How important is it to visit West Point?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Chocolate, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Chocolate

    Chocolate Member

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    My son has a received nomination for West Point from his Congresswoman. He won't be able to visit West Point until the end of January. How much does that hurt his chances of getting in? Should he schedule his January visit now so that Admissions knows that he is really interested in attending West Point? He has a friend who is at West Point and he has talked to my cousin who went to West Point, so he knows a lot about West Point even though he has not visited it.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. debcst

    debcst Member

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    It is extremely important for him to visit- for his decision making process. There is no substitute for spending time on post and interacting with cadets.

    I don't believe a visit has any bearing on his admissions file.
     
  3. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    It has no effect on him getting in or not getting in.
    Visiting WP is for the benefit of the candidate. I would highly recommend it if possible.

    Go ahead and schedule the visit so you can get the date you want. I'm assuming you are talking about a day visit. If he has a LOA, he can do an overnight visit. Otherwise, a day visit is offered for those interested in West Point.
    On a day visit, they will shadow a cadet - go to class with them, eat in the mess hall, see the barracks and have an opportunity to meet with an admissions person. There is also a tour (led by a cadet) for the parents.

    It's great to gather as much info on West Point if one is interested in going as he has done in talking to cadets and Old Grads - but seeing West Point is a whole other experience.
    If time and money permits - IMPO - it is a must do.
     
  4. Chocolate

    Chocolate Member

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    Thank you for the replies. I am glad that visiting West Point does not affect the admission decision. If he gets accepted, he will definitely visit West Point before he makes any decision as he knows that he needs to see it to understand what it really would be like to be a cadet.

    Thanks again for the help.
     
  5. MD Dad

    MD Dad Member

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    For parents like me, who do not have a military background, the parents' tour can be quite reassuring. Sure, I've watched "Surviving West Point," read the literature, and combed through so many SAF threads that I've lost count...but these sources never seemed to paint a complete picture of West Point the college. During the parents' tour, you get to see cadets in the classroom, walking to and from classes, and socializing over a quick meal in Grant Hall (probably not plebes!). In some respects, it almost seemed like a traditional college. Of course, you are quite aware that West Point as a whole is VERY different than traditional colleges, but it was nice to see some smiling faces (again, probably not plebes) in the highly disciplined, highly regimented environment. For me, at least, the tour helped me understand West Point a little bit more, which makes it easier to support my DS as he pursues a West Point appointment.
     
  6. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I didn't attend the parents' tour because I had other work commitments. However, I did drop DS off for the overnight visit.

    DS ultimately chose USMA and is extremely happy with that decision. For DS, the overnight visit was the single-most critical thing that helped him ultimately decide which college to attend.

    We actually visited all of the schools on his list last year, and he attended classes at each school. This did become a bit burdensome from my perspective (lots of roadtrips), but I wanted DS to accumulate and absorb as much information as possible before choosing his alma mater.
     
  7. BenjaminZ

    BenjaminZ Member

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    It definitely reinforced my feelings and made me want to go even more. At the same time, I would not commit to a 4 year college if you have not visited it before, but that is a personal opinion.
     
  8. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Ditto for our DS. The USMA overnight visit was probably the turning point of all the events DS attended. He was able to meet and talk with most of the company, including NCO's and a private interview with the company CO. Since the visit was mid-week, he was able to get a fairly accurate view of cadet life.

    Which is probably the most important thing a candidate needs to understand after they realize the decision is about being an officer, not which school to attend.

    the summer seminars give you exposure to the schools, but overnights at USMA & USNA really sealed the deal. In parallel, the parent sessions & our interactions with cadets helped my wife & I understand DS's choice as we independently arrived at the same conclusions.
     
  9. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Accepted candidates have the overnight visit option, which, as stated by the posts above, is the best way for candidates to see and get a feel for West Point.
    If offered an overnight visit, move heaven and earth to do one - even if the candidate is 100% sure that West Point is for them.
     
  10. edhvoice

    edhvoice Founding Member

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    My son, class of 2014, visited in late January. The visit was for my son, not for the admission process. I do not believe that a visit counts for or against a candidate, it is strictly for the candidate to get a view of what is involved. Late January is a great time to visit. The excitement of fall football and Christmas is all gone. It is cold and gray. Morale can be tested. It was a good time to see the academy "as bad as it gets".
    The cadets that he was assigned to stay with tried to talk him out of attending... "With your grades and SAT, you can go anywhere" sort of conversations. So my sense is that morale is lower at that point in the school cycle.
    He liked what he saw, was impressed with the maturity and professionalism of the cadet cadre and cadets and decided to attend. He continues to like it.
    Good luck with your son or daughter and the admission and decision process. Late January is a great time to visit. The Korean take out and restaurant has great kimchi chige (Kimchi soup). While your candidate is being squired around for 24 hours, go ahead and burn out your stomach lining.. Grin
     

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