How competitive to get in this academy?

I am a senior about to graduate and was interested in going to GLMA. I couldn’t really find any information telling me what they look for in an applicant or the classes and grades you need to have to be accepted. So does anyone have any information regarding that.

I am not an academy guy but I work with a ton.

Most of them seem to think it was a waste of time and they should have just come straight out and worked their way up. Instead of being over 100k in debt you actually are making money for 4 years, come out with the same license, and have practical knowledge about what’s going on. Still have to take a lot of classes and nonsense but it doesn’t cost anywhere near as much as the academy. Nothing against the academies of course. A lot of good dudes that are very knowledgeable come from the academies. It just seems to me they sorta saw it as a waste, from what they tell me.

I guess that wasn’t what you asked though.

I’ve also heard academy enrollment has gone down dramatically in the last few years. I would imagine if the number of people trying to get in has gone down the requirements etc have also gone down. May not be as difficult as it once was to get in. Universities are trying to make money so. They want to fill those seats.

Give it a shot man. All they can do is say yea or nay.

BS. That is the worst advice I’ve ever heard. Go to an academy. They accept well over half of applicant.


I can only speak for myself as far as attending an academy. Now, I didn’t go to GLMA, but KP. It is more difficult to get into, but the cost is far less. There are many detractors here, but I felt that in between all of the BS at the place, there are opportunities to learn the business and I certainly took advantage of them at the time. I feel that any academy can do that. I don’t know that I have ever run across any academy grad (of any of them) that felt it was a waste of time and/or money. As far as debt? I have no clue regarding the amount, to be honest. I do know that my daughter went to the University of Houston, double majored (in non maritime subjects, of course) and her college debt was less that $30K. And she had no grants. . . or help from my cheap ass. . .my son got his college money by joining the Navy Reserve. . . there are options out there.


Not a GLMA Guy, but I would apply to all of the maritime academies, including KP and take whichever one gives you he best offer, either financially or location wise. You won’t know if you can get in unless you try. There are a lot of options for you graduating from an academy beyond sailing, which you may find more lucrative or interesting. And you may decide you don’t like sailing at all. Good luck!


Hello and welcome aboard!

First of all, how much do you know about the US maritime industry? Do you live on/near the Great Lakes? Do you see yourself becoming a mate (deck officer) or becoming an engineer?

Do you have anyone who is a friend or family member in the industry?

Are you sure you want to make a career out of this?

Just asking to try and help give you the best advice possible.

If you want to become a deck officer and possibly work on the Great Lakes, by all means apply to GLMA. If you do graduate as a 3rd mate you will also get your Great Lakes pilotage. Which means you can indeed work on the Lakes. Otherwise coming up the hawespipe or another academy then you will have to get that before you can work on Lake freighters.

If you plan to go engine room then it doesn’t matter so much.

I think GLMA with in-state tuition is cheapest of all the state academies and the easiest one to get into with the least amount of BS.

At least you will graduate with both a merchant marine license and a degree.


I’m a Fort Schuyler grad that knows quite a bit about GLMA. I spent a summer working on their training ship (and I have to say I think they have a great program). I have to say I respectfully disagree with Yukon Cornelius about hawsepiping for your license. In this day and age, with all the new STCW amendments required to ship deep sea, the amount of red tape has skyrocketed and makes it extremely difficult to hawsepipe, but the academies have a good system to ensure you have everything you need to graduate and write your license. However, here is what I would suggest: get your TWIC and entry level ratings on your MMC (OS/Wiper/Cadet) and get out as a deckhand on a tug or with one of the lakes companies (Interlake or something) before you start there and use that money to help pay for your time at GLMA. The way their curriculum works, you have about a month off for the winter holidays (this is relief season, you can make decent money during that time), and your sophomore summer off (more time to get out at put a dent in your bills). There is something to be said for a gap year, or at least spending your summer working in the industry before you show up there. Plus, if you do well with one of these companies, they may take you on as a cadet for your program and quite possibly as a mate or engineer after you graduate. I know cadets over there that do this and I thought they were the ones that were the most prepared out of everyone in their class. And they were still only 19 or 20 when they did this. While GLMA has traditionally had a higher average student age than most other academies (28 or so), that seems to be changing a little and younger cadets, many straight out of high school, are entering the institution. It’s a great place and the faculty and staff are great to work with. I would highly suggest you look into the school further and consider shipping for a little bit before you do attend or at least before your first couple cadet cruises. Best of luck.


Dis-regard. :crazy_face:

Of the 180 I graduated with, and the other several hundred I interact with on a near daily basis, I’d wager my entire net worth that not one of them would refer to their education as a “waste of time.” That’s awful advice.

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