Conclusions

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by educ8, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. educ8

    educ8 Member

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    As we continue to stalk the mailman with the dimming hope that a BFE will appear in the mailbox, this has been an interesting journey. through this long and difficult and heart wrenching process I have come to several conclusions:

    1) USNA is not a meritocracy where the most qualified get offered appointments...I know of several appointees that left me scratching my head.
    2) Politics plays a HUGE role in this process - I can appreciate the Coast Guard Academy's fight to keep nominations out of the process although I understand why the other academies have adopted the nomination model.
    3) The process, metrics and rubrics that are used in the mysterious admissions evaluation process are mysterious for a reason - so that when you look at two candidates one of whom got an appointment but the one who did not seemed like a shoe in and the one who did seemed like a long shot - the reason is the mysterious calculations going on behind the curtain.
    4) The word "Fair" in this process can only be applied to what the Academy deems as fair. Clearly, a MOC rewarding a political ally with an appointment even though a much more qualified candidate was on that slate is not "fair". The issue of appointing certain candidates to increase diversity for some is fair and others patently unfair.
    5) The lack of outbound communication from the Academy is frustrating. Apart from the BGO interview and the portal, there seems to be only random communication from the Academy. Some posters here seem to have been informed that they were 3Q'd while others heard nothing. Judging by the number of people on this board still clinging to hope that they might still get a BFE while the odds of that happening get more unlikely by the minute, there must be a huge stack of TWEs waiting to be mailed.

    The admissions process is what it is, and this is just my humble opinion. Please don't flame me for posting this...it isn't meant to anger anyone.
     
  2. fritz

    fritz Member

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    You haven't angered me.
    Your statements are exactly right on and I agree with each and everyone of them.

    I don't have to like them, but I do agree with them. :smile:

    Fritz
     
  3. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Nominations to all service academies EXCEPT U.S. Coast Guard Academy is required by law, not a choice by the academies. This is normally explained in most MOC's instructions or web pages. 10 U.S. Code. Not sure how politics plays a big role? MOCs aren't nominating someone based on party affiliation, etc.

    Don't blame the MOC, the ultimate qualification decision is up to the academies.

    I somewhat agree that the communication could be better, for example some candidates do receive the scholastic qualification letter and some do not. Some BGOs go out of their way to ensure that their candidates know their status, which helps.
     
  4. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Doesn't the use of principal nominations require the academy to admit the nominee if he/she is qualified?
     
  5. Fezio1993

    Fezio1993 Member

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    One thing I have found particularly frustrating is who the Academy "goes after."

    I have busted my butt academically to have a strong GPA/Sat scores/AP scores, and then worked hard in my sports to be competitive and a leader,and I haven't gotten two peeps out of the Academy besides my Candidate portal, and BGO.

    However, in my high school of 350+ I know of two people who I can only describe as boneheads who have claimed to be given "offers" to the Naval Academy yet they can't break a 1000 on their SAT's. (BTW when I say 1000, I'm including all 3 sections.) One of them is an all-district running back for the football team, and the other qualified for States for Indoor track.
     
  6. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I have a little trouble buying this one. 350 SAT section scores aren't going to get it done.
     
  7. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Packer, yes. If the Academy doesn't find them qualified, they aren't appointed.
     
  8. FlyingG

    FlyingG Member

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    Light Em Up

    This is going to be one really interesting thread.

    Educ8, can't totally disagree with what you have said.
    However, I have known some "educated idiots" who could not have led me out of a wet paper sack. It's not fair. Some who have barely gotten in SA's, or graduated lower in the class, have been some of the best leaders in our history.
    I know full well your frustrations. My son found out about the end of the first week April 2011 that he was not accepted. Attended university, re-applied, made all A's(plebe type classes), and picked up the Principal Nom. I am SURE there were high school kids with better ACT's, etc. However, our MOC (West Point grad) knew our son and felt he was officer material. This extra year should be an absolute benefit to him and the USNA. Besides, we got just about a year longer with him than we ever expected. Not sure he feels the same way.
    Hang in there and the best of luck to you. It's tough, but then again, this process is not much different than most things worth having in life.
    Sometimes you're the bug, sometimes you are the windshield.
     
  9. eagleone

    eagleone Member

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    It has already been documented that the academy has admitted athletes with SAT scores in the 350 range. You were right though - they were not able to get it done.
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I certainly agree that the academies can do a better job of communication. I'm not sure I agree with the rest of it. And all that being said, I don't think this process (asside from the hurdle of getting a nom) is really very different from any other college. I'm sure we all have people we scratch our head about with respect to the college they are attending while someone else we thought would be a shoe-in didn't.

    My own DS was put on a wait list for an in-state school I thought sure he would be accepted to (eventually he was but they were too late). Meanwhile an OOS school I thought he didn't have a chance at, accepted him and awarded him a scholarship. I think geography played a role at both schools, one not wanting too many students from a particular area of the state, and the other eager to get out of state students.

    In any case, whether its a civilian school or an academy, its a nerve-wracking process. And you don't hear much from either until you get the acceptance or rejection letter, unless its a case of their needing more information or sending you a brochure.
     
  11. Fezio1993

    Fezio1993 Member

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    Let me clarify

    Well I believe I may have mislead you all.

    In my previous post I mentioned the two athletes who were given "offers" to USNA.

    By offers I mean USNA was simply looking into them because they are excellent athletes.

    My post was meant as a comment on a source of frustration at how the Naval Academy treats more, "academically inclined", candidates with a moderate level of sport involvement as a dime a dozen compared to a star athlete.
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Again, no different than most other colleges.
     
  13. Dolphins2012

    Dolphins2012 Parent

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    While I appreciate and am sympathetic as to how a candidate could form these opinions throughout the process, I think they are stated a bit too matter of factly.
    1) Who gets what appointment, school admission, job offer or even spouse will never be a result of a perfect, meritocratic system and will leave some scratching their heads. Not to be snide, but: welcome to the rest of your life. But to suggest that the driving purpose, method and results have nothing to do with merit is an untenable when you consider the overall caliber of mids, nor is it proven by anomolies that exist in almost all analogous arenas.
    2) I find it highly unlikely that the majority of nominees were not scholastically qualified for the USNA. I also doubt that most nominees had strong enough political connections (or "clout" as we call it in Chicago!) to compel a MOC to nominate them instead of someone else more deserving. I would be curious why candidate would make such a blanket statement with such certainty.
    3) This is really saying the same thing as 1 above: the process is not based on merit, it's totally mysterious, i.e. unintelligible and arbitrary. See my 1. I'd only add here that top 25 schools' admissions processes are no more transparent or obvious - indeed, my DS' friends who are are being rejected and accepted by top schools right now are all comparing notes and making the same complaints.
    4) Regarding the complaint of substantial political interference, see my 2. Regarding "fair," see my 1. Regarding diversity quotas, that is tougher because it is something upon which a great many reasonable people may disagree. But again, this racial quota system exists at every other top 25 university (and beyond).
    5) Communication between the USNA and my DS was not by a long shot the worst, particularly compared to the big state schools he applied to. However, I am sympathetic to anyone diligently attempting to complete all the facets of the USNA application. My DS made many, many calls and emails to the USNA. He kept records of all his correspondences. It was hard work and required a sustained effort. If the government, military or other large institutions frustrate you - as they understandably do many people - military life may not be for you and a smaller, school with a more personal touch might be the ticket.

    As a younger man, I used to feel the same way about a lot of things. As I've gotten older, I've come to accept these things as facts of life, part of the challenge, not insurmountable flaws. A truly great athlete KNOWS the ump or ref will make some bad calls and that the coach might be less than qualified. But he succeeds anyway. Great admirals, athletes, lawyers and writers did not succeed because they were never hindered by politics or something being less than fair. And don't think for a second that the Harvard faculty lounge, West Wing, Pentagon, or Proctor & Gamble board room are void of "politics" following a perfect, merit based system. Best of luck, and stay positive!
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  14. wait4now

    wait4now Member

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    Many things in life are not "fair." There is "unfair" and "unequal" treatment everywhere (high school, college, working world, sports). How you handle it and rise above it will determine your success. If it's meant to be (USNA, for example) it will be. If not, there is a different plan for you. That doesn't mean you will be less successful. Your job is what you make of it!
     
  15. crair70

    crair70 Member

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    Posting and one of those still waiting...

    Usna has been great at corresponding with my DS when he has contacted them directly with questions but we also have heard nothing here regarding his status. My DS only frustration is that he was strongly encouraged to finish his complete application ASAP- he was done and submitted with a presidental nom in late Aug. BGO said my DS is " his #1 man" so assume he received a stellar recommendation. Also he must have done a good job on his teacher recommendations since he has received both Navy and AF ROTC scholorships. He went on to get the MOC nom as well... Has updated his file with more awards, attended CVW in Oct and according to his usna counselor has maxed the CFA ( he called to ask if he could retake it and they said- no need to cause you got max points). We know he is 3Q from his BGO- has 2 noms and it is almost April. Long wait since Aug when he submitted his application. If my DS received the TWE he will be frustrated that it took this long (7 months) for a rejection and I am sure that it would have been easier to deal with earlier in the process. Don't get me wrong... He is still hopeful and not bitter- just expressing his honest feelings about his experience this far.

    My big issue is the nom process and MOC who use the principal method. In my personal opinion I do not feel a MOC selection board should be able to have that much power in this process. Let the SA determine who is most qualified! My DS interview was 20 minutes and I question how much time the "board" spent reading over the fine details of his application. The SA knows what type of candidate is most successful and even if qualified they may not be the best candidate on that slate. I argue that politics does play a part- DS said he was asked by an retired enlisted board member if he would consider enlisting considering his DAd is a LT. COL... His answer was honest- and said he would chose ROTC if not appointed but after felt like he may have offended this board member... And yes- not given the principal. Again- a lot of power to give a board member since let's be honest... They are the ones at least in my district making the selection- not the MOC!
     
  16. LiveGold

    LiveGold Member

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    Just throwing this out there since he gave a forrestal tonight: John McCain told us that graduated from this place 4 places above anchor. And he survived over 5 years in the hanoi hilton, retired as a captain, and is now a senator.
     
  17. USNA2016Dad

    USNA2016Dad Member

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    Your posting brings to mind an old Chinese proverb that goes along the lines of, "when you point at someone or something, there are also 3 fingers pointing back at you".
     
  18. crair70

    crair70 Member

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    Livegold... Funny you posted about McCain- I was working for Sen McCain doing press/pr and attended the 1993 usna graduation with him. McCain often spoke about his USNA days and had a great time giving my husband ( then a young pilot-1st LT in USAF) a hard time about the AF verses Navy. He never claimmed to have graduated the top of his class and would say he is amazed he actually got through! He sure had great stories! In fact I was pregnant with my DS while attending the gradation with McCain- morning sickness and all!

    And... NO! Although I was on MCCain's DC staff for several year we did not contact him for any assistance with this process as we are no longer Az residents... Bummer fo DS!
    He is an amazing man and I can not speak more highly about him and his dedication to our country!
     
  19. USNA85

    USNA85 Member

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    I was in attendance at the same graduation ceremony in 1993 as a faculty member at USNA... I was so impressed by Sen. McCain's address, which is one of the most memorable I've ever heard, that I obtained a copy of the text and still have it in my "keepers" files...
     
  20. EAGLE-PRIDE

    EAGLE-PRIDE Member

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    I agree that this entire process is a bit frustrating just because of the amount of months involved with applying. Then you feel like getting the nomination(s) is another big hurtle and relief. Then the 3Q letter...then wait and wait. I wish I would have found this forum before my son started this entire process, because it is really helpful on what and how to apply. I do think the moderators and BGO's giving advise do an outstanding job and should be given "cudos" for a great job of keeping us all informed and educating us the best they can of the process. Even our BGO in our region (a Lt Col from the AF) is and has been a huge help in the process.

    In our state one of the MOC's stated "if you are appointed by the Academy, they will then notify you directly". I noticed some other state's MOC's have held press conferences (posting on U Tube etc) and press releases showing them congratulating the appointee. That I think is much better than the former because at least you know where your candidate stands in the process if you are not chosen for the "slated position". That being said the Senator and both MOC all three wrote very nice letters when informing my son of his nominations. One even took the time to write a handwitten note of encouragement!

    I also know the SA's must have a hard task, but do feel that more comunication is warrented, maybe just the fact that a particular state has been reviewed would at least be something. It is hard not knowing and waiting and at this point my son does not like me even talking about it. I think because he is so nervous not knowing. We do have plan "B" done, a scholarship to Embry-Riddle which I think is outstanding, but that is little comfort compared to the dream of being accepted to a SA!

    Another point that I think is holding up the process and to what degree I am not sure is those who have received multiple appointments and vasillating on this forum on what to do or looking for someone to tell them. I somewhat understand their postion, it is a big decesion. But it is frustraiting because they are holding up another possible appointment and causing even more delays for those waiting. Some have a USNA appointment but are holding out for a USAF appointment, and vise versa, again understandable but slowing the process down for the rest. But, like some of the moderators and BGO's have said, relax, you will know soon enough! Good advise but hard to do!!
     

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