Well, I know it is early on in the process for most, but for my DS, the decision is all but officially made. After much soul searching, it seems as though he has decided on USCGA. He finished up 2 of 3 nomination interviews so far, and was told he will get the nom from our congressman, but it won't be released until the Jan 31 deadline. He received the appointment offer from CGA via email and a phone call, but the BFE is still enroute. I will say, it was a tough decision for him that involved many different thought patterns, but in the end, it is what he feels called to do. Just wondering how others who were fortunate enough to have a choice between SA's. I am proud of the decision he has made, and I will say that either would have been the "right" decision in my eyes. I am prior military, but neither Coast Guard or Navy, so my prior branch really carry much weight here at all...nor should it have. In retrospect, I know there are several factors that he weighed... -Hard to pass up on the "glamour" of Annapolis and the Naval Academy. Not much of a comparison in campuses. Not in size or amenities. Having seen both campuses, there is no doubt the CG does "more with less" as they say. Also no comparison between New London and Annapolis. Annapolis is a world class tourist destination, as is the Naval Academy itself. New London, while the area is nice to see, there is no comparison. -many have mentioned size matters. "Hard to fly under the radar" at CGA compared to USNA. Honestly, as his dad, I think that is better for DS. -playing lacrosse is important to DS and being able to play on the first ever D3 Varsity lacrosse team at CGA was a factor, although not a game changer. After all, lacrosse or any sport won't matter much after graduation. But, I think lacrosse or any sport that you like is a great diversion from the drudgery of freshman year and beyond. He had no chance of playing varsity lacrosse at USNA. He just doesn't have the size needed for his position for a D1 team. -most importantly was his research on life after graduation. The mission he felt was more in line with his personality, etc. There is some research on retention rates after five years (although Im not sure how accurate) being higher in CG than Navy. Deployments of 2 months or so compared to 9-10 months. Job satisfaction of those in operational units that he has met with / spoken with. All of these things were considered. -One of the most difficult aspects of the decision (that I am very proud of him for overcoming) was the general lack of common knowledge of the Coast Guard Academy vs. the Naval Academy. Here in our land-locked state, we get "I didn't know the Coast Guard had an Academy" all the time. Or even worse, "I really thought he was going to college...." No matter what SA you may end up at, get ready for that one! Then there is always the "What do you mean you are choosing CGA over NA....are you crazy?" Sometimes that's hard to explain. I posted this on the USNA section because I wanted to say that up until a month or so ago, USNA was the number one choice. He attended both NASS and AIM, and CVW and CFAD, so we've tried to give him as much knowledge of both as we can. Things can and do change. Will they change again for DS? Probably, most definitely not at this point. For those of you considering multiple service academies and end up with choices.....follow your heart and understand that the popular decision may not be the right one for you. Like I tell my son, you've come a long way to get where you are. Others would love to have the "choices" that you have. Enjoy it, and again, follow your heart! I am interested in hearing other perspectives on this from those parents and hopefuls who were/are in similar situations.