Deferred with a Principal Nom?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by 2017Crew, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. 2017Crew

    2017Crew New Member

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    My DS has a principal nomination from our congressman. We know he is physically and medically qualified but we are unsure whether he is scholastically qualified. The High School counselor got a call from a Professor at the Naval Academy today asking to see his 7th Semester transcript which the counselor emailed right away. Is it possible a decision was made today once the grades were received?
     
  2. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

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    Seventh semester grades are required so it could be. Hope they were strong and help your DS.
     
  3. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Wow, that's seems surprising to me that a Congressman would give his #1 choice to a candidate whose scholastic qualification was in question.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    First, MOCs can do whatever they want. That's why receiving a nom -- or even multiple noms -- is not always indicative of a candidate's competitiveness.

    Here's what can happen (NOT saying this has happened to OP): MOC may really likes a "borderline" candidate due to a great interview, great leadership, etc. They know that, if this candidate has to compete vs. the slate or national pool, his/her chances are somewhat slim. But, if they give that candidate the principal nom tag, even if that candidate is barely qualified, USNA must give that candidate the appointment. So the MOC takes his/her chances on a borderline candidate knowing that, if this candidate doesn't make it, there are (usually) 9 others and hopefully one of those will.

    Alternatively, the MOC may have misjudged the competitiveness of a particular candidate.
     
  5. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Yes, I agree . It's not in dispute that the MOC can do whatever he/she wishes.

    Just a comment wondering about the wisdom of doing it.

    Sounds like a fantastic way to get the best class, choosing borderline scholastically qualified candidates, huh?
     
  6. esu8

    esu8 Member

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    surprised

    are you guys really astonished at the politics of politics or are you expressing your disapproval of the results of politics. No need to answer i'm bored.:biggrin:
     
  7. Raseo1Son

    Raseo1Son Member

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    Question for USNA1985

    Good morning! You said :
    So - how would the MOC know if the candidate is barely qualified - do they check with the Academy? Or does the Academy let the MOCs know every year roughly what the bottom-line numbers are?

    Or perhaps they use the standard Congressional approach to everything else - just take a wild guess and move on to the next item? :shake:
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I still think this forum needs a like button!
     
  9. ProudMomof3

    ProudMomof3 Member

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    Agreed!:thumb:
     
  10. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Remember ... there are 535 of these politicians.:eek:

    Anyone been watching the national scene lately?:frown:

    Who think that all of a sudden these folks shift gears and do what makes sense, is logical, is non-partisan, and is purely meritorious?:confused:

    Your sign will soon be ready.:shake:
     
  11. TriService2017

    TriService2017 Member

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    and then you have the Senators....

    Well, I'd like to pipe in about the Senators...My DS got a Congressional Nomination and then letters from both Senators saying he was at the top of their lists but since he already had a nomination, they were giving it to someone else to increase the number of candidates. Well, if these other candidates weren't selected by their own Congressmen, how competitive could they be? Add in that we are in one of the toughest Congressional districts and it means that someone in the state will get an appointment and they may not be as qualified as the candidates who were 2nd or 3rd in their Congressional District. :mad:
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  12. 2017Crew

    2017Crew New Member

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    Haha! This definitely took an entertaining turn and helps lighten the stress of mailbox stalking these days!

    DS has the leadership/sports/EC boxes checked a few times over. I think the test scores are ok 30M/29E 620/740 but GPA is about a 3.4 with a heavy duty AP load; this year he's in Calculus and Honors Physics. The big question mark is the GPA and how much weight they give that.
     
  13. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I think we can all agree that the nom system is far from perfect. However, it's what Congress wrote into law and only Congress can change it. And, there really is no perfect way to determine the "best" candidates b/c "best" always lies in the eyes of the beholders.

    As to the earlier question re "borderline" candidates, MOCs don't "know" whether a candidate is borderline and are often making their decisions before an application to USNA is even complete, let alone that USNA has had time to review it. However, based on experience, MOCs should have a pretty good feel as to what qualifications will be slam dunks and which will be a bit "iffy."

    The MOC's nominating committee may be really impressed with a candidate who has, let's say, borderline standardized test scores or class rank/grades and want to give this person a shot at an appointment by making him/her the principal nominee. The MOC may also focus more on different items than USNA focuses on, such as activities, interview, etc.

    Also, in some districts, ALL candidates/nominees may be borderline or less and the MOC would rather nominate what he/she has and hope for the best rather than not even give his/her constituents the opportunity to compete.
     
  14. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    USNA gives greater weight to class rank and standardized scores than GPA, as they believe these are more accurate indicators of where a candidate stands vs. his/her peers both within the same school and across the country. That said, they do take into account the courses taken, so that a candidate with "fluff" courses standing #1 in his/her class would not fare as well as a candidate with all AP core courses standing a bit lower.
     
  15. 2017Crew

    2017Crew New Member

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    Thanks for helping to clarify the scholastic question 1985. Now we sit and wait!
     
  16. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    In this 1985 implicitly illuminates a critically important aspect that may point the way on strategy for maximing one's chances of scoring well on the scholastic assessment.

    She states well the general philosophy of USNA on why and what they deem to be better indicators of both capacity AND competitiveness. They PREFER standardized scores (the national playing field) and class rank (your home field). They want to see that you have ability, knowledge, capacity, and a competitive spirit.

    So what's it mean in terms of academic strategy and planning?

    Simply this ...

    In wondering about which courses to take vs. potential personal performance, one's personal algorithm/equation should be to take the most challenging, toughest, appropriate courses that will be reflected on both your standardized test scores and competitive class ranking.

    Simple, right?

    Not really, beyond knowing how the game's score is kept. None has a crystal ball. Doesn't really tell you how to become an all-star shortstop or a Cy Young pitcher beyond lots and lots of practice at the right things and playing well against great competition.
     
  17. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Come on Luigi...

    There have been plenty of great military men that weren't anywhere near the tops of their classes.

    Being a math and English whiz does not indicate at all whether someone would be a great leader of men. You know that.

    Perhaps the young man in question had that certain factor that makes people like him, want to follow him. Those kind of guys make the best officers.

    The academies have such applications that a 3.5 can look ordinary, especially considering the differences between schools posting the grades. I like the fact that Congressmen have the ability to place those applicants with the intangibles that indicate good chances for success above those with stellar gpas and not much more.

    Of course when they do that, the academies must determine whether they agree.
     
  18. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    2017Crew,

    This very situation happend to my DS as well for USAFA.

    We believe he was near the max in some of the areas such as...
    * leadership - 2 sports captainships and commander of his jrrotc unit
    * max/near max of 4 of the CFA events
    * experienced interviewee that really connected with panel and great personal interview 1 v1 with senator
    * lots of volunteerism
    * National Honor Society
    * Top 15% of his class

    But his other acedemics were merely "good" with lowish SATs and mid 3s GPA with mostly Honors/AP.

    One senator placed him as their #2 and the other gave him a Principal Nomination. So yes, sometimes they do look for that young man/woman who has the right stuff, not just grades/sats. That's what the "whole candidate" thing is all about.

    And yes, he was worried about 7th semester grades as well (same two courses btw! lol). But to spite a not stellar 7th semester, he recieved an appointment a couple of weeks ago to Air Force.

    Hope this helps to reassure you and good luck to you and your family!
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  19. 2017Crew

    2017Crew New Member

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    Congratulations to your DS MedB. He sounds like an outstanding guy. The news of your son's acceptance is encouraging to us. We hope to hear something soon!
     
  20. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Let's be clear about some of these contentions:

    1. We've ALL known anecdotes about the class anchor who won a Silver Star. Yes, plenty who've not been top performers in their class have become outstanding officers. Plenty more have not. Said another way, in fact, the military explicitly indicates that the top performers are the top prospects for the next step. Let's quit mytholigizing this one. The best ARE the best. Nearly always.

    Think of this as a sliding scale in which the better the performance, especially in academics, the better the chance of success in the military. How do WE know this is the case? Because the military tells us so. It's the way they keep score and recognize soldiers and sailors accordingly. So even if it's not "true", it's the way it works. Get the idea that lesser performance is somehow excuseable out of your head. Anecdotes aside, it's myth

    2. And while not exclusively a function of being a math and English whiz, that is THE major component in evaluating future officers. Consequently they are most often, in conjunction with their PT and military evals, the top prospects who get the top spots. Sorry. English and especially math count big time. Let's quit trying to falsely minimize this by pointing that "Well, I knew ol' Joe and he was a real claude in math but man could he shoot a gun

    3. Yes, perhaps that young man managed a stellar performance with the Senator resulting in a principal nom. Perhaps not. None has a clue about what really precipitated. Don't speculate.

    Were this the case, the entire process would be dramatically different. This sounds nice, but holds no substance.

    Now to the final point. It made me chuckle, suggesting that somehow a congressman or senator have this magical power to be able to discern who might make the best military leaser.
    You've far more confidence in these politicians than evidence might warrant, imo. I confess to really chuckling!:shake:
     

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