Questions to ask prospective NROTC schools

momx3

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My DD is my oldest, so have no 'college' search experience. While she is hoping for USNA, her NROTC scholarship came through, but she is still looking at schools to make a decision. I've looked at this board, but wondered if there were any pertinent questions or things to look for when choosing a school with NROTC (got great info on schools that offer room grants!). She has already reached out to three of the school's units to let them know she will be visiting the school, but we were wondering if anyone has any suggestions to help her make an educated decision. She is also hoping to participate in sports, as well. Thanks in advance.
 

5Day

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You made it easy. She should find out how the battalion accommodates students participating in sports, and then talk to the coach to see how the interact with NROTC. See if she could spend some time with MIDN that are also doing sports. Doing both college sports and ROTC is a time management challenge. Conflicts will happen and the battalion and coach will need to work together if she is going to be successful in both.

My DS had a short list of 2 schools after all the acceptances and rejections came in. We visited both schools, along with both battalions. Bothe were of similar size. One seemed more regimented than the other. But there was not enough of a difference to influence his final decision. He picked the college that he felt was the best fit. With one semester completed, he made a great decision. But NROTC staff turns over every 3 years. He found out the commanding officer changed before he got to school and the personality of the battalion changed. It went from more laid back to more structured and regimented. DS adapted and it wasn't a big deal. Just be aware that the battalion personality will change, and if the units are similar pick the college that fits best.
 

USMAROTCFamily

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At this point, she has the scholarship already placed at one school. Is she considering transferring the scholarship to one of the other 2 schools that she is considering? Has she been admitted to any of the 3 on her list yet, including the one that she was awarded the scholarship to? I would definitely call the NROTC departments at the other 2 schools to find out if they still have scholarship slots to transfer to. See if your daughter can speak with Midshipmen when she visits the campus to get their perspective of the program and how they are received by other students on campus. Talk to "civilian" students to see what the perception of Midshipmen is by common students. There are definitely some campuses where ROTC programs are not necessarily well received. On other campuses, the ROTC students are looked at positively and strongly supported by the universities. Not all university's NROTC programs have the same level of "extra" stuff to do besides going to NROTC classes, lab and PT. What is the commitment level? As somebody else said before, insure the PNS and staff will proactively cooperate with the sports team coach and that the coach will offer support of the ROTC program. That is a 2-way street to insure your daughter is fully supported if she does both. A NROTC unit may say that she "can" do both, but if they don't truly support it, her ranking in the program could suffer based on the subjective part of her evaluation.
 

momx3

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At this point, she has the scholarship already placed at one school. Is she considering transferring the scholarship to one of the other 2 schools that she is considering? Has she been admitted to any of the 3 on her list yet, including the one that she was awarded the scholarship to? I would definitely call the NROTC departments at the other 2 schools to find out if they still have scholarship slots to transfer to. See if your daughter can speak with Midshipmen when she visits the campus to get their perspective of the program and how they are received by other students on campus. Talk to "civilian" students to see what the perception of Midshipmen is by common students. There are definitely some campuses where ROTC programs are not necessarily well received. On other campuses, the ROTC students are looked at positively and strongly supported by the universities. Not all university's NROTC programs have the same level of "extra" stuff to do besides going to NROTC classes, lab and PT. What is the commitment level? As somebody else said before, insure the PNS and staff will proactively cooperate with the sports team coach and that the coach will offer support of the ROTC program. That is a 2-way street to insure your daughter is fully supported if she does both. A NROTC unit may say that she "can" do both, but if they don't truly support it, her ranking in the program could suffer based on the subjective part of her evaluation.
Thank you for the insight. Her first 'reach' school was an ED rejection, so now she awaits decisions on the others. Based on advice, she transferred her unit to the 'safe' school, which was transferred in 1 day! Should she get accepted to her other choices, then she can put in another transfer if they have availability, but at least she has her 'safe' school, which she does like. Due to the recess with the colleges, it is hard to get in touch with people right now, as my daughter has emailed all three schools, as well as two of the coaches. We plan on visiting next Monday and then in February- unfortunately due to my DD's schedule, there is little time to visit any school.
 

momx3

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Joined
Dec 25, 2016
Messages
210
You made it easy. She should find out how the battalion accommodates students participating in sports, and then talk to the coach to see how the interact with NROTC. See if she could spend some time with MIDN that are also doing sports. Doing both college sports and ROTC is a time management challenge. Conflicts will happen and the battalion and coach will need to work together if she is going to be successful in both.

My DS had a short list of 2 schools after all the acceptances and rejections came in. We visited both schools, along with both battalions. Bothe were of similar size. One seemed more regimented than the other. But there was not enough of a difference to influence his final decision. He picked the college that he felt was the best fit. With one semester completed, he made a great decision. But NROTC staff turns over every 3 years. He found out the commanding officer changed before he got to school and the personality of the battalion changed. It went from more laid back to more structured and regimented. DS adapted and it wasn't a big deal. Just be aware that the battalion personality will change, and if the units are similar pick the college that fits best.
Thanks for the info on staff changeovers- something else to keep in the back of our minds! Of course as a parent, I can't help but worry whether she will take on too much with both, lest her academics suffer.
 

ProudDad17

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Nov 3, 2016
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My DS and I visited four universities and their respective NROTC units last spring and summer. The advice we got from each of them was to make your decision based on the university, not the NROTC unit; go where you feel most comfortable and inspired. All NROTC units have the same curriculum and run basically the same. There are some differences in unit "personalities", but that could change with staff turnover. You are there to get an education and most of your time will be spent with the civilian side o the college experience. This seemed like solid advice. We did notice some variations between NROTC units in facilities and amenities, but these were not stark enough to affect DS' decision on his top choice school. The advice to explore with the NROTC unit and the sports coach how they can work together sounds like good advice as well. When you say she plans to participate in sports, do you mean at the varsity level? If she plans to participate at that level, it may be an issue, but if she wants to participate at the club or intramural level, she should be able to do so without issue.
 

momx3

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Dec 25, 2016
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thanks so much for the insightful advice. Now if only my DD heeds it! Appreciate it

My DS and I visited four universities and their respective NROTC units last spring and summer. The advice we got from each of them was to make your decision based on the university, not the NROTC unit; go where you feel most comfortable and inspired. All NROTC units have the same curriculum and run basically the same. There are some differences in unit "personalities", but that could change with staff turnover. You are there to get an education and most of your time will be spent with the civilian side o the college experience. This seemed like solid advice. We did notice some variations between NROTC units in facilities and amenities, but these were not stark enough to affect DS' decision on his top choice school. The advice to explore with the NROTC unit and the sports coach how they can work together sounds like good advice as well. When you say she plans to participate in sports, do you mean at the varsity level? If she plans to participate at that level, it may be an issue, but if she wants to participate at the club or intramural level, she should be able to do so without issue.
 
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