Drop in applications to Service Academies?

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by vls, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. vls

    vls Member

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    I was told that the AFA had a 20% drop in apps? I was just told this, so no facts yet to back it up. Has anyone else heard this - or something similar for the other Service Academies?
     
  2. davejean90

    davejean90 Member

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    I read the same thing. Service academy application statistics have always been a suspect, because I think they use any initial inquiry as an application. Also, we moved in the middle of DS high school, so his name ended up twice in the database for address. Even if he gets in his acceptance rate will only be 50% ;)
     
  3. time2

    time2 Member

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    Depends where your read/heard that. One thing you will find when applying to SA's is that all sorts of well-intentioned individuals (friends, neighbors, the mailman....etc.) who really have no idea what they are talking about will offer you 'advice'. Even media outlets may not always know enough about SA's to publish meaningful articles. There is always some element of subjectivity in how you count the number applying (i.e. do you count everyone who started an application, only those who finished.....and how much did they finish, did they apply for a NOM, did they take DODMERB?.......etc.) and unless one looks behind the numbers to understand what is being counted and if any recent changes made to that formula, comparisons are meaningless.

    Some colleges will hand out more applications just to make themselves look more "selective", but in reality nothing has changed.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Honestly, I would not read anything at all into this information.

    The thing is there are several levels of the PASS GO mark. Just using fake numbers for ease....let's say 15K opened applications last year. However, only 12K finished the application process or were considered a candidate. Now this year 12K open a file, and 11K complete, the numbers really have not changed in a big way regarding your chances. In this scenario, last year more opened the PCQ, but did not complete. This year less opened, but more followed through.
    ~ That is thing when people start saying things like this. 20% less applying is one thing, but for me I would rather hear that 20% less are not moving from applicant to candidate.
    ~~ That is the the reality. Applicant and candidate are 2 different things. If you said 20% less are being classified as candidate than that is huge.

    I would also say that even if it dropped by 20%, you need to understand the MOC system and the SA appointment system.

    Look at VA. The MOCs talk. They spread the wealth. 1 nom to 1 SA is all you can expect from the MOCs. They can have 500-700 applicants for 10 nominations. 20% less is still 400-550 applicants for 10 applicants.

    You cannot get an appointment without a nomination.
     
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  5. time2

    time2 Member

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    ^^^ Agreed. Part of the reason it is hard for the media to do comparison of SA 'selectivity' compared to civilian colleges.
     
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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  7. MombaBomba

    MombaBomba Member

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    There could have been a sudden upsurge when the application went on-line and then a drop the following year. Many top tier colleges had a doubling or even tripling of their applicants once their applications went on-line and became part of the common app. It wasn't till these colleges added a secondary app, that the number of applicants went down, but still remained higher than before on-line. The USAFA went on-line fairly recently, so they too could have had a sudden upward surge and then after enhancing their app process, the number could have decreased. It would be interesting to find out if going on-line impacted applications.
     
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  8. skismuggs

    skismuggs Member

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  9. time2

    time2 Member

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    ^^^ I agree, without context those changes mean nothing. Boston College was the only one quoted in the article and they indicated why their numbers dropped (they added an essay to encourage only those who are serious to apply). I wouldn't use such an article to decide where to apply, who cares if their numbers are increasing or decreasing? Apply to colleges that provide what you are looking for and fit your career interests.
     
  10. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    I am inclined to think just the opposite, that with the current economy, all the media on the cost of college, and the travails of repaying college loans....etc...That the academies are starting to look better than ever. That service obligation after college, once considered a liability by some, now is looking like a guaranteed job that is not flipping burgers.

    Mind you this is not our situation, ours is a military family since before this country was founded.
     
  11. time2

    time2 Member

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    ^^^ Actually, the article quoted indicated that there was a DROP in applications.

    In either case, I wouldn't use such articles to decide where to apply as discussed above.
     
  12. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    The perception nationwide is that getting into a service academy is almost impossible. Applicants know that they will be judged against the best and brightest from the entire country.

    We all know "nothing ventured, nothing gained" but high school kids with above average grades often don't apply due to the intensive application process and the slim chance of admittance.

    I have always felt that admissions numbers were misleading, because there would be thousands more apps if the students felt they had a chance, making the academies even more selective.

    If I were asked by a high school senior about chances for an appointment, I would not paint a rosy picture.

    Plus or minus 300 priors & prep schoolers, 250+ or - females, 300 give or take minorities (also fitting into many into the previous numbers) would allow for a small number indeed of typical graduating seniors. I listed the females (deserving and excelling) to illustrate one of the non written quotas that go into every class being selected today.

    All IMHO
     
  13. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Agree that the admissions numbers (I am assuming number of applicants) are misleading for different reasons. What you are addressing is "self elimination" - where kids convince themselves, right or wrong, that they are not good enough for College XYZ and they don't apply. My guess is that happens at every selective college.

    From my preception, majority of Americans kids don't care to attend a service academy. The number of applicants that SA publishes are number of kids that open applications (which is free). I have seen plenty of incomplete applications.

    So trying to make sense out of # application of SA increasing or decreasing is like trying of predict who is going to win the Superbowl before the preseason starts.
     

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