How exactly to the "national" nominations work?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by usnagrad1988, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. usnagrad1988

    usnagrad1988 Member

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    I was recruited to play football for Navy back in 1983 and went to NAPS, so no nomination was needed, and graduated in 1988. My son applied to USNA this year and like everyone else we are going to the mailbox in anticipation daily between now and the end of March.

    MY QUESTION centers around what I think someone referred to NWL here? or National Nominations. We are in Florida and my son received a nomination from Senator Nelson. We then received letters from Senator Rubio and our Congressman congratulating my son on getting his nomination and that the Senators and Congressmen in Florida talk to each other to make sure there is no overlap (i.e. giving multiple nominations to one person). I sent an e-mail to our congressman's office, since I thought it would be in the better interest of the applicant, who goes to three independent interviews, if they received multiple Noms. They were kind enough to call me and we had a great discussion.

    They said they loved my son, his interview was great and that he was one of two they interviewed, who also received a Nom from a Senator, so even though they would have given him theirs, they gave it to someone else. They said since the Senator Nom was harder to get that it would be better for that one to be submitted and that they notified USNA that they were going to give it to my son, but didn't due to the overlap. Nice. The part that I was unaware of, was that my Congressman said he had 6 appointments to USNA last year, 5 to Air Force and 4 to USMA. I thought each congressman only got 1 each? She said that we are in a very competitive district and typically get a lot of national Noms. Our Senator's office indicated that they go in search of Noms from other states and congressmen.

    So out of 10 noms from a Senator or Congressman in a competitive State, like Florida, Virginia, Maryland or California, how many can get an appointment from USNA?
     
  2. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    All 10 could be appointed. One would be charged to the MOC, the others would be charged to another, non MOC, source.

    You compete head to head with the 10 on the MOCs slate. The winner gets the appointment. The other 9 go to the national pool. Depending on how those other nine compare to the rest of the national pool, based on the Academy's needs will determine if they get an appointment or not.
     
  3. usnagrad1988

    usnagrad1988 Member

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    Great, thanks. I assumed an even disbursement wouldn't work. How many students from rural Montana or Idaho really want to go to USNA? :)
     
  4. Blessedmom

    Blessedmom Member

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    Hi just curious, you said you were a graduate of USNA, do SA accept a % of legacy children? I know Ivy & top colleges accept a large % considering they have less than 10% acceptance rate, esp. if parents are big donors but since SA is tuition free do parents and graduates donate to SA like they do civilian colleges, and is it easier for younger siblings to attend if older sibling is still at SA??
     
  5. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    There is no allowed % of legacy Midshipmen-----the political uproar over that would be huge. Having said that though, having a relative attend the Academy is a teeny, teeny little bump based on the fact the relative's attendance has motivated a candidate, the candidate understands more what they are getting into, and perhaps coming from a military family would be more inclined to make a career. The bump is SO small though that it really is barely worth considering and is far overwhelmed by the usual grades, sports, and extracurricular activities. There are many stories of Admiral's kids and grandkids who never got in.

    The Alumni Association is always looking for donors but donations have absolutely zero influence on admissions. Again, if there were a connection, the political uproar would be devastating to a tax-payer supported school.
     
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  6. usnagrad1988

    usnagrad1988 Member

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    I'm not sure I would go as far as "Spud" in saying it is "barely worth considering." Go to profiles of last year's class here: http://www.usna.edu/Admissions/classPortrait/ and you will see that there were 56 students accepted whose parent's are alumni, which is roughly 5% of the class. Yes, if you look at the other portrait statistics, you will see 80% letter in several varsity sports, but those are all expectations that anyone can meet through going out for a sport. There are certain other portrait statistics you have zero control over, like race, language spoken in home, and being the son or daughter of an alumni. All else being equal, it is an advantage to have any of these, since the competition is so fierce that one of these could put you over the top. Obviously the academy knows that if you have one or two parents (or in my son's case, one parent and an uncle) that graduated, then you probably have a better idea of what you are getting into and statistically have a higher percentage chance of graduating.

    In regards to donations. Yes, NAAA sports, like football, and so on get funding from grads, bowl games, TV revenue, etc. not just the government. If you look up our football coaches salary you will see that he is paid close to $2 million a year versus AFA and West Point at around $500,000. That comes from sources other than the government (or their would be an uproar, as Spud says). That said, I am a contributor to NAAA, USNAAA, President of the Orlando Alumni Chapter, and our Class Secretary... just in case :)
     
  7. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I respectively disagree with your Congressman's office. If a candidate is not competitive enough to get appointed from the National Waiting List, the Congressman nomination is better than the Senatorial nomination. MOC nominates 10 per vacancy (i.e. appointment). Only one vacancy winner and rest goes to the National Waiting List. So a likely scenario is that #2 - #10 candidates with the Senatorial nomination won't get an appointment unless they get one from the National Waiting List. The #2 candidate with the Senatorial nomination could easily be the #1 candidate in his or Congressional district. But, without a nomination from the Congressman, no matter how good a candidate is, he or she can't compete for the Congressman's vacancy. I have seen situations where because of no double nomination policy, a less qualified candidate in a Congressional district gets the appointment because more qualified candidate(s) in the district didn't get nominated due to no double nomination and more qualified candidate(s) didn't get an appointment as they might have been good enough to win the Congressional vacancy but not good enough to get an appointment through the National Waiting List.
     
  8. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    +1 @MemberLG
    I would much prefer to be on the less competitive slate, with a better chance of winning that slate. Once in the national pool your MOC nominating source doesn't matter.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    That statistic is only relevant if you know the number and percentage of qualified applicants who were sons/daughters of alums as compared to the total. IOW, how many qualified kids of grads applied as compared to qualified kids of non-grads -- as well as HOW qualified they were. It's not uncommon for kids to apply to the college/university that one or both parents attended. USNA is no different in that respect. And, on the flip side, I know many, many grads whose kids received turndowns (and many alums who are quite bitter about that). I've seen nothing to suggest that being a legacy provides any significant advantage.
     
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  10. Full Steam

    Full Steam Member

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    I also know a number of recent candidates who were sons of alumni (in one case, both parents) who did not receive an appointment. In some cases, they earned appointments to other academies or to ROTC. In other cases, they went college program with ROTC units and applied for shorter scholarships.

    While being the child of alumni might indicate familiarity with the requirements of USNA and military service, it might also indicate parental pressure to apply. I think that these students are as likely to get pointed questions about their motivations for their own attendance at an academy as they are to get extra points.

    As usna1985 points out, you don't know anything about the qualifications of the children of alumni who were accepted (or of those who were turned down). I get 4.7% as children of alumni. Which is lower than the % of students who spoke a language other than English at home. A third of the % who were first generation college attendees. Half the number of those who served on school publications.
     
  11. JShawshank

    JShawshank Member

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    Just as a point of comparison - Notre Dame class of 2019 shows 23% children of alumni! That's a pretty selective school so I think fair to say there is much more of a 'bump' for legacy children vs the 'bump' at USNA with only 5% legacy.
     
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  12. usnagrad1988

    usnagrad1988 Member

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    My brother, USNA '90, is currently the CO for NROTC at Ga Tech. He recently sat on a NROTC Board of Review in Pensacola. They meet weekly, with the exception of holidays. If USNA works in a "somewhat" similar manner, then there are fixed points given for grades, SAT, PRT, etc. and then variable points added to that for Sea Cadet/JROTC, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, sports, and so on. The only way we would know if legacy helps or not is by knowing how many points are given for that criteria. I have been told in the past that there is some weight given.
     
  13. usnagrad1988

    usnagrad1988 Member

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    I would hope our Congressman is up to date on this. When they called me they were pretty adamant in regards to my questioning this issue. They said they do 100 interviews for 10 noms, but the Senators have over 500 interviews throughout the state for 10 noms. Much harder to get. They did say that the Senators and Congressmen collaborate to maximize the national numbers and that is why they get so many in. Our congressman notified USNA that they had also chosen our son, but were deferring to the Senator to add another. So hopefully USNA noted that somewhere in his application file.
     
  14. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    For your DS' benefit, I hope I am wrong and your Congressman is up to date. From my experience (although it's with USMA FFR for 10 + years), spreading the nomination does not work. It makes Congressman look better to 10 families, but it doesn't necessarily send the best or more candidates to SAs

    I forgot what Navy uses, but West Point uses the Whole Candidate Score (WCS) to rank candidates

    A possible scenario

    Senator A's nominees have 7000 to 6000 WCS (by the Congressman's office admission, Senatorial nomination is harder get, accordingly the nominees should have higher WCS. It is an assumption, but reasonable assumption)

    Congressman B's nominees have 6500 to 5500 WCS

    For discussion purpose, say 6600 is the cut off the National Waiting List

    John's WCS is 6550 and lives in Congressman's B's district, but got Senator A's nomination, so he didn't get a nomination from Congressman B. So John's WCS is not high enough for the Senatorial appointment nor National Waiting List. But if he had Congressman B's nomination, he would have won the appointment.

    There are always more nominees than available appointments, so I find it hard to accept more nominees will result in more appointments.

    I see like giving out one lottery ticket each to 10 people vs two tickets each to 5 people. For politicians, giving out something to 10 people is usually better than giving out something to 5 people. Only one winning ticket, which group has a better chance of winning?

    Spreading the nomination might have worked in the past when the class size was about 1400 and according the national waiting list was lager. The average class size is now around 1200.
     
  15. T.Valiant

    T.Valiant Member

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    usnagrad1988 & MemberLG: Thank you for starting this thoughtful discussion b/c it's a question that comes up often and the answer often confuses me. First, I'm not sure the lottery ticket analogy is really helpful b/c the decision is not left to chance. Some applicants receive nominations but have no realistic chance of being appointed because they don't meet the admissions criteria. They could have 100 nominations or be the single nominee on the slate and they still wouldn't be admitted. At the extreme margin, multiple nominations may help b/c the academy has more places to charge the appointment, but the anecdotal evidence doesn't support that conclusion - there are simply too many discretionary nomination categories and you can't match names with available seats.

    All that said, I completely agree with MemberLG. If the process is completely based on WCS by slate (or the USNA equivalent), national waiting list cutoff, and rational, the 'no double nomination policy' does a disservice to both the applicant and the academy b/c the highest rated applicants may not be appointed. Also, it is impossible to reconcile the treatment of LOA recipients and recruited athletes with the 'no double nomination policy.' Remember the MOC does not know the academy generated WCS. Without that knowledge, wouldn't they be better off just picking what they consider to be the best applicants and letting the chips fall? Otherwise they're gaming the system without understanding the outcomes. Finally, I find it hard to believe that graduates would agree to serve on nomination boards if the process was so fatally flawed, i.e., if they are somehow forced to recommend less qualified applicants at the expense of more qualified applicants.

    Since the no double nomination policy appears to be wide spread, the appointment process can't really work in such a formulaic manner. I think the MOC (or their staffs) realize that the nomination process is just another hurdle - like passing the CFA. With perhaps a few exceptions, the admissions staff makes the ultimate selection. Since only they know their specific admission goals and criteria and their application to individual candidates, they have complete control over the outcome. The MOC might as well give them as many names (choices) as possible. Who knows, they might get lucky and have some 'come off the national waiting list,' or what they think is the number 10 candidate may have (or later receive) a LOA or maybe that final additional nominee may meet some otherwise unknown admission goal. Not to mention they pass out the maximum number of 'benefits' to their constituents.

    Some of the best advice I've received on these boards from MemberLG, Tug Boat, Fencersmom, Spud, usnabgo08 and others, is just make yourself (or your child) as competitive as possible. Make sure you are well informed, but stop trying to figure it all out. You'll drive yourself crazy. Now, if I could only take their advice...
     
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  16. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    After observing the whole admissions process for a number of years I have come to a few truths:

    1. It surely happens that some candidates from a sparsely populated state (like mine) get an appointment and much more qualified candidates from northern Virginia are lost in the crowd. But the ones that go are still very, very good and at the top of their classes. The country is not cheated.
    2. The ones that don't make the cut are still from the top of their classes and have striven and achieved to put themselves there. Every college in the country would be delighted to have them and the world is still their oyster. I shed no tears for ones who don't make it the first try.
    3. I like the fact the Admissions Board looks at the whole person as I have seen the Academy pick up some terrific candidates that don't neatly fit the square peg in the square hole that everybody strives for. The one that sticks out in my mind most is a young guy who had good grades, only played football, no extracurricular activities, no nothing, but who did the work of a grown man---a foreman---and ran work crews of men older than himself on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch and whose work experience was everything the Navy needed. At 18 he was a division officer without a ship.
    4. And lastly, in spite of the fact I tell all my candidates that I applied 3 times (2 years of college) and that a delay can give you all sorts of advantages over a high school applicant, I have had only one, just one, ever apply a second time in spite of all the assurances I hear of how much the Academy is their true goal in life. Needless to say, I never shed any tears over them either.

    As flawed as the system may seem, I think it works pretty good.
     
  17. usnagrad1988

    usnagrad1988 Member

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    Great reply, Spud. I have a client who is a 4 star General in the Army and like you the 3rd time was the charm. He was in the midst of his Sophomore year in college when he was accepted to USMA and had to decide if he wanted to start over as a fourth classman or keep going as a Junior civilian. Obviously he wasn't hurt by the delay.
     

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