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Old 03-16-2011, 01:19 AM   #1
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Default College vs. Marines

Well, my family is going through pretty hard times right now financially. I'm at college right now finishing up my freshman year in Illinois but i'm definitely not going to be here next year. I just want to see what peoples opinion are about dropping out of college and enlisting into the marines is? If somehow i do get accepted into my school of choice (Texas State University) then my parents will be able to pay very little and i'll probably have to get grants and loans.

What are the benefits for both?

What are the cons for both?

I took the asvab and got a 76, i want to be a cryptological linquist and for college i want to be a physical therapist.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:35 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by rockrocks77 View Post
Well, my family is going through pretty hard times right now financially. I'm at college right now finishing up my freshman year in Illinois but i'm definitely not going to be here next year. I just want to see what peoples opinion are about dropping out of college and enlisting into the marines is? If somehow i do get accepted into my school of choice (Texas State University) then my parents will be able to pay very little and i'll probably have to get grants and loans.

What are the benefits for both?

What are the cons for both?

I took the asvab and got a 76, i want to be a cryptological linquist and for college i want to be a physical therapist.
Any chance you can squeeze in another year of community college, walk away with an Associate's degree, and *then* join the Marines?
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:43 AM   #3
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My wife put herself through six years of college and ended up with about 12k in debt after she got her degrees. She worked the summers and got loans and grants. Minimal or no parental help. Its hard but you'd be quite proud of yourself once you're done.

Interested in OCS? I'd stick it out then.

If you left college now, you'd had a meritorious promotion if you graduated boot camp, which sets you about 6 months ahead on the roadmap. Also tack on an extra 300 dollars a month. Those college credits would also net you a max of 100 pts towards future promotions, which equates to about 9-10 months of TIG/TIS (seniority), for free.

I've met plenty of Marines that didn't get a degree. One guy in particular only had a couple classes left till his undergrad. Just felt like joining, lol...

Not that I'm a big fan of the darkside, but if I could do it again I'd heavily consider a commission.

I believe commissioned officers also have some sort of college debt payment option, but I'm not sure.

...FWIW, I start college in two weeks. GI Bill. Should be entertaining...
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:05 AM   #4
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I like this thread....

On the one hand, you have college. Run yourself into thousands of dollars in debt, only to realize that maybe majoring in ART was a bad idea!
...OR...
On the other, you have the military. You get to travel, meet new & interesting people.... then kill em' all!!!
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by WS6 Rampage View Post
...then kill em' all!!!
That's my favorite part.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:14 AM   #6
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College...
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Old 03-16-2011, 03:17 AM   #7
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I don't think your parents financial situation necessarily has to dictate your decision. My parents paid for next to nothing of my college so I had to get loans but in the end im glad I did it. You should choose whatever you feel is the best path for your life.
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Old 03-16-2011, 03:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by WS6 Rampage View Post
I like this thread....

On the one hand, you have college. Run yourself into thousands of dollars in debt, only to realize that maybe majoring in ART was a bad idea!
...OR...
On the other, you have the military. You get to travel, meet new & interesting people.... then kill em' all!!!

Or just the oppisite ! you get killed
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:42 AM   #9
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If you can enter the military with a college degree and get a commission, that is really the way to go - the money is much better as an officer, and will pay off big as you keep pushing through your career.

I was fortunate...I graduated from the Air Force Academy with my B.S. in mechanical engineering, served in the Air Force for 8 total years, during which they sent me to get my Master's in aeronautical engineering. I didn't pay a dime for my education - I just paid with my time. The military isn't for everyone, but you can definitely enjoy lots of benefits (hell, the 10% military discount at Home Depot/Lowe's was worth it almost by itself).
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:01 AM   #10
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(hell, the 10% military discount at Home Depot/Lowe's was worth it almost by itself).
That why I enlisted......j/j!

Heres another option. If you flat out can't afford the rest of your college for the degree your persuing, joining the military can work in your favor by aquiring tuition assistance benifits and the GI bill. Do your 4 years, get practically free college while your in, and when you get out, you can continue your education with your GI bill.
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:15 AM   #11
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i joined the AF cause my parents aren't well off and i didnt want to have to work another 4 years of dumb minimum wage job to try and put myself through college...now i got out of the air force last year and i am going to college on the govts dime and it def takes alot of stess out of the picture when you don't have to worry about getting some b.s. part time job and you can just focus on school..but if you are intrested in a military carrer i would have to say officer is the way to go
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:08 PM   #12
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For becoming an officer don't you have to complete college? and um.. what's a commissioned officer? I'm honestly not the smartest kid out there, school has definitely always been a challenge for me. I don't know how living off of an e3 or e4 salary could do for me though. Maybe going through the ranks could eventually lead to a decent salary. I know that if i do sign (which will be in may) i won't be sent to bt for 6-10 months and i told my parents i'd pay for hopefully almost 2 semesters in community college and work part time.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:25 PM   #13
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Does your school have any sort of NROTC or regular ROTC? Maybe those are an option. I cannot comment on being in the military but from all the things I have heard and from what everyone has told me, being an officer is leaps and bounds ahead of being enlisted personnel. My dad is a Vietnam era Navy vet and he said that if he had to do it all over again he would have stayed in school and gotten a degree before joining the military.

As for school you need to look at the job market and what degree your getting. Like some one else said if your going to school for art you might want to pick something else. But if your going for engineering or medicine or some other in demand field then I would say that the debt that you will aquire is far less than the potential income you could make. Since the recession, the rules have changed. You can't just go to school and pick some random major and get a job when you graduate. You need to be deliberate in all the moves you make from now on. Good luck either way.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:29 PM   #14
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Any chance you can squeeze in another year of community college, walk away with an Associate's degree, and *then* join the Marines?
This is what i would do, things may change by then. Both financially and your opinion on joining, plus you would come in with a higher rank i believe.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:32 PM   #15
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I'm a big fan of not getting shot at and/or blown up for a cause that is not my own. I'm going to recommend the staying in college route.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:59 PM   #16
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Just keep in mind it'll take you 3-4 years to get to E-4 (decent pay).

That's money you can live off of, but starting out as E-1, E-2, E-3 its tough. You live in the dorms which helps, but I think it was a horrible, boring life. I really regret not finishing college at a younger age.

Don't rely on your parents, I never did, just go in debt and get a degree YOU want, or you'll be forced to do things in the military that you don't want to do, believe in or even makes sense.

I was looking at old W-2s last night and I only made 10.5k my first year, 16k my third year.
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:29 PM   #17
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You really shouldn't sign up unless you absolutely have to. I would imagine that hating life working minimum wage jobs trying to put yourself through school would be worlds better than living the military life if you never wanted to do that in the first place. In the end, it's all about the money of course, but I'd really wait and look at things deeper just to be sure you don't have to sign up unless you truly want to be in the military. Good luck 'OP...
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:13 PM   #18
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I went the route of Navy and now college. Pretty nice not having to pay for school. I'd be even further ahead if I took advantage of FREE CLEP tests and the amount of free credits we could take during the fiscal year.

Honestly after seeing the different branches in action as I traveled base to base, the Airforce has it made!
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:46 PM   #19
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dang 10k and 16k, when were you in...last year i was in i made 2123 base pay+1060 housing pay+ i want to say 250-300 for food, i dont remember the exact number..not rich but its not struggling...and thats stateside pay you get more deployed..i chose the air force over the marines and army because i didnt want to be in a branch where i could possibly had to have someone in my squad that was forced to join or go to jail..then after i was in after seeing how the other branchs live i would never join those branches..the air force just takes care of its ppl better...IMO
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:30 PM   #20
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As for school you need to look at the job market and what degree your getting. Like some one else said if your going to school for art you might want to pick something else. But if your going for engineering or medicine or some other in demand field then I would say that the debt that you will aquire is far less than the potential income you could make. Since the recession, the rules have changed. You can't just go to school and pick some random major and get a job when you graduate. You need to be deliberate in all the moves you make from now on. Good luck either way.
This.

Enlisting in the AF was the best decision I ever made. I almost went into a career that would have gotten me nowhere. Most people fresh out of high school have no clue how the world works or what they want to do, or they don't know that nothing (especially the military) is as good as it appears to be. However, joining the service really opened up my eyes to a lot of things and allowed me to mature without getting in over my head or committed to some crappy job. Plus I was able to get my Associates just from tech school and all the CLEPS.

Now I'm studying electrical engineering - a degree I never would have chosen right out of hs... And I'm getting paid to do it (GI Bill) vs racking up all kinds of debt.

I definitely hated the AF for most of my enlistment, but looking back now, I say it was a good move.
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