Letters of Reference?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Academy_Questions, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Academy_Questions

    Academy_Questions Member

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    Hi I'm a hs junior and have been asking a lot of questions here and have recieved wonderful answers, so here's another:

    for references, do the academies just ask for the basic english and math references or is there an "open" reference as well. I have had many people offer to write references for me such as my cross country coach (also my community involvement counselor), my club advisor (I'm president of the club), and my city's police cheif (I've done a lot of service work for the city so I've gotten to know her fairly well).

    Much thanks to you all!
     
  2. kwyjibo247

    kwyjibo247 Member

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    Not for the USNA application itself, but you might have be able to use them for nomination applications depending on your congressman/senator.
     
  3. Eagle64

    Eagle64 Candidate

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    You only need a Math and English eval for USNA, but once your application is submitted and you are waiting for a decision, it never hurts to send in additional letters of recommendation. The more you can do to personalize your application, the better. Let them know you are committed to finding a way to earn an appointment.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    USNA does accept add'l letters of rec. However, they are not needed. Before you submit one, ask yourself:

    (1) Does the recommender really know me well/personally?

    (2) Does this rec cover something that is not otherwise covered by your application?

    IF the answer is yes to both, you may want to submit it. But it the rec merely covers what is o/w in your application, there is no need. An extra rec won't make up for an otherwise weak application. If you can add something extra, it may be a small extra.
     
  5. Academy_Questions

    Academy_Questions Member

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    ok good to know, thanks for the advice!

    i think i'll take up the police chief on her offer
     
  6. parkhurst89

    parkhurst89 Member

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    Adding to what 85 posted, use letters of reference outside of the two mandatory references wisely. The Admission Board members may want to see a letter that outlines something about you not illustrated in your standard package, but they may not value a shower of letters talking about how great you are. After all, every candidate is great and would anybody send an adverse letter?
     
  7. 2011's Mom

    2011's Mom Parent

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    Yes - In my dealings I received a rec letter from a candidates priest. It was very professionally written and was not mean but certainly shed a very unfavorable light upon the candidate to the point where I contacted the priest to verify accuracy of intent (i.e. does the priest just not like military or is there merit behind the letter). The candidates mother asked for a copy several times but as much as she and son pried, she was not given a copy (at least not from our office, perhaps the priest gave her one later) ... The candidate did not get a nom - for many reasons, not just this letter. There were other reasons the committee did not feel the candidate was a good fit for a SA.

    Be careful who you ask to send a reference - perhaps find out what they would say before you ask?!
     
  8. Academy_Questions

    Academy_Questions Member

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    well the one that i was leaning towards (who asked to write one for me) had nominated me for a community service award from my congressman, David Dreier and I got 2nd runner up. so it was definately a good letter!
     
  9. inthenavy2008

    inthenavy2008 Member

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    In my many years of teaching high school, I never consented to writing a letter of recommendation unless I could say something better than just "good." In fact, I always showed a copy to the student before I sent it to be sure it was accurate and what the student felt the college was looking for.

    When my son asked people for recommendations for NROTC and USNA, he wrote a note to each person and told them what the Navy is looking for, and if they felt he met those standards, would they write a letter. Every person (except the required math and English teachers) gave my son a copy of the letters they sent for his personal records. I don't know if he ever read them, but when I saw them, I was so proud!
     
  10. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    To repeat . . . if the add'l recommender is merely another person saying you're great, it's probably not going to help you. If there is some important part of your life (typically outside of school) that your math and English teachers won't know about, then the letter of rec may be helpful. Examples would include church or community-oriented activities and significant employment (for example, if you need to work to support your family or have a long history -- several summers -- with the same employer).

    As Parkhurst said, consider carefully whether the rec will be helpful. USNA only requires the teacher recs for a reason. Although they accept more, more is not necessarily better.
     
  11. Academy_Questions

    Academy_Questions Member

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    yeah it has to do with community involvement outside of school...
     
  12. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    We have a good friend and neighbor that happens to be a retired 2 star RADM alum from the USNA, he sent a wonderful letter to Admissions detailing my sons work outside of school volunteering and his personal achievements. The original letter did not have any contact info and since the Admiral is now driving a USNS ship out of Country, the Academy sent us an e mail asking for contact info for the letter to be verified. It got noticed alright! They sent the Admiral back a letter thanking him for his notice of a great candidate and his continued support of the USNA. The Admiral gave my son the letter for his scrap book. Now...if he just didn't need a waiver.....!
     
  13. Academy_Questions

    Academy_Questions Member

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    that's a great story! congrats, i hope he gets his waiver!!!!!

    my uncle is a USNA alum, (now retired fighter pilot) are letters from relatives looked down upon?
     
  14. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    No, not at all as long as you follow those rules stated above. Can the letter describe the candidate in a light expanded upon the other evaluations.
     

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