At the risk of raising the ire of many here, don’t discount the other state schools in the northeast or, even, dare I state, KP? Now, my comments about KP have to be qualified in that I believe the training program to be a bit misguided and outdated when one considers what today’s US Flag maritime industry has become. That said, one of the best aspects of the training (and engineering training) is the cadet program during Sea Year. Since there is no school ship, all engine (and deck) cadets get their sea going experience on commercial (or MSC) vessels. While this may be less important for a deck office, as an engineer, I sailed on 6 different vessels with 5 different plants (two of the ships were sisters). I can say with out a doubt that Sea Year made me a much better engineer for when I sailed after school. I am not saying that you can’t get a good education at any of the other academies, because you certainly can, and I have sailed with some very good mates, captains and engineers from all of the schools (and hawspipers, too). And while the KP regiment can be a huge pain, not having any student load debt almost makes it worth it. . . . Good luck in your career choice. It will be challenging, for sure, but I can say that I have no regrets from making the same choice some 40 years ago. . . .