Impressions from the USCGA Admissions Cadet for a Day (Overnight) Event

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by murfthesurf, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. murfthesurf

    murfthesurf DS - USNA 2020

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    DD and I are back from the first USCGA Admissions Cadet for a Day (Overnight) of 2016 held Thursday and Friday of last week. The Admission Brief on Thursday began ~8:30 am for Parents and Applicants and also included a walking tour of the USCGA Campus. This CGA Event was (IMHO) the most informative, explanatory and transparent Service Academy Admissions presentation I have ever experienced. I am not bashful in stating that the other SA’s need to see how it is being ‘done’ at USCGA.

    The USCGA team did not hard sell; they did not need to! They simply laid the Admissions process and took the time to go in-depth by ‘filling in’ some of the CGA’s desired criteria that fits the ‘whole person’ profile that the Academy seeks out from its pool of applicants. Members of the Team openly shared varied personal experiences of their own application process, including the why and when they first applied. These personal antidotes added rich flavor to the information that was being shared. This also confirmed to the assembled that the application process is long, detailed and stressful for a reason; the CGA builds each Class with the goal to mirror its make-up as a reflection of the people of the United States to whom they serve.

    As a USNA Plebe parent, I bear (pun intended) witness to the long and arduous admissions process of the USNA and so I can also attest that the CGA admissions process clearly maintains a selectivity that is as equal, if not more, in trying to select/build a Class with the ‘right’ applicants to meet its’ mission requirements. This presentation also confirmed (to me) that there is a ‘secrete sauce’ unique to each SA. This SA ‘secrete sauce’ has been created, tried and tested and adjusted over dozens of decades such that it is honed and reviewed continually by each unique SA Admissions team by using the mounds of data that is collected from each SA Class that have come and gone over the years.

    ‘Shaping the Class’ was a phrase that stood out to me. Getting more into the weeds, I do believe (and the CGA seemed to confirm) that each Academy looks for “a hook” with each applicant; they attempt to uncover what life experience has shaped an applicant; does he/she have a background that goes beyond the average?; is there a ‘thing’ that makes this one’s essence stand a bit above another’s?; does this person have 'more' than what appears ‘on paper’?

    To answer one question that was asked during Q & A, the CGA Admissions spoke to its own ‘selection mechanics’ (as I recall, and anyone, please correct me if I am in error!). They stated that the CGA uses a two-person review panel that votes on the applicant’s package for appointment. This panel is comprised of an Admissions Officer and a Faculty member; the Faculty person is not always the same and they are chosen from a rotating pool of CGA Faculty members. These two people will go over the package and together vote an applicant ‘in’ or not. Split decisions are taken up again further in the process for adjudication that I didn’t quite catch (sorry).

    I did hear that Class ranking is apparently not quite as important in the selection criteria as it once was; the best example for what is important to the USCGA (as provided during the Q & A session) was the emphasis to the applicants in the audience on making sure that Application Essays are meaningful and well-written.

    On the drive home, DD commented on the genuine enthusiasm she felt from every member of the Admissions Team when explaining the CG mission and the CGA experience to the attendees. It was this passion she witnessed that made her visit and overnight better than anything she experienced at NASS or her CVW in Annapolis. My DD’s goal is to become part of this fine organization.
     
  2. jbnll

    jbnll Member

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    Nice! Thanks for sharing!
     
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  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Nice summary of the experience.
     
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  4. grevar

    grevar CGA Admissions Partner

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    Fantastic and accurate summary. Thank you!
     
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  5. Freda'sMom

    Freda'sMom Parent

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    And no unnecessary Congressional nomination process to get in the way.
     
  6. lumpcrab

    lumpcrab Member

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    I really appreciate this! Thank you so much!

    My son completed his Coast Guard application and I think the only thing outstanding is the English Teacher recommendation. He is very much hoping to get to attend Cadet for a Day so he can get a feel for the CGA.
     
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  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan Member

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    My son attended AIM this summer and really liked the place. He said he liked it better than Air Force which he visited last spring and "tailed" a cadet for a few days. I have found that dealing with the staff at USCGA for questions etc, they're right on top of it. Dealing with the naval academy admissions office really feels like you're dealing with the DMV, very large and easy to get lost in the cracks.
     
  8. lumpcrab

    lumpcrab Member

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    This is great to know, thank you!
     
  9. lmmnj

    lmmnj Parent of 2021 Applicant

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    Thank you for sharing your experience. I took my DS up for a campus tour in August. We enjoyed our visit but it sounds like your briefing was more detailed than our visit since you referred to meeting with the Admissions team. We had one person providing the briefing who had not attended the Academy. So, we didn't get his personal experience from the application process; however, he did provide good information and a lot of detail on his experiences. It was good to get a different perspective and see that there are other options and opportunities within USCG. Overall it was a great trip up and my DS loved it also. We hope to make another trip up for an overnight stay on campus. Keeping our fingers crossed that we can get something scheduled.

    Good luck to your daughter in the application process.
     
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  10. Rockats

    Rockats Member

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    Thank you very much. DS is attending Cadet for a Day in a couple of weeks and we aren't able to attend-your recap is very helpful!

    " I am not bashful in stating that the other SA’s need to see how it is being ‘done’ at USCGA"-I agree-the admissions office at USCGA has been exceptional! I also really like the fact that early action is offered-the candidate knows that their application will be reviewed by December. Regardless of the application outcome, the process is very clear to candidates. Best wishes to everyone on this journey!
     
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  11. metsycats

    metsycats Member

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    As a female who also attended the CFAD last week, I agree with all of this. I was there on my own and the program was much better than what I experienced at USNA.
    My advice to anyone who is attending a CFAD in the future is to ask a lot of questions and speak up about what you want to do while you're there, like watching practices or talking to coaches, because your cadet will be able to hook you up. Also take the PFE if you haven't already. And bring shower shoes.
    Its a lot fun beansprouting honestly so be sure to talk to cadets. All the cadets I spoke to, even the 4/C, were very friendly, knowledgeable, and wanted to help. That's the impression I got from USCGA, everyone there wants to help.
     
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  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I had a blast bean sprouting!

    But I never got a bean sprout of my own... Sad face.
     
  13. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Member

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    I got to visit the Coast Guard Academy yesterday, and was taken aback by how beautifully scenic the location is and how pristine the grounds are. The architecture and layout is also very good. Had me thinking, "I should've applied to the Coast Guard Academy a while back." The cadets also have a more polished demeanor, much more so (in general it seemed) than ours (at the merchant marine academy).
     
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  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    If it makes you feel better, cadets often don't realize how nice it is until after they've graduated.
     
  15. USCGA13STN

    USCGA13STN Member

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    I never had a beansprout of my own... but I DID shamelessly follow my friends beansprouts around 4/c year in order to get carry on at meals. It wasn't uncommon at dinner to see a table with one beansprout and 9 4/c.
     
  16. RNrecruiter

    RNrecruiter Member

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    Thanks for sharing your Cadet for the Day experience. Our DS#2 completed his USCGA application (Early Action) and received e-mail today stating "Your record has been scheduled for review in Early Action and will be forwarded to the Cadet Candidate Evaluation Board in the next two weeks." I feel a bit badly that he is applying to a school he has never visited, but after discussion with husband we felt he would be missing too much school (and fall water polo - he's varsity team captain) to attend Cadet for the Day or accept the Genesis invite. I found your entry very informational. We spoke with USCGA representatives at our local college fair last weekend and they said if son selected, he would have opportunity to visit campus at a later time before decision day. After hearing your experience, I think that it would prudent for son to see school first-hand. Thanks for posting.
     
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  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Once he's accepted to a college, realize high school is a stepping stone and he may have to miss some days.

    CGA is a shocking enough experience that I think it's advisable to have some idea of what you're getting into before your first day.
     
  18. AuxNoob

    AuxNoob CGA Admissions Partner

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    Exactly what LITS said. This is the big step from high school to career. Not missing those couple of days in high school will have very little impact on his future. Determining the right fit in college or academy education will have a major impact on the rest of his life.
     
  19. RNrecruiter

    RNrecruiter Member

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    Yes, we totally agree that visiting the USCGA is important, but we will delay visit until we know if he has actual acceptance. It's easier to miss school days during 2nd semester. DS#2 has a brother who is a Firstie at USNA and he has visited that campus several times and attended classes at his brother's 2C weekend. It's not the same as USCGA, but son #2 has a much deeper understanding about demands and rigor of a Service Academy than DS #1, who had only visited USNA once during NASS and had no close family members or friends who attended a service academy. Needless to say it was quite a shocker to DS #1.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
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  20. Hoping2021

    Hoping2021 Member

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    For girls, how did they dress? Dress code says business casual, but are jeans off limits then? DD owns nothing but casual. Wondering if slacks are necessary or clean black jeans (no rips or fades) would work. Also, even though it says comfortable shoes, should they not wear sneakers since it says business casual?
     

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