Re: SUNY or Mass Maritime
I'd take any admissions jargon with a grain of salt, from SUNY or anywhere for that matter. Reverting back to 100% regiment at SUNY seems doubtful as well, and is directly opposite the trend of the last 7 years. Until the SUNY head honchos change their funding policy away from being based on enrollment figures, the trend will no doubt continue. It's a damn shame IMHO, the regimental license program has so much more to offer that they fail to promote and build on.
Anyhow, like Emills said, the license product is the same, so if you're going to sail, the end result will be the same. The regimental experience tied with the Summer Sea Terms are great regardless, you'll get this from either. From the rumblings I've heard from SUNY, my source being a veteran regimental affairs officer (name withheld to protect the innocent), among other things is that the regiment is pretty lax and only getting easier; I'd judge Mass's program to be "harder", that might be a pro or con, depending. It seems like the Empire State goes to better ports, in my opinion; the med and western europe for sure, doing a lot more baltic sea and english isles lately, and the Caribbean as well, but the cruises from either school accomplish the same goals. If you're more interested in the academic curriculum and various degree programs, you'll start to find more specific differences and it becomes a personal choice, engineering especially. I've sailed with great and horrible grads from a few schools -- jackasses can still get a license from anywhere, thats for sure.
As far as hazing, it seems some people (read: parents of cadets) are overly sensitive about their little boy johnny being yelled at for anything, much less PT'd or otherwise punished. They tend to confuse "discipline" with "hazing", and there are knee jerk reactions to anything resembling the latter, even if it was clearly the former. They then fail to realize that they signed up for that discipline. Such are the times we live in. But no, I never saw any kind of hazing during my time at Schuyler; justifiable and proper discipline, yes, but certainly not the stuff you might have seen come out of The Citadel or some place years ago. Can't comment on the other schools. The best people to ask about the regiment are a 1st classman or a recent grad, people with a little bit of perspective on it. MUGs and most others will only complain and admissions (or cadets working for them) will flat out lie (i'm ashamed to say i did a one or two open houses for them in my day)
As far as SUNY being in the Bronx, you overlook that its a mere 30 min express bus ride to Manhattan, and a few "establishments" are withing walking distance (for better or worse). Theres a regular bus stop right outside the gate with a 20 min connection to the subway, 15 min taxi ride to Yankee Stadium. Granted, Cape Cod is beautiful and has beaches; depends what you're looking for. Then again, LI has beaches too, tho not as close.
Like others have mentioned, I wouldn't discount Maine either, I hear good things about their program, albeit they're in the middle of nowhere.
just my two pennies.
"The wonder is always new that any sane man can be a sailor." - Ralph Waldo Emerson