How do I look?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by NargleSlayer, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. NargleSlayer

    NargleSlayer Member

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    So my GPA is above average, around a 3.9 weighted, 3.5/3.6 unweighted (still trying to calculate this) and my ACT score is a bit... above average :redface: about a 26 right now (don't worry, still prepping).

    I went to a public high school in 9th and 10th grade, I took all pre-AP core classes and language classes except for AP World History sophomore year. Sadly, the school only offered one AP class until Junior year to where you can take AP classes until you drive yourself insane.
    I then moved to a strictly IB school where I took 4 Higher Level and 2 Standard Level courses my Junior year, and my senior year I now take 3 HL and 3 SL.
    (Higher Level is equivalent to AP, Standard Level is equivalent to pre-AP)

    I have documented roughly around 350 service hours through my high school career.

    I've played on 1 JV & 4 Varsity teams-
    9th - JV soccer (head coach didn't allow freshman on Varsity, BUMMER BECAUSE EVERY OTHER COACH DOES :frown: )
    10th - V Track & Field, V Soccer
    11th - V Basketball (State Champions!! :shake: )
    12th - V Cross Country, V Basketball

    I've played competitive soccer for somewhere around 7 years.
    I was also in Olympic Development Program: State Team. (another soccer thing)

    Clubs-
    9th - Student Council, Freshman Advisory Board, 4H (Grand Champion: Baked Goods Division! :thumb: )
    10th - FCCLA, Student Council, 4H
    11th - UNICEF Club, Play it Forward: President, 4H, (Appointed Member) Prom Committee, NHS
    12th - UNICEF Club, Play it Forward: President, 4H, NHS

    Work-
    9th - Carvel Ice Cream
    10th - Carvel Ice Cream, Direct Medical Services (dad's company)
    11th - White's Chapel United Methodist Church (productions crew), Direct Medical Services, Bowmen Sports Camps
    12th - White's Chapel UMC, Bowmen Sports Camps, Direct Medical Services

    Hobbies: Photography, Fitness, Reading

    If there's any pointers anyone would like to make or you just want to throw an opinion out there, feel free, it will only help me.
     
  2. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    You have a nice resume. Keep it up. Definitely work on that ACT! Average ACT score at the academy this year is 30 if I remember correctly.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As lfry mentioned, your scores aren't really above average. Maybe for high school comparison, but not for academy applicants. If you click on the link in my signature block at the bottom of this post, you can download the academy brochure. It will tell you the type and averages for most cadets.

    Having said that, being you are in the IB program, that is a major plus. And don't sell yourself short trying to compare IB HL as being equal to AP and SL being pre-AP. You can't really compare it that way. Nothing against AP classes. They are definitely difficult and needed to get into decent colleges. IB is an actual "Program", not an individual class. IB is looked quite favorably upon by colleges because you aren't simply taking an individual upper level class like you might with AP. Your entire curriculum is upper level. Plus, the classes and instruction are standard. I.e. The senior in IB in Atlanta Georgia is taking the same curriculum and level as the senior "equivalent" in London, Paris, or Tokyo. (Hence why they call it "International Baccalaureate".

    The rest of your resume looks good. You do need to get the ACT scores in the 30 range (Preferably higher). Not just composite, but also individually in math and science. As you will see, the average cadet has a 3.86 gpa unweighted and a 30 ACT. Click on the link and you can see the "Type" of students you are competing with. Best of luck. Mike....
     
  4. icarus

    icarus Member

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    You're one of the few that have posted something like this and not be told that no one in this forum can say or determine who is given an appointment and who has to result to plan "B".
    You can look at the previous years' statistics and use that as a guide but it still doesn't guarantee anything. Someone familiar with the application process can give you pointers but if you do your own research and verify, you'll do just fine.
    You take the courses you take because you really like to take the course. Not because that is what the Academy is looking for. There have been applicants with 2400 SAT scores and 36 ACT and GPA >4.+ that were not accepted. So go figure.
    You have an outstanding CV and are on your way to a bright future. Keep it up and good luck to you and the rest of the class of 2017.
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Icarus. I think you'll notice the op didn't ask what his chances are and no responses said what they thought his chances were. Simply that he needed to raise his act scores to be competitive. And there's a big difference between being competitive and receiving an appointment.
     
  6. icarus

    icarus Member

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    You're right but it seemed implied that that's where it's headed.
    Thanks anyway.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If we were to be honest about how she looks the 1st question after reading 26 ACT composite, should be what was the Verbal on the ACT? 24 is the bottom before the AFA deems them non-competitive.

    We also should remind her, that right now it is not how do I look to the AFA, because she can take that ACT every month until the file closes in Feb. The question really is can he get a nom with a 26 ACT? Most MOCs close their files in Oct. That gives her 1 ACT to get it up high enough for the MOC to nom him.

    She needs a nom., before she should care about how she looks for the AFA boards. I worry for her just on that premise. Maybe she has a Pres. or a ROTC nom, and thus, she has 1 nom in her pocket, but if I am correct she is from MD., and although MD may not be seen as competitive as their neighbor, VA., it still is because MD has USNA, it has many military members, their MOC pool depending on where they live can be insane. Havre De Grace, not competitive for Cong., Annapolis, Columbia, Gaithersburg, yes it is competitive.
     
  8. FromRVa15

    FromRVa15 Member

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    You need to get your ACT score way up, just saying. And take the SAT too. That gives the Admission board more angles to judge you, if you get what I am saying. I believe you need a minimum score of 24 on the ACT to apply (I can't remember), so your 26 isn't really above average. Everything else is looking good, really good actually, so keep it up!
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    FromRVa15, believe it or not it is just the Verbal that you need typically a 24 to be deemed competitive, it states so on the AFA website. It does not state 24 composite or 24 M/S, just Verbal.

    If Nargle has a 23 on this portion, but 29 on M/S(26 comp), the AFA may decide to stop them there, and they will most likely receive an At This Time letter from the AFA.

    They may have seen that 24 info on the AFA website leading them to believe it is above avg, but I think by now they understand that unlike the CFA where they publish the maxs, for ACT/SAT they publish the mins. She is just slightly above the mins. Sorry Nargle, that is the fact.

    There are many candidates that get apptmts with low scoring ACT/SATs, and high cgpas. This is why the AFA looks at the school profile too. A 3.6 uw, in an IB program, but a very low score on the national tests (SAT/ACT) leaves them with questions since there appears to be a disconnect between testing and cgpa.

    1. Does the school hand out A's like candy?
    ~~~ School profile of X amt kids going, Ivy, 4 yr, 2 yr., tech, and nothing informs them if the school does this.

    2. Is it test anxiety or another issue, maybe a language barrier.

    Candidates typically don't understand how the process works for prep and falcon scholarships. They tend to view these options as the 2nd runner up in a beauty pageant, but that can't be further from the truth. The candidate with a 1500 SAT, 34 ACT, 3.8 cgpa will not be offered prep. after all of the appointments go out. The candidate like Nargle, if they get a nom., is one that maybe offered prep. Academically, they have a great cgpa, they have the ECs, and the CFA, but when it comes to the SAT/ACT they fall short, and they want to give them 1 more yr of academic instruction to level it out to the AFA's stds., not your HS academic stds.

    The trick for them is getting that nom., so they compete for the AFA.

    I worry about candidates like Nargle. I worry that they have not taken the time to look into the AFA website deep enough to see what a C4C must take academically that yr., it is filled with Math and Science. The AFA knows that, and they know that their best chance of keeping cadets from an academic perspective is to level the playing field, and use the SAT/ACT as a leveler since it is a national test.

    College, be it AFA or Auburn, will do the exact same thing regarding admissions. They will look at these scores because they know the Prof is not going to slow the rest of the class down because of one student/cadet. The AFA has an additional problem, they know that C4C's are not traditional students, they have a schedule to live by, and less free time to study than the avg Auburn student. The thing they have in common is, every student, as anxious as they are to leave the nest, will miss it, and will have adjustment problems. Those problems can impact their grades.

    No strong academic foundation, higher risk of fear, higher risk of fear, higher risk of throwing in the towel, now add into the mix, 1000's of miles away from home.

    Sorry, but that is MPHO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  10. hopeful2017parent

    hopeful2017parent Member

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    do you plan on playing any sports at USAFA? have you contacted the coaches? you might find out youre good enough to be a recruited athlete
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    hopeful,

    You are right, they may be athletically gifted enough to be recruited, but that still does not assist them if they are going to meet the academic standars for the AFA. The academic foundation needed to graduate/commission when they have a 26 ACT.

    The recruited athlete issue on this forum is always a fireball, and in this case when the ACT is 26, it becomes more of a debate.

    I hope we don't now walk into the recruited vs non-recruited discussion without knowing if the OP is even eligible for this option.
     
  12. NargleSlayer

    NargleSlayer Member

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    Actually, It might be possible I'll go for the soccer team or the Track & field team. I'd love to represent the AFA in anyway I can, but I still have a while to go! :smile:
     
  13. NargleSlayer

    NargleSlayer Member

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    Yeah! I meant 26 above average for the United States' College Bound HS Seniors... Definitely not the AFA, the have way higher standards!
     
  14. NargleSlayer

    NargleSlayer Member

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    Actually, my school put me at a 3.9 unweighted GPA (I guess I messed up a few calculations). And, I meant to put myself as, maybe, an above average score for the USA's College Bound Student. I'm fully aware of the AFA's higher standards, hahah

    my post needs to be edited :cool:
     
  15. Scratcher

    Scratcher Member

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  16. NargleSlayer

    NargleSlayer Member

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    I have received a nomination from probably the most competitive district in Texas. And I actually have a 3.9 unweighted GPA according to my school. They weight because the school is so hard. And I actually transferred schools my junior year to place myself in a more academically rigorous environment.
    I have narrowed my chances to the prep due to my unchanging ACT reading score grade that brings my composite way down. (curses).

    I have! I am in touch with the soccer coach.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Nargle,

    Prep is something you can't select for yourself, they select you. That being stated with the disparity between your ACT and your cgpa, prep is probably an option for you compared to the 31ACT with a 3.5 cgpa.

    Best wishes.
     
  18. John41057

    John41057 Member

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    GPA or ACT or Recruited Athlete

    Hi
    Happy new year to you all.

    As I sit here reading posting (and others) on this forum I am struck by one glaring fact. Even with all the hard work my DS did to bring his GPA (3.95) up by taking college classes and with all his extra accomplishments in the community. It still came down to one fact I can not ignore...He is very blessed to have been a highly recruited athlete as I do not believe after looking at all the wonderful grades and SAT or ACT scores and extras on top of extras these wonderful young adults have put into their package that my DS would have gotten accepted but for his ability in sports. I know an athlete puts in thousands of hours into becoming the best player they can be. I for one understand the cost of such training as he was growing up. The thousands and thousands of dollars for travel, coaches, camps, tournaments, pitching coaches, physical therapy for conditioning ETC. But once he made the decision to attend the USAFA he turned his attention to his grades, GPA, and ACT, not just concentrating on sports. The maturity level I have seen in him has been amazing. But that being said, I am not sure he would have been accepted if not for his sports ability. I am sure my personal relationship with his MOC would have gotten him an interview (but nothing more), but the LOA made all the interviewers brighten up during the interview process. The MOC must have mailed his nomination the same day he interviewed as it arrived two days later at our house.
    Regards
    John
     
  19. otterpop

    otterpop Member

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    looking good man, but I'm gonna give you the down and dirty - ACT is crucial for the Academy, unless you go to college for a year. The year I applied out of high school, I had a 28 cumulative on my ACT. I then proceeded to do a year at BYU, worked construction, joined the BYU Golf Team, did just over a 100hrs of community service, and worked a 25 hour/week job with 16 and 17 credit hours respectively between the semesters. The most impressive part of my application the 2nd time was that I was able to juggle this load and still earn a 3.97 my first year at college. I just finished my first semester here at USAFA, and I'm sitting at a 3.94 - believe me, much harder than I thought heading into this place.

    What my story delineates, is that the Academy looks at the ACT as a means of judging how well you succeed at college level courses - it isn't always accurate, but it is a way to level the applicant field. Now, you have all of your other ducks in a row, but it comes down to the ACT. From your profile I see only one realistic way of approaching this application - up your ACT score, or expect to go to college for a year.

    If I could've done it over again, I still would have gone to college, because the people I met there, and the independence you embrace put you leaps and bounds ahead of other incoming cadets. Sure it might put me back a year, but now I've got business contacts in an extensive LDS community, and I'm in great position to pursue extraordinary opportunities at the Academy.

    Obviously accept the appointment if you get it this year, but just remember in the back of your mind that these next few years are not a race, and they truly will shape the rest of your life. I am in arguably one of the toughest squadrons at USAFA, and I am genuinely enjoying the experience. A year of college (especially as a athlete:shake:) is awesome. Good luck! Man I hope you make it - you sound like a great cadet in the making!
     
  20. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    John, I very much agree. People cannot possibly understand what sacrifice and devotion it takes to train full time for a sport unless they have actually done it themselves. I remember when I first started training it suddenly brought a whole new meaning to watching the olympics and being able to empathize with the athletes. The lessons that can be gained are also tremendous. That being said, athletes should indeed be held responsible academically as well, especially for admission to a place such as USAFA, where they will become the country's next leaders upon graduation.
     

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