District Competitiveness

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by matt2016, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. matt2016

    matt2016 New Member

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    I heard that certain disticts in certain states are very competitive and therefore it is hard to receive an appointment.

    Does anyone know which ones are the hardest and why?

    Also, does anyone know how difficult it is to receive an appointment in SC district 01?

    Thanks
     
  2. TheChicagoan

    TheChicagoan Member

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    I honestly don't know where people get these sort of notions - so I'm just going to reiterate something that people have told me -"...it's harder in areas where the Academy is located..." Now, I heard this from the Dad of one of my friends in my physics class, his Dad went to USAFA, my friend wants to take that route as well, and his Dad said that growing up in Colorado made it a whole lot harder to get into the AFA - as opposed to my friend/his son who his Dad say's , "has it easy" because we're in a Suburb of Illinois where not many people take the SA route. So that's just my 2 cents, but I honestly have no idea :D

    Sincerely,
    TheChicagoan
     
  3. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    Some places have magnet high schools that produce students with strong academic and athletic profiles and thus strong candidates. For example, I live in the same Congressional district as Oxford Academy, which is ranked the #4 high school in the nation by USNWR. I also live quite near to Whitney High School, which is ranked #3.

    However, that doesn't mean those students will compete for the service academies. And, in the case of California's 40th Congressional district, a significant amount of candidates are competing exclusively for the USAFA, leaving a smaller number competing for USNA and USMA.

    Geography might also play a part. Perhaps there are so many applicants for USAFA in my district partially because Colorado Springs is closer to home than West Point or Annapolis. I wouldn't be surprised if the districts in and near San Diego are competitive for USNA as well, given the high concentration of Navy in that area.

    A congressional district in California also has more people than the entire state of Vermont.

    Lots of factors, lots of speculation.
     
  4. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    For the past 3 years, I have heard Admissions folks say that VA-10 and VA-11 are the 2 most competitive districts for WP with AL-05 coming in 3rd.
    Why? Because of the high number of WP grads in those districts.
    Their definition of competitive is the number of kids in those districts at WP.
    IOW - VA-10,11 have more cadets at WP than any other districts.
    These are the districts you hear about the Congressperson saying that 9-10 on their slate received appointments. Add that to the high number of candidates with Presidential noms, and that is why they can and do have so many cadets from those districts at WP.
     
  5. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    I have NO DATA on this but in a conversation last year with several Regional Admissions Officers they said that the SAs were generally popular in southern and western states and small towns and less popular in big cities. They also speculated that SAs were generally less popular in strong liberal areas.
     
  6. matt2016

    matt2016 New Member

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    Thanks for the information.

    I'm just curious if anyone knows how competitive SC is in regards to USMA appointments (specifically district 01!)
     
  7. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    You'll find some states overall to be more competitive than others. And then also some districts in those states to be more/less.

    School competitiveness factors in. I know of magnet schools in our state with multiple appointees last year.

    The number of bases seems also to be a factor, along with grad retirees.

    And as mentioned, some regions are more or less competitive just due to stronger tradition/acceptance of military service

    One indication would be how many appointees your senators had. In competitive states it's not unusual for senators to have 5-9 each year!
     
  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    for me, competitiveness of a district is the number of full qualified applicants without Presidential nomination.

    In a way, if an applicant has a Presidential nomiantion he or she is not competing against applicants from the district, rather against other Presidential nominees.
     
  9. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    As mentioned, some Congressional Districts get multiple people in every year. Politics being politics, the local Congressmen often are very proud of getting numerous people in WP from their Districts and they have big photo opportunities with the entering cadets for publicity purposes. Nothing wrong with that, but the Congressman was not really a part of that success. In fact, the Congressional Districts that do so well have LITTLE OR NOTHING to do with their Congressman. If a Congressman has one slot in a given year he/she can only get one person in West Point. Normally what happens in these very successful districts is that there is a large military and/or military retiree population who get Presidential, Active Duty or Reserve nominations - a process TOTALLY UNRELATED TO THE CONGRESSMAN.
    My son (Class of 2015), is an example. He got a Presidential nomination, an early LOA, and an early appointment with ZERO help or involvment with the local Congressman.
    My point is that the statement that a Member of Congress has "multiple people getting in from their District" is misleading.
     
  10. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    What makes a district competitive is not the # of people at WP but the number of outstanding candiates in that district who want to attend WP. As a general rule, competitive districts tend to be those: (1) in or near the SA involved (e.g., all of CO for USAFA), (2) where there is a major military base, (3) where many military folks retire, (4) where there is a surplus of high quality high schools, and/or (5) where the military or SAs are well known for various other reasons.

    Northern VA fits the bill for at least reasons (2), (3), (4) and (5) above for WP and, for USNA, (1) as well.

    Here's the rub . . . often, the more competitive a district, the harder it is to get a nom but, if you have one, the greater likelihood you'll receive an appointment. Why?

    Really competitive districts typically have lots of really competitve candidates. They have MOC noms, Presidential noms, and other types of noms. Because the candidates are so competitive, lots of them end up getting appointments one way or another. Last year, for example, I believe VA-11 sent 25 people to USMA, in part b/c the MOC had 2 slots to fill (giving him 20 noms) and, as noted, lots of folks in NoVA are eligible for Pres and other noms.

    Bottom line . . . you generally can't control where you live. Whether your district is competitive is a two-edged sword. You can only make yourself the best candidate possible and then see what happens.
     

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