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Attending university?

I'm hoping that someone can help answer what may very well be a stupid question... and that is, why would someone choose to attend university?

Only benefits I could find are:

1. If you are successful getting into OTC and graduate, you enter a service as an officer, not enlisted, but there really is little advantage to being an officer over enlisted when you muster out.

2. Meeting the prerequisites for the Academic class is easier, but university degree is not mandatory. High EDU & INT suffice.

3. If someone wants to be a "legal" doctor, than they need a doctorate, but it is still possible to be a brilliant surgeon without any university training.

4. Graduation (and honors) does bump one's EDU to 12+, but the odds of being accepted & graduating are not very good if you don't start off with an already high EDU & INT. Master's & Doctorates can bump EDU even higher, but success here is also more difficult.

5. University is a "safe" way to spend a term in that you don't have to survive, but the chances of acceptance & graduation (without high EDU & INT) are lower than the odds of successfully surviving most career terms.

6. Allows for good background history which seems to me to be the number one reason for choosing the university route for a term.

The THB goes into some detail on what types of degrees you can obtain and specialization at the Master's and Doctorate levels, but there doesn't seem to be any benefits associated with any particular degrees. For example, it would seem to me that if you had a PhD in Electrical Engineering then there should be some type of bonus applied to your T/Electronics skill? Have I missed something?

Also, with respect to XP, a bachelor's degree is only good for 3000XP (4000XP if you manage to graduate with Honors). Career terms offer a base of 4000 with the possibility of gaining more. Therefore, the odds of obtaining higher levels (and therefore more skills & feats) are better taking the career route and avoiding university all together. Here again, have I missed anything?

Any insight offered would be most appreciated.

From a gamist point of view, you are correct, there is little reason to go to university.

Most of the reasons for University are for roleplaying and background. Having the PhD in Electrical Engineering may not give you a bonus to your T/Enginerring skill (unless you paid attention in class), but if you went to the same University as I did, I may be more (or less) inclined to give you a job. University can provides contacts, source of conversations, possible jobs, and other perks.
As noted, the principal reason to go to university is probably its roleplaying value. University may make particular sense for a character's background and help flesh out a character. I'msurproised at how little people seemto value that sometimes. If I were refereeing, I'd reserve the right to reject characters that have skills without an appropriate background to back them up. A surgeon with no University training will need a very good backsotry to be convincing.

As for certain degrees conveying bonuses, the degree is a reflection of your level of training, not the source of it. It's also a measure of social precedence. Remember, the Third Imperium is a very rank conscious society. Even within a given social Strata (SOC score), having a prestigous degree may count in some situations. I woudl discourage degreeed characters from taking low SOC scores, too.

There are some other mechanical factors you've missed:

1) OTC is important, even in gamist terms. Being an officer can have some very significant benefits on mustering out. You get more rolls, and a potential +1 on the Material benefits table at O-5 and above.

2) If you do have a decent EDU (12+) college is only three years, not four, which makes it a better deal on a "per year" basis. And don't forget to add XP from OTC, if taken.

3) The potential EDU increase is nothing to sneer at. EDU is a very important stat in T20, particularly for technically oriented characters.
Thanks for your answers. I totally agree with you on the roleplaying value of a degree. In my game, players will have to have a *very* good background story for me to allow doctors, engineers, etc with no university background. I asked the questions because I anticipate that I will be asked in turn, and I wanted to make sure that I had my answers straight and wasn't missing anything.

BTW, I like the idea about having a PhD act as a SOC bonus in certain situations. I suppose the same could apply as bonuses to relevant knowledge skill checks.

Thanks again.
I won;t allow anyone to acts as a medic shipboard (ie draws pay as a ships doctor - rather than a gunner who can bandage a limb) who doesn;t have a Doctorate in Medicine.

I might not let anyone to take more than 10 ranks in a technical skill to not have a degree in a related field.

I will probably allow people to "not" muster out - go to uni and stay in their service - and have that "term" count for mustering out purposes.

I will almost definitely give a +1 Soc for Degree, +1 for Doctorate. Mixing with other educated people should jump soc.

End result -
i) People in Services will tend to get degrees if they are likely to pass them (as modern)
ii) People in highly technical fields will tend to have degrees
iii) Educated People tend to have the social skills that go with good jobs.