Son trying to decide between KP & SUNY Maritime

<p>I'm new here and would appreciate any assistance you all could provide. Sorry for the long post.</p>

<p>My son is entering senior year. He has wanted to attend KP since he was 13 years old, and always considered SUNY to be a back-up choice. He wants to focus on marine transportation (goal is to captain commercial vessels) with a secondary focus on business and logistics. His academics are strong: SAT 1340; weighted GPA 4.9; top 6% in class; 5 in AP Calc; 4 in AP physics; 4 in AP US history; varsity wrestling; almost 350 service hours; races sailboats, etc. </p>

<p>We attended SUNY open house this past weekend, and we liked it much more than we thought. There are some distinct advantages for my son, as they will accept his AP credits (he will have completed 5 AP classes before he graduates). This means that he should be able to get his undergraduate degree and complete SUNY's master's program (Int'l Transportation Mgt) in 4 years. Assuming finances are not a deciding factor (they may be because we are out of state, but let's put that aside), can anyone comment on the pros and cons of KP as opposed to SUNY. I know I'm asking a biased audience :) but the SUNY officials harped on about how SUNY grads are getting better jobs than KP grads and how SUNY students are more focused on the maritime industry because they're not distracted by military training and because they're not attending just for the free ride (they were more diplomatic, but that was the basic point). The service obligation at KP is not a factor, as he likely would do MMR at SUNY as well. So have at it -- anyone want to comment?
BTW, we are attending KP open house next month, and he will stay for an overnight as well, which he has not yet done for SUNY</p>

<p>Thoughtful questions. Not sure I am too biased for I attended KP (Engine) and my sons attended SUNY (Deck). In the days when we attended both institutions offered a fine education. I don't think that has changed. Each can point to many success stories among their graduates. </p>

<p>Clearly acceptance of the AP credits and the possibility of a Master's degree within the four years is a plus.</p>

<p>The comment that SUNY graduates get better jobs (having hired and worked with graduates of all maritime academies) is simply an uninformed attempt at marketing their institution. The comment that students attend the USMMA for the free ride also appears to me to be hollow. That free ride involves obligations to the maritime industry, military service and in fact restricts a graduate's options, but not to lesser jobs. </p>

<p>The education at Kings Point is a focused one and military is an important part of that. I cannot go into all of the benefits of a military education and the impact it can have on civilian employment but I am sure you would find a pretty uniform opinion among graduates of military colleges that the skills they learned (one way or the other) have proven very valuable in their lives.</p>

<p>I was in the same position as your son many years ago and do not for a minute regret the USMMA decision and I suspect that if I had flipped the other way I would not regret the SUNY decision. Both of my SUNY graduate sons have great careers.</p>

<p>By the way, as a minor point, having also taught at a number of universities (in my spare time) I, and many others, have the view that graduate students should have some experience in their chosen field(s) before entering graduate school. The USMMA has a graduate program in engineering only and it is a "distance learning" program not to be taken concurrently with under graduate work.</p>

<p>I wish you son the best. He will not make a wrong decision.</p>

<p>If 'TIME' is a factor, the accepting of AP credits by SUNY sounds good. but he'd take placement tests, and could place out of some Calc courses, maybe others... admin/field reps could help examine that detail more closely.</p>

<p>If 'TUITION' is a factor, spreadsheet out your outlays thru the planned Masters program.</p>

<p>But, most importantly, which one 'feels' right to your son?
Have him imagine himself at graduation. Unroll the sheepskin. Which school name is listed at the top?
Most likely, he already knows it in his heart.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>First I will admit I am biased - I graduated from USMMA and my son is now entering his third year there. That said I'm pretty shocked at what you heard at SUNY-MC and like Ashore I would echo some of it appears to me to clearly be uniformed marketing. I doubt you'll hear similar smear campaigns while at KP's open house and further would really like to hear if you do.</p>

<p>First let me say my understanding of the recent anecdotal information I've seen, heard and read is that as far as the "ranking" of the maritime education one recieves at the various institutions is now 1A) USMMA; 1B) Cal Maritime; 2) Mass Maritime; 3) Maine Maritime; 4) Suny-MC; 5) Great Lakes; and 6) Texas. That's at least what I am being told by the current members of the regiment of midshipmen at the USMMA relative to the Academics and the Maritime Education. That said, back in my day SUNY-MC was iheld in higher regard. In any case suffice it to say, I'd be asking for the data and the source of the data to back up the claims you heard. In particular placement rate within 3 and 6 months of graduation and average salaries.</p>

<p>As far as learning to me a Master of Ocean Going Vessels while both USMMA and SUNY-MCliscence curricula programs graduate with the same liscence; 100% of your son's peers at USMMA will be on a liscehce curricula while many who go to SUNY-MC opt out of both the opportunity for a commission and to obtain a USCG Merchant Marinier's Liscence. Further 100% of your son's required sea time at USMMA will be obtained from sailing on working commercial vessels while at SUNY-MC much of that time will be spent on the SUNY-MC school ship. To be hoinest there are pluses and minuses to both, but day 1 on the job for his first watch following graduation for a Kings Pointer is usually a lot less stressful than day 1 for a State Maritime College (MC) graduate. That said by the time you sit for your Masters Liscence I suspect everything in that regard is even.</p>

<p>As far as obtaining a Masters Degree in four years, if he is indeed intending to sail first, then later in his career transition to something ashore after obtaining a Masters Liscence, to the Logisitcs industry, an MBA with one of several focuses including of course Operations Research is likely a more powerful degree, especially if it's from a well known B school like Wharton, Stern, Darden, Sloan, etc. rather than a Masters in Int'l Transportation Management from SUNY-MC. </p>

<p>If your son attends USMMA and does well he will likely have the opportunity to explore those sorts of post graduate opportunities. Also, if he is intent on continuing to wrestle in college, not that this should be a big factor, but right now the Wrestling Program at USMMA is far better than at SUNY-MC. I believe KP ended last season ranked 8th in Division III. </p>

<p>Finally, if your son is likely goign to go through the MMR eiother way to me it's really no contest if he does have the choice - I'd go to USMMA, graduate in 4 years with my BS, Liscence and Commission AND 1 full year of sea going experience rather than go to SUNY-MC and graduate in 4 years with the Masters Degree or the Bachelors Degree and what would be at most 60 days of real experience on a working ship. But that's truly just my boas, both are fine schools, though only one of the two is ranked as one of the top undergraduate programs in the East by USN&WR...</p>

<p>Thank you all for your thorough and thoughtful comments. I think that we need to hang tight and wait for our visit to KP next month -- things should be a lot clearer after that.</p>

<p>I have a son who has attended both institutions and my answer is to see which place is the best fit - they are both wonderful institutions. That said, my son started at KP and was set-back after the first tri for failing 2 subjects - Calc and Physics 1. We chose to send him to SUNY MC to take the courses over again. The people at SUNY couldn't have been nicer and were very helpful to my son. After taking his classes over again (and several others too to keep him a full time student for insurance purposes) we gave him a choice to either stay at SUNY to go back to KP. He chose to go back to KP and is now out to sea for 4 months.</p>

<p>There are differences between the 2 schools that are not easily understood by the newbies. Overall, regimental life at KP is much more difficult, and while it exists at SUNY, my son's perception was that it was much more relaxed. If your child has difficulty with being told every minute what to do and not having a minute to do that task, KP is a harder place to survive. Also, the pace of the academics at KP is faster. You take classes in a trimester, whereas SUNY is on the semester basis and therefore the material is delivered a little slower. Also, at SUNY you can pick your professors (check out Rate My Professor.com), a luxury you will not have at KP.
With regimental life stricter at KP, by son felt that it fostered a closer bond among the students (shared pain/accomplishment) and he missed that piece at SUNY. In addition, spending almost one year at sea on your own tends to mature a student faster which is what KP offers. That all said, my son is serving on a ship now which has a KP captain and every other officer being a graduate of Mass Maritime. He has said that they are all impressive and know their stuff and have been welcoming to him and willing to share their knowledge, for which he is grateful.
It really boils down to what stress level works for you since you can be very successful graduating from both places with that precious license.
Good luck and know that there are always other paths to the same end.</p>

<p>My daughter is a KP grad and my son wanted to follow in her footsteps but due to minor health issues was prevented from attending KP. </p>

<p>We went to SUNY-Maritime not for an open house but for an individual visit which we found quite enlightening as the cadets did not have to "be on their best behavior". We found the cadets to have less pride in their uniform appearance. Their uniforms were not smartly worn and their attitudes towards visitors was less than cordial. </p>

<p>Additionally, we had the chance to speak to a number of professors and to tour their school ship. The thing that struck me the most was that the professors would begin telling us about a project that they were involved in with the cadets but numerous times during the conversation would stress that they were not able to complete this or that project because of lack of funding. This was a major factor in my son deciding not to attend SUNY-M. He did not want to begin a program and then have a project he was interested and excited about pulled out due to lack of funding. It was not only one project but each of the professors we met with mentioned the same thing with different projects and areas of study. The school ship was impressive but when he found out that the entire student body went together he was less than impressed because he felt that he would not get the "experience" that his sister had with only two cadets on board and the opportunity to ask a number of officers questions.</p>

<p>In the end he decided not to attend SUNY-M and has not regretted his decision.</p>

<p>Our experience at KP was outstanding and my daughter had secured a position with the company she wanted prior to graduation. She sailed within days of graduating and has not looked back. She is now pursuing her Masters and could not be happier with her decision to attend KP.</p>

<p>Good Luck -- we may see each other at the open house since my next son is planning on attending KP next year.</p>

<p>8Kidsmom</p>

<p>That's an interesting point about the funding at SUNY. I was actually under the impression that SUNY was doing well with its funding, give a new building in the works and a new gym, etc. The commission report on KP's funding was rather shocking and shameful. I hope KP gets the recommended funding, but it doesn't look like the kids will see much effect for awhile. I'll keep looking into the funding issue -- I appreciate the insight. </p>

<p>8kidsmom -- let me know if you decide to go to the Aug. 13 open house -- it would be great to meet you and learn a little more about your kids' experiences.</p>

<p>The funding may not be officially approved yet, but the Academy is definitely already on the upswing ~ the kids will see improvement this year. I was there recently and the improvements are noticeable on the outside and apparently inside too. The campus has never looked better - at least in my limited time there - and will only continue to improve with recommended funding. It's all good. Now for a Superintendent ...and then watch it sail!</p>

<p>@ramrela: On second thought, you're right, no question, your son should go to SUNY-MC, that's what I would do if I were him and had it all to do over...</p>

<p>@everyone else: As those of you know ocassionally I go with sarcasm, that said, I've concluded from following this thread that ramrela is a) either determined not to see the differences between USMMA and SUNY-MC based on all the good information here, or b)possibly by more than a remote little bit, a troll.</p>

<p>Jasperdog -- I suppose that my prior post was subject to misinterpretation, and I blame myself for not making myself clearer. KP is an outstanding school, and I have never thought otherwise. When I stated that I thought the funding issues were shocking and shameful, I only meant that I think it is a terrible shame that the government has not funded USMMA as well as the other service academies (which is exactly what the commission report says -- I read the whole, lengthy report). I think that KP is deserving of better treatment, and I was suprised to read that KP was not being appropriately funded. We are trying to look at both schools objectively, but I never intended to suggest that KP was substandard in anyway. Quite the opposite. I thought it was plain from my initial post that we have had our sights set on KP for many years, and are just now beginning to look at other options, which as a parent, it is my job to do. I simply am trying to find out as much as possible about an academic and career path that is quite foreign to me. I certainly apologize to you and any others if my post suggested otherwise.</p>

<p>One word for KP over SUNY -- ALUMNI. End of post</p>

<p>My DD is a KP graduate and my DS attends Maritime College. My advice is to let your son decide, they are both great schools. For my family, it was a personality difference, the regiment at Maritime is what you make of it and at KP it is very much a part of their existence, in addition to what you make of it. The fast pace at KP is very challenging, so self motivation and a commitment to the end goal is required. Also, the application process to get into KP is far more rigorous than for Maritime. This requires a commitment from the applicant. By visiting both, that is a great way for your son to make this decision. I repeat, it has to be HIS decision and I know you are just helping him take steps needed to make that decision an informed one. Good Luck :)</p>

<p>I absolutely agree with Suzanne, Alumni. We just had an interesting education on how well the Alumni network can operate.</p>

<p>Are you serious, there should be now question, SUNY is a state school. USMMA is a federal service academy that requires a congressional nomination and a complete resume to even be considered. If you son is questioning which school, he has already made his mind up. Good luck at SUNY</p>

<p>Just got back from KP open house. My son felt completely at home there, and after seeing the quality of the students and administrators as well as the disciplined lifestyle, I firmly believe that KP is the right place for him. Most importantly, HE believes it to his core. I have no doubt that he will get an excellent education, and talking to the midshipmen definitely quashed any doubts I had about the facilities and lifestyle. These are great "kids", and I would be proud and honored to have my son counted among their number. Thank you to everyone who offered helpful insight, and again, I apologize if I offended anyone with my questions. Both KP and Suny have a lot to offer, and I think he would get a fine education in both places, but KP is his dream. After seeing it, I finally understand. Now . . . we have to get that all-important nomination :)</p>

<p>So let me get this straight based on your statements:</p>

<p>"Just got back from KP open house. ... I have no doubt that he will get an excellent education, and talking to the midshipmen definitely quashed any doubts I had about the facilities and lifestyle. ... but KP is his dream. After seeing it, I finally understand. Now . . . we have to get that all-important nomination."</p>

<p>When you last asked for insight and advice and expressed concern about what you'd read about Kings Point, you hadn't even seen the place - despite having been to SUNY-MC which is all of about 10 minutes away, 15 in traffic? And that is despite "KP is his dream." ? Amazing, well wherever your kid goes, I hope if he becomes a deck officer and finds himself on the bridge in a tight situation he is a lot more calmly analytical and less reactionary than you. </p>

<p>Seriously, you are apparently a resident of a locale close enough to both KP and SUNY-MC to visit them both which means where you live nominations and admissions is going to be quite competative to the USMMA, it might be a little presumptuous to assume your son will have the choice you and he are hoping for. It's a long road between where he is and getting there - he needs your full support and he needs to be fully committed to getting through the process and getting his nomination and his appointment to the USMMA if he is going to have that choice.</p>

<p>Good luck, but don't take anything for granted.</p>

<p>In my first post, I mentioned that we are from out-of-state. Unfortunately for us, SUNY and KP have open houses in different months. I thought it was important enough to attend both, and we actually sacrificed a family vacation in order to do so. In my first post, I stated that DS had always wanted to attend KP and that SUNY was a second choice. Given how difficult it is to get into KP and how few places there are to get a maritime education, I thought it important that DS get a good look at SUNY, and, as I stated in my first post, we were pleasantly surprised. I also stated in that post that we had NOT been to KP yet but that we had plans to do so. As little as I know about service academies, it seemed to me that I should help my son gather as much information as possible to ensure that KP was truly where he wanted to be. I thought this board would be a good place to gather information and have an open discussion. If that is being "reactionary", I will fully accept that title. I think I would be abandoning my responsibilities as a parent if I did not try to examine every aspect of this supremely important decision. And, it seems to me that KP is better served by having cadets who fully know what they are in for. As for being presumptuous about him getting into KP, I assure you that I am not. If anything, I fear for him that he may be disappointed, and was hoping he might like SUNY and consider it to be a viable option if his dream of KP doesn't come through. As I stated earlier, I am "uneducated" when it comes to service academies, but I certainly know how hard it is to get in and stay in. I came here seeking information in helping my son navigate his way through this difficult process and to try to ensure he has all of the information he needs. Frankly, I am quite surprised to have caused such rancor on this board, and again I apologize for any offense. I came here seeking information, nothing more, and I appreciate the information I have gained. That said, I'm done here.</p>

<p>As a graduate of Kings Point, the education is quite simply "second to none". My wife is a USNA graduate and I have been able to experience another service academy from the "inside". A few years ago, I attended a Service Academy Career Fair and I had multiple opportunities with fantastic packages. My wife, in addition to her USNA engineering degree, had multiple Masters degrees - one of which was an MBA. Despite an apparent lopsided comparison, and lack of graduate degrees, I was much more heavily recruited. Trust me - I was far from the top of my class at KP; however, Kings Point is heavily recognized as a stellar institution.</p>

<p>Upon graduation, a Kings Point graduate can easily adapt to a variety of sectors: maritime, defense, or commercial. I work in the defense sector and spent the first 11 years out of KP on active duty with the Navy.</p>

<p>Before I get too far off the beaten path. SUNY is a good school - but we will leave it at that. A graduate from SUNY will do remarkably well in the maritime industry, yet quite simply does not have the framework to compete with a Kings Point graduate outside of said industry. I am not trying to be rude, but too many people try and actually make a comparison between the two institutions. There is no comparison to be made. </p>

<p>Especially with a tumultuous economy and uncharted financial recovery, how can 'one' decline, essentially, a full scholarship?</p>

<p>I'm a senior at KP and have great pride in this institution. To be honest, I would rather attend any other school for four years, but there is no other school I'd rather graduate from. I believe the options coming out of this school are greater in number and value than any other college or academy. That being said, the actual time spent at school is rather depressing. From the food to the administration, we're not happy. If having a good college experience is a priority for your son and you have the money to send him to a state maritime school like SUNY then I would recommend that route. Since he wishes to be a captain and make sailing his profession, I don't believe that going to SUNY would hamper this. I think the main things you have to look at are: is having an enjoyable college experience important to your son? and is it financially worth it to send him to SUNY?</p>