Class rigor, am I okay?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by hoopjack13, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. hoopjack13

    hoopjack13 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all,
    I am going to be a junior in high school this year at a large public school in MN. As a sophomore I took AP Calc and APUSH, the rest was all honors. For my junior year I took AP stats, AP English, and CIS Bio (AP without the test). I decided not to take AP Euro.. rest of classes were all honors. My friend's dad went to the Air Force Academy and said that he didn't think I was taking enough APs which really scared me. I always thought I took a very hard course load, senior year I plan on taking AP Spanish, AP Calc BC, AP physics, and AP politics and law. Is my course load hard enough? I am ranked 3/606 with a 3.99 unweighted GPA. I am a 3 sport varsity athlete, CC, Basketball, and Track hoping to be a captain in all of these. I am a leader for Fellowship of Christian Athletes and I am secretary of NHS, plan on running for president senior year. I plan on studying and retaking ACT/SAT to get my scores to hopefully a 2200 SAT and 34 ACT. Am I doing enough to get into a service academy? I am looking at either Air Force or West Point and plan on doing SLS for both.. Any input would be greatly appreciated.. thank you!!
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    606
    Avoid posting the same thread in multiple forums. Thanks!
     
  3. hoopjack13

    hoopjack13 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, just joined this website and I thought it applied to both forums. I was hoping it would help me get more input.
     
  4. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    131
    Hello fellow Minnesotan. :thumb: You look to be cruising along very nicely IMHO. Check out PSEO (full time college as a Senior). Ace those courses and you will be in very fine shape. :) Don't forget about Boy's State.
     
  5. hoopjack13

    hoopjack13 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you!! About Boys State... I was planning on doing SLS, do you suggest I do Boys State instead? I believe they are at the same time..
     
  6. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    342
    Hi!

    Okay...my personal opinion as an ALO and a sitting member of my MOC's nomination board...

    Go to Boy's State and take an ACTIVE leadership role!

    Why?

    SLS for USMA or SS for USAFA...both are highly select programs however...I have found at least at USAFA that Boy's State scores better with nomination boards, and with the selection board. I can't show you numbers...but I have been doing this for 18 years and that's been my experience. And folks up at USAFA that I've chatted with have said the same, but they won't print that! :biggrin:

    But in truth...you won't lose with either choice! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  7. TrackStarFalcon

    TrackStarFalcon Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0

    I've heard about Boys State and I don't know what it is. Can someone please explain what is Boys state? And how does it prepare you to the academy? Is it a leadership event or something?
     
  8. TrumpetTennis

    TrumpetTennis Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    to the OP

    extra, extra, read all about it

    Try and find your state site. It's all about leadership, public speaking, etc. best week of my life out of my HS career!

    http://www.boysandgirlsstate.org/

    RUN for Governor! :shake:
     
  9. sciswim

    sciswim Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    also, find out about your class profile. at USAFA, they re-rank your gpas, so an AP or IB class will add an extra point (5.0 instead of 4.0 for an A) and honors classes add half a point. your class profile makes a difference because, if 95% or more of your school graduates to a 4-year college, EVERY class you take is weighted like an honors class (honors gym all these years, who knew?!)

    i also attended MN girls' state, gotta say it was fun, and dont be afraid to go for the big leadership positions!

    good luck!
     
  10. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    131
    My DS loved Boys State and he could not stop talking about it once he got home. He made a lot of friends when he was there and still keeps in touch with them. He learned that many of his new friends got into MIT, Harvard, SA's, etc. There are a lot of polished future leaders that attend. He had a group of them over our home and I was impressed. They were top notch driven kids.:thumb: It's a great group to be involved with and I assume that is why the SA's look at Boys and Girls State with such prestige.


    Hello fellow Minnesotan. :) My DS did PSEO (college) full time for 11th and 12th grade. I admit full time PSEO isn't for everyone but it stretched my kid academically and it boosted his confidence. As you mentioned, college gym bumps you up in your high schools ranking as well as in the eyes of the SA's.

    My DS emailed me this weekend that his PSEO classes (college) also helped his “Academic Composite Score”. He learned that this AC Score is used to see who will get into the Scholars Program. As you say, who knew! :)
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,795
    Likes Received:
    930
    I would also say do Boys State because you always need a plan B. AFA knows and understands the Boys State process, but not every college admissions board knows or understands what SLS is when they look at your resume.

    We all get the desire to attend the AFA, but you need the Plan B in place for the JIC What IF scenarios. You will feel more at ease as a senior knowing that you have a Plan B in place. This admissions process is not like a traditional college admission, it is an emotional roller coaster ride. Plan B is like wearing the seat belt/harness, it is scary, but at least you know you will be fine at the end of the ride because that harness is your safety net.

    You need to look at everything and how each decision will impact the next decision.

    To add onto swim's post regarding school profile, they are right it is important to understand how it plays into the system. Every school system has not only their own weighting scale, and gpa grading scale (7 or 10 pts for A, B, C), but also their own required classes for taking AP/IB/AICE or honors.

    The AFA will request this info from your school and it will include % of students in AP/IB, what reqs are needed to take an AP.

    For example in NC you can choose std. or honors, but you cannot take an AP until you already took the lower level course. It would be near impossible to walk out with AP Bio, AP Chem and AP Physics, because you had to take Honors in all 3 before that. Same with Eng, Math and History. You had to take Civics before you could take APGovt. You had to take the highest English before you could take APEng. The school was a block system, and only required 1 semester of PE, so it was possible to load up your academic classes and get APs, but not to the extent of 9 or more. These students would not be dinged by the AFA because they had fewer APs than someone else on the Sen nom list. They took the most rigorous course load they could.

    Conversely in VA, you can choose between std, honors or AP. They would get dinged for taking honors when they could have taken APs.

    Good luck, as you go further through the process you will start to realize that between being the top 0.5% of your class with your athletics and ECs you are looking pretty good.
     
  12. hoopjack13

    hoopjack13 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks everyone, I figured that Boys State would be a nice thing to add to my resume and improve my chances to get accepted. The reason that I am debating between SLS and boys state is that SLS would give me a feel of a service academy. It is a scary commitment to a 16 year old with no military background. Would you say that I have a good chance of being accepted w/o boys state and use SLS to help decide if a SA is right for me? I am nearly positive I want to attend a SA, but I just want to be sure.
    -thanks
     
  13. Nav84

    Nav84 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hoopjack13, I agree with the previous posters regarding how the boards view Boys State. However, since the service academies are so different than civilian colleges, and given your excellent credentials but little exposure to the military, I would suggest you attend SLS. Like you said, you want to be sure about your decision.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,795
    Likes Received:
    930
    hoopjack,

    This is meant with complete kindness, but we'd be fools to chance you. There are just too many variables starting from being accepted to SLS to getting a nom, to not being DQ'd.

    However, the biggest is this: I am nearly positive I want to attend a SA, but I just want to be sure.

    You should apply for SLS and Boys State, you are not on the hook that you must attend, but at least you have time to stop and think about your future.

    This is a scary moment in your life, even if you were in a military family, but you need to take 1 step at a time and realize that as far as committing goes to an SA, you are @ 2 yrs away.

    Take this yr to investigate every option. Make sure that you visit your top choice colleges this spring and meet the ROTC units too. If after visiting and meeting them you feel ROTC is not your thing, take the SLS slot if you have to chose only 1. (You can always explain how competitive it is to the college admissions board). If you are still unsure, SLS is not just 1 group, they offer different sessions, it might mean working with your teachers to go to an earlier session so you can also do Boys State, but it is doable. Tricky, not guaranteed, but can happen!

    Take one step at a time. Right now get the best packet you can submit for SLS, and do like every SA 2017 candidate is doing...wait! While waiting make sure you have plan B in order. Research everything you can get your hands on because this is not 4 yrs of your life it is 9 (4 at an SA, 5 AD). You think it is scary now as a 16 yo to decide, just wait until you grasp you belong to them until you are 27 and it is reality.

    It is a great life, I am envious of our own DS leaving for UPT in a few weeks. I would love to turn back time and live it all over again. The good, the bad and the ugly. Military life is not for everyone, but those once bitten by the bug wouldn't live any other way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  15. hoopjack13

    hoopjack13 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pima, what exactly do you mean by get the best packet you can submit for SLS?
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,795
    Likes Received:
    930
    You need to submit a packet aka resume, SLS opens in Dec. For example: have you taken the PSAT or SAT yet?

    It is not as if they allow everyone that applies for SLS to attend SLS. They accept only so many, and they do it by a resume/packet perspective. You just don't apply as hoopjack and expect that you will go to SLS, you prove to the AFA why you should go...i.e. a packet.

    For everyone, do not fear that you must attend SLS or be accepted for SLS to have a chance of getting an appointment. Many, many, many candidates are appointed that never stepped foot on the AFA prior to I Day.

    We are getting into muddy waters now, because if you rely on the belief that attending SLS will get you appointed without understanding the nom/appointment process you are simply wrong.

    Work on this yr. Come next May/June your questions will change, don't try to absorb everything right now. Just absorb what you need to do to stay competitive right now.
     
  17. hoopjack13

    hoopjack13 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    I took the PSAT, is it required to submit a score for SLS? and I understand that SLS doesnt have anything to do with admissions.
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,795
    Likes Received:
    930
    SLS does play into admissions, but probably not from the perspective you are thinking.

    SLS is an EC. EC's get points for the WCS, just like Boys State. So in the end yes it has an impact, but if you assume that it means a hook like traditional colleges, than you are correct.

    I think you should read these threads to get a sample regarding SLS
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=24445
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=24085
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=23799
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=23750

    I think you can get the drift just by looking at these threads. Hit the page button at the top of the AFA and search the site to see previous threads from last yr as a form of guidance.

    I think I started on page 16 to find those posts.
     
  19. hoopjack13

    hoopjack13 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all your help!
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,795
    Likes Received:
    930
    Not a problem. FWIW many of the same questions are asked every yr, so use the previous page option to get a grasp on how it has worked in the past.

    Do not feel uncomfortable asking it again because what happened last yr does not mean it will happen this yr. What you gain from reading those threads is more information in this quest. It is about learning the process, and than understanding how it may impact you this yr.
     

Share This Page