How can I enhance chances for West Point

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by similee, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. similee

    similee New Member

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    I am currently and incoming Junior looking to apply for West Point. I have a few questions but first here is a list of everything.

    GPA: 3.1 (unweighted), 3.6 (weighted) Probably top 30-40% in my grade

    Extracurricular (by the end of Senior year): Soccer for 2 years, Track & Field for 1 year, Gymnastics for 3 years, VEX club for 3 year

    Projected ACT: 31 (Hoping to get this 33+)

    Other: Volunteering (Planning on 150+ hours), Missions trip at Nicaragua

    Achievements:
    - For soccer, my team and I tied and broke school records for Freshman and Sophomore year.
    - For track & field, I was a Freshman indoor Conference 400m champ and a Freshman outdoor Conference 4x400m champ.
    - For Gymnastics I made it into Varsity at the end of the season and my team and I won the State Championship.
    - (MOST likely to be captain for Gymnastics team Senior year)
    - Recommended to do Leader's PE (PE class where you lead the freshman)

    Okay I know my GPA is what brings this whole thing down, but I believe that I can make a change this coming Junior year.

    Questions:
    - Can a good ACT score help me look better despite the GPA? (Or will they think I'm a smart guy who is lazy with his classes)

    - Would quitting Soccer look bad? (I've lost interest as well as the fact that I don't believe I can manage the sport with my academics)

    - In general, how do I look? (Preferring an answer with someone who has knowledge on an academy)

    -How does one get into Boy's State? (Stupid Question)

    - What are other things can I do outside of academics? (Although college does have an influence, I genuinely want to be more active)
     
  2. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    What kind of high school classes have you taken thus far? Have you taken math classes the past two years?

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  3. billyb

    billyb Member

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    To be honest, you have a lot to overcome with that class rank. You are going to need to kill it this year. My recommendation on the academic side:

    Get 34+ on ACT
    Get straight A's junior year and take AP Calc, AP Chem, AP English, Physics. I doubt your class rank will be able to recover to top 10% even with straight A's but you have at least made a case for yourself that you can handle the highest level of classes in high school and do great. Awesome essay.......how I learned to focus and become disciplined (compare and contrast academics in 9th and 10th grade with 11th grade) on my growth path from adolescence to adulthood.

    It is still an achievable goal... you just have to work harder than you ever have before to get it.
     
  4. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Google "Boys State" and add your state name to the search or speak to one of your guidance counselors.

    JMO, I would probably devote less time to volunteering and more time to academics, being tutored, or an ACT/SAT prep class.
     
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  5. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Contact the admissions rep for your area as soon as possible. Their contact info is listed on the website. They are in the best position to give you feedback on your chances and what you should do to make yourself more competitive. Most will be very direct with you and may offer suggestions that need to be implemented before the start of the coming school year.
     
  6. TriService2017

    TriService2017 Member

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    If you are interested in continuing athletics (you sorta have to anyway) reach out to the Track or soccer coaches now and fill out the recruiting forms. This is the season where track coaches are identifying potential recruits. Do Boys State and work on that class rank and standardized test scores. Do you know how competitive your district might be?
     
  7. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Academics are overwhelmingly the most important part of the application, so you not only need to bring grades up (top 20% if possible), but get a very decent ACT (shoot for 31, but Math probably is most important score). Forget about "projecting" an ACT score. Actually take the test every time it is offered and do well. Projections mean nothing. USMA super-scores, and doesn't hold it against you at all if you take it as many times as possible.

    That all being said, academics are not the only very important piece of the application. The academies look for well rounded people. Don't quit soccer. multiple varsity sports gets you big points in the whole candidate score. Win an officer spot on student government or NHS. Do well on the CFA (practice hard here). Put together an overall solid application. Leave no stone unturned.
     
  8. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Ask your HS counselor about Boys State. My son never did it, and didn't even know about it until we visited West Point. It was too late for him, but he could have probably gotten it for the asking as no one from our school ever participates. A Great ACT score will help you regardless of your GPA. Indeed, I would argue that your ACT/SAT is the single most important part of the evaluation, and very few who know how this all works would dispute that. So study hard, and take it often.

    How you look right now is bad, primarily because you don't have a complete application. Get an ACT score, and then ask. But your application is compared to the other candidates in your MOC districts, so that question is all relative. If you are living in a remote area of North Dakota , Wyoming, or Alaska, and are the only one to apply to USMA, you are looking pretty competitive. If you live in northern Virginia, don't hold your breath for an appointment.

    These are pretty hard spots to get. It sounds like you are a pretty capable kid, so it is up to you to put your best effort forward. Just getting through the whole application process is time consuming and difficult. Most people don't have the long term commitment or stamina to do everything it takes to complete a competitive application. ACT practice tests during any free time you have, taking the tests multiple times early Saturday mornings, interviews, essays, dealing with your teachers and school officials for transcripts, letters, evaluations, practicing for the CFA, taking the CFA, taking difficult classes and working hard to get good grades, medical exams, etc. Those that have the character, intellect, and motivation do do what it takes, more often than not put themselves in a competitive position for a spot. And those are the kids that the academies desire.
     
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  9. similee

    similee New Member

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    Will it look that bad if I quit soccer? I'm trying to focus more on academics by doing so, but I am also filing up some time with volunteering, getting tutored, and VEX club.
     
  10. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    JMHO, I would continue soccer and cut back on volunteering. West Point likes to see varsity letters and team captains. West Point isn't nearly as interested in volunteer hours as other colleges might be.
     
  11. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    While @Dixieland makes a good point, I think you should do what you want to do, not what you think USMA wants you to do. I assume, also, that you're applying to other schools besides West Point? You can't please everyone, especially if you tailor your resume to one school. Do what you find interesting and enjoyable, and things will fall into place.
     
  12. brovol

    brovol Member

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    I believe that varsity sport is better than the volunteering, and that the academies want to see that you can handle a heavy schedule and still manage good grades. So yes, I think it will look bad.
     
  13. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Since the OP asked "How can I enhance chances for West Point" that is how I couched my reply.
     
  14. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Oh, I agree, and you're not wrong. But, to be fair, most applicants aren't getting into West Point. I think we'd be remiss in not helping the kid in general.
     
  15. similee

    similee New Member

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    Thanks for all your replies! They've been insightful, although, I still probably will end up discontinuing soccer. (For the record, volunteering is something I want to do for reasons other than college)
     

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