Early Action Selection Boards

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Gator19, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Gator19

    Gator19 New Member

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    I am currently applying to USAFA and was able to apply for early admission as a blue chipped Intercollegiate athlete. Does anybody know when the first couple selection boards will meet? I know that some people have already received LOAs, and was just wondering when early admission decisions would be made. Thanks!
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    The very first question I have to ask is:

    Are you 100% completed with your application? Everything in the online application? Your CFA test? Your ALO interview?

    The reason I ask is: Unless you are 100% complete with your application, they aren't going to look at it. Doesn't matter when the board starts reviewing packages. If yours isn't 100% complete, they aren't even going to look at it.

    Now; assuming your application is complete, the answer is: The academy reviews completed packages weekly. They usually start the process of board review in the middle/end of September. That does depend on many factors. 1) How many completed applications there are; the schedule of the review board members; etc... There isn't a separate or different review board for early admissions. It's the same for everyone.

    The difference with early admissions, is instead of the average applicant finding out in March/April if they received an appointment, you will find out in January one of 3 scenarios. 1) You definitely are getting an appointment; 2) You're still competitive but will have to be included with the rest of the applicants; or 3) You aren't receiving an appointment.

    The only advantage an Early Admissions applicant has, based on their self reported information, is that the academy promises to not make you wait until April before at least giving you some idea if you've got a chance or not.

    As for the LOA's, that is a totally different story. Because most NCAA recruited athletes go through an official signing day, which IS CONTRACTUAL, (Except for the military academies); and that signing day starts in November and continues on; (Depending on the sport); the academies want to try and convince them to come to the academy. An LOA promises the applicant that "IF THEY QUALIFY", and receive a nomination, they WILL receive an appointment. If they didn't give out ANY LOA's, most recruited athletes applying to the academy would have to wait until March/April and probably would accept other offers and sign during signing day in November/January.

    Also; on some RARE occasions, LOA's are also given out to Non-IC athletes. E.g. the 4.0gpa, IB/AP student, #1 class rank, 32+ACT, etc... with the PERFECT application. But most are to help get some student athletes interested who normally won't turn down other offers waiting around until April to see if they got into the academy.

    And not to diminish the meaning of a "Blue Chip" athlete; (My son was a blue chip athlete going into the academy), but it doesn't mean the same as in the real world. In the real world of college sports, a "Blue Chip" is an athlete who is guaranteed a scholarship to play sports at the school. At the academy; ALL recruited athletes are considered "Blue Chip". But at the academy, you can come in as a recruited football player and change your mind and just stay as a regular cadet and not do sports. In a real college, you'd lose your scholarship. Terms like Blue Chip and "Signing Day" (Which has not contractual meaning at the academies vs a private school) are terms and events used because it is familiar with the average high school athlete and their family; and it is easier for everyone to refer to academy athletes the same way. Don't get me wrong. Academy NCAA D1 athletics is just like every other school in it's competitiveness and demands. They follow ALL of the same NCAA rules. The difference is the athletes themselves. At the academy, the "Eligibility" standards for the athlete is higher than at a traditional school. Plus, the academies don't give out scholarships. You can be the #1 heavily drafter quarterback that air force is going after.... accept the appointment to the academy..... and after basic training say..... No, I don't want to play football. I want to be a full time cadet and concentrate on academics. You don't lose your appointment. In a traditional school; you don't play, they don't pay. (Your scholarship).
     
  3. Campfamily

    Campfamily Member

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    This is by far the best explanation I have ever seen describing the admissions process for USAFA. Thank you!
     
  4. Gator19

    Gator19 New Member

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    Christcorp,

    Thank you for all the valuable information. I am national level swimmer, so in my search for the right school, it is important for someone in my sport to choose in a timely manner because scholarship money for other schools diminishes rather fast. This is just because swimmers is a smaller sport. Most people tend commit in October-December. This is why knowing as early as possible if I did or did not get is of the utmost importance, even if it is just an LOA. Unfortunately, I have not yet received an appointment yet, although I have applied to senatorial, congressional, as well as vice-presidential and presidential nomination. So an LOA is all I could receive as of now.

    To answer your question about my application, yes. I am 100% done with my application. I finished back during the summer as so I was eligible for early action.

    So usually in any sport, athletes will "commit" to a school verbally. This would normally mean that they would contractually (like you said) sign a National Letter of Intent. But, since you are not contractually obligated to play sports at the academy when accepting an appointment, what does it mean to "commit" to an academy? Most of the people from my school that have accepted an appointment as an IC athlete have signed NLIs. It is to my understanding that you do not sign an NLI for a service academy, so this confuses me. Im assuming this is just a fancy way of accepting an appointment, but if there are other details or something that I do not understand correctly, id love to know.

    As for Blue Chip athletes, it is to my understanding that this means that the athletic team that you would potentially be competing for is supporting your application. Is it safe to assume this?

    Again thank you so much for all this useful information!
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    When you sign a letter of intent for athletics at the academy.... It is 100% pomp and circumstance. The very next day, week, or month you could say you change your mind and go to Michigan State if that's what you wanted to do. There are no contractual obligations. It's to allow you to feel like other recruited athletes from other schools.

    Same with non athletes who accept an appointment to the academy. You could change your mind the next day, the day before going to basic training, or even any time in your first two years at the academy and say..... I change my mind.

    Remember also, signing the letter of intent has no relationship at all to an appointment. Example.... Signing day for football is January. You could sign a letter of intent but the academy might not give you an appointment in March or April. As for early action, the soonest you will know is January. Yes, you could get an loa earlier, but that goes to an extremely small percentage of applicants. Even a small percentage of athletes. If 50 football players were recruited, maybe 10-15 might receive an loa. And they are the best of the best. Or in blue chip terminology, they are the first round draft choice. The athletic department only has so many nominations to give out, and that's divided among all sports. But if the athlete doesn't qualify, even that nomination won't get them an appointment.

    Maybe you'll get an loa. If you do and you qualify and get a nomination, they you're guaranteed an appointment. If you don't receive an loa, then if you finished your application before November 1st, then you'll find out EA in January. And you could go through signing day and NLI day and still possibly not get an appointment.

    Sorry if it doesn't sound like you have an automatic appointment coming because of Athletics. But that's the hard truth. There's a lot of applicants. Many are recruited athletes. But there are no guarantees. There are some individuals who get early appointments in Octobers-November. They are very rare. Just like Loa's are rare. But these individuals are usually the best of the best of the best. They truly are the full package. For an early appointment they obviously have a non congressional nomination. Presidential, vp, Roth, athletic department. They are the 4.0gpa, acing the act or sat, play multiple sports and are the captain, also class officer, numerous clubs, hundreds of hours volunteering, the best recruited athlete, etc. Any combination of these.

    Best of luck and I hope you find out soon where you stand. But let me end with one very important bit of advice. Being a college D1 athlete is a very exciting thing. But if you choose the academy over another school solely because the academy offered you a place on that sport team, and the academy education and military lifestyle is 2nd in priority to sports, then you will not be happy there. Most academy athletes who succeed do so because while they love playing D1 Ncaa athletics, attending one of the best colleges in the country and serving their country after graduating is their number 1 priority for accepting the appointment. Those who don't have this priority usually are not as satisfied with attending the academy. Best of luck.
     
  6. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    You mentioned you applied for a Presidential Nomination? If so, you most likely will not get an LOA if your application is 100% to include your DODMERB exam. An LOA is a Letter of Assurance based on finishing or completing some outstanding item in your package. If you are eligible for a Presidential Nom, you have that Nom. Anyone eligible gets the Nomination. However, not everyone with a Presidential Nom gets an appointment under that Nomination category. There are only about 100 Presidential appointment slots nationally.

    IF the Academy is certain they want to offer you an appointment under the Presidential Nom, you could hear that you have an Appointment as early as this month. IF the Academy does not want to make a decision on using up a Presidential slot on you this early, then you will be waiting until January to find out if USAFA will offer you an appointment or put you in the pool with the regular decision candidates.

    I just didn't want you to take not getting an LOA as a sign that the Academy doesn't want you, and I wanted you to understand that if you have your application 100% done, to include DoDMERB, and you have a Presidential Nom, you most likely will not be getting an LOA because there is no reason to issue you one. If the Academy wanted you enough to issue an LOA, they would just give you an appointment.
     
  7. billyb

    billyb Member

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    This is 100% true, but I believe that it puts a D1 athlete in a quandary. USNA might be his #1 choice, but he still needs to plan for option B. Option B might be offering a 75% athletic scholarship if he commits to them in December. The athlete might not commit to option B, hoping for UNSA, but if USNA doesn't offer him an appointment, it is probably too late to get scholarship money from option B. Tough choices.
     
  8. Gator19

    Gator19 New Member

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    Christcorp,

    I understand that no one is guaranteed an appointment because of athletics. The academy is definitely a privilege and nothing is guaranteed.

    Serving is one of my top priorities. Coming from a military family, my interest was sparked early. After doing my research, I decided that going to an academy would be the best path to achieve my goal of serving my country. I have been fortunate enough to be able to consider the academy because of athletics. So I understand what you mean when you say that people that go there primarily for athletics are unhappy.

    Thanks again
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    falconchic brought up a very good point. I skipped over it trying to reply from my IPAD.

    If you applied for a presidential nomination, then you already have that. It's automatic if you qualify for it. If so, and your application is complete, then there's NO WAY you can receive a Letter of Assurance. (LOA). And LOA is a "CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENT". It means; complete your application; be qualified 100%; and receive a nomination..... and you are ASSURED an appointment. Hence the words "Letter of ASSURANCE". If you have a presidential nomination, your application is complete, and you have the presidential nomination, then there's nothing to complete. You won't receive an LOA. You'll just have to wait to find out if you receive an appointment. Best of luck. Mike
     
  10. elementsman

    elementsman New Member

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    I know my case is incredibly rare, however an application does not have to be 100% complete for the board to look at you. I received my LOA on September 17th and had not completed my CFA, ALO interview and had not submitted my essays. It is possible that they may look at you however the chances are slim.
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    LOA's are handled differently. And yes, part of the LOA is that your application be 100% complete; that you are 100% qualified; and that you receive a nomination.

    I'll use sports because it's more common for LOA's. If the coach believes you are an athlete that is the 5-Star type that s/he would like, and knows that you're going to get a lot of other college offers, and they look at your ACT/SAT, GPA, etc... and can see that you are definitely competitive for an appointment; the coach can request an LOA for you. They have so many to work with. Admissions will usually honor the coach's request. Mind you, there's a limited amount, so the coach isn't going to waste these requests.

    The army on the other hand give out LOA's in the SUMMER. There isn't even a board yet. It's done to try and get certain applicants. Athletes aren't the only ones who get LOA, just using them as an example because they are the more common because colleges recruit and sign athletes in December/January and most appointments don't come out until April/May. They don't want to lose them.

    So yes, you can get an LOA without a completed application. But that's not quite the same as the "BOARD" reviewing your application and approving you for an appointment or early LOA. Best of luck.
     

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