What do you think is better? Legacy or Convinience?


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Dec 18, 2008
A four year AROTC Scholarship to Marquette (Full Ride), or the honor of going to Norwich and taking that legacy with you?
Did you not list Norwich as one of your school choices when you applied for the AROTC scholarship?
I got an Army ROTC Scholarship to Marquette from Marquette via the US Army I did put Norwich down but I don't know if I got the Army 4 Year ROTC Scholarship
Well, if there's still a possibility you may get the scholarship to Norwich, then you don't have to make the decision yet. The national commitment day for college decisions is May 1st. Assuming you get the scholarship, the question is which college do you want to go to more, Marquette or Norwich. If it's a financial matter, and you don't get the scholarship, then your answer would seem to be the full ride at Marquette. But, even then, if you still really want to go to Norwich, where there's a will there's a way.
I got an Army ROTC Scholarship to Marquette from Marquette via the US Army I did put Norwich down but I don't know if I got the Army 4 Year ROTC Scholarship
I believe that if you got an AROTC scholarship for Marquette you will do the same for Norwich - why don't you check with the Army ROTC department at Norwich and tell them what you have posted here?
Norwich is a pretty good school- different than Marquette. What are you looking for? if it's an urban environment - you won't like Norwich. Do you want the opportunity to be in a military and small college environment? Norwich will give you that.
Marquette and Norwich are like apples and steak. (not even oranges)
Marquette is a Jesuit college and will provide you with an excellent educaiton.
Norwich is a Senior military college - not as well known educationally as Marquette.

Only you can decide what you want. As far as an Army career, I don't think it matters - the benefits of attending a Senior Military college are not overwhelming.
These are different schools and you will get different experiences ("apples and steaks" ?) If you go by the USNews college rankings you will get an equally good educational experience in each and both have a strong moral component to their educational philosophy. You will get a lot out of benefit from your experiences gained at a Military College that will benefit you in a career as an Army Officer- perhaps not overwhelming (but then nowhere is "overwhelming").
Ultimately - you have to decide what is most important to you in your college choice- which ought to include academic environment (size of classes; choices of classes and majors; quality and availability of teachers) , life style- (no rules, some rules, lots of rules, no freedom of choice at all) surrounding environment; and alumni success and attachment to the school (Because who you know and who you can relate to matters when you are out in the cold cruel world. They don't call it the old school tie for nothing and you should at least have that as a consideration). finally- cost. If you are looking at taking on a large debt load to go to college at Norwich vs little or no debt going to Marquette- I would certainly suggest that you consider the financial aspect as a critical decision point. If your parents are loaded and footing the bill - no problem- but if you and or they are taking out loans to go to school- it is painful and will get more so to be in your 20s facing a mountain of debt before you can even start saving for family and retirement issues of adulthood- so don't underestimate this.

Having said that- I think that you ought to follow up with Norwich if you have received an Army ROTC scholarship offer to Marquette. I'm surprised you would have not received an Army ROTC scholarship that excluded Norwich as they should have lots of slots avaialble to them.
yeah - just trying somehow to demonstrate how completely different they are - LOL.
Other than snowy winters in Wisconsin and Vermont and getting a degree and a commission there isn't much they have in common with each other!

Bruno - perhaps you know this - other than living the military lifestyle - is there any true benefit to graduating from a SMC anymore - does the "Regular Army commission" and "Reserve Army Commission" mean anything? Do SMC grads have priority in branch selection? Do they have priority in summer training opportunities?

Marquette offers this nice little perk to scholarship winners:
4-yr scholarship winners receive an additional Enhancement Scholarship of $7,000 per year to offset room and board in university-owned facilities.4-yr scholarship winners receive an additional Enhancement Scholarship of $7,000 per year to offset room and board in university-owned facilities.
Norwich of course offers free room and board to their scholarship winners.

Additionally - think about what you want to study and major in. Is there a program at one school and not the other that you are interested in?
Well they both have Political Science, which is what I want to do. But the AROTC Letter from the PMS at Marquette says Department of the Army on the top, and it says:
Dear Cameron,
Congratulations! It is my intent, do to your academic achievement, athletic ability, and demonstrated leadership potential, to offer you a 4 year Army ROTC Scholarship to Marquette University. (It says that an AROTC Scholarship to Marquette pays FULL TUITION AND FEES, $1200 a year for books, a $300 salary a year as a freshman, and the $7,000 enhancement package.
Nationally, at least as far as AROTC is concerned, there is no difference between a SMC and a normal college or university. All SMCs do their commissioning through ROTC just like other state and private schools. I believe that slots for special training (Airborne, Air Assault, etc.) are determined based on detachment size as well as national availability, but I could be wrong. It also depends on Detachment Commander approval - all of the winter slots available to us this year would have meant missing the entire first week of classes, and the Colonel said academics come first.

As far as branch selection, cadets from SMCs are included in the same national Order of Merit List as ROTC cadets from around the nation. We also go to LDAC between junior and senior year just like our counterparts at normal schools. As Bruno alluded to earlier, your connections with Norwich may help you down the road if you make the Army a career, but only through the Alumni connection. In my opinion, perhaps the most valuable thing you can get from that connection would be a mentor.

If you haven't already done so, do everything in your power to visit all the schools you're even remotely interested in. There's only so much you can glean from websites, catalogs and phone calls. Seriously. VMI was #2 on my list of potential colleges 'til I visited; in the end, I didn't apply to any other school!

Also, one of your primary considerations should be the overall education. Academics cannot be overstated in this consideration, but you also have to think about the intangibles - the lessons that won't show up on your diploma or transcript. Do you want the physical and mental challenges of a SMC, or do you want practice juggling the part-time military/part-time civilian lifestyle?

I don't know anyone I graduated high school with who have accomplished some of the physical challenges I have as a normal part of my college education, but something I think we do miss out on is learning how to turn the military off at the end of the day. It is our life! We're never not in uniform (unless we're leaving for a furlough), and we are quite restricted when it comes to being able to leave for the weekend, or even leave campus in the evening. Again, this is based on my experience at VMI; it's best to talk to cadets at Norwich to find out the particulars of their structure. Better yet, talk to Rooks to find out what's up. This isn't even scratchin' the surface of the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of pros and cons to both the military and the civilian educational systems.

Both will teach you time management. A SMC will teach you time management by putting you in a structured environment set up specifically to give you too much to do in too little time, so you'll learn how to prioritize and say "no" to the good in order to say "yes" to the better (ie, graduation. :smile:) A civilian school will provide you a heck of a lot more freedom, but with that freedom comes a lot more temptation to waste time.

Again, on academics, just because both schools offer degrees in Political Science doesn't mean that both programs were created equally. I may have gotten a more prestigious degree at an Ivy League, but very few other colleges provide the opportunity to work one-on-one with professors that VMI does. I can't count the number of Ph.Ds I've worked with directly, because the small school atmosphere means no grad school students will be filling in while the big important Ph.D is off researching. :smile:

This is the kind of thing you want to ask about. I would think that Norwich would have a similarly close-knit group, where faculty chooses to teach there in order to actually teach and work with their students. When I had surgery in October, three professors (all with Ph.Ds) opened their homes to be in case I needed a more sanitary place than barracks to heal up, or in case I just wanted a break.

One thing any SMC will teach you is how to fail. It sounds strange, but this is an uncommon skill in our society where teachers grade papers in green ink since red is "too humiliating", and where everyone gets a trophy just for showin' up. If you've been successful enough to earn a four year AROTC scholarship, this is something you should definitely consider. At any military school, you're bound to fail at something at least once every day. You'll either get sick of it and transfer out, or learn how to dig deep and overcome the constant failure. Oh, and just as a head's up, it doesn't end after freshman year. :smile: (As a rat, I went to a statistics peer tutoring session and the tutor, a First Classman, told us that VMI's new recruiting slogan ought to be, "VMI: Where Your Best Is Never Good Enough Since 1839!")

Let me pass along to you the most sound piece of advice I ever received as I was making my college decision: the academic institution at the top of your degree has nothing to do with what kind of officer you will be. Whether you go to a SMC or a regular college, you will be equipped with skills that will provide a strong foundation to be built upon, so that one day you may become a good officer. Good officership takes time, intentionality and a willingness to learn; it isn't granted based on where you happened to spend a few years of your life.

Good luck! Hope this helps.

Jackie M. Briski
VMI Class of 2009
First Class Private
I just remembered a story that I think would fit nicely in this thread.

Summer after my rat year, I was on a flight from Cincinnati to DC. My seat was towards the back of the plane, so I saw most of the other passengers boarding. I happened to notice a gentleman wearing a baseball cap with the VMI spider logo on it, and then saw the unmistakeable ring on his finger. I was literally bouncing in my seat, I was so excited!

Now, there's something you should know about me. I'm not an extrovert by nature. I'm rather introverted. I can speak if I need to, and I'm pretty comfortable in front of a group, but I'm better at communicating my ideas through written word. And I HATE introducing myself to people.

So as soon as we leveled off, I walked right up to him, smiled, extended my hand and said, "Sir, I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm Jackie Briski, Class of '09." He looked up at me, astonished, but just as excited to see me as I was to see him: "I've never met a female cadet before!!!"

Long story short, I ended up sitting in the empty seat next to him for the duration of the flight. He was Class of '94, if memory serves, and he had been in Band Company as well. He knew our band director, COL Brodie, back when he was CPT Brodie. We exchanged stories and he asked about all his old professors to find out who was still here. At the end of the flight, he gave me his business card and told me to call him if I ever needed anything.

This whole scenerio, while uncommon, seemed all so natural to me. It wasn't until several days later that I realized how unique it truly was. If my sister sees someone wearing a University of Cincinnati t-shirt, she doesn't think twice about it. Heck, she doesn't even notice it. Everyone in the greater Cincinnati area is a Bearcats fan. But seeing the VMI hat and the ring -- knowing that this guy was an Alum -- immediately gave me the courage to go over and introduce myself, when normally I shy away from that kind of social interaction.

I would imagine it's very similar for those from other academies/SMCs. I don't know, maybe it's the same for some of the elite Ivy Leagues. But if you're looking for an intergenerational bond and a close-knit community, go for a military school. If all you really care about is getting a degree (and there's definitely something to be said for this attitude!), then you still have to make a choice. :smile:

But then again, come to think of it, one of my professors and I do have a special bond because she went to Ohio State and I grew up near Cincinnati. Nearly everyone in Ohio is united by OSU football, so when I saw her office covered in Buckeye stuff, you'd better believe I told her she's not the lone Buckeye anymore. :smile:
I have to agree with the previous post. It's always exciting to meet someone who has preceded you or is following you. I've been lucky to meet alums, parents, and current cadets from Norwich all over the world.