Increase in LEAD slots?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Bourdeau, May 12, 2012.

  1. Bourdeau

    Bourdeau Member

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    Anybody think they will ever raise the amount of LEAD slots for both direct appt and prep school? It would make sense seeing as more Airmen are applying to LEAD each year, myself included. But with them force-shaping it seems very iffy.
     
  2. A1C Rob

    A1C Rob Member

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    Here's my honest opinion (even though it could be totally wrong, it's still an opinion). If anything, I see LEAD decreasing its number of available slots... The Air Force is always talking about downsizing its force structure ESPECIALLY on the officer side of the house. AECP (another route for commissioning) was cut last year...why? I'm not so sure but I'd associate it with the money cuts and force downsizing the Air Force is trying to do. What does this mean for Airmen who are trying to land a spot at USAFA? Competition will be at its all-time high if the number of slots do decrease... I'm sure somebody else with more knowledge or a totally different perspective can furthermore answer your question.
     
  3. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    The direct entry lead slots were cut this year, unofficially of course, to compensate for the smaller class size. There may be more next year, since the class will be slightly larger, but I kinda doubt it.
     
  4. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    I was under the impression that, most years, not all the slots were even filled.

    That may be outdated info though.
     
  5. jwalsh1

    jwalsh1 Member

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    Last year, USAFA did a great job of getting the info out about the program. Now, Airmen are applying like crazy. This year, I know of quite a few that were turned down because they didn't have room. Also, is it legal per se to just cut the LEAD slots if they are mandated by Title 10 of the US Code?
     
  6. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    Are they mandated by Title 10? This was posted on the USAFA Admissions FB page. It implies that the USAFA can decide how many LEAD slots they want.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Bourdeau

    Bourdeau Member

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    I understood that they cut the class size this year, limiting the number of LEAD slots, just hoping they will allow some prior service to go direct instead of just forcing us to get to the prep school. It's kinda crazy though, when I saw they only had 85 for direct and 50 for prep school, I thought it would make it easier to go direct, guess I was wrong :rolleyes:
     
  8. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    From my understanding, those 50 prior-enlisted that are just graduating from the prep school count towards the overall 85 direct entry. So there's really only 35 slots.

    I'm not sure if that is actually how it works, though.
     
  9. 2bornot2b

    2bornot2b Member

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    The LEAD program allows 85 slots for Active Duty Airmen, but also an additional 85 slots for Air Guard and Air Force Reserve. Typically only 50 LEAD candidates can be appointed to the Prep, whether they come from AD or ANG/AFR. The Priors coming from Prep take slots from the AD allocation or the ANG/AFR allocation. So it is theoretically possible that there would be more than 35 direct entry slots available to Active Duty Airmen, if some of the Prep graduates came from ANG/AFR. That being said, ALL candidates must be qualified and there have never, ever been enough qualified applicants to fill all the slots allocated, at least not in recent history. The qualifications for Direct Entry are extremely high.
     
  10. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    They don't seem that high. It certainly isn't as competitive as trying to get in straight out of high school

    Guidelines for Direct Appt: SAT Verbal 580 and SAT Math 560. ACT English 24, Reading 24, Math 25,
    and Science Reasoning 25. Top 20% of high school class or about a 3.50 GPA if school does not rank.
    Candidates should have taken a college preparatory curriculum in high school which included mathematics
    through pre-calculus and should have also taken a high school chemistry course. College work at the
    community college level or higher which makes up for missed high school curriculum can compensate for some
    weakness in the high school record and will be considered. See the admissions website at
    http://www.academyadmissions.com for more information on suggested college preparatory curriculum.

    Guidelines for Preparatory School Appt: SAT Verbal 480 and SAT Math 500. ACT English 20,
    Reading 20, Math 20, and Science Reasoning 20. Top 40% of high school class or about a 2.70 GPA if school
    does not rank. Candidates should have taken a college preparatory curriculum in high school which included
    mathematics through algebra II. Pre-calculus and a high school chemistry course are strongly encouraged.
    College work at the community college level or higher can compensate for some weakness in the high school
    record and will be considered. Candidates should consider taking math and science (with a lab) courses. The
    time since high school graduation and whether an airman is currently taking or has taken college level courses
    will also be evaluated in determining suitability for direct entry to the Academy or entry to the Preparatory
    School.
     
  11. Skymom

    Skymom Member

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    I don't think they will increase the spots but I've heard the class will be larger so more LEAD spots may be used. A friend in admissions said my son should reapply if he doesn't get in this year. He still had not received a decision yet.

    Hoping for s positive answer next week. He is young enough for prep school but meets the LEAD direct admissions standards. :smile:

    Skymom
     
  12. Bourdeau

    Bourdeau Member

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    Awesome, gives me a little bit of reassurance of me getting in either to the Academy or to the Prep School for next year, going to be studying my butt off for retaking the ACT and then taking the SAT. Hopefully I score high enough on one of those to meet the direct admissions, everything else via High School I qualified, just not my ACT score (Mostly my English, sucks seeing as it is technically my 2nd language learned, grew up in France and learned French before learning English :rolleyes:).
     
  13. 2bornot2b

    2bornot2b Member

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    These guidelines are minimum standards. With the competition expected to be as fierce next year as it was this year, I would not recommend anyone counting on these parameters being sufficient.
     
  14. Skymom

    Skymom Member

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    Yes. They are minimum standards but the AFA looks at the whole person and what prior enlisted bring to the school.

    For active duty LEAD applicants, your high school transcript is what it is. The only way to better your school record is to take the ACT or SAT again. The school record is only 60% of the package.

    Follow your dreams and excelled in your career. :smile:

    Skymom
     
  15. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    Yea, sorry I thought we were talking about the minimum qualifications. Certainly a LEAD applicant will need higher stats to be competitive, I just don't think it is as competitive as trying to get in right out of high school. LEAD only compete against LEAD, right?


    Anyways, I'm not trying to argue. Good luck to all 2017 applicants!
     
  16. 2bornot2b

    2bornot2b Member

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    I apologize if I seemed to be arguing. It was not my intention. I believe that every Airman who desires to pursue this path should do so vigorously.

    LEAD is only supposed to compete against LEAD, however, I do not think they simply rack and stack all the LEAD applicants and take the top 35 as Direct Appointments. This year is a perfect example: they chose not to give any Direct appointments at all. I think there is a misconception out there that it is easier to get an appointment to the Academy from Active Duty than as a civilian and I think that it is wrong to make that assumption. It is easy to compare the stats for Appointees and the minimum requirements for LEAD and think that LEAD is easier, because they are so different. Skymom is correct when she says that the Whole Candidate Score is the final determination. LEAD candidates bring with them skills and a mindset that the civilians don't have yet, so they have much to contribute. In addition, I think perhaps that LEAD candidates may be perceived as more likely to make a career in the Air Force, and Admissions takes that in to consideration.

    The thing is that the average appointee is typically an outstanding athlete, having lettered in at least one sport, typically a straight A student, an Honors/Advance Placement student, Valedictorian, etc, etc. Admissions' task, among many, is to select the candidates they feel have the best chance of graduating. I would just encourage any LEAD candidate to look at all the factors and endeavor to do their very best in all the categories.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  17. mustang10

    mustang10 Member

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    A Direct Entry Graduate's Take

    IMHO...
    On average direct entry priors have trouble going from the Operational Air Force straight into a college/ service academy environment. There's a lot of reasons and effects of the transition, but USAFA BCT and four degree year is better at taking civilians and making them military than it is at taking airmen and making them students. The Prep aims to turn strong airmen into strong cadets. It sucks for the airmen that are too old, but the admissions team gives an airman the best chance at success by routing them through the prep school first. When it's time to cut slots, admissions has to look at data from previous classes. There were 17 of us DE priors that started in 2010, and before that numbers were very low, like raimus said, they didn't fill the slots. With so few numbers, each cadet has more of an affect on the picture of the whole. If the direct entry prior applicants are looking for someone to blame its me and other direct entry priors whose grades, and pft scores didn't outperform their prep-school classmates.
     
  18. dagger

    dagger Member

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    With all due respect sir (as I assume you're probably still on Active Duty as an officer), I'm failing to see how we direct entry applicants have anyone to blame but ourselves. Our SATs are not in the 2200+ range.. Honestly, that's the only thing I can think of that is really holding us back.

    I'm not sure when they decided this year they weren't taking direct entries, but it would have been nice to have known months ago. We all would have saved a lot of time focusing on other options.

    I'm not entirely bitter about the whole situation, as I'm very happy for the AD who got into Prep; but I suppose this is one of those things that can be great for experience purposes. Nothing is ever guaranteed and the military can change its mind at any time. That goes without saying, of course.
     

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