Concerning USMMA admission

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by michaelnalette, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. michaelnalette

    michaelnalette New Member

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    I know there have been plenty of "how good are my chances" threads, and I hate to contribute to that, but I'd like to gauge my options realistically.

    I want to attend USMMA very much, and I have a driving passion to do so. I'd be more than willing to attend the prep school if I had to. My question is, realistically, how strong are my chances concerning gaining admission to USMMA? (and if not USMMA, being a sponsored prep to NMMI)

    GPA: 3.5 (unfortunately, my only advanced courses this past school year was English and Gov. Next year, I'll be taking Physics and Trig/Pre-calc. However, my GPA lands me somewhere in the top 30-40% of my class.)

    ACT (have only taken it once with no prep whatsoever, will take again ASAP alongside the SAT): 26 composite
    Reading - 33
    English - 29
    Math - 21
    Science - 22

    Poor time management yielded the low science score. Low math score was just lack of preparation.

    Extra Curricular: freshman basketball team, football for two years, 4 year varsity track letter-man, double merit award winner in Speech and Debate (personally a debater), editor of school newspaper, Interact Club (volunteer club), Prep Bowl, Student Government, soccer this upcoming school year

    Other: While I don't know how much of a difference this can make, my father was a career Air Force for 20+ years. Though I am Caucasian, I was born in Morocco, Africa, and I can speak fluent Arabic. I don't know if this is considered ethnic diversity and whether it'll have an impact.

    Outside of school: I was a delegate to Buckeye Boys State (largest boys state program in the nation) and during my time at Boys State, I was elected as my State Convention Chairman, President of the Bar Association, I was nominated for Boys Nation, and I was one of 6 recipients of the Government Excellence award for $500 out of 1200 delegates. I hope this can demonstrate my innate leadership ability to USMMA.

    Also: I'm getting in contact with the USMMA track coach to see if I can run for their team and ultimately ease my admissions process.

    I have a strong drive to attend USMMA once I learned more about it (wish I knew earlier, would have motivated myself to get a 4.0 during my freshman, sophomore, and junior year). I am willing to tackle any obstacle, even if it needs to be NMMI, to ultimately attend USMMA and major in a science related field. I will show drive and commitment as much as possible to KP.

    Based off the above information, how do my chances look for an appointment or a sponsorship to NMMI? I understand that nobody here truly understands the admissions board, but you would all know better than myself my chances. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Heyriddle

    Heyriddle Member

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    I think you need to work on increasing your test scores. Have you taken the SAT? Perhaps you'd score higher on that than the ACT. Admissions will look at your highest scores, so it looks like it's time to start prepping for that. I don't recall what the low end ACT was, but I do seem to remember when we toured last fall that they want your Scores to be a minimum of 620 for math and 620 for English. That 620 may be wrong and it may be a question for admissions. I just clearly recall them saying on our tour that they don't accept students below a certain level.


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  3. Heyriddle

    Heyriddle Member

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    I also want to add that in terms of testing and prepping, you can study and learn math. The English and reading scores you have are fine. You can never go back in time and read more as a kid to bring those up, so good job.

    Here's what I suggest:
    Prep for math...all lot.
    Can you get a tutor? If not, find a prep book to get you started. Work with your math teacher.

    Take the SAT. See if that test is better for you.

    Take the ACT again, but put your effort and energy into the math portion of the test. Your one goal is to get a higher math score. Remember that they want you to be successful, so your math level is important.

    Good luck!


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  4. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Some advice, you should consider applying to the State Maritime schools too.

    http://www.marad.dot.gov/education_...ritime_acadamies/state_maritime_academies.htm
     
  5. michaelnalette

    michaelnalette New Member

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    The soonest I can take my next ACT is September, and October for the SAT. I'll prepare accordingly for the two. I frequently take practice math ACT's to prepare, and I have obtained an ACT practice book. I'll prepare for the SAT after the ACT, though I've been told that the SAT is more of an aptitude test.

    Assuming I strengthen my math ACT to something mid ranged (science is basically reading comprehension), do I pose a solid chance?

    And if not, does being a sponsored prep to NMMI seem realistic for me?
     
  6. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    You could attend a State Maritime Academy and graduate in 4 years and obtain your degree, USCG License and commission. NMMI adds a year to that for you.
     
  7. Privateer

    Privateer Member

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    Michael: you received excellent feedback from Tankercpn and Heyriddle. If you are bound and determined to try for KP you have to get at the very least that math section, whether sat or act, up to 90%ile territory.

    How is your class rank?

    Of all the factors I think GPA is (justifiably)that component least stressed by admissions. There is enormous variability in quality, especially as concerns public schools, and HS grade inflation is a sad, sorry epidemic.

    KP setbacks and washouts are littered with "4.3 GPA" snowflakes who found out what college-level hard science and engineering curriculum is all about, in the 1st tri.

    Not meaning to discourage---you have great stats and qualities! Get that math up and give it a shot. And the state schools are in the end, an equally fine option to KP.

    Good luck however it turns out.
     
  8. EDPKP81

    EDPKP81 Member

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  9. michaelnalette

    michaelnalette New Member

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    Pretty much, I absolutely need to bring my math ACT up. I will put forth the most effort possible to prepare for this, and luckily, the math ACT section is the section that can most easily be brought up by studying.
     
  10. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    michaelnalette:

    Lots of good advice has been posted but I'd add a few things along with a few questions and pieces of advice...

    First my question - you say you have a real desire/drive to attend USMMA - my question is why? There's lots of reasons I ask because if it's because you are really attracted to a life at sea as a Merchant Mariner then tankerCaptain's advice - "Consider State Maritime Academies" is indeed an excellent "fallback/plan B" to consider and start pursuing. If not then ....maybe a different plan B is appropriate.

    I say "Plan B" not to take away from the State Maritime Academies but since they aren't basically "free" they do tend to be somewhat easier to gain admittance to. Gaining entry - an appointment - to USMMA or any of the other academies is indeed a daunting task. But if that's your goal then indeed - go for it. Now looking at what you've written and the advice given so far - first and foremost your standardized test score must meet or exceed the minimums so yes take the ACT again and the SATs a couple of times if you find you score better at it. Also remember USMMA takes the best scores you have in each of the sections from multiple tests. In other words if the next time you take the ACT you score a 25 in Math and a 30 in reading and a 27 Composite then the Admissions Board will evaluate your scores as 33 Reading; 25 Math; and 27 Composite....the best of each of your scores - at least that's the way I understand how it still works but I suggest you go on an overnight visit and verify this when you meet with a member of the Admissions Department staff - if at all possible. That's why taking the test multiple times can never hurt you.

    Since your GPA and AP Course load isn't all that stellar then the Standardized test scores will tend to be even more important - to both the Admissions Department at USMMA and likely your Member of Congress' Nomination Board assuming they have a relatively organized process like so many in places where they get a lot of applications for nominations.

    When you go on your overnight visit - if you can try and get that organized with the Sports team Coach you want to talk to - for a lot of reasons including if you do your host will likely also be a member of that sports team... a group you'll need to decide if you really want to be part of as you'll be spending a fair amount of your non-class (2019); non-academic time with. generally except for a select few of "athletic recruits" participation with a sport only counts as much as any other aspect of the "whole person/well rounded individual" applicant does. Not saying it doesn't help but most members of each incoming Class are pretty well rounded "whole" people" - who like you play a sport or have some other aspects outside of school where they have demonstrated some leadership qualities - BSA/Eagle Scouts, things like you cite like Boys State, etc.

    Your father's service while laudable will have basically no bearing on your admission as he's not the one applying you are. That said your foreign language skills, if they are part of your academic CV/transcript are applicable and do reflect well on you - again as part and parcel to that "whole person" thing that gets evaluated.

    As n oted you didn't mention your Class rank and that is evaluated and if you can get your standardized Math Test score up IMO/experience you should be competitive for an appointment - of course each of the last 5 years the bar has gotten higher and higher...
     
  11. michaelnalette

    michaelnalette New Member

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    Concerning class rank - like I mentioned in my topic post, I sit somewhere in the top 30-40% of my class. I don't know the exact number as of yet.

    I am preparing diligently for the math ACT (through a prep book, friends who have scored 30+, and my teacher when senior year starts). Unfortunately, I don't have time for a retake before nomination applications are due, so the best I can do is post my current scores to the nominations board and inform them that I'll be taking my ACT/SAT ASAP.

    Also - if I wait until the end of my first semester of senior year to put in my app to KP (roughly around late October/November), would I be turning in my grades from that first senior year semester alongside my 9-11 grades?

    Reason being is my senior year schedule is Physics, Adv English 4, Spanish 4, Trig/Pre-Calc. Minus the foreign language (as much), those core classes are classes USMMA would care about, and I'd like for them to see my grades in those classes. My lack of a cumulative 4.0 has mostly been due to my lack of day-to-day motivation, but if I'm heading into that first semester knowing that I'm working to impress USMMA, I can seriously push myself.
     
  12. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Michael - I sent you a PM, good luck!
     
  13. kpskilegac

    kpskilegac Member

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    Continue testing

    As has been said before take the SAT and ACT as many times as possible. Admissions super scores your tests and they will evaluate you based on your best scores. They will however consider the difficulty of your high school as indicated in the information on your high school's profile as they evaluate you. If you get your application in early send your Q1 & Q2 grades when you get them to both admissions and your MOC's along with updated test scores as you receive them. In past years admissions has considered scores as late as January of the year in which you are seeking admission. Last year's class was highly competitive and many states had exceptionally high (rumor has it 700+) average SAT math scores for those admitted. A year at the prep school isn't a terrible thing nor is a year or 2 at a community college taking those classes that you will have at KP that are often considered "plebe killers" - Calc, Physics (Calc based) and Chem. If admitted you'll find many of your peers have had a year or 2 of college or more prior to walking through Vickery Gate.

    Also consider the state maritime institutions if being a professional mariner is your end goal as there are some excellent programs out there as well.
     
  14. Essayons

    Essayons New Member

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    All good advice. However, I don't think that a year at prep school hurts you in anyway,sponsored or self prep. It will better prepare you for the academic challenges that face you at USMMA.
    If you don't get admitted or change your mind, all those credits will transfer to your plan "B" school. I also think the prep school experience would help you no matter where you end up at.
     
  15. kpskilegac

    kpskilegac Member

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    Totally agree- a year at the prep school or at another college will better prepare you academically for the fast paced, highly challenging courses you must pass at KP. If KP is what you want and attending another college or the prep school for a year will help get you there, then by all means do it. Life will be much easier for you if you are not struggling academically.
     

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