Ramifications of Plan B Schools - Ethics and Morality (UC Irvine)

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by Humey, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    This topic comes
    In your case, though, both schools were aware of your situation and you had their full support. That is a very different issue than having a Plan B school on the sly and them having not agreed to it. If it is done the way that you did it, then there is no ethical issue, as you were open about your intentions, the schools agreed and in your DD's case, it was a good thing that you had the safety net in place. We did the same thing as you did, as we didn't want to chance it. We had done the same thing with our DS and were very fortunate that the Plan B school was agreeable. For the few of us on this forum who have a dissenting opinion on this topic, it is not that we feel our kids should not have a Plan B, we simply feel that it should be done in an open manner where all parties are aware and agreeable to the situation.

    When I asked the question earlier if people felt it was okay to accept the appointment to multiple academies, not many people responded, but I have a hunch that most on here would NOT feel that was okay. Because many view that it would be possibly taking a slot away from other candidate, and they know just how hard each applicant had worked to get into an academy, etc., etc. Most would say the "right thing to do" would be to only accept one appointment and immediately decline the 2nd one, while at the same time, they would say it's okay to accept the "appointment" to both an academy and the civilian school, with no communication about this.

    As MemberLG, Jl123 and myself have said on this thread and several other similar ones, we have a different viewpoint than many hold on this issue. I doubt anybody will change their opinion on this matter, but I feel compelled to say that all of the members of "The Service Academy Forums" do not endorse or condone the "everybody is doing it" mentality and that this is just a cut-throat business. I do believe that there SHOULD be a different policy in place with colleges to be willing to consider an academy applicant in a different light, due to the unique situation they are place in, so we don't disagree there and again, I agree with having a Plan B in place, but just doing so in an open manner.
     
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  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

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    You are right about one thing. Some of us aren't going to change our minds about this.

    Having said that; according to Peterson's; which is one of the leading college/university prep/information sources; they say: And I quote:
    ********************************
    "If you have been placed on a waitlist at your first-choice school and offered admission by your second-choice, you may wish to consider taking the following steps:
    • Notify to the second-choice school that you accept their offer of admission
    • Submit any required deposit
    • Write to your first-choice school and tell them that you want to remain on the waiting list
    If you are offered a place at your first-choice school later, you can withdraw from your place at your second-choice (though you will have to forfeit your deposit) and then attend the institution you most wanted to attend. If you are not offered a place at your first-choice school, you can still attend your second-choice school when the academic term begins."
    ***********************************
    This is similar to the academy and not being told yet in May whether you've received an appointment or not. Or, going to basic training in june; quitting mid way through or medically being sent home. No where does Peterson's say that you "need" to let the school you are accepting and putting a deposit down on, that they are your 2nd choice. And that you may decide later to not attend there.

    They do mention that you can expect to lose your deposit. And that is the point I made previously, and stand by. The WHOLE PURPOSE of a "DEPOSIT" is to get you to commit to their school. They say it's to "HOLD A SPOT" for you, but that's not accurate. It's to get you to "COMMIT". Most people don't want to lose their deposit. If there were any expectation that accepting a school was 100% guaranteed, and that there's no reason for 99.9% of those accepting to ever "Change their Mind"; then the university would not require a "Deposit". That $50, $100, $500 is not significant to the school. If you do attend the school, that deposit is credited TOWARDS your tuition and costs. So it's not "Additional" money to the school. The whole reason for a deposit, is because the school knows you MAY CHANGE YOUR MIND. It's a lot easier to change your mind if you didn't put money down on a deposit. The deposit is simply to get you to commit. NOTHING MORE.

    I will reply separately in the next post about accepting to more than one academy.
     
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  3. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    Not sure of the logic of accepting appointments to two academies; they are not backups for each other. If a kid has an appointment to USNA and USMA, s/he's going to choose one and let the other go. It's not like a kid can hold on to the USNA appointment in case s/he decides at Beast that USMA was not the right choice or hold on to the USMA appointment in case of a medical turnback during Navy Plebe summer.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

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    As someone who spent 21 years in the air force, and a number of years as an Air Force Academy ALO; I will tell you straight up that I see no problem with an individual accepting an appointment to more than one academy. But that is not quite the same as accepting a plan B school. With the academies, you may receive an appointment to west point, but it's not your first choice. But you accept it anyway. Then, a few weeks later, you receive an appointment to Annapolis. That's the one you wanted. There's nothing wrong with accepting that one and then turning down the west point appointment.

    The reason this example isn't the same as the Plan B school, is because you can't be enrolled in both academies at the same time. There's also a lot of preparatory paperwork and such that needs to be done before attending Basic Training. You are unlikely to do this for both schools. Thus, only one school is going to plan on you coming.

    With the academy and a Plan B school, they start 2-3 months apart from each other. It's totally feasible to attend the academy Basic Training, go all the way through it, decide the academy isn't for you, leave, and still have time to start your civilian university. Or any other scenario such as illness or injury that made you leave the academy early.

    But assuming an individual could accept and go through the entire process for 2 or more academies before attending, I personally don't have a problem with it. WHY, PRAY TELL???

    Because that individual/appointee has EARNED THAT RIGHT. They are the one who spent the years in school getting the grades; being involved in clubs; doing sports; leadership positions; etc. Not those competing against them. Not their parents. Not the guidance counselor, etc. THEY DID IT. As such, they have earned the right to do whatever is in their best interest. They don't OWE any other applicant anything.

    And unlike a civilian school, a turned down spot isn't an automatic slot for someone on a wait list. The Appointment process is quite complicated. The list of those who didn't receive an appointment isn't a numeric list where John Smith is #1 on the Non-Selectee list. The person who turned it down, might have been a MOC's "Principal" nominee. The academy would try and get someone from that MOC's list. Even if that person was much further down on the scoring. Remember; there's the NOMINATION SLATES that account for about half of the appointments; and the national pool where applicants compete nationally for the other half of the appointments. It's also possible that the academy simply chooses not to fill that slot that was turned down because MORE accepted than they planned.

    So I don't buy, and personally am not concerned, about a person holding an academy slot and SUPPOSEDLY affecting someone else from not getting in. This is no different than being upset because someone went to Basic training and quit 2 weeks into it. I hear people saying; there's all these people who applied who didn't get an appointment, and they've wanted this their whole life. And this person who quit, wasted a slot on one of those others. That's a CROCK of you know what. Most times, even those who quit, "Wanted it their whole life" too. So many go into the academy not knowing what they are getting into. They think because they WANTED IT for the last 10 years, that they were meant to be there. Sorry..... but until you're there, you have no idea. And that includes all the JrROTC, Scouts, and CAP participants. Just because you did all that, doesn't mean you have any idea what the academy or real military is like. It may not be for you. Even if you wanted it "Your whole life". (All 10-12 years)

    So no, it doesn't bother me if an applicant accepts more than one academy and sits on it to make a final decision. THEY EARNED THAT RIGHT. It doesn't bother me if they attend Basic Training or even get into the 1st academic semester and quit. THEY EARNED THAT RIGHT. They don't owe any other applicant anything. They busted their butt to get this appointment. They can do anything they want to with it. THEY EARNED THAT RIGHT.
     
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  5. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    You are right. For most people there would be no reason to accept appointments to two service academies and hold on to those appointments until reporting day.

    However, someone may have a reason that, in their mind, justifies holding two appointments. Perhaps it is a difficult decision and it maintains the option of changing their mind until the last minute. Following the logic of acting only in one's self interest, both appointments should be held until reporting day. There is a possible upside and no downside.

    The only possible downside might be to an unknown candidate that did not get an appointment or to the academy that had a no-show appointee. Or maybe the downside is to the academy that enrolled this person.
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

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    Again, the unknown applicant is of "No Importance " to the individual who accepted an appointment. And as for the academy, they don't care. They expect, AND NEED, approximately 200-300 to quit or be kicked out within the next 4 years. A few no shows on "I Day" is irrelevant.
     
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  7. Idlewild

    Idlewild Member

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    Point should also be made that having been DQ'd after May 1st induced pure panic knowing we had not put deposit down at a plan B. I would never allow that to happen again! we relied on the good relationship our DD college counselor had to assure a spot (and retention of scholarship) post deadline. Others may not be in such a fortunate position and in my opinion should protect their interests appropriately and as ethically as possible.
     
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  8. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    An Entrepreneurial Finance professor imparted a few gems of wisdom on our group of aspiring titans of commerce that have served me well in 30 years of business:
    • Happiness is a positive cash flow
    • Work 60-80 hours/week in your 30's and 40's so you don't have to work 40 hours/week in your 50's and 60's
    • You can't do a good deal with a bad person
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

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    Not sure how this applies to the thread, but I have an opinion on this "Philosophy".

    "An "Entrepreneurial Finance professor" imparted a few gems of wisdom on our group of aspiring titans of commerce that have served me well in 30 years of business:
    (Those who CAN......... DO! - Those who CAN'T......... TEACH!) The ONLY exception to this, is a professor that spent 20+ years in the "REAL WORLD" working in their field before entering academia. Some do; some don't.
    • Happiness is a "positive cash flow" (Happiness is a POSITIVE ATTITUDE)
    • Work 60-80 hours/week in your 30's and 40's so you don't have to work 40 hours/week in your 50's and 60's. (I worked 40/60+ hours in my 20's/30's in the military during REAL "World Affecting" missions. I invested properly and don't have to work AT ALL in my 50's if I don't want to. I'll be 100% retired by the time I'm 60.)
    • You can't do a good deal with a bad person (You CAN do a good deal with ANYONE, once you know and understand what motivates them. Everyone is motivated by something. Once you understand what that is, you can make a deal that benefits both THEM and YOU).
     
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  10. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    @Christcorp FYI, that professor was a highly successful "angel investor", emphasizing the trustworthiness of the management team in which he was investing.

    Congratulations on your success. Admittedly, I was never able to construct a win-win deal with the ethically challenged "bad person". I honestly did find that third gem particularly useful in avoiding bad investments, dishonorable people, and the associated headaches that accompany those two.

    On another note, I was hoping you still might be able to provide the Federal Statute that limits the academies to commissioning 1,000 officers each year. I can't find it, but stopped searching after about three hours. I try to be accurate with the information I post and am embarrassed that I did not know this one. Until you pointed it out, I didn't realize that USMA admissions was under pressure to achieve planned attrition. I mistakenly believed that they would be commended for selecting an exceptionally qualified and motivated class.

    If you could provide that reference, it would really help me avoid making further uninformed comments.
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

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    Ethics, may be socially accepted norms; but most times, they are an individual perception. What you may find to be unethical; someone else may not see it that way. As such, to say someone is unethical many times is an opinion. What makes one person's values more ethical than another person's? You can go based on LAWS; but that a legal issue. Not an ethical issue. You may say stealing is unethical. Someone else may simply see stealing as illegal. Both see them as WRONG; but for different reasons. But EVERYONE, at the end of the day, is self centered and does what is right or best for them. Even the pope or most honest person in the world, doesn't make decisions that don't benefit themselves some way or another. Even if it's just to "Feel Good". It's still a self satisfying need. Find out what MOTIVATES an individual, and you can work with them. You can make deals with them. If you think however that your morals, values, etc. are SUPERIOR, and thus, YOU are superior to someone else; and therefor WON'T work with them..... well; that's a personal decision. It has nothing to do with being able to work with or making a deal with another person.

    As for the 1000 limit; I have it some place. I'll have to dig it up. It's not us code 10; it's separate. It may have been a DOD policy/directive. This isn't the first time this topic has come up before. Matter of fact; searching this forum may even find it again. Like I said, this isn't the first time.

    In line with that; assume for a second that the 1000 commissions isn't relevant. The US Code 10 does limit the cadet corp to a total of 4400. If 1300 appointees entered a class; and as you say, the academy would be thrilled if all 1300 graduated and commissioned; that means all 1300 entered and none quit or were kicked out. That alone, would make a cadet corp of 5200 students. 800 more than the authorized 4400 that us code 10 states. Even if 1200 were appointed each year, the total would be about 400 too many at the academy.

    Thus, my point. The academy would not be thrilled if the 1300 they appointed, made it through the 4 years; graduated; and were commissioned. They can't have that many people at the academy. IF NONE ever quit, failed out, or were kicked out; then the MOST they could have any one year, would be 1025. But; because the number brought in is "Dynamic" and will change each year because of those quitting or getting kicked out, the graduation number can change. But I will look when I get some time to find the commissioning level limits.
     
  12. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    The suggestion that the limit on commissions from academies is not a Federal Statute and may be a DOD directive is somewhat closer to my understanding of the process.

    My understanding is that congress authorizes officer strength levels at each rank and then the departments (Secretary of the Army for USMA) determine allocations among the various commissioning sources (USMA, ROTC, OCS). However, I have never been aware of a codified limit of 1,000, and believe that the future number is determined and adjusted over the years as classes move through the system and approach graduation and commissioning.

    If a USMA class experiences lower than expected attrition through plebe, yearling and cow years, the projected graduation class size would determine the number of commissions from USMA - not the number of commissions determining the size of the graduating class. Of course, I leave room for the existence of that Federal Statute or codified limit of which I am unaware.

    The example of 100% retention was an extreme example to illustrate a point - that USMA wants all cadets to succeed and does not seek to weed out enough to conform to an attrition model. If such an unlikely scenario were to occur, USMA would more likely be looking at what they did right in selecting the class rather than what they did wrong in not getting rid of enough of them.
     
  13. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Needed a break from visiting relatives, so I thought I would search the forum for that 1,000 commissioning limit and tell them I was working on important business stuff.

    Couldn't find anything on the commissioning limit, but this did pop up in a letter from the USNA Superintendent someone copied to the thread. It's from 2008, but I imagine still applies today.

    Attrition
    Our attrition rate is at record lows, despite the change in policies this year. Is this because the Academy’s program has gotten easier? No. It is a reflection of the quality of midshipmen we currently admit. Every year we receive nine to ten times the number of applications that we can accept. We will always have a small percentage of midshipmen who attrite for a wide variety of reasons, but our Navy and Marine Corps would be well served if all our midshipmen could be successfully commissioned.
     
  14. MemberLG

    MemberLG 5-Year Member

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    1000 commissioning limit probably has to do with historical trend combined with the Army 2LT accession requirement. I am pretty sure the Army G1 knows how many 2LTs they need each year. Other than OCS, USMA and ROTC production can be followed pretty good to include AC/RC mix of ROTC commissioning. With OCS, there is a minimum number to run a OCS class. I believe the GWOT tempororay increase in the size of Corps of Cadets are still good, but West Point decided to voluntarily reduce the class size.
     
  15. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

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    But even if the 1000 commissioning isn't an official number, that's almost the max they could graduate anyway. USC 10 states the academy can't have more than 4400 cadets. And with approximately 20% of the incoming class quitting or being kicked out over a 4 year period, they would only have about 1000 to graduate anyway. If there were still say 1100 seniors; 1150 juniors, and 1200 sophomores, they'd only be able to bring in 950 freshman that year.

    But because of many years of experience, they can bring in 1200-1300 each year; because they know that 200-300 will quit or be kicked out within the next 3-4 years.
     
  16. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Exactly. Commissioning "limits" are determined by the size of the Corps of Cadets. If 500 graduate, 500 get commissioned. If 1,200 graduate, 1,200 get commissioned. At no point in the progression of a class does the academy think "we've got too many and better find a way to get rid of some."

    In addition to the authorized 4,400, the Secretary of the Army may increase that number in any given year by 1% (44 cadets). Additionally, the 4,400 is not a fixed number that must be adhered to at all points in time, but only on one day of the year - "the day before the last day of the academic year." - conveniently occurring before the next plebe class reports. These factors provide the academy with flexibility in managing unexpected variances in attrition.

    Low attrition in a class is viewed positively - Board of Visitors minutes verify this. Any associated superficial problems are managed through the supporting bureaucracy. With ROTC providing 5,000+ graduates each year, a variance in the number of USMA graduates in a given year can be easily managed, especially since it will be recognized well in advance.
     
  17. truenorth

    truenorth Member

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    Folks, I think we have flogged this horse to death. No disrespect to the Cavalry. Let's move on.
     
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  18. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Agreed. No mas.
    [​IMG]
     
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