Chances

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Irafos, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Irafos

    Irafos New Member

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    I feel like this is probably the 100th time people have seen this question, but I must ask. Right now, i'm in my Sophomore year in highschool which will culminate in my having a ~4.17 GPA. I'm in 2 AP classes (world history and Euro history, the only 2 offered by my current highschool, i'll be moving to a much more broadened school next year) and all honors for the rest (english, Algebra II, Chemistry, German II) with band as my only regular weighted class (doesn't offer honors weighted). I participate in a ton of community service such as the MS walk, Autism Walk, Heart Walk, forest clean ups, and a ton of band extra-curricular activities and administrative duties (i'm a section leader). This summer, i'll be going to Europe as part of a group (People to People) of student leaders to promote cultural diffusion and understanding between countries. This will also earn me a college credit for Ambassadorial Studies. I'm also the vice-president of my German Club in highschool. The only thing really missing from my transcript is a sport, however, the way my district organizes sports is that you MUST give up 1 class period to play. This I cannot do, my district requires me to take a foreign language, German, and I love it dearly. I also cannot quite band because I love music too much. This leaves me one spot left for an elective that is filled with an AP class such as environmental studies or AP comp Sci. Seeing as my schedule is filled this way, I am required to attend "zero hour" at my school which is where I drive one hour before school starts to attend a class, and I get to leave one period early. However, even if I wanted to use that free-period for sports, I cannot legally do so unless I need 8 class periods to graduate, which I don't. So in short, I have a major predicament. Please give me your thoughts based on the summary below.


    Academics:

    English II H/Pre-AP - A
    Algebra II H/Pre-AP - B
    Chemistry H/Pre-AP - A
    World History AP - A
    European History AP - A
    German II H/AP - A
    Band - A

    GPA at the end of my Sophomore year this year will be ~4.17 (class rank because I know it is more important is somewhere ~10-15%) I honestly for the life of me cannot remember my Pre-SAT or Pre-ACT. I know my Pre-SAT score translated to somewhere around 1800-2000, and all I know about my Pre-ACT is I scored a 28.

    Extra-curriculars:

    In addition to regular band class, I participate in marching band as a section leader and marcher.

    I am vice-president of my high school german club

    I compete yearly in the German Winterfest competition

    I do community service frequently including various awareness campaigns (Autism, Heart, MS, some years i'll run/raise money and some years i'll volunteer to help set up and run the events).

    Will be traveling to Europe as part of a group of local student leaders to help raise cultural awareness/learn more about other people in order to form a better world (People to People). Will earn a college credit for Ambassadorial studies.

    Help run various church festivals like the balloon festival held in my town.


    Essentially, what i'm looking for is not a chances post, I really want to gain more information about what I should be doing in regards to my school work and getting started with nominations and contacting a blue and gold officer. My highschool guidance counselor didn't have much information for me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  2. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    I congratulate you on your early start and excellent academics. That said, the Academy is BIG on physical fitness and sports. As a Midshipman you will participate in strenuous sports every afternoon for 4 years as well as the gut busting of Plebe Year. The Academy wants to see a lot of physical activity in a candidate and that usually translates into sports. Not always, as ranching, farming, and other occupations done after school can substitute but you did not mention those. If you want to be a competitive candidate, you need to get into a couple of school or non-school sports you like and play your heart out. There are lots of other guys with equally as good grades as you who do play sports and they are your competition.

    There is an excellent book titled "The Naval Academy Candidate Book" by Sue Ross (the author is important) that is a superb guide and discusses this very subject.
     
  3. Seahorse

    Seahorse Member

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    Irafos:

    Your current body of work looks impressive, especially for being a Sophomore.

    IMHO... your lack of sports / participation may limit your chances . You may be physically inclined, but unfortunately do not have the platform to demonstrate your basic capabilities.

    One thing you may want to look at to get a sense of how you stack up (because it is a competition), is to do the Certified Fitness Assessment (CFA) on your own. Here's a link for more info.... http://www.usna.edu/admissions/cfainstructions.htm

    Ask a parent / friend to help you do / score the test, and you have a quick measure of how you may stack up. If you do well... great. If you don't do well... it will give you some ideas of where you need to spend some time / effort.

    The CFA is a significant component of your overall candidate score.

    Good luck.

    Seahorse
     
  4. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    Actually this question has come up thousands of times, but who's counting.

    It is great that you have decided on a course of action early on, now you need to maximize the time you have to make yourself the best candidate you can become. I strongly recommend you start taking the SAT/ACT exams this summer or fall, and keep on taking them until you are comfortable you have compiled the best scores you can. Keep in mind that NAVY will sort through the submitted scores to give you the benefit of the best scores attained in math and verbal, so there is no penalty to taking the exams more than once.

    Visit www.usna.edu/Admissions to get a fuller picture of what the Admissions process entails and academy recommendations regarding how to proceed. Avoid trying to game the system with shortcuts, etc; you undoubtedly are going to be confronting stiff competition for nominations and appointment, and shortcuts can come back to bite you on the backside when things get really tight.

    Contact all of your nominating sources, especially your members of congress (MOC's) who control the vast majority of nominations. Attend Service Academy events, college fairs, OPINFO events, etc, to learn as much as possible about the process and what to expect in your particular area.

    Meet with your new school's guidance counselor to lay out your path to the courses you are going to need to take in the next two years - especially AP courses in chemistry w/lab, physics, calculus, grammar/composition, etc. Keep in mind that AP courses rank above Honors or College Prep courses among admissions offices of the better universities and the SA's. Consider also summer courses in a local college for courses you can't access in school.

    You need to get the picture that the SA's all are very big on athletic participation and physical fitness. Chart a course that gets you involved in sports on a participatory basis even at the cost of thinning out some of your other activities. Have a fitness coach set you up on a conditioning program that will help you score your best on the CFA. Fitness is important for many reasons, not the least being that Plebe Summer in Annapolis is dominated by hot, humid weather which has a tendancy to sap strength quickly. Also, if you arrive in less than excellent condition you will be given the opportunity to meet the fitness trainers up close and personally.

    Start sorting through your many ECA's and pick a few that are really interesting and important to you so you can focus your efforts and seek leadership positions. Big clue, document your involvement and accomplishments, as that will be a question when you are interviewed by your BGO.

    You have many positives in your record to date, but you should start imposing a focus on your efforts so you maximize the returns on those efforts. You also should position yourself to spend some time at USNA whether via NASS or a sports camp; you need to know what the Naval Academy is about and what it offers.

    Best wishes.
     
  5. Irafos

    Irafos New Member

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    Thank you all for you quick and detailed replies. I knew that sports would be a big thing. Unfortunately, the way my district arranges sports (in order to receive funding) it is nigh on impossible for me to drop a class period and start a sport. However, outside of school is a different story. There are several minor sport opportunities available from my local gym and a local sports club that I've participated in before. Also, I do participate every year in marching band from June through November. Being in Texas, this is very demanding as we're out there from 8:00 in the morning to noon working on hot asphalt and running drills. Is there anyway that this could count? I am a section leader responsible for teaching/guiding the newcomers into marching and have some administrative duties as well as trainings within the band. Seeing as the academy is looking for leadership and participation, I can say for assurance that this is the one event/extra-curricular that I participate in EVERY year and have leadership roles within.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I certainly know of folks who have gotten in without sports but with band participation similar to yours. Keep pursuing leaderhsip in the band. Some sports outside school would be helpful too.
     
  7. Irafos

    Irafos New Member

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    Alright, so i've got some base to work on. I am pursuing leadership opportunities in my new high school's band as they seem to have a lot more than my past high school. I'm also planning on joining a program called Civil Air Patrol (CAP) at the end of this year. My friend joined sometime back in January and he's loving it and introduced me to the program. From the looks of it, i'm going to love it as well.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    CAP is great! I tried to get my son interested in it but no go. I did have some of my high school friends (back in the day) who loved it. I think it will look good on your application too.
     

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