45 Days Letter

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by klvivian, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. klvivian

    klvivian Member

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    Hey just an OCD question here. My son got a letter from the USAFA stating he was a candidate and needed to fill out all of the online forms within 45 days. Well the only form still not filled out is his Physcial Fitness - he is still training for that every morning. So he wants to put it off for a while to really get in shape.

    Well - my concern is with that phrase "45 days". Has he blown it cause he did not make that deadline?
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    This goes back a couple of yrs ago, so regs may have changed, but the 45 day marker was for the DODmerb. I remember because DS got his candidate letter in the end of June, and it freaked us, because school would not be retuning prior to 60 days.
     
  3. bigcox

    bigcox USAFA Cadet

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    i thought 45 days meant the time for an LOA...
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    No, unless something has changed incredibly.
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    What the 45 days boils down to is: If you get your application completely finished within 45 days; which includes the CFA, teacher's recommendations, transcripts, SAT/ACT, essays, etc... (100% COMPLETE); then given the extra couple weeks required of the academy to review and update your application, file, and records; then your application will be ready to go and meet the very first review board, which convenes the beginning of September.

    2 years ago, I specifically asked the academy and the counselor. "Why does the academy recommend and suggest a 45 day completion of the application". She said it was so that you would be the most competitive. That you would meet ALL review boards each week.

    But the truth is, they will take completed applications for many more months to come. Even into next year. And, if you think that you are just an AVERAGE applicant; and believes that getting a higher score on the CFA, or waiting for your DODMRB physical because you will be getting out of a cast or other injury soon; or some other reason that makes you believe that you will increase your odds by improving in another area by postponing; then there is "some" logic to that thinking. But if you are equal or better to the average cadet (Not applicant, but cadet); then you should summit early. The earlier, the better. And everyone knows what the average cadet scores are. They are posted everywhere. I personally have posted them a number of times. E.g. gpa 3.85; average sat/act; % varsity athletes; etc... So, if you're in the top 5% of your class ranking, +3.85gpa; +30act; +2050sat; etc..., and you can pass the CFA; then you should be submitting your application. Doing better on the CFA is not going to significantly help you by holding out. Not unless you are borderline failing it. Your gpa changing .1 is not going to change anything on your application. Unless you are the average scoring candidate and need to improve other areas to help out your lower areas, it makes no sense to wait.

    Anyway, that's why the 45 days is there. If you want to be eligible for the very first review board, which is in the beginning of September; and not October, November, or December; which some think it is; then you would need to get your application 100% completed and submitted within the 45 day time frame. If you can't make this time frame, just go for the soonest you can. The sooner it's in, the sooner and MORE times it will be looked at. But it won't be looked at until it's 100% complete. Without exception.
     
  6. Gleasons84

    Gleasons84 Member

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    Mike, when you say that the sooner you have your application in the more times it is reviewed, can you elaborate on that please. Thanks!
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I love Mike and he knows it, but let's put some clarification here about meeting boards.

    You will meet the board when it your application is completed, you will get a WCS. If you do not add or update, your packet will not go up again. Take a new SAT/ACT, they will only review your PAR. Add a new sport or get a class position than they will only review your EC. They will not review the entire packet, just the part that you update.

    So, yes, he is right, but at the same time if you do not update it you will not meet one more board from the original board. I just don't want you to believe that you submit it and every month you go up over and over again when there is no change.

    I stated this earlier this is why some people hold off their CFA until they have maxed so they get higher points. Once that CFA is submitted, it is in, occassionally they will ask for someone to re-take, but that is not common. If I recall correctly the USMA will allow you to request a re-take, but that is not true for the AFA, since they have to unlock your file. Thus, people will hold off submitting since they have true control over this 1 eensy weensy part.
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Pima; you know I love you too kiddo. Lets also clarify the clarifying. 1st, let me apologize for getting ready to write a book.

    Pima is totally correct that once you get your WCS, you basically have your score. Assuming you made it to the very 1st board review, there will be some scores that may be worthy and considered for an LOA. Possibly, if you have a presidential nomination, considered for an immediate appointment. Same with other nominations. And those individuals who were offered an LOA or an early appointment may be pulled out of the remaining list. Your score, while not necessarily improved unless you add additional info to your packet, will numerically be HIGHER on the list for if no other reason, than because some of the applicants on the list have been removed because of offers of LOA or Appointments. And with the NEXT board reviewing the next week, your score on the list could actually be one of the highest currently. Not that there is any guarantee that it will mean anything, but it could. And while you've all heard me tell applicants who ask what their chances are, that they have a 0% chance of getting an appointment if they don't apply; well you have a 0% chance of any consideration for anything, if your application isn't reviewed by the board. Which means the subsequent reviews and re-posturing of your scores with the current remaining applicants, can't happen if it's not there.

    However; we have to look at 2 probable scenarios. (I mentioned this in my last post)

    1. You are the "average" applicant. (Not average applicant who necessarily gets an appointment). 1800-1900 SAT; 3.70gpa; top 10% class ranking; basic sports; basic ec; etc... You probably are going to be considered during the general pool of applicants, unless you can pull of the #1 slot on your representative's slate of nominees. (Which if you are the #1 on your representative's slate, you're probably NOT an average applicant). Either way, if you are the "average", then you probably won't benefit from having your application in for the 1st board and subsequent weekly reviews. Nothing wrong with this. The vast majority of appointments are issued in March.

    HOWEVER WHAT IF:
    2. You are the "above average" applicant. You have the 3.95-4.0gpa; 2100+SAT; 32+ACT; top 1% of your class ranking; multi-sport varsity letter; captain; multiple EC; etc.... If for whatever reason, you were not given an LOA/Appointment during the first week of board reviews, because there were others HIGHER than you, you probably have just become one of the HIGHEST scores remaining after removing any LOA/Appointments. That can mean a whole lot in the next week or two. But, if you aren't in the board review system yet, you can not be considered for anything.

    And this is exactly the system I believe my son fell into. If you go back and look, you will see that some people received an LOA towards the end of October of 2007. Some also received an appointment. (Different nominations). But my son didn't receive anything at that time. However, he was in the first review board. I know that for a fact. However, 2 weeks later, November 6th; his on-line application changed to "APPOINTMENT OFFERED". That was a big HMMMMMMMMMMM?????? 4 days later, he received the actual appointment offer letter; also known as the BFE (Big Fat Envelope) in the mail. People had been receiving LOAs and Appointments for 2-3 WEEKS prior to my son. And the academy obviously used his presidential nomination eligibility, because he hadn't even met with our state's rep or senator yet.

    So, did he receive his early appointment on the 1st board review??? I don't believe so. If so, he probably would have received an LOA/Appointment in the 3rd/4th week of October, when others started receiving them. It was obviously after the 2nd or 3rd review that a decision was made by the review board. And yes, he was a 4.0gpa, class rank #1, All IB classes, 29 ACT, 2000 SAT, multiple varsity sports letters, captain, class officer, etc..... Maybe it was the not "Stellar" ACT/SAT that initially held him back??? Maybe after the first week/round of boards, when those names were removed with LOA/Appointments, maybe my son was the highest on the list????? Maybe not. And maybe out of all the presidential nominees, he was the highest???.... You never know???

    But there are 4 truths that can not be argued under any circumstances.

    1. If your application isn't completed 100%, it WON'T be reviewed by the board.
    2. My son would NOT have received an appointment on November 6th if he had not had his application completed and submitted.
    3. His application WAS in the first review board, yet there were some who were offered LOA's/Appointments weeks before his.
    4. His WCS must have meant something during following review boards for him to receive an appointment weeks after the first batches.

    And I have to say, that the CFA is the ONLY THING that could possibly hold up the application from being 100% that is of the applicant's responsibility and choice. I.e. If they are waiting on teacher's recommendations, transcripts, ALO interview, etc... those are things that you as a applicant can't really control. But the CFA is. I won't even mention the rest of the online application which includes the essays and such. ALL of that can be done the first weekend. "Whether you do it or not is up to you, but it's a very simple procedure". But it seems that the people who HOLD OFF in submitting their application, are doing it because of the CFA. Well, you're probably going to fall into one of three categories.

    a) No problem with the CFA. You might not max all the scores, but you did real well in practices. You have no reason to hold off. You are NOT going to gain any decent additional points by holding off. Submit it.
    b) Average scores with the CFA. Again, if you passed it, and are involved with other sports/varsity/etc... then submit it. You can't make any major gains in points because you can do 2 extra pull ups if you wait a month or two. But you do risk lack of possible exposure without a completed application. The CFA is NOT THAT IMPORTANT as long as you can pass it.
    c) Below sat scores on the CFA. Well DUH!!!! You don't want to submit failing scores. This is a reason to hold off on submitting your application.

    There is no other reason to hold off submitting your application. No matter what your gpa, class rank, SAT, ACT, etc.... that will only change and become significant when you update it. And you are allowed to update it. But you don't get penalized because your initial application was a couple points lower than when you added information to it.

    Anyway; you have 3 years worth of academics, sports, ec, volunteer, etc... that you are submitting. You can't wait until the 1st semester of senior year is over. (It's too late then to apply or get a nomination). So, what is the advantage of submitting an application in November instead of August????? There is only one area that you have ANY CONTROL OVER. And that's the CFA. And as I mentioned above, 2 out of 3 circumstances, you gain so little towards your WCS because you can now do 2 more pullups or 3 more pushups. The only reason to hold off an application is if you CAN'T PASS THE CFA. But, the moment your application is in the system, which it can't be until it's submitted, your odds just improved from 0%. And yes, each week that it is in the system, your odds change. Any low point, it would have been that way early or late. However, you can be at some HIGH POINTS in the numeric system if you are ranked among LESS PEOPLE. Do it any way you want. It's cool. I've been doing this for 6 years. Steve (Flieger) and some others have definitely been doing it more in-depth a lot longer. I have directly helped quite a few individuals apply to air force, army, and navy. Including my son who I used as an example. Not everyone I've helped has gotten in. Obviously it's their application, not mine. But I've spoken with numerous ALO's as well as the academy counselors. They all agree that the earlier and longer your application is in the system, the better your odds are. Again. sorry for the book. Mike.....
     
  9. academania

    academania USAFA Cadet

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    I have a question in regards to your most recent post, Mike. But before that, I wanted to say thanks for your advice, it's been especially helpful to me along the way. Thanks to everyone else as well.

    I ONLY have the CFA to submit left before I'm complete. (Still need a nom though). I even have DODMERB. Anyways, you say not to submit if I don't have passing scores. My dilemma is, what defines passing? Is it the average scores listed in the instructions to precandidates booklet or is it some other minimum?

    I have at least average scores on every event except pull ups and the basketball throw. My scores for those are:

    Pull-ups: 9
    BBall Throw: 63 ft

    The AFA averages as listed in the precandidates booklet are:
    Pull-ups: 11
    BBall Throw: 69 ft

    So should I hold off until I can accomplish those averages to submit? Or should I just get it in? (i.e. will I meet some list of minimums I don't know about?) I have a pretty strong app otherwise (GPA-4.0, ACT 31, 1/48 class rank), but that's beside the point

    Thanks again
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hi!

    Okay...cutting from your message:

    I have at least average scores on every event except pull ups and the basketball throw. My scores for those are:

    Pull-ups: 9
    BBall Throw: 63 ft

    The AFA averages as listed in the precandidates booklet are:
    Pull-ups: 11
    BBall Throw: 69 ft


    If your other scores are at the "mean" for the academy as defined in the online candidate preparation booklet, then you're fine. Of course, I'm a nut; and I like everyone to score the highest they can!!! BUT...what Mike is talking about is this: there are minimum passing scores for each event.

    Can't do a pull up? You're done. Actually, without looking at the book, I "think" it's 3 pullups. Can't hit your feet with the basketball...done.

    That's what he's talking about. It sounds like your scores are "in the ball park" and that's fine. If you want to take more time to up the scores, that's your call and I never tell someone NOT to do that. I will however ask them this: "Do you think that the scores are good enough, with the rest of your package, to be competitive? If so, complete your package so you may be considered. If not, then work VERY hard, and do it soon!"

    It's really your call but as I said, if you're "right there" with your scores...and here's some "bottom lines" to compare to:

    TABLE 1. Maximum performance scores by event and gender. (MALE)
    Basketball Throw - 102 Feet
    PullUps - 18
    Shuttle Run - 7.8
    Modified SitUps - 95
    PushUps - 75
    1Mile Run - 5:20

    TABLE 2. Mean entering candidate performance scores by event and gender.
    (MALE)
    Basketball Throw - 68 Feet YOU: 63 feet
    PullUps - 10 YOU: 9
    Shuttle Run - 9.5
    Modified SitUps - 74
    PushUps - 55
    1Mile Run - 6:40

    Again, my booklet has a little different numbers but that's okay; if you're says the numbers you gave, GO WITH THEM!!! I've been an ALO a LOOOONG time, mine might be a year older.:eek:

    I hope this helps!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Academania; listen to steve (Flieger), he is correct (As always). He knows his stuff big time. You're obviously close to or at the mean average for the CFA. (Don't know your other scores). But like steve said, if you are within the averages, you have to ask yourself how much better can you get??? Can you add 15-20 feet to your basketball throw? Can you get 5-7 more pullups??? If you think that you can only get 1 or 2 more pullups and maybe a couple feet on the basketball throw, then the question is: Do you gain anything by waiting??? Only you can answer that. I have had individuals that could barely do three pullups and barely hit 50 feet on the basketball throw. They wisely chose to hold off until they discovered some better techniques to increase their scores to get close to the average.

    When you submit your scores is a totally personal decision. The CFA definitely has a score, but it's not as pronounced as many think it is. Yes, there's a score difference between being able to do 4 pullups and doing 11. Doing 60 ft bball and doing 85 ft. But if you can do 9 pullups, do you get a lot more points for doing 11? No, not really. But these are decisions you have to decide. Obviously, this is a time issue for you, but for those preparing for next year, I always suggest:

    If you're interested in the academy, be practicing the CFA during your entire junior year. Try and do them at least 2 times a week. In 9 months, you can get above average scores. Then, you take it once. If you and your ALO/Tester agree they are at/above average scores, and the rest of your application is very strong, then submit it. If you think you can do a little better, then reschedule one more time. If it's a lot better, great. If it's the same or slightly better, then it's doubtful you'll get much better waiting. Submit the scores. Best of luck to you. Mike......
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Candidates,

    Just remember the CFA is one thing you have absolute control over. If you are below the mean, than don't submit it and continue to work at it. You do not want to wonder the rest of your life, "if I did 1 more pull up, 1 more sit up...if I had waited would I have been appointed"

    Now also, if you are an athlete, there is that double edge sword...play football injure your shoulder, you will need time to heel and you might have to submit lower scores...same for a track student or a wrestler. Every yr there is at least one athlete that gets injured and had yet to submit their scores. Just remember that too when you are deciding should you submit those scores.
     

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