Best way to get into USAFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by dpt135, May 20, 2011.

  1. dpt135

    dpt135 Member

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    There is always frank discussion about the routes to achieve an appointment. I now know the the best way is to be a recruited athlete. This may not be as accurate with USNA, USMA, or USMMA but the instance I speak of is for USAFA. I have been reprimanded before for suggesting a two-tier system but it is absolutely true. Guy I know well plays football not even interested in USAFA until January or so. He did not do any of the paper work or MOC interviews most went through last fall. Became a recruit and committed to USAFA this spring. THe MOC that ended up giving him a nomination was not even sworn into office until after all the nominations were due! He is a brand new Senator. This guys Dad told me that the football department took care of all the paperwork. Before I was told that athletes have to go through the same process as everyone else. Thats hogwash! It is just frustrating to see some people get an easier way in just because of athletics. For background, yes- I am bitter because I was shutout for USNA and USMMA. I have wanted an appointment for many years and worked on my app process for about a year. It is difficult to watch others waltz into it without long term consideration or much effort. Thanks for listening,just had to get that off my chest.
     
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    :rolleyes:
    Yes, recruited athletes get assistance, but it's not handed to them on a silver platter.
     
  3. Hydro

    Hydro New Member

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    Being an athlete is generally beneficial in life, and more than just physically.
     
  4. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    My daughter was a recruited athlete at USAFA. My son is at USMMA. He was not recruited. What was the difference in the application process for each kid? NOTHING. It took a year for both of them to get their appointment. I'm not sure I believe your friend's father.
     
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I have two sons at
    USAFA and while they were both ICs, neither had a particularly easy time of it. Each did the rounds of senators, MOC, etc. and spent plenty of time on essays, getting rec's etc.

    I may not be buying the whole "my friend's dad" story either.
     
  6. usafacandidate8

    usafacandidate8 Member

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    The academy's do have some spots that they hand out a little easier to athletes. Easier isn't the word I am looking for, but what I mean is they have there athletics to help. My congressman was telling me about this, they are called Silver Bullets. I am not sure if that is a common name for them or what, but my congressman has also had a few of those before. She actually had one last year who is just finishing up their 4/c year. It is not that easy, but they do exist.
     
  7. Lfrippe

    Lfrippe New Member

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    I agree. My son was recruited athlete. He was required to follow all processes to reach appointment, and I have never heard anything different from other athletes.
     
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    The OP's post is entirely believable for a nationally ranked top 50 football player who may have not considered USAFA until approached by the coaches.

    There's a HUGE difference between being a "recruited athlete" and being a recruited blue-chip impact player for a high-profile high-revenue D1 sports team.

    :cool:
     
  9. dpt135

    dpt135 Member

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    Sorry to burst the unbelievers' bubbles, but this is factual. This kid goes to my school and we have mutual friends. It is never a secret who is applying to the academies and who is going where to school. The reason he did not go through the normal process is because he did not consider USAFA until late in the game. They wanted him. He accepted. And they made it happen. End of story. This is my last post. Thanks everybody.
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    dpt; I don't think anyone is arguing that a recruited athlete, especially a nationally ranked athlete, won't have some help with their application and the process. And that definitely can make the process easier. But the fact remains, that it's the same process. If you've got a small community where an ALO only has a couple of applicants, and that ALO is very much involved with their applicants, the "process" can be relatively easy. Or if a parent who was very knowledgeable of the academy process, because they them self were in/had been in the military or went to the academy also, and were very familiar with the process; they could make the process much easier for an individual.

    A lot of people for some reason believe that the application process is really difficult.... Sorry, but it's not. What's "Difficult" is motivating a 17 year old to not procrastinate. Those here who know me, and know my son, know for a fact that from the very first day that the application cycle opened, until my son was 100% completely finished with his application, was just over 30 days. I believe it was like 35 days to be exact. It opened up a couple days after returning from summer seminar in the middle of june, and he was completely done with the application by the 3rd week of July. We're talking everything. Teacher's online evaluations, DODMRB, CFA, ALO Interview, etc... everything 100%. He even had his nomination: Presidential. Because of my military service.

    Now; I can tell you that my son did 100% exactly the same application process as every single applicant in the country. The only difference was that he had someone with him that really knew the process. Same with the star blue chip athletes who are being recruited. The coach didn't DO THE APPLICATION for that individual. S/He definitely can help line it all up, but they didn't write the applicant's essays. They didn't take the physical for them. They didn't fill out the history and application for them. They probably sat them down and had them fill a bunch of stuff out immediately and didn't let them procrastinate. The entire ON-LINE portion of the application can be done in 1 day. My son did it in a weekend. ALL OF IT. That monday, he went to his high school and personally had all his transcripts, school profile, etc... physically mailed off to the academy. Then; the academy contacted his teachers; he did his CFA and ALO interview back to back in the same day; and had the DODMRB scheduled for a week later.

    So I'm not telling you that the athlete didn't have help. If they are that good of an athlete, and have the grades, and the academy wants them, then they will definitely have someone "helping" them. But the applicant filled out the application, took the CFA, took the DODMRB physical, etc... None of this was waivered, and none of this was completed by the coach. However; the academy does have so many slots available for athletes; so once they got him a nomination, they could give him one of those slots.

    Now; if you're telling me that he physically DIDN'T fill out the application; or they "WROTE OFF" the CFA and he never took it; or he never took the DODMRB physical; etc... then you'd have to prove that to me. Like I said, with the right motivated applicant, and a knowledgeable person assisting them, an academy application is so easy. It can be filled out, submitted, all correspondences completed, and all meetings, physicals, etc... can all be 100% complete is 30 days. Actually, it's possible to have it done in less time. However long it takes for mail to get to and from 2 points. In theory, the entire process can be completed in probably 1 week if the DODMRB could be scheduled timely. And I know this for a "Fact". Now; being the very first application completed in the country, only helps so much. If your application isn't that good; e.g. 3.3gpa, 26ACT, etc... then you've got something to worry about. A blue chip, nationally ranked athlete, does however have that going for them if their grades are lower than the average. There are those few slots held for that exceptional athlete candidate.

    Anyway; sorry for the book. Just wanted to clarify some of the "Disbelief". No one is saying that an athlete such as the kid from your school didn't get some help applying. I'm sure he did. And with the right person helping them, the entire process is very easy to do. But you're making it sound like the individual didn't do the application. That someone else did the entire application for him. That's the part that's not really believable. Is it fair to have personalize assistance in the application process? That's hard to say. All of us has someone in our life help us in an area of their expertise. If you say that a coach can't help an applicant do their application, then do you tell applicants who's parents are retired military or went to the academy, that they can't help them? Or what if their parent was an ALO? "FWIW: If an ALO has a child Applying for the academy, they can't be an ALO that cycle". But that doesn't mean that they forgot all the information. Point is: Yes, athlete applicants, if HIGH ENOUGH and desired by the academy, will definitely have assistance in getting the application process completed. But the coaches themselves aren't doing the application for them, or the CFA, or the DODMRB, etc....
     
  11. dpt135

    dpt135 Member

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    Sorry thought I was done. Thank you for your post it was very good. No, I'm not saying that he didn't have to fill out everything. But, that the process was very streamlined and quick. The academy made it all happen. Even to receive a nomination from a Senator that he never met and just got into office after the deadline. His dad even said regretfully that he wished that his son could have had a more normal application process and go through interviews. Oh well.. this is a good guy and he will do well at USAFA.
     
  12. flyerdreamer

    flyerdreamer USAFA alumnus and parent

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    If it's for football, it is, absolutely!!

    We witnessed it this past spring, right here in my town--process swift, simple, a few weeks from the team-sponsored campus visit to offer of appointment. (as I understand it, there are superintendent appts available for such needs, although not sure in this case) But then the young man was recruited to be a future star quarterback. This is what colleges do. High stakes. A successful football season can do more for "advertising" a school than almost any other avenue for visibility.
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Remember also; when an athlete tells you that the coach "Offered them an appointment", it's actually a matter of words meaning two different things. In the scenario you describe, I recommend you look at it not as an "Appointment offered", but rather like an LOA. "Letter of Assurance". The coach does not have the authority or power to offer anyone an "Appointment". And if that athlete doesn't pass their DODMRB physical, or get a waiver for whatever is wrong, they aren't getting in. If that start front lineman or QB doesn't meet the minimum requirements for the academy, they aren't coming in.

    Truth is: These coaches are very well aware of what individuals they can recruit and which ones they can't. If the #1 high school running back in the country has a 2.1 gpa, 17 ACT, etc... and really wants the academy, they aren't getting in. So there's very little chance that the coach is even going to talk to them. Let alone offer them anything.

    Sorry to drag this conversation along, but there are definitely misunderstandings here. Yes; a star athlete will get some special attention by the coaching staff and assisted in doing their application. Guess what; I gave my son the same assistance. He did all the work; I just lined it up for him. Same with many applicants of military parents familiar with the process. And yes, the academy has a certain amount of appointments set aside for the athletic department. But those athletes must still meet the minimum requirements to enter the academy.

    A lot of people don't think it's fair; oh well, that's life. The military academies, as well as the military in general with the enlisted and officer corp, want well rounded and diverse individuals. Athletics is part of that well rounded individual. And if an individual truly excels in those athletics, then that makes them diverse from others. Just like race, gender, ethnicity, economic background, social upbringing, etc... makes individuals diverse. And yes, athletics is big money at the college level; even at the academy. But make no mistake about it, those recruited athletes, each completed the same application as everyone else, and they met the same minimum requirements as everyone else. And for what it's worth; out of the 50-60 recruited football players each year, MAYBE, 2-3 fall into the category of this discussion. The rest of simply recruited athletes whereby nothing different happened for them. My son was a recruited athlete; however, he had already received his appointment early "First of November", before the football coach ever offered him a place on the team. "Which we kind of liked, so we didn't have to explain his appointment to others like we're trying to explain here".

    There's a lot of resentment towards many IC's at the academy. Unfortunately, a lot of it is based off of a lot of ignorance. There are NOT 2 separate standards; simply different pools. Just like there's a pool for presidential nominees that is separate from everyone else. And a separate pool for ROTC nominees. And a separate pool for your state's senator and congressman compared to another state. Well; there's a pool for some athletes too. If they're the best of the best, they MIGHT get one of those slots. If not; they compete in the other pools just like everyone else does. And if my son hadn't have gotten the appointment in the presidential nominee pool, he would have had to compete with the others in his congressional pool or possibly National pool. Sorry folks, but that's how it is. It's not as simple as ranking 12,000 applicants and somehow selecting the top 1100-1200. Too many apples and oranges. That's why the process is the way it is. To ensure that there is equal representation from all areas. And that includes athletes. But again; they did the same exact application as everyone else did; and they met the same minimum standards that everyone else did. SOME OF THEM just happened to have someone helping streamline the process, just like some parents do for their kids, or ALO's do for their applicants.
     
  14. flyerdreamer

    flyerdreamer USAFA alumnus and parent

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    Mmmm, not necessarily so. The recruits attend the Prep School in that case. Plenty have come in with the scores/grades you describe AND have still graduated USAFA. Many are talented athletes AND scholars, but for those who aren't, they are taken care of. While it's not talked about, there is even another "academic track" many of the players who struggle with academics can take, as well as lots of extra help. (I know this from friends who have taught there as well as from ALOs.) This is understandable, taking into account the amount of time that football will take thru a typical season. They have to travel and practice extensively. They also are able to eat at special football tables in Mitchell Hall with their teammates as opposed to their squadron, where they can wolf down a meal without getting yelled at.

    And please don't get me confused with someone who is "resentful" Christcorp. That was another poster. I'm simply agreeing to disagree with you that the football recruits' admissions process isn't vastly facilitated.
     
  15. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Even the ones who wind up going through the prep-school, must meet the minimum requirements when entering the academy. And yes, athletes eat at their own table with their teammates instead of their squadron. There's a lot of things that are unique. But the same "EI", Extra Instruction, is available to any student at the academy who is having problems with their academics.

    What I think is a real shame, is the stereotype that some have of IC cadets. As if none of them should have made it to the academy, because they didn't deserve it. The Air Force Academy's athletic department; including the the Football team; has been recognized nationally as having some of the highest gpa's among the athletes. Matter of fact, last year, the football department was ranked #2 in the Nation; #1 was Rutgers University; for athletes with the best academics. And at the academy, all students have the same core classes, including the engineering classes. We've also had a lot of athletes who have graduated and gone on to Grad School and Medical School. And MANY of the incoming recruited athletes were ranked very high in their high schools; including taking the same AP and IB classes that most others have taken. I know many football players who were/are holding 3.9+ gpa's at the academy.

    So; are there some students, e.g. athletes, minorities, etc... who get into the academy with the very bare minimum required grades and test scores? Yes. But that's what minimum standards are. Just because the average profile of the entering cadet class is a 3.86gpa, etc... doesn't mean that someone didn't enter with the minimum requirements. But to believe that is the norm among the intercollegiate athletes is a very inaccurate stereotype.
     
  16. flyerdreamer

    flyerdreamer USAFA alumnus and parent

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    I am a grad, I spent 4 years there, I can tell you that it isn't "the same." It can't be. The players simply spend too many intense hours on weekdays at practice and travel too many weekends in the fall. They have personnel who work with the team to help the kids with their academics--resources not available in the same manner to the average cadet. Note: I'm talking football, but the discussion keeps getting pulled back to IC athletes in general. Collegiate football is on another level entirely.

    I'm sorry you have encountered folks who feel that way CC. Most of us here are either athletes or parents of athletes. We know how hard these kids work.
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    And my son was also a recruited football player. You are correct; when they are on the road, they have academic tutors with them. No denying that. But it would be pretty difficult to get EI on the road if someone didn't go with you. But you can tell me that the non-football/Non-IC cadet who's having problems with a particular class can't get assistance from their instructors and some EI. I don't consider the football players as getting EXTRA EI. EI is EI. It's not better because they're on the road or possibly at the Field house instead of the traditional class room.

    This topic comes up at least 3-4 times a year. MOST cadets have no problem with IC's. They understand the tremendous pressure they are under to keep their grades up while training, playing, and being away. But there are some on the forums who think that IC's have it easier and that higher academic/GPA applicants got turned down for an appointment because of an athlete. That's the shame. I'm very familiar with the football team and how they operate. And when a player is having academic issues, they can get assistance. I just don't see the assistance any better/more/different than any other student; except for WHERE the assistance might be taken place at. And those who have some negative opinions of the athletes and this topic, should realize again, that we're not talking like 75% of the team are idiots and should never have received an appointment. The majority of the players came to the academy with excellent academic credentials, and most DON'T NEED ANY EI.
     
  18. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I have been watching this thread and wasn't going to post as I don't see that there is much point as the system is what it is whether you like it or not. There isn't much that I can disagree with Christcorp on but I would like to add something with regards to the stated minimums that all must meet; if you are at the minimums but do not fall into one of the "diversity" groups (race, ethnicity, socio-economic, athlete, etc) you are unlikely to receive an appointment. You must strive to be above the average.
    With regards to athletes, it is ok to not like the policy or rules but it is not ok to look poorly upon the athlete cadet. There are darn few who would not be willing to take the "help" if their athleticism earned it.
     
  19. flyerdreamer

    flyerdreamer USAFA alumnus and parent

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    CC, I have read over this thread a number of times, and again just now, and i simply don't see this rabid negative attitude to which you are constantly referring. What I do see is a strident squashing of the topic to the point that nothing useful can come of it. And it is a valid and factual topic. I have not been on these boards for very long, a few months, but this seems to be typical when any posts touch on the individual "hot buttons" of long-time posters and this topic is obviously one of yours. Anyone who posts a differing view, or, God-forbid anything controversial, they get brow-beaten with instant 1000 word replies and any true debate dies. If anything is a shame, as you put it, it's that. Life isn't a Shangri-La and neither is USAFA and the process. I think most of us are mature enough to realize that, and you should let the thread take its course, without so heavy-handedly squashing dissenting opinions. For everyone brave enough to post on these forums there are hundreds quietly reading and learning. It's extremely interesting and helpful to be allowed to see and absorb all sides of an issue, and it would be nice to be able to participate without having to worry about being accused of being negative, misogynistic, misinformed, ignorant, or racist. If there are those out there who are, the presence of meaningful debate isn't going to change them one way or the other. And I haven't seen anyone posting here on this thread who comes anywhere close.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  20. Seamonkeydo

    Seamonkeydo Member

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    Sorry, but it seems to me that your response is the only post that does not add, postive or negative, to the original theme. When is reponding to someones response become "squashing the topic".

    Stay around for a year or two and you'll begin to see patterns that develop at this time of year. The TWE can bring out the IC haters.
     

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