Could use some help

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Runner Dude 14, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. Runner Dude 14

    Runner Dude 14 Member

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    Hey guys,

    I'm new to this forum, and actually just found it after searching for my answer! I was wanting to get a few opinions from you guys. I am currently a junior in high school. Air Force is by far my number one option. My high school is a rather competitive high school that is one of the highest contributing high schools to USAFA in the country. I want to say that for 6 years straight we had a least one cadet in each grade level. We are just shy of the top 1000 public schools in the country and top 10 in the state. In our region we are by far the best. We have countless AP classes, and honors courses.

    As for a little history of where our students go; I would say that a majority of the students go to the state university just 20 minutes away. The University of TN. This years seniors has about 15-20 students who have been accepted to Ivy's, duke, Stanford, University of Chicago, etc. Our school is on a 5.0 scale and 93-100 for grading. Ap classes receive 5 points to final grade, honors 3, and CP none.

    Now for me. I have taken the most challenging schedule that I have allowed myself to take. This includes Ap World, Ap Gov, 5 years of foreign languages (through Ap French), higher level math, AP chemistry, Ap Us History and language (combined class). I will say I have gotten 10 B's. High B's, most of which were an 89-92. Yes a 92. They are still B's though. With that said I am currently 142 out of my class of 420. I have a 3.55 UW, and 3.9Weighted. I hope to have a 3.6 and 4.05 respectively at the end of this semester. I have also taken the ACT an I have a 31. 31E, 33M, 30R, 31S. I will be taking the SAT in May, Math 2 subject test in June, and the ACT in June.

    As for my extracurriculars. First and foremost I am a varsity runner on both the cross country and track teams. I am in the French Honors society. As for inside schools that is all that I do. However I am a part of two organizations that only selects two members. First I am a member of a Youth Health Board. Each month we meet and discuss issues in our community and then figure out a way to spread awareness to the public. I am our school's male rep. (If you need a better explanation of it just let me know). The second organization is similar. This year a new program was started from an existing leadership program that was for adults. It was named Youth Leadership ...City... As for that I again meet once a month, however we meet with incredible leaders in our community, from successful business owners to the city and county mayors, governors, etc. Lastly my summer of my sophomore year I worked with the Bill Haslam Campaign (our state governor). That I just spent many hours helping with the campaign.

    The final thing I have going for me that I have my own registered and insured business. I started at 12 just mowing lawns and went from there. Saved up and build myself a desktop. Saved up more and got myself a truck, used the truck to mulch and make more money. Last year I bought industrial equipment and this year I'm registering the business.

    As for my interests. I spend a lot of my time in RC planes and quadcopters. I understand the mechanics behind them and I've designed a few of my own. I thought myself solidworks and then designed my own frame for a quadcopter. I had it cut out and I was able to fly with it. Recently I designed a front bumper for my truck because I didn't want to spend $1200, instead I spent $400. Just things like that.

    I was recently accepted for the Air Force Academy Summer Seminar program, and I have applied for our Boys State. I hope to hear back about that next week. I will also add that my brother just graduated from the academy at the top of his class and number one in his major.

    Lastly, this summer if I make enough money I want to start on my private pilot's license. It's expensive!

    I also apologize for the wall of text here. I wanted to try and be as descriptive as I could be. I've really just been worried about how competitive I will be. I know how hard it is to get in to the school and I know you have zero chance of getting in if you don't apply, but I'm afraid that my GPA will knock me down. If there's anything you could think of please let me know!

    I appreciate the advice,

    Runner Dude 14
     
  2. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Runner, your bro is a USAFA grad. Certainly you are aware of the all the parameters associated with both a nom and an appointment. If you seek kudos, yes! Good job!
    Do you look good on paper? Sure! Have you contacted your ALO?
     
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  3. Runner Dude 14

    Runner Dude 14 Member

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    Thanks!

    I am aware of how difficult it is to get in. The difference was that my brother graduated third in high school out of over 800 students, never got a B in his life, and had a 35 ACT. As well as plenty of leadership roles. He was accepted a month after applying through a senatorial call.

    As for my ALO, I've been meeting with him for three years now. He's practically family to us. He's helped me every step of the way.

    -Runner
     
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Your ACTs look good, 33 in Math I think helps your case. I would say put some effort in there. If your parents or you can swing it maybe some specialized tutoring or ACT prep courses. Maybe you can gain a point or two in each area including math and bring that overall score up. I would say try the SAT too, maybe you do a little better there, never know. Looks like a solid resume and as mentioned you know this process. Boys state is a great addition. Focus on leadership aspects of your activities. You don't need to be a President of something to have leadership experience, organize team training, volunteer activities, efforts. I think your business is a great thing as you great it to a legitimate business. Also, I know several Mids who followed in their siblings foot steps with their older siblings falling into that golden cadet category... they are amazing at everything they touch. Sounds like you are an amazing kid, but I saw so many try to replicate what their older sibling did. Remember to set your own path and goals when you get to USAFA or wherever you go, don't chase what they did step by step, this is your life and path to own.
     
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  5. E.Cadet.18

    E.Cadet.18 Member

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    Runner, you certainly have competitive numbers on your ACT and the rest of your profile looks really good! Your work ethic (starting your own business) is commendable. All around, you sound like an excellent candidate. As you know, there are so many unknowns in the selection process. It sounds to me as if you are concerned about your GPA. There are plenty of stories on this forum of individuals who did not get an appointment with a 4.0 while others did get an appointment with less than a 4.0. The appointment process is a mystery to all of us "outsiders". However, if so many have been appointed from your high school, one would think that admissions would be aware of the status and competitive nature of your school and take that into consideration. Regardless, continue to work hard, do all you can to continue to raise your GPA, boys state, etc. Sounds like you have a great shot. You also have an excellent resource in your brother and your ALO. Also continue to search old and new threads on this forum for information. My DS and I have gained much insight and encouragement from it over the last year.
     
  6. E.Cadet.18

    E.Cadet.18 Member

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    This is a quote from AVT on another thread entitled "Do I Still Have a Chance" :

    "USAFA also recalculates your GPA based on the rigor of your courses and your high school's profile."
     
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  7. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    Words to live by and great post NavyHoops.
     
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  8. Runner Dude 14

    Runner Dude 14 Member

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    My goal is to bring my score up just a few more points. I will say that my brother has set a high standard. Am I trying to achieve that same goal? Yes and no. I want to go to the academy because I want to. Not because I feel the need to. The idea of attending the academy both excites and terrifies me. In a good way. I've used my brother to show me that it is the right choice for me, and that if I sign to attend it will be the right choice.
     
  9. Runner Dude 14

    Runner Dude 14 Member

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    I am most concerned about my GPA. I'm not sure what exactly to think about it. All of my peers are in that top 15% of the class and here I am getting high B's in most of my classes. Not many people have confidence in my acceptance to the academy. Lately with a lot of our top students getting denied to their dream schools, it makes me wonder how I could possibly go where I want if I am way behind where they were.

    HOWEVER, I do know the academy looks at the person, not just the grades. I hope that will work in my favor.
     
  10. Runner Dude 14

    Runner Dude 14 Member

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    I did see that thread. I actually found this forum after reading about 10 different threads about GPA. Seems that nobody knows what the Academy does to your GPA.
     
  11. Invisibility

    Invisibility Member

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    Runner Dude, you look pretty competitive. A lot depends on your region and the other applicants, but overall--it looks like you have a very solid shot. Keep rocking the ECs, do what you can with testing, and try to get the best grades you can. And don't worry! Trust me--been there done that, and it was NOT worth it. One way or the other, everything is going to work out.
     
  12. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    Truth of the matter is, worrying about your GPA won't help anything. You control what you can control and you let go what you can't. If you are doing your very best then there is nothing else you can do.

    If someone told you that you should bring up your GPA, would it matter? If you say that you can work harder to bring it up then you weren't doing your best to begin with. One of my pet peeve's is the phrase "Give it 110 percent". You cannot give more than 100%. The key is to never give less.... Give it 100%, hold your head high and let the chips fall where they may!
     
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  13. Runner Dude 14

    Runner Dude 14 Member

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    It is true
    That's a good point. It's hard NOT to think about it! I couldn't imagine myself elsewhere. The best that I can do is portray myself that way for the admissions counselors.
     
  14. Runner Dude 14

    Runner Dude 14 Member

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    Thanks Rocko,

    I really haven't thought about it that way. That few weeks since I found out my class rank (142/419) I've been kicking myself. Just two or three B's less and I'd be top 20%. Two or three more and I'd be top 15%. Anything past that I'd be top 5%. However you're exactly right. I can't do anything to change that except to continue and always give that 100%. That will get me where I need to be.
     
  15. Runner Dude 14

    Runner Dude 14 Member

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    I thought I would update everyone. Just got accepted as a delegate for Boys State! Honored and excited!
     
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  16. SDMom2019

    SDMom2019 Member

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    Congratulations! I hope you have a great experience while you are there!
     
  17. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    Great job runnerdude!! Have a wonderful time at Boy's State--it is a good credential and (I have heard) a lot of fun, too! :thumb:

    It sounds to me like you already know what your strong points are and what you need to improve on, namely, your GPA. To be honest, I don't have a whole lot of advice for you preparation-wise. Your ALO is already taking care of that part. :)

    I can only say that you should try never to live with regrets. Every day, we make choices that affect our future, and 2-3 years later, it's easy to wish we had done one or two things differently. Until I received my appointment, I felt the same way about Civil Air Patrol--I wished so much that I had joined a year earlier and made it to the officer ranks before submitting my application. But remember, it is the past. The future is what matters, and ultimately, it is your probable future, not your past, that the AFA Admissions panel will be evaluating. Make that future as bright as you can, just like you are striving to do, and the AFA and any other institution will look favorably on you for it! :thumb:
     
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  18. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    Do you have backup plans in place as well?
     
  19. navarrotrout

    navarrotrout Member

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    I was recently at a service academy night hosted by my congressman. reps from each academy were there and the USAFA colonel said that my pilot's certificate would help me A LOT. definitely makes you look responsible and is definitely a check in the leadership box. if you are serious about earning your PPL feel free to ask me any questions
     

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