Candidate Portal Class of 2017 and misc.

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Armyhopeful, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Armyhopeful

    Armyhopeful Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I was just wondering when I can officially start the application process for West Point. So far on my portal, it says:

    ** This evaluation will not begin until July 3, 2012 at the earliest for most candidates to USMA 2017.**

    Does anyone else have a different date on their candidate portal? And does this statement mean I will officially be able to start my application on July 3?

    Also, I had a second question regarding class rank. My school currently does not rank, so I understand West Point may ask for a class gpa percentile range; however, because my school only does unweighted gpa's, the gpa's of students are flawed b/c there is no difference in weight between an AP and a regular course. So if I take 5 ap's and get straight a's while someone else only takes regular courses and gets straight a pluses, he will have a better class rank than me. Do you know what West Point does in these instances? Thanks
     
  2. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    Haha July 3rd makes sense because R-Day for my c/o 2016 is the day previous! I remember my candidate portal opened the day before I went to Naval Academy Summer Seminar and I was in a hotel in Baltimore. I finished the entire thing in that hotel's business center and I recommend you do the same. Not necessarily in a hotel business center :rolleyes:, but just complete it the day it opens.

    As per your class rank, if you have stellar SAT/ACT scores, I would recommend asking your counselor to insist on not providing a rank if you really think it'll hurt you.
     
  3. debcst

    debcst Member

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    Armyhopeful, my son's school policies are very similar to yours. The not ranking was an advantage for him since he had excellent test scores (in the absence of a class rank WP sort of invents one from your test scores).

    You are also required to submit a School Profile, which is a brochure that your high school compiles detailing all of its policies. This helps WP compare your GPA with the GPA of a student from a school that weights, allows them to see how many AP classes are offered at your school, etc. So the admissions team is not blind to all of these differences between high schools.

    If I understood correctly last year the portals opened a bit earlier for those who had attended SLS. While it's important to submit everything early, a few days will not make it or break it. My son was advised to have everything done by September 1.
     
  4. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    The July 3 date for starting the application process is correct. However, people selected for SLS are an exception - their application process has been opened.

    Strong advice: This is the bast advice you will get on this Forum!!!!

    1. When your records are opened BE VERY AGGRESSIVE IN COMPLETING YOUR FILE. Completing your file early has SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGES. Fill out all the forms IMMEDIATELY. Do not allow the process at your school to move on their schedule - make sure your teacher recommendation are done early, that the school sends your transcripts and activity report to WP immediately etc. Pesonally "hand carry" these requests around to the appropriate people - explain why acting now is important - be aggressive.

    2. Personally contact and get to know your Regional Admissions Officer, the local WP Field Force people, and your congressman (all of these contacts will be listed on your Portal when you open your file). They will be impressed with your determination and aggressiveness.


    3. Unless your SAT scores are all over about 720, retake the SATand ACT over and over. WP takes the highest sub-score.

    4. Go for every leadership position in school - Student Council, Class Officer, Captain of Teams, Presidents of Clubs, Boy's State

    Another point: My son in the Class of 2015 (42 more days as a Plebe - but who is counting) was from a school that did not do class ranks. His school added to his HS transcripts that "We do not provide specific class ranks but if we did "Joe Candidate" would be in the top 10% of his class".

    Good Luck - I hope you make it!!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  5. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    It's very logical as to why completing your file early gives you an advantage: it's shows West Point that you're motivated and extremely interested!
     
  6. GoArmy1944

    GoArmy1944 Member

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    If you attended SLS last year, your file was opened a few weeks earlier than the other applicants (they actually opened them up during SLS). And like everyone else has stated above, get your file done ASAP. The Southwest Regional Commander briefed us at SLS last year and told us that if you completed your file by August or September, you would be competing for around 1,000 slots while if you waited until January or February, you would be competing for about 200 slots, so it is pertinent that you finish your file as quickly as possible if you want to be a competitive candidate (I personally had my file done on July 23rd).

    Regarding class ranking, I had the exact same problem as you, and it was not a big deal at all. My college counselor simply put "does not rank" on that particular part, and West Point used my test scores to calculate a ranking.
     
  7. br1ankim24

    br1ankim24 Member

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    agree with everything said above! Great advice!

    I just can't believe it's been a year already... jeez :rolleyes:
     
  8. Armyhopeful

    Armyhopeful Member

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    Thanks for all the information everyone! :D

    And I am actually attending SLS this summer so hopefully I can start even earlier!

    Just touching upon the class rank topic again, did your counselors still have to send a school profile with all the gpa percentiles of the class? Over 40% of the current senior class at my school got into ivy league schools this year which describes the competitive nature of my school and I feel that even though my counselor may tell West Point my school does not rank, he might still send a school profile (of which I would not be too highly ranked. I currently have a 3.8 unweighted gpa out of a 4.0 scale which puts me into the bottom 35% :/)
     
  9. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    One of the files that must be completed by H.S. officials is something similar to a school profile. Between other things, they ask the school to state how many people go on to go to colleges, and that helps to define the competitiveness of the school.

    I don't know how they do it exactly... but if this is a very strong matter of concern for you, I suggest you have a talk about it with your MALO/FFR.

    Good luck :)
     
  10. Art.Perea

    Art.Perea Member

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    No it hasn't? My file says the evaluation period is July 3rd, and I got accepted to SLS. I don't think you get any advantage of an earlier evaluation if you are accepted to SLS. At least I don't appear to have one.
     
  11. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    When you fill out the Candidate Questionnaire you open a file with the academy, so you have an open process.

    And it seemed that candidates who went to SLS had their file opened early. Upon return from SLS many candidates could start their files before those who didn't.
     
  12. Art.Perea

    Art.Perea Member

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    Maybe it will change and after SLS they will allow us to start the rest of the application. But as of right now, my portal says July 3. Does anyone else's read differently?

    On a second note, It originally said June 15, then was pushed to June 18, and now its July 3. Anyone know why they keep pushing it back?
     
  13. TheChicagoan

    TheChicagoan Member

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    Just curious -

    but how did you guys get your apps done so quickly? I'll be able to get my teacher rec.'s in, but that is about it.

    How did you all manage to have your school counselor/others in the administration send other information over the summer? My school is essentially closed over the summer, only our athletic department is "open," as is our nurse. But everyone else is gone.

    Or do you guys just have more responsive schools?

    Thanks,
    TheChicagoan
     
  14. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    It's all about opening up dialogue with these people before summer, letting them know about your situation and how necessary it is to get this done over the summer, and asking them for a favor. If you have a good relationship with your counselor and administrators, it shouldn't be too hard. Otherwise, best of luck.
     
  15. GoArmy1944

    GoArmy1944 Member

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    I personally got all of my teachers to write my letters of recommendations for the nominations before school let out last year so I wouldn't have to locate them over the summer. Also, I went to the teachers whom I wanted to fill out the SOE's (School Official Evaluations) before school got out as well so that when the SOE's came out, they were able fill them out within a week. The main thing is to talk to your teachers now before they scatter over the summer so that when your file becomes available, your teachers will know to fill out what they need to complete as soon as they receive it. Make sure you get reliable teachers that look upon you favorably, though. The last thing you want is a bad teacher recommendation in your file! Something like that could mean the difference between an appointment and a TWE with the competitive nature of the admissions process.

    Also, I passed the CFA up at SLS, and not having to deal with that was essential in completing my file as quickly as I did. I highly suggest that if you are going to SLS that you try to pass it up there so you don't have to mess with it anymore.
     
  16. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    I didn't even go to SLS last year and mine opened a week early. It can change anytime. You'll be ready though! :wink:

    I think its July 3 because that's the day after 2016 reports, so 2016 in terms of admission will be officially complete. My stance anyway.
     
  17. Roadking

    Roadking Member

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    Can anyone give insight into how many recommendations are required and who they should be from? Since the portal is closed DS is not quite sure...3 teachers Eng/Math/Science...anyone else? Do those teachers have to be from the current year, or from any HS year? Are recommendations needed from people who know you best from other than school? Is there anything else on the portal that we should prepare for in advance? thanks!
     
  18. Hooah1775

    Hooah1775 Member

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    Perhaps it would be helpful to provide information from a previous post on the timing of events in the USMA Admissions process:

    Second Step Kit (SSK)The SSK (Second Step Kit) is the on-line application for West Point. It will be available on your candidate portal once your RC has made an initial evaluation. He will not make this initial evaluation until he has at a minimum - your SAT/ACT scores.

    In the SSK box is a listing of all the 'stuff' you have to do to complete your file. Each item has an icon next to it. When it is first opened, each icon will be red. They will turn to green once that item is complete.

    The components of the SSK are:
    1) Candidate Personal Data Record (CPDR)
    - this in where you enter your personal info
    2) Request for Academic Information
    - you enter the contact info for your High School's transcript official
    3) Candidate Activities Record (CAR)
    - this is where you get to enter all of your accomplishments!
    - athletics and extracurriculars
    - you will also enter the contact info for the person (principal, counselor, school administrator) who will verify that what you entered is accurate.
    4) Candidate Statements
    - these are your 3 essays
    5) Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA)
    - you will enter the contact info of the authorized person that will be administrating your CFA.
    6) School Official Evaluations (SOE)
    - you will enter the contact info of 3 of your teachers. They MUST be a teacher that you had for English, Math and Physics/Chemistry from grades 9-12.

    Your SSK is finished when all the icons are green. IOW - you have submitted all of the forms and WP has received all forms back from school officials.

    Your file is now complete. All you need is DoDMERB clearance and a nomination.

    Can all of this be done by the end of summer? Absolutely! But as you can see, it is not all up to you. You are relying on someone sending in your transcripts, someone preparing to administer your CFA and submitting it, you are relying on the school official to verify you CAR and you are relying on the 3 teachers to fill out the SOEs and submit them.
    Politely ask each of these officials if they could complete their forms this summer and tell them why. Most teachers/school officials want to help their students.

    DoDMERB: Once your RC makes the initial evaluation and deems that you are a competitive candidate, he will authorize DoDMERB to schedule you for the medical exam. DoDMERB (through their contractor Concorde) will contact you with instructions on how to schedule this exam. This usually occurs in July. Once you receive the scheduling instructions - there is a time limit on you making the appointments.
    If you have a concern about this - ask your FFR, or RC, or call DoDMERB ( 1-800-841-2706 from 7AM-4 PM, Mountain Time, Mon - Fri) or email DoDMERB at helpdesk@dodmerb.tma.osd.mil.
     
  19. Roadking

    Roadking Member

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    Thanks Hooah1775, that is very helpful information. So personal (non-school) recommendations are only required for the nomination process...
     
  20. Hooah1775

    Hooah1775 Member

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    You're welcome, Roadking.

    In regards to references for the nomination process, you should carefully review the appilcation for each MOC and line up your references accordingly. Each MOC has different requirements, so read the application carefully and follow their instructions.

    Good luck!!:thumb:
     

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