Am I competitive?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by 17Lives, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. 17Lives

    17Lives Member

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    Hello, It has been my lifelong goal to graduate from the Air Force Academy and become a pilot. I am currently a junior in high school. I have not taken my ACT/SAT yet. I plan on taking them in December. I am an African American male who lives in a single parent home. I would like to know if I seem like a competitive candidate before I apply to Summer Seminar? Any feedback is appreciated.

    Education

    RANCHO HIGH SCHOOL

    • Attended 2013 to Present. Will graduate June 2017

    • 3.33 Cumulative GPA

    • Top 15% of graduating class (783 students)
    FREDERICK COMMUNITY COLLEGE

    • Enrolled in Federal Emergency Management Agency Independent Study Courses at Frederick Community College

    Extracurricular Activities

    AIR FORCE JROTC: Active Member (9,10)

    • Element Leader (9)

    • Novice Color Guard Team Commander (10)
    • Team won 1st Place in Inspection at 2015 All Air Force Drill Competition

    • Team won 2nd Place in Regulation Drill at 2015 All Air Force Drill Competition
    • Color Guard Vice Commander (11)
    • Academic Bowl Team Captain (10)

    • Letter Award (10)

    • Current Rank: Cadet Captain
    INTERACT CLUB: Active member (10,11)

    • Public Relations Officer (11)
    STUDENT COUNCIL: Active member (9,10,11)

    • Freshman Class Secretary, Vice President, and President (9)

    • Sophomore Class Representative (10)

    • Junior Class Representative (11)

    • Letter Award (10)
    STUDENT AMBASSADORS: Active member (9,10,11)

    • Special Events Coordinator (11)
    VARSITY QUIZ BOWL TEAM: Active member (9,10)

    WORLD QUEST ACADEMIC BOWL: Active member (9,10)

    • Team Captain (9,10)
    CIVIL AIR PATROL: Active member since 2011

    • Flight Sergeant (9)

    • Professional Development Officer (9,10)

    • Assistant Seminar Leader at Noncommissioned Officer School (9)

    • Officer-in-Charge of Squadron Robotics Program (10)

    • Flight Commander (10)

    • Cadet Advisory Council Representative (10)

    • Chief of Academics at Basic Cadet School (10)

    • Deputy Cadet Commander (10,11)

    • Current Rank: Cadet Major


    ESSAY/ORATORICAL CONTESTS:

    • Placed 1st in FRA Americanism Essay Contest – Post Level (10)

    • Placed 1st in FRA Americanism Essay Contest – Regional Level(10)

    • Placed 3rd in Optimist International Oratorical Contest – Club Level (10)




    Awards and Accomplishments

    LEADERSHIP CONFERENCES

    • Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar – Nevada (June 2015)
    AWARDS

    • Billy Mitchell Award – Civil Air Patrol (2013)

    • Youth Patriotism Awards – Heritage Award (2014)

    • Youth Patriotism Awards – Citizenship Award (2014)

    • Amelia Earhart Award – Civil Air Patrol (2015)

    • Achievement Award – Civil Air Patrol (2015)

    • Youth Patriotism Awards – Freedom Award (2015)

    • National Sojourners Award – AFJROTC (2015)

    Community Activities

    • Hands of Hope Community Food Pantry

      Total Community Service Hours: 34 hours
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Your sports don't jump out at me, but I see you have 10 letters. Am I missing something? Can you expand on your athletics? Aside from that you look like a solid candidate... but then, no one here sits on the admissions board.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If everybody said NO would you not apply?

    I am not trying to be harsh, but what I am saying is our opinion should not matter at all. You have 0% chance of going if you don't apply. We will move on with no regrets after posting our opinion, but you will live with regrets if you don't apply.

    Just move forward and let the chips fall where they may.

    Now if you want advice. I think your cgpa is low. However, I don't the school profile. You are saying you are 15% rank, if 25% go to Ivy after HS, than it is not that low. It tells them your school does not hand out As like candy on Halloween. If you say 0% go, than that is something different. I also do not see any AP or honors from an academic aspect.
    ~ Again, they look at the school profile. If you are top 15%, but no APs or honors it can ding you because you are not taking the most rigorous course load.

    I hope you took the PSAT. As a junior in HS, this is the only time you can qualify for National Merit Semi Finalist or Finalist. That is a feather in your cap, because it is tied to the test.
    ~ FYI, if you add a 0 to your PSAT score that gives you an idea what your SAT score will be when you take it. IE 196 =1960.
     
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  4. T_Bordeau13

    T_Bordeau13 Member

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    I dont understand how your Cgpa is a 3.3 and youre still top 15% in your class? That does not add up at all. Unless like 5% of your class is going to college, being top 15% means nothing.
     
  5. 17Lives

    17Lives Member

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    I attend a magnet school where approximately half of the kids are magnet (high achievers) and the other half are not. (Not high achievers) This accounts for the top 15% in class ranking. As for the numbers indicated after a given activity, that is the grade that I accomplished that in.
     
  6. JestFutureFalcon

    JestFutureFalcon Member

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    Have you seen the USAFA CO 2019 profile? That'll give you a good idea what you need to improve in. Personally I think you should go out for some more community service. I've spoken to people I am applying against who have over 200, and USAFA wants all round individuals so you wanna hop on that. Also definitely get into sports. I understand JROTC looks nice, but you need to try to be more diverse and maybe go out for XC and Track. Maybe even swimming or some club sport. I won't hammer you on your gpa cuz I think u get the point by now, but just keep in mind that you are applying against the top 10% in the nation so a 3.3 doesn't look amazing against plenty of people with 4.0 unless your school profile and test scores are amazing
     
  7. JestFutureFalcon

    JestFutureFalcon Member

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    ImageUploadedByService Academy Forums®1446503593.448845.jpg
     
  8. 17Lives

    17Lives Member

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    Jest, thank for the imput. I am well aware I need to work on my community service hours. I wasn't really looking for you to state the obvious. I will be taking up athletics this year. I believe my resume is very diverse in the activities that I choose to do so I disagree with you on that. Then you mentioned the GPA and said you wouldn't hammer on it but then you still brought up obvious facts. My point is please provide useful feedback or ask me useful questions instead of stating the obvious. Thank you for your time.
     
  9. JestFutureFalcon

    JestFutureFalcon Member

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    Sorry if I upset you, but don't expect me to bring you down gently if you want constructive criticism. But yeah I just checked over your provided resume again and noticed you had CAP listed and I misinterpreted that the first time I read it as an extension of JROTC that's why I brought that up. Let me ask you this though: if you were so confident in your diverse activities and knew your gpa and community service were not competitive at this point in time, why did you post? I mean I get it, you are very excited about the aspect of attending USAFA (after all I have the same feeling) but it seems to me that all you wanted was someone to tell you that you were doing ok. Well, don't get mad when someone says you aren't. Just remember, there is always room to improve, so there is room to diversify. What do you expect us to tell you besides you need to improve in X category? If it's really that obvious then don't ask
     
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  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    This is a red flag for me from a competitive aspect for next year appointment, and definitely AFROTC scholarship.
    1. It may appear that you are "padding" your resume for USAFA chances by only starting this year.
    2. AFROTC will not include ECs for your senior year in deliberation.

    Can it be overcome from a competitive aspect with your other ECs? Of course.

    I actually thought them downloading the actual stats was useful feedback for you and other posters. They took the time to download it for you from a chance me perspective. It was impo, politely answering your original question if you were competitive. They were answering your question.

    NOBODY here that will respond to your question sits on the selection board. You are just going to get opinions, and that really means squat in the long run from a chance me aspect.
    ~ Remember poster Jones123 can say I had lower stats last year and got a slot, is probably not understanding that last year they could have had 250 applicants for 200 slots, while this year they could have 500 for 175 slots.

    I get maybe at your school a 3.3 is 15% class rank, and USAFA will work it to their own algorithm, and maybe it will go up. Maybe it will not. If you really want to see where you are from an academic standpoint, I would suggest you use Naviance. If they do not have data for USAFA, than try inputting an Ivy or top tier school as a comparison. It will tell you from admissions perspective if it is academically competitive as you think.
    ~ Sorry, but the fact is I have yet to read one kid say I go to a really crappy school!
    ~~ There are over 2000 HSs in the nation. Yet, most posters here will say I go to a competitive school.

    In your case you stated Rancho HS in Nevada. Is this your school ?
    http://www.greatschools.org/nevada/north-las-vegas/91-Rancho-High-School/quality/
    ~ If so, according to greatschools.org it gets a 4 out of a possible 10 (best). The magnet school in No VA is called TJ...Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology. They rated that school as a 10.

    Point is what you think/deem as a competitive in your region or state does not equate to what admissions will deem competitive from a national level. It is not personal when they call it out from a cgpa aspect. It is being honest.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Let me also clue you in about life in the military. You will always be expected to jump over the next higher bar.

    You can graduate out of UPT as number 1 with an F35 slot. but once you get to the 35 schoolhouse you will fight again to be number 1 at the school house. Once operational, you will fight again.
    ~ Every step of the way you will be told you are nothing spectacular. IOWS your sheaaatttt stinks!

    Same is true for promotions.
     
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  12. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    That's interesting, the average class rank is top 3% but the average SAT is only about a 1310. 1310 is the 90th percentile, meaning 10% of people do better than that in one sitting. USAFA superscores so that makes the numbers seem even stranger. I wonder why this is the case, that seems like a pretty large gap.
     
  13. 17Lives

    17Lives Member

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    First of all, are you a graduate of any service academy? No, you aren't. So therefore, you honestly you are in no position to say whether someone is competitive or not considering you don't even have an appointment yet. I'm fine with not being brought down gently by people who have ALREADY been and my shoes and knows what it takes versus someone school is practically in the same boat as I am. I noticed your post a few weeks ago and saw that you basically has JROTC for the majority of your EC/leadership background, so you really aren't one to talk about diversity. If you take a look at he resume you can see that everything I do has a different background: DIVERSE. I'm aware that my GPA and community service are not where they should be but taking that into account I wanted to know if I had a shot. (I know people who got in with 2.8's, doesn't mean that they weren't competitive ) What I wanted was for someone to tell me exactly what I asked and the people above did that.
     
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  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    17,
    I think you need to step back for a second.

    I get where you are coming from, but as a poster I feel you are amping up the antagonistic level.

    I will say again, why ask us? If you say you wouldn't apply if everyone was negative, than can you say you want to dedicate your life until you are at least 27 serving?
    Apply, and let the chips fall where they may. In March when you get the SLS slot laugh in Jest's face.

    Part of being an officer is rising above everyone. Another part is believing in yourself when others take you down.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  15. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    I don't think anyone that has posted on this thread so far is a graduate of a service academy.
     
  16. littlepatriot

    littlepatriot Member

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    Another (hopeful) candidate here, but I noticed a few things.

    Extracurriculars look great IMO. You've got some good leadership in there and the continuity is good as well.

    However, the lack of athletics would concern me if I was an admissions counselor. I believe around 90% of incoming cadets either participated in varsity athletics or earned a varsity letter. At a high school of your size, I would guess that unless you are a stellar athlete, a varsity letter is unlikely by the time you submit your application.

    There's many different ways to be involved in community sports too. Contact local church leagues and YMCA leagues. If you're talented, go one further and join a travel team.

    ACT/SAT scores are crucial. Study hard for both and knock them out of the park.

    Best of luck!
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    That is not strange at all if you think about the appointment process. It starts at a geo-centric level 1st.
    ~ In Arkansas the state avg for composite was 20.4 in 2014. There are 2 senators and 4 congressmen from that state. Basically 6 cadets will be charged and appointed.

    If they lived in another state their scores may not be high enough to win an appointment.

    That is the system and why you can see the difference. Class ranking is not national, it is HS by HS aka geo centric.
     
  18. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    Considering they are taking people from everywhere in the country, I don't see how that would have an impact. Maybe I'm missing something, but if one state has lower than average test scores, another state has to have higher than average test scores. They are taking people from everywhere, not just the states where the average test scores are below average.
     
  19. T.Valiant

    T.Valiant Member

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    It's hard to believe the average class rank is "top 3%" and only 66% are members of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, etc (BTW, USNA reports the same stat).

    Regardless, the stats are interesting, but don't really predict who will receive an appointment. The sample size is too small and each individual's WCS has too many variables.
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Yes, but the point is the kid from Arkansas can be the top 3% of their class, but be below 1300. Thus, it is not strange at all if on average if they are at 90%.
    ~ Fairfax County in VA has a larger school budget than any of the lowest ranking 8 states STATe budget, but when push comes to shove for an appointment/charging aspect where the MOCs talk, and when you look at how large and diverse the state is than you can see even from within the state the scores will be different for each MOC charge.

    If you look at the AFROTC scholarships average which is national, and not geo-centric, it is higher for a type 1 than USAFA. It is also best sitting. Type 1 average is over 31 composite ACT. Type 2 is in the 30 range. Type 7 is close to 29.
    ~ AFROTC has never to my knowledge posted what the average superscore is for the scholarship recipients. Their award rate is about the same as USAFA. 16-18%.

    Not to divert this thread too far off topic, but for candidates they should impo use that type 1 score as the bar because out of every class, when you do the math, (Presidential, MOC, ROTC, etc) you still have more than 50% of the appointments coming off the national pool list.
    ~ The majority of candidates will apply for a ROTC scholarship as plan B.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015

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