Help with choosing NROTC colleges

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by momneverquits, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. momneverquits

    momneverquits New Member

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    Hello, I'm looking for advice for my son regarding his 5 choices for NROTC scholarship applications. First some background: My son is a high school senior and the XO of his school's NJROTC unit, a distinguished unit with honors. He wishes to major in either mechanical or nuclear engineering and is very interested in special warfare operations. He is an official candidate for the Naval Academy, currently completing the requirements of the application. While there's nothing more he wants than to attend the Naval Academy, he knows how difficult it is to get in and if not appointed he prefers the demanding curriculum of a military college over an NROTC program within a civilian college. He has been going back and forth between his choices of schools and their order on the application. His current 5 choices in this order: VMI, Texas A&M, RPI, Drexel, Rutgers (instate). He is also considering Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He's wondering should he replace VMI with VPI? Should he change the order? Does his instate college have to be in the top three?

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    He should list the colleges he actually wants to attend in his order of preference. Gaming the system only leads to trouble. I strongly suggest he visit each college if possible. One could probably hit VPI and VMI on the same trip without too much trouble. VPI is an excellent choice but a large percentage of their students (I don't recall the percentage) must come from in-state. If he is set on attending an SMC I'd consider replacing Drexel with VPI, but that's just me. Of course there might be some particular reason Drexel is on the list. Make sure there is a safety choice on the list where there is no doubt he will be admitted. One would hate to be awarded a scholarship and not be accepted to any of the listed colleges... and yes, it has happened.

    Obviously just my 2 cents. YMMV.
     
  3. momneverquits

    momneverquits New Member

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    Thank you for your quick reply. I researched online and, yes, about 67 percent of students are in-state. Interestingly though, out of the top five home states of out-of-state freshmen, NJ was #1 (our home state). He chose Drexel because of their excellent engineering program and because it's close enough to home that if he did get a scholarship that did not include room and board, he could commute. However, that being said, you're right, if he's set on attending an SMC, he should consider replacing Drexel with VPI. As far as a safety choice, RPI had sent him a preferred candidate letter (not sure if that means anything). Also, Rutgers has consistently awarded ROTC scholarships to his high school's outstanding JROTC cadets. Last year's CO won a full scholarship. I'm surprised to hear that one can be awarded a scholarship but not get accepted to the same school. You would think if you're worthy of a scholarship that you're worthy of acceptance.

    1. New Jersey
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Well, the NROTC application process is totally independent of the college. Same is true of the other programs. Sounds to me like what Rutgers is doing is a one off, and is probably sponsored by the college itself perhaps? Perhaps similar to TAMU and others giving room and board scholarships to ROTC folks.
     
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  5. Humey

    Humey Member

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    My son goes to Purdue and is in AF Rotc. The school has an excellent reputation for Engineering and I know they have NROTC on campus
     
  6. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD 5-Year Member

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    Kinnem is spot on. Great advice. There is also a "backdoor" into TAMU. If one goes to TAMU-Galveston, home of the Texas Maritime Academy, and has a 2.5 at the end of their freshman year they can transfer to the main campus at College Station. At least that is way it used to be, so do your due diligence and see if that is still the case. TAMUG is a satellite campus of the College Station campus, they get the same rings at the end of four years etc, which is not the case for other branch campus such as A&M Kingsville or Corpus Christi, A&M International in Laredo, or the others. TAMUG has NROTC. The first year classes are pretty much the same everywhere. Good luck, and really, can't go wrong at any of the institutions - they all have their strong points and their issues and their own idiosyncrasies, traditions, customs, etc. If finances permit, a visit or even a spend the night is a good idea. Again, good luck and Godspeed as ya'll start this journey.
     
  7. Dadof2

    Dadof2 Member

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    OP: First, you probably are aware of this, but JROTC is nothing like an SA or SMC. This is coming from a dad who has a lot of respect for JROTC, so no bashing here. In fact both of my kids were in JROTC in HS and it was a great experience in many ways for them. Just making sure your DS has a realistic idea of what an SA or SMC will really be like.

    Sounds like your DS has solid plans and backups, which is good. USNA is a great goal to strive for. The question about replacing VMI with VPI really depends on what he is looking for. VMI has a solid engineering program, so I don't think that would be a disadvantage. VMI is small and very serious about traditions like the Ratline. Rat year is very tough. If this is not something that your DS wants, he may be able to get more of a large school/traditional college experience at VPI.

    I agree with Lawman32RPD - do some visits with DS and see which school speaks to him as the best fit. Most importantly, make sure DS truly wants to be a Naval Officer since that is the reason to want to go to USNA or a NROTC school. USNA is a great option, but tough to get into as you stated. There are other paths to his goal and now is the time for DS to explore all options that will get him there.

    Feel free to pm with questions once you have enough posts.

    Good luck!
     
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  8. JaxNavyMom111

    JaxNavyMom111 Member

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    My DD is in the Corp of Cadets as a freshman at Virginia Tech this year. She was also a candidate for the USNA and was cut the last day. Virginia Tech was her second choice or "Plan B" as they call it. VPI is truly a military school within the university with the full military experience and it's very tough physically, mentally and academically especially during the "red phase" which includes "New Cadet Week (a week before school starts) and approximately the first six weeks of school where they have very few privileges. It progresses to the white phase (with more privileges added) and then the blue phase during second semester. At the end of the year, the upperclassman turn around and accept the new Cadets into the cadre. Before you decide, your DS needs to visit and get an idea of what he is signing up for because once you start, you cannot drop out or you have to leave the school for the semester and reapply. The cadets live in military dorms and wear uniforms 24/7 while in the Corps. It is extremely rigorous and tough. They have an excellent engineering school and offer 12 different engineering majors. As long as they make a 3.1 GPA, the first year, they can choose which engineering major that they want. The only two public universities in the country that have a full military school within the university are Virginia Tech and Texas A&M. Virginia Tech also has a gorgeous campus and once they are sophomores, they can experience more of college life as well as being in military school. It is not anything close to an ROTC program at other schools. I would also suggest that he talk to some cadets at these schools to find out what it's really like. Check out the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets website. I agree with @kinnem that he needs to list the schools in order of his choice but the scholarships can be transferred but it takes time. P.S. My DD and her two roommates are from Florida and she didn't have a tough time getting in. Many of the kids who are in the Corps were also candidates of the various military academies and VPI supports all ROTC programs so it's a mix of military services that also have their separate requirements.
     
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  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    VPI has a program where you can spend a night with freshman in the Corps of Cadets. DS did that, had a great time, but also decided it wasn't for him. VPI also has some long-standing and cherished traditions, and the first year there is pretty tough as well. Great school. When we toured the engineering and science labs looked outstanding.

    Beware the Hokey Stone! :D
     
  10. conrack

    conrack Member

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    Call me biased as a grad but consider The Citadel which had one the first NROTC units in the nation and is in the Top 5 for commissioning numbers. One caveat is that its Marine oriented and commissions more Marines than Navy
     
  11. BLUF

    BLUF Member

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    VMI will teach you how to deal with stressful situations, teach you discipline, fitness. The school is mostly Army oriented, you do receive a great multi-service experience that you will not receive at an academy. VMI has a good reputation of getting Seal Slots and Nuc/Subs as they have a good track record with Engineering degrees and prep work. The school work is physical and you will not get the same level of military tactics, fitness, and prep at a basic University. If your DS was to want SWO or Pilot I would suggest any school as the Navy experience is the same at every midshipman brigade.