If you like the idea of having adventure on the high seas and starting that adventure as soon as possible, then give some serious consideration to the U. S . coast Guard Academy. Located in New London Connecticut, this United States service academy , like is brother service academies, is demanding in its requirements, rigorous in its training and rewarding in the future it provides. If you are a service oriented high school student who loves the sea and can’t imagine working away from it, then reviewing the U. S. Cast Guard Academy is well worth your time and effort.
Entrance Requirements. Getting in the front door of any of the United States service academies is no easy task. As difficult as college applications in general may be, the service academies brand of application is by contrast voluminous and way beyond thorough.
The application process is demanding in part because the number of new cadets accepted each year is very limited. Of those who apply to the USCGA, only a paltry 7% are accepted into the Freshman Class. This mens that a rather extensive winnowing out process precedes the admission of anyone.
From the student’s perspective, there are lots of things that ultimately can disqualify one from admission. The Coast Guard makes it their business to discover exactly such physical, psychological or academic barriers that might keep a student from admission through extensive forms, exams, tests and supporting documentation. The competition for entry to the Coast Guard is of course nationwide. Admission officers pay attention to standardized test scores, high school class rank, leadership potential , student essay and letters of recommendation. Unlike the other national service academies, the Coast Guard Academy does not require the nomination of a student by a member of Congress. Applicants are however required to pass a stiff medical and physical fitness exam prior to formal acceptance.
The Beginning and the End. The United States Coast Academy welcomes new members in its own unique way. All freshmen students are required to take part in what the school calls “swab summer”. This protracted orientation includes one full week aboard the Coast Guard ship “Eagle”. This is not by any stretch of the imagination a pleasure cruise, but it is a marked ending of “civilian” life and the beginning of life with the Coast Guard.
At the end of four years of study at the United States Coast Guard Academy graduates get more than a bachelors degree. Every graduate has already made an agreement upon entry to give 5 years of military duty for the United States as commissioned officers in the U. S. Coast Guard.
What Happens in Between. In the intervening years between “swab summer” and the commissioning ceremony , students at the CGA prepare to receive a bachelors degree in such study fields as engineering and engineering technologies, physical sciences and social sciences. In their free time cadets are able to pursue rather typical college activities like school newspaper, band, drama or student government. They can participate in intercollegiate athletics or intramural sports
Student life at the CGA in some ways resembles that at other colleges and universities. In fact the CGA allows cadets to cross register at nearby institutions so that they can take courses not offered by the coast guard which are of interest . Still There are noticeable differences. Uniforms, an honor code, discipline, regulations create a huge gap between say a state college and a service academy. All those accepted into the CGA must live on campus for all four years and all are considered part of the academy corps of cadets and must act accordingly.
Why Students Chose the CGA. There are a lot of intangibles that are involved in the choice of a college by a high school senior. Often more than one aspect of a school captures the interest or imagination of a student and something just plain clicks.
What attracts many students to CGA is the simple fact that there you can get a quality education. Students are drawn to service academies the way they are drawn to the Ivy League. There seems to be a real guarantee here that you will leave prepared academically to go on in your field of expertise, not just for your five year stint with the Coast Guard, but in whatever line of work you eventually chose.
Some students come to the CGA because they have determined to live lives of service to society and the CGA seems to provide a key into a relevant and exciting service option. Some students love the sea, the shore, boats and all things aquatic . The idea of protecting people on the sea appeals to them on several levels.
There are very few students who come to the CGA who won’t admit that they were pleased to learn that by coming to the CGA they would not have to ever worry about student loans because the cost of attending the school is absorbed by the government. And of course while some see the 5 year post graduation service requirement as a duty others see it as guaranteed employment and can’t wait to sign up.
In truth there are as many reasons and combinations of reasons why students come to CGA as there are cadets. After thorough consideration of this preview of the United States Coast Guard Academy you may decide to join them.