Navy ROTC transfer from virginia to georgetown? Should I even try?
November 27, 2011 12:43 PM   Subscribe

Navy ROTC transfer from virginia to georgetown? Should I even try?

i'm a sophomore at virginia tech and navy ROTC cadet (also part of the coast guard's auxiliary here) in virginia tech's corps of cadets. I'm looking to transfer to georgetown only for the following reasons:

- in dc, which is where the united states coast guard northern virginia flotilla is located
- has navy rotc (works at GWU)
- in dc, which is 13 minutes from my hometown in falls church, va
- in dc, where the internships are
- Tech is too centered on agriculture and engineering. my major is science, technology, and society, which is more of a sociology major than technology.

there are other georgetown-specific reasons why i want to transfer, but these are the universal ones. here is my record:

- interned at the air and space museum three times doing relations between nasa and the government (aka putting my major to use)
- interned at USAID with relations between military assistance and food distribution
- currently planning seminar events on military security and security studies with the help of various departments here on campus
- NSF funded research project mixing sociology, geography, and economics within community involvement
- independent research project with military security and social media
- interned with my school's career services to assist others in their search for FEDERAL internships (this doesn't necessarily match my major, but it was for interest)
- i've played the mellophone for eight years but stopped when i got to college
- science, technology and society major with minors in leadership and 21st century studies (which focuses on nomadism, development, innovation, etc.)
- want to major in anthropology at gtown. I want science, tech, & foreign affairs, but thay may be pushing it.

however, since i am part of the corps of cadets, i've been living a strict and regimented "military" life here at tech (daily uniform, morning formation, PT at 5 AM, demerits, lots of yelling, etc.) so it has really taken a toll on my grades. i have a cum 2.7 GPA with a meager SAT score (1350/2400). my grades may suck but that's because the corps is a totally separate entity that eats up an unhealthy amount of my time. i know i can do better but still want to do ROTC, just without the military school environment. i can't get a scholarship/commissioned if my grades are terrible.

so...should i even try? my heart is in DC. i'm really striving for gtown only, not umd/gwu/mason/howard/au etc, even though my criteria mentioned above may fit said schools.i applied to gtown in high school but was rejected.
posted by enroute888 to Education (11 answers total)
 
.i applied to gtown in high school but was rejected.

i have a cum 2.7 GPA with a meager SAT score (1350/2400).

Transferring "up", usually after being rejected straight of high school, usually involves excelling at the school you're trying to escape, unless you're a recruit-quality athlete, musician, "development case", etc.

i'm really striving for gtown only, not umd/gwu/mason/howard/au etc

Frankly, the above schools sound like a better fit for you, and a more sure admit.
posted by availablelight at 12:51 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that the admissions criteria for transfer students to private universities is quite stringent, since such schools work on a four-year model (unlike some of the big state schools, which have a big population of students transferring in after earning associate's degrees). They are especially attentive to an applicant's academic record in college (for example, they might look favorably on someone who didn't do well in high school but turned things around once they hit college). It sounds like you may be struggling to maintain a GPA as high as the one you were able to maintain in high school, which -- as you mention-- didn't make the cut when you applied back then.

I know you say you're striving for Georgetown only, but you also say your heart is in DC and that the other schools in the area meet many of your criteria. Georgetown is probably not a realistic option. Why not give yourself a chance to have the DC experience you want by expanding your choices to include schools that are more realistic targets?
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 12:53 PM on November 27, 2011


Just nthing what has already been said, but for graduate school, I was able to transfer from little-known school to well-known university after making a 3.7 at the little-known school.
posted by 4ster at 1:11 PM on November 27, 2011


As others have said, this is a long shot and unfortunately your chances don't look good, based on the info you've provided. If you're transferring after freshman year, most schools will still want to see your test scores, which are quite low for Georgetown. Their 25th percentile (meaning 75% of students score higher) are 1300 on a 1600 scale. Having under a 3.0 at VT isn't going to make much of an impression, and using ROTC as an excuse for your academic performance - when you are planning to continue ROTC at Georgetown - will not be met sympathetically at all.

One option might be to contact the ROTC advisor at Georgetown to discuss your plans and get his/her advice - or better yet, see if your VT advisor can make the introduction and perhaps advocate for you. There might a chance that a positive recommendation from the advisor might have a small amount of sway with admissions. But overall, a school like GU is not going to dip too far out of the low end of their range to accept students (unless, as mentioned above, you have far-above-average talent in some area).
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:18 PM on November 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Joining with what others said, transfer students are held to a pretty high standard and are admitted in much lower numbers, and you are presenting lowish scores and GPA with reasoning that they are likely to not be terribly sympathetic too. Plus, your internships don't really match your intended major.

I would advise that you consult with both your VT advisor and someone at Georgetown (and I would also nth that you should be looking at other schools) to discuss whether you can and if so, how to present a successful application.

Also, I know nothing about ROTC, but would it be possible to be in the ROTC at VT but not in the corps of cadets? The only compelling reason you gave for being at GU instead is that VT is too agriculture/engineering, but maybe the program would work better for you if you were out of the corps and able to have more flexibility.
posted by sm1tten at 1:54 PM on November 27, 2011


If you are not admitted into the regular college, what about the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, offered by the Georgetown Extension school? I would assume that the admissions criteria are much less rigorous for that program.
posted by jayder at 2:17 PM on November 27, 2011


Yeah, if you got rejected from high school the only way they tend to change their minds is if you've done amazingly well your first year in the school you went to instead.

Why not do American/GWU/etc. and strive for Georgetown for grad school?
posted by SMPA at 2:20 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Wow everyone, I was not expecting so many answers this fast. Thank you! I appreciate your honest input.

I'm not considering the other DC area colleges because I'm happy at Tech. Sure, I have an appalling GPA, but I'm content. Blacksburg may not be my cup of tea but I will move on. If I were to be rejected by Georgetown, then that would be ok since I can see myself graduating from VT; I'd rather apply and get rejected than not apply at all. Georgetown just presents a more conducive learning environment that has an ROTC program that isn't overruled by the Corps and is in a city that has more opportunities for me and my academic interests. And it just so happens to be closer to my home, heh.

The Corps, with its tough curriculum, structure, and responsibilities, has its pros and cons. Unfortunately the cons outweigh the pros (in my situation; some people here live and breathe the corps) and I think my talents would just be far better suited in a different environment where I'm not divided between academics and the military. I'd rather do one or the other without having one "outweigh" the other.

And I can't be a part of the ROTC only; it's either finish ROTC in the corps or don't finish at all, unfortunately. Additionally, as a side note, there are more GU-reasons why I chose GU over VT instead of just location/VT being more "engineering/agriculture", but those are the main points.

Thanks again everyone! Keep them coming!
posted by enroute888 at 2:55 PM on November 27, 2011


If you'd rather apply and be rejected than not apply at all, then just apply already if you have the money. You say you're more or less happy where you are, they won't kick you out if you try to apply elsewhere, and so nothing negative can happen if you just put in the application. I don't think it'll work, but it won't hurt.

It does seem like you're really limiting yourself to not-great options here, however: you're choosing between a poor-fit academic program and a Corps of Cadets that isn't working for you and a school that you probably won't get into because you've been spending the past couple of years in a poor-fit academic program and a Corps of Cadets that isn't working out for you. There isn't an option here that I would recommend.

If you're really concerned about commissioning and getting a scholarship, you need to get your grades up in any case. What will change from now until your the next ROTC scholarship application date that will make this possible? I'm not sure what kind of GPA/ PT test standards they're looking for these days, but back when I was applying, they started to think about you with a 3.0 or higher, and then only if you were doing well on the PT test and had a good number of extracurricular activities (which you seem to).

I will say that Georgetown isn't the only place in DC that has a better learning environment (one not completely ruled by the Corps of Cadets) than Tech, and it's likely that you could participate in NROTC at Georgetown while going to school at another DC-area college--generally ROTC units are pretty liberal about letting as many people in from other universities that don't have ROTC in that particular branch of service.

But again, I don't know what to tell you here other than you seem to be limiting your range of choices for the next couple of years for no reason that I can discern.
posted by _cave at 3:16 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used to work at the admission desk at my undergrad - a private school with a little more stringent entrance requirements than Georgetown. Transferring in was even harder, especially because there was so little attrition from year to year. We graduated a super-high amount of people that entered, so there were so few spots that if you didn't start there, chances of getting in were tiny.

In your situation, I would just try to get away from a school with a Corps of Cadets

If I were to be rejected by Georgetown, then that would be ok since I can see myself graduating from VT; I'd rather apply and get rejected than not apply at all.

If this is true, why ask the question? Do it and see what happens. You questions was if you should even try - if you don't care about the outcome, go for it.
posted by SNWidget at 4:29 PM on November 27, 2011


I'm not considering the other DC area colleges because I'm happy at Tech. Sure, I have an appalling GPA, but I'm content. Blacksburg may not be my cup of tea but I will move on. If I were to be rejected by Georgetown, then that would be ok since I can see myself graduating from VT; I'd rather apply and get rejected than not apply at all. Georgetown just presents a more conducive learning environment that has an ROTC program that isn't overruled by the Corps and is in a city that has more opportunities for me and my academic interests. And it just so happens to be closer to my home, heh.

None of this actually explains why Georgetown would be a better fit than any of the other schools. I feel like you have Georgetown built up into this ideal thing in your head for some reason, when any of the other schools would meet the learning environment/academic interests/close to home criteria just as well. I think it is highly, highly unlikely that Georgetown would admit someone with your grades, but I guess there's no harm in trying. I don't know if the Georgetown application includes some sort of "why I want to go to Georgetown" essay question, but if so then you're really going to need to put some thought into it.
posted by naoko at 9:56 PM on November 29, 2011


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