Help in directing DS

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by New@This, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. New@This

    New@This New Member

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    You can read from my title that this is all new to me.

    I have a son who is a junior and has spent the last 2 years working toward a SA appointment. He attends a rural school and his graduating class will be in the range of 30 students. He is a 3 year varsity athlete. 3.95 GPA and probable candidate to Boys State this summer. I'm saying "probable" because he will most likely be the only applicant to Boys State from our school. The problem is, he took the ACT for the first time and his score was only a 23. I know our small, rural district is not as academically strong as other districts but I expected he would score higher than that based upon his GPA. So did he. He is pretty discouraged about this as he knows this score is really too low too even be considered for an appointment (or even an nomination). We are also an underrepresented minority family so I'm not sure if this would help to qualify him for a spot at the USNA prep school or if his ACT is still too low for that.

    The kid just really wants to serve and, specifically he wants to be a Marine. I'm thinking that his goal of a SA, while commendable, may not be the best path to get him where he wants to go. How do we advise him on his career pathway in the military? If he enlists after high school what are his options to career advancement? Should he pursue college (as cheaply as possible?) and talk to the Marine Recruitment Officer through the process and go through the early officer enlistment program or wait until he graduates? What about NROTC with the marine option? Does that guarantee active duty after graduation? Can somebody who has been there help me understand and navigate this pipeline so we can help this kid find his way. Thanks!
     
  2. tommyboy44

    tommyboy44 Member

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    Have him try the ACT again and make sure that he try's the SAT as some people do horrible on one and then do great on the other. I would not jump to the conclusion that the SA's are not for him just because of one lousy test score. Keep him motivated, he has a whole year to get into shape (academically, mentally, and physically) for his turn at the SA admissions process. Once again, you can turn around after one test. I got an 1180 on my first SAT and then got a 1400 the next time, he (like me) could have just been nervous and unfocused as it was his first standardized test.
     
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  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    There are a lot of things here that need to be addressed.
    1. I think that since he is a junior in HS, and want USNA, ask the Mods to move this thread to USNA.
    ~ You are in the OTS forum which typically is not about being in HS, but more college or after graduating.

    2. GPA
    ~ Not going to like this, so breathe and read.
    ~~ Long time posters place very little weight into any post that says ...I have 3.95. Why? Because there is WAY TOOO MUCH more that goes into the equation.
    ~~~ 3.95 uwcgpa? 3.95 wcgpa out of 4.5, 5.0, 6.0? Scale for an A 7 pts or 10? His class rank? How many go Ivy, 4 yr private, 4 yr public, 2 yr CC, etc?

    3. Underrepresented minority
    ~ What exactly do you mean by that?
    ~~ Diversity is not just about URM

    4. Prep school
    ~ You do not apply, they select

    5. ACT/SAT
    ~ Take the SAT. Not every kid does the same on both exam. They will superscore.

    6. SAs are amazing, however not everyone is built for an SA life.
    ~ We know our DS was not built for SA life. He went ROTC scholarship.

    7. My go to poster would be kinnem (poster) since he wants Marine and knows the NROTC program. Backup would be NavyHoops or Nola (NROTC)
    ~ I am not a fan of recruiters because on a whole their job is to recruit enlisted, and do not understand the SA/ROTC commissioning programs
     
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  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    NROTC Marine Option guarantees active duty after graduation and commissioning. I would recommend pursuing things in this order:
    1. SA
    2. NROTC (simultaneously with 1)
    3. NROTC without the scholarship (if denied 1 and 2 well prior to start of college)
    4. SMC Platoon Leaders course done over 2 summers while in college (you get paid while your there... you also have to buy your uniforms though too)
    5. Officers Candidate Course after college

    The college boards must be practiced. No one does well the first time. There is a "methodology" to taking these tests.
     
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  5. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    New@This: you are lucky - there are actually quite a few former Marines on this site with various backgrounds and experiences. I recommend you search on the site for recent posts on PLC, OCS, and "Marine recruiters" for a lot of discussion about some of your questions. NavyHoops just had a great response on USMC commissioning programs and prioritizing the order sequence of application. (Looks like kinnem just posted the list while I was typing)

    Feel free to continue posting questions or PM'ing any of us.
     
  6. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

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    We are also rural. My DS graduated with 31 kids and he is now a hard working plebe at USNA. So it can be done.
    Here is what I have to offer.
    1. Take the ACT and SAT every time they are offered. Get a prep book. Go on prep websites. Many people come up a lot. My oldest son made National Merit Scholar by doing this for his PSAT. He is now on full ride at Baylor.
    2. Find out how competitive your district is. Is it all rural? You may not have much competition or you may have a lot from that big city on the other side of your district.
    3. Under represented can also mean rural (that's what our BGO told us)
    4. If your kid wants to be an officer in the Marine Corps there are several other paths that are perfectly acceptable like ROTC and OCS. These programs create 2nd Lieutenants in the Marines just like the academy does.
    Good luck to your son. If he has the desire to serve, he can find a way.
     
  7. New@This

    New@This New Member

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    Thanks kinnem for your particularly helpful prioritization and to everybody for your answers. I know he needs to breathe, study, stand back and keep things in perspective. We're just not exactly sure how to advise him.

    To further clarify:

    3.95 out of 4.0 - unweighted GPA. School doesn't provide class rank. Also, doesn't list statistics regarding Ivy, 4 yr private, public, etc but there would be virtually none that attend anything other than 4 yr public or 2 yr CC. School would be classified as underperforming according to latest state standardized test results.

    Underrepresented minority - Hispanic/Latino

    Prep School - I understand you do not apply for a prep school. My question was whether his status as an URM is an underperforming rural school would sway admissions to find a spot for him in a prep school or if a score that low would keep him out altogether. Obviously, we are hopeful his next tests will improve but I'm asking the question because I'm wondering. I haven't had this conversation with him.

    He will take the SAT but has fewer opportunities to take the SAT than the ACT as the school offers it less often. He will take it when available.

    And from what we understand, our district is not very competitive. The entire district is rural and there usually aren't many applicants to any of the SA.
     
  8. Swag

    Swag Member

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    Your son sounds a lot like mine. With the exception that we live in a ver large city and his graduating class is 400. He's determined to be a marine regardless of what it takes to get there.
    For all you Marines... I've asked my DS to speak to everyone possible to get a feel for what each branch offers and he has. He says it's just a feeling he has and does not want to apply to any other SA's. Is this is norm?
    Today he received his acceptance to a The Citadel and had his Marine Option NROTC interview on Saturday.
    New@This, I went through all the same confusion. The one thing I've noticed is that they are looking for that something special...if we only knew the formula! My son attended a CVW at the naval academy his jr. Year. Look into that. Also, I've seen on this forum students driving for hours to take the SAT/ACT at the closest city. Check into that as well. Whatever the path, the will go exactly where they are supposed to! Now I'm going to pray for that scholarship!
     
  9. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Swag: Some would tell you that any desire to become a Marine is the very definition of abnormal! ;)

    Look there is certainly a subset of SA and ROTC applicants that only desire to commission in one branch of service. I would say this was true for me and my DS. There are others who will go into any branch they can get into. And still others who only want land, or sea, or air.
     
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  10. tommyboy44

    tommyboy44 Member

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    I had my Congressional interview two days ago on Saturday morning and had to wait pretty long so I got to know all of the kids in the waiting room very well. I come from a very Navy heavy area, and even so to my surprise about 9 out of the 12 kids there (not including me) only were applying to Navy. I guess that this is just my long and drawn out way of saying that only desiring to go to one is not uncommon.
     
  11. Swag

    Swag Member

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    I figured he was a little abnormal...lol! He trains with our local recruiting office a few days a week. They have been very supportive and have not deterred him from college at all. They actually took him to his Marine Option NROTC interview on Saturday. I was initially concerned but after he explained that he would get the best physical training with them I signed the waiver for training. He's loving it and they have been some of his biggest supporters.
     
  12. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Swag, that seems like a well run recruiting office. Bravo Zulu.
     
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  13. Swag

    Swag Member

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    Our Congresswoman had a meet and greet and I would say that 90% of the kids had USNA as the first choice. We live in a huge city but I would not consider it military at all. In fact my DS does not know one other kid applying to a SA. There were probably about 15 kids there however, I'm sure she'll have many more applicants. Best of luck!
     
  14. Capri120

    Capri120 Member

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    New@This,

    DD, now USAFA Class of 2020, also came from a small rural school - 23 in her graduating class. Like your son's school, over the school's history, less than half of the kids who graduate attend a 4-year state university or the nearby community college; no Ivy league schools. Although I would not consider the school under-performing since it has been accredited with distinction for the last several years, if compared to the larger schools in the district, it does not "internally" offer some of the higher level courses. The school, does, however, have agreements with a a couple universities and community college to offer dozens of college dual credit courses. This allows the high school students aspiring to attend college a means to take higher lever courses and earn college credit at a significant cost savings.

    Does your son's school offer any dual credit courses? If so, he should take as many as practical, especially in the STEM areas. If not, talk to the high school counselor, principal, and superintendent to see if they have or can get an agreement with a "local" community college and/or 4-year university to offer classes for dual credit online, via ITV, or, if they are not too far away, ones that the high school students can attend on campus.
     
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  15. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    DD said that it was USNA or nothing. No, it is not normal for a child to only select one service academy but it does happen. My Daughter did not apply to any other service academys. Went Marine (abnormal) to her mother's dismay. From a small private school but a well qualified one. Take all tests available as many times as you can. They will superscore and some do much better on ACT than SAT. The best scores are the ones that count.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  16. Just Dad

    Just Dad Member

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    I am a broken record on this. I my non-SA daughter took an ACT score from 17 (first test) to a 25. She did it by taking proctored ACT practice tests, 12 of them, and then reviewing those tests with a tutor (I think on 6 occasions). It boils down to these points.
    1) make taking the test "just another day at the office"
    2) get familiar with question formats and structure (the expertize the ACT is looking for doesn't really vary much year to year) its the questions that change. Your DS can get better at recognizing patterns in questions and identifying what a question is really looking for.
    3)Test specific tutoring is WAAAaaay better than subject tutoring. The test Ids weak spots, you get a tutor to get right to those spots rather than "re-teaching" entire subject areas.
    Your DS can improve his score.
    The Rural thing may be an issue. We are in a West Coast city and my daughter found an athletes/ACT program that did Saturday tests. I'm sure you can find a good internet alternative (just make sure you really read up on program results and reviews).

    Note if time Mgt. was an issue for him, there are timers that are allowed for taking the test.

    Best of luck to you both.
     
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  17. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    Navy only looks at Math and English score, so he should focus on those things. Not Total Score.
     
  18. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    you need to make 10 posts so you can use Private Messaging
     
  19. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    Rural thing can also be a huge advantage. My son got 3 nominations form his congressman without an interview, because there were so few candidates from our district.

    He also wrote about the skills and lessons he learned working on Family farm as part of his essays
     
  20. New@This

    New@This New Member

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    Thanks again for all the helpful advice and for moving this thread. :)
     

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