So you want to be a Marine Transportation Major.
Talk to Admissions. Ask what you could do. You could still get in for the Fall semester if you are lucky. As far as increasing your chances, contemplate ROTC or the SSO Program and applying to that. It supplements a good chunk of the cost of CMA.
Cal Maritime i would say is by no means casual, you still wear a uniform, you still have grooming standards, you still have to act professional and even dress Formal at times (all easy to do but the biggest thing people whine about) Why do we have to do this? and its because you could be at Maine Maritime right now freezing your ass off in -10° formos. These are the simple things the Acadmey asks of the cadets in exchange to be a Maritime Academy. The Root of it having a long History with depths of tradition that I am slightly sad the academy has lost an appreciation of in recent years. As far as leadership, the Cadets lead the Cadets, as a 4/C cadet, you constantly look towards the 1/C 2/C and 3/C deckies for help and understanding of the subjuect matter. This is where we get casual. We as a whole, intereact a lot more with our upperclass and for bonds with them especially over cruise where they are the ones mentoring you the undersclass and showing you around the ports, and making sure you can make it up the gangway. You also have some pretty cool Captains that have been around the block a few times and have great stories, though not always pertinent to subject matter can make for a great laugh.
Go to Burrito Truck down sonoma, or La tapatia Market (broadway and Tennessee) for a great Burrito.
4)The Course Load is what you make of it. You can have a lot of time, or no time. If you play sports, that eats a little more time. but you can grab a part time or weekend job around the bay area that has a bunch of cadets as deckhands(great Professional Experience). For on Campus, you are only allowed to work 8 hours a week or something like that and it can range from minimum wage to 10 something an hour. Boat House is awesome, and Mr. Muller is a great Supervisor to work for, good luck on getting in though.
- Housing, with the influx of enrollment, there is no telling where you could go. You might end up in Lower Res Off Campus, or in the back of a car, but yes, usually Upper res is reserved for Freshmen, but it offers a great view, and good community (if you want it). McAllister may be available, but so is offcampus as wel if you are over 25 or a Veteran.
If you have any questions, dont hesitiate to ask.