My son had a conversation with a PMS of one of the schools on his school of intent list. He told my son that essays and personal statement, and whatnot are not important and mostly overlooked or read only when a candidate is a borderline case. Did anybody else get this kind of input? I read in other places that essays and personal statements etc are very important. It could be one of those personal preferences/tendencies. If so, it gives credence to a few statements from other posters on this forum that each "board" is different and doing it (scholarship selection) differently. Even with standardized, automatic scoring system etc, opinions of the board members of the particular board carry 350 points out of 1000 total score. How they assess the candidates has a significant impact on the outcome. And, this is unpredictable and changes for every board since they pick 3 active PMSs for each board - it's a rotation assignment, I take it. One board may be just recounting the number of check marks, while the other board may be paying close attention to the "quality" of the candidate by carefully reading the essays and what not. So, the consistency is not there, like there is in college admissions. I hope the Oct board that is taking place now for AROTC has board members who read essays, etc. A significant portion of my son's leadership qualities did not fall into any pre identified box they listed on the application form that he could put a check mark on. If none reads essays, my son will come up short, because just based on the number of "check marks" on the leadership side, he is not going to appear to be a strong leadership material.