Why no consideration of KP? Reputation aside, you graduate with no student loan debt and a pretty good job placement program, too. As I have said in other posts, I believe that all of the academies will give you adequate training for the job and being successful is less dependent on the school than it is on the student. Relevant training or not, you DO graduate KP with a license and for a much lower financial cost than the other schools. Is it a pain? You bet. I could NOT wait to get out of there. We had the expression that it was a $40K education (hey, it was the late 70s) shoved up our ass a nickel at a time. . . That said, Maine is also a good school. . I guess it depends on how much debt you want to incur. Both of my kids are now college grads, although not in the maritime world. For some reason, they didn't see any romance in the career. . . . They each funded their school their own way. My son joined the Navy Reserve and got a $30K bonus payment for school. My daughter was more traditional, going to the University of Houston and getting loans while living at the house. Her total debt was only around $30K and she has been working since graduation and was able to purchase a house last year. Since you have about a year for the process, it would not hurt to check out KP, just on the money savings alone. Everything else there is BS, but that, too is a great life lesson.