Tulane vs University of Southern California

JJ2372k

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Jul 5, 2019
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Hey guys,

I am currently finishing up my application, and I am stuck on whether to list Tulane or USC as my first choice. Due to the new fact that all accepts will receive their first choice, I would like to get it right the first time, so that I don't run the risk of losing my scholarship due to school assignment. I am not asking "which unit is better" as I know that the leadership switches up every few years, however I am wondering for one, where the USC unit's relative proximity to USMC San Diego Recruit Depot allows for any exclusive training, and whether there are any big, unknown advantages to either, as I have seen a lot of posts about Tulane on this site. I also understand that Tulane has a 100% coverage scholarship for Room and Board for ROTC members. With all this said, could anyone say anything about any reputations or consistent successes these units have? Like with competitions or anything.

Thanks
 

kinnem

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The main thing I'll mention is consider humid vs dry heat.

I'm assuming you're considering NROTC given you mention USMC. The Tulane NROTC unit hosts a drill meet during Mardi Gras each year so no doubt you would be assisting with that. As a host I doubt Tulane actually competes in the meet.

DS's NROTC unit (the other and first USC - University of South Carolina) had access to Ft Jackson (20 minute drive) for some training activities a few times each year for O-course, Leadership Course, Land Nav etc. The Marine Options also did a long weekend at Parris Island each year. USC isn't all that close to Pendleton (2 hour+ drive according to mapquest) but I'd be surprised if the Marine Options, at least, didn't train there at least once a year. I don't know that for a fact though.

My son is stationed at Pendleton. I doubt he would know anything about USC training but I'll check with him. He's on a 96 so it will be a while.

All the above being said, pick the school, not the unit. Although each unit has a unique character there is also a great deal of homogeneity between them. They all take the same Naval Science classes. They all have the same math and science prereqs. They all have lab days, etc.
 

sophloaf0

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Dec 4, 2018
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Hey guys,

I am currently finishing up my application, and I am stuck on whether to list Tulane or USC as my first choice. Due to the new fact that all accepts will receive their first choice, I would like to get it right the first time, so that I don't run the risk of losing my scholarship due to school assignment. I am not asking "which unit is better" as I know that the leadership switches up every few years, however I am wondering for one, where the USC unit's relative proximity to USMC San Diego Recruit Depot allows for any exclusive training, and whether there are any big, unknown advantages to either, as I have seen a lot of posts about Tulane on this site. I also understand that Tulane has a 100% coverage scholarship for Room and Board for ROTC members. With all this said, could anyone say anything about any reputations or consistent successes these units have? Like with competitions or anything.

Thanks
In terms of room and board, usc offers 1,000 off per semester.
 

Capt MJ

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Another factor that comes up here often is factor in whether you can afford the school if you lost your scholarship and were disenrolled involuntarily. (medical, conduct, academic, performance, it happens) or voluntarily (you realized military service is not for you).
 

NavyHoops

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Agree with everything said above. USC is not a cheap school. I am sure Tulane isn’t cheap either, but I know USC is one of the more expensive schools each year. If you are medically DQ’d or don’t like ROTC can you afford it? Assuming you are thinking NROTC? If it’s Army or AFROTC what if you only got a 3 year? Room and Board is no small amount of money, so I would say Tulane has that advantage. As mentioned MCRD San Diego is next to the San Diego Airport (it’s next door). It’s a 2 hour ride or more. Camp Pendleton is closer by 45 minutes or so. The main San Diego Naval base is 2.5 hours or so. I wouldn’t count on a lot of training here, maybe 1-2 times a year. Tulane is probably closer with the reserve bases in NOLA. Marine reserve headquarters are there. I would focus on what school is best for you.
 

Impulsive

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Can't speak to USC, but Tulane has been absolutely wonderful with our DS. The CO is terrific, the unit is staffed by PMS's who care, are available, and are helpful, and if you attend Tulane (base it on your major, not NROTC) it is indeed a true "full ride". But as stated above, look at your educational track, almost all PMS courses are the same anywhere, but your major makes you happy and gives you what you want to eventually do either in the military or the civilian sector. Mardi Gras and the French Quarter have a definite draw...:)

Bottom line is either one is good, pick your school based on your intended major NOT NROTC, and remember what @Capt MJ said, make sure you can afford or get academic scholarships to whatever school you choose, you never know what may happen academically or medically.
 

Humey

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USC is the better school without taking Rotc into consideration
 

BAMA ROTC

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Hit me up via DM, I can put you in touch with the Tulane ROO
 
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I'm assuming you're considering NROTC given you mention USMC. The Tulane NROTC unit hosts a drill meet during Mardi Gras each year so no doubt you would be assisting with that. As a host I doubt Tulane actually competes in the meet.
Villanova hosts a drill meet in April every year, and they most definitely compete!
 

Wahoo2022

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This sounds like a matter of opinion.
Even without looking it up, USC would be a higher ranked school based on national reputation. Now rankings do not exactly equate to "better" as that is in the eye of the beholder, but ranking are the only external data to use based on the OP asking the question of comparing the two schools.

Using US News and World Report 2019 rankings:
USC is ranked #22 nationally; Tulane is #44 in the same ranking for undergraduate degrees

For engineering (assuming you would be pursuing a STEM degree for NROTC):
USC is ranked #24 for engineering, Tulane #104 for engineering.
Looks like tuition costs are both in the same zip code in the mid $50's; both are urban schools and large.

Net, based on reputation nationally, USC would be the stronger/better school. However, in the world of engineering, as long as you do well in your program (and they have to be ABET accredited for ROTC) and your job, then no one really cares where you got your undergrad degree. It is more about fit with what you want.

If the OP is getting a nonSTEM degree, then college reputation may matter...and it may matter to the OP. Net, asking which school is better to a group of nameless folks is an endless debate...the OP needs to do the research and visit the schools to determine which is a better fit for them.
 

Humey

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This sounds like a matter of opinion.
Even without looking it up, USC would be a higher ranked school based on national reputation. Now rankings do not exactly equate to "better" as that is in the eye of the beholder, but ranking are the only external data to use based on the OP asking the question of comparing the two schools.

Using US News and World Report 2019 rankings:
USC is ranked #22 nationally; Tulane is #44 in the same ranking for undergraduate degrees

For engineering (assuming you would be pursuing a STEM degree for NROTC):
USC is ranked #24 for engineering, Tulane #104 for engineering.
Looks like tuition costs are both in the same zip code in the mid $50's; both are urban schools and large.

Net, based on reputation nationally, USC would be the stronger/better school. However, in the world of engineering, as long as you do well in your program (and they have to be ABET accredited for ROTC) and your job, then no one really cares where you got your undergrad degree. It is more about fit with what you want.

If the OP is getting a nonSTEM degree, then college reputation may matter...and it may matter to the OP. Net, asking which school is better to a group of nameless folks is an endless debate...the OP needs to do the research and visit the schools to determine which is a better fit for them.
While I think USC is the better school overall, it doesnt mean that for a particular student, Tulane or Bosie State (for example) isnt a better fit. I would have been very happy if either of my sons had gone to Tulane although my wife would have loved in if they both had gone to USC (we live in S. Calfornia). You can take acceptance rates anyway you like, but USC acceptance rate is like 15% while Tulane is around 25% but try getting into USC Film School and it probably around 1% (slightly exaggerating). My best friends son got accepted into Tulane but he wound up turning it down. While the son loved the campus and everything about the school, its computer science program didnt meet what he wanted from it. Which of course leads me to another point, the quality of your major and its department is probably more important than the status of the overall school. And finally, we can all admit that even I as a Stanford Football supporter, that when comparing USC vs Tulane in terms of sports, its like comparing MLB to little league baseball:)
 

thibaud

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USC is the better school without taking Rotc into consideration
This sounds like a matter of opinion.
It isnt
Not necessarily - depends on the discipline. For Physics, Tulane is considered superior, according to the gold standard for academic rankings, which is the National Research Council (NRC) surveys of actual professors using a rigorous methodology created by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The last NRC survey was done in 2010, while Tulane was still in its rebuilding phase, and even then, Tulane's Physics program according to actual physicists ranked 9th in the nation (see the 'S' ranking column) out of 158 research institutions. USC's Physics program was ranked 97th. https://www.chronicle.com/article/NRC-Rankings-Overview-Physics/124754

Granted, these "S" rankings are for the graduate programs but given that Tulane and USC are similar in size, location etc, these rankings are probably directionally accurate for undergraduate as well.
 
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Devil Doc

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@AROTC-dad a storied history indeed. Was just a dig at USC-W. Haven’t seen the PAC-12 make much noise recently in college football. I’m a Bama man so I get a little pompous at times.
 

Humey

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Jun 21, 2016
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USC is the better school without taking Rotc into consideration
This sounds like a matter of opinion.
It isnt
Not necessarily - depends on the discipline. For Physics, Tulane is considered superior, according to the gold standard for academic rankings, which is the National Research Council (NRC) surveys of actual professors using a rigorous methodology created by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The last NRC survey was done in 2010, while Tulane was still in its rebuilding phase, and even then, Tulane's Physics program according to actual physicists ranked 9th in the nation (see the 'S' ranking column) out of 158 research institutions. USC's Physics program was ranked 97th. https://www.chronicle.com/article/NRC-Rankings-Overview-Physics/124754

Granted, these "S" rankings are for the graduate programs but given that Tulane and USC are similar in size, location etc, these rankings are probably directionally accurate for undergraduate as well.
Of course no one school can be best at everything. I think UNLV is or was top school for majoring in hospitality but Harvard is a better school overall
 
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