Minority Status

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Raptor22, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Raptor22

    Raptor22 Member

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    I am African American and live in a single-parent home. Would this be considered a minority status to USAFA. Does USAFA actively seek out minorities?
     
  2. USN1991AZ

    USN1991AZ Member

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    Like most universities, the academies want a diverse group of students. Race is one factor that they take into consideration for appointment. You are also given an opportunity to discuss any hardships or challenges you have overcome in your essays/personal statements.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  3. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    "Diversity" to USAFA and other SA's is not quite the same as it is to civilian colleges. Diversity in this case includes race, yes, not necessarily single-parent homes; homeschoolers, yes, charter schools - maybe. Then there is geographic diversity, economic diversity, etc. As far as I know, there is no special diversity for the BMI.
     
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  4. mlwmom

    mlwmom Member

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    This is very interesting because my DS was homeschooled until his senior year of high school. The reason we enrolled him at our local high school as a senior was so that he could take post-secondary classes full time. Unfortunately, homeschoolers in our state are limited as to the number of credit hours awarded to them. As a junior, he was only awarded 4 credit hours for the entire year. He chose to take chemistry and earned an A. Public school kids can have basically as many as they want (up to 30 semester credits per year). His senior year has been a full time college student taking physics, calculus, engineering, political science, computer programing, etc. He is a white male in a competitive state. I hope his rigorous senior schedule outweighs the diversity guidelines that he might have "qualified" for from being a homeschooler previously. I guess its one of those things you just never know for sure what to do! We are still praying and waiting to hear news on an appointment.
     
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  5. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    As a Prop & Wings guy - USAFA has asked us to go to schools and evangelize the merits of becoming an officer and serving in the US military.

    Primarily, we are asked to go to places and people that have never heard of ROTC or SAs. You would be stunned to know how many school counselors let alone high school kids know nothing about either. (There is a humorous thread about questions your DD/DS will get about going to an SA vs pursuing a college degree)

    My DD's school is a private college prepatory school and in the school's 150 year history - no one has ever even applied to an SA. Now that she is going, many underclassmen are asking for information.

    My assigned target schools will focus on predominantly inner city schools where people simply don't know.

    If your question is - will your path be easier because of your race and family - I doubt it (though there is an argument on another thread that it will)

    If your question is 'are SAs trying to increase the pool of qualified candidates by increasing awareness' the answer is yes

    Though small in number - some MOCs either simply make no nominations or receive no qualified applicants to nominate and/or make no effort to reach out and inform their constituents of the opportunity.

    These MOC districts tend to represent a higher percentage of folks in a lower socio-economic status and are often heavily made up of minority groups.

    So yes - the SAs are looking to educate people on the opportunities and I would surmise are spending more resources towards minorities and low income folks because those are the groups that tend to lack the knowledge base about SAs and ROTC
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
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  6. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    +1 Cerberi...
    It IS shocking to encounter so many everyday, well educated folks who are completely unfamiliar with the SA's and how competitive it is to be appointed. This includes school counselors, except for my DS's because she was an Army brat.

    Regarding the OP's original question, being a member of a minority is not in itself an advantage. Being a member of an underrepresented minority MAY give a candidate some degree of advantage. This topic has been addressed in the past quite a bit.

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/ethnic-diversity.46649/#post-461332
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/what-counts-as-a-minority.25104/
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/possible-minority-boost.45156/
     
  7. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    The minority card is an ace, especially if the minority is African American. Doubly so if from a single parent household. Those credentials along with being perhaps a first generation college student will certainly get special attention from admissions. To suggest that such a person that also meets the academy's minimum requirements for appointment would not have an admissions advantage is silly.
    Right or wrong? That's not for us to decide. Even debating it isn't PC. Simply being a minority will get applicant and parent an all expense paid diversity visit to the academy. Last time I checked there were plenty of minority (diversity) candidates whose families have a great income. Still, they are treated to a trip while many struggling non-minority families pass on the trip due to finances. Minorities do have advantages in the process.
     
  8. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    Raptor -- Honestly cannot tell you if either factor will assist you. The USAFA Wing is as diverse as any college campus, if not more so. My advice is this, you can certainly mention this in essays, but do not use it in negative way or talk about being underprivileged, etc. I would use your circumstances to show how it helped shape your character, perseverance, etc. in a positive way and how overcoming any challenges helped develop your independence and leadership skills.

    Note - I am not on admissions and have no say whatsoever with those that are. But I can say generally that positive stories about overcoming adversity and challenges and the lessons/strengths acquired, are viewed more favorably than excuses as to why adverse consequences may have held one back.
     
  9. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    Though asked to evangelize the opportunities provided by ROTC and SAs, I rarely did until my child received her appointment. I saw no need to increase the pool of qualified applicants she would compete against.

    All I can tell you is what my role as a Prop&Wings guy is and who my assigned target audience is

    My personal belief is the issue is more about socio economic disparity than race or sex

    My DD didn't attend the diversity program to which she was invited because (a) she didn't consider herself a diversity candidate (b) her family did not lack financial resources to send her

    I thought my response to the OP was honest and accurate
     
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  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Agree. Your thoughts on the step after increasing the knowledge base?

    The challenge is that even with the knowledge, in general, not all minority and/or low income candidates tend to have challenge meeting the basic academic requirements to be competitive for an appointment

    Another challenge is academically high under-represented minority students are sought by civilian colleges to increase their diversity also.
     
  11. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    MemberLG - highly qualified under represented diversity/minority candidates are indeed highly sought after by colleges and industry and SA's want them as well.

    I don't understand when you comment that '...tend to have challenges meeting the basic academic requirement...'

    My role is to help those that do meet the standard to consider SAs and ROTC (most importantly military service as a commissioned officer) and for the younger ones understand what they would need to prepare to meet that standard. Plus make mentors such as counselors, teachers, ministers aware of said opportunities

    The 'after' step is for those that can tolerate paperwork (ALOs and BGOs) because I love the USAF and USAFA and I guess with DD heading to USNA I can tolerate that concept, but I certainly don't miss the paperwork
     
  12. Joongim2

    Joongim2 Member

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    IMHO, underrepresented minorities (i.e., African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans) have an edge -- whether civilian colleges or the academies. If you're one and come from a challenging socio-economic background, that's even better. Asian-Americans typically are not underrepresented. They are more than well-represented in all top colleges/universities. In fact, I'd venture to say that the top colleges/universities demand more from Asian-American applicants than the other minority groups.
     
  13. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Regardless of whether or not under representative minorities have an edge, all appointees must meet a minimum set of requirements for physical fitness, academics, etc. Don't depend on any "edge" because it may not be enough. Excel in all you do.
     
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  14. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    Diversity now includes homeschoolers? :confused: I wonder why?
     
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  15. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Not sure why homeschoolers would be a diversity find, so I'm not thinking this is actually a diversity thing but a student-benefit thing (how's that for all the technical terms?)

    I do know that homeschooled kids (for the most part) are considered self-starters which is a trait the SAs seek. Many also take college classes by the time they're seniors and also have extra time to do community service, etc. Having homeschooled, I know that teaching one-on-one goes much more quickly than the average school day.
     
  16. micah275

    micah275 New Member

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    I too have a question about minorities and diversifying the academy. I am currently awaiting an LOA or a TWE so I might as well ask. I am the first person in my family to attempt to attend college, I live in Hawaii and my ethnicity is made up of Hawaiian, Japanese and Dutch. I would also like to note I come from a title one school (a very poor, low income community school). Does the admission board consider these factors? Thank you!
     
  17. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    There is a thread on the USNA forum that essentially says, if you don't have an appointment or the TWE at this point, you are in a pool of supremely qualified applicants whose total scores are all within a few points of each other.

    Assuming your essay and letters of recommendation discussed the topics you mentioned and had an interesting story of how you overcame these challenges, I believe admissions will look at your file favorably.

    At this point, anything positive that makes your file stand out is a good thing as admissions is making some very difficult decisions.

    IMHO
     
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  18. 1mom

    1mom Member

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    I heard that the final selections may even be based on the number of push-ups or sit-ups a candidate did on the CFA.

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
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  19. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    1mom... you cracked me up. Yeah, that's what the Admissions Board is basing their decisions on: push-ups.

    Now I have to figure out how to remove coffee from ALL the keys
     
  20. 1mom

    1mom Member

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    What I posted would make sense when admissions are looking candidates with very similar scores across the board. There must be something to further help with the decision making.:)

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
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