academy or nomination more competative

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by sarah, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. sarah

    sarah Member

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    How does the selection process compare at the Academy versus the MOCs? I assume the MOC nomination is statistically harder to get than the appointment? And of course the Senators are more competitive than the congresspeople. Therefore, if you are a competitive nomination candidate with a Senator, your Academy chances have to be above average, right?

    Just trying to get a handle on this whole thing. Seems like the interview/application for the moc (at least in the more competitive states) is more "important" than the Academy one.
     
  2. nsiderbam

    nsiderbam USNA c/o '14

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    I would assume that the selection process is more competitive than that of obtaining a nomination. Yes, MOCs may only have five students in a service academy at any given time, but they are allowed to give ten nominations for each vacancy they have. Thus it would inherently be easier to get a nomination, since there are ten nominations for each single spot that a candidate may take up at the academy.
     
  3. sarah

    sarah Member

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    That is true, but how many are vying for those 10 spots? I would guess in competitive states the proportion is greater than the number of qualified candidates to Academy spots.

    Also, more that just one of the ten gets an appointment. The other nominated candidates also have a chance at an appointment.
     
  4. aggie83

    aggie83 Member

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    Selection process.
     
  5. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    in states like ND you have a better chance with your senator since there are two. I heard texas senators get around 800 applications
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Einstein's law of relativity:

    Are you really "Competing" against 5, 10, 20, 100 people for a nomination? Are you really competing against 10,000 other applicants for an appointment? I say no?

    Here's the link to the class profile of the air force academy class of 2013. You will find that this profile is similar to most years/classes:
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...JQop_PNsHppWlTwug&sig2=hhvSjWM74wEiYLCUNzyccA

    Look at the SAT/ACT averages. Look at the class average GPA. Look at the class ranking of cadets. Look at the EC's of cadets.

    So, what is my point? My contention is: You are competing against yourself. EVERYTHING in that class profile; except for Sex and Race, you have complete control over. It's up to you whether you are competitive or not. If you are in the top 10% of your class; have a 3.9 gpa; composite ACT of 31; SAT around 700; involved in the EC's; etc... then it won't matter if there's 1 other person looking for a nomination and appointment from your district/state, or if there's 100.

    Numbers can sound so impersonal. Anyone who knows me or has read my posts, know that I am usually one of the most upbeat and positive posters. But I won't sugar coat what I think. There's a lot of people posting the "What are my odds" type threads. Granted, this thread isn't that question. This is more a curiosity thread. But there is no right answer. No matter what is given, you are unique. How you interview for your nomination is unique. I've seen the applicant with the "LOWER" GPA and ACT can the PRIMARY (Automatic) nomination from their representative, because of their interview, activities, attitude, etc... Then there are some representatives/senators who don't prioritize their nominations at all, and let the academy pick which one to be a cadet. You are in what I call, and have mentioned many times in the past, "The Serenity Zone". Basically after the serenity prayer. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom always to tell the difference". Well, this is one of those things that you have absolutely no control over. All you can do is......... "Your Best".

    And that is why you're competing against yourself. If you get the best gpa, SAT, ACT, best interview, etc.... that you can; then there is absolutely nothing more that you can do. And the best is all you can expect from yourself. If you didn't do your best, then you already know that. If you did, then you already know that too. Sorry I can't answer which is more difficult to get: "The nomination.... or the appointment". There is no right answer to it. You can ask it, and hopefully anyone answering will realize that there is no right answer. If getting an appointment to the academy was strictly 100% based on numbers, and all applications were ranked from 1 - 10,000; and every single activity, class, interest, etc... was given a hard number score..... Then it would be easy to answer your question. But it doesn't work that way. You representative is not exactly like your senator; who is different from the other senator. Some put more emphasis on gpa and test scores, while another puts more emphasis on the whole person and they include all your extra curricular activities. Some were in the military themselves, and have a definite standard and quality they are looking for in an applicant. Others; hate to say it; are not very "Military Friendly". They tend to vote against everything military related. And in turn, they aren't the most conscientious in their duties for nominating academy cadets.

    Sorry if my post is a little negative in attitude. That's not normally my style. But your question is one that not only did I want to answer for anyone who's already applied to the class of 2014 and simply waiting and hoping; but more for those applying in the future. This is an area that you have absolutely no control over. It doesn't matter which "Theoretically" is more difficult. You can't do anything about it; either way. Concentrate on the things you can control. Have the wisdom to tell the difference, and work hard at those things you can improve on. Then; if you are at or above the class average; that is how you will increase your odds. Best of luck to you. Mike....
     
  7. ZoomingFalcon

    ZoomingFalcon Cadet

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    I love your posts CC.
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    And he's dead on accurate.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  9. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Well said, CC. And perhaps one of the best responses to be given for future "what are my chances" threads.

    Perhaps a "sticky" for future reference is in order?
     
  10. sarah

    sarah Member

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    Wow, that was very well said! I was thinking about an interesting statistical quirk and I get philosophy!

    Love it!
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Sarah; I know you were just curious. Please don't think that my response was meant to be a "Lecture". There was no negative context to my post in any way. Please believe me. As far as "Philosophy"; well, ask anyone here and you'll find that me writing a response with LESS than 200 words, would be considered a miracle. :shake: So for me, the length is pretty normal. LOL!!! Best of luck to you. Mike......
     
  12. sarah

    sarah Member

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    Oh, didn't consider anything negative at all. Perils of written communication. I do find it interesting to consider the various states, where the academies (all of them) draw from and how congressional districts can be more or less competitive.

    Since you are the font of all wisdom, any idea whether the various academies are more or less popular in various geographic areas? For example, is the Naval Academy more popular with east coast students? One would think that career path would be the biggest factor, but what about region?
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I would say that the Naval academy is "probably" more attractive to those who live in "COASTAL AREAS". Chances are, they've had a bit of exposure to the navy. Just like those who live around/near air force bases would be more apt to apply to the air force academy. Or those living around army bases would lean more towards West Point.

    Then there's the "Personal" experience. Those who has a family tradition; either directly or grandparents, cousins, uncles, friends, etc... that were in a particular branch of service, would probably lean more that direction.

    Then there's the "Stereotypes". Those who want to "FLY" a plane, probably apply to the air force academy. Even though all branches of the military has pilots. If someone want to be near the water, they'll probably apply to Navy. Even though the army and air force have a lot of assignments near water.

    Then finally; there's those that look deep into the military structure and try and determine "RISK MANAGEMENT". Some will apply to the air force academy, because it "APPEARS" to be "SAFER" than the army. My mother was determined that she would not sign the paperwork (I was 17) if I chose Army or Marines. She held it over her head. But, the Air Force is what I wanted anyway; I just didn't tell her. However, it really freaked her out when she found out I was involved with military engagements in South America, Central America, Med, Middle east, etc... She realized I was more at risk than most army personnel. The nature of my job. She finally gave up thinking about it by the time Panama and the 1st gulf war happened. But there will be people who look at that also. Some think the Navy is safer than the Army and Marines.

    The stereotype also believes that the air force is the more "Technologically" advance of the 4 services; Navy Next; etc... This too is not actually true. All branches of the service are full of modern technologies. The army isn't just infantry with guns in their hands.

    So while there will be the LOCAL crowd who live near certain military facilities that will be attracted towards that one; there will be many reasons a person chooses one over the other. My current boss chose to go to the coast guard academy. We live in Wyoming. There isn't a large enough body of water to effectively put any coast guard ship in. But he did it for 20 years of service. I originally grew up in new jersey; 10 miles from Ft Monmouth and 3 miles from Earl Navy port with nukes and big ships. Yet, I joined the Air Force. Go figure.... mike....
     
  14. sarah

    sarah Member

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    Thanks for the fascinating analysis. What an extraordinary career you've had!
     
  15. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    As far as different academies being popular in certain geographic areas, I would say there are definitely pockets of the country in which one academy has a far larger applicant pool. For example, I live quite close to a navy base, and consequently there is a bit of a navy-centric attitude in my area. While the other academies are by no means unpopular, the majority of service academy applicants put Navy as their first choice. The recruiters that visit my school are more often Navy and Marines, there are a few Navy reserves teachers in the school system, and most people in the are have at least one family member that was at one point in the Navy or Marine Corp. Again, this is because I live on the East coast by a Navy base. When I was out visiting USAFA, the CO natives told me that in CO and much of the western region, there is the same bias towards USAFA. I am sure if you live near an Army base the same principles apply. However, I still believe the most important factor in how much competition you will be up against is how competitive your state (or district) is as whole, because many MOCs allow you to apply for a nomination to more than one academy, and many applicants will apply to multiple academies.

    Oh, and CC, I laughed at your mother's "the Air Force is safer" mentality while you were applying. My parents made me go to SS over SLS because they thought the same thing. I had to point out to them that both the Air Force is in the "sandbox" right now as well. (On another funny note, my uncle is former Army enlisted, and all he can talk about is the "amazing" conditions Air Force gets v. Army. One thing I have learned after talking to members of ALL the services over the past year and half is that the grass is ALWAYS greener in another service, but their's is still the best.)
     
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Well, this may sound biased, but it isn't. I have worked "almost" as much time with sister services as I have the air force. I went to one of my schools at Ft Gordon in Georgia. Worked aboard the U.S.S. Forrestal in the gulf/Caribbean near Rosy Rose, Puerto Rico. Worked at the embassy and consulate in Ecuador. Worked at Rota Naval base in Spain; as well as the "Sea Wolf" project in Northern Spain. Learned how to rappel and jump out of a perfectly good helicopter at Ft Hood texas. And none of this even counts the numerous assignments in JTF. (Joint Task Force) My job was "Tactical" in nature. And the list goes on. Without a shadow of a doubt, the air force has the BETTER facilities and quality of life. Better dorms/housing, better food, better working environment, etc... Not dogging the Army or Navy, but someone has to have "The Best". And the Air Force definitely has the higher "Quality of life".

    But as far as which academy or branch of service a person is more likely to choose, it is definitely a personal preference. Depends where you live, your past experiences, and friends/family. While the air force doesn't have as many personnel as the army, we rarely have a problem with recruiting. The other branches definitely have a more difficult recruiting than the air force does.
     

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