Navy ROTC Colleges

DaGrubs

Member
My DS is a junior in HS and has started looking at colleges, he wants to go NROTC with Marine option. We live in Washington State and will be selecting UW as one of his choices (as he has to have an in state option), but he has said that he wants to go to college somewhere that he hasn't been before so that he can experience a different city, culture, etc. Of course, as a mom, I was hoping for an Oregon or California school to keep him close (LOL). What would be some good choices for him to look at? We are going to look at The University of New Mexico, but would love any other advice you all have (based on word of mouth or your own experience). Thank you in advance.
 

Dadof2

Member
First, NROTC MO is highly competitive, so DS should be prepared to be in great physical shape with good leadership experience, varsity sports and good grades.

Lots of options for colleges with NROTC. What major is he thinking? What kind of college experience is he looking for - traditional college experience or military college? Big school or small school? Big city or more rural setting? Some more information will get you more meaningful responses. Just keep in mind that any answer is probably going to be biased toward schools the person responding knows (in their area, where they went, where kids went).

Good luck.
 

DaGrubs

Member
First, NROTC MO is highly competitive, so DS should be prepared to be in great physical shape with good leadership experience, varsity sports and good grades.

Lots of options for colleges with NROTC. What major is he thinking? What kind of college experience is he looking for - traditional college experience or military college? Big school or small school? Big city or more rural setting? Some more information will get you more meaningful responses. Just keep in mind that any answer is probably going to be biased toward schools the person responding knows (in their area, where they went, where kids went).

Good luck.
He is well aware of that - LOL. He has plans A, B, C, etc.. and is in great physical shape, has and is serving in a JROTC leadership role, plays 3 varsity sports and has a 3.78 GPA. He is also continuing to improve all of this :)

Major = Mechanical Engineering, and really no preference regarding big or small, big city or rural - he just wants to experience more than Washington State, Oregon or California. I am ok with biased opinions as I want real life experience opinions if I can get them :)
 

Dadof2

Member
Lots of great schools for ME. Has he considered any of the SMC's? If he wants to me a Marine, the regimented military lifestyle might offer good preparation. VMI has a great engineering program for one example. Maine Maritime has a SMC feel to it and a good engineering program too. It's isolated but in a beautiful area.

If not SMC, there are tons of good civilian engineering schools. Not sure how far out of Washington state he wants to experience, but if he is looking to go as far as the east coast, WPI in MA and RPI in NY are always rated as top engineering schools. Michigan state is rated well as a middle of the country option. Georgia Tech is good for a SE option. I'm sure others will recommend great schools on the west coast as well.

If DS really isn't sure, I highly recommend some college visits to large and small schools and a couple of SMC's if he has any interest. Nothing like seeing a school and sometimes it's just as good to know what you don't want as what you do want. Lots to think about - hot weather/cold weather, mountains/beach, city/country, big/small school, regimented/civilian, ROTC on campus or across town, etc.
 

txpotato

5-Year Member
As much as it pains me to say, has he looked at Auburn? In all seriousness, they are an excellent engineering school and give generous merit scholarships to out of state students. I do not know if they allow scholarship stacking (so he could combine NROTC and merit). His experiences in the rural South would certainly open his eyes to a world that is different from California, Washington, and Oregon. And SEC football is a blast!
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
Any good NROTC program is great preparation to be a Marine Officer. SMCs are great for people that a regimented military style appeals to, but he should select a school where he can thrive academically and he enjoys attending. The more successful he is in college generally, the more successful he'll be in NROTC and as a Marine Officer.

Nothing wrong with your DS heading out to have new experiences in new places as part of attending college. You might want to remind him though that he'll see plenty of new places as part of NROTC and as a Marine Officer. Between freshman and sophomore year (if he is on scholarship) he will head to Norfolk or San Diego for a 4 week "cruise" called CORTRAMID. As a Marine Option he would usually do a "cruise" at Mountain Warfare school in CA. As a junior he'll get to experience wonderful Quantico, VA and do the same again as a newly commissioned officer at TBS for a period of 6 months. Then it's off to his MOS school (wherever that is) and then his first duty station.

DS has been on active duty for about 18 months. While in NROTC he did not attend Mountain Warfare school but instead did a two week cruise from Norfolk to San Diego aboard an amphibious assault ship via the Panama Canal (not something I'll ever do). Two years he got to go to New Orleans to participate in an annual drill meet at Tulane during Mardi Gras (I was afraid to ask what he did to get all those beads). Of course he's been to Quantico, as have all Marine Officers. He went to Communications Officer school in the high desert at Twentynine Palms, CA. From there he made regular side trips to Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles and Palm Springs (lots of mountain climbing, spear fishing, and even his first tattoo). He is now in Okinawa for two years and has been there 6 months already. He's spent long weekends in Tokyo and Hong Kong. I expect he'll get to Seoul, Phnom Penh, and Darwin Australia at some point. Your son doesn't need to rush to see the world and get away from Mom and Dad. Those opportunities will come just as part of being a Marine Officer and there may be long stretches when he doesn't get to see Mom and Dad.

That being said, I can't pass along any comments on colleges out your way, but if he is interested in hearing anything about the University of South Carolina I'd be happy to answer any questions. Great unit there. If he fails to get an NROTC scholarship they have a Woodrow Scholarship there that is only available to out-of-state students (it's how they attract them). That's how DS started there as an NROTC college programmer, since that scholarship only made it $2K more expensive than attending an in-state college. He later won a sideload NROTC MO scholarship but there are never guarantees with that.

Please give your DS my regards and wish him luck for me. He's starting on a terrific adventure.
 

5Day

Member
The good thing about being committed to going the NROTC-MO route is that the list of potential schools goes from thousands to less than 100. And all of the NROTC schools are good schools. If you eliminate the crosstown colleges the list gets even smaller. Just go through the list of NROTC schools and start narrowing the list down to the schools that would be best for DS.
 

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
You may already be aware of WUE schools which give reciprocal discounts on out of state tuition for residents of states in the Western U.S.

Many, but not all WUE schools offer NROTC/MO.

If your DS wants OOS experience, this would soften the financial expense, if he ends up commissioning as a college programmer (no scholarship).

Here is a link to WUE participating institutions:

http://wue.wiche.edu/search_results.jsp?searchType=all
 

DaGrubs

Member
You are all amazing, as is this forum! My head is now spinning (as I am sure my DS's will be as well) with all this great information. Lots to think about and great feedback! We will be looking at all of this hopefully be able to visit some of the schools that he chooses (that is the expensive part, the airfare to visit 4 colleges (one of course is in our state) :) He is currently in JROTC and LOVES it, so an SMC might be something that he likes (never thought of that before this string of posts) and worthwhile having him visit. Kinnem, I loved your post, because I see the potential that my DS has to see the world and experience so much more than either his dad or I have!
 

5Day

Member
Some additional advice. When you visit schools try as best you can to visit the school while they are in session, a weekend is fine, but during the school year. Yes, it is difficult to do, but schools can be so different when during the summer or winter break when the buzz of students around is not there. Also, a school in say Buffalo NY is much different during the summer than it is in the winter. You also want to narrow down the list of schools, big vs. small, city vs rural, tech vs traditional, that will narrow down the list some more. If you cannot narrow down some of that criteria early on maybe you need some varying school types to see if that helps narrow the list.
 
You are all amazing, as is this forum! My head is now spinning (as I am sure my DS's will be as well) with all this great information. Lots to think about and great feedback! We will be looking at all of this hopefully be able to visit some of the schools that he chooses (that is the expensive part, the airfare to visit 4 colleges (one of course is in our state) :) He is currently in JROTC and LOVES it, so an SMC might be something that he likes (never thought of that before this string of posts) and worthwhile having him visit. Kinnem, I loved your post, because I see the potential that my DS has to see the world and experience so much more than either his dad or I have!
Last year, in the fall of my daughter's senior year, we discovered this forum. The wonderful people here pointed us to the SMC's - which we had never really heard of before. Completely changed her trajectory! My daughter is now at VMI and has won a Marine scholarship, and she could not be happier....and it was all due to this forum pointing her there!

You've been given some great advice. The only thing I would add is that while it is expensive to visit colleges, it really is worth it. When you visit the one your son loves, he will just "know" it's the right place for him. Good luck!
 

rudyinok

10-Year Member
5-Year Member
dagrubs - you are in an exciting seat. it is so fun to go looking at universities and then realize when one clicks for your son! Ours wanted Navy, but desired out of state like it sounds your son does. We are from Oklahoma and the only Navy school in OK is OU, which was not happening! I had come to accept the thought but with generations of orange blood in our family (we are all alums of OSU), ds said he just simply couldn't do it! So he put TAMU down as his "in state" school because if you are in the Corps at Texas A&M, you get in state tuition. His grandad is TAMU alum and we'd visited there and I'm sure he'd have been happy there, too. I believe it was #3 in his 5 schools. Just wanted to make sure you knew of that option to cover the "in state" requirement. Or it was an option a few years ago when we were doing this. ds was matched to his #1 school, btw, which was Auburn University. a school he did NOT want to visit back when he was a junior cause he thought they'd all be a bunch of redneck NASCAR nuts, BUT when we went to visit, he fell in love. Instantly felt like home and he's not looked back since. Auburn is an excellent school and excellent unit. Hope you can visit all over the place and find the top five he'd like to rank! Have fun!
 

DaGrubs

Member
dagrubs - you are in an exciting seat. it is so fun to go looking at universities and then realize when one clicks for your son! Ours wanted Navy, but desired out of state like it sounds your son does. We are from Oklahoma and the only Navy school in OK is OU, which was not happening! I had come to accept the thought but with generations of orange blood in our family (we are all alums of OSU), ds said he just simply couldn't do it! So he put TAMU down as his "in state" school because if you are in the Corps at Texas A&M, you get in state tuition. His grandad is TAMU alum and we'd visited there and I'm sure he'd have been happy there, too. I believe it was #3 in his 5 schools. Just wanted to make sure you knew of that option to cover the "in state" requirement. Or it was an option a few years ago when we were doing this. ds was matched to his #1 school, btw, which was Auburn University. a school he did NOT want to visit back when he was a junior cause he thought they'd all be a bunch of redneck NASCAR nuts, BUT when we went to visit, he fell in love. Instantly felt like home and he's not looked back since. Auburn is an excellent school and excellent unit. Hope you can visit all over the place and find the top five he'd like to rank! Have fun!
Someone else suggested Auburn and said it was a great school and great unit. Can you tell me what you and your DS liked so much about it? We never would have thought of Auburn, but with two suggestions I am thinking it may be need to be put on the list to visit :)
 

Tiger91

5-Year Member
dagrubs - you are in an exciting seat. it is so fun to go looking at universities and then realize when one clicks for your son! Ours wanted Navy, but desired out of state like it sounds your son does. We are from Oklahoma and the only Navy school in OK is OU, which was not happening! I had come to accept the thought but with generations of orange blood in our family (we are all alums of OSU), ds said he just simply couldn't do it! So he put TAMU down as his "in state" school because if you are in the Corps at Texas A&M, you get in state tuition. His grandad is TAMU alum and we'd visited there and I'm sure he'd have been happy there, too. I believe it was #3 in his 5 schools. Just wanted to make sure you knew of that option to cover the "in state" requirement. Or it was an option a few years ago when we were doing this. ds was matched to his #1 school, btw, which was Auburn University. a school he did NOT want to visit back when he was a junior cause he thought they'd all be a bunch of redneck NASCAR nuts, BUT when we went to visit, he fell in love. Instantly felt like home and he's not looked back since. Auburn is an excellent school and excellent unit. Hope you can visit all over the place and find the top five he'd like to rank! Have fun!
Someone else suggested Auburn and said it was a great school and great unit. Can you tell me what you and your DS liked so much about it? We never would have thought of Auburn, but with two suggestions I am thinking it may be need to be put on the list to visit :)
I went to high school in Washington state (Go Bombers!) and then went to Auburn (no ROTC for me) decades ago. East Alabama was very different than the pacific northwest, but I loved it. Auburn is a fantastic campus with a real "family" feel. I don't regret my choice at all. I've stayed in the south and live in Atlanta now. My DS was just awarded the 4-year NROTC and is choosing to use it at Auburn this fall. He's not into football or sentimental about following a parent but he had a fantastic visit to the Plains last year. Everyone was great to him on each of his "tours" around campus and it was easy for him to see how he'd fit it. He was very excited and didn't flinch when making his school decision. His other acceptances/choices were University of San Diego, Ole Miss, TAMU Galveston, and Marquette.

There are so many great options for your DS - you're going to have a great time exploring them. I'd recommend Auburn for your list of schools to visit!
 

Dadof2

Member
He is currently in JROTC and LOVES it, so an SMC might be something that he likes
JROTC is a great program, but life at an SMC or SA is much different. You and your DS probably already know this, but I'm just stressing the point that he'll really want to understand as much as possible about SMC's if he has an interest. It truly isn't for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that.

Also, advice we heard when my kids were applying - if your DS ends up at an SMC, SA or in a ROTC unit at any college, don't mention JROTC, Eagle scout or any other similar background when they show up. Obviously don't lie about it if directly asked, but don't offer it up. Work hard, be humble and prove yourself is what we heard.
 

Ex.BT.USN

5-Year Member
I'm with Kinney with regard to the U of South Carolina. My DS is currently a 2nd class mid and loves it. Big school but with all the trees they have it makes the campus look smaller than what it really is.
 

DaGrubs

Member
Lots of great schools for ME. Has he considered any of the SMC's? If he wants to me a Marine, the regimented military lifestyle might offer good preparation. VMI has a great engineering program for one example. Maine Maritime has a SMC feel to it and a good engineering program too. It's isolated but in a beautiful area.

If not SMC, there are tons of good civilian engineering schools. Not sure how far out of Washington state he wants to experience, but if he is looking to go as far as the east coast, WPI in MA and RPI in NY are always rated as top engineering schools. Michigan state is rated well as a middle of the country option. Georgia Tech is good for a SE option. I'm sure others will recommend great schools on the west coast as well.

If DS really isn't sure, I highly recommend some college visits to large and small schools and a couple of SMC's if he has any interest. Nothing like seeing a school and sometimes it's just as good to know what you don't want as what you do want. Lots to think about - hot weather/cold weather, mountains/beach, city/country, big/small school, regimented/civilian, ROTC on campus or across town, etc.
I just had a conversation with my son about VMI and watched the 18 minute video that they have on their website (great video). He wants to go visit now and will be adding this school to his 5 choices. I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up as #1. I know these schools aren't for everyone, but for some reason he is drawn to them (USNA is his plan A, NROTC is plan B, and he has plans C & D as well). Is the Citadel run the same way as VMI? They don't have a cool video like VMI, so we couldn't really get a feel for it.
 
My daughter was drawn to the lifestyle as well. She did not want to even consider going to a typical college environment. She did overnights at both VMI and the Citadel last year. They are both similar in that the entire student body is in the corps of cadets, and they are the only two colleges that require this (besides SA's).

However they both have a distinct "flavor" to them and you cannot really understand what the flavor is until you visit. It's almost like trying to describe the flavor chocolate to someone that hasn't ever experienced the flavor firsthand - until that flavor touches the tongue they really can't comprehend what it will taste like.

If at all possible I would highly recommend your son do overnight visits to both schools next fall.
 
Top