Any LOA's or promising letters?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by USAFA_Falcon_15, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. USAFA_Falcon_15

    USAFA_Falcon_15 USAFA '15 Appointee

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    Jeez, it was within the next month or so that I heard about my LOA. Time has flown so fast, and I'm pretty happy to see that the boards will be lighting up soon! It's going to be a rough couple of month’s guys and gals. Trust me though, it'll be worth it. Ya.. I've only been here for like 3 months, but gosh, it's already worth it.

    Remember not getting here will not be the end all be all, you all will be successful regardless of where life takes you. You have already accomplished more than many of your peers, take pride in that. Keep your grades up; don’t lose sight of the finish line. Right now is a critical time; your grades will make a big impact on your standings in admissions. Continue to do well in all you do, and always seek to better yourself.

    I caution you not to come down on yourselves if you do not get an LOA. Remember, they are very stingy at USAFA and a majority of you guys will get you appointments much later in the process. This year is going to be relentless and competition is already said to be grueling. You’ve all worked hard though, and you will get here. I look forward to seeing you guys.

    On a side note, if you have any questions let me know, I’d be happy to help. If you live in CO, I’m also a native and would be happy to give you a tour or meet with you someday. I guess that really goes for anyone. PM if you’d like to talk more in depth about anything. I can give you stats or even simple pointers, whatever you think will help. I was not an outstanding individual by any means, there are so many kids here wayyyy smarter than me, I was always more of an athlete. So, with that being said it’s never too far off, your dreams are do-able.

    Best of luck!
     
  2. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    Thanks USAFA_Falcon!! I'll be sure to be in contact with you:thumb:
     
  3. cchung34

    cchung34 Member

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    Hey USAFA_Falcon_15,

    Thanks for the update. That sort of relaxed me a little bit - I was pretty worried about the LOAs. I know that West Point gives out a lot of LOAs and I've seen from the boards that MANY people have received it. Do you happen to know approximately how many people receive LOAs from USAFA compared to West Point's?
     
  4. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Folks, I say this every cycle but let me really REALLY re-emphasize it for all.

    DO NOT PLAN OR LOOK FOR/WAIT ANXIOUSLY OR EXPECT AN LOA FROM USAFA!

    Especially this cycle.

    I've posted "generically" about what this cycle will be like (can't get into specifics as they're not releasable)...LOA's were mentioned at our meetings with USAFA and the fact that USMA puts them out there by the dozens and USNA almost as many. And it works really well for them and the students they select for them are excellent candidates!

    But USAFA traditionally hasn't used the LOA very much, in comparison. I have heard "whispers" of "...on the order of 10-12% of appointments" but the USAFA/RRS folks will NOT give out a number as that's "close hold" information.

    BUT...think about this cycle. We're going to have the MOST competitive selection process in memory; perhaps ever, for USAFA's Class of 2016. If we're going to have no more than 1050 appointments...and MOST of the official candidates won't be "nominated and put in the cycle" until their MOC's turn their names in to USAFA by late January...do you think USAFA will hand out a lot of LOA's and then find that they have "higher scoring candidates later" that they can't consider?

    Nope.

    I wouldn't focus ANY time on LOA's for USAFA. Focus instead on making your package one of the FINEST of the first 1000...that gives you a little "slack" for backup. :biggrin:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Listen to Flieger.

    We all understand you want that security to know early, but in yrs past when they offered 1600+ apptmts, they still had about only 300 LOA's, many of them were recruited athletes. This yr there will be @ 20% less offered appointments from the highs of yrs ago. So you must expect that the LOA's will be reduced.

    It will also hit the athletes, this is a quote from last yr when they reduced the numbers to 1,120, so figure it out now going down another 5%

    Do you know what they call the cadet with an LOA at BCT? CADET!

    Getting an LOA or not getting an LOA will not equate to graduating the top of your class. I know several grads that did not have an LOA, but graduated in the top of the top of their class.
     
  6. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Hey Flieger,

    Mind a question? With RRS trying to juice the very best candidates for appointments this cycle, why even hold early boards if the MOC noms aren't in and they don't want to appoint kids early in case a better qualified one comes along?

    I'm asking because the Admissions Director had told us at Barksdale to "Get it in early!" We would have done it anyway, but for others still building their packages - why rush them if they are supposed to submit the very best possible and if the vast majority of appointments are going to be made late?

    Thanks

    Romad
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    I believe that is exactly why there are so few LOAs given out by USAFA Admissions. It is my understanding that only after a candidate's app is totally complete (they can lack only a nomination and/or DODMerb), the Board will review it and assign a score. Only candidates that are "off the charts" will get a LOA. The rest will be racked and stacked by nominating slate with appointments going out in February or March.

    The purpose of LOA's is to capture certain highly desirable candidates before being picked up by another University or SA. I don't think anybody, other than Admissions, really knows who are the "certain highly desirable candidates".
     
  8. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Gotcha,

    so candidates who submit early packages still have the opportunity to improve their score and position in the stack by updating RRS in the different categories as Pima was relating. We never expected or even thought about an LOA (especially after reading this forum for a year :eek:) , but I did have the question above in mind and was wondering about the rationale behind it.

    I appreciate the answer!

    Best
     
  9. USAFretired1996

    USAFretired1996 Member

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    Romad, my understanding is that if the application is complete to include a Presidential nomination and medically qualified, you will not get a LOA. You will either get an early appointment or wait for the mass mailing in March/April.
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Blackbird's answer is very good.

    Yes, we (including Col Benyshek) tell folks to "get them in early!" And it might just be because in the past, that's always been the focus because we DO have "some early boards" and occasionally hand out some LOA's.

    While I can't tell you much about the board schedule this year...because that's one of the "can't disclose" things. What I will say is this: the plan is NOTHING like you've seen in the past. So don't try to "second guess" this cycle...it won't work.

    I still agree that getting the package done as soon as possible is the correct answer. Because if they decide to hold a board...the package is there.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Yes, candidates can and should update their application packet throughout the process EXCEPT for the CFA scores. Once submitted, the CFA scores are locked unless Admissions decides to allow a resubmission (which can happen but not frequently). This is why you can read many posts saying that it is generally best to wait until the candidate can max their score before they submit it. For most candidates a wait of a few months will make no difference in when they hear back from Admissions. But on the other hand, a few more pullups could possibly be the difference if they receive an appointment or not. Especially in this very competitive year.
     
  12. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    I guess this may negate my last post which is clearly based on past experience. And I thought I was on a roll, even got a compliment from Flieger. Oh well.
     
  13. MomofFutureLeader

    MomofFutureLeader Member

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    Updates to Activities

    So, DS was selected by his high school as one of five students to attend National Council of Youth Leadership conference this past week-end. This was attended by 250 students from accros the central part of the state who were chosen by their schools based on high gpa, extracurriculars, activities, leadership (particularly leadership), essay, etc. From this group of 250, DS was one of four chosen to attend the national conference to be held in St Louis, MO next month. He listed the local conference selection on his CAR. Should he notifiy the academy and MOCs of his selection to advance to the national conference? If so, does he e-mail the person listed as his academy admissions counselor directly? I also imagine that he will have other updates throughout the fall and winter. Should he contact the admissions rep every time something new needs to be added? I also seem to remember there being a limit to the amount of stuff that he was able to list on the CAR. Are they able to add to it if the stuff listed already hit the limit in the number of characters allowed?
     
  14. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Mom,

    Your DS can fax any updates to their USAFA Counselor. The fax number is on the Online App portal. Any documentation needs his full name and SSN on it. And congrats on him making it to the national level. . .
     
  15. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    NO, you're correct! Dead-on accurate! :thumb:

    RE: CFA, my advice to a candidate on the CFA? DO NOT take it until you KNOW precisely how you will do. In other words, they've taken it "for practice" with me, their coach, parent, friend, etc...enough times that they know they will give the best they have and what it will be.

    Oh, and yes...I will go give the CFA to a candidate as often as they wish to try it...but only when they say: "Sir...this is for the record" will it count.

    But they have to tell me that BEFORE the test! :biggrin:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  16. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Thanks to all of you for your answers, :biggrin:

    We'll just hold steady, continue updates, and wait. We'll also proceed with everything else as if the USAFA doesn't even exist (we're hoping for early admittance to Auburn). We're also complete on the ROTC package so might as well sit, pass the popcorn, and enjoy FOOTBALL season!

    Best Regards to all of you.

    Romad
     

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