Would acceptance to an ROTC program help you in college admissions?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by tman9285, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. tman9285

    tman9285 Member

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    Hey all,
    I'm currently applying for NROTC MO and I have some very competitive colleges in my list of five (I have a safety just in case). I already have most of my package in, but I'm now worrying about one thing. If I get into a program, will that unit push for my admission into that university? UCLA is my first choice, and my stats are not necessarily on the high-end for mechanical engineering, my prospective major (4.24 GPA and SAT TBD), so anything helps. I'm also going for USC, Villanova, Yale, and Purdue in that order. Insight would help quite a bit. Thanks!
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Some units have influence at their associated college, and some do not. I suspect that at the highly competitive schools they have little, but that's just a guess on my part. In any case it's not anything you can control so I wouldn't worry about it, just submit the best package you can. I'd also gave a couple reach schools on my list, along with a couple where I have a moderately good chance of being accepted (based on their class stats) and at least one safety school... but that's just me. I'm concerned you might have all reach schools but I don't know you and I haven't researched the class profiles of the schools you listed.
     
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  3. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    Great question and I’m sure this is of great interest to many. Yes each campus has different degree of relationship with the military. Some are very strong and some just have presence and participate via cross town. I can only share from our experience interacting with these schools. My DS looked into them but did not apply to all. Instead, he applied to just a handful in the end that which he would only attend if he did not get Appointment at an Academy. Obviosuly others’ experience may be different. Here’s our experience and my perspective:

    Yale: by far was my DS top choice ROTC Program. Reasons are simple. The school is rich in tradition, very well connected with all world governments and the military. It has worked with the military and governments for a very long time. It is the school that excels in pursuit of intellectual research and service to country as the highest calling. It is world class. However, although it began ROTC cooperation with the Army, ROTC is the strongest with the Navy and Air Force. Army is cross town and complicates student travels even though school shuttle is provided. Yale accepts 10-15 candidates into each ROTC Programs. Admissions has close relationship with the ROTC Commands. It you receive excellent review by ROTC your chance actually improves.

    Harvard/MIT - excellent but Harvard selects very few. About 3 to each Programs. Harvard is still not at the level its peers are expanding the ROTC Program on campus. Students are not familiar with ROTC like it is at Yale. Harvard is cross town through MIT. All 3 branches are excellent and offered via MIT. MIT selects more to these programs. Very well funded

    BOSTON University. Has excellent ROTC Program and very well funded. Offers additional funds for Room and Board if you are ROTC Scholarship recipient with high ACT/SAT.

    University of San Francisco. Offers Room and Board to all AROTC Cadets.

    Norwich University. Excellent Senior Military College option path. Excellent funding options available to all cadets. Offers full academic scholarship to Academically and leadership talented students.

    Cornell. Has excellent ROTC Programs for all services. It is rich with history and tradition. I would rank this school close to Yale. Cornell offers Cadets their own Barracks - Dorm

    University of Virginia. Strong supporter of ROTC

    Duke. Strong NROTC Program on campus.

    Princeton. Army offering is good. Not sure I like the school student culture. It is very Clubbish and the school seems to suffer from unnecessary complex to Yale and Harvard. At least the Alumni we met spent too much time trying to convince that Princeton is just as great as Yale and Harvard or even better. Don’t think this defense is necessary for Princeton. I wouldn’t recommend anything outside Army for Princeton.

    Brown. Cadets are all smart and great guys and girls. They are motivated. However, all units are cross town so have to travel to Programs.

    Things to keep in mind that most or all of these schools host ROTC on their academic campus that are home to mostly non military bound students. Most schools are liberal and their students openly use drugs and marijuana. Although we think and hope that drug users are the minority. Nevertheless, students smoke pot in school dorm bathrooms and on and off campus. Cadets are part of that campus and cannot avoid running away from this environment. Clearly this was a big turn off for us.

    Exception of Senior Military Colleges, at most of these campus ROTC is a student interest activity or treated like an official school club. Mandatory military training is set in the summer after competing Junior Year in college. So if you are seeking a military experience all 4 years you are not going to get it in ROTC.

    However, at civilian colleges you will have more academic study time, more options to choose non military activities, more option to choose summer jobs/internships that is non military and around your Academic major or civilian jobs. ROTC is what it is meant to be Reserve and Part Time soldiering with a bigger focus to normal college life style.

    If you are serious about getting a military experience in college, there is no substitute to SAs. However, SAs demand more time away from non academic as much as 40-50% if your time is spent on non academic duties and activities. This is where you need to decide if such environment is right for you in addition to the rigorous engineering academics required despite your majors, leadership demand, athletic intramural or varsity participation, and other Brigade/Battalion/Company duties.

    Thus Yale, Harvard, Brown, Princeton, MIT lose 3-6 of their Cadets and MIDNs to SAs each year who are seeking the military experience and to follow their family legacy at these Academies as Re-applicants. Likewise, you will find many who also turned down these schools to attend the Naval Academy and West Point bit less seem to turn down to attend the Air Force, Coast Guard, and USMMA.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  4. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    Our DS received an AFROTC scholarship. Never applied to UNC Chapel Hill. He received a letter from admissions congratulating him on admissions. I thought it was a scam. I called admissions directly to tell them there may be a scam going on with their school. Their response was no, it was a true offer. The AFROTC rep sat on the admissions committee and submitted his name stating his stats were a match plus he was a scholarship recipient. He did turn down the offer.
    Few weeks later he received something like that from NYU. Found out it was the same thing.

    Yes, it does happen, but I would not bank on it. I would also tell you that it can vary yr to yr. For example, this yr AFROTC might sit on the admissions board, but next yr it could be NROTC with the following yr being AROTC. AFROTC does not know what candidate was awarded a scholarship from AROTC or NROTC, all they know is their stats. In essence, no insight that they will be in any ROTC program,.
     
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  5. hhucks4

    hhucks4 Member

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    I won a 4 year AROTC scholarship to Clemson, USC, and the Citadel. I had above average scores and GPA for Clemson and had received a scholarship but I was put on the “bridge program” which required me to go to a tech school near Clemson for 2 years. I appealed and was fully accepted but I guess it only matters for some schools, and I always have had a bad taste in my mouth for Clemson because of that due to them accepting several of my friends with lower scores and one guy who had the same major as me with significantly lower scores. I go to USC now and honestly it’s better to take a college with lower standards because they are typically smaller with more of a brotherhood aspect instead of one large mass of people you don’t know and they give typically out more financial aid to students and thus when the army, or whichever branch, pays for everything you’ll get a big refund check. Good luck in the whole process.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    That's a pretty broad brush and doesn't match my experience at all. Some schools are close to military bases and spend time training there. DS trained often at Ft. Jackson and twice a year at Parris Island. Land Nav training, drill training, rucking, etc don't even require a military base or large acreage. You don't need a lot of facilities to be working out by lifting telephone poles with a team of ROTC kids on a Friday evening. Is it an SMC? No, Is it an academy? No. Can it require 20+ hours a week to address your responsibilities? Yes. A student interest activity or an official club? I'm sure there are some out there, but in general, I don't think so.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  7. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    A school "club"? Really?
     
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  8. thibaud

    thibaud Member

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    Your chances of getting into UCLA Engineering are almost certainly below 50%, probably below 25%.

    This has nothing to do with you or your grades / scores; it's simply a fact that for in-state applicants who are not "first-generation" ie economically underprivileged, UCLA, UC Berkeley and UCSD have become as competitive and difficult to gain admission to as any Ivy.

    Specifically, about 43% of UCLA's admitted (not enrolled) freshmen applicants in 2018 were out of state. They pay vastly higher tuition, and backfill the gaps caused by the California state assembly's failure to fund the UC system adequately with your parents' tax dollars.

    Another ~25% of admits were in-state "first-generation" / disadvantaged applicants. These admits allow the UCs' diversity advocates to boost the percentages of under-represented minorities without violating the state's ban on the use of race in admissions decisions. Expect this percentage to rise in the future.

    Aside from these two groups, only 1/3 of the spots are still available to in-state applicants who have at least one parent who attended college.

    In short, you are very unlikely to get into UCLA.

    Purdue and USC are much better bets.

    You might also consider Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute (RPI). Look into the $25k per year RPI Medallion (?) scholarship; notify your school's guidance counselor if you're interested, as he/she will have to nominate you for it.

    Good luck!
     
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  9. tman9285

    tman9285 Member

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    I understand, which is why I would hope NROTC helps out quite a bit. While I'm not first generation, I'm actually a minority by their standards (Hispanic) so I would guess that helps a little bit too. I'm also in state. But this answer was probably the most helpful of all. It's basically a crapshoot for everyone, but if I were to get into the unit there I would imagine it would hold at least a little more weight.
     
  10. thibaud

    thibaud Member

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    From talking with other UC and UCLA Admissions folks, it appears that the ROTC units have almost zero influence.

    But you should definitely highlight your heritage, especially if you can combine it with other activities involving summer pre-engineering or career prep activities such as COSMOS.

    Are there any programs you can join that prepare Hispanic youth for Engineering careers?

    These activities may allow the adcom people to give you extra points.
     
  11. thibaud

    thibaud Member

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    Look at some other out of state public universities as well, especially in the Great Lakes/Big 10 areas where our powerhouse mechanical engineering schools such as Purdue first developed.

    Michigan is probably the best Mechanical Engineering program, but most of the public Big 10 schools are also top-notch, including Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio State.

    Northwestern is also excellent, as are Cornell and Carnegie Mellon.
     
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  12. tman9285

    tman9285 Member

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    Those are all programs that I hear are very cutthroat, and I already submitted my online package so it's a done deal. I guess I should let the wait begin. And apparently the engineering admissions dean at UCLA says that NROTC likes engineering students and the unit there will try to get you admitted, but I just wanted to make sure that wasn't a myth. I guess I shouldn't take that into account based on what you just said.
    If it helps, I got a nice Dept of Naval Research internship as a SEAP intern, which was quite competitive and involved some nice engineering research experience at SSC Pacific in Point Loma. While not quite focused on mechanical, I hope it looks good.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
  13. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    I tried not to generalize our experience and my perspective because I realize each person walks away with different experience where you go to school and where you visit the program. Certainly our experience is our own and yours is yours. We felt that ROTC Programs can vary campus to campus and also depending on how cadets make it especially with summer training since only Junior summer is mandatory and the rest are not. And outside ROTC Program time you’re not being watched nor asked to do tasks that are not related which I see as an advantage for cadets and MIDNs in ROTC. Certainly there are pros and cons to ROTC vs. SAs.

    Also depending on the schools you attend, some schools will want you to take at least 1 semester of Calculus and Physics at their schools despite your 4-5 on AP Exams. This is to ensure that your skills in Cal and Physics meet the standard at their schools’ NROTC and AFROTC STEM requirement. Some AFROTC programs don’t require you to take 2 semesters of Physics if you can replace them with other STEM science classes that require with Calculus.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  14. tman9285

    tman9285 Member

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    Thanks for all the help! And I'm probably going to take Calc and Physics all over again anyway so that comes as no surprise.
     
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  15. BDHuff09

    BDHuff09 5-Year Member

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    This line of thinking doesn't tend to endear Academy grads to their fellow JOs after graduation.
     
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  16. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Must be one heck of a club if six months after commissioning, you can’t tell the difference between an SA grad and an ROTC grad. Where do I join?
     
  17. rjb18

    rjb18 Member

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    Depends on the school. For the one I am going to now, I got the rotc scholarship on feb 8, and the ROO wrote a letter to admissions saying I got the scholarship. On feb 9th I got accepted into the school. Could be a coincidence but I doubt it...
     
  18. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    BDHuff09 It is my personal observation and a personal decision by candidates. The original question was would ROTC Program and or ROTC Scholarship help with your admissions. Some school admissions will clearly say yes. Because these students are vetted by a respectable scholarship board and service. Our experience was yes depending on schools. And there are too many schools to say which schools. You have to explore which one is right for you. And the quality of your ROTC Program can differ depending on where you go and the program you’re in. I think I made that pretty clear.

    As for the quality of your ROTC experience and training it also depends on you how you take on the program. If you go all out and take advantage of the program then clearly you will be better trained. However, if you do the minimum then you will be less trained but have more time to do other things you may enjoy but still commission as the same butter bar.

    Many threads available if you’re disadvantaged Commissioning from ROTC. Many responded NO. You’re the same butter bar as anyone. I agree. But the training experience is different and that is no secret. Those who take the 4 year full time military training at an SA or military college may have an advantage at the service they commission into for couple of years because of more training. Beyond that, the advantage may no longer be there. Unless the promotion board is bias towards Academy or military college grads which may or may not happen, who knows. No body knows. But I would like to believe that your personal abilities will always matter more when it comes to promotions.

    Thus, if you have the CHOICE between the two, SA or ROTC, then you select the program that is best suited for you. Not what people think. If you don’t have the choice, then you go with the best available options and the program that meets your training and military career goals.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  19. thibaud

    thibaud Member

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    Some more suggestions:
    - Georgia Tech
    - Worcester Polytechnical Institute (WPI aka "whoopie") in Massachusetts
    - Virginia Tech
    - Texas A&M
     
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  20. thibaud

    thibaud Member

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    Good job w ith the DNR internship! Can't hurt and may help.

    Re "cutthroat" Big 10 etc Engineering programs, yes and no.
    Michigan and Purdue are brutal, no question. Probably Cornell, Illinois and CMU as well.
    But I've never heard Wisconsin or Ohio State or Northwestern described as cutthroat.

    In short, apply broadly. Maximize your options.
     
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