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Military Graduate School Program


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Hi all,


I'm kind of in a unique situation and hoping to get some feedback from the group here. I'm an Active Duty Army Officer and have been serving for almost 8 years. I was recently selected by the military for a program known as Advanced Civil Schooling (ACS). ACS funds 300 Officers a year to attend a civilian graduate school to obtain an advanced degree, enabling them to serve in a future assignment requiring said degree. I'll be applying for a Masters program. 


My undergrad GPA was a dismal 2.82, but I just finished a math course with a 3.67 and am enrolled in another (but it won't be complete until after the admissions decisions are made). My GRE scores are V162, Q158, and 4.0. 


My questions are: How holistic is the admissions process? How might an admissions committee look upon an Officer selected for ACS? Would the selection, external funding and/or experience as an Officer be viewed favorably? Or would it be more of a non-issue? 


Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Edited by The_Space_Cowboy
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They tend to be very holistic, but the level of competition will depend on the subject of degree and the institution you will be applying to. Coming in with money gives you a major upper hand. 

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I was in a similar situation.  I am a U.S. Navy Veteran and received a B.S. in Finance while I was on active duty (almost 7 years of service).  After three deployments, support for a mass casualty incident, and travels to 16 countries ("cultural competency"), I graduated with a 2.8.  I'm due to graduate with a Masters this upcoming Spring (GPA is 3.8 now).  I'm in a different category as well.  


Per your question, you must choose programs which view applicants holistically.  Sometimes you can find this information on their websites, but I suggest that you contact your prospective programs coordinators.  Also, obtain strong recommendation letters and ensure your SOPs are strong; speak the language of your intended field.  In my SOPs, I did not provide a sob story about why my GPA was low.  I illustrated my competencies and future endeavors.  Everyone does not understand military language, so you should ensure that your strengths are translated into 'civilian' language.  


Regardless if you are military or not, some schools have a minimum undergrad GPA, GRE scores, and/or field experience requirements.  The admission committees may or may not budge on these requirements.  You won't know unless you ask them.  Good luck. 

Edited by Victoris
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