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Things to suggest to my son...Gap Year? Apply anyway? NROTC/Academy related.


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#1 LisaK in VA is in IT

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 02:56 AM

I posted on the General forum about my son being diagnosed with Wolff Parksinson White Syndrome two days ago.  On it's face, this is a disqualifying heart condition for NROTC and the Service Academies.

 

Because of the type of symptoms he's experienced (and those he has not), we are very hopeful that his condition can be treated and "cured" with the ablation surgery.  However, he has to be symptom free 2 years before he can be cleared by MEPS.

 

He is currently being recruited to swim at one service academy, the same one his father graduated from.  His chances there were very good.  His chances at two other schools, where he would attend NROTC were also very good.

 

Since we still know so little about his condition, I haven't mentioned any of these hiccups in his college plans (or even that he might not be able to swim at all this summer) to him.  I figure there is no point tipping that cart until we have all of the relevant information -- but it is pretty hard having him chat on as if we'll head into the cardiologist's office in 2 weeks and he'll be good to go!  If only things could be that easy!

 

So -- while I can't have these discussions with him now, I want to be prepared should they need to come up.

 

Without surgery, it looks like DS can afford to attend 3 colleges -- maybe 6, if he gets some additional outside scholarship money.  None of those are schools he would probably be able to swim for (don't have a men's team, or any team, or he may not be fast enough to walk on)

 

Would a gap year be a horrible suggestion?  So that he could apply for entrance to the service Academies, and his other top choice schools the following year?  This will ultimately be his decision -- but if a Gap Year wouldn't really matter for NROTC or the Service Academies, I kind of want to know that, too.

 

I'm just feeling things out right now...because there isn't much more I can do than wait.

 

 


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#2 Laura Corin

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 04:37 AM

Sorry you are dealing with this. I'm in favour of gap years. Would he be on your health insurance during that time?
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#3 LisaK in VA is in IT

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 05:22 AM

Sorry you are dealing with this. I'm in favour of gap years. Would he be on your health insurance during that time?

 

I believe so... I don't think we have to kick him off our insurance. But, we better check on that!

 

I don't think he really *wants* a gap year.  I think he'd prefer to go off to college.  Just means having to cast a wider net and a lot of competitive scholarship applications, and his top 2 schools are off the list.



#4 Diana P.

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 06:43 AM

Is he still homeschooling. Can you just readjust his graduation by a year due to health issues. I have a friend who did that for her DD.

If you can't do that, I'd go for the gap year. Help him find a great project by to work on while tackling the health concerns.

Laura makes a good point about insurance. I don't know where we are with some of things that were in the affordable healthcare act. With the repeal replace program I don't know if we can cover kids until age 26. I think that could really throw off gap year programs.
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#5 Gwen in VA

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 06:44 AM

It sounds like a gap year is the way to go. Before you mention that to him, you might brainstorm some ideas/info about gap years and the sorts of things others have done with that time. Basically, help him to see the "cool" factor in being given an extra year, presumably at least partially parentally funded, to explore, learn, and adventure.

 

He could do that project he's always dreams of doing but never had time.

He could work part-time or even full-time

He could hike the Appalachian Trail!

He could do a service project -- many organizations need volunteers!

He could build a boat.

He could learn another  programming language.

 

There are lots of lists and articles out there since a gap year is definitely trendy these days!  Good luck!

 

 

 


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#6 LisaK in VA is in IT

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 07:14 AM

It sounds like a gap year is the way to go. Before you mention that to him, you might brainstorm some ideas/info about gap years and the sorts of things others have done with that time. Basically, help him to see the "cool" factor in being given an extra year, presumably at least partially parentally funded, to explore, learn, and adventure.

 

He could do that project he's always dreams of doing but never had time.

He could work part-time or even full-time

He could hike the Appalachian Trail!

He could do a service project -- many organizations need volunteers!

He could build a boat.

He could learn another  programming language.

 

There are lots of lists and articles out there since a gap year is definitely trendy these days!  Good luck!

 

Well...since we're in Italy, he probably wouldn't be hiking the Appalachian Trail ;)

 

Around here, it would look like:

*Work as a Lifeguard

*Assistant Coach for the Swim Team

*Swim on the Team (he can swim on our team at 19)

*Possibly tutor in the Robotics/Computer Lab

*Take a few courses via Coursera (et. al.), math/physics/robotics

*Work on his Photography and Film interests

*Participate in the Community Theatre

*Travel (with the team, or his dad to Germany, Norway, Greece, Spain, France...)

 

He currently would be down to 7 schools (with 5 of those being only viable winning a very competitive scholarship).  

 

I'll have to review those scholarships again and see if those opportunities would "die out" with a GAP year.  I'm not sure what an extra high school year would do for him...not sure we can do that at this point with NCAA.  So many questions to answer!!  He wants to be done with high school (and I can't blame him).  

 

Most likely, he should be back to normal activities before we return to Italy.  His heart condition is not currently so severe that it limits his ability for academic work.  Of course, that could change.  But the main reason for the GAP year would be for ROTC/Service Academy selection.  In the end, it will wind up being his decision.  



#7 Diana P.

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 07:27 AM

As you review gap year options, if most of his health stuff will be taken care of and he won't need to limit activity, would he have to live with you in Italy during that time. Could he spend the year doing something like one of those state department language programs (I forget the name) or an internship related to a field he is interested in and live with family or friends while doing that. Do you still have family in the DC area? Perhaps he can could swim/asst coach with his old team while doing some internships there.
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#8 LisaK in VA is in IT

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 07:36 AM

As you review gap year options, if most of his health stuff will be taken care of and he won't need to limit activity, would he have to live with you in Italy during that time. Could he spend the year doing something like one of those state department language programs (I forget the name) or an internship related to a field he is interested in and live with family or friends while doing that. Do you still have family in the DC area? Perhaps he can could swim/asst coach with his old team while doing some internships there.

 

He will be 18, as long as he is not in Europe, we won't be responsible for him.  Could make insurance a bit more difficult, since he's not living with us, and wouldn't be enrolled full time (might not make a difference, either).  

 

My family is still in the DC area.  I know he wouldn't be able to assist with his old team back home (at least, not the year-round team, have to be a college swimmer).  Travel in Europe from Naples is cheap...not so much in the states (Fly round-trip to Paris for 100 euro...).  He could possibly do an informal (un-paid) internship with the engineering department here -- but most internships are looking at college students.  It's still worth exploring a bit while we're home.  He could also still participate in Venturing and OA activities, and be an Asst. Scoutmaster here.

 

His desired major is Mechanical Engineering/Robotics... he could probably also help out with the elementary Robotics Club here.  I know the high school CompSci/Engineering/Robotics instructor wouldn't mind him being there to help out, either.  



#9 FriedClams

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:39 PM

One other option is a post graduate year at a to prep school. It's not uncommon at all in the New England boarding school scene. It's usually top athletes or kids who need another year before college. I'd look into it, especially if they will help financially.
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#10 hopskipjump

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 11:44 PM

I am so, so sorry. We had a somewhat similar experience with dd and a heart issue last year, but her diagnosis came "just enough" earlier in the year for it to not throw her plans off the tracks.

 

I'd opt for a gap year. The NCAA probably won't allow the "extension" of his high school years, but a gap year is okay.

 

If he will still want to swim (assuming diagnosis/doctors allow for this post-treatment) the challenge will be staying in recruitable shape, speed, and condition as well as having a contact person for NCAA coaches to talk with (current coach, or whoever he will be "training" with during his gap year). We considered a gap year for dd due to the above, and other, reasons - and her staying in fighting condition was a big reason she didn't take the gap year (she wasn't sure she'd have the discipline to do it without actively participating in her sport).

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:



#11 MysteryJen

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:06 AM

Lisa, I think a gap year sounds great, but you need to read the rules about swimming during the gap year. Tennis and swimming have different rules about gap years than other sports. If I remember correctly, you can train, but you may not compete. If you compete in a meet (USA or FINA) you can lose a year of eligibility.

 

I am sorry for the diagnosis, I do know how hard it is to go "off plan." 

 

I think, if after all of medical stuff is sorted, swimming DI or DII is still going to be on the table, your very first stop needs to be NCAA website to find out how to stay eligible. If he has already registered (paid with a number), it might be difficult, if not impossible to change graduation years-without failing classes.

 

I do know some swimmers who messed up with gap year issues and found it nearly impossible to get looked at by programs. 18 yos have potential and 4 years eligibility. 20 yo are what they are with 2 years of eligibility.


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#12 LisaK in VA is in IT

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 01:20 PM

Lisa, I think a gap year sounds great, but you need to read the rules about swimming during the gap year. Tennis and swimming have different rules about gap years than other sports. If I remember correctly, you can train, but you may not compete. If you compete in a meet (USA or FINA) you can lose a year of eligibility.

 

I am sorry for the diagnosis, I do know how hard it is to go "off plan." 

 

I think, if after all of medical stuff is sorted, swimming DI or DII is still going to be on the table, your very first stop needs to be NCAA website to find out how to stay eligible. If he has already registered (paid with a number), it might be difficult, if not impossible to change graduation years-without failing classes.

 

I do know some swimmers who messed up with gap year issues and found it nearly impossible to get looked at by programs. 18 yos have potential and 4 years eligibility. 20 yo are what they are with 2 years of eligibility.

Yes, we already have our NCAA number/paid for him.  He wouldn't be competing in USASwimming or a FINA approved group.  ESFL is more like a recreational league, while we follow USA Swimming rules, we aren't sanctioned by USA Swimming or FINA.

 

I'll look into the NCAA stuff once we're stateside.  I may need to call and speak to an actual person.  No decisions have to be reached now (thankfully).  Once we have more information, we'll take it to the coaches and administrators and see where we are.  Still gathering information -- but this is very good information to have!

 

Thank you.



#13 MysteryJen

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 03:12 PM

A quick word of caution. While the homeschool people at NCAA are helpful and reachable, they are very cautious about advice. As in, they refer you to the documents. Read them very, very carefully and make sure the rules apply to swimming, then you will be able to press for more concrete answers.

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#14 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 04:56 PM

I'm so sorry to hear this.  Prayers for wisdom and a solid recovery for him.

 

I think you are going to be dealing with two (maybe three) separate sets of requirements.  The trick will be in determining how much and where they overlap and what you are willing to compromise on.

 

The academies and NROTC are bore-sighted on academics, leadership and physical readiness.  A perceived lack in any of these areas might be grounds to not get an appointment or scholarship offer.  I am somewhat concerned about how a gap year would be perceived by the academy admissions boards and the scholarship board, in particular if it is seen as a year off from academics.  The general advice for students applying to USNA after high school graduation is that they should be taking courses similar to USNA plebe courses and continuing with leadership and physical activities.  College students applying do not go before the admissions board until they have their first semester grades in hand to include in the evaluation.  Students who don't have a NROTC scholarship are usually told to join the unit as a college program student and apply for both a 4 year national scholarship and a 3 year college program scholarship as college freshmen.  With a gap year that doesn't include academics, I think there might be some concern about freshness of the academic readiness and readiness for the plebe year or freshman year courses.  However, if he is in college, does that make him a transfer student for non-academy colleges (and thus less likely to be accepted).

 

The medical review and qualification process can be byzantine (to put it mildly).  There is no guarantee that a student will be considered qualified or granted a waiver.  (At USNA the waivers are not processed until a student is judged qualified by the admissions board.  For ROTC, the whole qualification assessment doesn't seem to start until after the student is granted a scholarship.)  There are likely to be requests for additional information and other remediations.  The timeline can be frustrating.  [One recommendation here is to complete the academy application as early as practical, because this will initiate the DODMERB process.  I don't think a DODMERB is started until the academy app is over 50% or the ROTC app is complete.  I think he will want the max time possible for follow up questions and appointments.]  The medical review can also feel arbitrary and unfair.  We had to provide information including MRI and CT scan reviews for a bike accident a decade earlier.  Another kid had to do a follow up because the initial doc said he couldn't observe the status of his eardrum.  I had to do a follow up for a prostate exam - even though women don't have a prostate.  It is very common for a student to be considered medically unqualified - even though they feel they have made a full recovery.  Sometimes it is because the evaluating officer needs more documentation.  Sometimes it is because the military has decided that certain conditions are a poor risk given the demands of military service.  It can feel very random and unfair.  You might want to read through some of the threads on DODMERB at Service Academy Forums.  In particular there are some people on the board with years of experience in reviewing medical files.  https://www.servicea...ums/dodmerb.20/

 

The third part of this complicated Venn diagram would be fitness for swimming, competition level and NCAA eligibility.  I don't know if he loses eligibility just for attending college or if he has to be competing for a year to count (is this the basis of redshirting?)   

 

What a tangle to try to unsort.  I hope things work out as smoothly as possible for you and him.


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#15 SebastianCat

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:03 PM

I was also going to suggest that you post your questions at the Service Academy forums.   Since my DS has recently decided that two of the SAs are his first choice of colleges, I've been reading a lot on those forums and they can give you specific feedback on the SA aspect of your DS's situation.


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#16 GGardner

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 06:29 PM

If I remember correctly, you can train, but you may not compete. If you compete in a meet (USA or FINA) you can lose a year of eligibility.

 

 

 

I'm not an NCAA expert (and really, who is?), but didn't Katie Ledecky take a gap year before starting at Stanford, and she swam some high-profile USA and FINA events in the interim.



#17 MysteryJen

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:18 PM

Ledecky deferred her admission and in all likelihood, she did lose a year of eligibility. It probably doesn't matter anyway as she will leave to train for 2020. And she is Katie Ledecky.
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#18 ananemone

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 03:00 AM

How would his situation be different a year from now with respect to his college choices? 



#19 LisaK in VA is in IT

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 03:10 AM

Sebastian -- I think you nailed how I'm feeling right now.  If we do this, it could hurt THAT -- but if we don't do X, Y is impossible.  I'm creating an account on the service academy forums now.

 

And here I was worried about getting asthma (which he has never had any issue with) waived...my concern is that say he does have the most mild form of non-reactive asthma in the world (in all seriousness, the symptoms he's experienced that could be attributed to either asthma or vocal cord dysfunction, or even his heart condition!!! Have never landed him anywhere near a hospital), adding this newly diagnosed heart condition to asthma (of any kind) just seems like a steep hurdle to climb.  

 

His "gap year" wouldn't be devoid of academic pursuits -- just of official ones.  But, the "non-official" nature may not be enough.  Even if it is using MIT open courseware (the scholar courses), as well as continued work in foreign language, job, leadership (Venturing, Scouts, OA, Asst. Coach), it may not be considered enough.

 

Then you have the competitive academic scholarships (I'm pretty certain he has a really good shot at a few of these for fall of 2018), will those disappear with a Gap Year?  

 

Unfortunately, the schools he has the best academic scholarship money available also have no swimming programs available (not even club).  Only one school both has a strong academic scholarship he could compete for AND a swimming program that's recruiting him.  BUT, that school's engineering program is in it's first year (starting this fall), or he can do a 3-2/4-2 there.  So, he could wind up going free for 4 years, but then 100% out of pocket for the 2 years required to get his engineering degree, and then OOP more (possibly) for his masters.  No easy solutions.

 

 



#20 LisaK in VA is in IT

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 03:35 AM

How would his situation be different a year from now with respect to his college choices? 

 

His choices in Fall of 2019 vs. 2018 might only change with respect to qualifying medically for NROTC and Service Academy Selection.  All of the automatic scholarships remain in tact.  The question is the competitive scholarships/NROTC/Service Academy selection -- what happens to those?

 

Prior to this issue, we were fairly comfortable with both NROTC scholarship (4years) or selection to at least one Service Academy, plus opportunities with competitive and automatic scholarships.

 

Now, the only opportunities we are certain of are those with automatic academic scholarships, and the competitive scholarships.  I have no idea how the competitive scholarships might be affected by a GAP year.

 

In short...all I know is that his opportunities with 3 schools are unchanged with or without a GAP Year.  His opportunities at 12 others hang in the balance.  Of those 12, most involved winning some sort of competitive scholarship (school, Service Academy or NROTC).  



#21 LisaK in VA is in IT

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 03:47 AM

A quick word of caution. While the homeschool people at NCAA are helpful and reachable, they are very cautious about advice. As in, they refer you to the documents. Read them very, very carefully and make sure the rules apply to swimming, then you will be able to press for more concrete answers.

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So, it looks like a GAP year will not effect his NCAA eligibility.  From the "Guide...." from NCAA eligibility website:

 

Q:  delay full-time collegiate enrollment and participate in organized competition?

 

"Must enroll full time at a college or university during the first regular academic term that occurs following the one-year period after high school graduation or will lose one season of intercollegiate competition for each calendar year during which you continue to participate in organized competition."


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#22 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 12:23 PM

So, it looks like a GAP year will not effect his NCAA eligibility.  From the "Guide...." from NCAA eligibility website:

 

Q:  delay full-time collegiate enrollment and participate in organized competition?

 

"Must enroll full time at a college or university during the first regular academic term that occurs following the one-year period after high school graduation or will lose one season of intercollegiate competition for each calendar year during which you continue to participate in organized competition."

 

Does this mean that if he graduates in June 2018 that he would need to enroll full time by the fall term 2019?  (One year after graduation is June 2019, first term following that is fall 2019.)  

 

Also, this QA seems to refer specifically to taking a gap period AND also continuing to compete.  I'm not sure if simply attending college uses up NCAA eligibility.  (I had a college acquaintance who was still eligible in grad school because he hadn't started his sport until sophomore year.  This was in the 1990s, so it may not still be the case.)

 

 

*****

I had a long note written about the timeline for waivers for an academy.  I took it out once I read your comments on the chat board.  I think the highest priority right now is the medical treatment.  I decided that you were probably under enough stress already.

 

 


Edited by Sebastian (a lady), 09 May 2017 - 01:06 PM.

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#23 Corraleno

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 06:35 PM

Does this mean that if he graduates in June 2018 that he would need to enroll full time by the fall term 2019?  (One year after graduation is June 2019, first term following that is fall 2019.)  

 

Yes, that's how it works. Students get a 1 yr "grace period" between HS and college when they can compete without affecting eligibility (this is what my son will be doing), but for every additional year a student competes before starting college, he loses a year of eligibility. (This is for most sports — I don't know about swimming.)

 

Also, this QA seems to refer specifically to taking a gap period AND also continuing to compete.  I'm not sure if simply attending college uses up NCAA eligibility.  (I had a college acquaintance who was still eligible in grad school because he hadn't started his sport until sophomore year.  This was in the 1990s, so it may not still be the case.)

 

For Div I, athletes have 4 years of eligibility which have to be used within a 5 year period that starts as soon as the student enrolls full time in any college. Once the clock starts, it doesn't stop. So, for example, a student could attend college F/T for a year without competing, then compete for 4 years, either as a 5th yr undergrad or a 1st yr grad student. But a student can't do a year of college, then compete for 2 years, then take a year off (either not in college or in college but not competing), then compete for 2 more years, because the clock would have run out after year 5.

 

For Div II & III, athletes get 10 semesters (15 quarters) of eligibility, and the only semesters that count are the ones when they are actually enrolled. So a student could enroll F/T for a year, take a year off, compete for 2 years, take another year off, and still have 2 yrs of eligibility left.

 


Edited by Corraleno, 09 May 2017 - 06:42 PM.

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#24 LisaK in VA is in IT

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 11:38 PM

Does this mean that if he graduates in June 2018 that he would need to enroll full time by the fall term 2019?  (One year after graduation is June 2019, first term following that is fall 2019.)  

 

Also, this QA seems to refer specifically to taking a gap period AND also continuing to compete.  I'm not sure if simply attending college uses up NCAA eligibility.  (I had a college acquaintance who was still eligible in grad school because he hadn't started his sport until sophomore year.  This was in the 1990s, so it may not still be the case.)

 

 

*****

I had a long note written about the timeline for waivers for an academy.  I took it out once I read your comments on the chat board.  I think the highest priority right now is the medical treatment.  I decided that you were probably under enough stress already.

 

The waivers seem a bit like bird shot to me right now ;) .  Which is why the gap year sounded like a viable option. At least the medical issues would pretty much be off the table.   But the forums seem mostly negative on that option.  I guess I've been looking at it from the angle of -- why would someone apply one year, and then take a gap year and reapply to try to get in?  If DS gets one of these other scholarships (or a combination of scholarships) at schools that will take him next fall -- I'm pretty certain he won't be looking at changing to SA or NROTC in fall of 2019. 

 

I'm looking at all of the time invested in the application process to numerous schools that would require that waiver, and wondering if the crap shoot is worth it.  But in the end, this is all his decision.

 

BONUS:  I've learned that I may have to prove that none of my kids have asthma, because they all have been prescribed an inhaler at one point, should they decide to try the SA or ROTC route, and oldest DD will need to have a RAST done regarding her Oral Allergy syndrome to prove it's not an actual allergy.

 

I talked to my son at length a bit yesterday about NROTC and SA options, and he does not want to exclude them from the application process.  We're feeling a bit better after his doctor's visit yesterday -- but only the cardiologist can really tell him what he wants to hear!  The positive medical opinion is nice, but it is given without confirming diagnostics, so he'll remain out of the pool (much to his chagrin) until the cardiologist rules on the matter.

 

I'm much more relaxed about his diagnoses.  Trying to figure out which colleges to take our of our trip, and which ones to keep is my biggest hurdle right now.  We didn't have a huge list of schools to begin with. We need to leave the three schools he can attend without NROTC or competitive scholarships (only one cracks his top 5 choices).  


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#25 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 02:14 AM

The waivers seem a bit like bird shot to me right now ;) . Which is why the gap year sounded like a viable option. At least the medical issues would pretty much be off the table. But the forums seem mostly negative on that option. I guess I've been looking at it from the angle of -- why would someone apply one year, and then take a gap year and reapply to try to get in? If DS gets one of these other scholarships (or a combination of scholarships) at schools that will take him next fall -- I'm pretty certain he won't be looking at changing to SA or NROTC in fall of 2019.

I'm looking at all of the time invested in the application process to numerous schools that would require that waiver, and wondering if the crap shoot is worth it. But in the end, this is all his decision.

BONUS: I've learned that I may have to prove that none of my kids have asthma, because they all have been prescribed an inhaler at one point, should they decide to try the SA or ROTC route, and oldest DD will need to have a RAST done regarding her Oral Allergy syndrome to prove it's not an actual allergy.

I talked to my son at length a bit yesterday about NROTC and SA options, and he does not want to exclude them from the application process. We're feeling a bit better after his doctor's visit yesterday -- but only the cardiologist can really tell him what he wants to hear! The positive medical opinion is nice, but it is given without confirming diagnostics, so he'll remain out of the pool (much to his chagrin) until the cardiologist rules on the matter.

I'm much more relaxed about his diagnoses. Trying to figure out which colleges to take our of our trip, and which ones to keep is my biggest hurdle right now. We didn't have a huge list of schools to begin with. We need to leave the three schools he can attend without NROTC or competitive scholarships (only one cracks his top 5 choices).

On the medical questions. The student doesn't go to the exam having submitted every medical record from infancy. They answer a set of questions.

If the question is have you been diagnosed with asthma you only have to answer yes if there has been a diagnosis. It isn't being deceptive to not self-diagnose.

On the colleges, are there any schools where he might have merit aid for a year or two and then apply for a 2 year scholarship? I don't remember what type of degree he is looking at.

Edited by Sebastian (a lady), 10 May 2017 - 02:15 AM.

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#26 LisaK in VA is in IT

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 04:53 AM

On the medical questions. The student doesn't go to the exam having submitted every medical record from infancy. They answer a set of questions.

If the question is have you been diagnosed with asthma you only have to answer yes if there has been a diagnosis. It isn't being deceptive to not self-diagnose.

On the colleges, are there any schools where he might have merit aid for a year or two and then apply for a 2 year scholarship? I don't remember what type of degree he is looking at.

 

Yes, I've seen all of the forms (most of them are nearly complete -- the Navy doctor wants him to get the all-clear on the PFT and the cardiology report/surgery before finishing the major exam and writing "qualified" or "not qualified" and finalizing the packet.)  I was pretty detailed about when/how he was diagnosed, when the symptoms occurred, when they stopped, and how long he has been without treatment, etc. The doctor thought it would be best to get the PFT/Spirometry test done to help close that loop completely. 

 

Most of the schools would be enough aid for 4 years, assuming he works heavily all summer, and about 20hrs/week during school.  He's planning on mechanical engineering.



#27 wintermom

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 03:52 PM

So sorry that you have to deal with navigating through this school stuff on top of the physical condition.  :grouphug:   As far as funding for college, which seems to be your main focus, are there other funding possibilities through the military, such as the reserves, in the US? In Canada, a student can take their college/university studies while being in the reserves and get funding. Age isn't a factor - certainly not the 18 or 19 thing. This might open up more possible schools with swim teams. 


Edited by wintermom, 13 May 2017 - 03:53 PM.

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#28 GGardner

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 10:58 AM

 

Most of the schools would be enough aid for 4 years, assuming he works heavily all summer, and about 20hrs/week during school.  He's planning on mechanical engineering.

 

Another thing to consider when looking at schools is that some engineering school strongly promote internships, either over the summer or for a full year, and these engineering internships can pay much better than a typical college summer job.  (As well as all the other benefits such a job would have).


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#29 Lanny

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 04:02 PM

Lisa I did not see this thread before and am thankful that Sebastian (a lady) has given you so much information.  I believe his medical condition should be your immediate concern and then figure out what to do about university.   I remember a family friend, he's several years older than I am, when he was finishing High School in CA, what he went thru to get a NROTC Scholarship to USC. I think it was a Full-Ride. They measured his arms in several places?  I would expect them to look at your son with a fine tooth comb.  Much good luck to him with this Cardiac issue! After that, look at the university possibilities and whether or not he will be able to swim. 



#30 *LC

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:47 PM

Trying to figure out which colleges to take our of our trip, and which ones to keep is my biggest hurdle right now. We didn't have a huge list of schools to begin with. We need to leave the three schools he can attend without NROTC or competitive scholarships (only one cracks his top 5 choices).

I have a teen who had asthma as a toddler. He never saw a pulmonologist. He was diagnosed at age 1. He took medication for 3 years and never had another episode. He never even had an inhaler. We had to jump through tons of hoops for him to take scuba lessons as a teen, more than a decade after the last time he took medication for asthma and close to 15 years after the one asthma episode.

We have a friend of the family fail to be medically cleared for the SA where her dad attended and her twin was accepted, because she had once passed out while running as a child. No doctor ever found anything wrong with her. Based on these experiences, I would encourage your son to add more schools to his list of schools that he likes and would like to attend. There are 314 schools with accredited mechanical engineering programs. Since he is considering SA and ROTC programs, it your son must be a strong student, so there will be more than 3 affordable schools for him.

In addition, I would not plan on him working 20 hours a week while majoring in engineering...at least not to start. (Keeping scholarships is as important as earning them.) Look at a school with a strong co-op program, where he takes classes one term and then works full-time the next and so on. He could earn more that way than he could working a part-time campus job.

I am hoping you receive good news from the cardiologist. A different child of mine was diagnosed with a heart (something) as an infant by the pediatrician. The cardiologist could not find anything and did extensive testing, because he knew/respected the pediatrician. I know something like that is unlikely, so I would keep the idea of a gap year in your back pocket in case the cardiologist visit makes it impossible/near impossible for your son to attend a SA or participate in ROTC.

Your son may need time to adjust to the idea of not being part of the military. A high school friend of my husband planned on attending x university to be in a certain activity. Something happened his senior year that made doing the activity impossible. He refused to go to the planned college, the only one he had applied to, since his interest in that college was all about the planned activity at that particular college. It took him quite a while to apply to another school. A gap year could have given this student time to re-group and to make a new plan and to find scools that would help him accomplish that goal. Time to do that may be worthwhile for your son if the cardiologist appointment does not go well.

Edited by *LC, 17 May 2017 - 09:58 PM.

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#31 LisaK in VA is in IT

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:14 PM

The cardiologist appointment was the best possible outcome.  My son has been cleared for all activities (no restrictions), and we will have a surgical consultation upon our return from my in-laws, and surgery sometime after that. He will need about 4 days of rest for the incision sites to heal/heart muscle to heal.  But since he has been asymptomatic, continuing on with normal life is fine.

 

Acceptance into NROTC/SA will require a waiver, as he won't be past the 2 year symptom-free marker post surgery.  Our cardiologist will also write all of the necessary letters for DOMBERB, etc.  We're also having the PFT done this summer, which will become a part of his packet as well.

 

We have 9 schools (non NROTC/SA) on our initial list, 3 SA and 6 NROTC schools.  We'll be narrowing that down a bit as we go through the summer.  


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#32 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:52 PM

The cardiologist appointment was the best possible outcome.  My son has been cleared for all activities (no restrictions), and we will have a surgical consultation upon our return from my in-laws, and surgery sometime after that. He will need about 4 days of rest for the incision sites to heal/heart muscle to heal.  But since he has been asymptomatic, continuing on with normal life is fine.

 

Acceptance into NROTC/SA will require a waiver, as he won't be past the 2 year symptom-free marker post surgery.  Our cardiologist will also write all of the necessary letters for DOMBERB, etc.  We're also having the PFT done this summer, which will become a part of his packet as well.

 

We have 9 schools (non NROTC/SA) on our initial list, 3 SA and 6 NROTC schools.  We'll be narrowing that down a bit as we go through the summer.  

 

What great news.  I'm so glad that they decided that it was not more than suspected.  

 

Not sure which schools he's looking at and what finances are without ROTC.  There is always the option of joining the unit as a College Program student and applying for a 3 year scholarship (or even applying for a second 4 year cycle in spring of senior year).

 

FWIW, my understanding of the DODMERB timing is that an exam is scheduled after 50% of an academy application is submitted or after the ROTC scholarship application is complete.  DS 1 and DS2 didn't hear anything about their medical qualification for NROTC until after they had been awarded the NROTC scholarship.  This is one reason I recommend that students get through their applications earlier in the year.  

 

ETA: It also seems like there are differing qualifications standards.  There may be one for being commissioned, but a different standard for higher risk specialties like aviation or special operations.  Waivers will take into consideration not only the medical condition of the candidate, but also the needs of the service.  


Edited by Sebastian (a lady), 19 May 2017 - 12:58 PM.

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#33 Lilaclady

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:28 PM

Yay !!!!!! So happy for you and DS. All the best with the surgery

#34 LisaK in VA is in IT

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 08:18 PM

We've been visiting schools and narrowing down his choices.

He is down to one ROTC application, but that will depend upon how his meeting goes with the swim coach.

His top choice non-SA school (as of today) will not require an ROTC scholarship to attend.  He was offered a large academic scholarship and a nice swimming scholarship (which he's working hard to double). If he does double the swimming award, he's in our "green zone" without any additional scholarships (and we expect there will be one or two more outside scholarships).  What a relief!

 

The sad truth is, I did not even know about this school until we were literally driving from Messiah College on our way to Oklahoma!  A news article about their swim program popped up in my news feed, and I was just shocked about an Oklahoma school starting a swim program.  I was even more surprised to find that this small, Christian, LAC had an accredited Mech E degree (only about 5 do).  And now, it's gone from being not anywhere on our radar to his first choice non-SA school!  I owe it all to Facebook.

 

So, we've got the 3 service academies, one ROTC, two LACs (possibly one more), two large universities, and that is probably it.


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#35 Gr8lander

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 10:17 PM

How did he like Messiah? That was a top choice for my daughter. Glad to hear he has some alternatives that he likes!