IVY vs. West Point Advice - Please

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by arizonagirl13, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. arizonagirl13

    arizonagirl13 New Member

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    Hi All,

    I've been lurking around this forum ever since my brother was accepted to West Point. Last week we found out that my brother was accepted to Princeton and Yale. He will be the first person to attend college in our family.

    He has his heart set on West Point, he is the only person in our family that was born in the US and feels it is his duty to serve.

    We live in the South Western US and we have not for financial reasons visited any of the schools. What is the best advice I can give him, not that he asked. My parents are pushing to attend an Ivy League School and so is his guidance counselor. (He is the only student in his school to be accepted to an Ivy League School)

    Thank you!
     
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  2. shock-n-awe

    shock-n-awe Member

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    He needs to follow his heart and desire to serve, not other people's dreams. If he wants West Point, that's what he should choose.

    West Point is a better choice anyhow!
     
  3. Ag1999

    Ag1999 Member

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    Ditto. Quite a few members from my family didn't want me to go to an academy. I didn't listen nor care what they had to say.
     
  4. Enthalpy

    Enthalpy 2021 USMA Dad

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    He should go where he wants to go, flow his heart.
    Parents and guidance counselors can give him information and suggestions but it's his choice, he else live with it.
    A friend of mines son graduated WP anbutd went on to graduate school at MIT band Harvard. He thought they were easier than the academy.
    God speed to your brother and you for helping him out.
     
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  5. Austinmr98

    Austinmr98 Member

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    The decision needs to be his own. Your parents want the best for him, but he needs to think about what his end game is. If his end game is to be an officer in the US military, take the best path to meet that end. Does he have an ROTC scholarship? If not, financial security can be a big factor into his decision making process. IVY is expensive, despite that financial aid and grants. My heart has been set on West Point all my life, and I told myself that I would accept the appointment and drop all other offers. The financial aspect of West Point is not what draws me to the academy though; it's the call to service in the finest Army in the world. It's also a calling to a lifestyle of discipline, integrity, and leadership. He needs to think about why he wants to attend West Point and an IVY. He also needs to consider what each option can do for him personally and professionally in the long run. What does he want to do? Engineering? Medicine? Intelligence? Law?
     
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  6. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    I am going to emphasize that the chart I will show you is NOT a reason to attend a Service Academy. But it can be used to show your parents and your brother's guidance counselor the value of the education you receive not just at the academies but as a junior officer. I did not attend a Service Academy but I've had several headhunters throughout the years tell me that, in the initial screening of resumes, anyone with a Service Academy diploma was put into the "interview" pile.

    http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/bachelors
     
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  7. AZWPDad04

    AZWPDad04 Member

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    Fortunately, he cannot go wrong with either direction he chooses.
    I agree with shock-n-awe in that he needs to follow his heart and choose the direction that he is most comfortable. He needs to determine where he wants to be in the long run.
    Well said!
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    He will get an excellent education at West Point... one that will rival the Ivies. Tell your folks that West Point is a top rated college every single year.
     
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  9. arizonagirl13

    arizonagirl13 New Member

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    He probably would be interested in Intelligence or History although he is interested in Engineering too.

    Thank you to everyone who is responding. I will show him and my parents this website and the responses tonight. Thank you again!
     
  10. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    "Rival's the Ivies" Go to YALE! College Program xROTC.
     
  11. tex2021

    tex2021 Proud parent of USAFA C/O 2021

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    The article would be more credible had the author spelled "Universities" correctly. Guess, spell check was not a priority.
     
  12. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    I just grabbed the first one that came up in Google without really looking at it, but there are others. Especially impressive as 2LT's don't make all that much compared to many other graduates.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/coll...15-8/#4-california-institute-of-technology-47

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/susana...s-whose-graduates-earn-the-most/#16368a0a1f39
     
  13. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    Nothing at all against any of those lists that were posted but I do always chuckle at the salaries they list for new officers, especially when they list those amounts as different for each service. Plus one list doesn't even include the AF Academy and none include the USCGA which pays exactly the same. I would think that the people making these lists would know that military pay is the same across all services although incentives and special pay can differ between the services.

    The list that says a USNA grad gets 80K? well I guess if you add BAH, BAS, and they are stationed in Hawaii, and getting OCONUS COLA, and figuring in the tax break for both BAH and BAS, I guess you could get close to 80K. That same 2LT living in South Carolina won't get near that much.

    That all being said I agree, I swear some people actually think these new officers do this for free or nearly free, they don't realize they get paid well. Though I imagine a engineering grad from MIT gets a pretty nice paycheck as well.
     
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I imagine the 80K is a post-military, civilian world figure.
     
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  15. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    Please let us know what he ultimately decides.
     
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  16. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Surprisingly, not so. It is actually the figure for a newly commissioned Ensign O-1. I doubted the figure when I saw it in the USNA forum, but posted an analysis that concluded the $80k figure is optimistic, but not unreasonable. Here is the post from that forum:

    The quoted figures (US News, SA's, etc) are for newly commissioned active duty officers right out of the academy, or ROTC etc.
    Although the $88k figure is presented in an optimistic scenario, it is not as as far fetched as it appears. A lot depends on duty station, tax rates and value of benefits.
    To provide an example, using Capt MJ's scenario, and only considering Base Pay and BAH we can determine what a civilian must earn to have the same money to spend as an O-1. For simplicity, it does not include deductions that lower adjusted gross income, state taxes, health and other benefits, etc. :

    Base Pay O-1 less than 2 years service: $3034.80 x 12 = $36,417.60
    2017 Federal tax 15% bracket: $4,996.39
    2017 Soc. Security/Medicare 7.65%: $2,785.95
    BAH Coronado(non taxable): 2217 x 12 = $26,604
    Cash to spend O-1: $36,417.60 - 4,996.39 - 2,785.95 + 26,604 = $55,239

    A civilian with the same cash to spend must earn:
    Civilian Pay : $75,691
    Federal tax now at 25% bracket: $14,661.50
    Soc. Sec/Medicare: $5,790.36
    Cash to spend Civilian: $55,239
     
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  17. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    If the JO has a state for residency (may or may not be Home of Record) with no state income tax, or one that does not tax AD serving out of home state, that helps too.
    The AD JO will have no cash outlays for medical, dental, prescriptions.
     
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  18. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    Both have their advantages and lessons depends on what he wants he can serve through ROTC as well and I'm not going to argue WP is better or the Ivy's are better because it's simply a matter of perspective. I'd suggest he make a list of everything he wants to be and do. What path can help him achieve that, he can serve coming out of any of these options but would he prefer the real world development of an Ivy or the unique lessons learned from WP. Most people here will give you a view partial toward WP so take that into account
     
  19. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    Also something to consider in military pay rates.
    BAH/BAS aren't included in the basic pay. This is tax-free money, while most other careers this money is taxed as part of your basic salary rather than being separate.
    Does not include any specialty pay/bonuses such as flight pay, nuke pay, etc.
    When deployed, special tax rules may kick in such as combat zone tax exemptions.
    As Capt MJ pointed out, state residency can be a big plus. We are currently based in NY, but we still pay TX state income tax (zero). This includes my income as a military spouse.
     
  20. FLIPPER@622

    FLIPPER@622 Member

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    Arizonagirl13,
    My son has been accepted to one of the Ivy League schools on your list with a four year ROTC scholarship. He was also appointed to West Point. It's not about the money for him, it's about the call to serve his country. It's also about attending school with like minded people who believe in the honor code and the values of WP. I hope this helps. Your brother needs to think about the atmosphere that he perfers to be in for the next four years + .
    My son will be attending West Point - Class of 2021.
     
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