Applicants. PLEASE READ ME!!!

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Christcorp, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I am normally long winded. Not this time. This is not intended to be discouraging or to make you stress out. Very simply: Now that most of you have finished your Academy Application; you need to relax for about 5 minutes, and move on to the 2nd most important stage of your future. APPLYING TO OTHER SCHOOLS. Please don't tell me how you wanted the academy for your whole life. So has thousands of other applicants. And even if you are one of the best of the best; the academy can not and will not take more than approximately 1350 new applicants. It doesn't matter if the academy is your first choice or not. If you're good enough to believe that you should be able to be accepted to the air force academy, then you are good enough to be applying to the best colleges and universities in the country.

    And in case you can't afford some of these schools, you need to get applying to at least 4 other schools NOW, so you can have time to look at scholarships, grants, merits, private money, etc.... Even if you're looking at ROTC; you need to have your other school applications in RIGHT NOW!!!! Do it. Do it now. PLEASE DON'T WAIT. I can't tell you how many applicants didn't get the academy appointment, and settled for community college or state "U", because they didn't think they could get accepted or pay for other schools. I'll tell you right now; if you don't think you can get accepted to certain other schools, how can you expect to get accepted to the academies??? The academies are considered equal to and as selective as the Ivy league and high end private universities. APPLY NOW!!!! The money will come later. Get accepted first. If you get accepted, there are plenty of ways to find money. Best of luck to you all. mike..... (Sorry, it wasn't as short as I had hoped).
     
  2. Packerfan735

    Packerfan735 Member

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    Also, apply for scholarships that do not have to be used for books, or tuition specifically... but pay cash or just money for winning the scholarship... if you get accepted, you can put that money towards your loan here and you'll get paid your full amount quicker!! this is one thing i wish i had done.. i had my universities paid for, but came here with little money... food for thought...
     
  3. Jabbawocky007

    Jabbawocky007 AFROTC Cadet

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    Absolutely. It's a pain, but DO IT. Better safe than sorry.
     
  4. yfx4

    yfx4 Dad of a former Candidate

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    Agreed. Get the applications out. I have seen a HUGE growth in my DS through the AFA application process. I pray he gets in to AFA but seeing this positive growth is (from a parent's perspective) almost enough to be satisfied that that 17yo creature in a room of my house might actually get somewhere. He has 2 offers from other schools (his #3,4 choices) and is continuing the applications (AFROTC is done except for the PFE). Not forgetting to keep his grades up, volunteering, Band, etc.
     
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Always good to have a couple colleges in the pocket!
     
  6. Mikeandcris

    Mikeandcris Parents of 2014 Grad and F-15 Pilot

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    Great advice

    Heed Christcorp's advice and apply to at least 4 other colleges. My son's example was probably common among candidates: In addition to USAFA he applied to in-state and out-of-state universities. He also applied for AFROTC. In the beginning of the process, we never thought we could afford an out of state university. As it turned out, he got his Academy appointment and received acceptance and enough scholarships to make the out-of-state university equal to a full ride. You need to put in the time and effort for a back up plan.
     
  7. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Yes, no, maybe so.......

    Sadly, thousands of very highly qualfied students each year cannot afford the college they wish to attend. The financial expectations by the colleges are just out of reach of what the family can afford and financial aid, even for the poorest students does not usually come close.
    It's a good idea for students and their parents to sit down and talk finances - what is 'affordable' and what is not. Parents need to figure out how much they can help their child with college.
    There are not always 'plenty of ways to find the money'. So a little realistic view is in order. Apply away and apply for financial aid and scholarships. But always have a 'financial safety' in your back pocket. This is a college that you and your parents can afford, realistically without "mortgaging the farm". Look for college that offer merit scholarships. Look for colleges that promise to meet 'full need' understanding that their definition of 'full need' and yours may differ (by a lot!).
    It's a good idea to do plenty of research and cast a wide net.
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    There is no doubt that there may be schools that you apply to, get accepted at, and no matter how hard you try; aren't going to be able to afford to attend. Especially after crunching the numbers and determining scholarships, grants, loans, etc...

    But my experience has been that most people who have concluded that they can't afford to attend a particular school, have come to that conclusion prematurely, based on their feelings or basic information. In other words, they already took themselves out of POSSIBLY attending a particular school, by not even applying. E.g. "There's no way we can afford Georgetown, so there's no sense of even applying". This is the #2 biggest mistake most applicants make. (Because this is a military academy forum, the #1 BIGGEST MISTAKE made, is an applicant will ONLY apply to the military academies, and have no backup school lined up except for local community college. Possibly state U.) Just like when people ask here: "What are my chances"? The main answer is: "If you don't apply, your chances are GUARANTEED to be 0%". Well, your chances of attending a Top-25 school is 0%, if you don't apply because you have a preconceived idea that you can't afford it.

    The next biggest problem some students/parents/applicants have; is that they have a narrow opinion of where they want to go. I never once said that you can be guaranteed to go to your DREAM COLLEGE. I've NEVER said that. On the other hand, if an individual specifically mentions 5 specific universities they want to apply to, then they are automatically going to limit their chances.

    There's 2 main things to think about when applying to schools. 1) Which school(s) should I apply to... and 2) How do I pay for it. The first answer depends on what it is you want to study. But I will give you some hints. If you're the type, or your parent is the type, that wants you to attend a college that is close to home, then you are screwed. No sense of reading on. Choosing a school, simply because it's close to home is NOT picking the best school. And it actually becomes more difficult to get accepted and paid for. If this is you, and you're looking only at schools within 100-200 of your house, you might as well stop reading this right now. The 2nd thing to realize is that SCHOOLS aren't the only places to get money from. Yes, merit scholarships and such are nice, but that isn't the only place to look for money. We live in wyoming, yet we found full ride, 100%, private scholarships for individuals interested in attending Michigan State and a number of other schools. There are plenty of private scholarships available to whatever school you want to attend. So think outside the box. EXTREME EXAMPLE: DUCK BRAND Duct Tape has a competition for the best prom dress made out of Duct Tape. No, it's not a full ride, and yes it's an extreme example. Just saying there are a lot of private scholarship money out there. We had a local girl collect 12 scholarships. From the Masons, Mini-Mart, Moose Lodge, credit unions, insurance companies, etc... When all was done, she had enough to attend an out-of-state school, full ride, and had an additional $300 a month available for her to live on. Problem is, just like the individual who says: "I can't afford that school, no sense of applying". You've got the person who says: "Those scholarships aren't feasible for me, no sense of applying". If you try, you can get money. Depends on how bad you want it.

    But even if we look at strictly school/merit type money; the FARTHER YOU LOOK, the better your chances. We all talk about diversity and well rounded applicants. Guess what???? Traditional colleges/universities are looking for the exact same thing. If you're from Massachusetts, and you apply to Tufts or Wellesley; what makes you so unique???? Not a damn thing. But the person from Arizona or North Dakota might have a much better time getting into one of those schools, because the school is looking for diversity and probably doesn't have a lot of people from Idaho applying there. How many people from Vermont are applying to tulane in New Orleans or Michigan State. So look at your interests, find schools that match your interests, and then look for schools where YOU ARE THE DIVERSE individual.

    Anyway, these are just a couple of hints or perspectives. Apply for schools. Especially beyond the academies. The academies have roughly a 10-14% acceptance rate. There's a lot of 3.9-4.0 gpa and 30+ACT applicants who WILL NOT GET ACCEPTED to the academies. The competition is that high. The average entering student has a 3.86gpa. So, be applying to other schools. And DON'T let anyone, including your parents, tell you not to apply to certain schools simply because you can't afford it. You don't know how much a school costs UNTIL YOU'VE BEEN ACCEPTED AND HAVE APPLIED FOR ALL THE MONEY. Did you know that the AVERAGE STUDENT ATTENDING MIT: Is Paying $15,000 or less a year. (That's the price or LOWER than MOST In-State universities). Hmmmm.... Go to STATE U for $13,000 a year or go to MIT for $15,000. 60% of MIT students are on financial aid, and most will pay LESS to go to MIT than their state school. Even with a loan; a $15,000 a year ($60,000 loan) with the starting salary of an MIT graduate, is more than reasonable. MIT doesn't look at need based. They accept you if you're right for the school, then they help you find the money. Work programs, research assistance, etc... They will help you find the money. Most schools will. (IF YOU APPLY). Anyway; don't let anyone tell you you can't attend particular schools because of money. You won't know until you apply. And also again, if you LIMIT yourself to only schools close to home, then you're on your own. Best of luck to all. Mike.....
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  9. yfx4

    yfx4 Dad of a former Candidate

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    In-state room/board/tuition for Texas A&M is about 20k/yr. We were skeptical of out-of-state tuition for OK State and U of OK until we got unsolicited scholarship offers that brought them down to in-state levels. Christcorp is right--you never know until you try/apply what offers you will get. If you are competitive for the AFA you are very competitive for most civilian schools too--$$$ offers will come. You can turn down the ones that don't work. Also, if you want to go there and scholarships don't add up to enough--ASK. The worst that will happen is they will say 'no.'
     
  10. 1993A10

    1993A10 Member

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    Have received offers from a number of schools, Yale, Northwestern, Cal Berkley etc. but DS is set on either USAFA or U of I AFROTC. Both have been paid for years ago. And that is all he has applied to. We're still hoping for some scholarships to give us those pre-payments back.
     
  11. falcongirl

    falcongirl USAFA grad

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    Christcorp is absolutely right, but there is another reason to apply (and get accepted to!) other schools, even if you're set on a service academy. A number of appointees are turned back on I-day each year because of injuries they recieved post-appointment. This happened to one of my squadmates; he was turned back on I-day for the class of 2013 because of a healing ACL tear he received spring of his senior year. As a result, he had to go to college for a year before reapplying for 2014.

    Every year, some basic cadets are medically turned back because of injuries recieved in BCT. A few were turned back this year because of appendicitis, torn ACL's, and even pre-existing heart conditions they didn't know they had. A backup plan gives you options. Instead of sitting at home for a year or attending a local community college, you could spend a year at another great school while you heal and reapply for USAFA.

    Last year, I was lucky enough to receive an early appointment and ended up finishing my other college applications after I recieved and accepted my appointment. I even sent in my confirmation and housing deposit for the University of Minnesota (I could recieve a housing refund up until early August), with the understanding that if I was medically disqualified before or during basic, I'd be covered. After basic, I just canceled my enrollment and housing and recieved a refund. Yes, it was a pain to apply and slog through extra essays for colleges I never wanted to to attend, especially when I already accepted my first choice school. However, accidents happen, and I'm glad I did. While I was certain USAFA was the only place for me, I knew I had a backup plan in place if the worst happened in spring sports or basic. I got through senior year and BCT injury free, but I wasn't willing to take that chance.
     
  12. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    VERY well said!!! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     

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