Lets play the game: Am I good enough?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by AFJROTC_C/Capt, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. AFJROTC_C/Capt

    AFJROTC_C/Capt New Member

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    So at the moment I am a junior in high school, in a suburb of Kansas City. I have a 3.8 weighted GPA and currently thinking that I will get a 29 on the ACT. At the moment I wish to major in Cyber Warfare with a minor in Computer Science, I love computers. Currently this semester, I have an A+ in AFJROTC, A in Algebra 2, D+ in AP Physics (hope to get it to at least a C+ by semester), B+ in AP Computer Science, B- in AP US History, and a B- in AP Language Arts (English). I do AFJROTC and am one of the highest ranking Juniors, I am a Cadet/Captain commander of C-Flight. In JROTC I have done drill team, and i'm the commander of our raider team (physical fitness, military training, and obstacle course competition group). I have done and will continue to be Junior Varsity Cross Country and long distance track. In an Army PFT I can score a 281 out of 300. I am also very active around the community, I am an Eagle Scout, and a Youth Elder at my church. I also have many political ties with community leaders due to my community service. At the moment if I had to rank the Academies I want to attend it would be USAFA, USNA, and then USMA. So the question remains what are my chances, and how can I further improve my chances?
     
  2. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    No "Cyber Warfare" major exists. Here is a listing of currently available majors:
    Aeronautical Engineering
    • Astronautical Engineering
    • Behavioral Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Civil Engineering
    • Computer Engineering
    • Computer and Network Security
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Electrical Engineering
    • English
    • Foreign Area Studies
    • Geospatial Science
    • History
    • Legal Studies
    • Management
    • Mathematics
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Meteorology
    • Military & Strategic Studies
    • Operations Research
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Systems Engineering
    • General Studies

    That "D" in Physics is not going to help you at all. GET EXTRA INSTRUCTION, NOW.

    Search around this site for students with similar statistics.

    Get that Physics grade UP.
     
  3. AFJROTC_C/Capt

    AFJROTC_C/Capt New Member

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    Well technically what I want to major in you would call Computer and Network Security. Thank you for your reply!
     
  4. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Your GPA is not good enough. You claim a 3.8 weighted but your current semester GPA is less than a 3.0 depending on how those AP classes are weighted. USAFA looks at unweighted GPA and then weights is based on their own formula so your 3.8 weighed would drop substantially for their purposes. Are both your cross country and track participation JV? Varsity would be much better for your application. The other ECs look like a good package. You will find by reading the posts here we can never really give you an accurate "chance" reply because we don't know enough about your interview, your essays, your competition, or any of the other many facets to your application that are critical to the overall success of getting an appointment.

    The majors that Fencersmother listed are what is available at USAFA, so you would need to choose from within that list. What is your goal for Active Duty?

    Stealth_81
     
  5. HeWantsTheBFE

    HeWantsTheBFE USAFA Class of 2017

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    I would argue that this is somewhat wrong. Computer and Network Security (CNS) is focused largely on cyber warfare and related CompSci topics. Plus there is the cyber team here. Just food for thought.

    Also, get that physics grade up. D+'s are not attractive to the academy.
     
    murfthesurf likes this.
  6. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    There is both Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineer majors. My DS has a double major (at the moment) in Astronautical Engineering and CNS. He is minoring in Japanese. The ability to claim multiple majors and/or a minor depends on your ability to validate classes during BCT. You do not get credit but it allows you to move forward and creates room for other courses.

    Kansas City is likely a pretty competitive market for candidates so you will likely face stiff competition. Looking at what you provided and the three pillars that form a well rounded candidate, you are below the median in two of them. You are solid in leadership and community. Your GPA is below the average. The average unweighted GPA last year was just above a 3.85. USAFA will give its own weight which actually helped my DS but he had two AP Calculus and two AP Physics classes along with several IB English and Foreign Language courses on his resume. I am not sure how you know you will get a 29 on the ACT. Again, you need to be above a 30 to be on the median. My suggestion to all candidates is to take the standardized test as many times as possible. Finally, keep working on the athletics and aim to get a varsity letter. It is just another measure that most of the competition will have.
     
  7. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Usually spot on, Stealth missed this one a little. 3.8 may very well be good enough. It just depends on where you fall into their grand scheme. Would it be better if you raised it? Of course. But; there are plenty of cadets and mid's that were appointed with that GPA or lower.

    Eagle scout is great. 281 is a very good PT score. You have lots going for you. Just do your best and see what happens. Be sure to have plans B, C, and D ready just in case.
     
  8. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I agree that a 3.8 is good enough for an appointment. If you read my reply, however, I said that the OP's self-reported weighted GPA of 3.8 will not stand at that number for the Academy. USAFA only takes unweighted GPA from the candidate's transcript and then adjusts it themselves based on several criteria. Also, with the OP's current semester grades, even their weighted GPA will drop from a 3.8.

    Stealth_81
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Stealth is quite correct. If the weighted gpa is 3.8, then the unweighted is probably considerably lower. On top of that, gpa is not the only academics they look at. They also look at individual classes. You could have 7 classes, 6 could be 4.0. The 7th, could be at 2.0. That's a 3.7gpa. That's not too bad. BUT, this is a BIG BUT, if that 2.0 is always in important classes like math or science, that is a major problem. Forget that the overal gpa is. 3.7. There's a big difference between that and a 3.7 gpa where the math or science is 4.0 and the 2.0 is in music, art, health science, or even history. There's a lot more to your academy academic application score than just the gpa.
     
  10. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    I hear what you're saying, but "a 3.8 grade point average is not good enough" is not true in many cases.

    Academies do as they please, and blanket statements can be misleading. I know what you guys mean, and you're right. The OP may just see the not good enough and panic.
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Why did you quote "Me". I specifically stated in "My" example, that a 3.7gpa was "NOT TOO BAD". I agree that saying a 3.8gpa is not good enough, is not necessarily true. My emphasis is on "WHAT" and "HOW" that gpa is calculated. Again; if the classes that brought your gpa down to below the average were in the non math/science classes, it wouldn't be that bad. Vs your bad grades being in Math/science.

    There is obviously a breaking point where a gpa is definitely 'Not Good Enough". But because of what I've stated, that gpa can't be defined as a specific line. Obviously, a 2.1gpa IS TOO LOW. But WHERE the line is, can't be detailed, because it depends on the gpa of each individual class. Unlike say the SAT or ACT. The academy can make a definitive line in the sand for those; because all students take the exact same test. So, they can state that a 25 is the line; the breaking point. But not so with the gpa. It depends on the level of classes, the difficulty, and of course which class has the lower grades.
     
  12. AFJROTC_C/Capt

    AFJROTC_C/Capt New Member

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    Thank you all for your replies. Another question I have is, the academies of course look at both weighted and un-weighted since they are both in transcripts. Now which one does the academies look at, I guess you would say, "more" and factor into to your appointment, "more"? Also I do realize that the academy looks at the rigor of the course as a factor. Last question is, my Colonel is a USAFA graduate and I've heard it from him and many other Army, Navy, and especially Air Force officers, that cyber networking and computers in general is in high demand for all these branches. As the US faces more attacks from foreign countries like China and Russia on a daily basis, and is practically in all out cyber-warfare with China. How big of a factor/how helpful is this preferred major, in the academy application process? Also yes I am genuinely interested in computers and cyber-networking, and I have been told that I am naturally gifted in with computers and programming.
     
  13. Badge250

    Badge250 Member

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    The GPA (weighted or unweighted) has been the main point of discussion of this thread. Stealth and CC are clear that USAFA only looks/accepts your unweighted GPA. That's why Stealth said the GPA wasn't "good enough". He was clearly referencing your weighted GPA of 3.8, which CC clearly stated would be considerably lower when unweighted. So to be clear, USAFA only takes your unweighted GPA and then adjusts it according to certain criteria. For instance, my DS's weighted GPA was 4.8. Unweighted was 4.0. At the end of the day, it showed up as a 4.0 on his USAFA portal. As for your other questions, I'll leave those to someone who knows more about those subjects.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would also say that an ACT score of 29 is also on the low end of the spectrum. USAFA does superscore, so keep taking it as often as you can afford.
     
  15. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Badge explained it pretty well. The academy looks at your unweighted gpa, and THEY will weight it according to their formula. But again, they don't look at just the gpa itself. They look at which courses got which grade. Using your stats from your original post, to put it simply, if your D+ was in History or Spanish, that would be a lot less critical than you having the D+ in your Physics course.

    As for you wanting to be a computer major, that doesn't play too heavily into the academy's decision making. Probably 75% or more of applicants apply wanting to be a pilot. But the academy knows that many who come in with those desires will change their mind. 4 years later, only about 50% will wind up with a pilot slot. Not because the academy says so, but because many people change their mind and no longer want to fly, or have a 10 year commitment, or for other reasons; as well as not being qualified to fly. The same with anything else; including what job you "SAY" you want. The academy knows you can and probably will change your mind and second guess your choices at least 145 times. Maybe you decide you want to be a pilot, engineer, STO, or any number of jobs. The academy can't hold you to what you say at 17-18 years old. It even happens with recruited athletes. That's why they have to ensure that those athletes that are recruited are also qualified to be at the academy. Many athletes will not remain on the team they were recruited for. Many will quit the sport immediately after getting out of basic training. It's not like college that it's a sports scholarship, and if the individual doesn't play the sport, they lose their scholarship. A recruited athlete can get through basic training and choose to not participate in the sport. They are still a cadet and that's that. Just because you say you want to major in computer science and be involved with cyber security may impress your MOC for a nomination; but it won't have any bearing on whether or not you get an appointment to the academy.
     
  16. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    My DS got in and one of the Activities for him was two years on the Cyber Patriot team that competed at nationals for CAP. I am sure it didn't hurt, but it is just one activity. He also had a nice gpa, took a very hard curriculum, had a varsity letter, was active in CAP and posted a very high ACT and SAT score. He did well on the fitness test and passed the medical exam. Apparently, he interviewed well too. There are a lot of parts to the application so don't focus on just one.
     
  17. No1Fanof2

    No1Fanof2 Member

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    Talk to your AFJROTC instructors. They will know how you stand comparatively to previous applicants from your school and pretty much from the area. They will typically know the number appointed from your area. Now as a fair warning the bar has been raised. A friend of ours 3 years ago may not have made the cut if he had to apply this year.

    You are in Algebra 2 right now, will you be taking Calculus next year? As what I have found out from many helpful people on here. At the academies you will be taking calculus based physics. If you are offered prep school it will more than likely be Algebra based.
     

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