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Estimated Cost of a West Point Education?

momof3boyzmomof3boyz Registered User Posts: 881 Member
During my son's senior awards assembly the school counselor's like to report the total value of scholarships offered to each senior. I cannot find any documentation on the $$ value of the West Point Appointment. If anyone can help me with this, I would be greatful.
Post edited by momof3boyz on

Replies to: Estimated Cost of a West Point Education?

  • demosthenesdemosthenes Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    ive heard its valued between 250,000 and 350,000 dollars.

    that could also be a complete fabrication on my part. woooooooo.
  • taffytaffy - Posts: 2,356 Senior Member
    haha, you're going to totally throw off their calculations.
  • ironjohn1989ironjohn1989 Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    I believe it says on the WP website that it is about 250k for all 4 years.
  • bigU212bigU212 Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    Don't the students at West Point get paid to go to college? I didn't think it cost them anything
  • swimboyswimboy Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    yea, it's like, on average, a monthly pay of $900. You get paid more as you progress through the school though.
  • swimboyswimboy Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    oh, and in addition, I believe West Point has sponsored some students to attend graduate schools.
  • aspenaspen Registered User Posts: 748 Member
    momof3boyz: The GAO issued a report in September 2003 (publication GAO-03-1000) on Military Education and gave the following cost per graduate for the Fiscal year 2002:

    USMA: $349,327
    USNA: $275,001
    USAFA: $322,750

    This cost was the total operating cost of the academy devided by the number of graduates. Assuming some inflation, the value for the Class of 2010 will likely be closer to $400,000.

    Another estimate that can be used is the amount of support the USMA claims the cadet receives during the year. This value is provided to cadets to allow their parents to determine if they can claim the cadets as dependents.

    For the 2004 year, the cost of tuition was valued at $41,636 ($20,818 per semester) and the other support (pay, room and board) was valued at about $20,000 per year for a total annual value of about $62,000. If you multiply this by 4, you get about $250,000. No value was imputed for the cost associated with military training and the myriad of other activities/travel that the cadets undertake during their tenure at USMA.

    Our high school used a value of $350,000 last year for the scholarship value.
  • green09green09 Registered User Posts: 566 Member
    Can someone explain why USNA is significantly lower than USAFA and USMA?
  • momoftwinsmomoftwins Registered User Posts: 2,668 Senior Member
    You get what you pay for? :D
  • JamzmomJamzmom Registered User Posts: 2,813 Senior Member
    bigU212 - "Don't the students at West Point get paid to go to college? I didn't think it cost them anything"

    Well.... thats not exactly how it works. Its not getting PAID to go. Take USNA.... The kids are given a stipend to use towards the things they are required to have which leaves about 20 bucks a week so I understand, the first year. Now keep in mind, they then will owe our country a few years of service for that education. Make no mistake. It ain't free by any means. Some have paid the ultimate price & gave all in service to our country.

    At USMMA, the kids are NOT paid. When they go to sea, they work on a ship & get paid from the shipping company itself. My kid will go on to serve for eight years after he graduates.

    Perhaps the USMA folks can add about their academy.
  • brn2servebrn2serve Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    According to the USMA website tuition, room, board, medical, and dental care are all covered by the army. In addition each cadet has a yearly allowance of around $6500 for uniforms and books and stuff. Check it out
  • momof3boyzmomof3boyz Registered User Posts: 881 Member
    Thanks everyone. I believe aspen's post is what I need to provide the school's counselor. The figure has to be a documented valuation.
  • fiterace87fiterace87 Registered User Posts: 249 Junior Member
    green09: I read somewhere that USNA has a lower cost than USMA and USAFA because the amount is calculated by dividing the total operating costs by the number of cadets/midshipmen in the corps/brigade. Since USNA is significantly smaller (geographically) than USMA and USAFA, it naturally has a lower operating cost, and thus the amount per midshipman is a little lower. The training and education are not substandard, it's just the way that the calculations are tabulated that gives a misleading image.
  • landsylandsy Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    Even though you are technically "paid" to go to college, this year there is a required $2,900 deposit. Every month some of your stipend is taken to pay for books and uniforms and whatnot. The deposit is used to pay the remainder of the cost of the books and whatnot that is not taken out of your stipend.
  • aspenaspen Registered User Posts: 748 Member
    Attending Service Academy versus Going to College

    While many may think it just semantics, electing to attend a United States service academy is not the same as "going to college". Yes, you take classes that are acredited for college credit and degrees. But the differences are significant and go beyond wearing uniforms, spending summers in military training and having the government absorb the cost of training and education. It's no more of a "free ride" than the "free ride" other members of our armed forces receive when they join and are assigned various training duties.

    Although the Air Force and Naval academies are similar, I will talk in terms of West Point since I am most familiar with that academy. On day one at USMA, all new cadets must take an oath of loyalty and service to our country. At that point the cadet legally becomes an active duty member of the US Army, subject to the Army's rules, regulations and military code of justice. Cadets no longer have freedom of movement or the choice of how they spend their time. That is controlled by the USMA. Cadets get weekend privileges and winter/spring/summer leave. All these are subject to USMA's discretion and can be modified or revoked as it determines. For example, cadets deemed academically or physically deficient must attend a summer training program instead of taking summer leave. Privileges can also be revoked for a variety of reasons including academic/physical deficiency or misconduct.

    Financially, cadets receive about $800 monthly pay. The pay is prescribed by the Department of Defense and tracks the pay scale for low grade officers. Deductions are made from this pay each month for taxes, uniforms, books, computer, laundry, haircuts and even a copy of the NY Times. 4th class cadets are given an allowance of about $200 per month. This allowance increases each year growing to about $500 per month for 1st Class Cadets. Over the 4 years (at current pay scales), a cadet will receive about $40,000 in pay of which about $16,000 is given to the cadets as allowances. The remaining $24,000 is deducted for expenses and federal/state taxes. Cadets are required to make a $2,400 deposit before reporting to West Point. If a cadet cannot afford the deposit, a loan within the cadet's account will be arranged. This deposit is not returned unless a cadet drops out before reporting to West Point.

    No charge is made for medical coverage, room and board or tuition since, as active duty military, the Army pays for housing, food and required training. Attending classes and doing homework assignments are assigned duties, not a choice.

    Upon graduation cadets are obligated to serve 8 additional years in the Army, a minimum of 5 of which must be active duty. Additional years of service are required if you choice to attend graduate school while in the military.

    These are just a few of the differences between going to college and attending a service academy. While life at the academies has changed considerably over that last 40 years, it's still a distinctively different lifestyle than the typical college student.
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