Just a couple questions

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by xRebekah, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. xRebekah

    xRebekah Member

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    Background information:
    • Female, 17, Junior.
    • In my third year of varsity softball, second year of being team captain (will hold position for senior year as well)
    • SAT score: 2010 (will be retaking in May)
    • 3.7 Unweighted GPA
    • Extra's: Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Hospice, Currently getting my Gold Award, Coach of a Little League Softball Team, work part-time during the school year and summers, member of NHS, and Student Government.
    The high school I attend contains an IB program, a medical program, a biomedical program, and a traditional program. We also have the option of full-time dual-enrollment at a community college which is what I'm doing. So by the time I graduate high school, I will have amassed roughly 72 college credits as well as an Associates degree. As of now, I have a 4.0 in college.

    I'm curious as to how that would effect my application or whether it would matter at all. Are my classes weighted differently due to their rigor? Are they not? Does the Academy take into consideration the amount of programs at my school, and as a result the competitiveness of my class?

    I'm ranked 98/608 students in my class, however I am limited on the amount of classes I can take by the college where as my traditional peers are able to take more via online classes (which I am no longer able to take.) So, I can't do to much to improve my class rank besides to continue working hard in my classes. A majority of those above me are taking easier classes.

    In case it matters, I take 18 credit hours every semester. By the time I graduate I'll have taken College Algebra, College Pre-Calc, College Trig, Calc 1 w/ Analytical Geometry, Calc 2, General Physics 1, Gen Chem 1, and Organic Chem 1. If per say, I were to be accepted into the Academy, would I have to retake these courses?

    Sorry for the not-so-cohesive post, my minds kind of everywhere right now, waiting on the Summer Seminar yay or nay and submitted my PCQ earlier today (I'm anxious).

    Thanks a ton,

    Rebekah
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  2. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    Long story short, Academy Admissions does look at school profiles in an effort to level the playing field among applicants. The class rank of 98/608 at a competitive school may be higher than 25/608 at a less competitive school.

    As for retaking courses, that completely depends on the Academic Departments concerned. Some courses are specifically tailored to fulfill requirements of military officer training and are therefore unlikely filled by a generic college course taken previously.

    As far as I know, Calc 1, Calc 2, General Physics 1, General Chemistry 1 are all classes which should accept transfer credit. I am unsure of Organic Chem. The Academy's math curriculum starts with Calc 1 so Algebra, Pre-Calc and Trigonometry will not be considered.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. xRebekah

    xRebekah Member

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    Yeah thanks, that does help. Just noticed something and had another question. On the admissions site it says once you are granted candidate status.
    What does that mean exactly?
    Does everyone get granted candidate status or...?
    And if so/not, when do you find out?
     
  4. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    You are granted candidate status if the Academy deems you competitive for an appointment or when you receive a nomination.
     
  5. xRebekah

    xRebekah Member

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    So it's safe to apply for nominations even though one isn't considered an actual candidate?

    Apologies for all the questions!
     
  6. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    Hi Rebekah, congratulations on your goal! :thumb:

    To start your USAFA application, you have to complete a preliminary form called a pre-candidate questionnaire (PCQ). It asks for personal information, SAT/ACT scores, GPA, class rank, a brief extracurricular resume (I think), and a few other things. I don't remember everything on it, but it's not too detailed at that point.

    Once you finish your PCQ and submit it, the Academy will let you know if you have been granted candidate status. I heard back a few days after I submitted my PCQ. Also, as falconchic said, you can become a candidate once you receive a nomination.

    Regarding your question about nominations, my concern is that by applying for a nomination prior to even completing your PCQ, you may be inadvertently reducing your chances of getting that nom. Waiting until later in the year would give you more opportunities to improve your nomination application, and many members of Congress don't schedule interviews until the fall, anyway.

    Best of luck to you, and keep up the good work! :)
     
  7. xRebekah

    xRebekah Member

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    I completed the PCQ earlier today actually! :)

    Thanks for the information on the nom's!
     
  8. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    Are private messages not a thing anymore?

    As a follow up to my response:

    If you receive an appointment, try to hand carry an official sealed college transcript with you which will be readily accessible right after basic training. Getting transfer credit was an active process on my part. I would have had to retake classes if I hadn't gone to the registrar and each individual Academic Department myself. Typically you are given just under two weeks to make changes to a given semester's class schedule. A gap created in your schedule because the Academy has accepted transfer credit must be filled within this time.

    Also, try to bring along a detailed course description and syllabus for any potential transfer classes. This will make it easy for a given Academic Department to decide whether a class actually qualifies for credit.

    The big thing is that you do not want to waste time on this! Two of my friends had to retake classes because they did not have their college transcript on file with the Academy and could not get a new official one on time!

    Lastly, while at the Academy, you'll be required to take a minimum of 15 credit hours each semester. If you come in with a bunch of transfer credit then you will either only take five classes each semester or you will need to look for extra classes to fill your schedule. If GPA is a big motivation, maybe retaking some courses as GPA boosters is a good idea.
     
  9. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    YES!!! Applying for nominations is a separate process from your Academy Application. Apply for all noms you are eligible for. Go to the websites of your Members of Congress (two Senators from your state and your district representative) They should have a section with info on Service Academy Nominations. Follow their instructions very closely. Most request you make initial contact with their office in the early spring of your Junior year, and some have application packages due as early as Sept 1. The applications packages are very comprehensive, so you don't want to save them for the last minute.
     
  10. Hodge

    Hodge Member

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    I would highly recommend practice interviewing with a current or retired military officer before the nomination interviews. These helped me so much and really allowed me to "Ace" the interview. So if your parents are military or you have family friends that are reach out to them. Almost all MOCs interview for nominations and remember it's really your first big step to getting in. Not to mention you'll have an ALO interview down the road as well.
     
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  11. xRebekah

    xRebekah Member

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    Thanks for all the help! I'm going to start contacting my reps for the noms within the next week or so!
     
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  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Have you visited your rep's website yet? Most list their requirements and such for nominations on their website. Some even include dates of when you can apply and the cutoff date. Just saying that if you haven't looked yet, and the information is there, it might be awkward to answer them when they ask if you looked at the web site and you say you didn't. Falcon chic mentioned visiting you representative and senator web sites. I suggest you do that before contacting them. If you don't have any specific questions, there's no need to contact them.
     
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  13. xRebekah

    xRebekah Member

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    I have looked at their websites actually!
    Suppose I'll just start thinking about all the application steps, instead of making pointless contact.

    Just really excited to get started.
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    If you have questions concerning the nomination process from your representative or senator, then most definitely contact them. But if you understand their process and instructions, then follow what they post.
     

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