this morning. Is that going to hurt my chances of acceptance? I mean, I know I could get into Norwich. But I have a close friend who is a senior and member of the cadre there and he absolutely despises it, and we're very similar so I probably would too.

My stats are:
-SAT I: CR 700, W 650, M 540 :eek:
-SAT II: Lit 740
-GPA (weighted): 3.5 :( Upward trend though; started as a 2.8 in freshman year and worked up until senior year was a 3.7
-Class rank: Top 25%
-APs: Took four, got a 4 and three 5s; also took a class at the local state University in senior year and got an A; took at least 50% Honors classes every year
-Sports: Ju Jitsu, 4 years; Equestrian, 4 years (club sport though); JV Basketball, 2 years, Varsity Swim, 1 year, Junior Varsity Volleyball, 1 year
-Awards: (My High School Name) Science Award for Achievement in Environmental Science, John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, Fire Fighter Association Scholarship, Presidential Classroom on National Security participant
-I do stink at math. Quite a bit. I've taken no honors math classes (Honors Bio, Chem, Earth Science and Environmental Science though), and didn't take Pre-Calc for fear of butchering my GPA - and also because I would have had to take Honors due to scheduling conflicts.

Can anyone provide any insight? This break is making me nervous :( Plus, I have absolutely no support from my guidance department because I'm not a current student so I feel like I'm on my own in extremely foreign territory, lol.
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There's always more to the story than is presented in a short email (so you can't quote me and I guarantee nada)- but looking at the snap shot you've presented below indicates to me that you are a strong candidate at VMI or the Citadel as well. Your Math SAT is a little low but it's not in the hopper by any means- (I assume you are not looking to be an engineer where Math will be critical). On the plus side- you have a pretty strong GPA and class rank. That break can definitely be spun in a very positive manner- Think about What you learned about yourself and people in running a franchise -I am certain you picked up a lot that is directly transferable to your leadership potential. Looking at sports- 4 years of Jujitsu and making Varsity swimming are definitely favorable. Unless you are a recruited athlete- they are not looking at your athletic performance in itself- but rather as an indicator that you are physically fit and have the needed physical toughness to succeed, can dedicate yourself to a team, understand motivation and competition. Both of those sports do that - and in an interview I would think that you can highlight what you learned about yourself and leadership by participating on those teams. Finally - VMI is extremely interested in increasing the % Cadets who are following a commissioning track (The Superintendents goal is 75% commissioned) so that will work in your favor.
Is it too late to apply? Not by a long shot- both VMI and the Citadel practice rolling admissions so you are not behind the curve. My advice is however that if you are applying for an ROTC scholarship- do so soon as there are a number of boards that meet throughout the year- and I believe that you are maximizing your opportunities to get an AROTC scholarship by getting looked at by as many boards as possible- and it will take time to get your application completed, have a PT test done and your DoD physical completed so that your records can go before the board.

Truthfully- you do need to go into these two schools (VMI/Citadel) mentally and physically prepared. Anybody can make it thru the Rat Line- if they really want to do so- what knocks most people (male and female) out of the Rat line is their own mental state. (That sounds like a cliche- but it is true none the less).If you have thought about that, and are really interested in being challenged in what are unique systems, then I think that you have time to get accepted, and to apply for an Army ROTC scholarship. Time is however important so if you haven't done so- I would get moving on those fronts so that you have the maximum opportunity to have your files reviewed.

If you have specific questions about VMI (or the Army) feel free to post or PM me- I am an alumnus of VMI and have a son there now on an Army ROTC scholarshipso I have some familiarity with what they are looking for at VMI, and as a retired Army officer and my wife is an Reserve O6 with about 30 months in Afghanistan I can at least get you some perspecives on that front as well.
Finally- Good Luck-

Wow! What a thorough, quick, AND detailed response! That was great. :)

Haha, no, my goal is to have as little to do with math as humanly possible for the remainder of my life. :D In that regard I'm pursuing a major in Criminal Justice or History. lol.

Good to know about the commissioning % goal!! I think that's really going to help me at VMI; my essay and both letters of recommendation mentioned my goal of commissioning (what can I say, I've been thinking and talking about it for a while).

I am applying for an AROTC scholarship; I just got my letter in the mail telling me to schedule my physical and interview (yay). I'm a little worried about my run time for the PFT but I know I'm going to pass the push-up, sit-up and pull-up portions with flying colors. I've been interval training to improve my running; my problem is I've always been a sprinter (I can kick most people's butts in the 100-meter but my 2 mile time is kind of mediocre). I'm really sticking to my regimen though so I'm pretty confident I'll be a strong runner by next Fall.

I've learned a lot over the past several months about mental toughness and what it can do for a person. I'd like to think I'm mentally tough but part of the reason VMI is so appealing to me is because I know I'm not as strong (mentally OR physically) as I want to be. I have a very clear picture of the person I want to become and I'm not there yet, and I believe either institution (but, in my opinion, particularly VMI) can help forge me into the person I want to become. I know that sounds kind of corny but, I don't know, I'm just interested in personal growth.

Anyway thank you SO MUCH for the reply :) I will probably PM (if this forum has those) or e-mail you at some point; you seem like a very knowledgable and helpful person! :)
wow, I posted something but it didn't go up, anyway. I got accepted to the citadel two weeks ago, applyin for af and arotc. Ironically I am planing on a cj or history major. I am also applying to SAs as well
Hey you look familiar... :p I think you referred me over here, haha.

History and CJ are the bomb.

I'm kind of excited that The Citadel is already making and sending out decisions... Back in 2007 (for a second there I almost felt old), none of the schools I applied to sent any notifications before February. Needless to say I was a neurotic mess since I applied around this time of year in 2006, too.

About how long was it between the time you applied and the time you found out you were in, just out of curiosity?
well, I had everything except my transcripts in b4 September. I submitted my transcripts be found out 2 weeks later. It's been a week and a half since I found out.
Wowww, that's quick. I kinda hope I hear back really quickly too; that way at least I'll know that my safety's locked and loaded. :biggrin:

I do need to send up my SAT scores though :X They're on my transcript but I don't know if The Citadel accepts those or wants them directly from College Board.
Im not sure, so I did both. Now I am waiting on ROTC scholarships, I need to schedule my AROTC interview, but the stupid doctor messed up my physical, so I have to take another D:
That stinks! :( How did the doctor mess up?

I just scheduled my physical and it's in basically the sketchiest city in the state.... Should be an adventure, at least. lol.

Edit - just in case anyone else is ever wondering, The Citadel does accept SAT scores on official High School transcripts. I called to check because yes, I am stingey enough that spending an unnecessary $9.50 was a daunting concept. :p
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Administered the wrong hearing test D: and that doctor was the same deal his office was so dirty but the eye doctor was great. Is vmi or the citadel it first choice? If vmi for what reasons, I'm just curious
VMI's my first choice. I know it seems arbitrary haha, especially when they're so similar. But here are my reasons:

1. Virginia vs South Carolina - I've visited both, and it's a lot hotter and more humid in SC. I'm a New Englander.
2. I'm going Army, and according to one of my best friends who is a senior and a member of the cadre at Norwich, VMI cadets are better prepared for LDAC. In his words, "Citadel cadets are really good at drill and ceremony, but that doesn't matter during field exercises."
3. Academics - the VMI History program is really well-respected. Of course they don't have a CJ program which is unfortunate, but I'd be happy majoring in either.
4. I like the way VMI is run better (honor code, honor court just seems a lot stricter - VMI still drums people out etc).
5. I like the town VMI's in. I'm from a small town so I like that VMI is kind of in...well, the middle of nowhere. The Citadel, on the other hand, is right next to a city.
6. VMI's a smaller school; I tend to like the atmosphere of smaller schools better.

That's definitely not to say that VMI is perfect, and I'd be just as proud to attend and graduate from The Citadel.

If I do get into VMI, I'm very much NOT excited about that lovely 4" of hair rule. :thumbdown: But I'm sure I'll get over it pretty quickly.
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my doctor issued the wrong hearing test too! it made me kinda upset that now i have to take more time to redo it! Thats crazy
Tarrant - that stinks. :frown:

Where are you applying?
WHAT!?!?! I have to go back as well, and I have like no time now with hockey and marching band.... so I guess during school
So, I requested that my High School send me a copy of my transcript when they sent it to all of the schools I'm applying to; apparently they changed the weighting of grades and now I have a 3.2 :thumbdown: Still in the top 25% thank God.

Oh well. There's nothing I can do to change it... Hopefully I get a decision from The Citadel soon. :X Then I'll be able to stop worrying about it. lol.
I sent in my applications, fees, letters of recommendation, and essays about a week ago; my transcripts apparently just got sent out. :thumbdown: Now I remember why I was a little skeptical about my guidance counselor, lol.

Tarrant - the CGA is amazing. My aunt lives literally down the street from the campus and it's in a gorgeous location.
YAY! Tarrant me 2 on The Citadel. Well it should take a week to get it, then another week or two to process, so like 2-4 weeks Id say.

All of the SA's are beautiful
I'm currently at The Citadel and all I can say is that IF you do get accepted, take time out to see the institution and environment before making the decision to come. Make sure you are mentally and physically prepared. It's very tough here, I won't lie. Best of luck.

BTW, I was stuck on getting an AROTC scholarship as well, but once I arrived I changed my decision. Not saying that you will, but I can certainly tell you I am not the only person that has. I plan to go on to Law school. Then again, what really goes as planned anyway?