Looking to transfer from a 4 year college to a military junior college then apply to USNA

Discussion in 'Service Academy Preparatory Schools' started by gama2017, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. gama2017

    gama2017 New Member

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    I currently attend Pomona College in Claremont, CA. I'm finishing up my first year as a freshman. My first semester I received a B+ in Advanced French, B- in Calc II Honors Topics, and a C- in a required writing course (this is my biggest worry). This semester I am taking Intro to Cognitive Science, an upper level French literature course, an English course on John Milton, and Army physical training. I was in Linear Algebra (I was an intended math major), but I decided to audit the course instead of taking it for credit because I'm looking to transfer to Marion Military Institute and participate in their Service Academy Program and I don't think my credits from Linear Algebra would transfer. I attended a small private high school which taught all its courses at the Honor and AP level. I took the most challenging curriculum I could (AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP Physics C-Mechanics, AP US History, AP Literature to name a few classes). I earned a respectable GPA and I scored a 30 composite on my ACT. A lot of people I know are skeptical about me transferring to MMI because I would be missing out on a great opportunity at Pomona. It's a selective school (8% acceptance) with great academics, but I am passionate about attending the Naval Academy. This would be my first time applying to the Naval Academy. I'm attracted to the structure that MMI provides in terms of academics and how it is reflects the typical course load at the Service Academies. Am I making a rational choice by transferring to MMI from Pomona? I know nothing is guaranteed. Also, if I were to transfer to MMI and be fortunate enough to receive an appointment to USNA I will probably have to take calculus for a grand total of 5 times: Calc I (6 weeks summer before senior year no grade receive), AP Calc BC (Senior year A-), Calc II Honors Topics ( College Freshman B-), Calc II(if I were to transfer to MMI), Calc I/II(If I were to take the typical courses plebe year at USNA). I'd appreciate any advice or feedback.
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Short answer based on what you've told us . . . no. For any number of reasons, USNA is unlikely to view favorably someone who transfers from a 4-year college to a prep school.

    I don't want to crush your dream of attending USNA, but if you want to do so, from what you've told us above, you have a lot of work to do. Your first semester grades will be a challenge. Not just the C- in English, but the B- in calc. And your courses this semester won't help, even if you earn all As. You shouldn't need to attend a prep school to mimic the plebe courses. You're already taking two (English with writing and calc). You simply need to add chem with lab or physics and a western history course.

    You're only mentioning three college classes each semester -- is that all you are taking? You should be taking at least 15 credit hours, not including athletics -- maybe you are, but it's not clear.

    So, from an academic standpoint only, if you want to attend USNA, I suggest you spend time in summer school. Take (or retake) the plebe courses -- you want better than B-/C-. Make sure that next semester you are taking at least three out of the four suggested courses or equivalents, such as engineering. And you need to earn As or high Bs in those courses. If you can't/don't do that, USNA probably isn't in the cards.

    Why not prep school? USNA recommends attending 4-year colleges b/c they think performance there is the best indicator of success at USNA. Once you've attended college, "going back" to a non-college doesn't make sense -- and could suggest that you can't handle college which would suggest you can't handle USNA. ONLY, if you believe you have serious issues with study skills or time management would I even consider a prep school in your situation.

    A couple of other things. First, it will be really tough to be at a prep school after spending a full year at college. You will be a year older than your peers and, at your age, that year is huge. You'll also be repeating courses that you likely took two years ago in h.s. -- you think that will be easy, but it's actually not. [It's why adults can't easily go back and do 9th grade algebra even though they mastered it years ago.] Also, you won't earn college credit at MMI so, if you aren't successful in applying to USNA, you've wasted a year of time and money -- and then have to reapply to college.
     
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  3. gama2017

    gama2017 New Member

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    This is great advice I really appreciate you taking the time to provided an honest and detailed response. I also spoke with USNA admissions about this situation as well. They said transferring to MMI would be a "leg up" in preparing an application (not admission) because I would be replicating the courses taken plebe year. He said as long as I retain the information from Calculus then I would be able to take a test to validate Calc I and maybe Calc II. The core curriculum at USNA also offers Calc III. I also know that my credits here won't transfer to MMI or USNA. So if I spend another year in California (I'm from Alabama), I'm still spending time and money, possibility even more than I would be if I attended MMI. The school doesn't offer summer school, so I think the only option for me there would be to take classes at some community college while I'm back home for the summer. The only benefit of staying in California is that I would still be on the four year path. Transferring would be an enormous leap of faith. I don't mind the age gap. I was a year younger than all my peers in high school, so the age gap isn't too large. Also, time management is a weak point for me. I was looking forward to improving this skill through a military junior college. I want to live the disciplined lifestyle that comes with attending a military junior college.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    I guess I don't understand why you can't take the courses at your current college -- or at some other four-year college that is cheaper/closer to your home, etc.

    I wouldn't worry about how many times you take or don't take calc. As noted (and I should have mentioned this in my prior post), you can try to validate coursework so you won't be repeating anything you've mastered.

    In the end, here's what I would recommend . . . if you want to attend MMI because you want to attend a military JC, live a disciplined lifestyle, etc. then fine, do that. But if you're doing it with the primary motivation of attending USNA, it's very, very risky. Yes, you will mimic the plebe courses and you may even get As. But your record from this past year doesn't go away, so it's all one package. You also need to consider what you'll do if you aren't accepted to USNA . . . does MMI or Pomona (or some other college) help you prepare for the future.

    Remember, too, OCS is always a possibility.
     
  5. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Agree with usna1985.

    If you want to live a military lifestyle 24/7 AND also get credits toward four year degree, why not transfer to a Senior Military College, like UNG (sheesh! Only 3 1/2 hours from Birmingham), VMI, Virginia Tech, Texas A & M, Norwich, or The Citadel?

    You can reapply to USNA from any of these institutions.
     
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  6. gama2017

    gama2017 New Member

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    I actually did look at some Senior Military Colleges. However, most of the deadlines have passed (VMI, The Citadel, Norwich). Also, Senior Military College or Military Junior College my credits won't transfer. I'll most likely be starting from the beginning. I didn't specify this before, but I'm interested in MMI's Service Academy Program. I'm looking at this as a fresh start. I know my college transcript doesn't look the strongest, but it doesn't tells the full story. Some students at NAPS need a review of basic algebra, precalculus and trigonometry. So I would hope I'm a qualified candidate academically.
     
  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan Member

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    You go for it! I disagree with the notion that attending MMI is in anyway diminishing your appointment chances. Don’t think you’re going to get a real disciplined environment at MMI though. It’s much more like any other college than you might imagine, with a military twist.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I don't think anyone said it would diminish his chances, but that he could mimic the plebe courses and accomplish the same result where he was.

    Did you actually investigate this with the SMCs? I'm not saying your specific classes would transfer from Pamona, but this is a decision the college makes, not the "military". Of course it often depends on what college you're transferring from or if it is part of your planned major.
     
  9. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Agree with Kinnem.

    Plus Pomona College is no joke. It is a TOUGH school to get into and it would attract the attention of admissions at any SMC looking at transfer apps.
     
  10. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    Is there a cross town ROTC unit where you could participate? For a candidate that has completed a year of college, pursuing a commission through ROTC is a much better option. You could also compete for an ROTC nomination.
     
  11. gama2017

    gama2017 New Member

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    I understand each college has its own criteria. I only mentioned the SMC and MMI because these are the institutions Im looking at.I did some research on transferring credits and while some courses here do qualify, they aren't the courses I'm taking. I know the Citadel won't accept the credits from Pomona. VMI and Norwich may accept it if its comparable to the courses with respect to the institution.
     
  12. gama2017

    gama2017 New Member

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    I've looked into this option as well. There is no NROTC cross-town affiliate for Pomona College. Pomona is part of a consortium of 5 schools (Pomona, Claremont Mckenna, Scripps, Harvey Mudd, and Pitzer). CMC has an ROTC program and Harvey Mudd has an AROTC program, but none have an NROTC program. From what I've heard Pomona is known to be anti-ROTC (Of course I can't confirm this, it's just what I have heard).
     
  13. gama2017

    gama2017 New Member

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    Harvey Mudd has an Air Force ROTC program. I should have been a little more specific with the abbreviation
     
  14. MomMD

    MomMD New Member

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    Wow...Pomona College is an amazing academic institution. I would think long and hard about transferring out to a junior college. I don't think you would find anywhere near the academic rigor/resources/experience provided at Pomona. Here's a thought...why not graduate from Pomona and enter the Navy's Direct Commission Officer Program. It worked for my DH after he graduated from a similar Ivy-type college. He is now a Commander in the USN and is close to retirement. Or...why not work with Pomona to see if you can take Calculus, Physics, etc. at Pomona or one of the other Claremont Colleges next fall? If you really want to attend USNA, take those classes at Pomona (or another CC) this summer and fall and begin the application process to USNA in the early part of your sophomore year.
     
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  15. pa_ptmom

    pa_ptmom Member

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    Our DS spent a year at MMI, in the SAP program as a self prep and was accepted to USAFA for the class of 2021. We knew nothing about MMI going in, and he had been accepted to a great plan B school out of high school, but felt a ‘regular ‘ college wasn’t for him. Since you are from Alabama I’m sure you have visited. The advances in their programs even within the past year are amazing. If you have a spring break coming up, perhaps you can stop by and talk with the SAP coordinator. Unlike other prep schools, MMI’s credits do transfer bc they are part of the Alabama community college system. Not sure if you are looking for a ‘reset’ with your academic situation, or if other factors are involved. One benefit of the SAP program I saw was that several students applied to several service academies that they hadn’t considered before. The military part of MMI was not as rigorous as he had expected, but our DS said MMI clearly prepared him for the grind of Academy life. The transition for him was much easier than most freshmen.
    He felt the English/Writing department at MMI helped him immensely, and felt that was a game changer between his first and second attempts at admission.
    It sounds like you are at an amazing school and you have a lot of great options. Feel free to pm me if you have any other MMI questions.
     
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