Advice for a new applicant

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Fullofhope, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Fullofhope

    Fullofhope New Member

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    I've read a good bit of advice that you guys have given and I'm hoping you may be able to help me and my son in preparation for the application process. This is new to both me and him so we teaming up to try and make this a success. Unfortunately, we have already gotten off to a bad start with some poor intel. We inquired with his guidance councilor the start of his junior year about academy acceptance and were told that the academy was not accepting applications for the next 6 years. :eek: At the middle of his junior year I enquired about ACT / SAT prep and scheduling and was told that it would be handled in the middle of his senior year. I accepted all of this on blind faith until we started researching some military colleges a few weeks ago and to my surprise the information given to me was incorrect.

    So, we feel like we're starting late at the beginning of his junior summer and are trying to catch up. I'm trying to get with the school to at least get his PSAT scores now. Of course, it's summer and I'm getting the run around from guidance, but I will get it. Once we have that we will be sending out letters to senators and congressman begging and pleading for a late recommendation. But I am concerned about a couple of points. Primarily if a high school sport is actually required or not? It seems to be stressed in the admissions section of the website.

    His current stats:
    GPA: 4.0
    ASVAB: 89
    SAT/ACT: TBD

    Activities -

    AFJROTC (3 years)
    Major - AFJROTC Rank
    Cadre - Cadet Officer Leadership School (COLS) (2 years)
    Commander - Drill team (1 years)
    Commander - Color guard (1 year)
    School activity council (1 year)
    Volunteer at local retirement home (1 year)

    As you can see, most all of his extra curricular activities has been put into AFJROTC. We are considering the possibility of dropping color guard and drill team this year for cross country for this reason. Are their any other things that we need to look at to improve his resume? Should we include details into his AFJROTC accomplishments, such as honor flight cadre at COLS?

    Since we know this is a long shot, especially getting a late start on things, I'm curious what back up options some of you guys were prepared with. He will be applying at The Citadel and applying for the ROTC scholarship. I'm researching other avenues now but with him having AF leadership aspirations I'm not sure if other options are available that we just haven't found yet.

    Thanks for any help.:thumb:
     
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    So, is he going into his Junior year or Senior year?
     
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    I think he is a rising senior. . .
     
  4. trickywolffe

    trickywolffe Member

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    First, you are not late, to my knowledge the airforce academy has not sent out official packets, I recommend that your son fill out the Pre-Candidate Questionaire, you will then be entered into the Applicant pool.

    Second, you need a congressperson,Senator, or VP for a nomination, not a letter of recommendation. Your son should have a teacher or AFJROTC Commander write him a letter of rec, someone who knows him well.

    You are not too late for SAT or ACT, if he has not taken either he should take both in October, or as soon as possible, and send the scores in with his free score reports.The academy will take his highest of a particular section.

    Sports are recommended because they obviously keep the candidate physically fit, and offer leadership opportunities. However, if your son does very well on his CFA (Candidate Fitness Assesment) he will improve his chances.

    Finally, please remember that to some extent the responsibility to research and get on top of the long, long application process falls on your son's shoulders. If he is really interested in attending an academy, he needs to be leading attempt.

    Hope this helps! Good Luck!
     
  5. Fullofhope

    Fullofhope New Member

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    Thank you for the help! Yes, he will be going into his Senior year this upcoming school year. When I had first read the time line posted on the website I was under the impression that we had discovered the application process a bit too late. It is a relief to know that there is still time for him to start the process.
     
  6. AFAYahoo

    AFAYahoo Member

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    Fullofhope--Your son should go online to get the application process for the 2 Senators and Congressman/woman in your area. Although they may have already opened up the process, most don't have a deadline until Sept/Oct (and turning them in early is of no benefit at all) so you haven't missed anything, but he'll want to get started. Also make sure he applies for the VP nomination (look online)--the more nominations the better.

    Definitely include any honors, recognition, awards etc. when he does his resume. Also, any activities outside of school (church youth group, local sports not assoc. with school, jobs, service projects he may have coordinated, etc.) Show how well-rounded he is.

    Regarding sports, obviously that will be impt. to both the Academy and ROTC programs, but whether 1 season of a sport he's never done before will be the answer, I'm not sure. Definitely have him look at the CFA requirements and start practicing it SOON since he'll be taking that this fall most likely (deadline will be Jan/Feb--not sure of the last date to submit things to the AFA). And tell him he can update his resume all through the fall up until the final deadline if he participates in something new, gets awards, etc.

    Definitely have backup options, as the incoming AFA class next year will be smaller than this years (and they cut back this year too) so it will be hard in general to get in. Students applying to any college should have backup plans. Look at schools that have the course of study he wants, and then check out their ROTC options--whether on-campus, cross town, etc. He may have to scramble, but he hasn't missed out.
     
  7. Shawn

    Shawn Member

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    I'm also a 2016 hopeful so I can't boast a plethora of knowledge, but I have stalked and posted on these forums for quite some time. *halfway through I made an inadvertent shift to second person, so I'm addressing your son instead!*

    From what my USMA ALO told me, JROTC only counts as one activity, regardless if one is on multiple teams (I am/have been the unit Commanding Officer, Rifle team commander, platoon commander, etc...). The best course of action is to obtain a leadership position within the unit, which your son obviously has.

    Try to enroll your son in a summer SAT or ACT prep class if you haven't already. These courses are pricey but are well worth it (I raised my CR/M from 640/600 to 670/660). If money is a problem, buy an *official* collegeboard/ACT prep book and practice,practice,practice over the summer. The practice tests should be able to determine where you stand (which can serve as a baseline for improvement) and then after you review your own mistakes, you do better the next time! Take both tests at the earliest date possible (October I think).

    Lack of athletics will probably hurt you, as ChristCorp has emphasized to just about everyone in your scenario (including me!! haha)... What you can do, however, is practice for the CFA and attempt to surpass the average or max every event. From what I understand, the academy wants to see athletics for two reasons: a) shows that you're in shape b) shows teamwork, leadership, etc. While it is no substitute, performing well on the CFA will cover at least one of these aspects. So again, practice!!

    It all boils down to how bad your son wants it. At the end of the day, he is the one who has to apply. So show him this forum! It's filled with multitudes of people who are more than willing to answer any questions that may arise. I have two home pages for my internet browser... Facebook and ServiceAcademyForums.:thumb:

    Again, everything I posted is just reiteration of what more experienced people have told me or of what I have read. Hope it helps!:shake:
     

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