2013 chances

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by kpwehope, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. kpwehope

    kpwehope Member

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    My son has already applied to USMMA but he was thinking of trying the CGA too. He has a 3.89 gpa, 30 ACT, varsity soccer 2 yrs, jv 1 yr, track & field 1 yr, national honor society, chess club, chemistry lab asst 1 yr, a few other misc. activities. Any of you more experienced ones out there have an idea if he would have a chance?
     
  2. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I can't tell you he has a chance if he applies, but I can tell you has has zero chance if he doesn't. :wink:

    For USCGA admissions, class rank and SAT scores (ACT scores are converted to SAT using a table approved by the College Board and ACT) play the biggest part of the academic score.

    (GPA can be misleading due to the many many variables that different schools use.)

    Class rank is weighted 3 times, Math SAT is weighted two times, and Verbal SAT is weighted once.
     
  3. Texas Heat

    Texas Heat New Member

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    That's great info. Thanks. I was wondering about that myself how much weight they put on each criteria. My son's GPA is at 3.3 (maybe slightly higher), ranks in the top 12-15% of his class and scored 1170 (or thereabouts) on his SAT. I was concerned if his academics were competitive enough for an appointment.

    He attended the AIM camp last month and had a great experience. It surprised me a little that he had nothing negative to say about it. Not one. Not the heat, not the screaming, not the marching, not the physical activities, nada! He enjoyed the engineering projects and he even liked the food! He said he didn't expect the food to be that good. LOL! The first couple of days were 'scary' but after he got into the rhythm of the camp, he adjusted really well. In short, he loved it. His cadres think he'll be a good fit at the academy. I think these are all good signs but a 1 week camp is merely a glimpse of the life at the academy. So, it looks like he's going thru with the application process. He's applying at other colleges as well but right now, the USCGA tops his list. Since getting an appointment to the USCGA is extremely competitive, he must have a Plan B.
     
  4. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    The cadre evaluation from AIM is looked at during the admission process, so that's a positive sign.

    Encourage him to take the SAT again, 1170 is below the average for the last two classes. :thumb:
     
  5. bossf51

    bossf51 Parent

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    I concur on the SAT's but the CGA looks at the whole person...so leadership, athletics, character are all big factors as well.

    Yes the food is very good for an institutional setting. My son loves it.:wink:
     
  6. Texas Heat

    Texas Heat New Member

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    Correction. He scored 1180 on his 1st SAT test then a 1230 on the 2nd attempt. That's still below the class of 2012 average. :frown:
    He's got lots of other redeeming values and intangibles that I think will make him a perfect fit for the academy. Of course that's a parent talking. Will the Coast Guard feel the same way? We shall see.
     
  7. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    He'll get at least one more shot to take the SAT this fall and submit his scores before the EA deadline, I would recommend taking them again. As they take the highest from each set of scores, he can't lose by re-taking them.

    All of those "other factors" will help as well - leadership opportunites (sports team captain, Eagle scout, Boys State) also go a long way. Demonstrating leadership in a few activites is better than participation in many.

    And as Boss mentioned, success at AIM is a great indicator of success at the Academy.

    Good luck to your son, Coasties are incredible people..
     
  8. bossf51

    bossf51 Parent

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    1230 is in the ball park so don't despair :thumb:
     
  9. mnolan

    mnolan Parent

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    SAT average

    And don't forget, and this isn't a slam or anything...just oversimplified math.....that roughly half the admitted students scored below average. That's how averages work. And I will bet they did OK at the Academy. The USCGA won't admit you unless they think you can succeed, and you can't get admitted if you don't apply...so go for it!

    Mike
     
  10. bossf51

    bossf51 Parent

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    Great point Mike I don't like the obsession with SAT's myself although I did fairly well on them back in the day. :eek:
     
  11. Texas Heat

    Texas Heat New Member

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    Thanks! I appreciate the encouragements. I talked to him yesterday about taking it one more time. He didn't seem too excited to do it again. I really can't blame him. He'll have quite a heavy load when school starts next week. He's taking AP Calculus, dual credit courses in Chemistry, English, and Economics and athletics (cross country) on top of that. He's also an officer for the DECA club and plays off season baseball on weekends. He's got a pretty full plate. I don't know if he'll find (or make time) to study for another SAT. I'm going to leave it up to him. I'll nudge him a bit into just going ahead and take the test one more time without really studying heavily. Can't hurt.
     
  12. mnolan

    mnolan Parent

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    Retaking the SAT

    I have been a university professor, administrator and admissions advisor since 1978....and I have one kid at the USCGA this year.....so this comes from experience. (I am also known to be rather blunt so please don't take any offense at any of my statements here....)

    Most people who retake the SAT get at most a 50 point bump the second time they take it, after that there are diminishing returns. Many don't see any change, a third time, some see a slight drop. In general, when I talk to prospective students, I tell them that most of the bump is due to their familiarity with the exam, not with anything they studied. Usually when students take the SAT the first time, they are nervous, apprehensive and don't know what it will be like. The second time they take it they are more relaxed....and I personally feel that is more likely the reason for any bump than extra studying. So I suggest that students who choose to take the SAT a second time go into it relaxed but determined (I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it really isn't).

    What I can tell you is this.....the toughest thing an admissions officer has to do is decide who on the bubble makes it, and who doesn't. If only 100 students can be admitted, ranking numbers 99, 100, and 101 is very hard and is usually based on some intangibles. Even a bump of 10 points on a SAT could make a difference. And if you don't try it, and you don't get admitted, you will never know if you were #101. So I suggest that if you feel he is on the bubble, that he retake the SAT. So regardless of what happens, you will both know you did all you could. Getting a lower score won't hurt, but a higher score could end up being the difference. Don't be surprised if there is little change however, as statistics show very little if any change between the second attempt and any subsequent tries.

    Even if he does worse, retaking the exam does say something to the admissions office. I can tell you from experience, (my daughter is just finishing swab summer at the USCGA as we speak), that even the most motivated student will question their decision to attend USCGA sometime during swab summer. (In reality, they will likely question their decision a couple of times per day!) :smile:

    They have to really WANT to be in the USCGA to get through swab summer and the 4th class year. Part of the reason for swab summer is to determine early on just how badly the swab wants to be there. And about 10% of the students change their mind while they are there and return home.

    This is where your son (and not you) have to decide how badly he wants this. Like I said, I tend to be blunt, and apologize in advance if this offends anyone, but if he knows he might be on the bubble, and isn't willing to spend the money to re-test or take the time to do so, then he might not really want in that badly. That is a decision only your son can make, no one else. My daughter hit a few rough spots while trying to get in to the academy, and she overcame them, but the decision HAD to be hers....it couldn't be mine....cause I'm not the one putting up with swab summer, 4 years of a military academy and 5-20 more years in the military. Admissions officers look at this. Even if your son retakes the SAT and does worse, the very fact that he re-took the exam does indicate how badly he wants in...and that just might be part of the admissions equation if he ends up on the bubble. I hope in your case it doesn't come down to that, but in every admitted class, there is the last person to get in, and the first person denied. If you really want in, you don't want to be #101 in a class of 100. Once you get admitted, none of this matters........after the hurdle of admissions, everyone is equal again and college/academy life begins.

    I hope it works out for your son......if he does re-take the SAT, just tell him to relax, get a good nights sleep, don't over think it, don't study for it...just give it his best shot!

    Mike
     
  13. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Mike,

    Of course I will defer to your experience in admissions, but for every statistic, there are exceptions, and I can only speak from what I know when my son took them.

    From test #1 to test #2 - a 100 point increase. (math+verbal 1210 to 1310)
    From test #2 to test #3 - a 130 point increase. (math+verbal 1310 to 1440)

    We all can talk about how much the SAT's don't provide a true measure of a student, etc, etc - but the fact remains that the service academies, all of them, put an enormous amount of admissions weight on the SAT scores, whatever we may think about them.

    Yes, even a small increase in the score can vault your name up 30-50 places on the list, which in many cases can mean the difference between "we are pleased to offer you an appointment" and "sorry we have no place for you."

    The cadidate's SAT score is one of the admissions factors that the candidate himself (or herself) can directly control.
     
  14. bossf51

    bossf51 Parent

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    Mike that is a teriffic post and one of the best in recent memory. You are a great addition to the boards and I admire your daughter for her perserverance to date.

    My daughter went through the whole process and was on the cusp of an appointment. Her name is even on the Class of 2011 tee-shirts fer goodness sake. But she decided she didn't want to do it. I am eternally grateful that she didn't take the spot of a kid who really wanted it.

    She knew from her brother's experience that the CGA is (in the words of our distinguished graduation speaker) "a long, tough slog."

    Believe me your dd will probably question her decision many times over the next four years, not just during swab summer. But in the end, I bet she'll know she did the right thing. :thumb:
     
  15. Texas Heat

    Texas Heat New Member

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    Mike - thanks for the bluntness. I appreciate the honesty. No offense taken at all. You made some very good points. The question remains. Does my son really want it? I think he does but that's my assessment. He's considering a few options right now and like I said, I believe USCGA tops his list. The kid just turned 17 a couple of weeks ago. Barely got his driver's license. A military commitment is huge! It's a very adult decision. I'm sure he's having doubts if he's ready for a long commitment like that though he hasn't told me so. All we (his parents) can do is to let it run its course until he comes to a decision. I'd like to think that we're neither pushing him or discouraging him from joining the academy. He knows we'll support him whatever he decides. It's completely up to him. The last I want to do is make him feel like we pushed him to do it then he hates it.

    I took off from work last week and we visited 3 colleges that he's considering. We were really impressed with 2 of the 3 schools. His class ranking combined with his SAT score are good enough to get him in their engineering college which probably explains why the hesitation to retake the SAT. I'm sure in the next couple of weeks or so, once it all soaks in a little more, he'll come up with a decision. If USCGA is where he decides to go, he'll retake that SAT 1 more time.
     

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