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MECEP FAQ

1. As an active duty student, what are my roles within the NROTC Department and the Corps of Cadets?

2. What is an example of a daily and weekly routine for a MECEP.

3. Why is The Citadel better than Norwich or VMI? Is it like the Service Academies?

4. What is the average number of students per class and what is the environment like?

5. Are Marines allowed to participate in a foreign exchange program?

6. How is the course load? What is the quality of the education I will receive?

7. How is the relationship among the local community, The Citadel, and the military?

8. Because of MECEP requirements, Marines don't get the summer off, is that right?

9. How does housing work? You get full BAH and Comrats, and have the choice to either live in town, or live on the Naval Station, right? What is it like at the Naval station for Single Marines (small apartment, barracks room, what)?

10. How well did the G.I. Bill cover your tuition and other costs? Does it cover EVERYTHING? I also have the "$50,000 for college", in my enlistment contract, but haven't figured out how to use it yet.

11. How well does the "Pre-Bulldog Program" get you prepared for OCS?

12. As for my smart transcripts and previous college credits, will they be transferred to the Citadel? I have 12 college credits holding a 3.0 avg.

13. If I am considered a transfer student, do I have to submit an SAT, ACT score?

14. How is the cost of living in the area?

15. Will I have enough time to pursue a second job?

16. Where are the medical facilities and where do we go?

17. Are there a lot of Marines in the unit?

18. How do I pay for tuition at The Citadel?


1. As an active duty student, what are my roles within the NROTC Department and the Corps of Cadets?

As an active duty student you are not involved or associated with the Corps of Cadets. They have their own chain of command and rank structure. You are, however, required to wear your Service ‘C’ on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.  On Thursday for class, Lab periods, and all Field Training Exercises (FTX's) MECEPs wear cammies.

With the exception of cadets who are Marine options, the majority of your interaction with cadets will take place in the classroom.

Active duty students are responsible for getting to class on their own and are not required to march. The classroom is, however, your appointed place of duty.

Finally, MECEPs can expect to serve in various leadership positions. Those positions include, but are not limited to, Squad Leader, Guide, Platoon Sergeant, Platoon Commander, Platoon Photographer, Platoon Supply NCO, and Webmaster. Additionally, there will be assignments for duties in the execution of FTX’s. As a member of the FTX staff you will assist in the planning, instruction, and execution of the operation. Your experiences within the Marine Corps are an invaluable asset that helps drive the training and development of future Marine Officers.

2. What is an example of a daily and weekly routine for a MECEP.

Normal routine differs for each Marine depending on their course load. Weekly formations are as follows:

Monday – PT at 1600

Wednesday – PT at 0600

Thursday – Lab at 1600

 

In addition to the required formations, there are two (2) FTX’s a semester.

Other NROTC Schools require 15 or 18 credit hours, at the Citadel, you get only have to take 12 hours, and you have total control of building your schedule.

As for daily routines, available class times are as follows:

Mon/Wed/Fri – Classes from 0800-1150, and 1300-1550 (50 min classes).

Tue/Thur – Classes from 0800 -1045, and 1300 – 1545 (1 hr 15 min classes).

To view the current classes offered and their scheduled times, visit the registrar’s webpage at http://www.citadel.edu/registrar/

3. Why is The Citadel better than Norwich or VMI? Is it like the Service Academies?

The Citadel is located in Charleston, SC – a small, historic, very cosmopolitan city within easy driving distance (10-15 minutes) of some of the nicest beach communities on the east coast. There are plenty of social opportunities for families as well as single Marines. Norwich and VMI are both in a small town atmosphere.

The Citadel also has one of the most extensive and active alumni associations of any four year institution. Citadel graduates are famous for looking out for their own – whether in the military or in the civilian sector.

The Service Academies are obviously oriented towards their own service. The Citadel is unique in that there is a distinct “joint” flavor to the campus. You will be exposed to all four service cultures during your education.

Finally, you are in an environment that understands your unique situation as a MECEP student. Both the Command and your peers will take an active role in preparing you to be the best possible Marine officer.

4. What is the average number of students per class and what is the environment like?

Class sizes are small in comparison to other universities. The approximate class size is around 20-35 students. Every class (aside from the ROTC classes) will be taught by a full professor and not a Graduate Assistant. All of professors hold a terminal (doctorate) degree. The professors are much more accessible than they are at larger schools. Total size of the student population is approximately 1900 students.

5. Are Marines allowed to participate in a foreign exchange program?

Yes, a number of Marines have already taken advantage of the opportunity.

6. How is the course load? What is the quality of the education I will receive?

Minimum course load is 12 credits.

In the latest version of US News and World Report, The Citadel was named the #1 public university in the South. The Citadel School of Engineering was ranked No. 17. U.S. News also ranked The Citadel No. 8 for best value in the South. The best value takes into account a school's academic quality, based on its current U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2011-12 net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.

7. How is the relationship among the local community, The Citadel, and the military?

Graduates of The Citadel are some of the most respected members of the community here in Charleston. The mayor of the city is a Citadel graduate. Alumni have influential positions in most of the major businesses throughout the low-country, and many of the professors received their undergraduate degrees at the school. Citadel students are very active in the local community and the Friday parades are a popular tourist attraction. Additionally, the community is very proud of its local military and service members aboard the Naval Weapons Station and the Air Force Base.

8. Because of MECEP requirements, Marines don't get the summer off, is that right?

Regardless of what school you choose, MECEP Marines will not get summers off. You will be required to take a full course load in the summers when not attending OCS per CNET instruction.

9. How does housing work? You get full BAH and Comrats, and have the choice to either live in town, or live on the Naval Station, right? What is it like at the Naval station for Single Marines (small apartment, barracks room, what)?

You receive full BAH and Comrats as a MECEP student. Most students simply find an apartment or house near the school, but Marines also have the option of base housing or bachelor enlisted quarters (BEQ), respectively, aboard the Naval Weapon Station. For more information on housing options contact the Naval Weapon Station housing office at 843-797-5631.

Many MECEPs live on the base and many MECEPs live off the base. It is important to determine commute times to school when selecting the location of your new home.

10. How well did the G.I. Bill cover your tuition and other costs? Does it cover EVERYTHING? I also have the "$50,000 for college", in my enlistment contract, but haven't figured out how to use it yet.

The GI Bill covers everything except your books and supplies. Before every semester the school will let you know how much the upcoming session will be. The VA rep will help you with your paperwork to ensure you receive funding. Books and supplies are not issued by the school, so you must cover these expenses. Applying for the Admiral Boorda Loan (an interest free loan from the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society exclusively for MECEPs) can help if you receive it (max is $5000 a year). Also, many of the Marines have books that you could borrow or buy at a cheap price (buying online is also great). The price per semester is approximately $2171. This price may vary based on classes that require special fees, such as classes that require the use of the computer class or athletic facilities. As with any school you choose, you will NOT receive the maximum monthly amount allowed by the GI Bill. The government has found ways to ensure that you do not make money by exploiting tax payer dollars.

11. How well does the "Pre-Bulldog Program" get you prepared for OCS?

The Pre-Bulldog Program is an outstanding preparation tool for OCS. There are two parts to the program, academic and physical. During the second semester (spring), all Marines and Cadets that are going to OCS are separated from the rest of the platoon. Their focus of training is OCS. Physically, you will build up your endurance and work on physical events that mirror OCS (E-course, O-Course, etc...). Academically, you will receive extensive instruction on various Marine Corps topics, which will more than prepare you for success while at OCS. Over 97% of the Marines and Cadets from The Citadel who started OCS graduated. If you can successfully complete our Bulldog program, you will excel at OCS.

12. As for my smart transcripts and previous college credits, will they be transferred to the Citadel? I have 12 college credits holding a 3.0 avg.

The Citadel does not generally accept any military training for credit (i.e.: MOS school or MCI’s). Your college credits, however, should transfer over. If you have a question, contact the Registrar’s office at http://www.citadel.edu/registrar/registrarhowto.shtml

13. If I am considered a transfer student, do I have to submit an SAT, ACT score?

The Active Duty application asks for your SAT score, however, MECEP applications are considered on a case by case basis. The fact that you are a Marine selected for the MECEP program show the school that you are someone cut from different fabric than the typical college student. For specific information, contact the admissions office at 843-953-5230 or visit them on the website at

http://www.citadel.edu/root/admissions-veterans/active-duty

 

14. How is the cost of living in the area?

The cost of living in the area is reasonable. There are areas immediately around Charleston that are expensive, but there are also plenty of areas that are within driving distance and very affordable. There is also the option of the Naval Weapons Station if you choose to live on base.

15. Will I have enough time to pursue a second job?

Your primary responsibility is as a full time student. MECEPs are typically do not seek extra employment, however if you choose to get a job, it is your choice. It is discouraged by the command, as it places emphasis on something other than your family, studies, and development as a Marine Officer.

16. Where are the medical facilities and where do we go?

The medical facilities are located at the Naval Weapons Station, Naval Hospital, and at the Air Force Base. The MECEPs can go to either the Naval Weapons Station or the Naval Hospital; however, our Medical records are stored at the Naval Weapons Station. Both facilities are within 20 minutes of The Citadel and the center of Charleston. For more information use the following websites:

Naval Health Clinic Charleston

Charleston Air Force Base

17. Are there a lot of Marines in the unit?

There are currently 24 MECEPs.

18. How do I pay for tuition at The Citadel?

As a MECEP at The Citadel you have several different options when considering how you would like to pay for tuition.

The first method is to pay out-of-pocket. This option is realistic; as the new 50% tuition cut allows a Marine to save the GI Bill (which can be later converted to the Post 9-11 and transferred to a dependant).

The second method to pay for tuition is using the Montgomery G.I. Bill. As long as a Marine has not used any of their eligibility before attending The Citadel, he/she should have 36 months of eligibility remaining upon arriving at The Citadel, which will cover approximately 3½ years. Keep in mind that a Marine will also use up eligibility during the summer sessions.

If interested, the first step in acquiring VA funds is to fill out the Application for VA Education Benefits Form 22-1990. Once the form is filled out, it must be signed by your current Commanding Officer or the Marine Officer Instructor at The Citadel. The final step is to carry the form to the Financial Aid office at The Citadel or mail to:

The Financial Aid Office
The Citadel
171 Moultrie Street
Charleston, SC 29409

Once the form is processed it will be up to the individual Marine to verify his enrollment monthly using the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) website located at http://www.gibill.va.gov

An important consideration when choosing to use the Montgomery G.I. Bill is that as an active-duty Marine, you will not be eligible to receive the full amount normally awarded. The reason being is that the VA only authorizes the exact amount necessary to cover tuition and related expenses, not including books. For example, the normal entitlement for a student using the G.I. Bill would be id="mce_marker",200.00 per month (or ± $5000.00 per semester) while enrolled for 12 or more hours. However, because the tuition at The Citadel is only ± $3,500.00 per semester each Marine will receive a pro-rated amount each month not to exceed $3,500.00 per semester.

For additional information concerning the G.I. Bill please contact Mrs. Sally Levitt of The Citadel Financial Aid Office at (843) 953-5187.

The third method to pay for tuition at The Citadel is to apply for federal student loans. This option is widely chosen by many MECEP participants for a couple of reasons. First, due to The Citadel’s tuition payment policies, each student, including MECEP’s must pay their tuition bill in full prior to the first day of the semester they wish to attend. For the Fall semester, the bill is normally due in July and for the spring semester it is due in mid-December. Federal loans completely alleviate the need to adhere to the due dates since your payment has already been guaranteed by the federal government. Also, because the VA benefits are pro-rated, you will not receive the full amount for tuition until the final month of the semester. The second reason loans are chosen is because of the cost of books. Depending upon a student’s course load, the cost of books can sometimes exceed $500.00 per semester. Finally, federal loans have such low interest rates (currently 2-4%), which makes it much less intimidating to borrow the money.

An important consideration when choosing to apply for loans is that not all loans are the same, there are subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The basic difference being that as long as the student is enrolled at least half time the federal government will pay the interest charges accrued on the subsidized loans. If you choose the unsubsidized loan be aware that the student is responsible for paying any and all interest charges while enrolled at The Citadel.

The best way to learn more about federal student loans is to visit the U.S. Department of Education’s, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov If you decide that loans are your best option, complete the FAFSA found at the above website and keep in close contact with The Citadel’s Financial Aid Office to ensure it was received.

The final method to pay for tuition expenses at The Citadel is scholarships. Though most scholarships applicable to MECEP participants will not cover all the expenses they are certainly a great help and are widely used in collaboration with the G.I. Bill and student loans. The most commonly used scholarship is the Admiral Boorda Scholarship offered through the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society. For more information regarding scholarships contact your local education center for lists of scholarships that may apply to you.

In an effort to help you make the right choice the current cost of attending The Citadel as a MECEP student is approximately $3,500.00 per semester or $7,000.00 a year. In addition to the normal fall and spring semester cost, a MECEP participant is also responsible for tuition for the Summer session which amounts to approximately $700.00 per class.

Important Numbers:

The Citadel Financial Aid Office: (843) 953-5187

The Citadel Treasurer’s Office: (843) 953-5254

The Citadel Office of Admissions: (843) 953-5230

Marine Officer Instructor: Captain Gillett (843) 953-5208

Assistant Marine Officer Instructor: GySgt Hensley (843) 953-5175