Admissions and Blue & Gold Info

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by usna1985, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I'm a BGO in Northern VA -- going on my 6th year -- and am happy to provide whatever info I can regarding the USNA admissions process, the role of BGOs, etc.

    This isn't plebe summer -- if you don't know something, please ask! I don't promise to have all of the answers at my fingertips, but can usually find them pretty quickly.
     
  2. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    what kind of questions should i expect during the interview?
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    It depends on the BGO. There is a guidance document but I don't think most BGOs use it other than as a general reference tool.

    The BGO will try to ensure that you understand what Plebe Summer and the military is about. Also, the limited majors -- no sociology here. Will feel you out regarding service selection. It's ok not to know at this point -- the key is whether you realize what your options are and are willing to do at least one of them. Don't say you want to be a Navy Doctor. You may, but it's a non-starter.

    Other questions may focus on your school activities and your sports. Why do you want to attend USNA? What other schools are you applying to? Are you applying to NROTC? Do you understand the honor concept? Have you watched the CD (To Lead and To Serve) and/or have you read the Navy catalog -- strongly recommend you do both.

    Some BGOs will come to your house; others will ask you to come to theirs. My strong recommendation is that you do the majority of the interview w/o your parent(s). Your BGO may want to -- or may offer to -- meet with your parent(s) and that can be a good thing in terms of answering their questions. However, you don't want to be seen as someone who can't stand on his/her own two feet.

    Also, the interview is designed to allow you to ask questions. I suggest you have at least some -- you should. I'm always troubled by a candidate who "knows it all." There are no right/wrong questions.

    For me, the interview is generally pass/fail. I'm looking for candidates who are applying b/c they want to be at USNA, they understand (as best anyone can) what's in store, they can speak articulately, they look like they're in reasonable shape, and they can coverse comfortably on a variety of subjects.

    One other thing -- you don't need to wear a suit, but dress appropriately. Collared shirt and pressed slacks are good. Tie or jacket is better. Warm-up suit, jeans, shorts and the like may be fine for school but not fine for an interview. One guy showed up in bare feet. You can imagine the impression that made.

    Some candidates bring copies of their resume and/or essay. It's not required but you can always ask if the BGO wants to see them.

    Bottom line -- don't stress over it. Look upon the BGO as a resource not as the Admissions Officer.
     
  4. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

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    so it seems to be more of a guidance, get to know you, and make sure you know what you are getting into kind of thing rather than a test.

    I also have a question on how the Academy looks at your extracurriculars. Are they looking for someone who has been in every club, played every sport, and been an officer/captain on each? or do they just look for a well rounded spread? i ask this because my list is not necesarily long because i have played highly competitive baseball all my life. i played on a college prep team that was either working out, or playing about every day. I guess my main question is, do they realize that it is virtually impossible to be involved in a lot of things, if you actually want to be "good" in at least one of them? (baseball for me)

    BTW thanks for the help
     
  5. berny

    berny New Member

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    My interview was fairly laid back. It was winter so I was wearing nice jeans and a sweater. She came to my house, we sat in the living room and just went through the questions. After we talked about her daughter (a 1996 graduate) and the academy for about an hour. She only lives 2 blocks away so our famalies have gotten fairly close. She even came to my graduation party, the awards ceremony at school, and a ton of other events for the academy. I think I know about her daughter more than half of my friends (I've only been living where I do for a year) and I have never even met her! I owe so much to her and her help. All of you BGOs out there are truly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2006
  6. Sandiegodude1607

    Sandiegodude1607 USNA Midshipman

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    As I was told, through the interview requirement, the BGO serves as a very basic gatekeeper as usna1985 said above. The caliber of the students at USNA (not just in academics, but the whole person) is exceptional if not unmatched; therefore, the BGO interview weeds out those at the very bottom so that they can give everyone who is near or at that needed caliber a fair shot on the admissions board. I was told not to really prepare for the intervew (other than wear decent clothes) but to just be myself and show who I really am. If you can't pass the interview being yourself, you will have no chance when it comes admissions and nominations board time.
     
  7. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    :yllol:

    Oh, Lord! PLEASE let me be so lucky! :shake:


    My BGO (a USMC Warrant Officer) came to my house and interviewed me in my computer room in the basement (my room was too small, and all my stuff was downstairs anyway). Very relaxed; great guy. Asked me why I wanted to go to USNA, what I wanted to do, who I was, etc.

    The only clear thing I remember from the interview was when he asked me something along the lines of "So who really are you?". I thought for a second, then looked around the room: Navy posters, models of F-14's and F-15's, textbooks given to me by my tutor, my computer, my Star Wars collection, my knife collection, etc. Everything neat and in it's place. It was my sanctuary from the world.

    I simply motioned around with my hands and said, "THIS is what I am."

    He looked around, and smiled. I guess he understood exactly what I meant. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2006
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    First, the BGO interview is not a test. Remember that CGO doesn't/can't interview 12,000+ candidates. This is a chance for them to get a little personal insight that may not be apparent from the paperwork. And, it's one way (not the only way) to identify potential superstars and potential dweebs.

    As for ECAs (extra-curricular activities in Navy speak), it is better to find a couple of things and stick with them then try to do everything. Likewise, they don't expect you to be an officer/captain of everything nor do they expect you to be a member of every club.

    First, always do what you want to do in terms of clubs, sports, etc. rather than what you think you need to do to get into any school. Second, demonstrate commitment to your activities by taking leadership positions in a few that you really like (this goes for outside activities, such as scouting or church groups as well). Third, to the extent you can given the above, try a little variety. For example, someone who only does music activities may not be as appealing to an Academy as someone who does sports and music. Someone who only does scouting or church activities may not be considered as strong as someone who does one of those plus in-school activities.
     
  9. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    To continue with USNA85’s thread on the interview. I insist on conducting the interview in the candidate’s home because I have been tasked to report any special circumstances that apply to the candidate; does he/she have circumstances such as caring for family members or working on the family farm/in the family business, commute times, part-time job necessities, etc that causes him/her to be other than a typical candidate. This is best ascertained in a family setting.
    I have also been tasked to determine motivation since it cannot be determined from the application. Motivation is inversely linked to undue parental influence. Weak motivation and wanting the Academy for the wrong reasons are the major reasons for separations. Wanting to go because of their parent’s influence and staying to make their parent’s happy is a major reason in separating from the Navy after minimum service. The candidates should be researching the Academy, DoDMERB, filling out the applications, and becoming completely familiar with Academy life, the limited majors, and career opportunities, not the parents. Believe me, a BGO will know if a parent has been doing these things and it will reflect negatively on the report. Also, a candidate who has not researched all these items thoroughly will not be fully committed to being a midshipman and will not be prepared for the environment there.. I ask you, as parents, to step back and let the candidates do all the work. If they choose not to, they are probably not going to succeed. If they do the work themselves, they will know the sacrifices necessary for graduation. The Academy prides itself on an almost 80% four-year graduation rate and attributes the majority of this to the fact that the midshipmen who show up on I-Day want to be there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2006
  10. Markcue

    Markcue New Member

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    Question for BGO.

    My daughter attended NASS II a couple weeks ago at the
    end of the program there is an awards ceremony and she
    received the outstanding candidate award for her company
    our question, how much of an impact if any does this have on the admissions board?
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    It obviously won't hurt. :)

    Seriously, first of all congrats to her. Well done!

    USNA uses something called the "whole man multiple." Candidates get points for various things. For example, being a legacy gets you 500 pts. Likewise, attendance at NASS (OR a similar program at USMA/USAFA) gets you 500 pts. The reason, BTW, is that it demonstrates you have greater familiarity w/the rigors of an academy.

    Thus, being the honor grad may get her another 500 pts. Or may not. Lest you jump for joy, it takes 70,000-75,000 pts to be qualified.

    It will also help in a more subjective way. One of the many factors considered in the admissions process is the NASS evaluation. The admissions board recognizes that evaluations are made by newly minted 2/C mids and so a great or terrible one isn't determinative. But receiving an award is an indicator of many things USNA thinks is desirable.

    Bottom line (after a long-winded explanation) is that it is one more good point for your daughter but, in a vacuum, not determinative. It also suggests that she has what it takes to succeed at USNA.
     
  12. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    '85 ... your explanation re: the "points" was insightful, and I'd not heard, read of that. Can you expand a bit? How does a candidate approach 75K points?!
     
  13. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Honestly don't know the details of how you get to 70k points. But you get points for courses you take, grades, SATs/ACTs, activities (Eagle Scout, Boys/Girls State), varsity sports, CFA results, NASS attendance, etc. Obviously, the better you do at everything, the higher your whole person multiple. You will never know what yours is -- and neither, BTW, does your BGO.

    That said, there is not a magic cutoff either way. The Admissions Board still votes on individuals. But this is an attempt to quantify various qualities of candidates.
     
  14. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Who constitute the Admissions Board?
     
  15. Aronson

    Aronson Retired Staff Member

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    And, it also shows that she knows what she's getting herself into before coming to the Accademy for the big thing. If she has tasted the difficulty of the Accademy, and still wishes to go, then it pretty much means that she won't drop during plebe summer....

    Congrats, btw
     

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