Competitive vs. Non-Competitive

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by fifi5, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. fifi5

    fifi5 Member

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    Can some explain what it means to live in a competitive congressional district vs. a non-competitive district? I would think anytime there are more than 5 candidates seeking an appointment and nomination that would be considered competitive. I know the big and populated states are considered competitive but within these states there are many districts due to political beliefs, social and economic make-up etc.,that have less candidates seeking noms and appointments. Even if you live in a non-competitve district, if there are more than 2 candidates doesn't one get thrown into the NPL anyway? Thank you for explaining!
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Your final analysis is correct, getting the appointment is always competitive regardless of where you live; but competitive is a relative term. Let me explain what people generally mean when they refer to a competitive region.

    Let's take Northern Virginia and let's pretend there is one congressman that represents Fairfax County (or some other nearby hypothetical district). Because it's just outside DC and is a bedroom community for same, you can bet there are a lot of military families there whose kids want to follow in Mom or Dad's footsteps. So let's further pretend there are 100 kids applying to an academy from Fairfax county. The Congressman can nominate up to 10, and the Senators can nominate up to 10 each. So at best, if the Senators select all their candidates from Fairfax County and ignore the rest of the state (would never happen) the most that can be nominated is 30. That leaves 70 candidates out in the cold. They never even really got into the running for an appointment. Further, the schools there are very good and the MOCs can afford to be very selective given the numbers applying, so you know your competition on the slate, if you are nominated, is going to be against the creme de la creme.

    Now let's take some big empty state out west that has only 1 congressional district, and assume (perhaps unlikely) that only 30 people apply for a nomination statewide. Since the Congressman and Senators have 30 nomination slots, you can bet your life that each of those candidates will receive a nomination. Think of it as good constituent relations. Of course they still have to compete against one another, but at least everyone has a nomination and a chance at an appointment.

    Note: this ignores the Presidential nomination that a lot of those military brats in Fairfax County are probably eligible for. Further it makes no assumptions about how competitive it is coming off the NPL while competing against the remaining 9 OUTSTANDING candidates from Fairfax County.

    Hope this is helpful regarding what people mean about competitive regions.
     
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  3. Ted&Gladys

    Ted&Gladys Member

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    Questions for Kinnem or other moderator/contributor with experience. . . .
    We live in one of the competitive districts described in Kinnem’s post above (lots of military families, excellent schools, dozens of kids vying for Congressional nom, and hundreds vying for Senatorial). DD has LOA and is finishing up nom applications. Will the LOA factor into MOC nomination slates? Does USNA consider competitiveness of the district/state when deciding who gets LOAs? Are there ever more LOAs in a district/state than there are available nominations? DD is beginning to worry that getting the LOA may have been the easy part. . . . Thanks!
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Well, I certainly can't claim to be an expert and what follows is mostly my surmise so take it with a grain of salt.

    I don't think anyone would dare to guess what USNA considers when awarding an LOA. The rumor mill lately says they award about 150 a year (I think that was Navy). So if that's the case then it seems rather unlikely that a district would have more than they can nominate, and further I'd like to believe USNA is smarter than to set up a situation like that. I suppose it is theoretically possible though but I've never heard of such a situation.

    The LOA will often figure into the MOCs nomination slate. When someone on the slate has an LOA, frequently a MOC will pick someone else on the slate to be a principal nominee. That person gets to be the nominee for that slate. The MOC will normally also include the LOA candidates further down on that slate (so make sure the MOC knows you have an LOA). Given that only a nomination is needed to get an appointment with an LOA, the MOC just got 2 or more kids into USNA that year, although only 1 will be charged to him. I hope this makes sense. You can bet MOCs will want to get as many of their people into the academy as they can.

    There is one more thing to re-emphasize, and that is your DD should apply for every nomination she is entitled to. 1 Congressman, 2 Senators, and the Vice Presidential nomination (and anything else like Presidential, ROTC, etc). It gives the candidate more opportunities to get on a slate and that's important for LOA holders just in case there is that magic 11 LOAs in one district. Finally, in NOVA I believe the Senators and Congressman coordinate their slatesso people don't get multiple nominations, but only 1. You would like to think one of them will make sure that LOA holder gets on some slate.

    Your DD is correct. Ultimately, there are no guarantees but an LOA is about as close to one as she will ever get. That doesn't mean she can take her foot off the accelerator though. Continue to work backup plans in case there is an injury or a DQ. Who knows? Maybe she will change her mind about Navy by this spring? Be prepared for all contingencies and to borrow a phrase from tugboat... Push hard. Press forward.

    For other readers: Yes, I may have oversimplified some aspects but I'm trying to give the reader a model they can hold in their head.
     
  5. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    All depends.

    LOAs are usually used to achieve whatever admissions goals a SA has to include recruited athletes. So some LOAs will be for high achievers, some LOAs will be for athletes, some LOAs will be for diversity candidates, and etc.

    So if your DD received a LOA for being a high achiever, your DD should, not will, get a nomination from her MOC. If your DD got LOA for other reasons, things could get interesting. My personal opinion is that the nomination board/panel should give nomination to top 10 candidates PERIOD. IThe worst case senarios for your DD is the MOC nomination board/panel incorrectly assumes that they don't need to give her a nomination as someone else will or the academy will find one for her.

    Not likely, but there could be more LOAs in a district than there are avilable appointments for the district. For every vacancy (i.e. appointment), a MOC can make 10 nominations. There is a district in my state with 2 LOAs already. If we assume that the MOC has only vacancy to fill, one of the LOAs can't be appointed using the existing vacancy. It gets more complicated if there is another candidate from the district that the SA wants to appoint.
     
  6. Ted&Gladys

    Ted&Gladys Member

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    Thank you both for the reply. DD's LOA is based on achievement only (not recruited athlete, legacy, etc.), so she will need to pull together best nomination package she can and see where the chips fall. Everything but nomination is in place (DodMERB and CFA passed; LOA in hand). Plans B and C moving forward as well. This is our third time on the college admissions roller coaster, but first time with kid interested in SA so never a dull moment!
     
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  7. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Good for your DD. the only thing I can recommend now is for DD to prepare for the nomination interview. From my experience, I have seen candidates with good credentials not getting a nomination because they did really bad during the nomination interview.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Very true Member, especially if the state is competitive. VA Senators can have 700 candidates apply, and the MoCs talk.
     
  9. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    If a candidate receives an LOA and already has a Presidential nomination, should they still apply for MOC nomination?
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Yes. Is it absolutely required? No. What it does do is give the academy more ways to slot your appointment. For example, if you have a MOC nomination, they can charge you to the MOC (perhaps) and take in one more person from the Presidential Nom list that they really want.
     
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