Appointment Received for a College Student

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by tennisfan88, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. tennisfan88

    tennisfan88 USAFA 2014

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    I just received my BFE in the mail after finding out last night online that I had received an appointment and am still a little in shock...
    The issue is that I am a senior in college, about to graduate in a month, and I really do not know if the Academy is the most logical choice for me. Don't get me wrong, I have wanted to join the Academy ever since High School and this is truly a dream come true for me but I am unsure if going to the Academy is the "smart" thing to do. I AM certain that I want a career in the Air Force, especially since my major probably won't be hiring for quite a while, but I don't know if I should do this or go through Officer Training School instead.
    The main drawback I see from OTS is: I might not even get in because from what I have heard it has gotten extremely more competitive due to the economy and the incoming class may already be full, I feel that it won't prepare me as well as the Academy for a possible career in the Air Force, and it's in Alabama over the summer where the humidity is absolutely terrible (more of a gripe but still....). However what I found really attractive was a short term loan that is offered in conjunction with being accepted to OTS that would really help me with my short term finances and pay off some bills I have recently incurred.
    In regards to the Academy, it is an absolute dream for me to attend but even my older sister made a good point that it's 4 years that I could be doing something else. Also I have about $3k in personal debt that I need to take care of and am unsure how I could pay that off while at the Academy. On a side note, does anyone know of ANY benefits of entering into the Academy as a college graduate? I already read from a previous post that transferring courses is difficult but I was wondering if there was anything at all.

    Parental support is unfortunately non-existent and actually part of the reason I want to go somewhere far away...

    I kind of want to figure this out soon so that I can let someone else who may be eligible for my spot possibly get it (cross your fingers if you're in the 13th District of Illinois...) if I decline my appointment.
    Any advice on what I should do is more than welcome.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  2. Gasdoc

    Gasdoc Member

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  3. eagle36

    eagle36 USAFA Alumnus

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    just to address it here as well, it comes down to your goal.

    you've said you want to be a career officer? then at this point i definetely do not think the academy is the way to go. four years active duty will do a heck of a lot more to make you a good officer four years from now as opposed to the academy. don't get me wrong, i think the academy has a done a great job of helping me grow and be better to become an officer in 51 days then i was 1300+ days ago. but after you already have a degree and have had four years to mature past high school, i think it's best to start serving now. I would recommend talking to your ALO about OTS and see what those chances look like. I would have to imagine if you made it into USAFA at this point you have a good chance of getting to do OTS as well. best of luck, and hopefully see you out there!
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    here's the deal. You have a little bit of time to accept your appointment. I understand your dilemma. It feels almost like a total waste to go through 4 more years of school for just a 2nd B.S. degree.

    So, if it were me, this is what I'd do. I'd contact an Air Force recruiter and see if you can get into OTS. If I'm not mistaken, your profile shows that you are overseas. So that could be difficult. However, you can get on the internet and find the phone number of a recruiter somewhere back home. If you can get signed up and go to OTS, I personally would choose that path. However, there are 3 things you really need to think about in this decision.

    1. Is the degree you're graduating with next month, a degree that the military would want and allow you to go to OTS with? I.e. My wife's 1st degree was in Theater Arts. (yes, it was fun, BUT......). She eventually went back and is now in law. My 1st degree was in Psychology. Nothing wrong with behavioral science, but jobs seemed harder. I wound up getting a degree in electronic engineering and then went back to school and got another degree in computer science. So, you have to look at your degree.

    2. If you want to be a pilot or another competitive job in the air force, academy grads usually have a better chance of getting many of those. So, depending on what you'd want to do in the air force, you need to weigh that.

    3. Unlike an associates degree or changing majors for undergraduate degrees, getting a 2nd bachelor degree doesn't really help you towards grad school. However, having a bachelor degree coming into the academy, many classes will be probably waivered, which means you'll be able to take a lot more interesting classes and double major. Especially if you want to go into a technical degree and your current degree is more B.A. or liberal arts type.

    If you were in the states, going to a recruiter would definitely be easy. You could then know quickly if you would be accepted to OTS. I'd make a lot of calls soon if I was you. See what you can do. But I agree, going to the academy when you already have a Bachelor degree is almost a waste if you're not heading for pilot training, med school, law school, etc... It puts you 4 years behind where you could already be. Best of luck to you. Mike...
     
  5. tennisfan88

    tennisfan88 USAFA 2014

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    Christcorp, I'm actually in the states right now. I just haven't gotten around to changing my location from last year sorry.
    My degree is in Finance and if I was to go through OTS I think they would probably place me in Finance operations or contracting or something like that which is OK but not my ideal placement.
    Yes, I really really want to become a pilot and that has always been my dream but am a little worried about my vision and my overall competitiveness since I would be 25 when I graduate (I heard as long as the Air Force corrects your vision you become eligible, is that true?
    If I go into the Academy, I initially planned to major in Management where I heard they're #1 in in the U.S., but would be willing to go into somethign else once I get a feel for the curriculum.
    I'm going to talk to my ALO and get in contact with the recuriter in the area about OTS once he actually responds to my emails and calls.
     
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Tennis: my eldest son is in a similar situation to yours and applied to and was accepted on his first try to Navy OCS. He also was awarded a flight slot, without having to compete with his classmates (he's already a pilot and an certified Air Traffic Controller). I think that if your goal is to be an AF or other service officer, Officer Candidate school or OTS is a great way for you to go.

    Of course, if you want to now get an engineering or pure science degree anyway, why not?

    That debt might be troublesome for you. I am not sure how AFA would handle that.
     
  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Cadets make about $11K per year, and most of your first year's pay will go towards issued equipment and books.
     

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