Letters of recommendation for re-applicants?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Navypops, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. Navypops

    Navypops Parent

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    Hello,

    Just wondering if anyone has a similar situation: My son was in the running for the USNA last year, but did not gain acceptance. He has strong academics, CFA, and athletics. Can't understand why they didn't accept, but that's life. He is reapplying and during one of our conversations the topic of letters of recommendation came up. He is now a senior and has been accepted to a prestigious engineering school with a full four-year NROTC scholarship. He does want to attend the Academy, if possible, after his freshman year. Can the letters of recommendation come from one of the teachers from junior year (who had sent in a recommendation the first time he applied)? The reason I ask is because his senior year English teacher is a horrible teacher, filled with anger at her job and taking it out on students. The only English teacher who has a decent understanding of his abilities and who will give a thoughtful response is the one from his previous year (11th grade). Will this be acceptable, I wonder? (Honestly, I am not a "helicopter parent" - the word on the street about this teacher is infamous!) Any suggestions, advice, or warnings are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. ferryman

    ferryman New Member

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    Hey sorry your son didn't get in this time, as a 3 time applicant I understand the feeling, USNA will want not want letters from his junior year the only way to get around using his senior English teacher is if he takes an English course in college during the fall semester, as the academy just wants his most recent English teachers recommendation. Best of luck and remember the academy tends to look favorably on reapplicants
     
  3. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    As a candidate coming from college, the Academy will want his COLLEGE math and English professors to respond on his behalf NOT high school. He needs to make contact early with those profs and let them know of his application to USNA and the necessity of their recommendations and that he plans on being one of their top students so hopefully the recommendation will be positive. He also needs to keep in touch with them as the semester goes on to keep his smiling face connected with his name ("prestigious school" usually means big school, I would bet) and not get lost in the crowd to his profs. So when he does ask for those recommendations towards the end of the semester, not only will the prof see excellent grades but also feel that they, indeed, do know him. Yes, it is a challenge to accomplish that but it needs to be done.

    For college students, the Academy will not look at their pack until the first semester grades are submitted so there is not an advantage to necessarily getting his pack completed before then. Going along with that, your son needs to make eyewatering top grades in the classes he takes that mimic Plebe Year. He needs to, literally, take Plebe Year academics at his civilian school. He has to prove to the Academy that he can handle the academic load and his college grades will speak that in volumes. While you will also hear that because of that, the ACT/SAT scores are not so important but don't believe it. If the Admissions Board sees great grades, and mediocre or poor ACT/SAT scores it immediately raises the question "How come?" and that is not the question you want in a highly competitive environment.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Just to qualify the above, if you are in a huge lecture course and thus the prof is not really able to get to know you, USNA will accept h.s. SENIOR year teachers. However, if you can get to know your college prof so that he/she can write a rec, that is preferred.
     
  5. Navypops

    Navypops Parent

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    Thanks ferryman, Spud, and usna1985. This forum is always a great help. I know my son wants to get his application materials in as soon as possible. Mainly, so he can concentrate on studies. The school he will be attending is relatively small, so I guess he can make some connections. Problem is, he is not able to take any "English" courses during his first year (all math, science, etc.). That makes it necessary to get a letter from a high school teacher. I have urged him to kiss some butt real quickly and maybe he can get a decent write-up. Since this is his second try, and he had a nomination this past year, I hope the Academy is a little less focused on the LORs and more on his accomplishments since last year. CFA has improved, SAT and ACT scores have improved, he is bigger and stronger, etc. I guess the biggest problem with all this is the rationale they use to choose people. By all accounts, my son should have been accepted. We know several accepted students who don't come close to his academic, societal, and athletic accomplishments, but they got accepted. Go figure. Nevertheless, he intends to follow this through until the age barrier kicks in! Great attitude and focus, I think. Thanks again for your help gentlemen.
     

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