Downsizing of classes and affect?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by usafahopeful1, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. usafahopeful1

    usafahopeful1 Prospective Cadet 2017

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    How much smaller are the class sizes supposed to become by the time class of 2017 will be applying? And how much will that affect competition to get into an SA?
     
  2. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    You should be able to find this online with the air force news. Class of 2015 was 1120, class of 2016 and 2017 is supposed to be 1050. Keep in mind that the biggest cuts were this year (about 15% less than 2014). The differential will 6% less than 2015 for those years. MOC will keep their alotment, but there will be less slots from the pool of other candidates and the competition for appointments will continue to be brutal...
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Let me clarify something. Many people believe that the cuts in enrollment revolve somehow on military cuts. And because of that, the academy is going to get smaller.

    While economics is part of it, you have to realize that there are actually laws that say how large the academy enrollment can be, and how many officers it can commission. By law, unless I'm mistaken: which I don't think I am: but I don't have the law in front of me, and I just woke up; the maximum number of students enrolled at the academy at one time is not suppose to exceed 4400 students. Of which; no more than 1000 cadets are to be commissioned after graduation.

    The air force has been pretty good statistically over the years in anticipating the percentage of a class that will drop out, quit, or get kicked out. On average; and these are not exact numbers; a class would enter with about 1280-1350 students. Over the last few years, the academy has brought in the high side most times. About 80+/- would quit or leave for whatever reason during BCT. Within the next 2 years, approximately 150-200 would quit because they realized the military just isn't for them, or they got kicked out for academics. In the final 2 years, another 50 would leave for various reasons. Leaving the class at the 950-1000 mark come graduation day.

    Well, between the national economy, bringing in too many to begin with, and less cadets dropping out or not getting kicked out, (Like the class of 2013 only losing approximately 25 in BCT because of the swine flue, and pretty much everyone waivered from leaving unless they WANTED to leave); etc... the class/school size has gotten too large. Currently; depending on which source you look at; the school enrollment is approximately 4600 students.

    By law; this is too many, and it will also produce more than 1000 graduates and commissions. The academy has had to seek waivers the last couple of years for this. Since 2008 at least, there's been more that 1000 graduates each year. CO/2008:1012. CO/2009:1046. CO/2010:1010. This may not seem like much OVER the 1000 mark, but it adds up.

    Anyway; while the nation's economy and military cutbacks seem to be why the academy is cutting back so much on the new classes; that's not the whole story. There are actual federal laws on the books that say how large the academies can be, and how many they can graduate. The air force academy has been going too high on their recruiting. The student body is too large, and the graduating class is too large. Even if the military wasn't cutting back, there are too many people coming into the academy and being commissioned.

    I know some get disappointed when they or those they love don't receive an appointment. And it seems a shame that some very qualified individuals don't make it in. But this is no different than any other private/public college. They can't just have an endless supply of students. Anyway; the reason I bring this topic up, is because after a year or two, I anticipate that the graduating classes will be below 1000 and the student body will be back below 4400. At that time, the needs of the military and the nation's economics will determine how large of a class to allow in. It's nice to give 1700 appointments when the economy is good, and you know darn well that about 400 are going to say "No Thanks". It's also nice to know that many will drop out in the first two years because it isn't for them, and the civilian economy will still provide them opportunities. But when the economy is bad; more people accept appointments. More stay in, even if they don't like it. (It's free and they give you a job upon graduation).

    Problem is; too many people think that the air force academy is every applicant's first choice for college and is something they all wanted forever. The truth is: Most applicants know very little about the academies. Most have the academies as just one of many college choices. Anyway; I hope some understand now that the reduction in the 2015 class size isn't entirely because of military budget cuts. There's too many cadets; there's too many officers being commissioned; and the law says that this can't be.
     
  4. usafahopeful1

    usafahopeful1 Prospective Cadet 2017

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    Thanks Christcorp, that's helpful.
     
  5. AFalconpride

    AFalconpride Parent

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    Hi! As usual, very helpful! My son was one of the fortunate! He met the Congressional test even though he was a recruited athlete so we are very proud. How big will the actual class sizes in 2015 be on average? Also, will cadets have fewer roomates?
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I can't confirm the actual size of the incoming class, so I won't try. As for fewer roommates, I believe that they are still remodeling dorm rooms, so I would still guess that 4 degrees will still be about 3 to a room, with some at 2 to a room.
     
  7. aggie83

    aggie83 Member

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    No real net effect from swine flu on size of Class of 2013

    It should be noted, that even though the swine flu affected the amount of 2013 class that departed during BCT, by the end of the school year the class size was basically at the same number that was there at that time for the prior year's class.
     
  8. sd4421

    sd4421 New Member

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    I heard something (I am a cadet currently so my rumors may carry a little bit more weight but they are still rumors) like the class of 2015 will be about 150 less than us (2014) and that 2016 will be about 150 less than 2015 (about 1000). But after 2016, the class of 2017 is going to be about the same size as 2015.

    That may be totally off but thats what I've heard.
     
  9. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Where did you hear this rumor? I think the actual "projected" numbers for the class of 2016 is about 70 less than 2015.

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=16734&highlight=1120&page=4
    "The Air Force Academy Cadet Wing's end strength will decrease from approximately 4,500 cadets to 4,000 cadets by Oct. 1, 2012. The Academy will accomplish the reduction by reducing class size to 1,120 for the Class of 2015 and 1,050 for the Class of 2016. Beginning with the Class of 2017, the Academy will admit approximately 1,165 cadets in each class. In addition, normal attrition from the Academy will aid in bringing the cadet end strength to 4,000."
    http://www.usafa.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123240940
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Folks...put the rumors aside.

    Under the caveat of "not for public disclosure" which means I can not give you any numbers yet, I will say this: I have seen the "projected numbers for next year...the following year has not been finalized" briefing.

    Next year: smaller than this year but not by any monstrous number. The year after that...depends completely upon how many cadets attrit between now and then.

    As CC pointed out: this is a reaction to the USAF Cadet Wing being over its legal strength and being told: no more waivers to size.

    Let's not "stir the pot" with rumor and innuendo here...it's only going to cause people grief. Bottom line: NONE of us here can affect it..what will be will be...

    Press ahead with your goals, dreams, etc...and only be concerned about that which you can control/affect/impact! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. aglages

    aglages Parent

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  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The stats should not be an issue when you decide to apply.

    The only promise anyone can give you is that you have 0% chance of being appointed if you don't apply.

    Like Flieger stated what will be will be. You should accept that fact and move on with making sure you have a great package.

    Take the most rigorous course load
    Be well rounded, including sports
    Take the SAT and ACT
    Practice the CFA to max it

    That is all you can do. Fretting over the amount of apptmts will only give you an ulcer and wrinkles in your face!
     
  13. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I imagine you're speaking "tongue in cheek?" :smile:

    The official USAF web site publishes press releases from the Department of the Air Force. They do NOT publish operational plans, program decisions, planning documents, "how we're going to get from A to B" etc. The "Force Management" that is depicted by the press release gives numbers "based upon" the day that it was written; and not "written in stone" hence the "approximately" caveat. I would ONLY advise that the first number is "fairly locked in" at present; all other numbers...that's where the briefing I've seen and the discussions I've been involved in differ. But again, not by massive numbers. And of course, what I've seen/heard is completely subject to change without notice.

    What my comment was directed at was the "beginnings" of folks saying "...I heard a rumor here..." and the desire both as an ALO and a moderator to NOT have the thread devolve to that. It can really cause a great deal of angst for folks and sometimes posters actually will become "overly aggressive" towards others here. That is counterproductive to the SA forums and we really don't want that to happen!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  14. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Yes...it was written "tongue in cheek". Thanks for the clarification.
     
  15. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As I implied previously, the air force academy is like most other colleges/universities. They "Compete" for students. Obviously, the academies mission for those students are a little different. Plus, the students have a service commitment "A Job" upon graduation. This is definitely different from a traditional college/university.

    However; in economic hard times, military retention goes up dramatically. For the academies, that also mean many less appointments are turned down. The last few years, the academy has simply had too many cadets and too many commissioned officers. It's time to play catch-up. And the 2017 class numbers; going back up; sounds about right when you consider how sharp of a cut in the 2015/2016 classes there are.

    The Perfect scenario would be approximately 950-1000 new cadets every year; NONE of them quitting, wanting out, or being kicked out. And all 950-1000 being commissioned. Unfortunately, that is not the real world. In the real world, there are still going to be appointees that tell you that they've been dreaming of this their entire life, and when they finally get the appointment and spend a semester or two, realize it really isn't for them. There's going to be a large percentage of individuals who simply don't want the academy as their first choice. It's their "Backup" school, and they turn down the academy appointments. Then there are those that just can't handle the academy. Academically, and/or the military structure.

    So; the academies have to do their best at GUESTIMATING how many to give appointments to; how many will probably say yes; and how many will actually be there 4 years later. With the 2015/16/17 cutbacks, the academy should be able to get back to the 950-1000 graduates/commissioning that they need to be. It's ALWAYS better to be too few than too many. "You have plenty of other commissioning sources such as ROTC and OTS that can pick up the slack. By the time 2014 comes around; "Class of 2017", the national/international economies may have changed significantly. "Economics go through cycles". There will be at least 1 presidential and coming up on a 2nd congressional election. There are many variables. The plan for the next 3 entering classes is appropriate. That will get the academy back on track and the military within the scope of the new budgets and missions.

    I know this is very discouraging for many who plan to apply to the academy, but that's life. Normally, the academy wastes a lot of money on almost 20% of a class that will not make it the entire 4 years and become commissioned. In recent years, because of the economy and unemployment levels, more and more appointees are accepting appointments and staying the full 4 years. The academy needs to get the best bang for their buck. They need to get as close to 100% retention of cadets, while not going over 1000 graduates as possible.
     

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