Importance of Varsity Letters?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by m1ndfr34k117, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. m1ndfr34k117

    m1ndfr34k117 m1ndfr34k117

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello,

    I was recently wondering how much of an effect having or not having varsity letters had on your application. I currently have none, although I will have at least one by the time I turn my application in. I'm sure a guy with 4 letters looks better than a guy with 1, but how much better?

    A lot of people I know have been accepted to one service academy summer program or another, yet not me. I have the same or better academic resume and my extra-curriculars match up with the exception of letters. That's why I ask this.

    Also, I have yet to take the ACT or SAT although I am signed up for nearly all of them for the rest of 2012; most, if not all, of the people I know who were accepted to the summer programs have already taken them. I made competitive scores on my PSAT, according to a USAFA admissions rep., so perhaps my lack of a 'real' standardized test is the varying component here and it's not a letter.

    Either way, thanks in advance for your responses!
     
  2. arrq

    arrq Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Having not taken either tests, is it safe to assume you're a junior?
     
  3. m1ndfr34k117

    m1ndfr34k117 m1ndfr34k117

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is certainly safe to say that; only juniors can apply for the summer programs.
     
  4. 2bornot2b

    2bornot2b Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    0
    Recommend you read the thread titled "Civil Air Patrol Recommendation..."

    Excellent exposition about how different factors affect your application.
     
  5. Dad

    Dad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    57
  6. ParkMom

    ParkMom Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    10
    I had the same concerns for my DS. The two sports he participated in we're extremely competitive at our large high school. He is somewhat athletic, but not at the state-championship level that these two sports competed at the varsity level. The soccer team (his favorite) was actually nationally ranked for most of this season. He made that team, earned his letter, but was never a factor for a leadership position. He is very well rounded in the other CWS areas and earned leadership positions in those areas.

    That being said, his academics were very good, his test scores above the avg, and his CFA scores either at the mean or max'd. He received an appointment to both USNA and USAFA, accepting AFA. So keep aiming for that letter, but don't lose your focus on the other areas the SA's look at.
     
  7. m1ndfr34k117

    m1ndfr34k117 m1ndfr34k117

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm in the same boat; my school has well over 2,000 students and our football and track team is comprised of many amazing athletes. I'm not bad at either of them, but I'm certainly not the best. I'll only have one letter by the time applications are due. It doesn't help that my football team doesn't even have captains and to be a captain on track, you have to have been with the team for at least three years. This is my first year, so I'm out of luck on both teams for any leadership positions.
    That being said, I'm currently Deputy Corps Commander for JROTC and I've had other leadership roles, such as drill team commander, color guard commander, flight commander, and others within the corps; hopefully I'll be Corps Commander next year and I'm also hoping to become a choir officer next year in addition to attending Boy's State this summer.
    My academics are pretty good. I'm a 4.0, ranked 13/~500 (class size varies every week, it seems) and I've been prepping for the ACTs and SATs for a while now. I'm also taking many AP and honors courses and have in the past.

    Overall, I'm hoping my standardized test scores and CFA performance will help make up for my lack of letters and/or team captain positions. Will they, or am I just making answers up that I want to hear?

    Thanks for all of the responses and those to come! :)
     
  8. AFAYahoo

    AFAYahoo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    0
    m1ndfr34k117, you can still get appointed to the AFA without being a captain in sports. You have other activities through JROTC and going to Boys State this summer that will demonstrate you have experience in leadership roles. My son (now at the AFA) ran cross country and track, lettered in both, but never was captain. But he was an Eagle scout and had enough other leadership type roles to demonstrate his abilities.

    Definitely read the responses from Christcorp in the thread that was mentioned earlier. His explanation of the whole candidate score (60% academics, 20% activities/athletics/etc and 20% evaluations) should be required reading for all candidates just so they understand the process a little better. Just work on getting the best experiences, getting the best grades, maxing the CFA, etc. that YOU can and try not to stress about what someone else may or may not have. Because if the captain of the football team has a 3.0 GPA, no other activities, and lousy ACT scores, just being captain isn't going to offset those other things enough to get him into the academy. Its just 1 part of the whole picture.
     
  9. m1ndfr34k117

    m1ndfr34k117 m1ndfr34k117

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand, it's just that I'm lacking in the physical department, on paper at least. I can already max a few things on the CFA, and I'm working on the others. I'll have one letter, but that's it. It's just that while I'm probably competitive academically and in the leadership area, I fear that my physical attributes will be, overall, detrimental to my application.

    Maybe I'm just over-thinking it; but still, it doesn't help that everyone I know who has been accepted to an academy and/or its summer program has at least two letters and/or was team captain. I know that this isn't comprehensive of all appointees, but none-the-less, it's somewhat intimidating! Oh well, another challenge for me to tackle! :)
     
  10. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't worry so much about not getting into Summer Seminar. This program is a diversity tool used by the Academy to get a broad base of students exposure to their programs. They accept very few to SS compared with actual Academy admission. Keep working hard on what you are already doing. Try to make your package as strong as you can. Make your nomination package as strong as you can as well and apply to all nomination sources you are eligible for.My DD only had one varsity letter, but great academics. DS earned four varsity letters in one sport (no they are not just given at his school) and his GPA was a 3.8 with about half of his classes as honors. They look at the whole person!
     
  11. AFAYahoo

    AFAYahoo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    0
    m1ndfr34k117, from this thread and the other one you started, you sound like a very motivated, driven individual with a strong background that will be beneficial when you apply to the academies and for ROTC scholarships. But YOU ARE over thinking this a bit, and stressing too much. Control the things you can (you mentioned working on the CFA events--great idea) and don't worry about what others are doing (captain of a team) since you can't control that. My son had great academics, strong extra curriculars/leadership experiences and just an average physical fitness score. Lettered in 2 sports, but never captain, didn't max the CFA (average in a couple events, above average in all the others except the run which he maxed). He's currently at the AFA, but also received a Tier 1 (max $) AFROTC scholarship that he would have used if he didn't get in to the Academy. They do look at the whole person, not just 1 item. You are on the right track! Enjoy your time in high school! It will be over before you know it!
     

Share This Page