Highschool junior looking into VMI, need advice?

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Y_D1922, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. Y_D1922

    Y_D1922 Member

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    I am a junior in a college prepatory highschool (one of the best) in Florida. But i am worried i wont get accepted into VMI because of my low gpa. My goal is to comission in the army as an officer. I originally asked about USMA, but i would like to see other options in this situation. I have a terrible gpa due to personal issues, but am very confident in getting a high test scores and excell in other areas. If i applied with the following, would i have somewhat of a chance to get accepted right after highschool? I really am serious about this as i have ambitious goals in life, and that includes becoming an officer in the army.

    1. 2.3 gpa (not good at all)
    2.200 community hours in library, church, hospital ect...
    3.Nearly perfect SAT/ACT scores (1550/32)
    4.been to clubs such as FBLA, Japanese culture club, and chess club.
    5.Have taken honors classes throughout my Highschool along with one/two AP Classes.
    6.sports is not my strong area either, but i do work out and am physcially fit, along with Swimming and playing Tennis.
    7.I have leadership potential, with business/History/Politics as my favorite subjects.
    8.i can get reccomendations from teachers and try to write an essay regarding my potential.
     
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  2. momofmod

    momofmod Member

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  3. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    VMI might be a stretch, but you should go for it.

    There are many other options to becoming an Army officer, hence you should select other AROTC commissioning schools as a Plan B through Plan Z.

    Here is a link to the school selector:
    http://www.goarmy.com/rotc/find-schools.html
     
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  4. Y_D1922

    Y_D1922 Member

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    I appreicate the answer :). And yes i saw it, but as a result it dosent depict other factors that would increase your chances to get accepted. I honestly feel a bit discouraged, unless i work my butt off in senior year im not sure how they will see me.
     
  5. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD 5-Year Member

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    Try to do an overnight. Spend some time with the admissions officers and have a very frank discussion. There is one thing for certain, if you don't apply you won't get in. Now, remember, as AROTC-dad said, there are many ways to the top of the mountain. Look at the University of North Georgia. Look at other ROTC programs. When you talk to the admissions staff have data, facts, examples, etc. For many years I trained new prosecutors and agents and one of my pithy sayings was that evidence trumps advocacy. By that I mean - have documents to prove your case to show the admissions staff what you are capable and what you went through and why you are a good candidate. VMI is a unique institution and they are quite frank about it when they say it isn't for everyone. If you can, try to spend night with them and see if it is a good fit for your. Wish you the best.
     
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  6. Y_D1922

    Y_D1922 Member

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    I appreciate the honest answer Lawman. Though i was also looking towards The Citadel also as the acceptance rate was slightly higher. I do have other options open as either way ill go to rotc at a college and comission.The reason i ask about these colleges is due to it being quite attractive to be in as a whole, and would look good reputation-wise.

    I will consider the advice you gave me about trying to spend my time there seeing if its the right fit for me. I havent taken my SAT/ACT yet, so by senior year, i should hopefully get near perfect scores, along with improving in other areas of my overall application. I really do hope i somehow get accepted, as it is a burning desire. This junior year hasnt been going well due to alot of problems, while in sophmore i did work my butt off. Senior year i plan to do the same, especially with AP comparative government.
     
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  7. glen

    glen 5-Year Member

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    Is the 2.3 gpa weighted or unweighted? Most colleges will take the HS weighted average for Honors and AP classes versus general courses - unless in looking at the specific courses, they just don't make sense. Is the 1550 the new scoring - math and verbal only?
     
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  8. Y_D1922

    Y_D1922 Member

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    2.3 weighted. I can take ap and do well senior and move it up to a 2.5-2.6 if its possible. And no that is the overall new SAT score (max is 1600). I would say a well over 650 on math and reading is what i can accomplish. Honestly if feels truly hopeless. But i really do want to try my best to get into either school.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  9. glen

    glen 5-Year Member

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    Y_D1922 - So the GPA is an issue for either VMI or Citadel. They do place a lot of emphasis on student record as well as on the standardized tests. However, both schools are small and their counselors in the Admissions Office will be interested in understanding any particular issues you may have encountered in your high school years that affected your grades. I am not familiar with VMI, but have spoken to Admissions Counselors at The Citadel, and they welcome information that explains hardships a student may have had to over come. The averages for admission to the Fall Class in 2017 are in the range of 3.7 weighted for Honors and AP. However - these are averages - half those accepted are above and half below. The fact you were able to do well on standardized tests is very positive. One thing to know though is academic scholarships and grants in aid go to the most qualified applicants - and The Citadel awards very few outright grants. While a student with average grades and stellar standardized test scores may well be accepted - the cost of attendance may be quite high without either a military (ROTC) or other grant in aid. Out of state tuition, room & board, meal plan, athletic fees, etc., for this year's class is about $52,000. It goes down some in the upper class years as you don't pay for uniforms after your first year. So unless you or family are wealthy - you need to have a plan to pay for the four years that will not leave you and parents with very large loans to pay off.
     
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  10. Swag

    Swag Member

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    It's so difficult to bring up that GPA when it's so low but you can bring it up a few points. Check with your counselor and see what classes they allow you to take online through Florida Virtual Schools. The classes are free and my DS took a few his Jr. year to bring up his GPA. He took leadership classes, they were electives, but he received A's in each class. You can take them at your own pace however, most of the classes can be done over a 3-4 week period if you're determined. They were easy A's!
    He's been accepted to both Citadel and VMI. Still waiting on USNA and NROTC MO Scholarship.
    Good luck!
     
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  11. Y_D1922

    Y_D1922 Member

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    Then in that case, how is it that i would be able to explain my tubulous 4 years? And would i have to go there for an interview or send them an essay regarding my unstable performance? Freshman was terrible, sophmore ive only gotten 1 F the whole year while the rest were As. This junior im terrible again, but i really am gonna work hard next year. I didnt plan about joining the military until junior year, so i really had no motivation to work unfortunately, especially with my personal life.

    I was planning on applying for a 2-3 year scholarship if i maintain a high gpa in VMI/The citadel. I am aware it is very competetive but i really am going to try for it since it wont hurt much.
     
  12. Y_D1922

    Y_D1922 Member

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    I will look into that tbh. If anything i need to move up my gpa as much as i can and have a strong application to show to them. I was planning to take VMI for one year and try to apply to USMA through there. But now all im trying to do is finding a way i can get accepted into either school with the low gpa. I regret it so badly.
     
  13. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD 5-Year Member

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    One step at a time brother, one step at a time. Write, and then rewrite, then have somebody edit, then rewrite an essay about why you should be admitted to a given institution. At VMI, as I recall, you can put up the admissions staff on the web and see who is assigned to your last name. At least that is the way they used to do it. There used to be a phone number and an e-mail address. Use your essay as a backdrop from which you write a short, as in three or four paragraphs, introductory letter. Use one or two examples from your much longer essay. Explain and demonstrate why things are the way they are. Don't know that I'd mention your other plans (wanting to transfer) but that is just me and I'm a persnickity ole so and soo - but think about the institution - they take honor and integrity very seriously - very very seriously - as they should, so don't say anything that isn't accurate. Many institutions like people who show interest relatively early. Listen, finances matter, so you need to talk to your folks and examine what is and what isn't possible. The out of state tuition at many colleges is pretty step - kind of on the lines of many private institutions. Do your finances permit a trip even one that isn't tied to a spend the night program? You can get some ideas here but the real answers lie with the admissions staff at institutions. The smaller institutions such as VMI and The Citadel or North Georgia and Norwich will have more attentive and likely more responsive admissions staff. Texas A&M and to a lesser extent Virginia Tech are so huge that it is less likely you'll get personal attention. Now, things change. Some folks enter those schools with the intention of being Audie Murphy, Sergeant York, and George Patton rolled into one and later decide not to commission. Majors change, ideas change, desire changes - that is all part of life. Ask questions here, and ask questions of the professional staff at various institutions, and talk to your parents, and have some backup plans as things don't always work out the way we'd like - but as I said, there are a lot of paths to the top of the mountain. Good luck, oh, take a little time to enjoy the rest of high school too.
     
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  14. glen

    glen 5-Year Member

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    Y_D1922 - Lawman32RPD is right on. Plan and double plan with your folks. Many young persons today get into a college and then find themselves stuck with huge education loans that truly limit their flexibility to enjoy themselves in college and explore careers once they graduate. Today you may think military service is your future. But military service is not a certainty until you pass all the medical and physical fitness tests, and then you need to stay healthy for the next 20 years to stay in the service. And between the age of 18 and 21 your future dreams may change drastically. Also - the idea of getting to know the Admissions counselors at the schools you wish to attend is great advice. At The Citadel, the counselors are assigned by region of the country. So if you are not in SC, look up the Admissions page of Citadel.edu and see which counselor is assigned to your region - call them. Takes some brass to get through the telephone receptionist, but this is exactly the kind of person The Citadel is looking for. Lawman's advice about showing interest is also great - the gene pool of high school students interested in putting themselves through 4 years of military college as a cadet - 24/7 - is small and shrinking every year. Showing and maintaining interest in attending one of the SMCs for your college education is noted. It probably won't overcome very low grades and scores, but explaining issues you faced that can explain problems along with high school teachers and counselors also willing to send supporting letters, may help as you submit your application in the Fall of Senior year in HS. But first step is to understand if you can afford one of these schools out of state - they are not inexpensive. And without financial grants, will leave you and familiy with quite a large loan balance. Good luck.
     
  15. Y_D1922

    Y_D1922 Member

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    I see..i really thank you all for the positive encouragement of words . Sorry if i havent answered, ive been a bit busy with school. I have one more question before i stop with the thread. Do you think its a good idea to do one year of MD community college while doing rotc and then transfer to VMI/The citadel and do my 3 years of rotc there? It seems a bit costy since ive spoken with my parents, and they cant afford anything costly unless i had a scholarship. Also do you start off as a freshman if i transfer or do i go in as a sophmore?

    I have so many plans in mind, with the end goal just being an officer. If its kind of pointless and very costly, ill just do rotc at miami dade college and try to complete 4 years of ROTC in florida (least costly, most realistic).
     
  16. Swag

    Swag Member

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    I sent you a private message. Perhaps my son's experience will help you with a few options. Determination, dedication, and hard work are what it takes.
     
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  17. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD 5-Year Member

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    You should address those questions to the admissions staff. I think, I don't know, but I think both VMI and The Citadel will give credit for some classes. That said, I'm pretty sure you'd still have to do the Ratline at VMI or Knob Year at The Citadel regardless of how many credit hours you have. Similarly, if you were to secure an appointment to a federal service academy I believe that you'd have to do all four years regardless of how many transfer credits you have. Good luck, and good to see you are having those significant conversations with your parents now, saves a lot of disappointments and heartache later on. I wasn't in the military but I've worked with great officers from the federal academies, from some of the senior military colleges, and from ROTC programs - one of the judges I work with now was enlisted and went to Officer Candidate School - some of the Marine's I've worked with went in through the Platoon Leader Class route - point being - many many ways to the top the mountain. You know, the whole path less traveled thing. Again, best wishes.
     
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  18. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    To answer about transferring to VMI: you may be given academic credit for classes (up to enough to graduate a year early), but three or more years of classes must be completed at VMI to graduate with a VMI diploma. So you may enter as an academic sophomore, but you will be a Rat...and even if you decide to graduate early you will not get to skip ahead to be a first classman. You will just graduate as a second. Additionally VMI may not grant credit for all of your classes. For a combination of those factors, I'd say a majority of transfer students (especially those with only a year of college pre-VMI) chose to stay all four years to not miss any experiences. It's really a four year program. Having said that, if a fourth year is not financially feasible, by all means, get out in three years and save the $50k.
     
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  19. Y_D1922

    Y_D1922 Member

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    This seems like a viable option actually. If thats the case, i believe id rather attend there for all 4 years than to miss out a year on such a great school. I know a few people who attend there currently and one that is also trying to apply there. He is a good friend of mines, and has a high gpa so he has been helping me with trying to get accepted there.

    Currently ive been concentrated on school more recently, so i feel like im back on track after going through so much in my family. I have been working on the optional Essay for VMI but i am still thinking about what to write...i am very passionate about attending there, but im afraid the gpa with no doubt kill my chances.
     
  20. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    I have some BRs who definitely didn't have a stellar academic history and they're doing well. The main thing would be to really consider your financial situation. VMI is not cheap at all for out of state cadets. And picking up a scholarship is very competitive (although Army does have the most scholarships).
     
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