Anyone have experience with USNA Foundation?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by wolfemom, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. wolfemom

    wolfemom Member

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    Well, the wait is just about over!

    Last year was my son's senior year. As soon as his app was 100% complete, he immediately got a referral to the Foundation. Within 3 days of getting the application to the Foundation, we drove to Annapolis and he interviewed there, accepting a Foundation scholarship to prep school for a year.

    So, now he's almost finished! Capt. Wallace of the USNA Foundation will take the academic records of the Foundation students to the Admissions Board this Thursday.

    Here's my question--has anyone been through this process? How long from the board meeting this Thursday until he hears news? And how will he hear? A call from his MOC? A letter? How long does it take? (I guess that's more than one question!)

    His grades are GREAT from his prep year. While it was initially a great disappointment to him to have to wait a year, we all agree that this was absolutely the best thing that could have happened--he's grown so much this year: athletically, academically, psychologically. He'll be well prepared!

    Now just to wait.....
     
  2. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    This is directly off the USNA and NAPS site:

    "Appointment To The U.S. Naval Academy
    The Naval Academy Admissions Board offers appointments to NAPS students in early May. Selection criteria include: Successful completion of the course of instruction at NAPS, no failing grade in any subject, favorable physical aptitude and a favorable recommendation from the Commanding Officer of the Naval Academy Preparatory"

    BTW, how did it go, I'm curious?
     
  3. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    I was assuming you meant the Naval Academy Prep School...right?
     
  4. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    USNA Foundation scholarships and NAPS are two different things, although the bottom line of each is the same - to provide one year of post-high school education to candidates who need further academic preparation before they enter the Naval Academy.
     
  5. wolfemom

    wolfemom Member

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    It went exactly as planned! He called yesterday from the midst of Plebe Summer, and is doing well!

    It took until mid-April to hear, but he got the appointment--along with 3 other guys at the same prep school who were also Foundation students. It's pretty straight-forward. They are sponsored by the Foundation (who pays part of the prep year, and we paid part of the prep year), they do what they need to do--in my son's case it was a matter of beefing up some academics--and they are approved.

    It was a great year for him. He grew up alot, strengthened his academics, strengthened his independence (away from his parents!), strengthened his resolve. Although it was initially a disappointment, it has turned into the greatest blessing--that extra year to prepare.

    It is not the same as NAPS at all. Same basic concept--totally different approach.

    Thanks for asking!
     
  6. USNAp

    USNAp Member

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    Just curious why a prep and not NAPS? was he involved in a sport that NAPS did not offer, if so how did that work out?

    thanks
     
  7. pknguyen44

    pknguyen44 USNA '13, NAPS '09

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    The admissions board decides whether you get foundation or NAPS. You don't really have a choice until they offer you something. If you get foundation then you would be able to choose which prep school you would like to go to (i.e. NMMI, Northwestern) excluding NAPS.
     
  8. wolfemom

    wolfemom Member

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    I have this informal impression:

    NAPS is for people like ...former enlisted--it wouldn't be appropriate to send them to prep school--which is basically like a 5th year of high school. It's also for athletic recruits (for instance) who may need the year of military discipline and physical demands to get ready for USNA. The academics at NAPS can be geared toward someone who needs more remediation or re-familiarization with some core subjects--either because they didn't do as well in high school or because they've been out of the classroom for a few years.

    Clarification--I do not at all mean ANY of the above paragraph in any even slightly disrespectful way! NAPS candidates are great candidates and strong in many ways. Remediation is not meant as easy or low-level at all.

    Foundation students are intentionally NOT former enlisted or anyone like that. They are high school seniors who need to strengthen their academic background, mostly. Almost all of the Foundation students I met this year were all the same "type" as my son. My son, for instance, had taken 12th grade English (not AP), Senior Calculus (not AP), no Advanced Chem. He started high school in the Advanced/Academic track, and didn't always challenge himself. By the time he wanted to apply to USNA, his transcript was what it was. Excellent grades in moderate classes. But clear potential and strong leadership. Every other Foundation kid I met was like that. Varsity athletes in sports like XC, lacrosse, football.

    So they go to a Foundation school for a "prep" year. My son took AP Calc, AP Chem, AP English, AP History of some sort, and Foreign policy. And aced the year. He got over the idea that it was almost a 2nd senior year, and decided that if the Academy wanted him to beef up his academics, then that's what he would do.

    We are very good friends with a NAPSter. He was a football recruit, who hadn't taken Calc at all, and didn't take it at NAPS, that I know of. His study skills were ...iffy? (I was his teacher!) He roomed with some former enlisted who'd been out of school, and needed to get back into some study habits too.

    Most NAPSters were of the same "type" too.

    Neither is better than the other, they just serve different needs of different kinds of students. Both do a great job of readying candidates for USNA.

    And USNA decided where they want whom. They are the ones who decide on NAPS for some kids and they decide who to refer to the Foundation. (I have to imagine that the comments from the BGO have some influence on this decision.) USNA refers about 200 to the Foundation every year, and the Foundation will sponsor about 60. Some decide to give up on USNA, and the rest compete for sponsorships.

    Hope that clarifies a little...I clearly know more about the Foundation than about NAPS. Besides my son I've known or taught 3 other Foundation kids and 3 NAPS kids. That's from whence I speak.
     
  9. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    Senator John McCain's son went to NAPS and he claimed it was to brush up on math as he supposedly got an 800 on his English SAT and bombed in Math.
    For the record his other son is an enlisted Marine that served in Iraq. I'm sure many here know that.
     
  10. wolfemom

    wolfemom Member

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    That's interesting. My son got >700 on math SAT and needed to brush up his verbals.

    I think NAPS is more secure and more military. MUCH more military. If USNA wanted him in an environment with fewer distractions (not those of his own creation, but of media, etc--even before this presidential race), NAPS would be the way to go. Prep schools are mostly like high schools, with exceptions like NMMI and Valley Forge.

    Prep school gave my son a chance to do-over his senior year with the kind of courses he didn't take or his school didn't offer. Same for his friends.

    I know my description made NAPS sound "lower" but I don't mean that at all. It's a very different preparatory experience, that's all.
     
  11. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    I searched for the article I read about this but couldn't find it. If memory serves, McCain should be in his 2nd or 1st class year so he went through NAPS a few years ago, as a Senators son.
    I've also read that NAPS Plebes are often chosen for leadership roles early on at the academy.
     
  12. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    NAPS '87 here. No offense taken. :thumb:

    You are mostly correct: Prior enlisted who need to brush up academically, athletes who need to brush up academically, and other high school types (like me) who needed to brush up academically. Needless to say, NAPS also throws in a very real military and physical-fitness dimension as well.

    One thing, however. DO NOT make the mistake of thinking that NAPS or any other Prep School is just a 5th year of High School. We had one individual (who just happened to be running a prep school of his own :rolleyes:) make that claim a while back, and he had his *** rightfully handed to him on a plate. 90% of what I saw at NAPS I saw again as a Plebe, and the remaining 10% was simply because I ended up in High-Track Chemistry thanks to scoring well enough on the validation exam to be bumped up, but not well enough to validate the course. That was due to NAPS and not enough sleep as a Plebe.

    NAPS, at least, is akin to Freshman Year at any regular college you can show me, and close enough to Plebe Year to make no odds.
     
  13. wolfemom

    wolfemom Member

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    Thanks--and you're right. It's more of the non-NAPS prep school environment that I was trying to describe. We really struggled to explain prep school to our "people" back here at home. Our son had to get over the notion that he was repeating his senior year--and he got over that REAL quick. His senior year was one thing. Prep school was something else. USNA is something else.

    He didn't do a military school; he did a post-grad year at a boarding school. So there were indeed 9th graders around--it wasn't like college. But the post-grads were treated very differently than the true high schoolers. So it was a unique thing for him.

    It wasn't like college.
    It wasn't like high school.
    It wasn't like USNA.

    It was exactly like prep school.

    That's what I'd tell people when they asked what he was doing.
     
  14. wolfemom

    wolfemom Member

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    I'm completely biased in this area, so forgive me. And I mean absolutely no disrespect whatsoever to others in different experiences!

    I think the plebes who came out of a prep school environment--NAPS or Foundation--are MUCH better prepared for the environment of the Academy than someone right out of high school. That alone has to make a difference.

    You take an 18 year old straight out of his parents' house and straight out of high school and drop him off on I day, there is going to be a good bit of shell-shock. Rightfully so.

    You take a 19 year old who's done a rigorous year at NAPS, and drop him off on I Day, he's going to adapt to this "new" environment much more quickly, and be ready to take leadership a little more quickly. Same with the Foundation prepsters. THey've already gone through the homesickness and adjustments to life away from family and creature comforts--did that LAST year. All those adjustments are made or at least begun already.

    I know a few kids who've gone straight out of high school and did JUST FINE, so I'm not trying to diminish the success of those kids at all.

    I'm just grateful for our OWN experience. I think it'd have been a MUCH more difficult adjustment last year than this post-prep year. I don't doubt that NAPSters are ready for leadership their plebe year more quickly than others.

    The Foundation students have something like a 99% graduation rate from USNA. The Academy overall is about 85%.

    Note to parents and candidates--it's not a bad thing to do a year at NAPS or through the Foundation!
     
  15. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    I think anyone that's done their homework on the SA's know that it's a heads up for leadership.
    I know people turn it down every year but, I can't understand for the life of me, why! I think it shows the mettle of the Candidate and their dedication to entering a SA.
    My son and I discussed it and he actually asked some questions while at NASS and he'd love/take either opportunity.
     
  16. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    USNA, USMA, USAFA all run prep school programs (as do USCGA and USMMA but they are a little different) through either their own prep schools, ie NAPS or their Alumni Foundation scholarhip program, also called "Civil prep" scholarship.

    For students who want a SA experience, a Prep school offer is indeed the "Golden ticket". They are the best kept secret of academy admissions.

    Prep schools such as USMAPS, NAPS and Air Force- were originally designed to prepare enlisted soldier, sailors and airmen to enter the academy. Enlisted who need a prep program are (from what I can tell) always sent to an academy prep school and not offered a "civil prep" scholarship. Those students in academy prep schools - like NAPS - are in a special reserve program and actually get paid. The education is free. They take a prescribed curriculum of courses and participate in athletics (at least at USMAPS athletics is required). Many "recruited" athletes who need a prep program are sent here as well - especially football recruits. They learn "soldiering skills" as well, wear the uniform, undergo an indoctrination and learn about their respective service. The courses that they take are not transferable to any collegs should they not earn or turn down their appointment.

    Civil prep - like wolfmom's son, my daughter completed this program, through USMA. The academy foundation offers a scholarship and a approved list of schools. If the student is a recruited athlete, the academy will usually have the student attend a "Prep" boarding school so the student can compete without jeopardizing their NCAA eligibility. Especially, if their sport is not offered at NAPS, USMAPS etc. USNA uses the Prep boarding schools more than USMA who prefers their civil prep students attend a Military junior college and take ROTC, as my daughter did.
    There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but suffice it to say that if you complete the program satisfactorily then you will get an appointment.

    A big mystery to some is why one program offered and not another - there are a lot a variables at work and I believe that admissions offers the program that will best suit the candidate and address this person's strenghts and weaknesses.
    Being offered one program over another does not make one candidate "better" or "worse" than another.

    Many high school students do turn down prep school offers. There are many reasons for this but some think it is "risky" and they could "waste" a year otherwise spent in college, if they don't get an appointment. Some just want to move on to a ROTC scholarship and others have offers to really great colleges. It does require a candidate to swallow some pride - while all their friends are off to a 4 year college, they are off to a boarding high school or military junior college.
     
  17. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    How is USCGA prep "different?"

    I thought they went to NAPS right alongside the USNA preppies?
     
  18. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    The USCGA does use NAPS as their prep school.
     
  19. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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  20. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    USCGA is different - they do use NAPS for some prep students but they also use MMI as well. These students are in the CGRT (?) program. It is a very good deal. They report to CGA in the summer for a couple of weeks and get their uniforms and some indoc. Then they report to MMI or NMMI for school in their Service Academy Prep Program. From what I understand they get paid and their tuition and uniforms paid for. They are actually enlisted in the CG Reserves just like those at NAPS and wear the CG uniforms.
    There is no CGA Alumni that sponsors their scholarship.

    Contrast that with kids who are sponsored by USMA, USNA or USAFA who are in the SAP program get a scholarship from the school and a small scholarship from their association - which varies by academy. We paid room and board and uniforms. It was still a good deal, however.

    When my daughter was at MMI last year - the CGA kids got the best deal financially. In 2008, 5 MMI cadets from the SAP program who were sponsored by CGA got appointments. 6 "self-sponsored" cadets got appointments as well.

    I have no idea how they pick who goes to NAPS and who goes to Military school - I do think that CGA has a limited number of slots at NAPS and that may have something to do with it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2008

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