High school sophomore with some questions...

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by theosays, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. theosays

    theosays Member

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    Hey everyone. I'm a sophomore in high school with a couple of questions as I begin to think about college. I'm pretty set on West Point as my top choice, but am completely unfamiliar with the application process's details. If starting a thread was the wrong thing to do and there is another place I should direct this, just give me a heads up. Anyway, I attend a New England Prep School. My dad was drafted for Vietnam. I have a building resume of extra curriculars that should land me in a couple of attractive positions senior year, including a page editor on my student newspaper, captain of one varsity team, a long successful history of Model UN and Debate, (eventually hopefully becoming president of both), all of the classes suggested, 4 years of wrestling, 3 years of Track and Field, and 3 years of Cross-Country running. My grades are hovering A-/B+ right now. But I'm a sophomore and I look to raise them Junior year, Senior fall. I will probably be in AP History and English and will see how I do on those exams. I got a 94th percentile on the PSAT.

    So I'm getting there. Obviously I'm not asking anyone to give me a percentage chance that I am admitted or anything, as I'm only a sophomore. I'm just here to ask some questions and for some advice from people who are familiar with the application process. Anyway, here they are:

    1) I attend Boarding School in MA but live in NY. Does that change who my congressman/senator is?
    2) How do I 'open a file' at West Point? I hear people talk about how applicants tend to do that very early on, even in their early HS careers. I'd like to do that ASAP.
    3) What extracurriculars tend to stand out as a West Point applicant (save Boy Scouts, etc...)
    4) What is the Junior summer of HS opportunity? I don't know anything about it.
    5) I know that you are paid as a cadet, but how much money is roughly left over after books, uniform, all of the essentials that the money is intended for.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Go here:

    read through the whole section on admissions. Make sure you go here: http://admissions.usma.edu/startyoung.cfm
    on the left hand side of the page sign up for the mailing list.​

    This is an excellent place to start. ​


    Boarding school does not change your nominating source. Since you are still a minor dependent you will apply to your home senators and representative.
     
  3. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

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    3) What extracurriculars tend to stand out as a West Point applicant (save Boy Scouts, etc...)

    Anything where you hold an involved/leadership position (ex. team captain, president, etc.).Make sure to balance sports and other clubs. They like to see community service and JROTC, and Boy's State (can apply to this junior year and is during summer between 11th and 12th grade)

    4) What is the Junior summer of HS opportunity? I don't know anything about it.

    Summer Leadership Seminar....you can apply to this spring of junior year (the app counts also as your actual academy candidate questionnaire, so it takes care of that), and it is during the summer between 11th and 12th grade. Admissions is very competitive, more so than to the academies themselves, so don't be discouraged if you are not accepted to attend this.

    More Info: http://admissions.usma.edu/moreinfo/summer.cfm, http://admissions.usma.edu/FAQs/FAQS_summer.cfm



    I'm also a HS sophomore...best of luck on your application to the academy.
     
  4. theosays

    theosays Member

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    Thanks a lot both of you. Hope I'm not coming off stupid with these questions. Nearly all of the questions I wrote up have been answered by combined you two and the website except for the one about opening a file. I know the formal meaning, as in to begin the application process junior year but apparently a lot of people are in contact with USMA well before junior year, and the student is regularly checked in on by someone from West Point's admissions department. Does anyone know anything about that?

    Thanks again.
     
  5. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    Maybe a cadet could chime in here with correct numbers, but the pay changes by year due to differing expenses. You will also be paid less if you don't make the initial 2k deposit for uniforms, computers, etc before R-day. I think plebe pay is somewhere in the range of $200 a month, and it increases each year to the point where firstie year I think you make around $700 per month. Sorry if my numbers are incorrect.
     
  6. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

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    No stupid questions here:smile:...yes, I am "in contact" and receive infrequent mailings from USMA, but no, have yet to be "checked in on" by. This might be more later after your well into the application process. The only possibility otherwise would be if you were in contact with a coach/scout trying to get recruited.
     
  7. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    I'm a sophomore from MA, wanting to go to West Point in NY. Funny. :yllol:

    I don't think you can make a file sophomore year. I think earliest would be December Junior year, for Summer Leaders Seminar.

    So far West Point has sent me a letter from being on the mailing list. It was a simple try your best type of letter.

    I don't know if you're referring to a Military Academy Liasion Officer (MALO). This person helps you during the application process. I'm not sure what they do during the process but you can call admissions if you want to know yours. The ones I've met are very helpful and nice.

    Oh, and there are no stupid questions. :thumb:
     
  8. goldfarb1

    goldfarb1 Candidate

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    Also look at the other service academies. I'm not sure what you are interested in as far as a military career goes....I was intially set on the Naval Academy and after a bit of research I added coast guard academy and merchant marine academy to my list. Navy is still my number one, but I will be applying to USMMA and USCGA.
     
  9. theosays

    theosays Member

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    I must've misheard about that "open file" thing prior to Junior year. I just signed up for the mailing list, but otherwise I couldn't find anything about it on their website. In fact, it said on one page quite clearly that you have to be a Junior to open a file. Anyway, thanks for the help.

    As for Goldfarb1, I definitely don't disregard Annapolis but the more I learn about West Point the more it presents itself as the right choice so in all likelihood I probably will be sticking to USMA.
     
  10. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

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    You can make a file as early as your 8th grade year, I think (all it is is a mailing list, but it also is a "file" of your preliminary information so the application process can go smoother and faster with them already having info about you already)...it is an official file, just not a fully usable file that you can submit application materials to yet (if you know what I mean)...you can't apply for admission to SLS till Dec. of junior year or for admission to USMA till spring of junior year.

    Yes, by all means contact your MALO and ask any questions...they will be helpful to you throughout the application process.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  11. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

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    What's your plan B or C or D? Army ROTC? Etc.?
     
  12. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    I feel the same way. I really have a large interest for the army but not a lot of interest for the other branches. I always feel like I'm being selfish when I say that.
     
  13. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    From a MALO perspective, currently all we can see information on are candidates for 2015 (juniors) and prior. However, we do have access to the mailing list for candidates who are now sophomores and freshmen (2016/2017), but that is strictly what it says - names and addresses only (not even emails which I'd like). We were kind of told "off the record" that it was frowned on to contact candidates before junior year - that it might be seen by others as giving them an "edge" in the process; however, we are free to answer any questions if they contact us.
     
  14. titan2010

    titan2010 Member

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    just chill out for now. Follow through with your plans, they seem pretty solid. If your school doesn't have class rank, try to get your standardized test scores in the highest percentile possible, and take them AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE. As others have said, the mailing list is all you can do for now. Mid-December of Jr year, you can apply for the summer program, which is when you start the real application. At this point, keep your options open. Look into ROTC, look into USNA, USAFA, USCGA, and USMMA. You might like them better or realize why you like USMA so much. But also keep your options open as a soph. Figure out which sports/clubs you want to take seriously and become a leader in, and which ones aren't worth the time.
    The admissions committee would rather you be a leader of one thing than a "participant" in five things.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. theosays

    theosays Member

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    ROTC @ the colleges that most appeal to me that have them...

    And marciemi/titan, thanks a lot that was really helpful.
     
  16. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

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    You seem to like Army/WP a lot (just like me:smile:), so you might want to also look into Marine Corps (USNA/Navy ROTC Marine Option), which is similar.
     
  17. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    When you go to the link I posted on the admissions page and sign up for the mailing list, then you have started a file. West Point will mail you some information, including reminders to apply for SLS. Each time you take the SAT/ACT/PSAT have the scores sent.
     
  18. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

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    No, your not being selfish at all...some people have an appeal for only one branch for different reasons while other (like me) like to explore their options...no way is better than the other. Go for what you want...I would, however, just out of curiousity, like to know what you think about USMC and your reasons for liking Army over it (purely for the information...I like getting others opinions so I can better "learn" myself and look better at my options)?
     
  19. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    My mistake about the file. I am signed up for the mailing list too and I carry around the letter I received in my school backpack.

    I do prefer the Army because many of the jobs within appeal to me, like infantry, armor, corps of engineers, military police (I know other branches have the same jobs for their branches). I do like how the army is used as a large campaign force too. I respect all military branches though. If there were no possible way for me to join the army I would try for any military branch.
    I have researched all the branches and I seem to be naturally attached to the army when I read or talk about it. I am sort of turned off by the other branches because I like keeping my boots on the ground (I know not everyone is in a boat or flies). I would be fine with any job in the army, besides aviation. My dream would also to be a ranger officer after a few years but I'm trying to take small steps for now. :cool:

    I have actually been thinking about this answer for a long time. It's sort of a natural attachment that I really couldn't explain too well. I wish I had a more straight forward answer here, but life has set me this attachment and I'm fine with it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  20. Dadandgrad

    Dadandgrad Parent

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    In case it wasn't already mentioned you can apply next January or so to attend the SLS (Summer Leader Seminar) at West Point. All the academies have similar programs for rising high school seniors to get a first hand look at life at a service academy. I'll also echo the previous comments on the importance of a "plan b" because you never know what's going to happen. Best of luck!
     

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