VMI vs. Tulane NROTC for SF Selection


Dec 1, 2017
I have been blessed enough to receive an appointment to VMI but the tuition price is very hefty. I have also been admitted to Tulane with about a 50% tuition coverage scholarship and been able to speak with some coordinators of their NROTC program and been informed of the multiple ways that Tulane would be willing to help me get to BUD/S as an officer. But I have also read that VMI is really good at getting cadets into those SpecWar slots. Also, I am applied for the national NROTC scholarship, but I have not heard back about their decision on my application. My question is this: When it comes to trying to get a SpecWar slot upon commission, would Tulane or VMI be a better option?
I think getting a SpecWar slot is going to have far more to do with you, your determination, and the effort you put in, than where you go to school does. If Tulane has ways to help then I'm sure they will do their best. My son went to S Carolina and I know of several kids there who got BUDS slots. I'm convinced it's not where you attend college that matters.
Agree with Kinnem.

I also submit that you should really think hard before taking on major debt to attend any college when a great school like Tulane is making you such a great offer!

My DS turned down going to The Citadel, because his local state university offered a third off his tuition. At that rate, he would be able to graduate debt free, whereas at Citadel, he would have had to take on debt if no scholarship came to fruition.

Finances are a reality that a candidate and his/her parents cannot ignore.
Definitely pick Tulane over VMI. Better deal, and you will most likely enjoy it more than you would VMI. How you got commissioned and where you went to college are not selection criteria for SF.
A few notes
- A better deal is factually inaccurate and a subjective statement. The cost of tuition at VMI for out of state is $53K and the cost at Tulane is about $65K and the thirty year return on investment difference is about $100K in favor of VMI.
- After 17 years not seeing many of my classmates who looking back say they would have enjoyed another institution more but that is a very subjective statement. I did see 7 classmates out of approximately 30 still on active duty make the battalion command list today in the first year of primary consideration out of about 15 LTCs. Two were selected early last year. As far as the Special Operations Community goes none of my classmates went Naval Special Warfare but four were Army SF and two served most of their careers in SF. Multiple individuals completed Ranger School and several served in Ranger units to include an Air Force pilot who did three years as an ALO in 3/75.
- I would agree that making it through any selection program is on the individual but can give you numbers over the last few years on BUDS selection. This year there were 17 slots for BUDS in the NROTC and VMI received one. Last year there were 17 and VMI received 3 (the highest NROTC in the nation). I can't find the data for 2016 but for the class of 2015 there was 1 of 17 from VMI. So I would ask NROTC what the selection statistical rate is for the NSW community from any colleges you are interested in. Given that there are 59 programs in the nation than VMI is certainly at the higher end of BUDS selectees based on the last four years without looking at detachment size.
- Finally, I would visit each school look at academic disciplines and figure out what campus/major/student body is the right fit for you. I tell any person looking at VMI decide if it is right for you. If the challenge entices you then you will be fine but don't go to try it out and see if you will like it or do it because it may get you some career goal you have at 17 for when you are 40 or you probably struggle.



Article about 3 selectees from Class of 2017
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