Curious About LOAs

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by oomw19, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. oomw19

    oomw19 Member

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    Hi all, hope you're having a good holiday season.

    I was just curious as to when LOAs go out. Could they feasibly continue into late January or beyond?

    Thanks!
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    It's generally extremely rare for LOAs to go out after Jan. 1. The reason is that LOAs are primarily to provide "assurance" to highly qualified candidates awaiting nominations. Most noms are reported to USNA by mid-January, if not earlier. Thus, no real reason to provide an LOA.

    The one exception I've seen is for a candidate still needing to pass the CFA, but this occurred when the final CFA was not due until March 1. Now that it also is due Jan. 31, the only reason I can see for an LOA at this point is if it's contingent on a medical clearance that is expected, but not certain (e.g., recovery after surgery).
     
  3. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

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    Our experience would verify that LOAs late in the game typically are for medical reasons. My DS received an LOA dated Feb 7 last year contingent upon a medical waiver for color blindness. He is a prior USMC. Fortunately, he received his waiver, (extremely rare) but it was for NAPS this year. He's looking forward to USNA class of 2019.
     
  4. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I never heard of this - an LOA for NAPS?
     
  5. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

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    It was an USNA LOA dated 2-7-14 stating they were "pleased to guarantee you an offer of appointment to the USNA, Class of 2018" contingent upon medical qualifications as he was pending waiver review in DoDMERB. Waited until Apr 16 and were thrilled to see "Medical Waiver granted. D259.10 Waiver approved-USNA" on the DodMERB website. (Had to wait until Apr 16 as apparently the Superintendent doesn't review color blind waivers until he knows exactly how many are pending so he can review them all at one time.) We were super excited for two days. Then got a letter dated Apr 18 saying that "due to an extremely limited number of medical waivers permitted for color vision deficiency, you have been granted a waiver to enter the Naval Academy Preparatory School for academic year 2015." Not the usual method, but you never know what can happen in the military, right? The excitement level came down a notch, but we were still thrilled he got the rare waiver.
     
  6. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    I'm thinking it was part of last year's overall issue of USNA sending out too many LOAs and not enough spots in the end to cover everybody, and having to even leave out some with Principal nominations. I can understand his initial disappointment after that. I know our DD get approved through DODMerb the last day of April, just in time for her to make her college commitment deadline with her NROTC scholarship. I'm glad it has worked out in the end for your DS.
     
  7. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    This is extremely unusual. Most of those who get an LOA have super high academic credentials. Attending NAPS is primarily for those with weak academic credentials. I can't imagine what a candidate with an LOA could possibly gain by attending NAPS. They certainly aren't going to fix his medical condition there.

    Very odd. First I've ever heard of something like this. But, I guess, anything is possible.
     
  8. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    I agree with Memphis. It sounds like somebody screwed up and is trying to patch things over but grab it and run and say nothing. He'll get his fill of overwhelming academics soon enough.
     
  9. SCM

    SCM New Member

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    USAFA applicant

    I had a friend whose son was offered a prep slot at USAFA Prep (I thought) even though he had very strong academic credentials. This was 5-7 years ago. He was told that they wanted him to develop physically. I don't think he had done much in the way of sports and was quite thin.

    Maybe they offered him at spot at a private prep school and not USAFA Prep, not sure on that.
     
  10. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Sometimes candidates with a high GPA from high school have weak SAT/ACT scores indicating that the school has inflated grades. Or, sometimes, despite their overall high GPA, they never took a course in Chemistry, Physics or any kind of pre-Calc. Maybe they never took any AP courses. Or, maybe the candidate graduated #1 in a class of 23 in a very rural community where most of the graduates do not go on to college; rather, they end up working on their family's farm. Their teacher was also the owner of the local General Store. There are a host of reasons that an academy may think a candidate is academically deficient despite seemingly high academic "achievement".

    It's highly unusual to attend a service academy preparatory school (particularly NAPS) if you are anything other than academically deficient. They usually do not send a non-athlete to NAPS so that he can improve on the number of set-ups or push-ups he can do. The vast majority of NAPS students are recruited athletes. Is it 100% recruited athletes? No! They have to throw in a few token non-athletes so that it's not too obvious what they're doing. Usually those are the "priors". But everybody knows. :smile:
     
  11. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Also, NAPS can also be used for candidates that have significant academic achievement, but might lack in some leadership areas.
     
  12. cas

    cas Member

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    usnabgo08,

    I agree with you! Also, for those enlisted that have been out of school for a while (but were good students in high school) the Prep School is a great place for them to get back into the academic swing again.
     
  13. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I don't think so. I guess it's possible - but highly unlikely. Usually, candidates deficient in leadership are rejected.

    I think we all know what NAPS can be used for. But it's usually not.
     
  14. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

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    Didn't mean to go off track on the topic, but to continue to respond to comments and educate those still going through the process...I'm pretty sure it was due to the situation last year with too many LOAs and prior noms not getting appointments. There are at least 7 Napsters that I'm personally aware of that had their appointment rescinded to NAPS at the last minute. It seemed USNA was trying to find spots for those primary noms. Rumor has it there were 30 that were rescinded. It's not something folks generally want to talk about at NAPS right now so I can't give you an exact number.

    I'm not sharing these stats to sing my DS praises, but to let others know that you just never know what will happen and NAPS isn't just for academically or physically challenged. DS has 31/32 ACT scores, a great high school package that might have got him in had he applied (he was determined to go the enlisted to officer route but had the high gpa, 2 varsity sports, job, community service, leadership, etc to make him competitive), he made E-5 within 2 years in USMC (normally takes 4.8), had a perfect CFT and physical fitness award, 2 CerComms, 2 Honor Grad (one Cpl leadership course), expert rifle, etc. Two years out of high school he tested into 2 advanced level classes at Naps and 1 intermediate class (English isn't rated).

    Those things also earned him an initial guide and first trimester 3 striper position as Company Commander. He's making the most of his year there and studying hard hoping to validate out of some classes. He's hoping to be one of the few to get a repeat leadership spot at NAPS and is shooting for Battalion Commander last trimester (it goes to 1st Co first trimester, 2nd Co second trimester, and 3rd Co third trimester).

    Priors need to realize that they won't have the same privileges that they had in the fleet and that they will be working hard at NAPS following the same criteria as the rest of the Napsters. They have a tendency to bond as they report earlier than the directs and are a pretty tight group. Lots of leadership experience to be gained at NAPS guiding the other Napsters. Make the most of your opportunity if you get in. Wishing all the priors the best of luck!
     
  15. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

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  16. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    From a parent perspective, I think they all think their DS/DD is very bright. And I'm sure they are. But the fact of the matter is that the academy has a far more sophisticated method of determining their academic qualifications.

    If the academy really wants a candidate to be admitted and, for some reason, there is no room - there are other ways to get the candidate into the Naval Academy other than sending an extremely bright candidate to NAPS. That's just a waste. The academy, on occasion, will let a candidate know that if they reapply, the outcome will likely be different. If there is no room, there is no room. If the academy is intent on delaying the candidate's admission for a single year, it's actually a waste of a NAPS spot to send somebody there who is completely academically qualified for direct admission. Somebody who actually needed that extra academic exposure could've used that spot.

    There is a tendency for NAPS parents to be a little defensive. On one hand, they are happy that their son/daughter is virtually guaranteed an appointment (after completing NAPS) but, on the other hand, they hold some resentment that their son/daughter was determined to be lacking when compared to the academic credentials of those who were directly admitted (without attending NAPS).

    Some people accept that reality gracefully whereas others tend to be in denial about why their son/daughter was sent to a preparatory school.

    Some NAPS grads continue on to the Naval Academy and do quite well academically. Some continue with their struggles. Some end up taking less-than-challenging courses commensurate with their academic abilities. Believe me, the difference in majoring in Political Science and Aerospace Engineering is so stark, it's as if they are attending two completely different academic institutions. They don't even take the same technical core/professional courses. For instance, everybody must be exposed to some electrical engineering - even if you're an English major. The English majors take a lighter, less intense version of electrical engineering whereas the Mechanical Engineering students, for instance, have to take the same courses as the Electrical Engineering majors. The same is true with Thermodynamics.
     
  17. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    This is according to Admissions, whether you actually want to believe or not is totally up to you.
     
  18. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

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    Apology

    I sincerely apologize if my replies were interpreted as defensive and ungracious as that was not my intent. Perhaps I shouldn't have elaborated but really thought some folks would like to see a sample prior package along with just explaining. I'll take care not to mention it again.

    We are thrilled my DS received his LOA, waiver, and NAPS appointment. I'm a firm believer that every person's time will come when it is supposed to be. Whatever the reason my DS and all the others were admitted to NAPS, whether lack of academic ability, physical fitness, leadership or just the luck of the draw, we are all grateful for this opportunity and will be better for it. It is a great experience for all attending and from what I've read and understand, many plebes will be extremely grateful to have a Napster or Prior as a roommate encouraging and helping them struggle through Plebe summer.
     
  19. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    IMHO, whether NAPS (and Foundation) lead to success at USNA, Is a combination of what you put into it and simple innate ability. As Memphis stated, some NAPSters really succeed academically at USNA. One friend was a systems major who stood high in his class. Another failed academically plebe year, despite extensive studying. Not sure what made the difference.






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  20. Mikey

    Mikey New Member

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    Son received LOA on 05 Jan 15 pending DODmerb medical waiver, received USNA medical waiver on 10 Jan 15.
     

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