Is Top 25% a Poor Class Ranking?

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by USCGA_2018, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. USCGA_2018

    USCGA_2018 Member

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    DS is applying for class of 2018. He attended AIM; He has 4 years of AFJROTC; Two summer sessions of COLS at the Citadel (one as a cadre and flight commander); He already has 8 CR hrs of calculus and physics from Virginia Commonwealth University; He lettered in two varsity sports and has been JV captain twice and varsity captain once; His SAT scores are 2050 w/ a 770 Math; He is the XO of his JROTC Corps; President Mu Alpha Theta; Captain Academic Bowl team; and GPA is 4.44 weighted and 3.81 un-weighted.

    I assume that most of what is listed above is fairly commonplace for the CGA and will not be overly impressive, but hopefully adequate. In any case, here's the bad news. He is only ranked 96 out of 383 (Top 25%). It is really bothering him. His high school is a US News & World Report Gold Medal HS. Whether you subscribe to the rankings or not, they put DS's school in the top 500 Nationally (2%) based on college readiness. There just ridiculously high GPAs at his school. I mean absurdly high GPAs. Students take PE in the summer so they can add more weighted classes during the year. They also take early bird classes (come in at 6:30AM) so they can take an 8 class load in order to boost the GPA. It's crazy.

    I applaud the efforts and results of these driven students, but many are not involved in extra curricular activities at all. DS plays school sports, club sports, ROTC, lifeguards, etc... in addition to maintaining his grades. He has loved AFJROTC and all that it has taught him. One of his proudest moments was when the Academic Bowl team qualified for National JLAB event at George Mason University.

    Looking back now, the JROTC is non-weighted and cost DS .17 in GPA. His 4.44 could have been a 4.61 which would have moved him to about Top 15%. Two B's in 4 years of Spanish didn't help either! I have read that many colleges are placing less emphasis on class rank and looking for demonstrated interest.

    Before I whine anymore about the Class Rank... How important is it? Is a mere Top 25% a deal breaker for DS's application?

    Since learning there will not be an LOA, I'm afraid panic is setting in. Not for DS, but for me. When you see your child start down this path at such a young age with such resolve and determination it is absolutely nerve racking to know that the decision is out of your hands and that you've done all you can do (to this point anyways).

    Funny or perhaps sad, I somehow feel that posting here somehow helps. I guess it's just therapeutic. Then again, I did learn about the 5 LOAs and the Genesis Program from visiting here.
     
  2. trackandfield08

    trackandfield08 USCGA 2014

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    First item: Not being awarded an LOA is not the end of the world. Very few applicants to every class are awarded an LOA. I was not awarded one and I will (hopefully) be graduating in 7 months time.

    Second: Class Rank is not everything, especially in a competitive high school such as your DS's. I had 125 kids in my high school, I was ranked number 11 with a 4.2 weighted GPA. My high school this year was ranked as a Grade D (as in awful) school in the state of NJ. Yet I was still accepted. I like to think I was accepted for the reason that your son is such a strong applicant (IMPO), I was well rounded, did well academically, played sports, was involved in several ECs, and held a couple of leadership positions.

    Is Top 25% Class Rank a poor ranking? I would argue in a school as competitive as your son's, no. The AOs do take the difficulty of the school into account.
     
  3. grevar

    grevar CGA Admissions Partner

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    While I am certainly no expert, from all that I've read, they do consider the ranking and academic standing of the school. I know the Guidance Counselor will be asked to submit some statistics specific to your son's school and these statistics tell a lot about how kids do there and how competitive things are.

    Also, you have to consider that even home schooled kids can get accepted. There was a home schooler from our state that made it last year. He was the valedictorian and graduated top of his class :shake: Kidding aside, don't stress out about it. Things are what they are, and you can't do anything about where your son goes to school. If he is doing his best, he will shine.

    I looked for the Class of 2017 profile but couldn't find it. I think top 25% would rank well, especially considering what you've said about his specific school.

    Just make sure he has a Plan B and C in place. I've read about so many that didn't. We even have a good friend that applied for USNA and didnt make it, all the way to the end. He was devastated, and had no plan B in place. Ended up going to a local college. I almost think that USNA Admissions must have seen that he had no other options... For him, it was USNA or nothing, and he ended up with nothing. That's not a great place to be, and hard to convince anyone that his desire was to serve his country. There are so many more roads to commissioning.

    Hang in there and tell your son to stay the course! Keep encouraging him while all the while making sure he has alternate plans.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    You need to stop worrying. You and he have done everything you can, and at this point, the painful waiting process kicks in. His class rank won't wow folks, but they take everything into consideration.

    Take a few breaths and just try to relax. It's out of your hands now.

    I know it isn't easy advice, but you're going to worry yourself sick.
     
  5. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

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    Hang In There!

    ++1 to LITS advice.

    Having gone through this last year, the next five to eight months are going to be the most anxious months you will ever experience. More so than if he was pursuing other 'colleges.'

    First - A note of encouragement: your DS's stats look very competitive - even if he is outside the top 10% of his class rank. The fact that he has leadership and all the EC's are going to weight well in his favor. Standardized test are the one measurement that can level the academic playing field for all applicants and his test scores sound outstanding. Only OBJEE on this board can tell you for certain how the class rank will play in, but I'm sure you will not hear from her.

    Second - Despite your DS being competitive, the limited number of CGA slots make admission far from certain even if he was in the top 10% (or even valedictorian). Having been watching these forums for over a year, I've concluded that CGA may be the most competitive academy for admission, evidenced by the fact that almost all CGA appointees have appointments to at least one other academy. Since there is a need for diversity and balance in the class, academics alone won't make or break admission. You need to accept this now because it is reality. There are a certain number of slots and they don't always go the way we think they should. Last year there someone on these boards that was angry and cynical after receiving the QNS letter from USNA. Academy admissions seem to be getting more competitive, and attracting a wider audience, every year. You need to realize that even though your son is an outstanding individual, it does not guarantee or assure an appointment. His character and accomplishments stand by themselves - not because of an appointment. Bottom line - he needs to pursue his Plan B choices with gusto and have them in place.

    Lastly - My advice is that you need to keep him level headed and "hope" for the academy but be ready to accept a "not yet" answer. There are many examples on these boards of candidates who tried two or three times to get accepted and fulfill their dream. If CGA is his dream he needs to keep pursuing it even if it doesn't come through this year. If serving in the military is his objective, he needs to pursue other avenues to commission should the academy never come through.

    Best wishes to you and your son and I'll be watching for updated news!
     
  6. USCGA_2018

    USCGA_2018 Member

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    Thanks for the answers, comments, opinions, advice, encouragement, etc... It is truly appreciated.

    As for contingency, DS has applied to USMA, USMMA and VMI. He has a standing offer to play D1 soccer at VMI, so we are considering that his "safety school". Unfortunately, there is no Coast Guard ROTC if he goes to VMI.

    Session I AIM seems so long ago. We need to find a way to get him back to New London for a campus event and/or interview. Any thoughts on the optional interview? Would you do one locally or attempt do have one done on campus?
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    How close are you to New London?

    EDIT: Just read your location. No need to go to New London for an optional interview. I don't think there's any harm in completing one in your area (unless he absolutely bombs it by talking about his frequent drug use, pending fraud case and other plots...)

    There's no CG ROTC, but around half of the officer corps is OCS.... so that's an option.
     
  8. Physicsguru

    Physicsguru Member

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    Go to http://www.gocoastguard.com/find-yo...rtunities/programs/direct-commission-programs and search for Direct Commission Selective Schools. To quote:

    "College graduates who have been exposed to military training through Armed Services Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs, equivalent regimented programs at select colleges (enumerated below) or other Federal military academies, while earning an undergraduate degree are eligible to apply to the Coast Guard's DCSS program. DCSS seeks to offer direct commissions to high performing individuals who have already proven their leadership ability through rigorous programs or other service academies. Selectees attend DCO school in New London, CT, following appointment. Prior to attending DCO school, and following the acceptance of a selection appointment, DCSS selectees are engaged by a CG assignment officer who coordinates their initial assignment. Typically, a broad range of mission fields are available to DCSS graduates for their initial assignment in the Coast Guard."

    In short, when he graduates (or just before) he can apply through this program, which recognizes that several schools have a military training component. Instead of going to OCS, he goes to Direct Commission Officer school for CG specific training, then goes to the fleet. If you go down the list, VMI is listed as one of the recognized school.

    It doesn't matter the path, as long as you get to the right destination!
     
  9. coastiefam

    coastiefam Member

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    The interview is of course optional. The guidance seems to be only to pursue an interview if your applicant interviews well.
    Speaking for my husband, who is an Academy Admissions Partner and a CGA graduate and active duty officer, you certainly don't have to travel to New London to be interviewed. Academy Admissions Partners are all over the United States for this exact reason.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    What year is your husband?
     
  11. coastiefam

    coastiefam Member

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    I sent you a pm. :smile:
     
  12. ActaNonVerba

    ActaNonVerba Member

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    I got into USCGA after applying with 2 or 3 weeks within the deadline, and I was only top 29% in my HS with all honors/APs. My SAT was at 2200 (800 reading and 690 math) and as far as I know they weight math higher so his 770 math score should be great.

    I had a lot of leadership positions and athletics, but wasn't in JROTC and didn't attend AIM. I'd say your son has an excellent chance; the admissions board will weight his class rank with the competitiveness of his school.
     

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