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How important is diversity in admissions at Citadel,VMI, and Norwich?

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by NROTC-Hopeful, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. NROTC-Hopeful

    NROTC-Hopeful 5-Year Member

    Mar 16, 2009
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    My heart and soul belongs to VMI, as it is my first choice, but my concern is, how important is diversity at these senior military colleges, as i am a minority male. I would especially like to know of VMI's, first and foremost. Would i have a harder time being 'appointed'?

    Thank you
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  2. bruno

    bruno 5-Year Member Retired Staff Member

    Feb 2, 2008
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    Would you have a harder time being appointed?
    No I am certain you won't have a harder time. Will you have an easier time? No probably not either. I'm sure that VMI has some goals that they would like to achieve for the ethnic composition of the incoming class, just as they do for the number of females in the class- but what those are and how much of a factor they would be play in the decision to admit you I don't know. Basically though- I think that the biggest determining factors- regardless of your ethnicity- is going to be your academic performance in school including class rank, GPA and your SAT's; your demonstrated leadership potential, your willingness to pursue a commission and your desire and ability to succeed at VMI academically and militarily.
    The Ethnic and Geographic profile of the class of 2012 looks like this:
    Ethnic Summary
    African American 28 (6.3%)
    American Indian or Alaskan Native 2 (0.4%)
    Asian or Pacific Islander 17 (3.8%)
    Hispanic 29 (6.5%)
    White or American Caucasian 359 (80.5%)
    International 11 (2.5%)

    Geographical Distribution
    Alabama 1 Alaska 1 Arizona 2 Arkansas 2
    California 11 Colorado 2 Delaware 3 Florida 6
    Georgia 9 Hawaii 2 Illinois 3 Indiana 3
    Kansas 1 Kentucky 5 Maryland 24 Massachusetts 8
    Michigan 2 Minnesota 1 Mississippi 1 Missouri 3 Montana 1
    New Jersey 6 New York 11 N. Carolina 26 Ohio 8 Oregon 2
    Pennsylvania 14 S. Carolina 3 Tennessee 3 Texas 14 Virginia 253
    W. Virginia 2 China- Peoples Republic 1 China- Taiwan 7 Kenya 1
    Mexico 1 Montenegro 1 S. Korea 1 Thailand 1
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2009
  3. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 5-Year Member

    Dec 15, 2008
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    I know two of the admissions officer very well, and here's how it works. There's a female recruitment officer and a minority recruitment officer, but their duties are not what they may sound like. Both of them work on programs to attract more diversity to the applicant pool, but other than provisional appointments, no one is given preferential treatment during the admission process. And even those with provisional appointments are subject to the same exact admissions standards as every other applicant.

    Every applicant is considered regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or religion, in accordance with federal law. Those with disabilities have certain rights as well, but due to the nature of the VMI system, we cannot accomodate certain physical and mental conditions. However, in many cases, it's possible to get a medical waiver.

    The Admissions Office is working diligently to increase diversity within the Corps, but their efforts are in attracting diversity -- not in lowering the standards. NROTC-Hopeful, please understand that I am not in any way directing this statement at you! I have no reason to believe that this would be your intention, but many institutions of higher education have received bad reputations for their affirmative action programs, so I want to refute this line of thought toward the VMI admissions process before it comes up.

    Again, no one is given preferential treatment in the admissions process. There used to be a prevalent attitude (although it has diminished greatly in the past few years) that there was a 100% admission rate for women. This is not the case for any minority at VMI, nor has it ever been the case. There wasn't even a 100% acceptance rate for female applicants for the first year of coeducation.

    Every year, the Director of Admissions (COL Vern Beitzel) sets goals and standards. The goals are often numeric (# of inquiries from racial minorities, # of completed applications from women, etc.). If there are extenuating circumstances, they may be able to make a concession or two on the standards for a given applicant. But for the most part, if your GPA, SAT/ACT scores, etc. aren't within the range they're looking for, you won't be accepted regardless of minority status.

    Basically, they're looking to make sure that everyone who gets accepted has the potential to succeed mentally, physically and academically. Having good grades indicates good study skills. Participation in two team sports shows a high level of physical fitness and an ability to work well with others. Attaining a certain level in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, JROTC or another organization shows that you can set a long-term goal and have the drive and self-discipline to see it through to completion. Good grades AND extra curricular involvement/achievement demonstrates time management skills.

    If a minority applicant doesn't show the same potential to succeed as a non-minority applicant but they still accept him/her, they're setting that minority cadet up for failure. Meeting some kind of recruitment quota means nothing if minority retention is low. So while they certainly set admissions goals, they don't set admissions quotas.

    So to answer your question, NROTC-Hopeful: no, your minority status certainly will not hinder your likelihood to be accepted! It would be illegal for them to discriminate against you based on that under Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But if you don't meet the minimum standards for admission, don't expect minority status to be your get out of jail free card.

    Or perhaps more accurately, don't expect minority status to be your get IN to jail free card. :biggrin:

    Good luck,
    Jackie M. Briski '09
    First Class Private
  4. bruno

    bruno 5-Year Member Retired Staff Member

    Feb 2, 2008
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    I'm bumping this up just because RVM's post was such a thorough and articulate discussion of a question that gets asked often.
  5. mwbluebeard

    mwbluebeard 5-Year Member

    Sep 24, 2008
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    Excellent post!

    I learned a lot through it and I appreciate the time it took to type it in.


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