Opinions on The Citadel

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Son of a son of a sailor, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. Son of a son of a sailor

    Son of a son of a sailor New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    4
    Bare with me as I'm a newbie on this forum. What are the opinions on the Citadel as a whole and their Army ROTC program? My son is only entering his freshman year in high school, but has a taken interest in their new Intelligence and Homeland Security major with the end game being an Intelligence officer in the Army. Not bad for a 15 year old kid (when I was that age I thought I was going to be the starting CF for the Red Sox.)

    Even though he is only going into his freshman year, what advice would you have for him to not only get in to school there, but also increase his chances of an ROTC scholarship? Obviously grades are important, but what else do they take into consideration?

    Thanks.
     
    C76706340 and Falcon A like this.
  2. Dadof2

    Dadof2 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2016
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    397
    I can't tell you much about the Citadel, but he is young enough to explore all options so I would recommend adding other SMC's and even SA's to his list of options to explore. He should make some visits and learn as much as possible about SMC/SA life. It's not for everyone and he should know what he is getting into.

    ROTC scholarships are competitive. He should strive for SA level resume - lot's of threads to search to see what that involves, but in a nutshell: Very good grades in tough classes (STEM classes for NROTC, AFROTC and SA's, AROTC and NROTC Marine Option STEM is not so important), good SAT/ACT scores, demonstrated leadership, sports at the varsity level (team captain is a plus). Again, lots of threads on what it takes to be competitive. Look in the various SA and ROTC forums to see what DS needs to be competitive. He has time, but now is a great time to start. The good news is that even if he changes his mind, the preparation to be competitive for a ROTC scholarship will benefit him wherever he chooses to go.
     
    tlatrice and Falcon A like this.
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    10,214
    Likes Received:
    3,759
  4. glen

    glen 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    188
    So - I am biased as a Citadel Alumnus, DMG from the College's Army ROTC program, but have been out of military service for many years - so will leave opinions to others and more recent grads. I second the suggestion to consider all options for a military service opportunity - service academies, Senior Military Colleges and ROTC at a civilian college. Student interests vary greatly during HS, and I know from my own children - they can amaze with how quickly passions rise and fall.

    However, I can give you my perspective as a Citadel alumnus and Army ROTC DMG on applying to the College, the academic programs, and ROTC programs. I volunteer to interview and work with students and parents in the Mid-Atlantic area interested in the college, so try to keep up with its' programs.

    The Citadel is selective, but not terribly difficult to get into from out of state. About 75% of applicants are accepted for an entering class of ~750. 50% of the Corps of Cadets come from out of state and a number of foreign countries. The current class being assembled for Fall 2017, has an average SAT score of 1130 (math and verbal only) and average GPA of 3.6 (weighted). But this will not likely qualify an applicant for academic or military scholarships. The Citadel is a great value if you are a SC resident - nationally top ranked academic programs in engineering and business, and solid programs in the sciences, computer science, and criminal justice. Cadets receive the equivalent of a small private school education for a public school tuition. Typical classes have a student/professor ratio of 13:1 and all classes are taught by professors - not teaching assistants like at larger universities.

    For out of state residents, the tuition is not inexpensive - ~$35,000 a year plus room, board, uniforms and other fees run the total cost to over $50,000 a year. This is about average for similar small colleges. The goal of someone attending from out of state is to qualify for financial aid - academic, athletic or military scholarships. The Citadel has a good athletic program and participates in 13 NCAA Division I sports, including the FCS Division in Football. There are a good number of athletic scholarships available to qualified athletes - and so as a freshmen in HS, I would highly encourage a student to try out for and participate in a Varsity sport if he/she has a talent. Participation in a varsity sport has the added benefit of being a significant plus in applying for federal service academies and ROTC scholarships.

    The Citadel has an excellent Honor's Program and all participants selected qualify for a minimum of $10,000 merit scholarships. These can be used on top of ROTC scholarships that typically pay for tuition only. The Admissions Office looks first at SAT/ACT scores and high school GPAs. More weight is given to AP and Honors classes. The student's local HS weighting system will be accepted - assuming it is reasonable and follows generally accepted norms. All applicants are considered for merit and financial aid - depending on their application and family's financial status. Depending on the applicant's academic and non-academic record applicants are invited to interviews and compete for scholarships. Typically applicants who are in the top ten percent of their high school class, 90 percentile on tests - SAT or ACT and significant leadership roles in HS and in volunteer community activities are those who are invited to interviews for merit awards (scholarships).

    The Citadel is a small liberal arts and science college with about 19 majors and many minors. Cadets take a well rounded liberal arts curricula their first year, so high school preparatory courses in math, science, language and social studies are expected. The Engineering School is now the most popular major - Civil/Environmental, Electrical/Computer and Mechanical. A new Construction Engineering major is planned for the near future. Business (Accounting and Finance are most popular concentrations) is the second most popular, and then Criminal Justice. The college also has a well respected Education major to prepare cadets for teaching certification programs, and will be launching a Nursing BS degree program next Fall.

    As for the ROTC programs - and I would recommend anyone interested in military service to consider all of the services, and not be limited to Army. All ROTC detachments at The Citadel are headed by carefully selected full colonel's on active duty. The Navy detachment is Marine Corps oriented, and benefits from a large contingent of enlisted Marine NCOs who are attending the College under the "MECEP" program for commissioning active duty Marines. These Marines participate in the NROTC training and work with Cadets to get them ready for Quantico. All Senior Military Colleges benefit from federal law which affords the Army ROTC Professor of Military Science the discretion to award active duty in the Army to those graduating Cadets completing the Army ROTC program who meet the academic and physical fitness requirements. The Army ROTC program at The Citadel is the largest and oldest at the College - The Citadel was a charter member of the ROTC from its' start. Hope this is some help - best of luck. Glad to answer any specific questions off line.
     
  5. conrack

    conrack Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    91
    Also a grad, retired Army Officer and alumni recruiter. The Citadel has the largest AROTC detachment in the country (1300+) and commissions the most Army Officers of any US College aside from USMA; with or without a scholarship the chances of getting a commission are good, there is also the possibility of getting a contract which is basically a much less lucrative scholarship but a big financial incentive nonetheless. All ROTC scholarships are highly competitive, for SY 2014-15 the average 4 year winner had a 3.77 GPA and 1280 SAT, the 2 and 3 year are less competitive and easier to get.
    Be aware that the Air Force and Navy are mostly looking for STEM majors and about 80% of their scholarships are reserved for same; the Army and Marines are more flexible but do give preference to STEM majors. The services also look at extracurriculars, JROTC is a huge plus and athletics is a big help too; they don't want couch potatoes who spend all their free time playing video games. First priority of course is good grades and getting a high SAT.
     
    MissO and Lawman32RPD like this.
  6. Son of a son of a sailor

    Son of a son of a sailor New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    4
    Very informative. Thank you for taking so much time to give me this information.


    nfo
     
  7. MissO

    MissO Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    27
    The Intelligence & Security Studies major is brand new this year. I am an incoming freshman and I have selected it as my major - very excited! Obviously I am not a student there yet, so I cannot offer much insight as of now. Later down the road, if you are still wanting information on the major, I can hopefully be of some assistance.
     
  8. davejean90

    davejean90 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    104
    There is just one thing I would like to point out. Academic major often has little to do with what branch of the Army you end up in. Not all criminal justice majors end up in the Military Police (MP), in fact I would guess that most MP's are not criminal justice majors. My point is to find a major that you like and think will serve you well in the future, but do not count on it to get you into a specific branch. There are few slots for Military Intelligence (MI) as it is one of the smaller branches. Also, TV and movies have made the branch seem very exciting, but the reality may be a bit less exciting. Early MI jobs are spent in tactical units as battalion intelligence collection officers. That means you collect intelligence for other sources and create a written assessment. You don't chase spies and terrorists. Point is you should look at all of the branches and see what they really do.
     
    MissO likes this.
  9. Son of a son of a sailor

    Son of a son of a sailor New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thank you and best of luck this year! Stay in touch
     
    MissO likes this.
  10. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    472
    Likes Received:
    77
    Everyone else on here covered the basics for sure haha, but just wanted to sound the horn with my willingness to help. 2016 Citadel alumni and current 2LT here, just let me know what questions you may have.
     
  11. Son of a son of a sailor

    Son of a son of a sailor New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks man.
    First off, congratulations on your graduation on commission. Well done! I have a few questions that you might be able to help with.

    1. How tough is the Knob Year, really? I've heard it's absolute hell on Earth and only the strongest survive and I've heard that it's really not bad at all. I guess it's open to wide interpretation. I just got through reading "The Lords of Discipline" and there is no way in hell its that jacked up.

    2. How good are the financial packages there? Obviously, this is also wide open on a case by case basis, but are they willing to work with families?

    3. How well prepared were you with your ROTC training from El CID?

    4. This is going to seem that a odd question, but how are Northerners treated? I know there is a great deal of Southern pride there (and there should be) but curious as to how the Yankees are treated.

    5. How would you describe your 4 years there?

    Thanks. Again, congratulations on a terrific job!
     
  12. glen

    glen 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    188
    Son of a Son - I will let Full Metal Bulldog respond on how difficult the current 4th Class System may be. However, statistically, 86% of all first year Cadets matriculate to the 3d Class. This is above the average percent freshmen success for public and most private colleges. Realize - "The Lords of Discipline" is a work of fiction (by an exceptional author) who was describing a system as he observed it - in 1966/67 - fifty years ago!
     
  13. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    472
    Likes Received:
    77
    Anytime! I apologize for the late response as I don't have the opportunity to get on this site near as much as I used to, but I'll definitely respond as often as I can. Thank you for your congratulations! Here goes my answers to your questions.

    1. No matter how "hard" or "easy" the 4th class system happens to be compared to when it was at whenever time, it is going to be a challenge for anyone, except for perhaps those who have already completed Basic Training, Boot Camp, or what the Air Force or Coast Guard may call their initial training. Regardless of whatever level of difficulty happens, it is still a "basic training environment". You get hollered at, made to do a million tasks, have to do pushups, memorize a bunch of stuff, probably won't sleep a whole lot, etc, in addition to your academic workload and standard cadet duties that every cadet regardless of class has to do. Even at it's easiest incarnation, from what I've observed everyone has a hard time adapting to it because one most likely hasn't experienced that kind of chaos and sensory overload before, in any capacity, and have nothing to compare it to, especially in the midst of it. Now, how one looks back at it and says "it wasn't that hard" or "hell, I have absolutely no idea how I didn't quit after a week", has everything to do with the individual and how they look back on that particular kind of challenge. Now, the elephant in the room here is The Citadel and hazing. I can only speak from my experience and the anecdotal experiences of alumni I've spoken to, who were able to go more in depth and in detail with the conversation moreso than the typical "I can't even begin to explain how easy these kids these days have it". My fourth class year, the written rules were relatively strict, however they did not completely neuter the discretion of upperclass cadets in regards to being able to giving the 4th class extra duties, physical training, or other tasks as corrective training. Most of these tasks were not "hazing" in the generally accepted sense of being beaten or demeaned á la Lords of Discipline or your typical extreme pledging stories. During my first couple of years, there was a sense of openness between lower level military administration and cadet cadre which allowed for the administration to intervene when necessary, such as when a kid was hit or made not allowed to eat or something that generally wasn't kosher, but cadet cadre were allowed plenty of freedom to "train" their cadets as strictly or as leniantly as they wanted. It was also expected for cadet leadership to be held accountable for how their selected cadre treated lowerclass cadets. If a sophomore or junior was crossing the line, the senior class in that company was expected to fire them from whatever position they were holding, and the social circles and such would ensure they wouldn't have contact with knobs should the incident be serious or if they were just generally a bully.
    Now, as time progressed, whether it was due to any specific incidences or experiences of leadership or not, things did in fact change. Enforcement of rules governing "what was allowed" was much stricter, and how much cadre were allowed to do was in fact much reduced, as new and evolved leadership and new cadets came through the pipeline. I was never one of the ones to get really upset because of the whole system becoming easier for lower classes militarily and it being easier to get in trouble as an upperclassman for being "too mean", in short. Just wasn't my forte, but alot of people were really riled up about it and many of my classmates are still all bitter. I was just more live and let live from the get go regarding the changes.
    Now, this all being said, my conversations with alumni say this is all a pendulum. It gets easier and harder depending on the times and who's in charge. I probably came out of a rough era because I was a knob right after the height of the GWOT. I wouldn't worry about it being easy and missing out, but I also wouldn't worry about getting treated like a Viet Cong prisoner either. Long story short, it has gotten easier and much more structured, but by the time your kid graduates it could be completely different. I apologize for the long winded response to that one and I probably caused more questions than answered them, but I just wanted to be as honest as I could from my perspective, and not beat around the bush.

    2. Scholarships, aside from the Academic full ride which I believe may be a separate application (?) and the ROTC scholarships are kind of scarce. You might get alot, but they are almost entirely privately funded by alumni and aren't a whole lot of money, especially if out of state. Almost everyone I know used loans or was ROTC, and a few received the academic/honors scholarship, in addition to a few $400 here and there small earned scholarships.

    3. I feel like I was very prepared compared to other cadets at CLC and LT's at BOLC. You have many more FTX's than other programs from what I've noticed (we had 2 per semester) and the ROTC program is very well funded and equipped compared to other schools. The size contributes to the number and diversity of instructors which I felt was a very big benefit, as well as how the program was run (very much a well ran crawl, walk, run method for the first 3 years). That being said, ROTC is ROTC and not the real army. You graduate, in theory, pretty good at small unit tactics and FM 3-21.8. In Layman's terms, it means you're good at small scale infantry stuff. I commissioned as an Ordnance officer, and right now I'm a Specialty Shop Maintenance Platoon Leader which has a pretty different roll on the battlefield than to take positions and engage bad guys. Since the majority of people commissioned do things OTHER than infantry, I will always add that I wish ROTC did at least brush on the subjects such as battlefield communications and strategic logistics.

    4. If they made a pocket dictionary for some of the wierd languages y'all spoke for me to carry around it would've made life a little easier but I like to think I got along with the yankees I went with :p. Haha, it'll be fine. We'll make fun of each other and all if it gets brought up but nobody is actually "upset" about northerners at The Citadel. I can promise we will win the debate on who has better tea though faster than live squirrel landing on a griddle.

    5. I wouldn't change a thing.
     
  14. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,903
    Likes Received:
    3,556
    ^ This is just an awesome quote.
     
  15. Son of a son of a sailor

    Son of a son of a sailor New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    4
    Awesome stuff. I appreciate the insight. And yes you boys win the tea debate and it's not even close.
     
    tlatrice likes this.
  16. believe2023

    believe2023 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2017
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    35
    Congratulations to you on your commissioning and Thank you for your service. I wanted to ask you about the AFROTC and the NROTC at The Citadel.
     
  17. Caravan

    Caravan New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am a rising senior and working on application to The Citadel. The Intelligence and National Securties interest me and would like to list as my choice in major, however when I toured campus they indicated difficult to get in. My goal is to attend The Citadel-Would a different declared major increase my chances of being accepted.
    Thank You for any advice
     
  18. conrack

    conrack Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    91
    Political Science would be the most appropriate because having a basic knowledge of world politics and cultures is a good foundation.
     
  19. MJ2020

    MJ2020 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2017
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    94
    You have great info here ... I didn’t read the whole conversation! From mom of Citadel applicant 2yrs ago. Dad is Citadel alumni. My son was accepted after his interview. 80% acceptance rate. Won 4yrs AROTC. Won a Citadel Scholar worth 500k. Invitational only scholarship. Child will write an essay if essay is pick.. will get invite to defend his essay. There was about 30 boys n girls. They selected 4 (not sure of that number) winners.
    My son also applied to Naval (8% acceptance) n CG Academy (18%) He was offered an appointment and turn down the Citadel.

    Grade is everything 4.8gpa
    AP scholar had total of 30 credits
    Eagle Scout
    Army apprentice (paid summer job)
    Work: life guard n swim coach
    Varsity lacrosse 3yr var-letter
    More than 500 volunteer hours
    C3 Sea Cadets
    Boy State: Commissioner
    Orchestra violin conductor (9th grade)
    NHS: Tresurer

    He pick USCGA in class of 2020 major in EE and Operations Research

    Pay attention to boy state in February of Junior year, service academy Summer applications around Dec of junior year.
    Your 10th grade pre-sat you can use to apply to summer academy .. the higher the better.

    I have another boy applying to academy. Went to Naval academy summer, West Point, AIM at CGA graduated yesterday, flying to Quantico, Va tonight for the Marine leadership. Also went to Boy State: nationalist party whip. Lacrosse 4 var-letter 3yrs team captain, football 2var-letter. More than 800 volunteer hours, Eagle Scouts, C2 sea cadets, swim team 2var-letter. Dive n boat certified, life guard n swim coach YMCA. Applying for West Point (9%)Merchant Marine (19%) n CGA, top pick. Will apply the Citadel (80%), Univ of Florida (30%) Univ of central Florida (52%)

    I hope this help: my boys showed interests in military at 9th grade.
     
  20. conrack

    conrack Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    91
    Doesn't appear relevant to this thread