VMI NROTC Commissioning?

VMI 2020+4

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Apr 4, 2020
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I will be attending VMI this fall (or whenever COVID-19 finally lets up), and I am planning to pursue a commission in the Navy. However, I didn't pick up the 4-year scholarship. I am going in as a Tier 3 Major (History), and I don't want to force myself to pursue a Tier-1 Major because I know for a fact that it would not end well. For example, here are some of my grades from the last two years of high school.
I finished with a C in Precalculus my Junior year, but have gotten better scores in Physics. I finished my Pre-AP Physics Class (Junior Year) with an 86, and because of this virus, my school has frozen grades and I finished AP Physics with an 81. I was hoping to use this last grading period to bump my score up but here we are. However, I have better linguistics/humanities skills, I finished AP Spanish with an 84 overall, and I received a 95 overall in AP Government this year. Additionally, I scored a 90 overall in a college composition class that I completed through my local Community College.
I know going in that I have a disadvantage compared to other College Program Cadets due to my Tier-3 Major, but I was wondering a few things if anyone has any answers or insights.

1. Does anyone know the commissioning rate for NROTC Cadets at VMI? I.E. how many cadets enter as opposed to those that commission.
2. Of those cadets, how many of those were College Program Cadets that picked up a side-load scholarship or Advanced Standing?
3. What classes should I take to optimize my chances of being picked up on a side-load or Advanced Standing? I already plan to continue taking Physics but I was wondering if I should stick with College Math or take a Calculus Class.

Any help is much appreciated!
 

Torero_dad

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Jul 5, 2019
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Good Luck, I'm not familiar with VMI specifically. But I would recommend you search this forum (ROTC) as well as adjacent forums (on private military colleges) on this site. There is a good amount of info on the Naval sideload process and recent stats if you search for that term(s) for all schools. Pay attention to the difference b/w navy and MO.

The Navy seems to appreciate applicants who've completed the requirements, so Physics and Calculus seem in order. But I would recommend you be strategic in taking these courses given your prior grades and stated interests and aptitudes. Make sure you take full advantage of the resources for tutoring and structured study ROTC affords. I'd also suggest you consider what you can do now to buff up this area (private reading, Khan academy, etc.)
 

emwvmi01

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Sep 21, 2012
Messages
244
@VMI 2020+4

First your mass will be 21+3 as it is based on your dykes class.

I think all of these questions are better aimed at NROTC staff at VMI. Crowd sourcing is only as good as the respondents many of whom are just swagging. Some quick numbers I found.

In last Academic Year there were about 89 cadets on NROTC scholarship and about 130 college programmers. Since 2016 VMI is commissioning 45-37 officers annually. The data didn’t break down USN/MC or scholarship/advanced standing. It did show that they offered provisional advanced standing to Juniors who could by merit earn AS or a scholarship prior to senior year.

One other thing is the VMI NROTC detachment from my perspective as a grad was very USMC influenced. The PNS is a Marine Colonel and strong USMC heritage with Chesty Puller and two commandants. Chesty son in law lived nearby when I was a cadet and was a 61 grad and Navy Cross recipient as well as former VMI PNS and Commandant. All that said they turn out some great Naval officers including two of my roommates one of whom just received O5 level command. Good luck and PT hard
 

Whats_my_MOS

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Mar 29, 2017
Messages
46
I know going in that I have a disadvantage compared to other College Program Cadets due to my Tier-3 Major, but I was wondering a few things if anyone has any answers or insights.
I like where your head is at. The Navy looks at three things when evaluating applicants for Side-Load/Advanced Standing. 1) GPA 2) Physical Fitness 3)Aptitude/willingness to serve. My piece of advice would be to have at least two out of the three. If you have all three, its almost a sure bet to pick up, no matter your major. By all means, GPA is the most heavily weighted, and having more of it allows you more leeway in the other two, but I have known Midshipmen who were live-and-die Navy men and PT studs with GPAs that were just over the bar who picked up AS.

There is a major difference between scholarship and Advanced Standing- if you are selected for a scholarship, you must complete two semesters of calculus. If you go the College Program Advanced Standing route, you only have to take two semesters of college math. Unfortunately, due to VMI's restructuring of the math pipeline, MA-101 and 102 (the non-stem college math courses) are not recognized by the Navy. You will have to take additional courses that best fit into your general or science electives for your degree plan.

Very important side note: you will be the *very* important conduit between your VMI academic advisor and your NROTC class advisor. Know what you have to do to graduate AND commission on time. As a Tier-3, it can be interesting trying to make sure both your degree completion plan and commisioning plan have all of their respective boxes checked.

1. Does anyone know the commissioning rate for NROTC Cadets at VMI? I.E. how many cadets enter as opposed to those that commission.
I recall my intro to Naval Science class being very full, almost bursting at the seam-flash forward to my 2/C year, and the class has a lot of empty seats. I dont have any hard numbers, just my class feeling. The group definitely slims down.

I apologize for the book, but these are the things I can speak to and can help with. I'm Class of 2021, feel free to let me know if you have any other questions!
 
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