How can I join USAFA...

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Chris Won, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. Chris Won

    Chris Won New Member

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    Hello guys, I am wondering what should I do to join the USAFA. Currently, I'm a sophomore and my gpa is 3.8 but it will be increase after the end of the school year :). I didn't take ACT or SAT yet. I don't do any sports in our school, but, next year I might going to join track team or cross country, also, swimming at the recreation center. Im going to joinmany clubs as well. I am in NHS(national honoers society). What do I need more to get into USAFA??? Please give me some advises. Btw I'm learning aerospace manufacturing in junior/senior years. THANK YOU
     
  2. serendipity

    serendipity Member

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    My biggest advice would be to continue doing well in school and get in good physical condition. Try to get a high score on the ACT or SAT, and participate in as many things as you can without sacrificing your grades. Also, take a look at the Air Force Academy Admissions website (www.academyadmissions.com). It has a lot of valuable information for students aspiring to attend USAFA.

    Best of luck to you!
     
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  3. Chris Won

    Chris Won New Member

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    Thank you very much. Btw do I have to do sports in school?? I'm planning on doing swimming and weight training after school at somewhere else. Is this okay?? I guess I have to study hard during summer break :)
     
  4. serendipity

    serendipity Member

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    Sports, especially team ones, are always a good thing. If you have the chance to play a sport, I would suggest taking the opportunity because it will strengthen your application. It doesn't even have to be a varsity sport. I played intramural sports because my school only had girls varsity volleyball and basketball and I'm not good at either of those sports. Do things you enjoy, and if you enjoy sports, that's just even better.
     
  5. Chris Won

    Chris Won New Member

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    I love to play many sports I love all the sports but I didn't focus on one lol... is track or cross country fine?? Thank you for replying my questions....u r an:angel:
     
  6. Usnavy2019

    Usnavy2019 Member

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    Second the advice from serendipity. All 5 Academies prefer school sports over club sports and I have heard there is a little bias towards team sports. Try your hardest to get a captain or co-captain position in your chosen sport(s). Sports leadership is huge. Also, for clubs, do clubs that interest you, but be involved in them. The Academies see a large amount of kids who have a large amount of clubs with little investment in them. An applicant with only a couple of clubs, but with leadership positions and a lot of hours invested will get the nod over the applicant I described earlier. I know you're a Sophomore (I remember those days ;)), but it is never too early to start exercising and taking a look at the Candidate Fitness Assessment. Best of luck!
     
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  7. serendipity

    serendipity Member

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    Any sport is good. Both track and cross country take commitment and high levels of fitness. And I agree with Usnavy2019, it is never too early to look at the CFA and start practicing those specific events.
     
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  8. Chris Won

    Chris Won New Member

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    Already saw those haha. I'm working on weight training:) and ill never give up
     
  9. Chris Won

    Chris Won New Member

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    Thank you for replying :). I'm joining some community service clubs. I mentioned this, I am going to learn learn aerospace manufacturing. Is it going to be helpful if I get a recommendation from my teacher??
     
  10. serendipity

    serendipity Member

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    I would not worry about recommendations right now. It might be helpful, but I don't know everything that admissions looks at. Just focus on doing really well in school. Academic performance is the one that holds the most weight.
     
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  11. Chris Won

    Chris Won New Member

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    Alright I went little too far I guess. Thank you for the advises:p:p:p:D
     
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    USNavy, I disagree with your advice that team sports are favored over individual or club sports. What is sought is dedication to a sport you truly enjoy, demonstrated leadership in that sport (team captain, holding a leadership position in your club), and ability to compete at a higher level than typical high school PE classes or high school club sports.

    Now to Chris:
    Your syntax does concern me and I wonder if you are outside of the US? If so, you have a lot more to be concerned about.

    In addition: you are finishing up your soph year, and you are JUST NOW considering "joining" a sport, or "joining" a club. This mother says too little, too late, though you could show some interest in something. Why were you not involved in track or XC before you were 16? Why were you not involved in community organizations before now?

    And, for the record, as has been said before: one does not join USAFA or any other US Service Academy. Please take a day or two and actually READ the stickies above (good advice for all newbies and good review for old timers too). Then, we'll talk.
     
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  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I know where you are going fencer, but I think we need to stress that if you join a club it really should be something that is more like a traveling team and not I swim in their club at the rec center.

    Our DS did not do traditional sports. He did Take Kwon Do and was a lifeguard with 23 saves. For TKD he was a Jr.Olympian bronze medalist and 2 time state champion. In essence it was not just pay X amount a month and eventually you will become a black belt. It was traveling every weekend across the state competing against others, and by winning his state level he moved onto the National level where every state had representatives that also won their state.

    Just as your DSs took a unique athletic path. I do agree though with the dedication comment.

    Here is my take on why they like to see sports.
    1. Obviously,USAFA wants you to be physically fit, hence, the CFA
    2. It shows to them, TIME MANAGEMNENT
    ~ just like every college admission board, you can maintain a high cgpa while spending 3-4 hours a day 5 days a week for months. You are not just book smart.
    3. Dedication AND overcoming diversity.
    ~ You will lose a match, a race, etc. Do you quit or do you fight more?

    Yes, leadership is also an important aspect, but it is not the be all impo. There are many cadets that were never team captains, but they stuck with it.

    Finally, Chris please understand what I say next is meant with kindness to assist you in your future path
    1. 3.8 sounds great, but there are over 2k HSs in this country.
    ~ Many posters that have been here long time know that cgpa means nothing by the way you posed it
    ~~ Was the scale 7 point or 10? 92 on a 7 is a B compared to a 10 point.
    ~~ Rigor of your curriculum will play into the equation
    ~~ School profile too....3.8 sounds high, but not if you say it is the top 25% rank. It could be insanely high if 50% go Ivy, an SAis considered Ivy. It would be considered differently if 0% go Ivy and only 15% go 4 year
    2. What state are you from?
    ~ 1st step is a nomination. See above because they will be your competition.
    3. NHS
    ~ It can be listed as an award, but maybe just me, the majority already have that in their package too.
    ~ Take your PSAT and score high enough for National Merit Semi/Finalist will matter more, because now it is saying in your start you were the top 5% against your peers.

    Finally, have plan B in place...AFROTC scholarship. AFROTC scholarship selection is not the same as USAFA
    1. It is national. USAFA starts at a district/state level.
    2. Statistical chance is @ the same @ 16-18%
    ~~ It is a plan B for many, just don't think that it is a given
    3. AFROTC does not take into consideration ECS and academics for senior year. USAFA does
    ~~ In essence for your AFROTC package will only have 1 year of athletics
    4. AFROTC does not super score the SAT/ACT. It is best sitting. Type 1...tuition to any school regardless of cost is close to 32 ACT, and if memory serves me 1380 SAT. Only 5% are awarded and if you want non-tech it is 5% of that 5%. IOWS, maybe 3 nationally will get it for a non-STEM major.

    My best advice that I can give with the little amount you have stated is to give more background so posters can assist.
    ~ Are you in onors/AP/IB?
    ~ Class rank? Have you checked naviance?
    ~ Volunteer work?
    ~ Part time job?

    The Whole Candidate Score (WCS) is called that for a reason. Yes your academic record matters, but so does your CFA, ECs and everything else.
     
  14. Chris Won

    Chris Won New Member

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    Thank you. I live in WA srate. I'm in honors bio and honors algebra2 right now. I'm going to take H pre calc and H chem next year. I am not sure about class rank. I have done few volunteer works and going to do at church. Joining sport team is my greatest concern right now..
     
  15. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Chris, getting involved in sports is great. Just make sure its something you enjoy. Yes, team sports are regarded more highly, but if you're a runner & enjoy doing that, then be the best runner you can be. You can always show "teamwork" in other ways -- organize activities for your school, for instance.

    DD has a friend at USAFA that played no organized sports at all. None. But she had great grades, good test scores, was in leadership positions for band & various clubs, leads in plays, was very involved in community (there's teamwork required for this!), etc. For the physical stuff, she ran, lifted and did yoga.

    We don't know what the magic formula is to get into USAFA, but we have clues. Only USAFA admissions knows for sure. We know that they are looking for people from all walks of life that can prove they have what it takes to make it through the program & become great Air Force officers and leaders.
     
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  16. Kirkmanj

    Kirkmanj Member

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    Dear Chris,
    It is not easy, but it breaks down fairly simply: if you truly desire an academy slot do what it takes to:
    Be top 10% of your class, usually near 3.8 unweighted;
    Score top 25% of act/sat, usually near 32 or 2000;
    Be committed for multile years in at least one competitive sport, which can be cross country or a club. Teams are best but not necessary;
    Hold one or more leadership positions with accomplishment;
    Work or volunteer to demonstrate service and time management;
    Be honorable in everything;
    Be able to write and speak clearly and passionately concerning your accomplishments and convictions, which you will need for application and nomination essays and interviews.

    You can glean details on this forum, but it is a essentially a pattern of excellence. This way, even if you do not receive an appoinment you will be a sought after individual with many options. Best wishes!
     
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  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Not disagreeing on the whole, but I don't think it helps candidates by painting a broad brush stroke as what you have stated.

    Every HS is different, and we do not know how USAFA will rejig that info.
    ~ IE DSs uwcgpa went up because his school used a 7 point scale.
    ~~ 3.8 uwcgpa taking only honors when they had the opportunity to take APs may ding them.

    Top 10% and 0 % go Ivy will be viewed differently than top 15% and 35% go Ivy.
    ~ School profile is part of the PAR. 3.8 top 15% and 35% go Ivy says something different than 3.8, top 10% and 0% go Ivy.
    ~~ 1 says As are not handed out like candy on Halloween and the school is truly competitive. The other says As are handed out like candy on Halloween.
    ~~~ JMPO and $2.07 will get you a small coffee at Starbucks.

    I also would say that posters like Flieger, Christcorp, Fencer, etc. would say to any and all candidates that the SAT score to feel safe is 1600 out of 1600, ACT is 36 composite.

    The OP has a lot of time to work on what they are lacking.
    ~ Many kids do not even start this path until late fall junior year.

    1000% agreement.

    Finally, apply for USAFAs SLS program your junior year. It will not give you an edge per se, but it gives you a glimpse.
    ~ Trust me there are many candidates that never attended SLS, but received an appointment, just like there are many that attend and did not receive an appointment.

    Good luck.

    PS Chris,
    You will not be dinged regarding rigor for having Honors when others have AP/IBs....IF your school curriculum does not allow you to take those courses, but you could be dinged if they allowed it.
    ~ They look at the rigor too. It is part of the GC evaluation submitted.
    ~~ Our DSs transcript included the % that took APs, and the pre-reqs to take these courses.
    ~~~ Could not take AP until they took Honors. IOWS, AP Bio/Chem/Physics required Std/Honors first. DDs school allowed a student to take Std/Hon/AP right out of the gate.
    ~~~~ DS would not get dinged for no AP because of the school. DD would have been dinged for taking Honors because she could have taken the AP class.
     
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  18. PhilDavidsonUSAFA

    PhilDavidsonUSAFA Member

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    Chris....

    I'm torn. First of all your desire is admirable, but there are problems.

    I can tell you, as someone with first hand experience, that many classmates have had issues with spelling/punctuation, but I have never seen one who could not distinguish tenses and proper use of conjunctions, etc. You need to dedicate serious time and effort to reading books and grammatical manuals to learn to write. Even as a STEM major myself (engineering), numerous papers and writing assignments are required. And if you turned in a paper with grammar like what you have here, any professor will either throw it out and fail you or show it to the rest of the class to make fun of you.

    Bottom line, if you can't improve your grammar don't even apply, because I can GUARANTEE you, you WILL NOT make it.
     
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  19. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Perhaps English isn't his first language?
     
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  20. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    Plus also consider this is a forum and less emphasis is put into proper written skills. I'm not saying that's right but I know that even as I type this out I'm not going back to proofread or even worried about the proper formatting of it.

    Now if I'm writing a specification for work (or in a high schooler's case writing an essay) I will put in that effort and apply those skills but here not so much. ;)

    Back to the OP question. You need a sport. I'm a huge proponent of playing a sport due to my DS experiences. The AFA wanted him but he could not get a nomination and the reason was no sport it was the weakest part of his application. He got accepted to Prep and received his appointment this year for the Class of 2019. Also as a little side note he still did NOT get a nomination from a MoC this year.

    I'm writing this to show you that it is possible but it's a long road. It worked out for him but I think that's because he had a pretty good resume outside of the no sports and he was lucky to get Prep.

    Also, a lot of what you read here is to get you in the no brainer category. Those people that would get accepted to ANY university they applied to, that is your goal don't settle for the minimums.
     
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