Admissions Consulting Services

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by BGO, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. BGO

    BGO New Member

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    Are there any effective admissions consulting services that help with the USNA/service academy applications, or is there even a need for using an admissions consultant?
     
  2. time2

    time2 Member

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    No....If someone implies they can offer you an advantage in applying......save your money.
     
  3. WVMcCoy

    WVMcCoy Member

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    i am new to this forum and arrived late, but i believe there are plenty of people here that can cover most if not all questions or concerns....and its free!!
     
  4. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Agreed. There are many credible, potentially valuable, play-for-pay counselors out there, and if Hahvod's the great hope? They might be of some genuine help.

    Not many ways to scoop this most complex of processes though. And that's by design, aiding in assessing diligence, competitiveness, capability of lots of things ...running the race, winning some, following, leading, learning, multi-tasking, and as so many are discovering right now ... waiting. On the Lord and on the USNA. :wink:

    This exercise is personal, not easily, preferably, nor ethically delegated to others.:thumb:
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    There are several good books that discuss the admissions process. There is this site. And, for most, your BGO can be a great source of information (recognizing that some BGOs are "better" about this than others.

    I don't think a service would provide any help that you can't get elsewhere for free and there is a danger they'll actually provide bad/inaccurate advice. As noted, save your money.
     
  6. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Well, to be precise, as any attorney might counsel, you can get poor advice from the freebies, too! Perhaps especially so adding the greatest danger is in fact, free lawyering, and getting just what one pays for. (The caveat might be, so why pay for it from a lawyer.:eek:) As has been seen often, even from BGOs. And that is a perhaps greater danger, i.e. trusting one is getting good counsel that is free, but in the end, a volunteer.

    One issue w/ paid counsel, their agenda will likely be personal, definitely theirs and not necessarily the candidate's. They've got skin in a game in which that might be dubious.

    So the point is not to denigrate volunteers, BGOs especially, nor paid counsel. Suffice it to suggest, a gun-for-hire is probably not a wise way to go in pursuing appointment to a service academy.

    The better way would seem to be ask many, pay attention to some, assess carefully she who offers advice, come to judgement and action in timely manner, and take responsibility for your own counsel ultimately. In the end, the shame, blame, or achievement will fall on only one set of shoulders. Let Atlas shrug, but not yourself.
     
  7. fishbowl

    fishbowl Member

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    The only other advice that I could add is to start early with building your resume. It seems that the admissions process for the service academies is getting extremely competitive, so some forward thinking as your DS and DD come out of middle school and start into high school becomes important. For example, taking Honors level classes as a high school freshman and following that through the rest of high school. Taking on leadership roles in athletics and clubs as they progress through high school. Doing volunteer work. Putting this type of 'roadmap' together as DD or DS enters high school will also help with whatever higher education goals that they may have. We visited USNA during summer between high school sophomore and junior years because we happened to be vacationing on the Maryland shore. Attended the admissions briefing that is held a couple of times a day and came away with a lot of information. That's when the planning started to include USNA in the potential pool of college applications. We are now proud parents of a Plebe.
     
  8. Julie86

    Julie86 Member

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    What do you think?

    Hello everyone, this question made me want to get feedback from this group because I value your opinions so much. Is it ethical to offer help to students/parents applying to service academies/ROTC as a business? We know of people who pay $50 an hour for ACT assistance; couldn't we offer assistance in helping guide people through this difficult process? Of course, I know that you can get it done for free through sites like these and looking at the academy webpages/literature. But I know many students/parents don't realize how early you need to start preparing yourselves (ie in 9th grade). By the time some people decide to apply to colleges, they realize "game over for an academy." It's simply too late to make sure they are doing all the things required to be truly competitive.

    I did google this idea and found a company in Virginia that offers this service (for service academies and the ivy's).

    I know there would need to be a firm line of offering recommendations and making sure there wasn't an unfair advantage (ie the essay has to be their own...).

    I think some students and parents are so busy they simply don't have the time to figure this all out....that's where we could step in.

    Anyway, just wanted thoughts on the ethical nature of this idea. We would always first point people to the free info first (and of course offer this blog as a great source). Just figured I'd see what you all thought.
     
  9. OBXmom

    OBXmom Member

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    My two cents:
    Let me preface this by saying I am the parent of a cadet at USAFA. My DS was also a 3Q candidate at USNA. He had Two Senate and Two Congressional nominations, and also received an NROTC scholarship. I witnessed my son suffer through the process and helped when asked in whatever way I could.
    The application process is long and arduous even for the well prepared. But this is no "normal" college or experience they are applying for. I believe the process itself weeds out many of the non-committed. If agencies were involved, I would fear appointments would go to kids who would then decide its really not for them. Or even worse, kids would get to the academies and realize during BCT or Plebe summer that it wasn't for them.
    The application process initiated many conversations between my son and I that were very profound and far reaching. Personally, I would not want my son having such discussions with a stranger who has his own motivations.
    That being said, if one reads the academies admission sites (yes, click all the buttons) and comes here and reads all the stickies, uses the search function, and then asks any remaining questions, one can find out all the information/tips/strategies he will need.
    I once read on here that the application process was like the dating portion of a relationship. Its really not something you want anyone else to do for you.
    :thumb:
     
  10. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    OBX, IMO you nailed it! Bingo! The magic for both candidate and SA is to a great extent, the process. VERY different than applying to Princeton. All of which illumines that both the process or pursuit AND the educational experience have virtually nothing in common beyond some of the criteria used in the assessment process.
     
  11. BGO

    BGO New Member

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    Thanks for all of your input, after doing some additional research on this topic I learned that the former Director of Admissions at USNA joined an admissions consulting service after retiring. This offered an interesting twist to the posed scenario... I'm sure that his insight is much more profound than anyone else can provide, but is this ethical???
     
  12. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Indeed. Sorta like "insider trading" in which the presumption may be ...he/she who pays the man, gets the info. And the pro gets paid for years to keep it confidential then turns around and gets paid to pass it to his payers.

    Lemme think about this one ...
     
  13. Julie86

    Julie86 Member

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    Thank you for your inputs; that is what concerns me is the perception of "pay to get in" which couldn't really happen at all because of the process (grades, physical aptitude, participation, leadership, essays, interviews...), but someone would have a leg up if they fully understood what to expect in this long process (especially if they understood what was required by their freshman year). Anyway, I'm still torn on this subject. Really, this website seems to have a lot of the knowledge about the application process already...maybe the academies could publish this link to get more people to know about the "insides" of the academy/ROTC admission so that people are able to piece the information together based on so many individual inputs? Though the admissions personnel probably aren't really thrilled about everyone getting together to figure this mysterious process out I'm guessing, so they might not want to advertise this link. Anyway, food for thought. So are people on this website getting an unfair advantage or is that just being smart and resourceful? :)
     
  14. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    3 suggestions for gleaning optimal info and timing ...

    1. Get "The Naval Academy Handbook" by Sue Ross (this is updated edition of Smallwood's book.) Always tons of "only used once" copies on Amazon and ebay. (hmmm, wonder why ... :wink:)

    2. Find families w/ recent Mids and get to know them very well. Pick their brains often.

    3. Pray for an informed, engaged BGO, all the while recognizing these are well-meaning volunteers, trained and committed to disparate degrees, and carrying varying loads in their personal lives and their candidate portfolios. Their techno-savvy and engagement can also vary widely. They are official representatives which risks creating some frustration and/or a false security in the event they are uncommunicative.

    And of course, for most, there is only one time around to get it "right," or at least as well as possible.

    btw, on BGOs ... most seem to be terrific, well motivated and informed, and committed to serving and helping candidates and their families.
     

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