North Georgia vs. The Citadel or VMI

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by heesfan5, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog 5-Year Member

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    The scholarship comes with the contract, which is the most important and as of recently the hardest part of the commission to obtain.

    I've only heard of it happening to people whom it really wasn't a surprise. At all.
     
  2. bruno

    bruno 10-Year Member Retired Staff Member

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    You are correct ED- it is the PMS recommendation that is the kicker. I do know of guys that the PMS just would not recommend for AD- but as FMB has said- I don't think there are too many for whom it is a surprise, which is as it should be. One of the plusses from the PMS perspective at an SMC is that the PMS and his staff and the school get to evaluate these guys a lot more than at a normal ROTC program- there literally is almost nothing that occurs in barracks or "on the hill" (at VMI) of which the various Military branches aren't aware and involved in, and the Cadets are literally under observation 24/7 so they get a pretty good feel for guys who they don't want any part of in the Army- they don't have to base their recommendations on just seeing them for a few hour lab and class time each week, or on GPA/Class rank etc... (However, what branch you get and where you go is a function of your place in the national OML just like everywhere else- so while you may have wanted to be a Grunt coming out of VMI, but if you are in the 60th percentile of the OML you might just wind up as a QM or TC or- God Forbid!- an AG officer going to Fort Polk or Riley- so you still need to WORK HARD!)

    These days the guarantee of AD is definitely valuable and it is not contingent on being a scholarship winner. The ROTC scholarship's value speaks for itself but it is not the key to getting your commission from either an SMC (or any other ROTC program).
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
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  3. bballmommy44

    bballmommy44 Parent

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    Do you mind if I ask what you are majoring in? My son or should I say, DS, really is excited about his visit in April to the Citadel. He is just struggling with his major now. I know this happens with some college students. I think he is sending an email to his PMS today at the Citadel. Hope I am getting my Acronym's correct.
     
  4. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog 5-Year Member

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    I am a Political Science major, with an International Relations focus and a minor in German.
    Colonel Hutto, the PMS, is awesome and would be more than happy to help your son.
    Your acronyms are fine lol.
     
  5. bballmommy44

    bballmommy44 Parent

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    Thanks for responding to all my posts! Hopefully we can meet you during the visit in April. FYI he has already got response from your school about how to change his major. You guys are impressive.
    Thanks for all you do and will do to serve our country!
     
  6. psycdoc

    psycdoc New Member

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    Hi, I had a quick question, did your Son get any scholarships from UNG (outside from the ROTC scholarship). My son got a 3 YR ROTC scholarship, but the other schools (VMI & Citadel) said they would not give out any additional money to students with ROTC scholarships and that the ROTC scholarship could only be used towards tuition and NOT room and board.

    Thank you for your response.
     
  7. Landy91

    Landy91 Member

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    Given this is an older thread with a new question, I’ll try to help out. First, North Georgia is an outstanding school, and from what I’m told, they provide great in-state scholarships to anyone wanting to be in army ROTC. UNG also has highly capable Army officer graduates. UNG has a mix of cadets and non-cadets, but cadets live in a military styled environment most of the time. Interesting note, University of North Georgia also typically has one of the best US Army Ranger Challenge teams in the entire USA. If your goal is to be a United States Army officer, then University of North Georgia is definitely worth a visit. I would also add that if you’re considering any of these three schools nothing beats visiting in person!
    Regarding the other 2 schools:
    The Citadel today has a mix of cadet and non-cadet degree options. However, it is still a military-school environment in many ways, and cadet interaction with non-cadets is limited. They also have loyal alumni and many degree options for cadets, one of which is a new nursing program. They also have a cyber degree, which is highly regarded.
    VMI is a traditional, small, military college. All students are cadets and live the military program 24-7. They’ve graduated more Army Generals than any ROTC program in the US, but it’s a very spartan environment and not for everyone. Classes are small, majors limited. Engineering is tough and several VMI alums have been Commanding Generals of US Army Corps of Engineers. In US News, VMI ranks in same category as the Service Academies.
    Something else worth mentioning, if you’re interested in these three schools it may be worth your while to visit Norwich University. Norwich has strong academic programs, very loyal alumni, and commissioning options for all military service branches.
    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  8. lifelearner

    lifelearner Member

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    My DS is a Cadet at UNG. He received the three-year ROTC scholarship as well. He applied for and received a Leadership scholarship from UNG. It was not a large amount, but it helped. Cadets can apply for other scholarships after their Freshman year. Another opportunity is the Project GO scholarship. My DS applied to SLI and for the Project GO scholarship which fully-funded his SLI experience.
     
  9. glen

    glen 5-Year Member

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    PSYDOC - I don't believe your comments about ROTC and other scholarships available at The Citadel are accurate. I know many Citadel Cadets who are attending on ROTC scholarships, and receiving both additional merit and financial need scholarships. First, national 3 and 4 year ROTC scholarship winners with at least a 1200 SAT and 3.2 high school GPA are eligible to receive the Citadel Armed Forces stipend which I believe is $3,500/yr while receiving the ROTC scholarship. Second, ROTC scholarship cadets who are selected for the Honors Program receive a minimum of $10,000/yr merit scholarship. Third, the new Scholars Program merit and financial need scholarships are available for cadets seeking STEM, Intelligence and Security and other selected majors and provide scholarships up to $15,000/yr. These can be stacked. In fact many SC resident cadets are attending on nearly full rides - stacking ROTC, SC Lottery scholarships, and the Armed Forces stipends. It is true the college does not allow scholarship monies to exceed cost of attendance. But I have never heard of the college refusing to allow a cadet scholarship money he/she has earned.


     
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  10. NorthGAdad2022

    NorthGAdad2022 New Member

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    Our DS is a 2nd year at UNG (chose over VMI, which I did not agree with at the time) and our DD is a first year at VA Tech (VT), both on Army ROTC scholarships (DS 3 year, DD 4 year). I'll reinforce Landy91's comments about UNG. Our son and we parents think it is fantastic and it is close to home. More on both schools below.
    On scholarships, both DS and DD received multiple scholarship support beyond the ARMY ROTC scholarship. Our son also gets the GA Hope scholarship paying for tuition and then ROTC supporting room and board, so our costs are next to nothing, AND they get $210 bi-weekly and all uniforms and books paid. DD went very deep (last week of April) last year in USMA's process before the bad news, and chose VT because she is an engineering major and they are top 15 in the country. Also, she wanted a senior military college to prep her for a second shot at a USMA appointment which she is doing. In addition to the ROTC scholarship she received another substantial academic scholarship from VT covering some of the room and board. She turned down an offer from UGA where she would have made money to go to school with the in-state Zell Miller + ARMY ROTC. So my point is, yes, multiple scholarships beyond ROTC are not only possible but common.

    I hope my commentary below helps some out there that are considering this path.
    There has been much written about the senior military colleges on this thread, both accurate and inaccurate.
    One is the perception that they are weaker, not as rigorous. That has not been our experience.
    Our kids chose senior military colleges on their own, not because of us parents wanting them to. That is super important, because you need to be committed because 4 years of a senior military college is not for everyone. It is challenging regardless of the school.
    So here are some guiding questions in the decision I recommend asking:
    #1 Question: (and we did not ask it) - What is the % of cadets that graduate? I can tell you the drop out rate of cadets at some schools is high. Get the demographics of graduation rates by branch too. There is a certain ROTC branch (I will not name it) of the Corps at one of these schools that has never graduated a woman. Could be important if your DD is on a scholarship for that branch.
    #2 Question: Are all cadets from one service branch (like UNG-Army) or multiple (like VT, VMI, A&M)? So then the ROTC department is like an academic department and totally separated from the Corps leadership. I think this matters in the interaction between the cadets and how the Corps is run.
    #3 Question: When in the first year do cadets turn? UNG and others are after the first semester, others like VT are after the second. I say this because the first year is a grind, and turning after first semester makes life easier. The objective is to break you down and then build you up. I think many parents will say they got calls in the first semester from their kid really questioning their decision on this path, but then you see them grind through it and come out stronger mentally and physically. They learn to "embrace the suck." It is an important advantage of a senior military college. But also not for everyone.
    #4 Question: And you have to answer honestly. It matters more for a senior military college, I believe. How far from home do you want to be? Our DS benefited greatly from being able to drive home for a weekend and sleep in a normal bed, get a family dinner, and he still likes that. Our DD could not wait to get away from home (3 brothers!, joking) but found she misses home more than she thought, and cannot just pop home (6 hours away). That does get easier with time.
    #5 Question: What do you want to major in? What % of the cadets graduate as STEM majors? Being in the Corps is time intensive. If you are a STEM major this also is intensive. And that can conflict especially at the bigger senior military colleges (VT, A&M) where the objective of the first year is to weed out 30-40% of the engineering majors. Smaller schools and even the Academies are less about weeding out and more about helping you succeed.
    #6 Question: Are cadets roomed in doubles or triples? 3 to a small room can make it stressful for anyone, and often can end up with dynamics between the roommates. Sometimes they all are buds and that is great, but it can go both ways. Doubles often are easier.
    Final Point: Have your DS/DD do overnights at the schools being considered. Ask tons of questions, and one being how the Cadre interact with the freshman and how much the Corps leadership is directly involved overseeing the Cadre.

    As I said above UNG is just an outstanding senior military college and graduates Army officers that are extremely competent. Also important is they are regular guys/ladies that are grounded and mix in well with the enlisted they will lead. The training is top notch (Army mountain Ranger school also in Dahlonega), intensive/"high speed", and if you do Ranger Challenge, Order of Columbo, or Aggressors, even more so. The facilities are brand new with great dorms (2 to a room, and a bathroom per 2 room suite). The Corps leadership is involved, supportive, and very experienced. And our DS enjoys having the interaction with the non-cadets, is in a fraternity, and his girlfriend goes there. Cadets "turn" after the first semester and get to be more like normal students. Like other senior military colleges, they have some great summer programs. Our son will go to Germany this summer. The school is about 6000-7000 students in the GA mountains with an awesome town and safe, but is limited in what is around it, and the food at "chow" is just bad. Overall it was the perfect choice for our DS.

    VT is also super impressive, but different in many ways. I honestly thought the Corps there would be less intense than UNG, let me assure you they are NOT. The campus and town are fantastic, we like the whole "Hokie" thing, and academics are some of the top in the nation. Obviously VT is MUCH bigger and all the things that go with that, if you are into Div 1 sports, etc. Food is ranked #1 in the country, it is impressive,but a long hike from the Cadet dorms. The ARMY ROTC department is the greatest group of people you'll ever meet. They really care for their cadets. Can't speak for the other ROTC departments. The Corps has all of the branches represented including Civilian as Leader so that presents its own flavor and makes the VT Corps much bigger than UNG. I personally think the Corps as 1 branch is better because the Cadre can be monitored better and more consistently (IMO), but it works at VT and others. They PT by ROTC branch, not by Corps company, and some are harder and earlier in the morning than others. Band part of the Corps is a big deal at VT, if you are into band and makes for a lot of Corps spirit. Cadets turn after the end of Spring semester (going through Red/White/Blue phases 1st year), and I will not lie, it is a grind and rigid. We have seen our DD cover the full spectrum from the phone call in the Fall questioning here decision to go there, to now after scaling that mountain and realizing she made it through, she said "this was the best decision I could have made because it has prepared me better than anywhere else." Similarly to UNG and others, VT has Ranger Challenge, etc, and even one Battalion led by a former Seal who does "Seal Prep Course", so it can be as "high speed" as you can take. The Corps dorms are new and look great, but have common bathrooms per floor (old school syle). Maybe a bigger deal for DD's than DS's. VT Corps is over capacity right now with triples and even some upper classmen living in common areas, so they need to get that under control, and perhaps leads to trying to weed out some weak cadets. DD had a few company buds quit already. So overall it has given our DD what she was looking for.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  11. psycdoc

    psycdoc New Member

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    Thank you all for your input, my Son chose UNG over VMI only because he found that his debt would be much less going to UNG. VMI offered my son an $8,800 scholarship the first year but told me that it goes away in year 2 because he has an ROTC scholarship. He struggled with selecting UNG over VMI, he really wanted the 24/7 cadet program and felt that the smaller school would challenge him. Both UNG and VMI offered a foreign language (Arabic) whereas the Citadel did not. As of today, we have not been told whether or not he will receive any additional money from UNG. His degree will be in Biology with a concentration in bio-chemistry. I will say this, I did like both schools, and I understood why my Son liked VMI, but my experience with them has been not so good. I called to talk about other financial options to help pay his first year and the overall response I got was "get a personal loan", they just seemed like I was not worth their time and at no point did they ever "pursue" my son, not even a call when he was awarded the scholarship. UNG was more helpful in my opinion. I did tell my Son that even though he accepted the scholarship for UNG we would still try to see if we can swing the cost for VMI, but I am having my doubts.
     
  12. NorthGAdad2022

    NorthGAdad2022 New Member

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    He will be happy and challenged at UNG. It is 24/7. Our DS will likely lead a Frog squad week so he can keep an eye out for your son. If you need any help or have any questions feel free to PM me and I'll connect your son to our cadet. He is in Command Company so he works with most of the cadet leadership