A million questions

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Momof4, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. Momof4

    Momof4 Member

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    Hello,
    I am very new to this forum so please forgive me if any of my questions have been answered in a previous thread. My son who is a senior in high school and has taken AFJROTC for 4 years, never dreamt that he would be considered for the USAFA. He thought because he didn't play sports he would not be qualified,but planned to major in AFROTC in college. He was recommended by his school as a candidate (not sure of the name of this nomination) in October. This is when his application process started. He is super excited, and we are beyond proud! He received his congressional nomination on December 18th and was put in contact with a current cadet. We have been told that this is a very good sign that he is a principle candidate, although his letter never mentioned this. His GPA meets the requirements, and his SAT score just meets the requirements. His strongest attribute is leadership! He has 3 parts to complete his application (essay, one letter of recommendation still pending, and his physical). So, does a nomination from your school and the JROTC with a congressional nomination help your chances of being accepted? If your congressman nominates 10 candidates, can all 10 be accepted? Some of you have posted 3Q, what does that mean exactly? Thank you for any input, and congratulations to those who received their appointments, may you all excel your own expectations! I am also learning all of the abbreviations used here! :)
     
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hi!

    Welcome to the tornado! It's an interesting ride!!

    Okay...to take on your questions, I'll list:

    1. Does a nomination from your school and the JROTC with a congressional nomination help your chances of being accepted?
    If he has a nomination from JROTC and one from his congressman, it means he has two nominations in two categories. Will it "help" his chances? It might; it certainly will not hurt them!
    2. If your congressman nominates 10 candidates, can all 10 be accepted?
    Yes, although that is exceedingly rare! I have seen a US Senator nominate 20 (he had 2 openings) and 12 were ultimately appointed. That's the most I've seen in 20+ years as an ALO.
    3. Some of you have posted 3Q, what does that mean exactly?
    "3Q" three-ways qualified: academically, athletically, physically. It means you've passed the academic screen, passed the CFA, and passed the DODMERB physical examination.

    Bring on the questions! That's what we're here for!!!

    Welcome to the forum and the ride!!!

    HANG ON!!! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  3. Momof4

    Momof4 Member

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    Thank you for your quick response! How many categories are there for nominations? He also just met with his ALO, which I believe is scored ?
     
  4. runorrun

    runorrun Member

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    Most candidates receive nominations from their MOCs (Senators or Representative in Congress), but ROTC, the VP, and president can also nominate. The vast majority of candidates qualify to compete for at least the following sources: 2 senators from your state, your district Rep, and the VP. Congrats on the principle nom! That means as long as your son meets the Academy's standards, he will be admitted, given he is 3Q. Good luck to him as he continues the application process! :)


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  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would contact the MOC to see if he is principal. Typically the MOC will either write it in the letter or personally call to state they are the principal. If he doesn't want to contact the MOC staff he could pop an email to his ALO and ask if they know if the MOC does principal. MOC can use principal or competitive.

    Principal candidate that is 3Q will automatically be appointed.

    Good luck
     
  6. Momof4

    Momof4 Member

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    He asked his ALO if he were the principal, and he did not know. He might not want to discourage him. I am thinking the MOC uses a competitive nomination though. We know someone who is a graduate of the USNA, and they said if someone from the MOC's advisory board put him in touch with a current cadet that's a very good sign that he is the principal. I will tell him to contact his MOC to ask. Is his interview with his ALO scored?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Once a student is "promoted" to candidate then the ALO becomes involved "officially." They may or may not have been involved with the candidate earlier.

    Eventually the ALO will have an "interview" which is supposed to be used to accomplish the AF Form 4060 which is the "Evaluation of Candidate" that the ALO completes. It is a scored document; very in-depth, and can take an ALO anywhere from 1 - 8 hours to accomplish after they've interviewed the candidate, done their research, and gathered all the information they need to paint a complete picture of the candidate in words.

    I personally meet with my candidates multiple times: phone, in person, text, e-mails...I also speak to teachers, counselors, ministers, job supervisors, coaches...anyone that will give me a great "insight" into the candidate.

    Once all of that is in hand...then I write. I tell the kids: "I'm a better painter than Van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt" which usually gets me a blank stare, and then I tell them "you have to give me the paint."

    The goal of the "scored interview" is for the ALO to be able to present the candidate to the academy in writing is such a way that the reviewers (folks that ultimately select the appointee's) feel they "know" this person...they can see them, hear them, and understand them.

    Long way of explanation but I hope that makes more sense.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83

    P.S. ALO's are usually the last to know things; they won't know who's the Principal if the MOC uses that method, they hear about selections from the candidates usually first...etc.
     
  8. Momof4

    Momof4 Member

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    Thank you so much for the information! Yes, they met this past week for the interview. I love your description of the picture you paint and hope your candidates realize that you use this to improve their chances! This is definitely an interesting ride! It's so exciting trying to understand this process and knowing he is still in the running! My son knows that if he is not chosen, making it this far is an honor!
     
  9. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Mom, I wouldn't get too wrapped up in your child being the "principal" -- getting the nom is very important, and then there is the wait wait wait to get the appointment.

    Have your child get his other paperwork in ASAP.

    (another mom of 4)
     
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  10. USMC_Ordie

    USMC_Ordie Member

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    Get used to not knowing. Its hard, I know. Right, when you call the school, someone answers the phone, or you can always 'just go down there'. But with this process, sometimes, it feels like a black hole. But the portal gives you hope, seeing one item after the other show up as a check mark....

    Our son did all he could do, and then nothing for a while.

    We heard some appointments were coming out....and then nothing.

    Then a lot of candidates had questions posted here on requests for more information or help getting something fixed. With our son, nothing.

    Then another date we heard was coming,when the vast majority of appointments were to come out...his portal status changed VERY early in the morning. Its always great when it starts off with CONGRATULATIONS!

    The other 'not knowing' part is the hardest for me. He's an adult now, Class of 2018 (Fight to Win) and I don't have access to grades for the first time in a LONG time.

    It's a wild ride, as many have said, and you really do have to hold on.

    Congratulations on the nominations!
     
  11. Momof4

    Momof4 Member

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    Thank you FencersMother, I am somewhat consumed with if he is the principal, I guess it would give me piece of mind that he would have an automatic "in". He is working on his final items this week. He was just given the information to register for his physical. I know the wait is extremely long, I try to remember waiting is better than if he were not given the nom.
    USMC_Ordie, thanks for the words of wisdom! I feel like we are behind because he had a late start. The wait game will be my next stressor! It is a wild ride, but so exciting ! Thank you all for your advice, I truly appreciate it!
     
  12. AirForceWon

    AirForceWon Member

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    Great thread ! Question: Does a "Candidate " have to be 3Q in order to be interviewed by an ALO even if he's only selected to attend USAFA Preparatory School. My son is a Junior in military school in NY. Captain (Company Commander) in JROTC. Has 3.4 GPA. Captain of both Varsity Football & Basketball teams and is working on his Eagle Scout Project. He was recently selected to attend NY Boys State this coming summer. Unfortunately his SAT's are currently low. 450 English 500 Math & 460 Writing. The good news he plans on taking it 6 more times before January his Senior year. Is there anything you can advise me to tell my son other than raising his scores. He plans on taking the ACT for the 1st time in April 2015. He's applied to SS.


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  13. AirForceWon

    AirForceWon Member

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  14. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    You can't be selected 'only for the prep school' without applying and going through the entire process for the AF Academy. All those who apply and qualify for the candidate phase are interviewed by an ALO. Then, if you are not selected for the Academy, you may be asked to attend the prep school. This is for candidates who have qualities that the academy is looking for but have areas that need further cultivation (usually academics).


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  15. SA'19

    SA'19 Member

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    I have heard two different answers pertaining to principal nominations. Someone on another thread said principal nomination does not guarantee appointment and the other answer is that it DOES guarantee appointment. Can someone enlighten me? Thank you!
     
  16. Juvat

    Juvat Member

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    Guarantees IF otherwise physically, academically and medically qualified.
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Juvat is correct. "Principal" method of nominations are rare. Most MOC's use the "Competitive" method. They provide a list of 10 names (Nominees) and the academy chooses 1 to receive an appointment from that list. The remaining 9 go into the "National Pool" to compete for remaining appointments needed to fill the class. The "Principal" method of nominations means that the MOC gives a list of 10 names, but S/He states who their #1 (Principal) choice is. IF that #1 choice is Physically, Medically, and Academically qualified, then they WILL RECEIVE the appointment from that slate. The academy has absolutely NO SAY SO in the matter. They MUST give the appointment to that individual. If for some reason that individual isn't 100% qualified, then the academy chooses 1 from the remaining 9 which are considered "Competitive". JUST AS RARE is a 3rd method. It's a "RANKED" method. Instead of a "Principal" for #1 and the remaining 9 being "Competitive", ALL 10 ARE RANKED: #1-#10. #1 obviously being the "PRINCIPAL" nominee. Again, they automatically receive the appointment if they are 100% qualified as stated. If they aren't, the academy MUST go to #2 on the list and so on. So I guess you could say that the 3 methods of a MOC nomination is: 1) Competitive: List 10 names, no particular order, and the academy chooses one. 2) Ranked: All 10 are ranked #1-#10 and the academy MUST start at the top and go down in order taking the first 100% qualified one. 3) Combination: #1 is ranked (Principal) and the remaining 9 are (Competitive).
     
  18. Momof4

    Momof4 Member

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    My DS took the advice given in this thread to contact his MOC to ask which nomination method he uses for the academy.Unfortunately, his term is over. Ugh! Not sure if his replacement will know. The only thing getting me through the stressful time is reading all of the great posts here!
     
  19. SA'19

    SA'19 Member

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    Thank you so much for clearing that up for me!
     
  20. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    I totally understand wanting to know the nomination type. There might be two other ways...

    1) I believe the portal used to reflect the nomination type. Unfortunately it was not always entered that way (wasn't for our DS)
    2) Your son... and I stress son, not mom! :) ... could reach out to the admissions office via email explaining that the MOC's term has ended and he wishes to verify the type of nomination he received.

    NOTE: The admissions office is CRAZY this time of year and may not respond in a timely manner as they process the ton of required work right now for candidates.

    In any case... good luck and congrats to your family.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
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