USNA vs Ivy League School NROTC

californiasteven

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Advantages/Disadvantages for NROTC vs USNA? Both are amazing schools and at the end of the day would be commissioning into the Navy either way.
 

kinnem

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Uhhhh.... full ride vs a presumably "partial" ride?
A more southern climate at USNA.
More summer training opportunities at USNA.
Everyone is in uniforms all the time at USNA vs a mere few one day a week (pro or con depends on you)
And the list goes on...
 

5Day

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If your goal is a military career definite edge to USNA
I am sure I will get flamed, but the academics will be superior at an Ivy than USNA (less nuclear engineering)
Classes will be smaller at USNA
All Professors at an Ivy are PhDs (see above, you may never get to interact with the actual professor at the Ivy)
Military training at an Ivy will be a joke compared to USNA (positive or negative, you make the call)
You will be commissioned an officer through both programs
Ivy will be less structured.
Some of the Ivy NROTC are crosstown. That could make ROTC a logistical challenge.
 

NavyHoops

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All good points. Consider if you will thrive in a 24/7 military environment or not. For some, that is not a great thing and others do well in it. Also another large point is who you will do best surrounded by. At USNA it will be those who are very like minded. ROTC detachments at Ivies usually aren't the largest (this can vary so look at the specific schools and cross towns you are applying to). This can be good or bad depending on your view. You will be surrounded by many who can't comprehend why you are doing ROTC. Visit both if you can and ask a lot of questions.
 

nuensis

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In my opinion, you have more opportunity to have better training and preparation at USNA. There are things you can do at USNA that can't be done anywhere else.

Training: Bottom line, USNA has more money for cool stuff. Not necessarily because the Navy shortchanges NROTC, but because the USNA Alumni Association has very large pots of money that go directly to midshipmen training and programs (thanks old grads). I doubt a school like Yale (or even a military institution like VMI/Citadel) apportions that kind of money to the NROTC program. There are training opportunities not offered to NROTC at all due to funding, clearances, or just because the host organization prefers Academy cadets and midshipmen.

Interaction: USNA has officers and enlisted from every warfare community in the Navy and a fairly good representation from the Marine Corps. There are a multitude of international officers and midshipmen from all over the world. There's a handful of JAGs in Bancroft and a dozen Intel officers across Stribling. There's a MARSOC Marine a few doors down from your room. An EOD officer teaches your English class. Your cyber instructor is a CW officer that worked at an NSA cryptologic center. You can get invaluable knowledge from the depth and width of experience available to you at USNA. In comparison, an NROTC unit has five or so officers and one or two senior enlisted.

Facilities: YPs. Ship simulators. Flight simulators. O-Course and E-Course on campus. Subcritical nuclear reactor. Cray supercomputer. The new cyber building will have a SCIF. With it, USNA courses can travel out of the realm of theory and into real capabilities and operations.

Service Assignment: USNA has more slots than ROTC for IWC, SEAL, EOD, and Medical Corps. Training and preparation for these highly selective assignments is better at USNA (due to the above).

Leadership: The scale is different. More people, more money, more demands, more visibility, more opportunity for failure or success. Not just for Bancroft Hall either, many major events that happen at the Academy are developed, organized, and/or executed by midshipmen of all classes.

Of course, this is all moot if you don't make use of the resources and personnel available, want to ride YPs for two weeks every summer, and spend firstie year collecting wardroom money and running urinalysis. You also won't be doing anything particularly special if you're straddling the 2.0 line the whole time you're there. You get out of it what you put in. There are plenty of mids that get nothing out of four years at the Academy other than a degree, a commission, and a fervent hatred of YPs.
 

JustABill1775

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If it's George Washington or university of Maryland NROTC. Or some Ivy League. Do NROTC. If not do usna. If you got in them all. Doesn't matter where you go. Most top generals and admirals these days are ROTC grads now than ever. USNA will be 24/7 military style while trying to feel like a civilian from what I hear. NROTC is best depending where you go. It's up to you
 

LineInTheSand

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For undergrad students at an Ivy, you'll often, though clearly not always, have a teaching assistant teaching you, so don't assume it's always the best.

That said, it looks great in a resume and certainly opens doors despite you being tied up in Navy stuff for four years following graduation.

For straight military, USNA beats NROTC. For a well-rounded college experience, NROTC beats USNA. For what sets you up after the Navy... it's more dependent on the school, where a great school will edge USNA, but USNA will edge a "regular" college.

There are good networks out there for academy graduates.
 

unkown1961

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You don't mention which Ivy League you got in to (congrats on getting in to an Ivy and USNA). If your Ivy choice is among HYP, then the draw of those schools' reputations might be the deciding factor, especially if you separate after a few years. USNA has a great rep obviously, but HYP are world renowned.
You have a lot of good comments and insights above to think about. As a dad of two ROTC scholarship recipients (a college sophomore doing AFROTC in Boston and a high school senior planning to attend MIT with an NROTC ISR), I would offer these insights. Both seriously considered the academies but in the end decided they wanted to have a regular college life as part of their college experience. My college sophomore has had a great ROTC experience, and has had a great college experience. He's able to study till 1am and then head out for pizza. He can schedule classes at 11am and sleep in (which helps with the late night studying). He's able to experience both the military atmosphere with many ROTC activities and the non-military atmosphere at college. On the ROTC thread, a Lt gave this advice to ROTC cadets and I think it hits on an option that ROTC offers vs USNA:
"Do not let AFROTC consume your life. Just refer back to #1: You are a college student. Enjoy the college life, while exercising good judgement at the same time. There's a reason why ROTC is different from the Academy, it is because you get to have the college life at the same time of pursuing a commission. So, don't eat, sleep, and live ROTC 24/7. Enjoy these 4 or more years you have."
Doing ROTC offers you this decision, whereas USNA won't - i.e., having a choice not to have the military part of college not consume your life.
You're lucky to have great schools as an option as well as USNA. Good luck.
 

5Day

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Which Ivy/s are you thinking of. At least one has an "interesting" relationship with ROTC and the military in general. Just google [school] rotc and look at the news feeds. Look for news articles, school publication articles, etc. Not the official websites.
 

californiasteven

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Thank you so much everyone. I will definitely take these points into account when deciding between these two schools. And @unknown1961 , I do have the decision between a HYP school and USNA. Thank you for your insight.
 

unkown1961

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Thank you so much everyone. I will definitely take these points into account when deciding between these two schools. And @unknown1961 , I do have the decision between a HYP school and USNA. Thank you for your insight.

Congrats! That's a great achievement. One other thing to consider is if it's crosstown. Yale is on campus, Harvard is at MIT (so not a problem), but Princeton is at Rutgers. Depending on what you choose, you might meet my daughter at NROTC.
 

NavyHoops

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If you can I would recommend to visit both. I was recruited heavily by the Ivies and USNA. I thought for sure I was going to go to Princeton. 2 hours into my visit I knew Princeton was off the list. I walked on the Yard at USNA and knew I had found my home. Hard to explain why, but it all just felt right. If you haven't already done this I would recommend you visit both to include a visit to the ROTC det.
 

unkown1961

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If you can I would recommend to visit both. I was recruited heavily by the Ivies and USNA. I thought for sure I was going to go to Princeton. 2 hours into my visit I knew Princeton was off the list. I walked on the Yard at USNA and knew I had found my home. Hard to explain why, but it all just felt right. If you haven't already done this I would recommend you visit both to include a visit to the ROTC det.

Great advice! Definitely visit the schools and see what the vibe is like, if you like the setting, the surrounding town or big city, etc. Even talk to faculty in the department of your major. Having taken two kids on college tours, I'm a big proponent of visiting schools. Both of my kids added and deleted schools form their list due to visits. As NavyHoops wrote, you'll know if it feels right. And it's best to go while school is in session so you get a true feel for the campus.
 

ktnatalk

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If it's George Washington or university of Maryland NROTC. Or some Ivy League. Do NROTC. If not do usna. If you got in them all. Doesn't matter where you go. Most top generals and admirals these days are ROTC grads now than ever. USNA will be 24/7 military style while trying to feel like a civilian from what I hear. NROTC is best depending where you go. It's up to you

Not sure where you find your source. I believe of the 10 Admirals (4 stars) 8 are USNA grads, and of the 35 Vice Admirals (3 stars) 21 are USNA grads today. These numbers include two VADMs in medical field and one VADM JAG.
 

LineInTheSand

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Not sure where you find your source. I believe of the 10 Admirals (4 stars) 8 are USNA grads, and of the 35 Vice Admirals (3 stars) 21 are USNA grads today. These numbers include two VADMs in medical field and one VADM JAG.

Which would not only mean a majority come from USNA, but you're more likely to make it from USNA.
 

ktnatalk

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Not sure where you find your source. I believe of the 10 Admirals (4 stars) 8 are USNA grads, and of the 35 Vice Admirals (3 stars) 21 are USNA grads today. These numbers include two VADMs in medical field and one VADM JAG.

Clarification: I meant to say the two VADMs in medical field and the one VADM JAG are among the 14 non USNA grads and they are in the restricted lines. I must had too much spiced eggnog. :p
 

vadad23

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Have thought about and discussed this very question with several USNA grads I know closely. One is my neighbor who did 5 years in SW after graduating from Annapolis and now is very successful in business. His take was most interesting. Head to head, he thinks you have better overall career options doing ROTC at a high level Ivy or equivalent (e.g. MIT, Stanford, Hopkins, U Chicago, etc) because of the following:
1. Broader high quality, peer network in the civilian world in whatever field you choose to study at the civilian university. May have harder transition with USNA to civilians life compared to the Ivy credentials.
2. Larger range of options for majors that would not be available at USNA including with world class programs(e.g. Robotics at MIT, finance at Wharton, government at Harvard, etc).
3. I know this last point may be dubious but here it is... Arguably more range of options with post graduation billets will be available if doing rotc at an Ivy. Many from USNA will have expertise in combat arms or flight operations as a line officer which is goal of USNA & will be 90% + of USNA grads. Don't know what the rate of non-line assignments after graduating from one of the Ivy's but guessing slightly higher number will be going non line. If not planning a career in Navy or not sure, this may give an edge to those that transition to civilian life after payback. If you go in knowing you will make a career in Navy, full range of advancement options still available. That said, probably have an edge with USNA per ktnatalk stats.

Don't shoot the messenger but I think some are valid points.
 

MAC_Daddy

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If you can I would recommend to visit both. I was recruited heavily by the Ivies and USNA. I thought for sure I was going to go to Princeton. 2 hours into my visit I knew Princeton was off the list. I walked on the Yard at USNA and knew I had found my home. Hard to explain why, but it all just felt right. If you haven't already done this I would recommend you visit both to include a visit to the ROTC det.

Our DS quite literally could have gone to any school in the country and recruited by several Ivy's. After his trips, however, USNA won hands down. Princeton pursued with an ROTC grad to interview, but the decision was final. Ivy's have the reputation of having the great academia, but keep in mind the kids it also attracts. Many are or those that simply believe good grades and test scores make them special. Our DS said the biggest difference was the people he that he met at these places. He said at an Academy and they were "more down to earth and have a different sense of purpose" but that was his experience. Academies quite literally are invested in you. If you can't handle it there, they cut you loose. Many of the other schools coddle the students and will milk them for more tuition along the way. Too much stress and too many classes? That's OK, thin out your schedule and add a semester. That won't happen with ROTC, but the purpose of the school's objectives are entirely contradictory to one another. Besides, grad school is where you really want a brand. Undergrad is not nearly as critical.
 
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