Just to clarify...When to start for Juniors?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by matt123456, May 15, 2011.

  1. matt123456

    matt123456 Member

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    I want to get this clarified for me and other Juniors browsing these forums. When is the time to start applications for all 5 service academies including all ROTC scholarships?

    Should the process be at the end of your Junior year when you have all necessary transcripts and recommendations? Turn in everything mostly at once (Some teachers won't give recommendations before end of the year)

    or

    Should the process start right now? Start on all scholarships and update as you get things?

    Please and thank you! I want to start on all the applications and essays and everything but I don't have my SAT scores or my transcript yet. I just took the SAT and scores wont be out till May 29th I think.
     
  2. Envy01

    Envy01 Member

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    The sooner you can get everything together and sent in the better. As long as it is in before the deadline you will be considered, but the earlier you send it in the earlier the chance you get a letter of assurance. I finished my application in October and received my LOA in December.
     
  3. USAF52

    USAF52 Member

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    OK Matt, you've asked this question in different ways on other threads, so you must not like the answers you are getting. But everyone who has responded seems to agree that you can start many things now (essays, asking for letters of recommendations, putting together a resume, etc.) but there are definitely things you have to wait for (final transcripts from jr. year, SAT/ACT scores if you just took the tests, etc.). If the academies/ROTC programs that you are interested in have applications for next year already online, then go ahead and get started on the parts you can. But just remember, no admission/appointment decisions are going to be made over the summer so there is no benefit to turning everything in early--don't rush just to get things done early. You will not get bonus points for being the first one to submit. Just have everything done by the time you go back to school in the fall and you'll be set for the first boards whenever they come (check websites of academies/ROTC programs to see if they say when they will begin reviewing packets--I don't remember if I saw that or not when my son was going through this process last year.)

    Quote:
    "Should the process be at the end of your Junior year when you have all necessary transcripts and recommendations? Turn in everything mostly at once (Some teachers won't give recommendations before end of the year)

    or

    Should the process start right now? Start on all scholarships and update as you get things?" End quote.

    If you are asking if you have to turn in every piece of paper/test score/recommendation etc. at once, all on the same day, then the answer is no. You can submit things for your application file as they are completed. That is probably how almost everyone does it. And yes, you can update anything if you get improved test scores, a new award for something, become a captain of a team in the fall, etc. My son called his admissions counselor at the AFA many times during the fall to add things to his file.

    I think Pima said in one of your previous threads that the application process is not a sprint but a marathon. Especially if you are applying for multiple academies/ROTC programs. Get started, keep a checklist of what needs to be done, but don't overwhelm yourself with thinking it has to be done TODAY. It doesn't.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Matt,

    Everyone knows you are "pumped" to get to the AFA. We all get that. However, for old posters that have been around here for a while, what we see with candidates is their belief by submitting early means they will get an LOA or an early apptmt.

    Facts are:
    1. AFA is the stingiest when it comes to LOA's, @ 7-10%. Only about 150 are LOAs
    ~~~Unless your packet is out the door exceptional, don't bank on it. OBTW, also understand that once in LOA means squat, the slate is cleared regarding your abilities. Not every LOA graduates in the top 10% (using 10% as the amount of LOAs).

    2. You can not get an apptmt without a nom. Even with the nom., you need to win it off of that slate.

    3. You do harm to yourself by not practicing the CFA to the point you can max it. Avg is not good enough when the AFA has announced a smaller class size.

    4. SAT/ACT can still be taken in Sept/Oct. Again median/mean scores are not the bar you are looking to obtain.

    5. First board is October. Why submit an inferior packet?

    6. The GC must submit their profile. Have you even investigated if your GC's will be in school over the summer?

    7. DodMERB is a big player. Do you have medical issues, are your medical records in order?

    8. ALO
    ~~~ You have yet to be assigned one.

    People can tell you get it done now or later, but the fact is your ALO will write a rec regarding how you rack and stack in their pile.

    DS's ALO was incredibly involved to the point they met often over the summer editing/re-editing his essays. His packet was NOT submitted until his ALO said hit the button.

    I get your excitement and desire. Everyone who walked before you gets it. Everyone who walked before you will also say, that it was the longest yr of their life and would prefer to NEVER experience it again.

    One day you will be on Cloud Nine because you got a nom., the next day you will be in Hades because another slate came out and you weren't on it, or you got hit with an issue (DodMERB, CFA).

    If you are starting to hover now, just be ready to accept that for up to 11 months your life will be on a rollercoaster. Best of best is you get an LOA in Aug/Sept, and Nom Oct. In other words at least 5 months.

    Walk away. Come next July, your regret will be I spent too much time plotting/planning and consumed with getting in that I have no memories of being that HS SR, going to homecoming, seeing the midnight showing of Harry Potter, and hanging out at the lake/beach with my friends.

    Don't wish your life away!
     
  5. robinhood17

    robinhood17 USMA Cadet

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    :biggrin: Hi. I was really confused on this too. don't worry. Now that I've read this forum over and over and have talked to cadets and ALO's..I think I can help by sharing what I am doing.
    I am a junior, in the same position as you.
    As of now I have:
    -Finished the Army rotc scholarship application minus transcripts/personal statement.
    -Finished the Naval rotc scholarship app minus trans/sat reports (I havent sent them in yet..)
    -started usna,usafa,usma,andusmma applications (preliminary)
    -began writing my college essays, lining up back up plans
    -training for the cfa at summer seminars I'm attending
    - set up nomination packets I will be giving to teachers for reccommendations
    - collected emails/numbers of teachers for academy recs over summer
    - oh and keeping my grades up...and all those other extracurriculars of course. :)
    It is definitely reasonable to start now. this means you can get a headstart on the things i have done too!! (I'm lucky to have an ROTC grad..my sister to guide me.:smile:) I was so anxious to start everything, i applied for SS the minute the app was up, same for rotc/academy apps. :D

    Obviously, we have to wait for our transcripts to be available in July, its just something that is unnavoidable. Coming from a military family, I have a "early is on time" mindset. so...as bad as this sounds, i made a calender for this summer.

    May 16- give out nomination reccommendation packets to teachers,send in presidential nomination forms.
    May 31- usafa summer seminar
    june 11-usna NASS
    june 15- air force rotc app opens
    june 26-girls state
    July 2-july 10th-ish CHECK online academy and rotc applications, everything should be up and rolling. this is when you send in everything you have so far, and fill in the blanks. Schedule DODMERB, and your CFA (if your ready for it) Enter in your teachers email, and send them an email yourself-thanking them.
    August- wrap it up. start sending out nomination applications. and focus on senior year...of course apply to back up colleges as well. My goal is to have alot of this done, like pima said, to enjoy senior year! These applications are alot of work,and I don't think your senior year should take the hit either... I'm excited for the challenge- bring on the midnight showings of harry potter!

    now, I am merely a junior, but this is my plan. I can't guarantee it's fool-proof but maybe it will help. If an admissions officer, or anyone more experienced could critique this plan, I'd be much obliged.
    Good luck! :thumb:
     
  6. matt123456

    matt123456 Member

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    USAF52 - Thanks :yllol::yllol::yllol::yllol: I just need to re clarify yet again because I don't want to wait till the last minute and find out there are no more spots or nominations left.

    Envy01 - Yea so only the best of the best get the LOA right?

    Pima - Thank you very much! For the DodMERB I checked and they have some sort of test for the eyes on colorblindness? Well I am color blind which really sucks :(

    robinhood17 - Thats alot you have done already! :shake: Nice.

    Thank you everyone for the answers



     
  7. Envy01

    Envy01 Member

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    Pima- I didn't mean to state that the earlier you send it in the better the chance of the LOA, I meant it more as, the earlier you send it in, the earlier you will know back (if you get an LOA). Sorry if that came across wrong!

    Matt- From what I have gathered, it is very difficult to get an LOA. I actually didn't know this until fairly recently, as both me and my best friend got LOA's. (and we are from the same school).

    A very important note that Pima stated as well, DO NOT let your senior year of high school go to waste. Make sure you get everything you need to done, and keep your grades up, but make plenty of time for social interaction. Also, remember to spend time with your family.

    Relax, enjoy your senior year in high school :)
     

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