LOR feedback

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by SGTLee, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. SGTLee

    SGTLee Member

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    I've been on another thread regarding my DS goal to attend either USNA/USCG or a SMC that is the right fit for him. SA's seem like a reach in general and the SMC"s (Citadel, VMI, Norwich) are "within sight" but we're taking nothing for granted. In short, aside from solid but not out of this world grades (3.69) honors classes/ SAT 1250, Sea Cadets, tons of leadership and class officer gigs, 3 years letter in wrestling. But here's my question - my DS has been volunteering for 4 years with terminally ill people and turns out, one of his adult co-volunteers is a retired Rear Admiral. This Rear Admiral offered to interview my son and after doing so, wrote him a very strong letter of recommendation based on years of observing my DS help the sick. So my question is...I know my DS will be asked to secure letters from a teacher, coach, etc. but is a letter of this nature given considerable weight be the school(s)? My guess would be "yes" but want to temper my enthusiasm with a bit of reality. Any feedback would be appreciated.
     
  2. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    Here is what I have learned in this process. USAFA allows up to 3 additional recommendation letters (they require math, english and science teachers...these are in addition to those) and they are weighted more heavily than the required recommendation letters. DS sent 1 from his Pastor, 1 from his Wrestling Coach and 1 from his Honors Chem teacher who he had his sophomore year therefore he did not qualify for the required recommendation but wanted to write a letter for him.

    All 3 recommendations were also sent to USNA and USMA. I have no idea how they handle them points wise, but they certainly can not hurt.

    Obviously, they don't want 20 letters per candidate but 3 seems to be the acceptable number.

    hth!
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Just my opinion, but I would think given that its based on direct observation of your son and also sitting down and having a conversation with him, it will carry some weight. Considerable weight? I don't know and it's a subjective term anyway... but perhaps more weight than the typical LOR. Will it put your DS over the top? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But it can't hurt.

    Your DS can probably do more to help himself by raising that SAT score, if that's possible.
     
  4. SGTLee

    SGTLee Member

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    Kinnem - totally agree on the SAT score. Appreciate the feedback. He's re-taking the SAT n a month along with the ACT the following month, we have him with a private tutor from Princeton Review direct (expensive as heck), and feel very confident the score will go up. How high, I don't know but he seems to have "seen the light" with her guidance so we're hopeful. FYI - My son seems to be leaning Citadel, VMI, Norwich and didn't know if the SMC's look at this letters a little different than the SA's. Thanks again.
     
  5. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    Yeah get that SAT up and he's pretty much a lock for SMC's. I have no experience with service academies, but VMI didn't even require a letter of recommendation. So if you send one like that in from a former Rear Admiral, I'm sure it can only help.
     
  6. Jarhead1775

    Jarhead1775 Member

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    Is the SAT score for all 3 components or just the math and verbal?
     
  7. SGTLee

    SGTLee Member

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    Jarhead...those are his two scores (math/verbal). My impression is the third score isn't looked at by SMC's and SA's. thoughts?
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Can't speak to the individual SMCs but the SAs certainly don't look at the writing scores. Most colleges don't.
     
  9. SGTLee

    SGTLee Member

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    Right, thats what I had heard Kinnem. Thanks for the confirm and were looking to get that 1250 up next round!!
     
  10. VMI82

    VMI82 Room 131

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    It has been my experience that VMI "used" to, and may still, give special credence to such Letters of recommendation.

    Col. Buchanon (God love the man) wanted men of character and felt that people well placed to observe a young man for years had more insight into him than a test score or 20 minute interview.

    This was the 'whole man' concept he and BG Morgan espoused.

    VMI got more out of young men with average ability and sent them out into the world over-achieving time after time. BG Morgan especially enjoyed speaking about how the 'men from the middle' of their class standing were the ones who, later in life, did especially well.

    I know Col Vern (Director Admissions) but frankly it has been an eon since I've seen him (20+ years). BUT my sense of Vern was he was/is an extraordinarily fair Man.

    I suspect the letter would only help at VMI. BUT ... if the Admiral were to place a PHONE CALL and personally speak to Vern and discuss the letter that would be HUGE.

    Just my thoughts. I could, as always, be very wrong. (as my wife is won't to say)
     
  11. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    his academics are competitive for the SAs and also for an ROTC scholarship but keep in mind the Air Force and Navy only want STEM majors at present.
    He should apply for an SA nom since nothing ventured, nothing gained.
     
  12. SGTLee

    SGTLee Member

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    Thanks Bob. Sent you a PM. Also, he is looking at computer science/engineering so I think we're in line for a decent run at the ROTC scholarship. BTW, in regards to the Admiral letter, he has offered to speak with any school that may be of interest and sounds like connecting the Admiral with the right person might be helpful. My DS definitely has the PT going for him too as a long time wrestler..he was awarded National Merit Fitness in Sea Cadet Boot Camp and missed Presidential by one stinkin' inch on the stretch exercise (I kid you not)...I guess they have to stretch past their toes "x" number of inches for scoring.
     
  13. soccmomer

    soccmomer Member

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    When applying for the Senatorial/Congressional noms for the Service Academies, they will want letters of recommendation - your Admirals letter will be perfect for that too!
     

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