A "what are my chances?" question

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by victoriaxx, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. victoriaxx

    victoriaxx New Member

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    So I'm new here and honestly, I just got interested in the Coast Guard Academy about a month ago. Like a lot of people in the US, I was ignorant about the USCGA and CG in general, but once I started researching, I knew it was what I wanted to do. I didn't have a preference for a specific college prior to this, but now I actually aspire to something.

    However, I'm a junior in high school, and I've basically come across my dream college too late. (My application will not be very strong and there isn't much I can do about it)

    Here's my basic list:
    -competitive club soccer freshman and sophomore year (basically, I quit in order to focus on academics... something I strongly regret)
    -Student Council
    -Backstage for School Play
    -Volunteered at local hospital

    GPA: 3.8 unweighted/4.6 weighted
    ACT: 32
    & I have various Academic/Honors awards

    So I guess what I'm asking is: how important are extra curricular activities? I would like to be hopeful, but I don't feel like I have a chance.

    Also, will it be helpful if I do a bunch of volunteering/other things this summer? It will probably make me seem desperate, but that's better than doing nothing, right?

    Sorry for the rambling, but I don't have anybody else to talk to & I needed to let out my stress. Any advice would be much appreciated. =)

    -Victoria
     
  2. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    when i applied i remember lacking in the EC department. your list doesnt look too bad right now but you may want to try and go for a leadership position in one of the clubs you're in like student council and if your school has an NHS chapter apply for that. keep up those grades and you should have a good shot at getting in. you may also want to try and pick up soccer again if there is an opportunity. not having a varsity letter may hurt you a little but if you show that you compete in some sort of athletics it should help your application.
     
  3. mnolan

    mnolan Parent

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    What are your chances?

    Not trying to be glib, but you won't know your chances unless you apply...and I suggest you do so. You'll never forgive yourself if you don't at least try.

    So your real question needs to be......how do I make myself more competitive when I do apply? :smile:

    Look at the USCGA's stated mission from their home page,

    "The Coast Guard Academy offers an integrated life experience which emphasizes academics, physical fitness, character and leadership, in order to graduate officers of the highest caliber."

    Try to figure out how to show the admissions office that you are the type of individual that has those qualities and will excel at a school like the USCGA. I don't think you should just sign up for lots of activities in HS, because that doesn't show any direction, just a pot-shot approach. Focus on activities that show your qualities.

    I would go ahead and list the 4 areas above; academics, physical fitness, character and leadership, and decide how you could demonstrate to an admissions committee that you have those abilities. You can't just say you do, you have to prove it. Ask others who know you to help with this list.

    For example...if I was looking at an applicants academics, I would want to see that they took as many difficult, challenging, AP-type courses that they could in high school. Since the USCGA has an engineering/science focus, it would be best to show that you have taken and excelled in those areas. Now maybe since you are getting into this a little late in the ball-game, you might not be able to get all the classes you should have taken, but I would want to make sure that in my senior year in HS, (or maybe even this summer), I took all the hard courses I could, and that I excelled in them.

    Continue by making a list of ways you could demonstrate and/or improve your physical fitness, character and leadership skills....and pretty soon you have a viable application.

    And, not to be discouraging, if it doesn't work, don't give up. If this is what you really want, you can make it happen. If you don't get in next year, there are other options. You could go to your local college for a year and then reapply. Your credit wouldn't really transfer, but doing so would give you a chance to build up your background and show your interest and aptitude. You could also enroll in a regular college, graduate and apply to the CG as an officer through Officer Candidate School. There are lots of avenues if you are committed.

    So do a good self assessment, or better yet, have someone critically assess you, then develop a plan, and give it a shot.

    Sorry for the long post, but I am a teacher by profession, and we LOVE to lecture.......lucky you I'm not giving you a quiz at the end of this. :rolleyes:

    Good Luck!:thumb:
     
  4. cave91

    cave91 Member

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    Do you have a Coast Guard Auxiliary in your area?

    Volunteering with them will show you as an active volunteer and show your interest in the coast guard
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    That being said, understand that the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary are very different experiences. If you do work with the Aux, don't leave thinking "this is exactly what the Coast Guard will be like".....because it won't.

    The Aux has a great role and is a valued member of the Coast Guard family. :thumb:
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Wait a minute......that's not the mission I remember being beat into my head! :wink:
     
  7. Academy123

    Academy123 New Member

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    the applicant pool changes from year-to-year. i got in w/ a 29, 3.75, tennis, and a few leadership roles in my clubs. i thought i didn't have much chance, my parents thought it was a lock. i got it after turning my end at the deadling in march. on the other hand 2013 is supposed to be the next golden child at the academy. definitely apply, write really good essays, and do the stuff this summer (it won't look like your deseperate, it'll look like you want to get in so badly you're willing to give up a summer) definitely try, and definitely do early-action your chances increase.
     
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Character is the #1 quality that the USCGA admissions office is looking for.

    Character, leadership potential, academic scholarship, and personal achievement ALL play a part in the admissions process but if there is something in your application that shows a LACK of character, it stops right there. No amount of academic achievement or athletic skill will make up for it.

    Distinguish yourself from the crowd. Every year they must choose 300 from a large very talented applicant pool.

    As a female (my assumption as you signed your post "Victoria") you can also participate in the STEP program for HS junior girls. If you are interested in studying Science, Math, or Technology, call the Admissions Office to get more info on a STEP visit to the USCGA.

    Good luck.
     
  9. victoriaxx

    victoriaxx New Member

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    Thank you for answering everybody! I will definitely look into the Coast Guard Auxiliary and STEP. I'm planning on applying for NHS next year, but it's too late for me to apply for a leadership spot in Student Council. Hopefully I'll be able find something else..

    Once again, thank you everyone! All of your replies were very helpful. =)
     
  10. Gen2

    Gen2 Member

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    There are many leadership opportunities not related to a school group's election.

    Find a group in your area that might need a summer project completed or is low on volunteer power: city council, library, parks department, church, social service agency, 4H club, etc. They might just be waiting on someone willing to spearhead an idea and work with other people to get it moving beyond their planning/idea stages. Think outside the box. Think of what Girl Scout Gold awards and Boy Scout Eagle projects encompass.

    There are also opportunities for athletics beyond the varsity letter. Since a varisty letter is not possible for everyone who is in good physical condition, continue to work on your own physical fitness to have the best score possible with your application. If you need the scoring rubric, talk to Admissions. Join a swim group, mentor a kids soccer team, train for charity walk/run, raise money for that walk/run (fitness & community service), etc.

    With both of these, find something you will enjoy doing and will bring passion to the activity. Many of these types of participation will not stop when school starts up in the fall. Continue to work on these items through the entire admissions process in early Spring. Show dedication and growth.

    Start talking to the people that will be writing your recommendation letters. Let them know why you are interested in the Academy. When you request your recommendation letter, give them a summary of accomplishments they have mentored or witness. Help them help you with details.

    Put the time into your essays. They are a piece of the over puzzle.

    Strengthen each application area as much as possible. Send in a polished, honest application.

    If this is what you really want, consider the second-attempt application after a year of college. Many very fine CG officers did not get in on their first application attempt.

    Good luck.
     
  11. Stitch626

    Stitch626 Parent

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    Golden child?

    What does that mean? Is this good or bad??:confused:
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    They're an odd year, so they can't be that great... :wink:
     
  13. zachogden

    zachogden Member

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    Academy123 is referring to a rumor going around that 2013's test scores and grades are higher than usual. Apparently the same kind of rumor goes around every year
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Yes, probably....I heard it more than once....
     
  15. Objee

    Objee USCGA Admissions

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    I wonder if I started that rumor...there were two 4/c doing work hours (or maybe it was Institutional Service hours) in Admissions earlier this week. They told me that they had "heard" 2013 had a weaker academic profile, but higher percentage of women, than their class [2012] had. I told them that 2013 will most likely have a stronger academic profile in terms of SAT/ACT average, HS class rank, GPA, AP/IB curriculums, etc. and the percentage of women will most likely be the same.
     
  16. zachogden

    zachogden Member

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    Maybe, Objee. I heard it from some upperclass around spring break-ish though. You know how rumors are at CGA though....
     
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Ah yes, the rumor mill.
     

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