Is it possible?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Stephanie, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. Stephanie

    Stephanie New Member

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    I'd really like to consider going to USAFA, but my grades aren't amazing... largely due to the fact that I take more classes and harder class than most of my schoolmates and that the academics are hard at my school anyways.

    I'm not sure if my school ranks or not. I'm pretty sure they don't, except for valedictorian... but I really don't know. So anyways... here are my stats.

    Freshman Year:
    Courses/Grades:
    * English 9- A-
    * Concert Band/Jazz Band- A-
    * French II- B
    * Geometry-B
    * Biology- C+
    * Latin II- C+
    Extracurriculars/Athletics:
    * Varsity Cheerleading [Awarded Most Improved]
    * Honor Council [Class Representative]
    * ASTRA [Girl’s Community Service- 12 hours]
    * Chess Club [President]
    * Latin Club
    * The Talon [Student Newspaper- Writer]
    * Attended Summer Science Program at SC Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics
    * Selected to attend Declamation Contest at Clemson University [French Language]
    GPA: 3.0/4.0
    3.47/4.5

    Sophomore Year:
    Courses/Grades:
    * Concert Band/Jazz Band- A
    * Chemistry- B
    * European History- B
    * French III- B-
    * Algebra II/Trig.- B-
    * Physics- B-
    * Latin III- B-
    * English 10- C+
    Extracurriculars/Athletics:
    * Varsity Cheerleading
    * Varsity Field Hockey [Goalie]
    * Honor Council [Class Representative- My principal said that I was a "leading voice on the Honor Council"]
    * Band Officer [Historian]
    * ASTRA [Girl’s Community Service- 24 hours]
    * The Delta [School Yearbook; Sports Section Editor]
    * Literary Magazine [Staff]
    * Latin Club
    * The Talon [Student Newspaper- Writer]
    * Selected to attend Declamation Contest at Clemson University [French Language]
    *Received the County Foundation Scholarship
    GPA: 2.876/4.0
    3.31/34.5
    Overall GPA: 2.938/4.0
    Weighted GPA: 3.41/4.5

    SAT: (Will definitely be retaking again... this was early in sophomore year.)
    Critical Reading: 630
    Math: 570

    I know my grades aren't super up to par... but I'm planning on having straight A's this year and I'm taking:
    Pre-Calculus
    AP Chemistry
    Concert Band
    Jazz Band
    English 11
    AP Music Theory
    AP US History
    French IV

    All of my classes except band have been Honors.

    Even if I have straight A's this year, it still won't bring up my GPA very much... so my question is... What else can I do to be a better applicant and is it still possible?

    ...Because I'm beginning to want to shoot my self in the foot for taking more classes and harder classes than most.
     
  2. aud1141

    aud1141 New Member

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    As far as I know, they also take into consideration the difficulty of your schedule and many other things, not just your Gpa, so those harder classes shouldnt hurt you at all. I think it is still possible, especially if you retake the SAT. But there are a lot of other things it depends on as well, like how competative the state you live in is.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  3. bsa07eagle

    bsa07eagle Member

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    Well you have a good start and some good EC's. You really need to get some high SAT's in order to offset you GPA to a point. If you are able to this year, take almost all AP's. They like seeing a student take challenging classes. In fact, it is better to get a B in an AP then an A in Honors or reg. You have got to bring up your GPA as much as you can, I don't think you could get in with your current GPA. Really try to get A's in your AP's, it will really help your GPA on the weighted side. Of course you still have a chance, but you will have to work very hard starting now. Try to get a College Board, Kaplan, etc. study guide for the SAT and study it like crazy. Take as many practice tests as you possibly can. Besides your low GPA, you are looking pretty good, maybe if you could be in a couple more leadership positions, try to become team captain or get on the school council. Good Luck, you can do it, but you have to do your best.

    Later

    Brian
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The most important thing is to realize that your PAR is 60% of your WCS, so you need to be a well rounded candidate, your upward trend is good and it will calm any fears, but realize that appts are given out by a point system.

    The AFA is a science/math oriented school, you need a strong foundation in these areas to succeed at the academy.

    One thing to realize, in many competitive areas the MOCs state if your SAT is below XXX don't apply for a nom, thus that is a second reason to re-take the SAT. Also try the ACT, some kids do better on that, and the AFA will take which ever is higher cumulatively, they won't take 1 part of the SAT and 1 part of the ACT.
     
  5. Stephanie

    Stephanie New Member

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    Thank you for the replies. =)

    bsa07eagle: I'm taking about as many APs as I can. I really want to continue French and band. Band is my only non-honors class. French isn't AP until senior year. (Which, I plan on taking.) And we're not allowed to skip Pre-Calculus and AP English is only offered to seniors.
    But my senior year, I plan on taking AP Physics B, AP Calculus AB or BC, AP English Lit, AP French Language, band, and possibly AP Stats.
    We're only allowed to take five AP courses.
    Unfortunately, student council at my school is pretty much rotated around one group of 30 students... and in a class of fourty-eight, that makes it impossible to be elected. But this year for student leadership, I should be a yearbook editor, Band Historian, and possibly the captain on my cheerleading squad or a Community Service Club officer. =/
    Thank you for your reply. =D

    Pima: That's what I'm worried about. My GPA is lower, because I chose to do things like take physics a year early or stick with the highest level of math or double in two foreign languages. So, I think it reflects poorly on me.

    Since it is a math/science school, would it help me out a good bit to do well in AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Chemistry, and AP Physics over the next two years?

    I will definitely be retaking the SAT, since I now have more math under my belt. And ACT isn't very popular around here (South Carolina) so I'm not even sure where or when its offered, but I'll have to look into that.

    Thanks again for the responses. =D
     
  6. flagler

    flagler Member

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    Stephanie - All colleges in SC will take either the ACT or SAT. i.e Clemson, Citadel, USC, Furman, College of Charleston etc.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    First the ACT will be held somewehere around you in SC, some colleges prefer the ACT, i.e. Notre Dame. We were in NC and DS took it along with SAT, just go to collegeboard.

    Second, yes take all of those AP's that you asked about.

    Third, remember your class rank will add into your PAR also, so by taking AP's even the B will allow your rank to raise.

    Fourth, the AFA will re-weight your GPA, so what you think is your gpa may actually be different

    Fifth, apply for SLS come next winter for next summer...it helps
     
  8. flagler

    flagler Member

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  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    stephanie; 1st, realize that your chances of getting into the academy if you DON'T APPLY is a 0%. This I can promise you. 2nd; I have seen people with a 4.0gpa NOT get accepted. As already pointed out, there's an overall point scoring which considers everything about you. You have a lot of great extra activities and interests. This is a plus.

    You can only do the best that you can do. So do that. Do the best you can do. Take the SAT/ACT as many times as you can. Do the best in all your classes that you can do. And just like the 4.0gpa students; also apply to a number of other schools. Also apply for AFROTC for college scholarships. The academy is not the ONLY way to become a commissioned Air Force officer. And I assume that being a commissioned officer is your ultimate goal after your education. I.e. your goal shouldn't be going to the academy. The academy is just a MEANS of reaching your goals. Same with ROTC, going to Harvard, getting your B.S. etc... So make sure you give yourself as many OPTIONS as you can. In life, there are only so many things that we have control over. Many things we don't. Getting an appointment to the academy is something you have no control over. But the things you do in your quest to get an appointment; hardest classes, best grades, involved extra activities, sports, etc.... are all the things you "SHOULD" be doing because you like them and the same things you would be doing for any of your college applications. So that is an area that you can control. Work the hardest you can in those areas. The rest will automatically fall into place. And again; apply. Your chances at the minimum at least DOUBLE just by applying. The rest is just a matter of doing your best. And only you know if you're doing your best. Best of luck. mike....
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    To add onto Mike, you are in a much better position than alot of other kids. You found this site as a rising jr. It is a fountain of wealth. Many kids are asking these questions as a rising SENIORS, including AD military children. Heck, our DS didn't even think about the AFA until May of his JR yr...talk about being behind the 8 ball, we didn't know there was something called SLS (he wouldn't have gone anyway, since he was doing NYLF and Governors). You at least know that it is exists. You will also be able to see alot over the next yr that will help you when you begin your process. You will see that many of these applicants will receive one of the thin letters (absolute no, or NWL), yet their goal was always to be an officer and they are walking another path. Unfortunately they leave the site believing they have nothing more to contribute, but they are wrong. They are as valuable to future candidates as the cadets. They have an inkling (sp) of why they weren't selected and they might see where your weaknesses are, and as a jr you have a long time to fix them...right now your file will not close until Mar of 11 (or @19 months from now).

    Finally, watch come Mar candidates would be happy to just get Prep., unfortunately, Prep is more for your case, than the 4.0/1300 SAT. The intention is to get them up to speed academically, but they see the overall candidate ideal and instep with the AFA, and that if they had 1 more yr academically they would have a stronger foundation and be the winner in the WCS. I have yet to hear or read of a prep school cadet there because they stank in their CFA or didn't have enough ECs, but alot are ones with lower SATs than the norm.

    Don't give up, if you buckle down and take the strongest course load, you will be sitting pretty.Keep up cheerleading and field hockey. Also start practicing the CFA. It is only a % of the 20%, however, there will be somebody that lossed out because of being 0.2 pts(making the # up) lower than that last one on the list. Question is will you be okay always wondering if I did one more sit up or ran the mile 10 secs faster would I have gotten the nod. FWIW, you know what they call the cadet that was the last one on the list at BCT? CADET!

    FOR THE CANDIDATES 14, I do hope you get the big package, but if you don't please stay. You are a fountain of wealth on the process. You can also help those whose parents were anti-military and how you changed the,. You might be from the same area and can tell them what the nom process was like. You can make those who receive the thin letter or not nom'd by all 3 MOC's how it hasn't changed your belief and that the sun will rise tomorrow. Also, many of you want to be pilots, ROTC gets UPT slots also...not all AFA go to Sheppard, alot go to Laughlin, Columbus, etc...wouldn't it be nice to walk in knowing someone else there? The AFA grads go 1st, but it is almost a yr long so you could be there at the same time and you would never know because you left. Just like this site in 4 yrs from now they can help you navigate or give tips at UPT that will be invaluable. You walk away afterwards and you lost that connection. In our case DS was like singapore, opted to go ROTC, however, since we are still here, there are a couple of posters that joke with us about our children both being assigned to the same UPT base or flying the same airframe, those friendships have been forged and this site was the reason why. When posters here say congrats they truly mean it and when they say I'm sorry, their heartbreaks for you too. Nobody will ever believe that you are less worthy or your personal experience is not accepted because you aren't at an SA. Otherwise ALMOST every parent needs to leave the site right now, since very few are SA grads, I think Fliegler would be the only one left, but I am not sure, b/c I don't know if he has a kid at the AFA :rolleyes:

    Point is in the end of the day, you will all be officers and brethren, you really won't care when you're flying the plane where they got their commission from all they will care about is they make it home for dinner safely! By the time your flight committment is up, that ring means nothing, how you handle the stick means everything! Nobody attack here, I think the AFA is great and gives the candidate the best opportunity, but as a wife of a Strike Eagle WSO, I couldn't care a rat's butt where the commission came from, I cared more about if they graduated #1 at UPT! Seriously, I would ask Bullet who are you flying with today, some days I went about my regular chores, sometimes I watched the clock...there was one that gave me shivers, because Bullet had to take his knee board and hit the pilot over the cranium, saying MTN, MTN or the other one where the IP saw me in the parking lot and said I hope Bullet gets home alive tomorrow (Luckily, the CC grounded the pilot that night...he was an AFA grad)!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  11. jarvin

    jarvin Member

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    You are exactly in the same position as I am. Except I am a rising senior. I had 3.6 in junior year taking AP Calculus AB, AP US History, and AP Chemistry, English 11 and Sculpture (to fill the art requirement to graduate). Anyways nice schedule for junior year. Make sure you try to get a 4.0 that year, and I'm telling you now it's not easy. AP Chemistry was ok for me, but some people really struggle in that class. Also Also many people struggle in AP US History too. Anyways, Im not trying to discourage but the point is is that your application will look that much better if you improve your grades.
     
  12. Stephanie

    Stephanie New Member

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    I'm aware that schools around here take the ACT, I just wasn't sure at which high schools they offer them. I have to go to public high school to take the SAT, because though my school requires it, they don't offer it on Saturdays... largely due to the fact that we have students who live as much as an hour away in North Carolina. So I don't know anything about the ACT. I've heard that more Western students take it, though virtually every college takes both scores.

    Pima, if I could go to the Prep School.. then I most definitely would. The other college that I want to attend (American University) has an AFROTC program, so if I weren't to go to USAFA... that would be where I go.

    I have a quesiton... Is someone like me more likely to get into the Prep School, because I have strong-ish extra currics and athletics but less-strong academics? I've heard that if your grades are 3.5+ that you don't really have a chance at the Prep School. Is this true?

    And... Does it help to have a parent who is Retired Military (Retired Guard with pay?)

    Thank you for all of the encouragement and tips. =D
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Every public school in your area will offer the ACT. If you do take it the ACT has a science portion, be good at graphs and charts...I will say that was the portion DS got a perferct 36 (Bullet was cheering because it is probably the closest to the AFOQT, which you will take no matter what type of commission)

    We live in No Va so I am familiar with American, since it is in DC. I would suggest looking into UMD because the det is larger.

    Don't even walk down that road of prep thinking I have a better chance of prep. What I would suggest is go all out for the AFA, don't make it go ROTC (apply for scholarship) and reapply, they look highly on them and you would be at the exact same spot, plus you would qual for a ROTC nom and you might get the 4 yr full ride so it would be no cost.

    As far as Dad being retired reservist, I can't answer it, we were AD, reservists have different markers to get a Pres, but I would think if he is getting ret pay you should qualify. It is important to realize the noms are unlimited but there are only 100 appt
     
  14. Drew_22

    Drew_22 USAFA Cadet

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    You are in the same class as I'am. And let me tell you, you are doing a great thing by starting to ask questions now. They really do help you alot. It sounds like you are trying to get your GPA up, which is really great! Also that you are taking AP classes, which is really great! You sound really determined which is awsome, and best of luck to you.
     
  15. PA Twin Mom

    PA Twin Mom Parent

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  16. bsa07eagle

    bsa07eagle Member

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    That was a great book! Just cheeked it out at our library. Has some great info for candidates not just about applying, but "how to survive" also. Good read, would highly recommend it.

    Good Luck
     
  17. Drew_22

    Drew_22 USAFA Cadet

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    I bought that book. Read it, and it was great! I'am reading it through it again. I think it is a must!!
     
  18. steven321

    steven321 Banned

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    I think it is still possible, especially if you retake the SAT.
    all the best
    ------------------------------------

    steven
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2009
  19. clmckeever

    clmckeever Member

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    What is a competitive state? We live in Pennsylvania and my daughter has been taking all Honors and AP classes since she started high school and has gotten straight A's since she started school. She is number one in her class and has been since she started high school. Her SAT scores are Math 690, Writing 690, and Verbal 680. I am so confused about all of this and I am going crazy waiting to hear if she gets an appointment to the Air Force Academy. I know, I know, patience is a virtue, but I am not very patient. So my question is, what is a competitive state and is Pennsylvania competitive and how many other applicants are from Pennsylvania? Sorry for rambling.
     
  20. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Dang!!! A 2 year old thread. LOL!!!

    No problem. Simple question here. Competitive slate has NOTHING to do with your daughter/son's scores, gpa, act/sat, etc... It simply means that your MOC (Member of Congress) submits a slate of up to 10 nominees. These nominees are in NO PARTICULAR ORDER. The academy then gives the open appointment slot to whom THEY CONSIDER the MOST COMPETITIVE on that slate of 10 names. Hence the word competitive.

    Just so you know, it's possible for the MOC to NOT submit a "Competitive Slate", but instead send a "RANKED SLATE". In that case, the academy is NOT ALLOWED to determine who gets the appointment. In a RANKED SLATE, the academy MUST give an appointment to the #1 person on the slate; UNLESS that person is not QUALIFIED either scholastically, Physically, or Medically. In which case, they would go to the #2 person on the list and so on until one is qualified.

    There is also a "Hybrid" version. The MOC make the #1 person their PRINCIPAL NOMINEE. The academy must choose them if they are qualified. After that, the remaining 9 are all in a "Competitive" status whereby the academy chooses who they believe is the best.

    Hope that explains it. mike....
     

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