Acceptance and Chances

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by aperce, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. aperce

    aperce New Member

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    Dear Members of service academy forums,
    I go to a small with about 40 kids in my grade. My school has had kids go to prestegious schools such as Harvard (where my sister is going) and Stanford, but i have never heard of anyone here who went to the AirForce Academy. I am in ninth grade and would hope to pilot jets. I am bilingual and soon to be multilingual (Spanish, English, and French). My school gives the PSAT ACT and SAT but only after tenth grade. I have taken the tenth grade PSAT and received a 1170 (which is poor but understandable because of me being in ninth grade). My grades are alright i have an A average but i can improve. My grandfather owns an airplane and i may get flight lessons dependant on my parents will. Will these flight lessons improve my chances? How likley am i to get in? How much work do i need to do (I am doing the work anyways this question is good for motivation)?
    Goodbye and Thank-you for your time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  2. CherokeeBC2016

    CherokeeBC2016 Member

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    Honestly, the best thing to do is look up "Chances" in the search bar and go from there. We can't tell you for sure what your chances are.

    Also, please delete your school name. It isn't important, and I suggest you do it for privacy reasons.
     
  3. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    Hi Aperce -

    No one can really tell you what your chances are, and particularly so this early in your high school career. For what it is worth though, here are a few bits of advice:

    1. Do the best you can in all your classes, and take the most challenging or advanced level classes available.
    2. Civilian flying will not help your admission chances.
    3. Participate in team sports and extracurricular activities that demonstrate a significant commitment, leadership and responsibility. Civilian Air Patrol is a common activity for USAFA hopefuls.
    4. Study for your ACT and SAT. Take both, and take them seriously.
    5. Form a relationship with your Dean / Principal and a few teachers. They need to know you to be able to provide strong letters of recommendation.
    6. Volunteer work / projects outside of school are also favorable -- particularly if you show initiative and leadership rather than just showing up to volunteer.

    All SA's really look carefully at the entire application. Scholastic aptitude, persistence, leadership and initiative are all qualities that are viewed favorably.

    Now, most important, make sure you understand what Service Academy life is, and what it is not. You are joining the military, first and foremost. There are some good things, and not so good things about being in the military, and it is certainly not for everyone. You are going to be offered an amazing, top tier college education. It is not "free," however, as you will pay for it with your time and commitment every single day at the Academy, and for at least five years after. It is also not a place where you can schedule no classes on Mondays and Fridays so you can have long path weekends (aka "normal college"). Your life is structured by the Air Force starting on day 1 (You do get gradually more free time, and part of the classes are some really cool activities though).

    If you understand the commitment and the lifestyle, and it is a good fit, then a Service Academy can be an amazing opportunity. There are lots of sources and I would learn as much as you can over the next two years. Visit the SAs, read the materials on USAFA's admissions page, follow this forum and ask questions of current and former Cadets who are on these forums.

    Best of luck.

    Oh -- Going to a small school will not hurt your chances. Being multi-lingual will be a "plus."
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
    rkv likes this.
  4. Mr.2021

    Mr.2021 Member

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    First of all, congratulations on having an idea on where you already want to go in the 9th grade. If you are going to a prestigious school, it is especially important that you keep you GPA up because your class ranking will be more competitive there. Your grandfathers plane *could* assist you with getting into academies if you are able to use it to get your Private Pilots License. Plane rentals are very expensive, so if a flight instructor is willing to go up with you in yours, that license could possibly help you differentiate yourself from your fellow applicants. EC's ? Find leadership positions everywhere that you can, and if you don't currently play a sport I would suggest picking one/two up next year if at all possible. Look up something called Summer Seminar. It will be the first of your academy goals most likely and is a very competitive summer program you will take in the summer after your junior year. Stay motivated, and involved. Community service is a plus as well. Good luck.
     
  5. aperce

    aperce New Member

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    Thank you for your answers, i will try to schedule private flying lessons to further increase my chance. If it does good, but if it doesn't i will already be a tad ahead in flying skills. Sports is not a problem because i am a goalkeeper in a soccer club. I volunteer at a non profit organisation called FreeGeek which dismantles and recycles old computers i will try, as you said, to rise through the "ranks" to show leadership. The lifestyle, as you described it, would not be too much of a problem because i am used to having a fixed schedule because our school does not let us change them. Also, my school is not an american school and instead of having the american things (couldnt find a better word to describe it) such as the IB it has something called the BAC which they have in France. Some universities here praise this and others don't i was wondering weather it would look better on my CV or would it look the same as american highschool diplomas.
    Again thank-you for your time.
     
  6. EOD/SEALmom

    EOD/SEALmom Member

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    You could also look into the Naval Academy if flying is your main interest. Definitely keep up your grades, keep up your sports and look for leadership wherever possible. Civil Air Patrol is a good program, although I'm not familiar with it. There is also the US Naval Sea Cadet program - three of my kids are Sea Cadets and they are able to do advanced trainings and earn rank (leadership). http://www.seacadets.org/

    Good luck to you!
     
  7. B52LTA

    B52LTA Member

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    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com...-ppl-help-you-get-an-appointment.45451/page-2

    APERCE....The USAFA application does indeed ask if you have a PPL and how many hours. (You get points for this as you do for being a class President WCS) If it didn't matter it would not be on the application. It definitely helps on so many levels. Please see the link above for my prior post on PPL.
    All things being equal with two qualified candidates for a SA spot. It stands for reason that the candidate with a PPL would get the nod
    over a candidate equally qualified without a PPL. And if it didn't matter AF would not include it on the application.

    AS PER ABOVE #2 Civilian flying will MOST DEFINITELY help your admission chances.
    see link above/below for an example.
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com...-ppl-help-you-get-an-appointment.45451/page-2
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  8. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    B52 -- not to be critical, but you quoted yourself from a thread from last year. The consensus on that thread is that there are no brownie points for PPL. Yes it shows accomplishment and initiative, but no more so than succeeding in other extracurricular activities. Please do not take offense, but just trying to give APERCE the best objective advice we can here.

    APERCE -- if you love flying now and you can afford PPL, then go for it. I do not think flight training itself will not give you any more boost than being captain of the soccer team, but it is certainly a noteworthy achievement for an 18 year old. Having said that, after you do mandatory Powered Flight as part of airmanship, you can get your PPL at the Academy for REALLY cheap.
     
  9. B52LTA

    B52LTA Member

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    You are critical and am quoting a thread that showed why a PPL can help get an appointment. You said "2. Civilian flying will not help your admission chances"
    You are 100% wrong and are offering bad advice! It does indeed help. USAFA has it on our applications and the candidates get points for it towards their wcs.
    Plus it can help a candidate get a nomination as it has done for my DD x2. So don't tell someone "2. Civilian flying will not help your admission chances"
    I am very familiar with the SA protocol. Please do not come on here scolding me about quoting my thread trying to help someone.
     
  10. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    B52LTA - I think you are misquoting BlueBlood1.

    You have stated your opinion and referenced it as fact. BB1's opinion which others apparently share is that a PPL in itself is no more or less valuable than other things such as being captain of a team.

    I would be more concerned why a kid from a 'prestigious' school can't seem to write or spell better than he does.

    Plus, in my day the mission of the USAF was simple 'to fly, fight, and win' and the mission of USAFA was to 'train combat officers....'

    The missions have changed and the opportunity to fly is now more limited even to USAFA graduates who used to be 'guaranteed' a UPT slot if they met the medical requirements.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  11. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    B52 - I was not scolding you, and I apologize if I offended you in any way. That was not my intent. If you want to continue this line, please PM me.
     
  12. B52LTA

    B52LTA Member

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    Thanks Cerberi for your input .
     
  13. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    B52 - I was not scolding you, and I apologize if I offended you in any way. That was not my intent. If you want to continue this line, please PM me.
     
  14. B52LTA

    B52LTA Member

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    No problem Blueblood. Peace. Only trying to help. Thank you.
     
  15. rkv

    rkv Member

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    I believe that most U.S. universities would treat the Baccalauréat similarly to the IB. That is you would gain extra credit for academics, this might be in the form of inflating your GPA and depending on your exam scores in specific subjects may also qualify you for advanced placement credit. Additionally, depending on where you are pursuing the BAC, you may have a much heavier course load than the typical U.S. high school or IB program. If so, that may also help you in differentiating yourself.

    I believe most of the things you should be doing have been covered in the prior posts. I like the list in Blueblood1's response. Although, I tend to believe that the civilian flying would be a plus. While I don't know how the USAFA admissions would weight it, I suspect it's not a huge advantage and might be like any other extracurricular activity. Although attaining a PPL may demonstrate dedication to a task a bit more than some other activities. I suspect it would also be beneficial to you personally by helping you confirm your level of interest in flying. So certainly do try flying if you have the interest, financial means, and the time. Just don't pursue that in the absence of developing the academic, physical fitness, and leadership characteristics which the SA's are seeking in their candidates.
     
  16. time2

    time2 Member

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    Quoting an opinion someone made on a prior threads doesn't make it any more factual then before.

    Good to also remember the there is no guarantee you will end up being a pilot (much less fly fighters) even if appointed to an SA. Your service selection will depend on a lot of other factors, some of which you have no control over.
     
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  17. k$Mom

    k$Mom Member

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    Good grades
    High test scores
    Leadership
    Extra curricular activities

    All help make a well rounded applicant. Flying would definitely be considered an extra. Bottom line it will not hurt you.
     
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  18. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    I can only speak for my DS. He started around the same time as you on his SA resume. He started taking the ACT in the 8th grade. It cost about $50 a year if you take it once a year. He made a 25 as an 8th grader. He made a 30 as a 9th grader. He made a 32 as a 10th grader and a 34 as a junior (when it was free and the school paid for it). He understood the importance of getting into the mid-30s and scheduled his classes in school to help him.

    He also took multiple foreign languages (Spanish and French). He joined Civil Air Patrol and worked on promotions. He worked at getting better and lettering in a varsity sport. He attended any forum involving SAs put on by MOC or the SAs that were within a 3 hour drive of our home. He reached out and made an initial introduction to our ALO. He took a rigorous schedule with every AP and IB course available (especially in the science and maths).

    His junior year he applied for SS and Boys State. They conflicted and he chose SS. If gave him a chance to make sure this was the career path and college he wanted to attend. We set appointments with our MOC and let him meet each one. He applied early and worked on his physical test. He stayed clean and out of trouble.

    For him it all worked out and he got the appointment, but it was not without sweat and fear. There are a lot of great candidates who must take plan B. He focused on other schools with ROTC. In the end, plan now and work hard. This is a great resource for information, but no one has the answer to will it be enough.
     
  19. JHeroldCC

    JHeroldCC New Member

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    First off thank you to this site and the people who have helped out so far. I am looking to see with what I have my chances at USAFA Prep as I did not receive a nomination.

    I finished and submitted my USAFA application in late December; however, I did not receive a congressional nomination. I understand this will not allow me to have the chance at an appointment into the Academy. I am very interested to see how competitive I am as an applicant to the USAFA Prep school. I am a 3.6 GPA student with a 29 ACT and am a recruited baseball player by the Academy, although not a blue chip recruit. I have minimal military background but am dedicated to becoming a future cadet and serving this great nation. If someone could see how I stack up as a candidate and/or has any ideas to strengthen what I have now it would be greatly appreciated! Also, I understand the Prep is an equally selective process, but I would like to hear when I can expect an acceptance or denial answer. Thank you and God bless.
     
  20. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    JHerold - If you were recruited by USAFA, contact the coach. MOCs are not the only nominations. I do not know if they still exist, and they are not widely discussed, but - there are alternate nominations.

    Many direct appointments don't get in the first time. If you are committed, then you can start at a JC, ROTC or other program -- do well in school and keep your baseball up and reapply.

    Good luck.
     

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