Letters of Assurance

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by #1dbnugfan, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. #1dbnugfan

    #1dbnugfan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know that an LOA is not the ultimate goal, but it is a good indication of where one stands in the admissions process. So, I'm just wondering if some LOA recipients of years past could report their stats and which aspects of their application were completed at the time of receiving the LOA. Also, does anyone know how much of the application has to be completed. I've heard that it is strictly academic/extracurricular based. Is this true? Does the CFA have to be completed to be considered? Also, how early does USNA review files and send out LOAs? Thanks to all who respond.
     
  2. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,180
    Likes Received:
    105
    I know this doesn't answer all your questions-good luck in your hunt for information.

    DS was told last week by Field Admissions Counselor that first review board is beginning of September.
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    459
    LOAs are not dependent on the CFA. The Board will start meeting in Sept. so LOAs can go out any time after that. I've seen them sent out as late as Jan. but most go out by November.

    It's NOT based solely on your test scores as I've had candidates with 800/800 NOT receive an LOA. I don't know the amount of your package that must be complete but I'd think they'd want at a minimum your test scores, transcript, activities record and teacher recs. You do not need to have your BGO interview completed, although they'd obviously like to see it done.
     
  4. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,234
    Likes Received:
    136
    That is an understatement if ever there was one. An LOA is much more than an indicator of "where one stands". It is virtually an appointment!

    Now, I know some BGO is going to get on here and say that it's no guarantee that you'll get a nomination and they may cite some bizarre story about there was this "one candidate" who got an LOA and never got a nomination. The reason those are memorable stories is because they are more rare than finding a 7-leaf clover.

    The LOA letter is also sent to your MOCs. Once they see that, it is almost impossible for them not to nominate the candidate. Why would they not? The candidate would have to go into the interview and do or say something so incredibly stupid for them not to nominate them. My guess, those extremely rare cases where a candidate received an LOA but did not receive a nomination is because of something like that. They jumped on their own sword.

    In Willy Wonka speak, an LOA is the "golden ticket".
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    459
    I'll be "that BGO." :smile:

    In the past three years, I've had at least one candidate each year (sometimes more than one) with an LOA who ended up with no nom. And a couple with only a Pres nom in a state/district where MOCs will give MOC noms to those who already have Pres noms.

    In one case, USNA gave the candidate a Supe's nom (the candidate turned down the appt). In the other cases, the candidates received turndowns. I can't say whether my experience is unusual or the norm -- but it is reality.

    The above said, Memphis is correct -- the overwhelming majority of LOA candidates will ultimately receive appointments. So, yes, it's a big deal to get one. And for those eligible for Pres noms, it's a HUGE deal as Pres noms are automatic for those who qualify. So all you need is to clear medical and pass your CFA.

    The downside is that one cannot do anything more to get an LOA than he/she can to get an appt, which is to put forth the strongest record possible.
     
  6. #1dbnugfan

    #1dbnugfan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trust me, I know the significance of an LOA. I was just trying to downplay its significance to avoid the "focus on what you can do; you don't want an LOA anyway" post. Anyway, thanks for your post.

    Could any of the BGOs comment on this next question please?

    Would the fact that one has an LOA somehow sway the admissions board in granting a waiver for a medical disqualification?
     
  7. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,829
    Likes Received:
    595
    Not really, the Admissions Board has nothing to do with the medical issue or waiver. For the "normal" waiver issues (i.e. eyesight/vision, color-blindness, etc.), it is normally a much simpler process. For the more complicated medical issues, the Admissions medical officer works with Navy's Bureau of Medicine to determine disposition. In all likelihood, the recommendation made by the medical officer/BUMED is likely to stand 9 out of 10 times when the Superintendent makes the decision. Remember the medical officer, BUMED, and the Supe are considering the best interest of the Navy.

    Remember USNA isn't just a "military college." If one has absolutely zero chance of being able to serve after graduation (given that the medical issue didn't arise during the MIDN's time at USNA), then essentially they are getting a free ride through college with no service obligation....that isn't the goal of USNA. Many doctors will review each medical issue on a case-by-case basis; if there is no hope of being medically able to serve in some part of the Navy, then the chances won't look good.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    459
    Agree with Jadler03. For certain types of medical issues (e.g., colorblindness), the fact that you are a very strong/desirable candidate can help.

    However, for other issues (e.g., asthma with symptoms/medication after age 13), it may make zero difference. A number of years ago I had a recruited athlete (heavyweight crew) with an LOA and asthma who was turned down medically.

    The bottom line is that USNA wants as many entering mids to be qualified to serve in every service knowing that some will become DQ while at USNA. Thus, they generally try to limit waivers (other than for pure vision).

    It IS almost entirely up to the medical folks, who as Jadler said are looking out for the needs of the USN/USMC. All things being equal, being a great candidate may help but it won't overcome a medical problem that the medical folks don't want to waive.
     
  9. hamptonboy

    hamptonboy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    2017 Hopeful

    There are a couple candidates now reporting to have received LOAs and CVWs within the past few days. My application is complete (except for nomination), I am medically qualified; did pretty well (a lot better than average, I think) on CFA; have a 4.25 GPA with mostly AP/honors classes and 5 more APs scheduled for senior year; 34 composite ACT; 2160 (760Math, 690Verbal) SAT; swim team captain; Boys State; club swimming; lots of volunteer activity; sit on the USA Swimming board of delegates; NHS; have lived abroad; Scholastic All-American (although not a recurited athlete); lifeguard -- basically I feel pretty good about my application but have not been offered a CVW, nor have I received an LOA (or any indication that one is forthcoming.) I'm already beginning to get nervous when I see that others are getting positive feedback, even though it's very early in the process. Some have posted that admissions boards do not begin to meet until September -- does anyone know for sure? And the age-old question: do I have a chance?
     
  10. MMMom

    MMMom Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know the answer to your question, Hamptonboy, but your stats are SO similar to my son's I had to look twice to make sure it wasn't him who wrote the post! Good luck to you! LOVE you swimmers!
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    459
    Yes you have a chance. As do many, many applicants. No one here can say any more. And, even if we did, our opinions would be worthless. Seriously.
     
  12. hamptonboy

    hamptonboy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    MMMom, thanks for the encouragement! Is your son waiting to hear something too? I know that no one knows the answer as to whether or not I'll receive an appointment (let alone an LOA). What I was really hoping for was the answer to when the first admissions board is actually meeting. If LOAs are already being sent out, then does that mean that the board is now meeting weekly, or might those early LOAs be for special circumstances and as previously indicated, the board will officially begin to convene in early September? Thank you.
     
  13. MMMom

    MMMom Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, Hamptonboy, he is also waiting but his entire package was not complete until yesterday when his school counselor submitted her piece (activities and academic records) so we didn't figure they looked at him in that first batch. Are you on the Class of 2017 facebook page? The BGO who moderates that page posted the following this week, "With all this talk of the board, I received an e-mail: "Admissions Board has said they will be looking at completed packages for potential LOAs earlier than they have in the past - mid to late August."
     
  14. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,829
    Likes Received:
    595
    LOAs are not issued by the Admissions Board, they are issued by the Admissions Office. Yes, there is a difference.
     
  15. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,180
    Likes Received:
    105
    Sorry for such a basic question: jadler03-can you (or anyone else in the know) explain the difference? I would have guessed that the Admissions Board is made up by the staff in the Admissions office, and that while the LOA is mailed from the Admissions Office they are really one-in-the-same. However, per the post above that seems to be an incorrect assumption. (type slowly because sometimes I don't understand things that quickly)

    Vista123
     
  16. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,829
    Likes Received:
    595
    Only 16% of the Admissions Board comprises Admissions Office staff. The remainder are members of the various academic and professional departments (i.e. professors, department directors, company/battalion officers, etc).

    LOA process is a bit confusing/complicated and really it doesn't matter whether you understand it or not (not being sarcastic) -- it just isn't a decision made by the entire Admissions Board. As mentioned plenty of times earlier, only a handful of candidates would head down this route.
     
  17. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,180
    Likes Received:
    105
    Thank you for your response.

    I did not know that the Only 16% of the Admissions Board comprises Admissions Office staff. That is interesting irrespective of the LOA dynamic.

    I agree with you that it doesn't matter whether you understand the process or not. There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it. However, to quote my favorite Renaissance guy "The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.”
     
  18. hamptonboy

    hamptonboy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    MMMom,

    I'm not on the USNA 2017 Facebook page. I didn't attend STEM, but went to CGA's AIM instead, so if it's anything like the CGA's FB page, it's a closed group comprised mostly of summer program attendees. Thanks for the info., though -- I went to the page and requested membership just in case they're letting others in. Best of luck to your son! Hopefully we'll be classmates next summer...
     
  19. #1dbnugfan

    #1dbnugfan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Will the announcement of an LOA appear on a candidate's information page, or will it only appear in the form of a letter?
     
  20. USNA2016Dad

    USNA2016Dad Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    8
    Have Faith

    This may sound a little preachy but it is not meant that way. Your creds sound top-notch. Have faith in knowing that you prepared well and have done your best. No one here can tell you if you'll get a CVW invitation, nomination or the BFE. If it is meant to be, it will happen. In the meantime have a plan B in mind and enjoy your upcoming academic year. I will bet the news you eventually receive will be well worth it. Cheers and good luck to you.
     

Share This Page