Letter of Assurance

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Knarf, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. Knarf

    Knarf Member

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    What are the typical qualifications for individuals that receive the LOA after the September review board? Is that posted anywhere?

    I realize the goal is an appointment but this could have a huge effect on whether or not a nomination is received.
     
  2. PAParentUSNA

    PAParentUSNA Member

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    grape vine answer

    Knarf, one of the moderators can definately answer this question.
    I asked the same question.
    Letters of assurance , from what I have been told, are for candidates the Academy really wants. The letter is contingent on passing the Dodmerb physical and maintaining your level of education, athletics and behavior.
    From what I was told, the letter of assurance is a "nomination pass" so elected officals do not use one of their nominations on a candidate the academy wants regardless. Keeps the nomination for candidates that are competing for open slots.
    I was told this by a graduate of the Naval Academy and by no means know this as fact. The graduate, graduated in the late 70's and may be speaking from a point back then and not now.
    One of the moderators or current graduates can give you factual information on this, but what I was told makes sense.
     
  3. Knarf

    Knarf Member

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    LOA

    Most of that was my understanding also except that it does not require a nomination. My understanding is that you would still need the nomination but that some MOC use this as a tool to determine who they will give their nomination to. In fact, one of the Senators here states on his package that he wants to be informed if the candidate receives an LOA.

    My question then is "What makes a candidate exceptional?" that they are awarded an LOA.
     
  4. PAParentUSNA

    PAParentUSNA Member

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    loa

    Knarf,
    Hopefully one of the moderators chimes in here, for I do not want to give false information.
    From what was explained to me, athletes that did well at the sports camps/recruited ones for the sports teams/ Perfectly well rounded candidates and Diversity candidates usually get the LOA.
    This could be totally wrong, like I said this was a graduate of the Naval Academy back in 1978 so it may hold no truth today.
    I would believe your elected officials would know , but maybe they want notified in order not to eliminate another candidate by using a NOM on someone that has already been accepted by the Academy itself.
    Hopefully someone more in the Know answers you. I was hoping by me responding to you, more would have chimed in.
    Do not take anything I say as fact. I have seen a couple graduates volley back and forth with different answers and debate each other in interpretation.
    I would honestly like to know this answer myself.
     
  5. 2011's Mom

    2011's Mom Parent

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    There is no way to tell you exactly what / who may get an LOA. They typically go to highly qualified/well rounded candidates. Urban legend is that they go to athletes only. While top notch athletes may get them as well, so do other candidates. I have seen LOAs go to the near perfect test score/multiple varsity letter team captain athlete and I have seen LOAs go to strong leadership without team sports and mid/slightly above "average" accepted test scores and I have seen athletes that meet the minimum requirements get them too. There is no "formula" except to be the best you can be in all areas.

    As to how the LOA works for the MOC - it MAY not be charged to the MOC but it CAN be charged to the MOC. It depends on how the MOC submits their slate and the MOC staff will know that - it is not something that the candidate needs to worry about. If the MOC submits an unranked slate with no principal, the SA is obligated to give the appointment to the candidate with the highest WCS. If that person happens to be the person with an LOA, then the MOC is charged the LOA recipient. Others may, or may not, be appointed off the slate from the National Pool. If the MOC submits a ranked slate with a principal and does NOT place the LOA recipient as principal, then the SA is obligated to appoint the principal off the slate and charge the principal to the MOC - the LOA will also get an appointment but will not be charged to that MOC. There are other scenarios as well but that is the simple answer. It can, and does, get complicated.

    Best suggestion for those who feel they may be LOA worthy .... just about every truly competitive candidate to a SA is "LOA Worthy"... so make your file as strong as it can be, challenge yourself and don't stress over it ... you have zero control over if or when you may or may not get an appointment, let alone an LOA. Submit your file early and with as strong a file as you can, update it if/when substantive changes occur and then enjoy your senior year. Focus on what you can control and let the boards decide the rest. Get your package together as completely and professionally as possible, update as warranted. If you produce the best presentation of your qualifications that is possible, and know that you have done your absolute best then submit it and let the cards fall where they may without regrets. The vast majority of candidates do not get an LOA.
     
  6. Riv-Rod

    Riv-Rod Member

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    Heres a link to a thread posted a few weeks ago about someone who has already recieved an LOA if you scroll through there it starts talking about his scores and such. But what they kept telling us at summer seminar is thet there are no cookie cutter Midshipmen or LOA recipients.

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7465
     
  7. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    An LOA should be the farthest thing from your mind at this point in the process. If you search "LOA" on this forum, you will find many threads and comments regarding them.

    However, the "recipe" that resulted in an LOA last year or the year before may not be on the menu this year! There is NO WAY you can know what the review board wants/needs and is willing to extend an LOA for this year. Maybe a highly qualified candidate (think awesome test scores, GPA, sports, leadership roles) is from an "under represented" district. Or maybe that same highly qualified candidate is being highly recruited by Harvard or West Point or another school. Maybe this highly qualifed candidate is a heck of a linebacker and Navy has a need for a linebacker in the Class of 2014. In short, there is absolutely no way any candidate can assess their chances of receiving an LOA.

    It is reported that 100 or so LOA's are extended each year. 1500 or so appointments are offered. Appointment is the goal, the only goal.

    So, do not give it another thought. Get your application in early and in the best shape possible. Get after the applications for nominations from your MOC's. Fill out the application for VP nomination.

    On your question about how MOC's treat the LOA.......I think it varies. Some want their nom to go to someone with an LOA while others figure the Academy will find another nom source for the LOA recipient, so choose other candidates. Some, most from what I have learned, submit an unranked slate including those with LOA's and let the Academy's choose who to extend offers of appointment to........

    As difficult as it sounds, do not obsess over the LOA. Tell yourself over and over that you will not know anything from USNA until March 2010. Then, if you find out earlier, it is a bonus! If you need to beef up your CFA, get to training so you can update the CFA scores. Ask for a Candidate Visit Weekend once the academic year starts. Keep in touch, though do not "bug" your BGO.
     
  8. PAParentUSNA

    PAParentUSNA Member

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    unclear

    Knarf,
    Apparently from all the threads I have read, and the absence of a real "clear" definition of the requirements, I would have to agree, stay focused on what is needed for the traditional route of admittence and work on getting your nomination source. Do not lose yourself in the quest for a LOA.
    I read the brief description on the Naval Academy website and it is vague too.
    I really doubt even the moderators or graduates themselves really have a clear idea of what is the criteria, for I believe in my own opinion and reading all of the posts on this blog string and the other academies there is not a clear answer, for the admission boards hold the criteria and it changes yearly with each new class. Lack of a better term, it is like the NFL draft. You may need player A this year, but player B next.
    Whatever voids admissions is trying to fill, it appears this is who gets them and the letter is simply an enticement tool to keep them from going somewhere else.
    It appears the chances are better with keeping focused on the absolute way and that is hardwork, dedication and follow through to get a nomination.
    It is clear, no body really knows and the Academies are not obligated or will they yearly reveal the criteria to which they use to select candidates and LOA awardees.
     
  9. Knarf

    Knarf Member

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    LOA

    Thanks everyone for your responses. We are diligently pounding the pavement for a nomination and putting backup plans together. Just wanted to see if there was anything we might be missing.
     
  10. GoNavyMom

    GoNavyMom Member

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    My daughter, Class of 2013, received an LOA from USNA. It was contingent on receiving a nomination, which she did receive from both our Congressman and Senator. The Senator's application specifically asked if she had received a LOA. She updated her application to the Congressman with the LOA after it was received.

    I hope this helps.

    GoNavyMom
     
  11. Knarf

    Knarf Member

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    I took my daughter to visit USNA back in early July. Your daughter was probably one of the Plebes we saw doing their pre-lunch formation.
     
  12. USNA13DAD

    USNA13DAD Member

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    LOA

    I am not sure that anyone can answer this question as I am not sure there is a hard and fast answer. So I will tell you what I know. My son received an LOA for the class of 2013 and is attending USNA. He told me that during his interviews with MOC staff that when questioned about the LOA he was told prior to the interview even being completed that he would most likely receive a nomination from that MOC. I can tell you a little about his qualifications but I am not sure that there are any clear guidelines on receiving an LOA.

    He attended NASS, had slightly over 700 in SAT math and verbal (cant remember exact) top 5% of his class, 12 varsity letters, captain of one of his teams for two years, a couple of other leadership positions. He seemed to do all of his applications and paperwork in early, not sure if that helped but he wanted to give himself every opportunity to have them review his records. He very much wanted to attend the academy he is a very good speaker and I would think would have done very well in any interview format.

    What he was not- He was not the son of a military parent, no legacy, he was not a boy scout or eagle scout, and although he is a very good athlete I doubt very seriously that he was accpeted with the intent that he will make or have an impact on a varsity team.

    My guess is that if everyone that had a son or daughter that got an LOA came on here and spelled out their credentials they would most likely be all over the place with respect to the things they were and were not.

    He had a very strong determination to get in to USNA and so far has "enjoyed?" his time during plebe summer. good luck.
     
  13. GoNavyMom

    GoNavyMom Member

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    Knarf,

    I hope next summer someone will be watching your child in formation. It is a beautiful sight.

    My daughter's online app was completed by early September of last year. She attended a candidate's weekend in October and shortly after that she received her LOA.

    I think she falls into the category of all around applicant. She went to a very competitive high school where I would say she was an average student, played two varsity high school sports (captain of one), did fine on the SAT's but aced the ACT which is what I think qualified her. Her blue and gold officer was very supportive and made sure that the USNA admissions office was aware of her app.

    I think the rest is in the hands of fate.

    Best of luck,

    GoNavyMom
     
  14. usna1985

    usna1985 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Sorry, but this isn't true. First, many MOCs like to give noms to LOA recipients b/c they know that this candidate is certain to get in (if other reqs are met). Also, there's a rumor out there that, if you have an LOA, USNA will "find" you a nom. However, at BGO training, they told us that there have been LOA recipients who don't get a nom and thus don't get an appointment.

    So, if you receive an LOA and don't have a Pres nom, you MUST apply for MOC noms and the VP nom. Not doing so is VERY, VERY DANGEROUS.

    As for the quals for LOAs . . . highly qualified candidates. However, many other highly qualified candidates don't get LOAs. USNA started the program in response to Early Action programs at civilian colleges -- trying to encourage the most competitive folks to stick it out for USNA (which typically can't offer appointments until the MOCs turn in their slates at the end of Jan. whereas civilian schools were offering admission in Dec). USNA has said that they are decreasing the number of LOAs b/c it constricts their ability to form the class.

    Thus, please, please, please, focus on getting an appointment. If you get an LOA, great. But if you don't, don't worry about it.
     
  15. Caley

    Caley New Member

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    LOA

    One never knows about an LOA. My advice is to make the application to USNA and multiple back-ups, including NROTC.

    My son, with a 770 verbal, 650 math; 3.9 out of 4.0 GPA; Summer Seminar at both USNA and USAFA; easily passed the CFA-did more situps at Sea Trials day than his platoon and squad leaders; MOC nomination; U. S. Senator nomination to another academy; 4 year varsity letterman; 3 year co-captain; National Honor Society; tutor; Fellowship of Christian Athletes; fluent in a foreign language; got the top score possible in his BGO interview; had a retired USNA Captain, Academy graduate, 35 years as a BGO recommendation for admission; our State Regional BGO recommendation to Academy for an LOA; did not receive an LOA and was rejected for admission to USNA.

    Admissions Board makes the decision and you receive no feedback. So, do the best you can and make sure your son or daughter has options.
     
  16. mumsyto3

    mumsyto3 Member

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    Wow, your son sounds great! You should be so proud of him. What did he end up doing this year?
     
  17. mdanderson

    mdanderson Member

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    My son was in a very similar "boat" yet no appointment to USNA. He was not notified until the end of April. It was a competitive, unpredictable admissions year at all the academies. He evidently belonged in a plane instead. His LOA was from USAFA, and that is where he ended up. :smile:
     

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