Falcon Foundation

Discussion in 'Service Academy Preparatory Schools' started by USNAhopeful~2015, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. USNAhopeful~2015

    USNAhopeful~2015 Member

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    Although my screen name begs to differ, I've been given the Falcon Foundation scholarship by USAFA and will be attending the New Mexico Military Institute. Anyone else get this? This is a good thing, right? Came totally out of the blue for me!
     
  2. jackson1989

    jackson1989 Member

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    First off Congrats! USAFA has basically told you they want to have you in their next class. My son was also a Falcon Scholar and when he spoke to admissions, he was told "Go to your prep school and do a great job. Then, we will see you next June".

    The extra year will help you get really prepared for the academy. You will make great friends and the transition to the academy will be a little easier.

    Best of Luck and Congrats again!
     
  3. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    THIS IS MOST EXCELLENT!! If you want to attend the AFA, this is your Golden Ticket! Make the most of it and Congrats!
     
  4. NMMI PREP DIRECTOR

    NMMI PREP DIRECTOR Member

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    Congrats!!!! Probably a good thing to change the screen name- to something a little more "Air Forcey". This time you can be more confident than "hopeful". For the last few years all the Falcons at NMMI received their appointment to the USAFA.

    Please call or email me. I can explain the program and answer all your questions.
     
  5. BrianReed

    BrianReed Candidate

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    I've just been notified that I've qualified for a Falcon Foundation Scholarship. I've also been blessed in been awarded an AFROTC Scholarship. Could anyone out there point out the pros/cons for each program, and help me out as to which path would be the best in re-applying for USAFA Class of 2016?
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Falcon Fountation!!!!
     
  7. jackson1989

    jackson1989 Member

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    Listen to JAM. There are tons of pros and cons for AFROTC vs USAFA....but if you want USAFA take the Falcon Foundation scholarship!

    This is a golden ticket that will result in an appointment 90+% of the time!!

    Good Luck!

    My son was a Falcon Scholar in 2009-2010. :thumb:
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I have responded privately to the poster.

    As a "Northwestern Prep" graduate and USAFA grad...I'm a bit biased toward the Falcon Foundation.

    But as an ALO, I have a responsibility to tell every candidate that this may not be what they want. They must look at this as "not a guaranteed" thing. There are folks, every year, that are on FF scholarships...that do NOT receive appointments.

    Yes, for the most part they have done something that is "fatal" in the process...received an "F" grade, or whatever. I had a great young man years ago at NMMI...had his appointment...then received an "F" grade in a class...USAFA yanked the appointment. And the FF came back to him for the cost of his scholarship.

    If you MUST MUST MUST go to USAFA...that's your focus: USAFA and then AF service...then this is a VERY good way to go. BUT...if you have doubts...aren't sure...are worried about college credits, etc...

    Then perhaps its not the best choice.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
    NWPS '78-'79
     
  9. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    flieger - you are correct.

    HOWEVER, Every Falcon scholar who really WANTS an appointment will earn one. They all have the ability to perform at their Falcon school at a satisfactory level. If they do then ...... they are in like Flynn.
    This is a win/win very low risk for someone who DESIRES an appointment.
    IF he chooses the AFROTC and fails a class- he could lose his scholarship. If he chooses the AFROTC scholarship his likely hood of admittance to the AFA plummets.

    Now, if the OP is conflicted, confused or not sure about AFA then perhaps he should think twice or three times. If he thinks the AFROTC scholarship is a better fit for him - that's terrific. But if he is 99% sure he will re-apply he simply can't go wrong by accepting the Falcon Scholar.

    He doesn't say which school he would attend but if he chooses to attend NMMI or MMI - his credits earned there are very transferable should he change his mind. In fact, at MMI quite a few cadets transfer from their to AF ROTC at a four year college.
     
  10. NMMI PREP DIRECTOR

    NMMI PREP DIRECTOR Member

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    Flieger,

    I agree that the Falcon Foundation is not for everyone. I fully understand what you are saying in that the individual needs to research all the options, weigh the pros and cons, and then chose the path they want to walk.

    You are right in that an appointment may be "lost" due to a fatal error. A freak accident may disqualify someone medically.

    There are other benefits though. This is where "just a mom" is correct. A Falcon can receive his/her appointment and turn it down. They incur the cost of the scholarship ($5k) but they have 30+ credit hours that they can transfer to another university. This means they can look at a 2 and 3-year scholarships also.

    I know you said you went to NWP. That is a very good program with great results. However, the other four Falcon schools are MILITARY junior colleges. The Falcon at one of these gets to "test drive" a military school before they go off to the USAFA. I had a Falcon who came to NMMI last August, experienced our military environment, packed his stuff and went home. He used an AFROTC scholarship to continue his education (at least that's what he told me). I consider that a "sucess story" and I wish him the best. He found out early (and at no cost to the taxpayer) that the AFA wasn't for him.

    My last point is that all Falcons are PPQ. If a person wants to fly - the Falcon program a great way to get a cockpit. Unlike you I am not an ALO (it would be a conflict of interest to represent both the USAF and the candidate I'm paid to support). I don't have all the current data or "big picture" info. But, if you truly believe a person has a better chance for a flight slot out of ROCT vs. AFA please PM me or call. I never consider myself too old to learn.

    V/R - Don
     
  11. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hi Don!

    You are 100% correct!!!

    My posting was rather in response to a LOT of PM's I've been receiving, and two candidates who I know personally who have this decision to make.

    I think that this is one of the more difficult "dilemma's" Falcon candidates face. Perfect example was a young man I met last night while awarding an appointment to one of his friends.

    He comes from a family of limited financial means...he has been offered the Falcon Foundation Scholarship (FYI: I asked him to come here and find your contact info to discuss NMMI) and really is interested in USAFA. However...he also has, IN HAND, over $30K in scholarships that he can take to a local university that has a superb ROTC program. That money, if he enrolls locally, goes into the bank and can be used for his education. That will pay almost 100% of his educational costs for 3 years and he realizes that if he is in ROTC and doing well, he's in a good position to gain a ROTC scholarship, provided the government money is there. In short, he has a college education "virtually guaranteed" right now. This is HUGE to both him and his family.

    That's the dilemma: he has this "in hand" and it will afford him a "guaranteed" college education at a very good university and he can gain his commission and potentially a pilot slot that way, although he realizes that UPT from ROTC, while entirely possible, is more difficult.

    Or he can "turn all that down" and take the FF scholarship and, as it feels to him and his family right now: "roll the dice." And that is what is "really causing angst" with him and his family.

    And having "been there, done that" I completely understand that feeling!

    That is why I said what I said. The candidate MUST "want this" completely and must be willing to "go for it!"

    And yes, I did point out (although I am a NWPS grad) that NMMI and the other MILITARY schools ARE junior colleges and college credit is there...they have an academic year under their belt, in a military environment, and they'll "know" whether or not that environment is really what they want. That's a great benefit of the military colleges!

    Last thing; unrelated to the discussion but to educate me. "One upon a time" NMMI had a program with the Army that allowed Army ROTC students to commission after 2 years at NMMI, then they transferred to "certain selected" universities to complete their degrees and then came on duty with "2 years of commissioned time" already under their belt. Does this still exist?

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  12. NMMI PREP DIRECTOR

    NMMI PREP DIRECTOR Member

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    Steve,

    I sent you a PM. We're on the same page. :thumb: Thanks for the reply!

    NMMI does have a 2-year Army ROTC program that leads to a commission with an associate's degree. We call it ECP (Early Commissioning Program). there are only a handful of MJC's out there that offer this.

    http://www.nmmi.edu/rotc/index.htm

    I had a Naval Academy Foundation Prep turn down a USNA scholarship two years ago. There have been WP AoG Preps that also went ECP in the past, but that was before I sat in my current chair. NEVER heard of a Falcon abandoning the opportunity to go to the USAFA and take up the ECP offer. :wink:

    -Don
     
  13. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    My $.02 as a parent who has known several kids go through both MMI and NMMI.

    A LOT of kids turn down the AOG (foundation) scholarships because of a lack of understanding on how they work towards getting an appointment - they are not glamorous, require attending a non-prestigious junior college or prep school and add another year toward commissioning.

    Some kids will find this opportunity is not for them and that's fine BUT for a candidate who is truly motivated and driven towards their academy; it's hard to find a better deal. This is truly the Golden Ticket.

    Cost really should not be an issue. Both MMI and NMMI are very inexpensive for AOG or Foundation scholars. In the case of MMI they have AFROTC and AROTC and an AFROTC scholarship can be used in conjunction with the SAP program. Both schools offer additional scholarships or instate tuition for sponsored cadets. Federal financial aid can also be used. All of these resources can make in some cases make the cost of attending zero out of pocket.

    Of course life changing decisions should be made after careful thought and with thorough knowledge of the risks and benefits. Scholars sign a contract and this contract should be read carefully and only accepted with the full intent of fulfilling it.

    Those sponsored in a service academy prep program do not compete for an appointment with the rest of the class. They re-apply, win a nomination, complete their program and BINGO! They are rewarded with an appointment. It really is that simple.


    Back to the OP - he says he will reapply to the AFA and his choices are the Falcon scholarship program or AFROTC scholarship. His odds of winning an appointment are far greater by accepting the Falcon scholarship that the AFROTC scholarship. With the Falcon scholarship his appointment is his to lose.
     
  14. BrianReed

    BrianReed Candidate

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    "...do not compete for an appointment with the rest of the class..." I didn't know about that, but THATS a BIG plus on FF's behalf! It's that's the case, then you're essentially saying that USAFA is in fact 'holding' 100 slots for FF scholars (FFS) and once they complete the entire application process and receive a nomination (regular or principal - will it still matter?) then BINGO appointment in the bag. Can you confirm that thats in fact the case? If its true, then it would seem to me that the benefits of FF outweighs that of AFROTC Schoalarship greatly (apart from the fact that if you fall within the 2% of FFS who don't get an appointment you'll find yourself in a pickle...).


    @USNAhopeful~2015 I'm really sorry - I seem to have hijacked your thread and slightly deviated from the purpose of your original post... :frown:
     
  15. DjSanguine

    DjSanguine USAFA '15 Appointee

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    I can! My dad spoke with the AETC Commander (USAFA is underneath AETC), and he explained a bit about how FF works. If you are awarded a FF scholarship, you have an appointment reserved for you, so to speak, assuming that you successfully complete the FF program and receive a nomination. Principal does not matter. You are considered higher priority than a principal nom. So yes, there are approximately 100 appointments for the Falcon Foundation. Likewise, the only 2% who do not get in are more or less 'special' cases (i.e. failed classes, got arrested, etc.) Furthermore, USAFA will look for any way for you to get a nomination. This is where VP comes in handy--if you do not receive a nomination from a congressman or senator, USAFA will put you with the highest priority to receive a VP nomination. Bottom line--If you get FF, you are (almost, assuming you don't screw up or something reaaaaaly crazy happens) guaranteed an appointment.
     
  16. NMMI PREP DIRECTOR

    NMMI PREP DIRECTOR Member

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    This is a quote from the Falcon Foundation as stated on its own "Fact Sheet" dated March, 2011:

    "APPOINTMENT DURING PREP SCHOOL YEAR
    Falcon scholars have been identified by the Admissions Office as having the potential to be successful at USAFA following successful completion of their prepatory program and attainment of admissions guidelines. Barring unusual circumstances, the Air Force Academy is committed to appointing Falcon Scholars who:

    1. Successfully complete their preparatory program
    2. Continue to meet admissions guidelines
    3. Obtain a nomination valid for the year of entry into USAFA" END Quote

    Falcons do have to take prescribed academic courses from their school. They must take the SAT and ACT each time it is offered until their scores are competitive. They must be in a fitness program and retake the CFA.*

    Falcons do NOT have to submit teacher evals or essays. They do not require an ALO interview but do require a positive school recommendation in place of the ALO interview.**

    * From Lt Gen Kelly's Apr 2011 letter to Falcon Scholars.
    ** From my notes at the Falcon Foundation conferance on 18 APR 2011.

    Hope this helps!
     
  17. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Excellent post Don, THANKS!!! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  18. BrianReed

    BrianReed Candidate

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    Thank you so much for the helpful comments and advice everyone!

    I'm about to finalize my decision to head off to NWP, but one final question remains - upon graduating from NWP around mid-December, do you have to attend Community College the next semester?

    ...I currently live overseas in Switzerland; the nearest Comm. College is across the Atlantic from here per se.
     
  19. Karek

    Karek Member

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    Spring semester you must attend a college and the Durbecks can work with you on the best options. There are hours and course requirements to fullfill with your Falcon Scholarship. You may even want to start discussing with them their thoughts this summer. One current NW Prepster Falcon's family lives overseas but he is in Washington at college for the spring.
     
  20. BrianReed

    BrianReed Candidate

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    I see - so sounds like I'll be working on the application process for the second semester college during my duration at NWP, thus I don't work on it over the summer?
     

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