Letters of Assurance

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by USMA2016, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    Hey all,

    I'm a candidate for the class of 2016 and I have a few questions about LOAs.

    -How many are generally given out per class?
    -What are the standardized test scores, ECs, grades that it generally takes to get one?
    -Does attendance at one of the academy's summer seminars affect chances of getting an LOA?
    -When do they usually send them out?

    Thanks a bunch everyone.
     
  2. abeastlybeast

    abeastlybeast USMA Class of 2015

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    LOAs are definitely comforting and a sure sign that USMA wants you, but don't get hung up over receiving one. The majority of each class does not receive an LOA. Work hard and focus on doing everything you can to better your chances. If there's anything else I can help you with, I'd be glad to. Good luck!
     
  3. jake s

    jake s USMA Cadet

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    To piggyback off of what abeastlybeast said:

    According to scoutpilot's post on when he talked to one of the regional commanders a couple of months ago, no more than 350 LOA's went out for the Class of 2015. However, like abeastlybeast said, this number varies year to year.

    As far as SLS helping you, the only way I can see it helping is in the interview with your squad leader. If you make a great impression and do really well all week then an impressive write-up can help the admissions committee decide to approve an LOA for you. I've also heard (not confirmed by any official sources though) that the SLS squad leader ranks the members of the squad, so a high ranking could also help you.

    I recieved an LOA mid-July. I've never heard of LOA's coming out earlier than that. The last of the LOA's historically go out in December.
     
  4. mtnman17

    mtnman17 USMA Appointee 2015

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    Never got an LOA, was appointed in December (still really early) so as the above guys said, it's definitely not the end all-be all. 5 candidates in my squad at SLS had LOA's and as of now I am one of 2 with appointments.... Good luck, Hollar if you need something!:thumb::thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  5. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    Yea for admissions purposes, I don't think SLS helps you more then the fact it shows USMA thinks you're a competitive candidate end of junior year (works too, more than half my squad either has LoA's or the official appointment at this time although that may just speak to how awesome my squad is ;) ). The interview with my squad leader replaced the interview my MALO would have done which was in a way I think to my advantage since I had almost a week to get to know the cadet that did my interview and he got to see you in action so to say in the activities so it was way more comfortable and natural of a conversation then say the one I did with my ALO for USAFA where it was the first conversation I ever had face to face with the officer.

    I finished my file in August and got an LoA in October. 3.95 GPA, 2050 SAT, 3 letters in soccer, 2 in softball; leadership positions in various activities in school (NHS, community service projects, etc). Funny thing with my LoA was that it literally said under the conditions as the only condition "continued academic performance" as I had already finished my DoDMERB and had received a presidential nomination early. Official folder came in the mail a few days later with no alterations to my file. Confused the interviewers in my senatorial nomination interview where they had been updated on the LoA but had never seen the folder coming so soon after, was an interesting conversation.

    Anyways, I have a friend who is taking all college level classes (very smart, tested out of high school two years ago), good EC's/leadership, and is active so her file to me seemed stronger then mine minus the time she got her nomination. She received no LoA and received her appointment folder last month. It was nice to receive an LoA, but its not the end all be all, especially since to some kids it equals the opportunity to slack off so they never end up getting that appointment.
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Completing your application early helps with getting LOAs for many applicants

    In order for West Point to give you a LOA, they need some facts to evaluate you.

    Attending SLS gets your physical qualification out the way.

    Your standardized test scores are good indicator your academic potential

    Unverified candidate activities report provides decent idea on your leadership potential.
     
  7. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    The reason I ask...

    Alright, thanks everyone for the reassurance.

    I ask because I'm pretty sure I'm okay on the academic/EC side of the application (2130 SAT, 30 ACT, 4.37 GPA, 3rd out of 423 in class, NHS, club president, etc). However, I'm maybe just average/slightly under average in athletics/athleticism (2 varsity letters in Wrestling, estimating just under average on the CFA).

    Do they look at just academics for an LOA?
     
  8. Peter

    Peter Member

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    I believe if it's early enough in the application process, then yes they look mostly at academics. Months ago, when they were sending out LoA's as early as July, I'm sure that those that received them had stellar academics, but the key to earning the LoA was also finishing your application as early as possible. It not only shows initiative, but it helps off load a lot of stress when you start your senior year.

    However, there were a few kids who hadn't completed their applications, beside sending in the first few transcripts and their SAT scores, and they were able to earn an LoA. Those are the ones that got in because of their stellar academics.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  9. jake s

    jake s USMA Cadet

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    The reason West Point sends out an LOA is because they want that particular candidate. It can be a recruited athlete, a kid who got a near perfect score on an SAT/ACT, etc. Honestly, an LOA can be issued for just about any reason the admissions board sees fit. The admissions board looks to balance out a class with athletes, academic geniuses, geographic diversity, racial diversity(minorities), and many other categories of candidates. LOA's are used to keep a person interested in the academy through the length and rigors of the admissions process and to make sure that said candidates don't go to a civilian school when they get other acceptances before an appointment is offered.

    Peter is spot on when he says the key to earning an LOA is finishing your app as soon as possible. Actually, that's the key to the entire admissions process; it cannot be preached enough. By the time you start your application, your resume should speak for itself. While any little thing can up your WCS enough to get you an LOA, at that point you either have the stuff to get an LOA or you dont. Finishing the application early is really one of the only things you can do short-term to get an LOA for yourself.

    With all of the talk about LOA's, remember that the ultimate goal is an appointment. The MALO's and FFR's on the forum told us 2015 applicants that countless times last year, and it's definitely worth repeating for the up-and-coming 2016 applicants. :thumb:
     
  10. Peter

    Peter Member

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    Yea, and again, remember the majority of those accepted into West Point don't receive an LoA. Once you enter West Point, non-LoA receivers, LoA receivers, 300-lb quarter backs, 5'2" girls, scholars, perfect SAT people...you're all the same to the upperclassmen. While you may have been the absolute best in your high school, once you enter West Point, you are the lowest of the low in the food chain.

    That's why an LoA isn't all that awesome...it just helps you in the admissions process. Appointment is the important goal...there are those who have received LoA's but didn't earn appointment.
     
  11. tiki

    tiki USMA 2015 Appointee

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    I received my appointment for the class of 2015 mid December and I never had an LoA. Just make sure you finish your application as quickly as possible, continue to participate in leadership activities, and keep up your grades and you will have done everything you possibly can in regards to admission, LoA or no LoA.

    Good luck! I know how stressful the application process can be.
     
  12. Hunter9x9

    Hunter9x9 Member

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    Well I got one with 2130 SAT/32 ACT. 4.24 weighted/3.7 unweighted GPA.

    And... Both USMA and USNA denied me from their summer seminars. Don't use those as any sort of indicator. I'm glad I didn't. :thumb:

    I got mine Semptember 7th.

    Also, with mine, they were just looking at academics, because that's all I had sent in. :biggrin:

    Good Luck!!
     

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