Naval Academy Preparatory School

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Coastie&MidDad, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Coastie&MidDad

    Coastie&MidDad New Member

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    I’d like to better understand the theory behind the NAPS.

    Already recognized as one of the top institutions in the country, competition for a USNA appointment is fierce. Every year thousands of motivated and, to varying degrees, qualified candidates apply. The USNA (or any SA) should want the brightest students, with the most leadership potential, enrolled at The Academy. So why not select the 1,200, or so, most qualified candidates and offer them appointments?

    Where I get confused is how the NAPS is applied to the process. I have read estimates ranging from 15-30% of all plebes are admitted from the NAPS (for discussion purposes, say 250 out of a class of 1,200). These would be applicants that didn’t measure-up one year, for whatever reason, yet are given special consideration the following year. (After the USNA makes a significant, one year investment in them) These 250 NAPS-ters then limit the available appointments for other applicants, who may be more qualified, thus further perpetuating the cycle. The process seems to imply that, in any given year, there are only around 950 truly-qualified, applicants, and that the USNA is forced to ‘grow their own’ in order to flesh out a class of 1,200. Is this really the case or is NAPS just a veiled attempt to pad the athletics department with less academically-qualified athletes? (Don’t get me wrong… Go Navy! Beat Army!)

    I am sure that there is something I am missing or not understanding properly. Can someone explain the ‘grey’ to this ‘black and white’ type guy? (And before assumptions are made, this is not sour-grapes. My Mid was not impacted by the NAPS appointments at all. I am just curious.)
     
  2. 2020 Parent

    2020 Parent Member

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    Well, I am guessing the basic answer is that the students that head to NAPS each year are candidates that for one reason or the other the USNA wants to end up at the Academy, but before they can admit them, they have to undergo some academic remediation. I do not think that "more qualified" candidates lose out during this process, or at least not what the USNA considers to be "more qualified."

    Keep in mind, the Academy is not simply considering SAT and GPA. If that was all they did, the process would not be nearly so complex. The fact is, USNA (and the other academies) weigh other, more abstract qualifications in their decision-making process. Characteristics like leadership, physical fitness and yes---geographical and demographic diversity---all play significant roles in the admissions process. There is a reason that the academies have very low admission percentages (Navy is about 7.5%) but the SAT scores of the academy are NOT as high as other "elite" schools with very low admission rates. USNA is NOT focused strictly on academic achievement nor the metrics that are purported to measure them. They are trying to select individuals whom they believe are good candidates for future leadership in the United States Navy. And, while that requires an assessment of academic performance, USNA also weighs other factors very heavily.

    Oh, and the other reason? Football. Make no mistake, the USNA wants to field a competitive DI football team. The Academy considers this as vital from a marketing standpoint, for building and maintaining strong alumni relations, and for service-wide esprit de corps.

    Some of the football talent that USNA is able to attract requires academic "seasoning" if you will, and NAPS is the vehicle used to accomplish that, and a de facto "red shirt" season that will add physical maturity to the bodies of these young men to prepare them for the rigors of DI competition where they are often involved in physical mismatches on the football field when they compete against other institutions that do not place the same demands on their athletes that USNA does, most notably the 5 year service commitment. While it varies from year to year, this year there was virtually no attrition at NAPS and 45 out of the 50 football players moved on to the Academy from NAPS.

    So, the short answer is, from the USNA's perspective, what you or I or even other, more traditional institutions might consider to be "more qualified" candidates, are not better candidates from the USNA's perspective, and they are willing to provide the requisite remediation to those candidates prior to enrolling them at the USNA.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
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  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Candidates who head to NAPS are not 3Q. Also remember USNA does not publish what makes someone academically 3Q, so that formula, checks in a box, etc are not published and none of us can guess why Candidate A was given a a Q while candidate B was not. Maybe a kid went to a small rural school and could only take up to Trig with no Calc background, worked 40 hours on a ranch, was #1 in his class with a 4.0, played 2 sports, volunteered, etc. 4.0, #1 sounds great, but that wouldn't make them ready to be a Plebe. Most NAPS candidates fall into several categories: Prior enlisted, athletes, minorities/diversification candidates (rural area candidates, inner city, financially disadvantaged candidates, etc can fall into this area too, not just an ethnicity or race) who have the qualities USNA is looking for to develop into an officer, but are short in another area, generally academics. For prior enlisted, many have been out of the classroom for several years. This allows them to get back in that mode, while sharpening their academics prior to USNA. Most of these candidates are top notch leaders and Sailors/Marines. You will find some really excelled in high school and had great resumes. Others were average students or showed great leadership and might have started to take college level courses while enlisted. Someone posted the other day that at a NAPS briefing the Class of 2019 at NAPS had 90 recruited athletes in it (I haven't seen the briefing, but I have no reason to argue with the number). Not sure statistics wise, but my guess is some of those athletes also are minorities too, so they sort of hit two of the areas that NAPS has traditionally been used to develop and round out classes at USNA. Is USNA really padding its athletics that much with 36% of the NAPS class as recruited athletes? Yes, there is great debate about NAPS each and every year. Everyone has their own opinion on this topic and there are lots of old threads on this too.
     
  4. Coastie&MidDad

    Coastie&MidDad New Member

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    Thank you for your thoughtful replies and explanations.

    Just a clarification… My comments about “more qualified” candidates were not exclusively focused on academic achievement. Each candidate is already evaluated, interviewed and rated, based upon a broad metrics to insure that the highest standards of preparedness and leadership-potential are maintained. So when I say “more qualified,” I refer only to those that have been fully vetted and standout from the crowd as a "whole candidate."(not just SAT scores).

    Not interested in a debate over demographic profiling or the need for a strong athletics department. As NavyHoops indicated, everyone will have an opinion.

    At the end of the day, for 170 years, The Academy has proven that it knows how to turn out great leaders.
     
  5. USNA_Dad2019

    USNA_Dad2019 Member

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    There is also the factor of diversity of the student body, and geographic distribution. USNA takes students from all 50 states, some of the more rural areas may not have the same level of academic exposure that more populated states have. So while a kid from rural Arkansas may have great academics, SAT/ACT, athletics, and leadership but never took Calculus or Physics in high school because the classes weren't offered. A year at NAPS to prove they can handle the academic rigor is a great opportunity for that student.
     
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  6. Navy92

    Navy92 Member

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    I guess I'll chime in on this as well. Way back when, it certainly wasn't the case for all, but some of the best mids - both academically and leadership ability - were NAPSters. One of my roomies was from the fleet then to NAPS and is one of the sharpest individuals I know. Recently retired with 20 yrs in as a Hornet pilot. Even this past year as we attended CVW with DS, there was a kid from NAPS that talked about how his roommate was a valedictorian, super athlete, president of their class, etc.; he didn't have to study in high school, but does now and isn't doing as well as the one from NAPS academically. So I would venture to say that some of the best mids actually come from NAPS. But again, let me qualify that with the fact that this is certainly not the case for all of them, but many - yes. Hope this helps.
     
  7. time2

    time2 Member

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  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Many good points, but the bottomline for Prep schools is to get candidates SAs want - insert whatever reason or rational - athletes, diversity, geographical representation, disadvantaged, and etc. For any rationalization attempt, there are valid counter arguments. SAs to do job, but they are not perfect. How we judge SAs should not be based on what happened to one candidate (i.e. candidate X did not get in), but based on what happpend to majority of the candidates and what kind of graduates SAs are producing.
     
  9. TSC Navy Nana

    TSC Navy Nana Member

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    Agree with MemberLG and wanted to add one more statistic. USNA's goal is to produce officers for the Navy and the bottom line is that 10 years after graduation from USNA the percentage of each class is almost the same. 49% of direct entries and 47% of NAPS entries are still in the Navy 10 years after graduation. (Figures based on 95-03 numbers.)
     
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  10. 2020aspirant

    2020aspirant Member

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    I have a related question. I am a candidate for the Class of 2020 and have completed all of the appointment and nomination application activities. I'm an athletic recruit and completed my official recruiting visit to USNA earlier this Fall. At this point I am in the waiting game with so many others. I feel that I am a reasonably qualified (academically and otherwise) candidate to attend the Academy in the Summer of 2016, and I have already been accepted into and received an athletic scholarship offer from my Plan B school. Right now, I expect to be in college next Fall. However, my desire to attend USNA is strong enough that I would say "no" to the Plan B school and would attend NAPS or one of the other prep schools if doing so meant that I would have a certain or nearly certain avenue into the Academy. With all of this in mind, do you think that I would be wise to communicate this willingness now to my BGO, the USNA coach, and/or UNSA Admissions? I don't want to appear desperate or in any way hurt my current application. At the same time, I want USNA to know that I would consider all opportunities, including attending a prep school for a year. Please let me know what you think. Thanks very much in advance for your time and consideration.
     
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I would let your coach and BGO know that NAPS would be of interest to you.
     
  12. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Actually, your BGO should have asked you if you would accept a NAPS/Foundation School as part of the interview. It is a required question unless he forgot. In fact, it is a box he must check upon submitting his interview but a reassurance to him wouldn't hurt.
     
  13. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Contrary to what most people think, the prep schools are a "golden ticket;" the nom/appointment would be yours to lose.
     
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  14. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Gods have smiled upon a Plebe who has a NAPSTER as a roommate. They already know the drill and have survived a Newport winter.
     
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  15. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    If my child had been offered NAPS, or other prep school, I would have advised him/her to accept the prep. While a year to an 18 year old is a lifetime, that year could make the difference between enlightenment (military career not what I wanted after all) and true deep motivation (USNA is ALL I WANT).
     
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  16. 2020aspirant

    2020aspirant Member

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    Thanks very much for the feedback.
     
  17. NavyMom24

    NavyMom24 Member

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    Does anyone know when the majority of NAPS appointments go out to candidates?
     
  18. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Personally I do not, but the NAPSters probably do. My guess is before they graduate and pack up in May.
     

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  19. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    NavyMom24....this question might take two paths depending on the context.

    If you mean offers to NAPS for current H.S. seniors (or in some cases college candidates)....there is no set deadline when offers begin or end. I would presume a "majority" of them would have gone out, just because of where we are in the candidate cycle. NAPS offers are normally made as the Admissions Board makes those determinations.

    If you mean CURRENT NAPSTERS receiving appointments to USNA (this is what ktnatalk was responding to), I defer to any current NAPSTERs, parents of NAPSTERs or others (maybe NavyHoops knows?)...but bottom line...successful completion of NAPS (academic and conduct) = appointment 99.999 (repeating) % of the time.

    For clarification....admission to NAPS...is NOT an appointment...it is an acceptance.
    By law, acceptance to USNA, is an appointment by the President, made by the Superintendent.

     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
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  20. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Thank you, usnabgo08! :D
     

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