Marine Corps-Friendly Colleges

Marine Corps-friendly colleges include many universities and maritime academies around the country. Information on respective locations, institution types, tuition costs, and military benefits will help future cadets make an informed decision.

Traditional colleges offering Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) programs provide opportunities for students interested in the Marine Corps. Maritime schools may also be a more suitable route for aspiring service men and women. Additional information is provided in the table below for individuals wanting to enlist in this military branch.

School Comparison

School Name Institution Type Location In-State Tuition (2016-2017)* Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits**
SUNY Maritime College 4-year, public Throggs Neck, New York $7,834 Excelsior Scholarship, Educational Opportunity Program, Academic Success Center, Health Services, Licensing and Career Services
Massachusetts Maritime Academy 4-year, public Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts $8,004 Career & Professional Services, Academic Resource Center, Incoming Students Scholarships
Prairie View A&M University 4-year, public Prairie View, Texas $10,059 2- to 4-year scholarships, Chief of Naval Education and Training (CNET) scholarship, The Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program
Georgia Institute of Technology 4-year, public Atlanta, Georgia $12,212 2-year and 3-year NROTC scholarships, Marine Option Military Occupation Specialty
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 4-year, public Blacksburg, Virginia $12,852 Emerging Leader Scholarship, Commandant's Scholarships, Marine Option Two and Three-Year Scholarship,
Maine Maritime Academy 4-year, public Castine, Maine $13,078 Health & Counseling Services, Academic Support, Transportation Assistance, Castine Student Sponsor Program, Accessibility Services, Merit-Based Scholarships,

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics; **School Websites

Overview of Marine Corps-Friendly Colleges

College-bound students who are interested in joining this military branch at the officer level can start off as an NROTC cadet (or midshipman) at a traditional university. Another option is enrolling in a maritime academy to pursue a postsecondary education. Depending on personal preference, one of these higher-learning schools may provide an ideal Marine Corps-friendly college experience.

SUNY Maritime College

SUNY Maritime College's NROTC program is made for individuals who are interested in earning an undergraduate or graduate degree in marine studies. The school's Marine Corps-friendly environment specifically offers a military-style learning environment to young adults who want to enlist. Funding aids like the Excelsior Scholarship or the Educational Opportunity Program are ideal resources for students needing financial help and academic support. Furthermore, the institution is known for its Academic Success Center, Health Services, Licensing and Career Services, all of which provide support, guidance, resources, and assistance to learning cadets. The campus currently serves more than 1,800 students.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

This particular Marine Corps-friendly college ensures that students learn all they need to know about this career field. Through services like the Academic Resource Center, cadets have access to additional departments related to writing, learning, and advising. As it relates to job counseling, the Career & Professional program is a place for students to receive additional help with researching and preparing for the working world. In Fall 2016, the academy enrolled only 1,751 students wanting to pursue a college degree. For those who want to be part of this midsize suburban college, they may want to consider applying for one of the six scholarships for incoming students, which helps undergraduate midshipmen with eight semesters worth of school fees.

Prairie View A&M University

Prairie View A&M University offered postsecondary degrees to more than 8,700 students in 2016, some of whom were NROTC cadets seeking a Marine Corps-friendly education. Prospective students wanting to enroll in this program will have access to various funding opportunities, including those that are 2- to 4-year scholarships. The Chief of Naval Education and Training scholarship is another option that not only gives monthly stipends but also provides a full-ride to students and includes fees for books and uniforms. Additionally, qualifying candidates can become part of the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program. This benefit allows active duty Marines to earn a ranking as Second Lieutenant while participating in the NROTC program at the midshipman level.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Individuals in need of a career-focused learning environment may want to consider the Georgia Institute of Technology. Although the campus setting is large in size -- with more than 26,800 students registered in 2016 -- the school is known to cater to a smaller population of Marine Corps students in the NROTC program. Applicants not yet enrolled as a cadet at this Marine Corps-friendly college have the choice between 2- and 3-year scholarship awards. Six months after graduating, midshipmen in the school's Marine Option attend The Basic School (TBS). During TBS, Marine Officers are able to list their preferred job focus, known as Military Occupation Specialty. Flight contracts are available to those in the Marine Option.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The NROTC program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University offers Marine Corps-friendly training opportunities to future service members. While this traditional college offers various degree programs to a student body of over 33,000, the Raider Company is designed specifically for midshipmen wanting to enlist as a marine officer. Apart from several program activities, tuition assistance is also available to students. For example, Commandant's Scholarships are funded by alumni, awarding cadets up to $3,000 a year after their freshman year. Additionally, in-state cadets could receive an $8,000 four-year award through the Emerging Leader Scholarship, which could further help with financial needs.

Maine Maritime Academy

At Maine Maritime Academy, which had a student population of 1,045 learners in 2016, students are prepared for a career as a marine through the school's NROTC program. Numerous resources related to academic tutoring, health support, disability assistance, and transportation services make the college life a more comfortable experience for midshipmen. Out-of-state students, in particular, can find additional help through the Castine Student Sponsor program, which pairs newcomers with local volunteer residents who help with transportation around the area and provide moral support when needed. Applying for a Merit-Based Scholarship such as the Presidential and Dean's Awards could help first-year cadets take advantage of at least $6,500 in funds.

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