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Harvard or Naval Academy?

NavgirlNavgirl Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
edited January 2005 in Harvard University
I'd like some opinions here, and please don't say anything negative towards the fact that I want to be in the military. I've wanted to be in the Navy ever since grade school. Here's my situation: I received an Immediate Scholarship Decision (NROTC scholarship) back in October, so I have a full-ride, based on my acceptance to Harvard. I also received an LOA to the Naval Academy around the same time. I participated in the Summer Seminar there this past summer and have been invited for another visit in January. I have also visited Harvard (loved it) and had my alumni interview which went well, I THINK. My uncle is an Academy grad and has told me mostly about the benefits of an Academy education. Both my mom and my dad are Ivy league grads (neither from Harvard), so I'm hearing all kinds of things. One of my good friend's dad is a Harvard grad and he has spoken with me a lot about life at Harvard and all of the opportunities available at a prestigious school.

I guess one way to look at this is that if I'm not accepted to Harvard, I won't have to worry about making this huge decision. I'd just appreciate all of your opinions. I've already heard from those on the Naval Academy threads, but I want to get the Harvard opinions also.

Here's to hoping we all get in! :)
Post edited by Navgirl on

Replies to: Harvard or Naval Academy?

  • abcdefghijklmabcdefghijklm Registered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
    The Harvard degree might serve you better if you ever later decide to do something else other than the military, whereas a Naval Academy degree probably wouldn't have the same value in the civilian world. My guess is that Harvard would be pretty highly respected in both circles, however.
  • 1down,1togo1down,1togo Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Well if you want to make the Navy a career -- go Navy -- nothing like being a ring knocker; if you might want a civilian life in your future, go to Harvard. If you go Navy and are looking for a grad degree chances are good Navy will send you to Harvard for grad school and then you'll end up experiencing both.
  • just_forget_mejust_forget_me Registered User Posts: 2,244 Senior Member
    I think the decision should come down to the undergraduate experience.

    At Navy, you'll go through hell your first year, and then live a Spartan life the rest of your three years.

    At Harvard, you'll have the normal undergrad experience, with all the hedonism it entails (well, you will have the NROTC requirements).

    I know I'd rather be at Harvard, but there are people I know who love the structure of Navy. Degrees from either of the schools are incredibly well respected.
  • NavgirlNavgirl Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    Thanks guys! 1down,1togo, I would love a grad degree, but I think I'd have to graduate at the very top of my class. At least, that's what I've heard. I'm sure the competition to go to grad school from the Academy is fierce. Definitely something to think about, though.
  • SchwabySchwaby Registered User Posts: 875 Member
    I've lived in a military environment ALL my life, around Air Force, Army and a few Navy guys.

    All of the officers that I spoke to (I'm talking upwards of twenty) concerning the military academies said that they would have rather gone ROTC to a "regular" college and then be commisioned, instead of going to the academies.

    Take that for what you will. I had 3 friends that went to the Air Force Academy last year, and 4 more applying this year. If academy life is what you want, go for it.
  • NavgirlNavgirl Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    I'm hearing a lot of the same thing, Schwaby. I do like the Academy, but I think I'm leaning towards civilian life. I'll have plenty of the military life after I graduate and I might as well at least enjoy myself for the 4 years of college ;) I will know for certain after my visit in January.
  • watsonwatson Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    You can have both. My father was accepted at Princeton, Stanford, and the Naval Academy. He chose the Navy b/c it was what he was familiar with [military brat]. After completing his degree and spending years in the service, he went to graduate school and recieved a PhD and a law degree. I think either way you'll end up fine. The service academies are some of the best schools in the country and graduate schools are definatly aware of this. Anyway I guess my point is you can have your cake and eat it too. Either school you choose will serve you excellently in the long run.
  • NavgirlNavgirl Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    Ok, now I have my appointment in hand and still trying to decide which way to go. This is SOOOO frustrating. I am such a fan of BOTH schools! If anyone else has any input, I'm all ears and thanks to those of you who have offered your opinions. I have given the graduate school after graduating from USNA a lot of thought lately. I'll be at the Academy on 1/21, so any indecisiveness I have now SHOULD be gone after my visit.
  • usna_rejectusna_reject Registered User Posts: 1,533 Member
    I'd go along with watson, go to the academy then later on you can go to graduate school at an Ivy. Quite a few officers have done that.
  • sleetsleet Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    upon reading the above reasons, I agree...go for the academy
  • sunglassessunglasses Registered User Posts: 605 Member
    navgirl: Come do track with me at Harvard!

    JK, no...you should do what makes you happy. Go with your gut (easier said than done, I know). :)
  • 3togo3togo Registered User Posts: 5,233 Senior Member
    edited January 2005
    > now I have my appointment in hand

    Congratulations ... that is an amazing accomplishment!
  • NavgirlNavgirl Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    Thanks 3togo!

    sunglasses, if I choose Harvard, I'm DEFINITELY doing track with you! :)

    UGH!!! Decisions!!!
  • CC AdminCC Admin Administrator Posts: 32,337 Senior Member
    navgirl, just make sure you focus on the reality of your 4 years at navy. ive been through a very similar experience (w/army), so if you want some advice feel free to IM me. id prefer not to discuss it on the thread though.
  • usna_rejectusna_reject Registered User Posts: 1,533 Member
    Just go to harvard, if you have to think hard about going to the naval academy then don't go. I'm just saying that because I'm sick of people here b.s.ing that they should have gone to so and so university instead. You'll love your harvard experience much more better.
This discussion has been closed.