LOA and Application Status

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by 11BRAVO, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. 11BRAVO

    11BRAVO Member

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    I have read posts that indicate LOA's are sent to candidates who have not completed their applications. I am not sure how true this is as I know of candidates who received LOA's and their applications were complete. First, it doesn't make sense to issue an LOA to an applicant who has failed to complete all requirements, especially if a MOC is notified that an LOA was issued to a particular candidate, point being the MOC would likely nominate an LOA recipient even though the application is deficient.
    My son has passed all phases of the application process. His medical rem was good to go and should be available for review to the WP admissions board soon. His GPA, SAT, ACT, NHS, extra curricular, sports, class rank, and other aspects of his file are over the top, CFA passed, SLS, etc, etc. Based on everything we've learned about gaining an appointment, his credentials are very befitting of a WP cadet.
    The question...is there any rhyme or reason to the trickling of LOA's being sent out? We know the waiting is the hardest part, we have Faith, and believe in the system. Just looking for some kind of sign.
     
  2. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    Well, if no one else will answer this I'll give it a shot.

    I do know USMA does offer LOA's without complete applications. My son had two friends from SLS that he knows got offered an LOA before the application window had even started in August, based just on what they had submitted for SLS. No essays yet. No teacher recommendations. They received an email telling them that if everything was "as portrayed", then they'd receive an LOA. Kind of an LOA of an LOA! :wink: Once they got their transcripts in, along with SAT scores and extracurricular records, they received the actual LOA a few weeks later. But still before many of the requirements were in.

    Now as far as Navy and AF, I haven't heard of anyone receiving a LOA before their applications were complete, but I do know my son's Navy LOA does have many other check boxes on it that could have been checked - including things like transcripts, CFA, etc. But it seems like they don't seem to send it out until then. I do know also that my son received the call that he was getting an LOA within a couple hours after he completed the last outstanding requirement on that Navy app. I believe the same is true for AF. From what I've heard/read, they don't even look at your file for an LOA until it's done (medical and nomination always excepted). About the only exceptions I've heard for either of these two academies were IC recruits, and they don't seem to follow the same rules as the rest of us! :rolleyes:

    As far as location, my son knows kids personally from VA, TX, and CO with USMA LOA's, so they certainly don't seem to be from a certain region. I don't think there's any rhyme or reason and I don't think the medical remedial would have anything to do with getting one or not. I do recall having read recently on the USMA forums here on this board that people were saying that the admissions boards there weren't meeting again until after the first of the year. I don't know if this is true, but if so, it could explain why your son hasn't heard anything if he recently finished his packet.

    Good luck!
     
  3. 11BRAVO

    11BRAVO Member

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    After posting this I realized it could have been located in a more appropriate forum and perhaps the reason for lack of replies. In any event, I appreciate your input.
    I did learn today from a friend that USMA LOA's are typically sent to candidates that possess some special attribute that WP is looking for...many of which are future Black Knight athletes. Another reason why the LOA distribution does not seem to follow any assumed norms is that WP is always attempting to tweak the diversity of each incoming class in an effort to build the perfect unit.
    I have always felt that WP looks at the whole package and although Albert Einstein would be a coveted cadet, if he isn't a leader and can't run a mile he probably won't get in. But I also believe there are some absolutes in the admissions process and a top-notch student/athlete with leadership experience and good test scores will be a typical example of who gets the nod.
    I suppose the struggle with this rolling admissions process is like a kid on the curb at the local Christmas parade watching the firemen toss handfuls of candy to the roadside and wondering if a piece will land close enough to you to grab one.
     
  4. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    I do know of LOA's sent to USNA candidates who needed to submit CFA, teacher recs, etc. An LOA is issued conditional on one or more things being completed. Sometimes just a nomination, sometimes more.

    I would say the bulk of LOA's are already in the hands of all candidates. Reason being that we are squarely in the middle of nomination season, and many, many candidates have their applications completed. The academies are assembling the information as it is rolling in quickly now. Studying the slates of nominees and seeing if they all have completed applications, who lacks a CFA or SAT, etc. And making selections for appointments from completed slates. I know it is possible to get an LOA in Dec or Jan, but, in reality, the admissions offices are focusing on getting the data together and figuring out who gets the appointments at this date. Given that we have heard that, for example, USNA has 15,000 + candidates this year (and I imagine the other four academies have more than in the past as well...) there is a tremendous amount of work to do to get to the point where appointments are offered. As applicatoins become complete, the boards need to review them and assign scores. Appointments will start to roll out in earnest in January and pick up steam through February and March.

    Folks, very, very few LOA's are issued. For a wide variety of reasons. Reasons you and I cannot fathom. Or understand. But the bottom line is, 100-200 LOA's issued for each academy and 1200+ appointments. It may seem like EVERYONE has an LOA. That's because those on this forum with LOA's have announced that they do. There are probably 50+ people reading this forum hoping for an appointment for every person on here who has secured an LOA. Reading and never posting.
     
  5. 11BRAVO

    11BRAVO Member

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    Jenny P,
    Thanks for the post. Everything you said makes a lot of sense. I had felt the number of LOA's was a small percentage of overall appointments.
    There are many more golden tickets to go until March.

    Thanks again
     
  6. Subdude

    Subdude Member

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    So let me ask this question....if you don't get the LOA then is it true that everyone who is competing for an appointment will get a "scholastically qualified" letter, and, if you don't get one of those letters, that you have been denied admission for academic reasons? I ask because my daughter completed her application about a month ago (CFA was the last thing) and we haven't heard word one from anyone. I am wondering if there is some point beyond which we won't be receiving this letter..meaning she doesn't get in.

    Am I right in assuming that there is no place where you can see that the application is complete, other than loggin in to the candidate system and seeing completed dates next to all the items (and also some SAT scores listed)?

    Any opinions?
     
  7. 11BRAVO

    11BRAVO Member

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    I just read a thread from another forum that stated LOA's are typically very rare and make up maybe 10% or less of everyone that gets appointed. Most appointments start around February and end as late as June.
    As far as lack of contact, I think that is true for many applicants. It's the responsibility of each candidate to complete there file. The WP site has icons that change as each item is completed. It would be nice to get a note or email letting you know you file is complete.
     
  8. flyguy

    flyguy New Member

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    I'm looking for a little clarification of the acronym LOA. I was assuming that it meant 'Letter of Appointment', but that doesn't always fit in context with the sentance. Some are getting a LOA before getting a nomination which would be backward.
    I'm new to the board so I appreciate your patience with what may be obvious to everyone.
    Thanks in advance.
    Dean
     
  9. 11BRAVO

    11BRAVO Member

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    LOA = Letter of Assurance. Essentially, it is a letter informing the candidates that WP is reserving a slot for them, sometimes pending other unfinished business (medical, CFA, etc.). Based on what I've seen and heard there is no rhyme or reason for the issuance of these LOA's. At first, it was thought they were mainly sent to future athletes but lately I've discovered they are very random and not so common.
     
  10. ironcamper

    ironcamper New Member

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    It is my opinion that LOA's are anything but random. The rhyme and reason for a Letter of Assurance, I believe, is to indicate to an applicant that the SA wants to offer an appointment if certain criteria are met; usually a nomination. Why would they give a candidate this "golden ticket"? These students are being recruited heavily by the likes of Harvard, MIT, Hopkins, etc. or are being recruited by athletic departments at very high profile schools. They do not want these schools scooping up these candidates prior to the completion of the SA admission process, which could trickle into the upcoming calendar year. The applicants could also be an extraordinary combination of so many wonderful accomplishments and accolades that their Whole Candidate Score is off the charts. High SAT's (above 2300), 4.0 unweighted GPA, AP courses galore, President of this or that, Eagle or Gold Award Scout, varsity captain, excellent recommendations and great BGO interview would likely prompt a LOA. Are there a lot of great candidates applying to the SA's: yes. Are LOA's random: I don't think so. Are they rare: as rare as the above example.
     
  11. 11BRAVO

    11BRAVO Member

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    I know of several candidates who have received LOA's that are in fact, over the top in every aspect of what we have all read of the ideal candidate. I also know of many who are not even close. I know of one in particular who has a 3.4 GPA, average SAT scores, and even said publically at SLS that after a few days WP was not his cup of tea but he got an LOA. Go figure.
    I know others who have yet to receive any word and they have applications that are airtight. I am not knocking anyone who got one. I am just saying that I have done a lot of checking and LOA's are 1) rare, 2) somewhat random, and 3) don't necessarily follow any set of rules. When I say rare, they make up probably 1% of the Class of 2014. I have also seen a trend toward state that have early nominations. Kids from our state will not get word on a nomination until mid-January. I don't know all of the answers, in fact, I probably don't know any of the answer. But based on research I am just putting the puzzle together as best I can. The problem is that many of the pieces are missing.
     
  12. singaporemom

    singaporemom Member

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    Many kids that receive LOAs are:

    1. Over the top outstanding
    2. Athletes
    3. Under represented minorities

    in no particular order

    I also have seen very interesting stats on students accepted to academies and to top notch private schools. I don't think you'll be able to solve the mystery.
     
  13. 11BRAVO

    11BRAVO Member

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    I agree
     

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