downsizing?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by FUTUREMID2015, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. FUTUREMID2015

    FUTUREMID2015 Member

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    Can someone please explain this,I've been hearing that the academies next few class sizes will be significantly smaller sue to various reasons? Is this true?
     
  2. armystrong2015

    armystrong2015 Member

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    My guess is yes. USAFA just had their Class of 2015 size reduced due to budget cuts. And with budget cuts still taking place, it would not surprise me if USNA and USMA went through the same thing. I've actually heard that USMA's Class of 2015 will be smaller than their Class of 2014, but then again their Class of 2014 turned out to be bigger than most previous classes.
     
  3. USNA DAD 2014

    USNA DAD 2014 Member

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    This was discussed of the USAFA thread, this is the best response, credit to Christcorp.

    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. NamD

    NamD Candidate

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    quick question: if they are reducing the number of cadets for all of the Service Academies, does that also mean that Service Academy Prep Schools will also admit fewer appointees?
     
  5. jomass

    jomass Member

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    I should hope so. Honestly, can anyone defend why NAPS and other preps are even necessary?

    With upwards of 19,000 apps this year and over 17,400 apps last year, how can anyone logically select hundreds, maybe a few thousand, perfectly qualified and nominated apps and tell them no; yet take a few hundred others who aren't quite qualified and tell them yes, but they have to go to a year of NAPS first? Makes no sense whatsoever.

    The only explanation has to be that the NAPS are 'political' appointments, either for athletics or some ridiculous minority quotas. By sending them to NAPS for a year, it's a blatant admission that THEY ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO ATTEND THE USNA.
     
  6. MAparent

    MAparent New Member

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    Your point is very interesting with regard to the need for any "prep" programs. As you mentioned, the USNA had over 19,100 applicants this year for the class of 2015. They accepted 1220 applicants or about 6.4% of all those who applied - which, by the way, makes them more selective than Harvard, Princeton or Yale for this year. Any given year's USNA class selection is completed sometime in April and it seems logical that the next most qualified students would be offered positions at NAPS or other prep programs (ex. Naval Academy Foundation) after that April timeframe until those slots are full. However, that is certainly not how it works. I personally know of a Foundation appointment that was offered in Feb. 011 and a large thread on this board was started by a NAPS appointee who received his notification in Sept. 010. My question is how can you select the best of your second tier candidates months before you have even finished selecting your first tier candidates? That methodology seems flawed to me. Comments?
     
  7. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    jomass,

    I think you have some good points for a discussion, however, the comment above is untrue. There have some been really great NAPSTERs who have been successful as MIDN and then in the Fleet or FMF (I believe VADM D.C. Curtis -- CNSF was one of those). As I mentioned, you do have some great discussion points -- i.e. should NAPS exist at taxpayer expense -- but making that statement/assumption is far from the truth. Don't forget that some of the NAPS makeup is the enlisted Sailors and Marines.

    For others...not to diminish the difficulty of being appointed to USNA, but the 19k or 17k APPLICANTS includes those who fill out preliminary applications, in which they may or might not be CANDIDATES (i.e. who have the minimal SAT/ACT scores to qualify for a candidate number) or those who never finished their applications. Essentially, IMHO, you are competing against those who have nominations because without one there is no chance of appointment.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  8. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    MODERATOR COMMENTS - Read and Heed


    Before this thread gets too far off track:

    This thread is about Academy downsizing, not debating the existence of NAPS. If you want to talk about that very hotly debated topic that usually quickly leads to personal attacks and subsequent warnings and bans I recommend that you start a new thread.

    Further discussion of the need for NAPS in this thread will be edited.
     
  9. grtkidmom

    grtkidmom Member

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    If USNA is downsizing/rightsizing, does this mean NAPS will also downsize. Or will NAPs become a larger percentage of future plebe classes?
     
  10. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    I was told by BGO that my 3-Qd son was NOT eligible for NAPS when he was applying at USNA. Naps is for candidates who are excellent or desirable in other admissions areas but have a need for extra instruction in academics to prepare them for the rigors of academy classes. Therefore, I don't think one can compare qualified academy applicant numbers to Naps numbers since they really aren't the same pool. Correct me if I'm wrong about this. (not that I have any doubt someone will :wink:)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2011
  11. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    I agree with MomoftheMagik......NAPS is a different pool of kids.

    I did hear last year that no ROTC or OCS candidates were offered Marine air contracts. The only Marine air contracts were offered to USNA grads. Which likely can have as much to do with how backed up the training pipeline is at any given time.

    It stands to reason however with government budgets tight, that there might possibly be less appointments to SA's. I would guess that the ROTC scholarships would feel the pinch first. My reasoning is that the SA's probably don't save that much money by having say 100 fewer mids or cadets......the place costs much the same to operate anyway. While having 100 fewer ROTC slots would be more direct savings.
     
  12. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    It seems you are implying that the application numbers are inflated to make it appear that the Naval Academy is more selective than it really is.

    It's true that the preliminary applications are included. I think it's fair to say that anybody who takes the time to complete the preliminary application has an interest in attending the Naval Academy. So, I think it's fair that they are included.

    If that individual ends up not receiving a candidate number - essentially, they have been rejected for admission. The only difference between them and those who get candidate numbers and ultimately fail in gaining an appointment is that their rejection simply comes sooner rather than later. But it's a rejection, nonetheless.

    The Naval Academy is rather unique in this regard. They pre-screen applicants because they don't want to waste time creating a file and processing data on somebody who clearly does not have the credentials to be competitive.

    Most colleges will gladly take your application fee even though they know you have no hope of ever gaining admission.
     
  13. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    This is exactly what I am implying...I think a more realistic number would be those who have candidate numbers. I don't know how many don't end up with a candidate number, but I am sure the "acceptance" rate would still be less than 10%.

    Don't disagree that should also be a statistic, but in the goal of attaining an appointment, those who do not receive a candidate number can't fill out an application, can't go in front of an Admissions Board, and therefore, aren't in the running.

    Disagree. Even though the turn down letter comes earlier for applicants, they have no chance at board action. Candidates who are not found scholastically, medically, or physically qualified all had a chance to fill out an application and have their record presented in front of the Admissions Board.

    Exactly my point...so then candidates aren't competing against these applicants. Therefore the applicant number USNA provides isn't a realistic figure of the actual competition. As you mention, it is a reflection of interest.
     
  14. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Do you think Harvard does not include in their statistics those who apply who have absolutely ZERO chance of getting admitted?

    There are always going to be those who are interested in attending an institution for which they are not qualified.

    The proper measure should be: Those who want to attend (even if they get no further than the preliminary application) compared to those who ultimately gain admission.
     
  15. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Memphis,

    Good point and most schools only publish that stat. However, in USNA's case, those applying who don't even have a chance in front of an Admissions Board means that they weren't even considered. I think it would be interesting to see a stat on designated candidates -- that to me would be the real competition and selectivity factor.

    This is the last post I am going to make on this point because it seems like we are hijacking the thread.
     
  16. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Well, EVERYONE who applies (even if they get no further than the preliminary application) is "considered." It's just that some are not considered very long. In other words, they are considered unqualified. One might consider it a mini-Admissions Board.

    Perhaps the standards to get past the preliminary application will be racheted up a notch because of the need to make the class size much smaller in their effort to downsize. (See how I deftly unhijacked the thread?)
     
  17. osdad

    osdad Member

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    Hijack: Consider how many kids would send in "preliminary" applications if Harvard (or where ever) did not require a fee to even start the process. The acceptance rate would be miniscule.That said, self-selection is big wrt SA but less so for Harvard. But in the end, who cares?

    Unhijack: I wonder if the need to downsize will result in a "one strike you're out" attitude wrt honor violations or academics?
     
  18. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    There are already signs that less tolerance is in full swing at the Naval Academy with the new administration. They're booting them out, left and right, for reasons that would have been, previously, nothing more than a bump in the road toward graduation.
     
  19. jumprope_11

    jumprope_11 USNA 2015

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    Obviously each situation is different, but in general, you must assume that this is for good reason more than anything. The academy is taking young, successful men and women and molding them into LEADERS OF CHARACTER above all else. Can you honestly put the administration at fault for letting those go who have failed to follow the honor code?
     
  20. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I fully understand - and agree.

    Back in my day, attrition was around 33%. It was pure carnage. We were all struggling to graduate and trying not to stumble along the way.

    Graduating over 1000 was unheard of "back in the day." Today - it is becoming routine.

    Four years at the Naval Academy was both an education and a weeding out process which recognized the admission process was not infallible. Not everybody who was appointed deserved to serve in the military. Somehow, over the years, it has morphed into some kind of "Kumbaya - everyone graduates" thing.

    On the other hand, "back in the day", many of us didn't fully know exactly what we were getting into. In addition, with the technology and ease of communication & information today - candidates are better prepared and educated as to what the Naval Academy is all about. That may have led to higher retention rates. I don't know.
     

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