Good "Gouge" for Candidates

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by usna1985, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I recently had the opportunity to speak with a knowledgeable person from USNA admissions who passed along the following information for candidates.

    CFAs -- Passing may not be good enough. You should strive to do the max on every event (well, other than the Bball throw!). If you've not scored the max for each event (and those numbers are listed with the test instructions), you should strongly consider retaking the test. You can ask your RD the areas in which you need to improve; your BGO won't have this info, although can probably make a good guess. Remember, your BGO does NOT see your scores; if you want his/her help, you'll need to discuss how you did.

    SATs/ACTs -- Again, if you don't have 800/800 or the ACT equivalent, there's room for improvement and you should consider retaking the test. SATs are NOT the end-all and be all. In fact, someone with really high SATs and average/low grades may be viewed as not maximizing his/her potential (unless there are other issues, such as the need to work, take care of siblings, etc. that affect performance). Use some common sense on this; there is a difference between 780/790 and 630/650.

    Teacher Recommendations -- These are very important. Your teachers should, of course, always be honest. But if they think you're a great student, great human being, rank highly among your peers, etc., they need to say so. Someone with a great "paper" record but poor recommendations won't be in as good a position for an appointment.

    ECAs/Sports -- This may be a critical issue for students who are home-schooled or in schools with limited sports/ECAs. If that is you, look to the community. There are sports leagues and all sorts of volunteer activities that you can do. Even for students in large schools, be sure you are involved in something other than academics. Having great grades and SATs is not enough.

    Working and Summer Activities -- Work experience is increasingly prized. Also, consider actually doing something in the summer b/t your junior and senior years. As a BGO, I always ask during the BGO interview and am amazed at the number of candidates who did nothing other than "work on my applications." If your schedule doesn't permit a full-time job, you can always volunteer doing SOMETHING. There are endless possibilities and sitting around doing nothing doesn't go over well.

    Update your application BUT READ THIS -- If something significant happens after you've filled out your on-line form, provide it to USNA. What is significant? Being chosen team captain, receiving an award, being named to an all-whatever team; being elected to NHS, etc. However, AND READ THIS, your achievement must be certified by your school counselor or it won't count. Just have your counselor provide an official certification on your letter, certificate, etc. and send it in.

    If you're a candidate for 2016 or beyond, please pay attention to the above. It is excellent and timely advice.
     
  2. JettAirliner

    JettAirliner USNA Appointee 2016

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    If a candidate's application has been submitted, are they able to retake the CFA? My admissions officer refrained from submitting these past couple weeks while I've been preparing to retake it, but I'm retaking my CFA Friday and, in all likelihood, won't be completely satisfied with my scores. But I do want my application submitted soon.
     
  3. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    In our area, we recently had a joint Navy/Air Force party where parents of both sides got together to watch the Navy vs Air Force game. One of the mothers was the President of the Air Force Academy Parents Club and recently came back from a briefing in Colorado for club presidents. They were told that the plan for subsequent incoming classes (at USAFA) is going to be reduced to around 1,000. That's about 250-300 less than normal.

    The explanation is that retention was at an all-time high and that the influx of officers is at a lower demand.

    Will the same be done at the Naval Academy? I don't know. I've heard no official word regarding the size of the class of 2016.

    What I do know, however, is that the Navy is booting officers out of the Navy for the slightest of reasons.

    For example: in flight school, if you have less than a 92% in A.I. (Aviation Indoctrination) you are honorably discharged and released from any service obligation. This has happened to Naval Academy graduates! They are not transferring them to another community.

    Note: A.I., or Aviation Indoctrination, is the early phase of Flight School, before the Student Naval Aviators actually get into an airplane, where they are mostly doing academic training - power plates, basic aerodynamics, meteorology, etc...

    The same is happening in Nuclear Power School. If your grades are not at a certain level, they discharge you - they do not transfer you.

    The economic realities that are effecting corporate America are also effecting the military. Budget constraints, cutbacks, and unprecedented high retention has started a R.I.F. (Reduction In Force).

    Even the Naval Academy has become far less tolerant of midshipman misbehavior & honor offenses than in recent history. The culture is changing. It's no longer "Strike three, you're out!" It's more like "Strike one, you're out!"

    Nobody likes talking about this much - it's sort of the "elephant in the room."
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    You can retake your CFA until March 1.
     
  5. JettAirliner

    JettAirliner USNA Appointee 2016

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    Thank you for the information.
     
  6. tmsusna

    tmsusna Member

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    Reduction, retention, re-applying and NAPS

    With the potential of reduced incoming class sizes at USNA and the number of students that come from NAPS (approx 20% of every class - noted in another topic thread), budget pressure to control costs (reduce military overall) and high retention as noted by Memphis9489 what does this forecast mean for re-applicants?

    Typically it seems about 70-80 mids come from re-applying after one year of college (non- NAPS). Factor in Foundation school applicants the opportunity seems very small for re-applicants from traditional universities.

    I would like to think that having the drive to re-apply combined with a successful freshman year at a highly competitive university would make you stand out but these days who knows.
     
  7. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    A BGO is probably better suited to answer this question but, from what I understand, re-applicants have no less or more of a chance of getting admitted than a candidate right out of high school. I believe they all compete on their individual merits although there are different areas of emphasis for the two different candidates. I don't believe there is any "limit" or "target" that the academy operates under with regards to admission from college-experienced candidates.

    To compound the problem, it seems the number of applicants has been on a steady rise.

    So - yes - it seems it is going to be more competitive.

    I do want to emphasize that I have not officially heard that the Naval Academy has plans to admit a smaller-than-usual class for the class of 2016. In fact, I specifically asked the Regional Director in our area and he said he had not heard that there is such a plan.
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I have heard nothing about USNA admitting a smaller class next year. I have heard that the number of graduates who may select USMC may decrease slightly as the USMC itself downsizes.

    As for reapplicants, the USNA admissions person emphasized how critical it is to take the recommended college courses -- i.e., replicate as much as possible the plebe courses -- and do extremely well in them. This includes calc, chem w/lab, physics, and history (world, American). Physics is also good. Not taking these courses, regardless of the reason, can hurt your chances of receiving an appointment.
     
  9. osdad

    osdad Member

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    Memphis: I can think of one major difference; when they consider a HS applicant, they're thinking "What is this kid's potential to do college level work?" When they're reviewing a re-applicant they're thinking "How did this kid do taking college level courses?"

    In the later case, if the answer is she did great - then all the better. But if she did only so-so then maybe not so good.

    It's the opposite of; the devil you know versus the devil you don't know.
     
  10. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    I really don't see it. And haven't heard any of the powers that be refer to it. The number of ships in the Navy will actually be on the rise for the forseeable future and the number of carrier battle groups will remain constant. Therefore the need for new Ensigns will pretty much remain constant over the next several years. Believe it or not, USNA is the most cost effective producer of new officers so expect drastic cuts in NROTC and OCS before you see cuts at USNA. As others have mentioned, the Navy will streamline the upper ranks through various methods but the need for the bottom end will remain constant.
     
  11. Craig

    Craig Member

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    Air Force

    On the flip side, I had the pleasure of playing golf with a recent AF retiree and his son. He was a pilot. He commented as as soon as the economy changes, he felt there will be a mass exodus of pilots that are extremely tired from the past 10 years. He is probably right. So be prepared, you never know when the flood gates will open up in your favor.
     
  12. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    West Point accepted a smaller plebe class this year, as well.

    Strength size of the SAs are limited by law and if less MIDN/cadets voluntarily leave or are separated, SAs might be forced to accept fewer...this could eventually become an issue down the road for USNA.
     
  13. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    For sure. This if not the first RIF (Reduction In Force) nor will it be the last. The pendulum just keeps on swinging.

    I work in the airline industry. Sometimes the airlines are hiring pilots like gangbusters and at other times they are furloughing them. It all depends where YOU are as pendulum swings.
     

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