LOAs - For comparison's sake

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by USMA2016, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    Hey everyone,

    I'm a worrier. I'll be the first to admit it. That's why I hope to get an LOA, so I can worry less. I'm hoping to fit into the 'nerd' demographic (2130 SAT, 4.0/4.37 GPA, APs up every orifice, 'A' in a community college class, 3rd of 422, NHS, CSF) for an LOA since I know my athletics aren't exactly standout (3 years Varsity wrestling, 2 letters) and my ECs are just sort of average (Club president/founder, Scouting Senior Patrol Leader, School band, church youth group leader). So, for comparison's sake, for those who received an LOA in the past, what were your resumes (SATs/ACTs, ECs, Sports, grads, etc.) like?

    Thanks a ton!
     
  2. tonk002

    tonk002 Member

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    A 2130 SAT is incredible! You have a fantastic resume. The only thing that I see working against you is where you live. San Diego is a popular place in the military, and California is large, so the competition may be greater than if you lived in a smaller state like Vermont.
     
  3. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    I know it's a military town, but most people here have little to no experience with the Army because it's all Navy. Plenty of people I know are going to apply to the Naval Academy, but I'm the only one going USMA. My congressional district (CA-50) is kind of like the orange county of San Diego, and many of the people living there interested in the military want to go Navy because, well, they feel its quality of life is better. I don't think CA-50 will be too bad for West Point.

    My older sister actually got appointed (didn't accept thought, she ended up going to UCLA) to the Naval Academy with a 2020 SAT and a 30 ACT, similar class rank and what not. No LOA though.

    I don't think competition will be too bad. Well... I hope.:thumb:
     
  4. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I think you got a decent shot at LOA IF you complete your application early. So far in my FFR career, almost 10 years, the earliest application completion I have seen is mid-September.

    How do you get your application complete early

    - get medical examination done as soon as you get notified
    - shouldn't take 6 months to finish your candidate eassy. Some applicant thinks they need an award winning essay. Personally, a simple essay proof read by someone works.
    - no reason to wait until February to take your CFA. Who you what the test is, practice now and just take it
    - transcript / recommendations from your teachers, coordinate and keep in touch over the summer
    - SAT/ACT, at least take one in your Junior year as you can always take another one later.

    - Contact your FFR/MALO for an interview (not required, but helps)
     
  5. Spanky58ggpt

    Spanky58ggpt Member

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    Early bird

    Bird is the word, early bird that is. DS completed applications early September. Took care of DODMERB ASAP, during summer. Not selected for NASS or AFA SLS. Went to SLS at West Point, CFA complete. Had LOA to USNA, USAFA in October. Submitted improved CFA in October. CVW in October. MOC nomination packages done well before deadlines. Received appointments to USNA in December, USMA and USAFA in January. Accepted USNA.
    That is an abbreviated version of the timeline without lots of the details to make them happen but the fact that he took the initiative to start early and make sure every item was complete the first time was key in my opinion to his early acceptance. He had the benefit of excellent BGO(retired USMC), ALO(AF reservist). They gave him guidance that would help regardless of his final decision.
    Early and your excellent credentials may increase chance of LOA, but remember that the LOA is not the goal and there are very few issued when compared to the class size. Also remember that even with the LOA, you need a nomination. Many stellar candidates don't receive an LOA, and if they get an appointment they are a plebe just like the candidate who got the appointment and LOA. Prime example DS and friend both headed for USNA. DS - 2 noms and LOA, friend - 3 noms and no LOA. Both will end the day on June 30th with shaved head and plebe summer to look forward to.

    Good luck and thank you for your desire to serve our country. :thumb:
     
  6. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    GREAT advise from the 2 above posts!

    EARLY application is the key.

    Our district is considered competitive (3rd in the country for USMA) and last year we told our candidates that Oct 31 was the absolute deadline for completing their file. We are now considering telling candidates that 'ASAP' is the absolute deadline or at the latest, end of summer.
    Get it done in the summer while you have the time. After school starts, you will be pulled in different directions for your time.

    As a FFR and parent whose child had LOA to West Point, I have 2 suggestions:
    1) Try to add a sport this Fall.
    Cross Country is good choice. Your academic schedule is obviously demanding, but if you could add an extra sport AND keep your academics up, it would be helpful to your resume.

    2) You have a great opportunity to add to your ECs - SUMMER!
    You didn't mention volunteer hours, but if you are lacking in that area, find a community service project that really interests you and dive into it this summer.
    Also, get a summer job if possible - one that especially shows some leadership and requires responsibility on your part. Lifeguarding, for example. Or setting up your own lawn mowing business.

    Use your summer not only to work on beefing up the EC part of your application, but completing your application before schools starts.

    Also - I agree wholeheartedly to get the DoDMERB exam started as soon as you get the green light to schedule it. If there are any issues there, it could take months to resolve and you want time on your side. You don't want to get to March of next year and still have your medical unresolved.

    If you are going to SLS, work hard to pass the CFA while you are there and get it out of the way.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. Packer

    Packer Member

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    When is the earliest someone could get there DoDMERB scheduled?
     
  8. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    As a FFR myself, I'd like to say...I'd like to live in San Diego.
     
  9. RLTW

    RLTW Member

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    most competitive districts?

    Just curious, is there some list of these, such as "Top 20 Most Competitive Districts in the US" or something?

    Truly just curious, I hear similar phrases so much and have no doubt that there are more competitive districts than others, and certainly perpetually highly competitive districts, yet I do wonder how a stack rank like that comes about.

    I don't mean to hijack the thread but since it came up I thought I'd just ask.

    Does USMA publish that kind of data? Pointers, anyone?
     
  10. JFM2016

    JFM2016 Member

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    When will you be told to contact DoDMERB? Once the application opens up on your portal? or do you have to do something else first?

    And do most LOA's go to recruited athletes or most go to kids with really good acedemics? if that can be answered
     
  11. mtnman17

    mtnman17 USMA Appointee 2015

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    To you and the other DODMERB poster:

    If you fill out the required stuff for USMA's application and such you will be contacted by dodmerb. I got my letter instructing me to schedule an exam the week after SLS (Late June). It will tell you to call the designated phyican and eye doctor within a certain timeframe, mine was 6 weeks.

    Schedule asap. It could be a long process, you want to start asap.
     
  12. AKH

    AKH Member

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    I received an LOA July 15th and I'm almost positive my app was completed by the 1st. Your academic achievements surpass mine, but I had a lot of athletics/ECs.

    Moral of the story: apply early :smile:

    JFM2016: contact DoDMERB as soon as you get the letter. It definitely is a long process and you could make things more stressful for yourself if you put it off.
     
  13. alparent

    alparent Member

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    Spanky58ggpt - How were you able to "submit improved CFA?" I thought you could only submit one set of scores. Does it make a difference if you takle the CFA at SLS?
     
  14. mtnman17

    mtnman17 USMA Appointee 2015

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    If you take the CFA at SLS and pass and are satifified with your scores, Hooah, you are done. However, if you take it at SLS and either fail or pass but are not satisfied you can retake at home with an approved proctor (there's a list) and submit those scores.

    I also have heard of candidates on here who took it at home, passed barely, but USMA still allowed them to take it again and resubmit scores because they were uber qualified everywhere else but their CFA, while passing, pulled their overall score down. But don't count on that, I've only seen a couple of cases of it on here.

    Personally, I took it at SLS, passed, and never thought about it again.
     
  15. alparent

    alparent Member

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    WoW! That's awesome. Does the CFA done at say SLS for USMA count for USAFA (or another SA) as well? I heard that some people go to multiple SLSs?
     
  16. mtnman17

    mtnman17 USMA Appointee 2015

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    At SLS LTC Batchelder told us that if we wanted our SLS score sent to USAFA or USNA to call admissions after we got home and they would send it.
     
  17. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    You need a persmission from the RC to retake the CFA. I believe the exception is the SLS.

    Retaking CFA means you took your CFA early enough that you will have time to train and improve your scores. How much time do you need to improve your 1 mile run time?

    There is no individual approved to be CFA proctors, rather wither West Point Admissions volunteer, school PE teacher, and/or Army Commissioned Officer.
     
  18. mtnman17

    mtnman17 USMA Appointee 2015

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    Sorry for the confusion, that's what I was talking about.
     
  19. Jayhawk2325

    Jayhawk2325 Jayhawk2325

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    How did you complete your file on July 1st if the initial evaluation is after that date and you don't receive important forms until after that?
     
  20. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    Files will open up for kids who attended SLS and I think other high qualifying pre-candidate questionaire people in July. I had a general impression of what forms I needed so you can pretty much pull all that together. The hardest thing would be getting your teacher recommendations in as soon as possible, and that requires conversations and explanations of what is going to happen to your teachers if they agree to give you a rec spring of your junior year as previously mentioned. I didn't finish my file as early as AKH, but I still got pretty much all of it done before August. Then received my LoA in October.
     

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