How do they review applications?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Momof4, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. Momof4

    Momof4 Member

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    Hello- I enjoy seeing all of the appointments thus far and getting answers to questions I did not realize I had. I wondered is there a process the academy uses when reviewing applications? Alphabetically, geographically, or by order of when submitted? I think I read previously that they review applications on Wednesday, is this true? It seems a lot of appointments are received on Fridays. Thanks for keeping me engaged as we await a decision.
     
  2. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    The most info o can offer is that they review early selection applications first when handing out appointments and then regular decision. I would like to say there is some correlation between when you are appointed and the nominations you have because each nomination pool only has so many seats. Not much help I know but that's a little info.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    "Review" is a tricky word. Your application is always under review. It's reviewed via computer to keep track of if you are below standards in any areas. It's also reviewed by your admissions counselors as new information is added to it.

    But as far as being "Reviewed" by the "Selection Board", they don't even look at it until the application is 100% complete and you're qualified. This is the actual board that says Yes or No to you receiving an appointment. Most people can't and won't know of an appointment until after December. That's because most applicants only have a Congressional Nomination to work with, and most senators/representatives don't even interview for nominations until after November; let alone make their list. There are some who have other nominations, such as Presidentials, who can do a little earlier. But there aren't a lot of them. MOST applicants are going to find out if they received an appointment in January and then the March/April time frame. However, the academy can and does give out appointments along the way. Especially for applicants they really want and they know they are competing with other schools for the individual.

    But again, there are cursory reviews of your application constantly. Either by computer or by the counselors. But as far as a real review, to determine if you'll receive an appointment, that is done by a review board and they won't even look at the applications until it's 100% complete. So alphabetical, geographical, etc. doesn't matter. It's when it's 100% complete.
     
  4. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    I do know that there is more than one board (perhaps the counselors mentioned by Christcorp?) that reads the packet, recommendations, etc. They're grouped by region of country. For instance, if I remember correctly, Colorado is in region 4.
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Counsellors review your app to make sure it is 100% complete and everything is there. They don't review it for offering appointments. The review board that decides on whether or not you receive an appointment meets on scheduled days to go through the completed apps. If there are additions to the apps, such as updated sat or act scores, they will review the app again.

    Just don't want people to confuse the appointment review board with how your counselor reviews your app. The counselor is simply reviewing it to make sure it's ready for the appointment review board. They don't make any decisions.
     
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  6. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Oh! I am really glad you cleared that up! I didn't really understand that! So if your application has been reviewed, but they deferred you, does that mean it will pass through a review board again, and they may wait to decide and pass it through again, and on and on until finally they make a decision? Sorry, I hope that makes sense what I'm trying to ask.....this whole process is very confusing!
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I am replying to not only the poster, but for others in general. Nothing written here is personal about any particular applicant. In a over simplified explanation: When they reviewed it initially, "Part of the EA program", they were looking for the scores and applicants who were at the very top. Based on years of scores and statistics, they are pretty good at recognizing applications that are at the top. Those "Top" applications are the ones who are the best in each Nomination category and those with overall scores that are stellar. Basically, it's the ones they know will score high enough to receive an appointment no matter who they are compared to. Remember; the EA program is basically designed to give the academy a competitive chance against other universities and the other academies for applicants who are going to have many offers.

    This isn't to lower the hope of anyone who didn't get selected prior to Mid-January. The EA program was designed to help those stellar applicants know sooner, because they probably would receive numerous other acceptance letters from other schools prior to the March-April time frame. The academy realized that by waiting until March-April, they were losing a lot of high end applicants to other schools because they accepted other sure offers instead of holding out and waiting for the academy to make a decision. So the academy came up with the EA program so if you finished the application in time, you would know, and they would know, sooner if you were a definite appointee, a no, or a competitive candidate.

    So what does deferred mean? It means that your application is competitive, but you are going to be COMPARED to the other applicants who are also competitive and you'll be ranked accordingly. Let me explain it a little differently. Let me explain how it was BEFORE the EA program came about a couple years ago, and how it is today.

    A couple years ago, lets say you were the very first person in the country who completed their application. Let's say it was July. Your application sat and waited until the review board started to meet and review the application. (Usually around the end of September). They scored your application. Depending on your scores, and their statistics of past scores, they would decide where you stood. Basically, there were 3 categories. 1) You had a non-MOC nomination already; e.g. presidential and your scores were stellar. They might offer you an early appointment around October/November. (Very small number of people). 2) You didn't have a nomination yet, because most MOC's didn't do theirs until Nov/Dec, but you had stellar scores, so they MIGHT offer you an LOA (Letter of Assurance). If you do get a nomination, and pass you physical and medical, then you're guaranteed an appointment. 3) All others who have competitive scores, and you'll compete against the 9 others on your MOC's nomination slate, or other slate, or in the national pool. This 3rd group usually had to wait until the March/April time frame. This is the MAJORITY of all applicants. Probably in the 80-85% range of applicants.

    How did the EA affect or change this? Basically, they combined number 1&2 in the previous paragraph. IF your application was completed 100% prior to November 1st; you passed your physical and medical; and you received a nomination; (Hence the reason for January, so the nominations from MOCs were completed); then the academy would let you know immediately if you A) Received an appointment; B) WON'T receive an appointment; or C) Will be considered with the majority in the March/April time frame. Too many people think the EA is some special program that they were selected for, because they were better than average. Unfortunately, this isn't true. Not to pop anyone's bubble, but in the beginning of the application process, all information to that point about you is "SELF IDENTIFIED". They know very little about you in June/July. Most people are EA. I had 11 applicants this year. 9 were EA. The ONLY REASON the other 2 WEREN'T is because they are both active duty airmen. but ALL of my high school applicants were EA. Sorry if that makes some people not feel as special as they thought they might have been for being EA Eligible. And the purpose of this EA program, was to let the applicant know earlier if they were one of the STELLAR applicants who would definitely get an appointment. This wasn't to really help the applicants. It was so the academy might have a better chance of you, the stellar applicant, saying YES to the academy instead of yes to one of the other university offers you received early. Again; most of these stellar applicants also received a lot of other offers. Many would accept one of these others because they didn't want, or couldn't wait, until March/April to make a decision.

    For the final part of your question. Once your application is reviewed by the board, it receives a score. Actually, it is multiple scores that create a composite score. E.g. academics, leadership, community, team, physical, etc. Once your score is computed, that's it. Your application is never looked at again. (UNLESS something changes). E.g. updated SAT/ACT scores or something you added prior to the Jan 30 cutoff. The only difference here is; when it was reviewed under the EA Period, it was to determine if your application/scores were such that you were definitely the tops and they KNEW they were going to offer you an appointment. Therefor, they'd let you know early, in the hope that you would say yes to the academy instead of another school. If you were deferred, then you went into the normal competition against others. (Nomination lists and national pool). That's why there are appointments being given out periodically since January. Maybe you weren't the "Best of the Best" and knew by Jan 15th, but you were the Best on your MOC list, so you received that. Maybe your MOC used the Principal Nomination for you and you received an appointment earlier than March/April. So no, unless something was added to your application, there is no need for it to every be reviewed again. You have a score. e.g 842 points. That score will be used to compete with all others on your MOC list or on the national pool. When your application is reviewed, it's either YES they are 100% qualified, here's their score to COMPETE WITH.... or NO, they aren't qualified and you are dropped out of any further consideration. The review part of the application is to determine HOW MANY POINTS you receive. It's not something that can be done with a computer. There's a lot of subjectivity to it.

    Even though this was a long answer, believe it or not it was still an Over-Simplified answer. Hope it helps. Mike.
     
  8. onesooz

    onesooz Member

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    Great explanation. Thank you!
    One follow on question... Are the Admissions Counselors fairly prompt in adding to candidate files as items come in via email, snail mail, etc.? DS took on a significant leadership role within his JROTC unit when school started in September, but it took us a long time to figure out how to update his file (many phone calls/emails). After finding out his Senior Aerospace Instructor could simply write/email a letter describing the new responsibilities, and send it to DS's Admission Counselor, he did just that. Would that be something added to the file pretty promptly? Thanks for your insight!
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Pretty much, as soon as the admissions office receives updates to your application, it is updated. That doesn't mean your Online Portal is updated immediately. But that doesn't mean your application hasn't been updated. Of course, you definitely want to verify with your counselor if you don't see the update in a reasonable amount of time. Especially if it's something that won't show up on the portal. And especially if it's towards the end of the application deadline. It's usually best to contact your counselor about a week or two after sending or having submitted something to them for your application to ensure that they received it.
     
  10. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Sorry for all of the questions.... I was wondering if someone from your nomination slate has been selected and you've been moved to the national pool, will they tell you this, or no?
     
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  11. onesooz

    onesooz Member

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    Great question, Bailey. I will be very interested to see the reply. DS and I were pondering the very same thing over dinner last night!
     
  12. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Lol I'm glad I'm not the only one so full of questions! ;)
     
  13. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    I don't believe they tell you.
     
  14. onesooz

    onesooz Member

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    Darn! Thanks for the insight.
     
  15. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    No, they aren't going to tell you if you are being considered in the national pool or in your MOC nomination slate. Too complicated to explain, but know that unless a MOC specifically mentions a "Principal" nominee, who is guaranteed to get an appointment under their slot, nothing else is a given. They could give one appointment using the slot from the MOC slate, but later change that because that slate had another individual the academy really wanted; and you happen to also have a presidential nomination or another slate, they might move you to that slot. Once you receive an appointment, you can't lose it. (Unless you screw up). But the academy doesn't make the FINAL CHARGE to where that appointment came from until Basic Training is all over. Then, they balance the books so the MOCs know how many empty slots they have for the next year. So no, there's no way they are going to tell you.

    There's only 2 possible ways to know whether you received an appointment based on a particular slate or from the national pool:
    1) You ONLY had a Non-MOC nomination such as a presidential nomination and you received an EARLY Appointment; October/November and you declined getting any other nominations. There's a 99.99938748% chance that your appointment will be slated against one of the 100 Presidential appointment slots. There's now advantage giving your presidential slot to another presidential nominee and swapping who got it from the national pool. It's an identical swap with nothing gained.
    2) You received a PRINCIPAL Nomination from your Representative/Senator. Then the academy had no choice.
    Other than that, you just won't know if you or someone else actually filled the MOC slot or if you got the appointment through the national pool. So many nominees have multiple nominations, so the slots get moved around a lot.
     
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  16. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    Christcorp, you mentioned receiving a presidential nomination and declining getting any other nominations... so if all the planets are lined up, and all the planes are in the sky, so to speak, if one is eligible for a presidential nomination and receives an early appointment, are they not encouraged to continue on with the MOC nominations? Is there a possibility of not getting a presidential nomination? Thanks for all your information. It is appreciated.
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    If you're eligible for a Presidential Nomination, then you definitely get it. That's not a concern. Now whether you or any other person is indeed eligible for a presidential, I won't theorize on that. If you're eligible and you receive it, it will say so on your online application portal.

    Now; as far as receiving an "early appointment", I'm speaking of receiving one prior to any of the MOC's even interviewing and doing their nominations. I'm speaking of receiving an early appointment in the October-November time frame. If an individual did in fact receive an actual APPOINTMENT, then they must have received it using one of the 100 guaranteed slated Presidential nominations. Just like the MOC slate appointments. They give 10 nominations but only 1 is guaranteed on that slate. Same with the presidential. There can be 400, 500, 600+ presidential nominations, but only 100 appointments can be given using the Presidential nomination slate.

    Now, assuming you did receive the early appointment with a presidential nomination slate, are you discouraged from applying for your MOC's nominations. The answer to that depends on who you ask. If you ask the academy, they will encourage you to get all the MOC nominations you can. WHY? Simple.... The academy wants the flexibility to take away the presidential slot you received your appointment with, charge your appointment to your MOC's slate, and use that Presidential on someone they want to give an appointment to but they didn't receive a MOC nomination. Basically, the academy gets more options. On the other hand, if you speak with your MOC/MOC's office (Assuming they are knowledgeable), they will NOT WANT to give you a nomination. They want you to get your appointment with the presidential so the MOC can have an extra appointment for themselves. e.g. If you're guaranteed an appointment and the academy moves you to the MOC's slot, then that's it. You're the MOC's appointee. But if they have to keep you on the Presidential because you don't have a MOC nomination, your MOC has you (A constituent) and another from their slate. That's 2 with an appointment. But only one that counts against their slots.

    That's how it worked for my son. He had a presidential nomination; received an early appointment in october; and we called the representative and both senators and told them NOT to give my son a nomination even though he applied for one. This way he gets his appointment with the presidential, and they get to get another individual an appointment. But again, this was our decision and we spoke with the MOC's about it. The academy doesn't like this, but the MOC's do.

    Remember; this ONLY APPLIES to those with a guaranteed appointment, early, and before their MOC's have interviewed and made their nominations. If you receive your appointment AFTER receiving a MOC nomination, there is NO WAY TO KNOW where your appointment will be slotted against; so you CAN'T turn down or have a nomination taken away from you. It's not an option. My son's case was/is very unique because there are so few that receive an appointment that early. It's more common to receive an LOA. That's for those who don't have a nomination yet, but if they get one, they are guaranteed an appointment. Someone with a presidential can't receive an LOA because they already have a nomination.

    Hope this all makes some sense. Personally, unless you're part of the "BRAT PACK"; military kids with a presidential or military nomination..... and you receive an appointment PRIOR to interviewing with your MOC..... none of this would apply.
     
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  18. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    Thank you for that information. My daughter will be able to apply for the Presidential nomination and I was just wondering how it worked. I understand that the presidential nominations are unlimited but that there can only be 100 cadets in the academy at the same time. And you are correct, her ALO said she should apply to all MOCs and the VP as well. What you said makes perfect sense. So, if I understand it right, if she meets all their criteria and receives the presidential nomination, that will be the only one she needs. Unless, there are already 100 cadets in the academy that have a presidential nomination; then the MOC and VP would be critical to have. Right?
     
  19. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Is it that there can only be 100 cadets in the academy at a given time with a presidential nomination, or is it that 100 cadets get it each year?
     
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  20. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    100 applicants with a Presidential nomination are admitted each year. There are normally at least 700 applicants with presidential noms to each academy every year... sometimes more.

    Never assume that 1 nomination is enough, even if its Presidential. Always get as many nominations as possible. You compete with other applicants by slate (at least initially). So of the hypothetical 700 applicants with a Presidential nom, only 100 will be admitted and charged to that nomination source. If you also have a nomination from a MOC you are probably competing against 10 applicants to be admitted and charged to that MOC. The more nominations the more chances to win. It's kind of like buying lottery tickets in a way.
     
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