Admissions presentation

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by patesq, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. patesq

    patesq Member

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    I searched for opinions on this but couldn't find anything in recent history so here goes. Are the admissions presentations given several times a day worthwhile? DS (rising junior) has a reasonably good idea of what to expect from close relatives that attended USNA so I'm trying to decide if it's worth the trip to head up for one of these. He plans to apply to attend NASS but I get the feeling this is really competitive. To make things worse, he is limited to the third session because he has finals during the second NASS session and is still in classes for the first so I would guess that makes it even harder to get into. He will have many AP courses and should be able to validate more (5 yrs of Spanish, 4 yrs of Chinese, and several math courses beyond calculus) so he has questions about the courses he could take as a plebe, opportunities for double majors (Chinese & Mechanical Engineering??) and/or possibly a master's degree. I can't get a feel for whether the admissions presentations will give an opportunity for such specific questions. Has anyone been to these and have any input?
     
  2. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    I would recommend you and your DS attend one of the briefings for several reasons. First, while you have close relatives who have attended USNA, things change over time, and what they experienced may no longer be applicable... your son needs to deal what's effective at this time. Also, the personnel conducting the briefing should be better prepared to deal with your son's questions than any of us here as they are working with the various programs on a current and frequent basis. Make the effort; it won't be that much of an inconvenience in the grand scheme of things, and just may save your son lots of grief. Best wishes to him.
     
  3. Spanky58ggpt

    Spanky58ggpt Member

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    Yes. It was worth it to our DS.

    The admissions briefing was one small piece of the total experience for DS and our family. We were fortunate to have a recently graduated ensign available during the brief who was very willing to share his academy experience. This was far more valuable than the video presentation and he took time to speak with each family and candidate individually after the brief. We took the opportunity to visit the campus and were actually there during the latter part of Plebe Summer. DS got a feel for what the expectations should be. Every individual we ran into, we stayed clear of detailers and plebes knowing they were engaged intraining evolutions, was very informative and helpful. DS had attended summer seminar at West Point but did not get into NASS. He had visited USAFA with a student council convention group the summmer before. Our goal was to get a glimpse of what was available. Following our visit he was invited to a CVW where a short but more in depth experience was available. Each visit and every contact had a value in the process. He was fortunate enough to receive appointments from USNA, USMA, and USAFA. By making the effort to inform himself of the options available I was comfortable that he made an informed decision when he accepted the USNA appointment. Each candidate should try to educate themselves as thoroughly as possible, not only to increase the odds of success in gaining admission, but to make a solid decision concerning a huge commitment. Had our budget and his schedule allowed, I would have liked for him to make multiple visits to every option he considered. He made the most of his options and the limitations (we stayed with friends to save on hotel bills on a couple of visits) and is now approaching the end of Plebe Summer at USNA. He sounds confident and positive about his chosen path and will now be dealing with a new set of options and choices over the next four years. Best of luck to your DS.
     
  4. patesq

    patesq Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. We are heading up tomorrow, very early, to attend one of the admissions presentations. DS called and they said there would be someone available to discuss the specifics of his academics. It's going to be interesting to see what he thinks after seeing the place live - he's been there before but it was many, many years ago.
     
  5. futuremid

    futuremid Member

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    I missed my finals week for NASS. It's worth it. I had to take them early and got a B+ that could've been an A if I waited for the final, but I don't regret it. Just put down that you're available for all sessions and get it worked out once he's accepted!
     
  6. patesq

    patesq Member

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    Thanks for the advice, futuremid, but I don't think that will be an option. DS won't have many finals at his home school because SOLs are given in May but he'll still have Spanish and Chinese. He could probably get permission to take those early. But in the afternoons, he'll be going to the Governor's School for Science and Technology and they've proven to be very inflexible so far. We couldn't even get permission for him to take a more advanced math class at the local community college that the Gov School is dual-enrolled with or to take . He's also in the lead for valedictorian at the moment at that's something he really wants to help in applying to his other plan A school.
     
  7. Dolphins2012

    Dolphins2012 Parent

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    My DS (2016 Candidate) and I attended one of these briefings in Preble Hall during April of his freshman year. I would highly recommend it, as one should make a committed effort to find out everything then can about the application process, life as a midshipmen and one's commitment after graduation. The information presented at that briefing is available from other sources, however one will glean important new details with each rock that is overturned. For example, what my DS got out of it was not so much the presentation itself (which was helpful, even when redundant), but meeting the LTJG giving it, and then the chapel curator who told us they were closed but then upon telling her our family history there gave us a private tour, and the tour guide whose father, husband and 2 sons (one an active duty SEAL) were Academy grads and a third at NAPS, she herself a former Navy nurse. Needless to say, in my DS' eyes, this beat the living daylights out of Georgetown's hapless freshman tour guide and milquetoast administrator giving their presentation.

    This process should be approached with humility. One only need skim the posts on this message board to discover that there are many smart, motivated and relatively informed kids (and parents) who don't understand important aspects of what applying, attending and serving entails (I am a prime example!). I have repeatedly told my DS that if he does not 100% understand what he is getting into and is not gung ho, then I will strongly discourage him from accepting the appointment should he be lucky enough to be offered one. I would encourage anyone to attend the Preble Hall briefings, any presentations, tours, opportunites to meet a mid or naval officer, etc. Getting as much information as possible will help you get through the application process with less anxiety and perhaps, by virtue of having known what you were getting into, get through your plebe year.
     
  8. Dolphins2012

    Dolphins2012 Parent

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    By the way: I'll defer to the moderators and BGOs here, but skipping finals to go to NASS resulting in a B instead of an A in one class? I suspect this is not recommended. I think every A, every varsity sport, every 50 point jump on your SATs, these sorts of things will be far more important than attending NASS. A lot of kids who are accepted into NASS don't receive appointments, and vice versa.
     
  9. futuremid

    futuremid Member

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    I'm from California. Any opportunity I could take to visit the Academy, I was going to take and not ask questions about. This gave me short time to study for finals, since I did have to take them early. Yes, the B in AP Psychology absolutely sucked, but I still would've chosen NASS.
     
  10. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    You are a very wise parent and if you were in my district it would be great to be the BGO interviewing your son! Keep encouraging him as you have done; to be well informed lends itself to fewer surprises and tends to indicate the success of a future Mid :thumb:
     
  11. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Let's be honest, not everybody goes to the Naval Academy (or any service academy) for the right reason.

    Some go simply because it's a good education that is FREE.

    Some go because of parental pressure.

    Some go because it seems so glamorous and they can impress their friends.

    Everybody who successfully competed for an appointment probably gave the party line, "I want to serve my country as a naval officer."

    It's like a flight attendant interviewing for a job. The obligatory line is, "I love people and I love to travel."

    Remember the movie "Miss Congeniality"? Remember when Sandra Bullock is being interviewed on stage as a beauty contestant? Every contestant before her expressed that what society needed most was "world peace." When asked, instead, she said, "That would be harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan." (crickets could be heard chirping from the audience) "... and world peace!" (the audience applauds approvingly)

    Let's not be naive - half the candidates who express that they want to serve their country as a naval officer do not even know what that entails. How could they fully understand that? That's what 4 yrs at the Naval Academy will teach you!

    I believe I went to Naval Academy for the wrong reason ... initially.

    I also believe my two sons also went there for the wrong reason ... initially.

    It's not that big of a deal - quite frankly. The academy has a way of converting you.

    But I told them this: "Two things have to eventually happen during your stay at the Naval Academy, 1) you have to find value in serving your country even if it involves personal sacrifice, and 2) you have to find some area of the naval service that captures your interest." Life is going to be very miserable if this does not happen.

    So, just tell you Blue & Gold Officer that you want to serve your country as a naval officer and, even if isn't totally true, don't feel too guilty about it. Hell, you're only 18. What the hell do you know? :smile:
     
  12. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    +1 to Memphis. It's not about why you come as much as it is why you stay. I know so many people who came here talking about going to five-and-dive* and move on to other things who now are passionate and excited about serving and leading in the Navy and Marine Corps.

    As a candidate, or parent of a candidate, you don't understand what it means to be a midshipman at the Academy or an officer in the Navy/USMC.
    I can say honestly I still don't really understand what it means to be an officer in the Navy/USMC, and probably won't until after commissioning at the earliest. I think I understand it more than when I was a plebe and definitely more than when I applied, but I'm still not there yet, and neither are most of my classmates.

    *Not that only serving five is a bad thing or somehow less honorable, but with the implication of just sort of holding on and going through the motions for five years, which is a bad thing and is less honorable IMO.
     
  13. pezska

    pezska Member

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    my dd is also from the same state as futuremid and missed a week right before finals. yes, she received a B+ instead of an A in ap bio, but she felt it was more of a big-picture decision to attend nass. before she went she was 95% sure she wanted to attend usna; when she returned, she said she was 110% sure. considering the whole-person score is used by admissions, attending nass, getting her cfa done before summer's end, and getting the #1 rank by her detailer made missing that A in ap bio totally worth it.
     
  14. Pippip

    Pippip Member

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    I think your right. But as I'm applying, I am trying to find out all the information I can. But I do have a genuine interest in going to USNA. Many of the career opportunities look really cool, (especially flying, which is what I want to do) but surface warfare, subs, SEAls, ect. all look cool. That is the main reason I want to go to the Naval Academy, to become a fight jet pilot. I'm not concerned about the free education or the "glamour," although these are nice perks. So going to things like CVW are really usefully to find out what your getting into.
     
  15. patesq

    patesq Member

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    We went to the Admissions Brief at Leahy Hall yesterday. It was a packed room with at least 4 different families. The briefing was mostly a rehash of the information at USNA's admissions site. The Lt giving the briefing was nice and very enthusiastic about the Academy. Coming from the enlisted ranks to attend gave him an interesting view point. He made one statement that didn't sound right based on what we've read and heard here and other places. He said that NAPS is used for candidates that the Academy wants but who aren't either academically or physically (not medically) qualified. I thought NAPS was just for academic improvement and that if a candidate was academically qualified, NAPS wouldn't be an option. DS had called last week to see if there would be anyone around to discuss specifics about academics and was told there would be but there wasn't.

    We toured the campus with my dad as tour guide. We visited the Columbarium where my grandmother is inurned and Memorial Hall where my grandfather is memorialized. DS never met either one. We saw the sample room in Bancroft - DS thought it looked pretty good. We saw Herndon and Tecumsah - DS was already planning how to get to the top of Herndon. Based on DS's reactions, the most useful part was wandering the Yard. He is still very excited about this so it was worth the trip.
     

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