Congressional Award?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by AspiringPilotinPA, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. AspiringPilotinPA

    AspiringPilotinPA New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm very determined to gain acceptance into the USNA and become a pilot for the Marines. For now I'm working on fitness but on this upcoming junior year I'm going to be challenging myself with more advanced classes and I will be joining a sports team. This summer I am also going to try to look for community service opportunities. I understand that almost everyone is determined to gain acceptance into the USNA, but would my chances for obtaining a nomination (for starters) increase if I were to strive for a congressional award? I'm considering registering for it and would be open to the challenge if it means that I'm one step ahead of the common standards for the USNA. I'm looking for any sort of enhancement to my application that would stand out. I understand that I must have academic excellence and participation in extracurricular activities including volunteer work, but I'm looking to exceed those expectations. I would like to speak with an OSO at some point but I still need to talk to a recruiter first. Any advice is also greatly appreciated.
     
  2. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    I'm not sure what type of congressional award you are referring to. Depending on what is is, it might add to your overall application package, but it alone won't get you a nomination. I'm also not sure what you mean by speaking with an OSO. And I would not talk to a recruiter, that is not necessary to apply to USNA. IF you also want to apply for an ROTC scholarship, you may be assigned a recruiter to help you complete your ROTC application but other than that, the recruiter specializes in enlistments, not Service Academies. You stated you are starting your Junior year? I would take the ACT and SAT tests this fall, winter, and spring if you need to. I would also make sure you apply for the Summer Seminar. The application opens sometime after Thanksgiving. This application also serves as your initial application to USNA. From there, if you are accepted to NASS, or deemed a candidate, you will be sent application info during the spring of your Junior year. There are a ton of threads with application info on this forum, and you can also get info from the USNA admissions website. Read thru those and you will have a better understanding of how this long process works.
     
  3. AspiringPilotinPA

    AspiringPilotinPA New Member

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    I searched congressional award on google and found a website that you register to in order to receive an informational packet in the mail. Supposedly, you participate in various programs and accumulate hours of volunteering, sports and expedition/exploration(?) in order to receive the award. There are various levels of the award such as bronze, silver and gold. I read on the Marines website that an Officer Selection Officer will be able to inform anyone trying to become a Marine Officer of the process. I want to speak with an OSO to find out what steps I should take for applying to the USNA and base the process off of my current grades, physical fitness, medical fitness, etc. I never looked into the ROTC scholarship though, but I will shortly.
     
  4. Shawn

    Shawn Member

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    It's good to have a goal (aside from just attending USNA) going into the application process. If you want to be a Marine and an aviator, then USNA can definitely help you reach your goals. But as Falcon alluded to, I think you might not have all the information as to what service academies are about. Think of USNA as a prestigious college. Your grades, SAT/ACT scores, and class rank is the most important part of your application. Leadership in sports and extracurricular activies are second. No where in that process is an OSO or recruiter involved. You should be able to learn more about USNA online or on these forums than you would on the Marines website. My best advice is to put aside the Marine pilot aspirations for a while and instead put all your attention on researching the institutions that can make it happen. Learn what it takes to get accepted to USNA. Study the ROTC scholarship applications as your "plan B" and learn about the civilian schools you would like to attend.

    As for your original question, I had a friend who did something similar in high school. He volunteered some 400 hours and did a ton of projects. That will boost your application, sure. It could make for a great essay and is something to expand upon because, while most candidates did community service in high school, few did it to that extent. But will the congressional award itself help you? I haven't the slightest idea. Just weigh the pros and cons of the award. Is it worth starting now with half of high school already over? If so, will it hurt your grades, hinder your ability to perform well on SATs, take away from time that could spent at an extracurricular activity? It's up to you.

    I'd recommend browsing these forums for a while. See what other candidates have done to get accepted. Also, if you haven't seen it already, check out a class profile: http://www.usna.edu/Admissions/_files/documents/ClassPortrait.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  5. AspiringPilotinPA

    AspiringPilotinPA New Member

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    From what I understand now, speaking to an OSO/recruiter is unnecessary for my goals, which makes sense. I've heard a lot about the BGO though. Even though I'm interested in joining the Marines, is the BGO someone that I should speak with or is he/she another type of recruiter? Currently my GPA is average, but I'm striving to raise it next year with an AP class and a schedule full of honors classes. I am not involved in a sport nor have I done any volunteering yet. The USNA is going to be my motivation for applying myself for the next 2 years and obviously from then on.
     
  6. time2

    time2 Member

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    For really basic information about USNA, I would first read their entire website which has a lot of useful information. There is also a sticky above that discusses the role of the BGO and it has nothing to do with recruiting.

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=5920
     

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