Is SLE worth going to?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Zap97, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. Zap97

    Zap97 New Member

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    Hello, I was recently accepted into West Point's SLE and I was wondering if it is worth it to go. What was your experience like? Is it true that it is difficult to get accepted into SLE? Thank you.
     
  2. 1proudmom

    1proudmom New Member

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    My son had an excellent experience there. He said it was one of the best things he has ever done. When I asked him to rate it on a 1-10 scale he rated it a 9. Said it would be a 10 if it wasn't so hard but knew that was the intent of the program. It solidified his choice to go there and made us (his parents) feel better knowing he has an idea what he is in for. Still patiently waiting for an appointment though. Good luck to you!


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  3. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    What were you thinking when you applied?

    SLE attendance could be worth something in many ways - help you make a decision on if you want to attend West Point or not, looks nice of your college application, and so on.
     
  4. hackneyjake

    hackneyjake Member

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    Before going to SLE, the Naval Academy was my first choice. Within 5 hours of being there I could not choose between West Point and NA. After the week I was dead set on WP and have been since then. Just my personal experience.
     
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  5. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    DD went to SLE and NASS and really enjoyed her experiences at both. For her, it helped her determine that she did NOT want to go to a Service Academy, but still wanted a military career. She went full force for ROTC scholarships and withdrew her Academy applications.
     
  6. wjbwjb3

    wjbwjb3 New Member

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    It is definitely worth going to if you hope to attend a service academy! Not only does it give you a taste of what things will be like at the academy, but also looks great when applying. Not many kids get the chance to go, so when you're trying to get your nomination, just the fact that you went will open some eyes!
     
  7. MO06mom

    MO06mom Member

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    My DS went to both USMA & USNA summer programs. He went to USNA's first and enjoyed it and wasn't sure how USMA could beat it and thought USNA would be his first choice. He had one day back and then headed off to USMA's program. That second week changed his mind and from that point on he knew USMA was where he belonged.
     
  8. ArmyDad28

    ArmyDad28 Member

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    My DS was very interested in WP. Attended SLE and came back convinced it is where he wanted to go to school. Reports to R-Day in June. The best thing is that he has a insight in what to expect and what is expected of him. Well worth a week of your life.
     
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  9. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    Remember you aren't going to see what daily life is like, just a modified summer camp used to encourage applicants.


    2019 WestPoint class appointee

    Recipient of 4 year army rotc scholarship.
     
  10. TheEvanCat

    TheEvanCat Member

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    I went to the USAFA one (USMA denied me for SLE, by the way) and I enjoyed my time there. It was a different school but still kinda similar Academy experience. I'd go to USMA if I had been admitted.
     
  11. Pontonius

    Pontonius Member

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    Here's a story about SLE from last summer: (P.S. This is kinda long, TLDR at bottom)
    Day One
    -Here I am, getting off the plane at Newark, looking for the shuttle bus that runs from the airport to WP
    -Can't find it and I feel like a scrub
    -Find some other dude who is in the same boat as I am
    -Somehow stumble across the correct shuttle location
    -*thank the lord*
    -Bus ride over to WP is late, so we get rushed through the R-Day simulation
    -Manage to make a fool of myself by forgetting to pick up luggage when the cadre tell me to move along
    -Suffer for being a scrub
    -Get issued a bunch of stuff that we have to keep track of, particularly the weakest water bottle I've ever owned
    -Memorize sheet of paper with useful Army songs, sayings, and information on it
    -Run around more, get assigned to a dorm room on the top floor of the barracks with two other guys
    -End up getting through the first day alright, survived with the help of my room mates
    -Try sleeping, but it's so hot that I only sleep for about 3 hours (dear lord, bring a fan if you go)
    Day Two
    -Wake up bright and early for PT
    -Already sweaty before I get outside
    -Do PT and feel pretty good
    -Go back to barracks to shower and change into daily uniform they issue, get ready for breakfast
    -March to chow hall, learn cadences, become more acclimated to campus
    -Great food and Gatorade
    -Learn a LOT from the cadre and peers who are at my table about what WP is like and what to expect
    -Lectures, Lectures, Lectures, fighting to stay awake or feel the wrath of squad sgt.
    -More marching around campus, more history learned, more interested in what WP has to offer
    -Back to bed which I don't bother going under the covers for anymore, still hot as heck
    Rest of the week (in no particular order)
    -Wake up bright and early again for PT, except on the day where we have CFT (Candidate Fitness Test)
    -Rock the CFT and feel like less of a scrub
    -Eat great food and learn how to PROPERLY cut a cake (also sneak a brownie out of the mess hall)
    -Go through the academic seminars and understand more on how the class size, structure, and instruction works
    -Play dodge-ball with all cadre and candidates, watch as cadre nails candidate with dodgeball who is already out
    -Eat an MRE
    -Go through the gun and combat simulators
    -Explore different rolls of a soldier, officer and enlisted
    -Wear body armor
    -Tons of other great things that hopefully you'll get to experience
    -On the last day, right before bed, I bring out the brownie I smuggled from the mess hall (4" x 2") and divide it among 12 people. We all used the matches from the MRE as candles and light the celebratory brownie. Consume brownie. Laugh. Make friends. Desire to stay at West Point.

    11/10 would do again

    TLDR; It's an amazing experience that isn't all super serious. It allows you to explore the area, taste the physicality, and experience their classes. The overarching deal here is that it really lets you decide if it's the right place for you. I can't tell you whether you will or will not like it, but if you don't go, you'll never really know for yourself. It was so worth it for me, but for others, it opened their eyes to a place they didn't want to be at.
     
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  12. AcademyHopefulOne

    AcademyHopefulOne Member

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    Pontonius, have you been offered an Appointment yet? Your rush through R-Day simulation sounds just like mine. Were you on my bus? Our driver was sent to the visitors' center and stopped by MPs... :) I forgot about all that until reading your post.

    I already have fond memories of USMA and am so glad I had the opportunity. I tried to convince my parents to let me skip NASS, but I recognized I needed to give it a shot and all. Ended up confirming my suspicion that it wasn't for me and improving my CFA.

    Go to SLE if you're lucky enough to get accepted.
     
  13. TheEvanCat

    TheEvanCat Member

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    See, at USAFA they just forgot to pick us up so it was me and like, five other guys waiting at the airport for a few hours while they got their van together to cone get us or something. Also, it was freezing the entire time.
     
  14. FlyBoy1993

    FlyBoy1993 Member

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    DS was set on going to AFA, as my user name reminds me constantly. Then he went to SLE at West Point and fell in love with the campus.

    When he got home, all he did was study the different career paths and leadership opportunities.

    At that point, he knew he wanted to go to West Point. He still went to AF's SLE later that summer and wanted to go Army.

    SLE isn't mandatory or even an indicator of future results, but it was a great insight into the campus, he otherwise would not have had.

    He was glad he went to both of them.
     
  15. Pontonius

    Pontonius Member

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    I am waiting for my medical waiver to come through. I'm an LOA, and everything else is green-lit, so I'm waiting for that to come before April 15th (the LOA deadline for being medically qualified).
     
  16. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    WP like many other educational institutions offer high school students and their parents the opportunity to visit the campus, see if the experience plants a seed to apply and pay money to attend for four years hopefully five or six. SLE allows you to set foot by yourself and make your own decision to motivate your self to gain a strong desire to apply. Without, your loving parents influence. (The parents have influenced you for 18 years; hopefully you’re now equipped to make your own life choices.)


    The only real advantage to attend SLE, you have the opportunity to open and start your file a month or two sooner than those who have not attended. There are no bonus points on your file for attending. If you do not get selected and you should be pursuing already, is to attend Boys State. This program does count towards leadership.


    SLE is nothing like Plebe year


    And always have a Plan B.


    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  17. Cadet2019

    Cadet2019 Member

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    Heard this straight from a WP admissions officer- Boys/Girls State attendance is given much more weight over SLE in the admissions evaluation process. SLE is more a recruiting tool to showcase USMA to highly desirable potential applicants. It's a nice plus on the resume if you attend SLE, and you can get the CFA done while there, but if you can only attend one, Boys/Girls State would have an edge.
     
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  18. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    Well if Boys/Girls State attendance is given so much weight, then I really wish thatWP would consider that schedule when planning when to schedule SLE!

    Last summer my son looked into applying to Boys State but didn't because it was the same week as SLE and he really, really wanted to go to SLE (because of course, he really, really wanted to attend WP). He had no idea what Boys State was and why he was encouraged to attend. So since there was a schedule conflict, he opted to apply for SLE and did get accepted (and in the end was accepted at WP even though he did not attend Boy's State).

    To the OP, my son loved every minute of SLE (even though it rained most of that week) and it only confirmed his commitment to continue to pursue admission to WP.
     
  19. nzpete

    nzpete Member

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    From a parent's point of view, yes it was worth the experience if for no other reason than for the DS to gain a better perspective of the USMA. Up until then, it was simply a place that he had heard talked about and seen in photos/videos. He enjoyed every aspect of SLE and his exact words afterward were "I thought I wanted to go to West Point, but now I KNOW I want to go to West Point." It is a selective process for acceptance, and I would encourage you to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity that the USMA has offered you if at all possible. It is not a requirement, but it is important enough to have it's own page on the portal. Good luck!
     
  20. Cadet2019

    Cadet2019 Member

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    It's definitely hard to say no to SLE if you get accepted. Would be unreasonable to expect USMA to coordinate scheduling SLE around 50 different states' schedule for Boys/Girls state, but you would think the American Legion in each state would be conscious of the SLE schedule when scheduling their weeks for Boys/Girls state.
     
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