Money Magazine's 2024 Rankings

Great points about service academies--THX! Money's methodology is good.There were less than 200 schools with 4.5 stars and only 54 schools with a 5 star rating. Money's write up on each school does a heck of a job highlighting the differences between the schools. Learned a lot. Did not know The Citadel accepted 99% of applicants!
The 99% figure is wrong, per the Admissions Office current rate is 87% and its high because only about 40% of acceptees matriculate. The Citadel also ranks in the top 8% nationally for average earnings of graduates and as of 2022 was 78th out of 744 U.S. colleges for affordability, availability of scholarships, graduation rate and average student debt.
 
The 99% figure is wrong, per the Admissions Office current rate is 87% and its high because only about 40% of acceptees matriculate. The Citadel also ranks in the top 8% nationally for average earnings of graduates and as of 2022 was 78th out of 744 U.S. colleges for affordability, availability of scholarships, graduation rate and average student debt.
I've discussed this in other threads. Every college operates its admissions off a "yield rate," meaning they have to accept xx number of students for every 1 who ultimately enrolls. Military colleges probably need to be somewhat less selective in admission decisions because their yield rate is probably lower than average, simply due to the nature of the military environment.

On the flip side, however, we see that these SMCs produce excellent outcomes for their graduates, which shows that while you don't necessarily have to be a whiz kid to gain admission, the discipline and commitment to excellence required to graduate yields results that cannot be denied. This is true for The Citadel and most SMCs.
 
I looked it up. Navy is 6-2 all-time vs. The Citadel. Which would be more impressive were Army not 8-2 all time. 🤣

Oh, and Navy is 10-0 all time vs. VMI. Army is 15-1 all time vs. VMI.
Comparing VMI to Citadel athletics is apples v oranges. VMI cadets don’t go to VMI to play football, and winning any D1 games w 1500 cadets playing sports is a feat in itself!
 
Comparing VMI to Citadel athletics is apples v oranges. VMI cadets don’t go to VMI to play football, and winning any D1 games w 1500 cadets playing sports is a feat in itself!
The Citadel, with 2,200-some cadets, is not much better off at the D1 level. Hardly a sports powerhouse, but I suppose perhaps a bit better off than VMI. Keep in mind, however, that Citadel-VMI is the big rivalry game for both schools, and has been dubbed "The Military Classic of the South." The all-time series is not lopsided, though Citadel has the edge at 44-33, with 2 ties.

Citadel is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings, though VMI beat them 17-13 in Charleston last fall.

This from Wikipedia:
The Military Classic is the thirteenth oldest still-played rivalry in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) of the NCAA. Both teams were members of the Southern Conference (SoCon) from 1936 until 2003, when VMI left for the Big South Conference and were reunited in the SoCon when VMI returned in 2014.[5][6]
 
My understanding was least certain D1 athletes at El Cid are not required to be Cadets…but that could be bad intel.

One of the issues with D1 at VMI is many of the scholarship athletes do attend for sports and not the Cadet experience, but are nonetheless Cadets, which as one could imagine doesn’t go over swimmingly.

On the other hand, when you find those Cadets that are there for both and make it all work in their schedule…holy crap they’re top notch.
 
My understanding was least certain D1 athletes at El Cid are not required to be Cadets…but that could be bad intel.

One of the issues with D1 at VMI is many of the scholarship athletes do attend for sports and not the Cadet experience, but are nonetheless Cadets, which as one could imagine doesn’t go over swimmingly.

On the other hand, when you find those Cadets that are there for both and make it all work in their schedule…holy crap they’re top notch.
There are certainly a few, though I don't believe the number is large. But I'm certainly no big expert on Citadel athletics.

If you look at any of the team photos (not on the field), you can tell whether athletes are not cadets because they aren't in uniform. For example, I think there was a ceremony where the girls volleyball team got rings last fall for winning the Southern Conference. There were definitely several girls who did not have cadet uniforms on, so obviously there were a few non-cadets on the team.

Similar to your point about VMI, my understanding is that there is some resentment between athletes and regular cadets at The Citadel. Obviously, D1 athletes receive scholarships to attend, and they get special permission to miss certain cadet activities due to practices, games, travel, etc. I think they are "supposed" to make up for that by doing their own cadet stuff within the team, but I'm sure that's not really like actually being at all the regular cadet stuff. Hence, a bit of bitterness among the rank and file over "special treatment" for the athletes.

But doesn't that go on everywhere, after all. You think the QB at Penn State or start WR at Ohio State doesn't get special treatment? It's probably much less so at VMI and The Citadel, simply because those schools cannot recruit the caliber of athletes that major D1 programs do.
 
Did a little more research and it appears many of the non-cadet athletes at The Citadel may be "fifth-year transfer students." Basically, athletes who graduated from other four-year schools with a year of athletic eligibility remaining. Since The Citadel does offer graduate degrees, those athletes can transfer to The Citadel as grad students and play their final year. I guess it's a way for both the athletes and The Citadel to use one another for mutual benefit.

I personally couldn't care less, and don't take any offense from anyone who looks dimly at it. I see it more as a byproduct of NCAA eligibility rules than anything. I'm guessing VMI does not offer any graduate programs (please correct me if I am wrong), thus cannot take advantage of this loophole by acquiring one-year rental players for their teams.
 
Did a little more research and it appears many of the non-cadet athletes at The Citadel may be "fifth-year transfer students." Basically, athletes who graduated from other four-year schools with a year of athletic eligibility remaining. Since The Citadel does offer graduate degrees, those athletes can transfer to The Citadel as grad students and play their final year. I guess it's a way for both the athletes and The Citadel to use one another for mutual benefit.

I personally couldn't care less, and don't take any offense from anyone who looks dimly at it. I see it more as a byproduct of NCAA eligibility rules than anything. I'm guessing VMI does not offer any graduate programs (please correct me if I am wrong), thus cannot take advantage of this loophole by acquiring one-year rental players for their teams.
Correct. No Graduate Programs, so no loophole. I cannot speak to how much special treatment is the norm at large D1 schools 🤷🏼‍♂️. I just know, as you pointed out, in the military environment in particular, special treatment breeds resentment. My impression was though, that the “loophole” wasn’t the only avenue for non-cadet athletes at The Citadel, which I thought was potentially an interesting solution, but I’m sure it’s not a total fix, and I may not even be correct about that to be clear.
 
Face it, NCAA Athletics outside of the SEC, Big Ten (sic), ACC, basically the TV money schools - is dead, finished, gone - killed by TV money and gambling. NCAA Portal and NIL rules have already completely changed college athletics - the recent NCAA settlement pushed down the throats of lesser conferences (which end up paying 60% of the settlement over ten years) will destroy most small college budgets. Expect in a year or so there will be a wholesale realignment of the major sports powers leaving small schools to fend for themselves. What I would like to see is Citadel, VMI, Coast Guard, Norwich and the Maritime Academies all in a new conference that is essentially NCAA D3 level - academic scholarships and have a competitive rivalry. Just a pipe dream though - former player alumni would scream bloody murder.
 
Face it, NCAA Athletics outside of the SEC, Big Ten (sic), ACC, basically the TV money schools - is dead, finished, gone - killed by TV money and gambling. NCAA Portal and NIL rules have already completely changed college athletics - the recent NCAA settlement pushed down the throats of lesser conferences (which end up paying 60% of the settlement over ten years) will destroy most small college budgets. Expect in a year or so there will be a wholesale realignment of the major sports powers leaving small schools to fend for themselves. What I would like to see is Citadel, VMI, Coast Guard, Norwich and the Maritime Academies all in a new conference that is essentially NCAA D3 level - academic scholarships and have a competitive rivalry. Just a pipe dream though - former player alumni would scream bloody murder.
Well, the current rules have really removed any semblance of amatuerism from college sports. I mean there's nothing stopping a couple kids on The Citadel football team from signing a deal with the biggest Mercedes dealer in Charleston right? I bet that would go over like a ton of bricks.

This has become an interesting thread!
 
We (VMI) won exactly ONE game my rat year but it was against El Cid and it was the Corps Trip in Charleston where I'm from. It was GLORIOUS!

We won a total of 9 games during my cadetship.

Permits (Athletes) vs Non-Permits has always been a bone of contention at VMI. But the Permits don't get better food and I challenge any non-permit to spend a week's practice with most of the D1 teams. I'll take Rat Training any day, all day long.
 
We (VMI) won exactly ONE game my rat year but it was against El Cid and it was the Corps Trip in Charleston where I'm from. It was GLORIOUS!

We won a total of 9 games during my cadetship.

Permits (Athletes) vs Non-Permits has always been a bone of contention at VMI. But the Permits don't get better food and I challenge any non-permit to spend a week's practice with most of the D1 teams. I'll take Rat Training any day, all day long.
It’s no different at The Citadel. NCAA athletes are excused from Company and Battalion PT, and weekly drill and parades during “their season,” which for D1 teams like football, basketball and baseball, etc., are now practicing or working out pretty much all year long. Except for a few graduate Portal transfers and 5th year former cadet players, cadet athletes make up the teams and put up with a lot of griping from the Corps today. In many ways it’s not fair as you point out, who really wants to be doing football workouts in 95 degrees and 110% humidity in Charleston?
 
We (VMI) won exactly ONE game my rat year but it was against El Cid and it was the Corps Trip in Charleston where I'm from. It was GLORIOUS!

We won a total of 9 games during my cadetship.

Permits (Athletes) vs Non-Permits has always been a bone of contention at VMI. But the Permits don't get better food and I challenge any non-permit to spend a week's practice with most of the D1 teams. I'll take Rat Training any day, all day long.
I don’t disagree that most NCAA teams have training that is more (and often much more) physically demanding training compared to the Ratline. Whether that training is equally mentally/emotionally taxing is substantially less likely, and to the extent that it is hypothetically comparable, it would be totally dependent on Coach personality.

Having said all that, the core issue with the current set up in my view is not that “XXX has it harder…wah wah wah,” it’s much simpler than that. All the Ratline is supposed to be an “everyone is in it together affair.” Different aspects will be more or less difficult for different people, whether that be the Ratline or NCAA or Academics, but the current way NCAA is instantiated at VMI means many (particularly Fall/Winter sports) are simply not “all in it together.” They’re off on their own. This directly contradicts the entire purpose of any military indoctrination environment in my view.
 
It’s no different at The Citadel. Except for a few graduate Portal transfers and 5th year former cadet players, cadet athletes make up the teams and put up with a lot of griping from the Corps today.
Bit misleading. 3 out of 5 Citadel basketball starters last year were graduate transfer students, that’s not a “few.” It’s very different and allows for portal transfers.
 
Bit misleading. 3 out of 5 Citadel basketball starters last year were graduate transfer students, that’s not a “few.” It’s very different and allows for portal transfers.
For the sake of discussion let's say 40% of Citadel athletes are non-Cadets. I honestly doubt it's close to that overall but don't know. Nor do I care. My question is simply, "So what?"

It has zero impact on my DS. He is not D1 athlete material but he does have an AROTC scholarship. I can't see how what the athletes do or don't do is going to impact his experience in the Corps of Cadets or in the Army.
 
Bit misleading. 3 out of 5 Citadel basketball starters last year were graduate transfer students, that’s not a “few.” It’s very different and allows for portal transfers.
lol….there were 3 non-cadets (grad students) out of 16 players on the ‘23 Basketball roster, and one is gone. They didn’t help much, not sure the team won a conference game. Will be worse next year…but in any case, back to the discussion, the few grad students are not what causes the griping about athletes.
 
"It has zero impact on my DS. He is not D1 athlete material but he does have an AROTC scholarship. I can't see how what the athletes do or don't do is going to impact his experience in the Corps of Cadets or in the Army."

I hope it doesn't at El Cid. At VMI there is and has been for a long time a disparity in the Corps on how athletes vs non-athletes experience the ratline. The bonds are formed while experiencing the shared "experience". That experience is different for Athletes. They are usually at practice while the rest of the rat mass are with their cadre. They are away at games or meets while their Brother Rats are getting smoked. Upper class teammates are looking out for their rat teammates.

The difference is real and the experiences are NOT the same.

Now, does that difference matter after the ratline? No, not as much. There are some who will always feel resentment towards athletes. But, for the most part it's forgotten and it certainly doesn't mean anything in the Service and certainly doesn't mean anything when we return as Alumni.

Now, the current rules of the NCAA specifically the transfer portal are killing the already difficult task of fielding competitive teams at VMI. Especially in basketball where a freshman can get lots of playing time, attract attention from other schools then leave and play immediately somewhere else. Two years ago, we started 5 freshman and 4 left. The current squad consists of ONE senior, ONE junior, EIGHT sophomores and FIVE freshman (one redshirt, one from Sweden and one from Canada).

Since we don't have a graduate program, athletes with another year of eligibility won't stay (unless they haven't graduated). they'll go play somewhere else.
 
"It has zero impact on my DS. He is not D1 athlete material but he does have an AROTC scholarship. I can't see how what the athletes do or don't do is going to impact his experience in the Corps of Cadets or in the Army."

I hope it doesn't at El Cid. At VMI there is and has been for a long time a disparity in the Corps on how athletes vs non-athletes experience the ratline. The bonds are formed while experiencing the shared "experience". That experience is different for Athletes. They are usually at practice while the rest of the rat mass are with their cadre. They are away at games or meets while their Brother Rats are getting smoked. Upper class teammates are looking out for their rat teammates.

The difference is real and the experiences are NOT the same.

Now, does that difference matter after the ratline? No, not as much. There are some who will always feel resentment towards athletes. But, for the most part it's forgotten and it certainly doesn't mean anything in the Service and certainly doesn't mean anything when we return as Alumni.

Now, the current rules of the NCAA specifically the transfer portal are killing the already difficult task of fielding competitive teams at VMI. Especially in basketball where a freshman can get lots of playing time, attract attention from other schools then leave and play immediately somewhere else. Two years ago, we started 5 freshman and 4 left. The current squad consists of ONE senior, ONE junior, EIGHT sophomores and FIVE freshman (one redshirt, one from Sweden and one from Canada).

Since we don't have a graduate program, athletes with another year of eligibility won't stay (unless they haven't graduated). they'll go play somewhere else.
Yes, I can see the challenge. It's hard for any small D1 schools to recruit top athletes, especially with the NIL money available now. And, as you point out, keeping them even if you get them it almost impossible with the transfer portal. Add in the difficulty of being part of a Corps of Cadets at VMI or The Citadel and it's a pretty tough sell. The idea @glen floated regarding a conference consisting of the SMCs, Maritime academies, etc., would seem to make a lot of sense from a competitive parity standpoint.

At any rate, my point is simply that I don't see how any of this impacts rank-and-file rats/knobs. Again, my DS will not be an athlete, and while there will probably be some athletes in his company who are not always there, I can't see how that will impact his experience as a knob or his ability to bond with other rank-and-file knobs. He's going to get the "full Citadel experience" regardless of whether those athletes are there or not.
 
lol….there were 3 non-cadets (grad students) out of 16 players on the ‘23 Basketball roster, and one is gone. They didn’t help much, not sure the team won a conference game. Will be worse next year…but in any case, back to the discussion, the few grad students are not what causes the griping about athletes.
The athletes are treated 100% differently than the non athletes at the Citadel - and not in a good way. They eat different food, have different standards all across the board. They are looked down upon in general by the real members of the COC. Its a shame when you see "cadets" walking around with earrings, out of spec haircuts, beards - its a joke. To top it off the football team and basketball team are terrible...

Other than that, I don't have any strong feelings one way or the other
 
The athletes are treated 100% differently than the non athletes at the Citadel - and not in a good way. They eat different food, have different standards all across the board. They are looked down upon in general by the real members of the COC. Its a shame when you see "cadets" walking around with earrings, out of spec haircuts, beards - its a joke. To top it off the football team and basketball team are terrible...

Other than that, I don't have any strong feelings one way or the other
But again, how will this impact my DS? Perhaps he and other knobs will look askance at freshman athletes who don't have to endure the same rigors as they do, but will this really be more than an annoyance in his overall Cadet experience? I don't think so. I don't see my DS as someone who would dwell on this; rather, he will do what he has to do, and not waste a ton of time worrying about others who may be living some kind of parallel existence. At least that would be my advice for him.

Now, as a parent, it WOULD be nice if the football team could be decent for at least part of DS's Citadel career, if only for entertainment purposes.
 
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