Hello :) I am very new to this forum, but my son has been wanting to be a Navy officer for several years now. He is now a junior at a special math and science high school. He will graduate from this high school in May 2014. so, this coming spring of 2013 is when he will fill out the NROTC scholarship app.
because he's so busy at this math/science boarding school, I am trying to do some homework for him on NROTC units so his time at Christmas can be best utilized.
We hope to go visit a few units this coming spring before he prioritizes his list for the app in May.
His first choice is TAMU. we are pretty familiar with it.
Some of the other Universities he's considering are: Purdue, Idaho, Colorado @ Boulder, Norwich, Univ. Florida, maybe Iowa, Ole Miss.
Its so hard to figure out much from websites and mailings!!! We don't have unlimited funds or time to go visit all these places either.
Which units are your children at that have a very favorable campus acceptance of ROTC? DS would prefer not to be at a school where the ROTC students are made fun of or not respected by at least the majority of the students and faculty. This is part of the reason he likes TAMU so much.
Can any one give any insight into these units or others? DS is from very rural background and isn't so sure he wants to live in an enormous city for College.
You have received a lot of great information about specific schools from other posters. But one thing I don't see mentioned - perhaps it is a given - is just about the quality of the school match itself. The NROTC part is a very important part of the equation; we want our kids to be successful and happy.
But the MOST important part of college is their education! Does the college or university have a respected program in their chosen field of study? What about internships? Study Abroad programs? What if the student totally changes their mind about their course of study? Are other programs offered or is it strictly a "engineering" school? ETC.
I would say to make sure that your child will be happy at the school, then happy at the ROTC unit.
Also - can you and your child afford the school tuition without a scholarship. I recently read on another forum a true story of parents who were suffering because their son in a NROTC program had been "disenrolled". Obviously, not by the student's choice. He was a senior. It was not anything horrible - not breaking the law, not failing grades, just a unit decision. The son received a bill from the Navy requesting over $ 100,000 in payment of back tuition, stipend, etc.
Good luck with the entire process!
Thanks so much for all your great input over the past few months!! Ds got a log-in password for the NROTC portal yesterday now that its opened, and it feels like all this research can finally be put in play. We've gone on several road trips visiting schools, asking friends, looking up data on schools, etc. Ds figured out he likes the smaller towns which are largely circled around their university rather than a university inside a city. He likes schools that lean conservative or where he'd at least not be the only conservative (we could see KU is not that conservative, but its close to home and has alot of kids there like him, still). He desires Mech Engineering, so he was trying to pick schools that have strong engineering programs that fit in the above criteria. (Ole Miss may not match this very well, but he really liked Oxford, so he still wants to consider it.) ds basically has this list made for the 5 schools for his app:
Auburn, Iowa State, TAMU, KU, 'Ole Miss or Purdue
Now, here's the question I still have: how the heck do you "get a feel for the unit" ? at each of these schools, ds asked for an appointment with NROTC. he was given an appointment generally with the freshman advisor, most of the time this was a rather young officer. the only school where he got to talk to someone higher up was Iowa State, we just bumped into the XO in the hallway and he invited ds into his office. Anyway, in some of these cases, ds thought the young officer(s) was not very professional, (please don't flame me, hold on....) or seemed to not really care, or not able to communicate much to ds about the unit. So, one has to ask themselves if this is a reflection of the unit or not. (is "unit the right word to use? idk!!) On the flip side, on the service academy forums, I keep getting the feeling that all units basically operate the same, that ds needs to choose the SCHOOL he likes and wants. Ds wants a really "with it" unit, too, not just a great school fit. So, how do we figure that out if he just has a quick meeting with an young officer that doesn't communicate much to him?! I hope my question makes sense. and if any of you have any specific input on the schools listed above, PLEASE post it for ds's consideration!!! Btw, he was accepted to Summer Seminar at USNA and will be going there too this summer (yeah!).
funny you say this, vipergirl, but dh and I were thinking the same thing. I was surprised actually by his unimpressed response from one of these interviews. he is not a pompous person at all, he is quiet and humble, but he appreciates professionalism and desires to be around people he can respect and look up to - guess that's where his response was coming from. thanks very much for your insight and thoughts. keep the thoughts coming!!! thanks everyone!
you are right - thanks for the perspective. we are not a military family, so its taking some time to get a feel for the nature of all these programs and the pluses/minuses. thanks for helping so much!
So where did he end up? My son has a scholarship but he is waiting to hear from schools. He is applying to U Penn, Norhwestern, Tufts, UVA, and Georgetown.
oops - looks like I should have replied here - I replied at the end of the thread instead!
I wouldn't judge a unit by one encounter. My son (commissioned 2 weeks ago) spent 4 years in Albuquerque and his unit leadership changed 3 times. And there were several leaders in the unit, upper classmen who were PT or platoon or academic leaders, the gunny sergeant (whom all the MIDN had great respect for) and then the CO.
The MIDN make the unit, not necessarily the leaders, and there are specific activities early on (like O week, marine week, etc) to build that cohesive unit. So, as many others have said, he needs to pick the school that suits him & his study choice best. And if he's worth his salt & a salt of the earth kinda guy, he will be part of the unit. Also, my son was very involved in non ROTC activities his junior & senior year, like volleyball and bike riding, and had as many friends outside the unit as within.
Hi folks . . . I just came across this forum and thought I'd chime in. My son graduated from Penn State (2011) with a degree in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. He was given a 3-yr. ROTC scholarship in Engineering. PSU has one of the most respected ROTC programs in the country. They were very professional and very helpful, providing wonderful guidance for the Mids. These Mids are very much a part of the University there . . . they run one of the concessions in the football stadium and do many service oriented projects on campus, participate in competitions, etc.
My son got to participate in a couple wonderful summer "cruises" and is now in the aviation (Jet) pilot pipeline at Meridian, MS. If any of you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch. Our family has nothing but very high regards for the way our son was educated and treated with the NROTC at Penn State :-)
ds just finished his first semester at Auburn University in AL. Auburn ended up being his first choice as he ranked the five schools on the scholarship app, followed by 'Ole Miss, TAMU, Iowa State, and Univ of Kansas in that order (TAMU being the one he could get in-state at). He was given his scholarship to Auburn in late Nov last fall. He is very very happy in Auburn and we are all so relieved to not be filling out USNA apps, NROTC apps, etc. Thanks for asking for an update! Hope this thread helps someone else as much as it helped us :)
rudyinok, I just came across this thread. My son is a 4th class MIDN at Auburn and absolutely loves it! I'm guessing your son is a senior this year. I know my son has really appreciated the upperclassmen who are in leadership positions. It was especially exciting for him to be able to go to the SEC championship game last weekend as part of the unit! WAR EAGLE!!!
Boulder is pretty liberal, so not sure of the ROTC reception there. My son toured Oregon State Univ. campus and liked it. OSU is our alma mater; it started as an Ag college and still has it's roots in rural community. My son ended up going to Univ of Washington in Seattle, which surprisingly has been very positive. Plus the unit has a sail boat the students can get out on 1-2x/month