Congressional Nomination w/ 11th district of VA

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by DutyHonorCountry, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. DutyHonorCountry

    DutyHonorCountry Member

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    Hey how's it going guys,

    I am a community college student who is applying to USMA. My application has been completed since the summer and now I am awaiting my interveiw with congressman connolly's staff (11th district of VA. NOVA) which is on the 11/07/2012 @ 6:30 pm. This is the toughest, if not, one of the toughest districts to get a nomination from. The reason I am very weary of the fact that I may not get nominated is because my OFFICAL SAT scores is 497 math/500 verbal/500 writing, my GPA is a 3.52 (improving too) my resume and essay, however is very well written (had it double checked by english professors) for my UNOFFICIAL scores, I took an average of my math, verbal and writing (and thoes scores are a bit higher)

    I really wish to get into USMA, however I knew from the get go that it will be the darn SATs that get into my way, i tried all I can to improve them but this is how far I have gotten (I could go farther but his office cannot take anymore at this point). Taking all of this into consideration what is the point of ME having an interview. The advisory board only selects the best students, and since I live in the 11th district of VA I know that the students I am competeing with have slightly better "numbers" than I. The interveiw is to see what kind of individual is trying to get a nomination, therefore if I had great stats all I need is a good interview session and I will get the nomination to USMA, however if I don't have good stats but a good interveiw than I will NOT get a nomination because I wasnt "qualified". Which really stinks because a lot of the kids that have not had any college expericance that just get appointments into the academy of their choice tend to suffer and even drop out (happend to four former cadets I know) Who are the advisory board to judge MY ultimate capability to succeed at USMA over some silly SAT score? :unhappy: when I think about it I really get infuriated but it is what it is. What should I do at this point? should I make sure my interveiw is good in hopes of getting a nomination?

    Thank You :smile:
     
  2. PTWEES

    PTWEES New Member

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    You need to learn a new language called standardised exams. It will help you in ways you couldn't imagine.
     
  3. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Goals

    Goals. When you have a goal, you should have a limit. One limit to get into a service academy is age. It is possible for you to get into a SA but it will be a long up hill road for you. The SA rely on ACT and SAT testing to measure academic success and risks. You must improve your scores, bottom line. Take a moment and compare the “mean” on the class profiles to yours.

    Typically, a student after two years of school abandons their goal of attending a SA. They are at the half waypoint of their education goals and don’t want to invest 7 years attending school, unless they are dead set determined graduating from a SA. I think at that point it is pure ego.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  4. Sawndog

    Sawndog Member

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    Don't give up in getting your GPA or SAT/ACT scores up. Don't say you can't get them up, because if you really can't (which everyone can), then you probably won't survive academics here at USMA. I'm sure they are not looking for absolute born leaders, they are probably more looking for people who they think the academies can shape them into better leaders.

    If you don't get in this year, apply for next year. There is no excuse why your SAT/ACT scores should remain lower than accepted averages for next year.
     
  5. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    It is what it is, so

    not all nominations are equal. When your Congressman nominates 10 candidates to WP, it will get ranked by your Congressman or West Point. So if you are ranked #10, your chance of getting an appointment is almost close to zero.

    Folks with enough experience to realize that for most applicants silly SAT score is a good indicator of your potential to not fail out academically. The advisory board can only "judge" what they have in front of them. They cannot judge what is in your heart.

    I know you are frustrated, but if your ultimate goal is to serve your country and become an Army officer, there are other ways to achieve the same goal other than West Point.
     
  6. PBA

    PBA Member

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    Well said!
     
  7. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Except - if you are in a highly competitive district. The 10th and 11th Districts of VA are the 2 most competitive districts in the country for USMA.
    It is not at all unusual for all 10 candidates on those Congressional slates to get appointments.
     
  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I am assuming "all 10 candidates on those Congressional slates" have other nominations (i.e. service connected).

    I really can't see how two Congressional district can claim 18 from the National Waiting List.
     
  9. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Why should you interview?
    Because you most definitely won't get a nomination if you don't. It's like - you won't get accepted if you don't apply.

    I do understand your frustration. You want to go to West Point and therefore, you need a nomination. But, you are in one of the 2 most competitive districts in the country.
    You do not know what the interviewers on the board are looking for. Who knows - they may value a kid who is in college more than a high school kid.
    They may see that you have proved that you can succeed in college v the unknown of how a high school kid will do in college.
    WP does give extra points on the WCS for college students. Maybe a Congressional nomination board will too.

    What pops out at me is why have you not taken the ACT? Sounds like you have taken the SAT multiple times with unsatisfactory results.
    So, why not try the ACT?
    Most people find that they do better on one or the other. You may be one of those that does better on the ACT.

    Frankly, even if you had a nomination, your test scores do need to come up for WP to qualify you academically. You are in the risk area score-wise.

    You should -
    - take the ACT the next time it is offered
    - take the SAT the next time it is offered
    - prep, prep, prep for both. Invest in prep classes, read a SAT, ACT prep book and take the practice tests multiple times. You CAN improve your test scores!
    - interview for the nomination and give it your best.
     
  10. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    True - on those 2 NOVA districts, many will have service connected noms, which could be beneficial to a candidate without a service connected nom.

    In these competitive districts, the candidates will most likely have very high WCSs. In the past, they had LOAs which means all they needed was a nom no matter where on the list you were and I know you know all that. This year, with few LOAs, that is not the case. But, with high WCSs, they may be in the top 150 who can be pulled off from the waiting list, as they are done so by WCS.
    The definition of a competitive district is how many from the Congressional district get appointments. I am in a District that is in the top 5 in the country as far as competitiveness. That is in part because, we have awesome kids here :wink: but also in part because we have so many that are qualified for service connected noms, mainly the Presidential nom. This gives WP options with slotting these kids for noms. Since so many here have Presidential noms, they can be slotted with the Pres nom which therefore enables someone without a Pres nom to get the Congressional slot.

    There are so many 'ifs', 'ands' and 'buts', but in general and historically, the nominated candidates from competitive districts have a high probability of getting an appointment, if 3Q'd (one of the 'ifs' :wink:).
     
  11. oldcorpsdad

    oldcorpsdad Member

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    My son entered WP from VA 11. In 2011 there were 27 from the district who got in. In my sons HS class there were 3 and all were Presidential nominees. The district is packed with people who staff the Pentagon and other DC military organizations. When he went for his VA11 congressional interview he was basically told that as he had a Presidential nomination and an LOA, he wouldn’t get a congressional nomination. Careful management of the candidate population has helped VA 10 and 11 consistently get many candidates in each year. I think the northern VA/MD/DC parents club said that each year the area overall send s 60 to 70 to WP. Most of them are service connected.
     
  12. DutyHonorCountry

    DutyHonorCountry Member

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    I know there are other ways but I want to be provided the best education. USMA's "Thayer System" is somthing that caught my attention because it is literally 8 students a class. With that kind of proximity to the teacher, there is no wonder why USMA has produced Rhodes Sholars and etc.
     
  13. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Well, "Best Education" is tough to define. Not at USMA, but at other colleges I've been, I've seen lots of kids who got into the school for other than academic qualification (athletes, diversity, etc.) who weren't prepared for the academic pace and difficulty, and failed out pretty quickly, even with full effort and tutoring. Happens at USMA every year. YOu have to trust that if the Admissions Committee at USMA (or your Nomination source) thinks you are not academically qualified, it would be a disservice to you to let you attend when the chance of failure in the classroom is better than 50/50. I don't know where you are attending college currently, but the possibility is that getting an A or B there could be the same as a C or D at USMA. The Thayer Method does not make a class less rigorous or difficult academically.

    I think you probably already knew all of that. In answer to your question, absolutely, positively take your interview, do the best you can, and you might just get that Nom, and you just might get the opportunity to get ready for USMA at USMAPS.

    Have you considered other paths toward a commission as an Army Officer? I ask b/c your SAT scores are simply a non-starter for USMA. Even if you get a nomination, the best you could get would be USMAPS because of those scores, but that is adding yet another year between you and serving as an Officer. However, I agree with the suggestion to try the ACT a couple of times at least.

    ROTC:
    ROTC is available at 270 host schools, and another 500 or so cross-town schools. Over half of those schools would find room for a 500/500/500 SAT scorer. After all, that is right about at the National Average for college bound students. For all I know, ROTC is available at the school you're attending now, or a school nearby that you could transfer into. With or without a scholarship, a cadet may participate, prove him/herself within the ROTC Battalion, and qualify to move on in Jr. year to Contracting and entering Advance Course... leading to a Commission 21 months after that. The USMA commissioned about 1,000 officers into the Regular Army this past year, while ROTC commissioned closer to 3,000.

    Beyond that, there are thousands of enlisted soldiers who, through hard work and persistence, rise to become Warrant Officers, as well as Non Commissioned Officers. Enlisting and then working yourself up through that path is just as valuable and admirable a service of country as a commisison is.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  14. DutyHonorCountry

    DutyHonorCountry Member

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    “The Thayer Method does not make a class less rigorous or difficult academically.”

    Then what is the purpose of the Thayer Method?..as far as I am concerened the Thayer Method is responsible for the success of the committed cadets to succeed and do well at West Point. I end up making my professors like they are my best friends because I go up to them all the time when they are available.

    “YOu have to trust that if the Admissions Committee at USMA (or your Nomination source) thinks you are not academically qualified, it would be a disservice to you to let you attend when the chance of failure in the classroom is better than 50/50. I don't know where you are attending college currently, but the possibility is that getting an A or B there could be the same as a C or D at USMA.”

    Well to be honest I slightly disagree (I am in no way saying this becuase of ego or to sound like a suck up) If the admissions committee at USMA or Nomination source thinks that they are doing me a disservice by nominating me to attend USMA or accepting me, they are incorrect because every student is different DISPITE the fact that their test scores and grades are superb. This means that even if I were to get a 2400 overall on my SATs and a 3.8 or 4.0 GPA, I still have the possibility of failing out. There are just as much dropouts at USMA with fantastic stats from their prior schools, as there are cadets that just quit because they have had enough. I would also like to add that some students who enter a tough situation tend to go through it and succeed becuause they have adapted themselves to their enviornment (ie. if a slacker that has always wanted to go to USMA gets accepted, he or she will do whatever they can to pass with As, and possibly fail at B) I understand what you mean, but at the same time this 'theory' is not ENTIERLY accurate. There is a huge difference between numbers and the quality of each drop out.

    “but that is adding yet another year between you and serving as an Officer. However, I agree with the suggestion to try the ACT a couple of times at least.”

    If I end up attending USMAPS than I wont mind doing another four years at USMA simply becuase of the fact that college isn't nessecarily a rush especially when it comes down to what you will become later in your life (at the most I will graduate by age 26 which is common) also the fact that I will mature in character can definately be the reason why I will succeed at USMA. I attend a community college and the older students tend to out compete thoes that are new to college becuase 1) the older students understand the value to education much better than the younger students and 2) Know EXACTLY what they want to do in their lives (or have a very CLEAR idea) in regards to the ACTs I will continue to take it regardless of wether or not I get in
     
  15. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Well, you can always find exceptions - a kid with GED, kid with low SAT score, or whatever - that graduates from West Point.

    The challenge is that we don't know the individual outcome, so no choice to rely on historicl indicators when making selections.
     
  16. Bear-

    Bear- Member

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    DutyHonorCountry:

    I think you have made it very clear that you consider yourself able to succeed despite the academic indicators that you have provided. Here are a couple things that I have picked up from the boards that may help you understand where the admissions board comes from:

    1: They have to sort through something like 22,000 apps every year. Even if they wanted to get to know every candidate as a student personally, they simply don't have the time. You have so far provided nothing that would indicate you have what it takes to succeed other than your own personal opinion. Also, and I do not mean for this to come off as harsh, your 500/500 on the SAT, a test which is a pretty solid indicator of your ability to perform in a college setting, is very sub-par when contrasted with the West Point Standard, and the admissions board will disqualify you academically if you don't raise it (I think the bare minimum is like around 600 in CR and M).

    2: I know you have talked about really wanting the Thayer method, and I'm sure their are other colleges that offer a similar system. You need to make sure your primary reason for wanting West Point is because you want to be an Army Officer, because that is the end goal and you can't get out of it.

    3: Especially applying from one of the most competitive districts, you need to fulfill the physical and leadership portions of the application. What are you doing in those regards that would differentiate an academic record that will not be looked upon favorably(Varsity sport(or college equivalent), club president, community service etc.)

    I hope this was helpful and good luck with your application, as stated above you can't get in if you don't apply.

    Sincerely,

    Bear-
     
  17. Blue&SilverBear

    Blue&SilverBear USAFA Alumnus

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    It literally is not.

    While small class sizes are part of it (I never had 8 at USMA, I had one senior level elective with 8 at Air Force), the Thayer Method involves far more homework than you would find at "regular college" and much more of an expectation to figure things out on your own before you are taught it in class.

    While your instructors will go far beyond civilian university professors in helping you, the Thayer Method is not about "proximity of the teacher." It is about efficiently educating military officers who have significant other demands on their time, and even challenging you by taking more of your free time in the afternoon/evening with homework requirements.
     
  18. DutyHonorCountry

    DutyHonorCountry Member

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    In that case how much homeowork does the average plebe get a night? also Im thinking about going into comparative politics/international relations, with that being said does the course work vary by major?
     

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