Necessary fields of achievement?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Andromeda, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. Andromeda

    Andromeda Banned

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    I have some issues here, and I would like to ask your advice:

    1. Are volunteer hours necessary to get into the Academy?

    2. Are sports necessary?

    3. Does your autodidactic education have any bearing on your chances of admission?

    4. How much does class rank figure in the admissions process?

    5. Any tips on how to persuade my parents to a) get committed to Church and b) let me go across the street so I can run on a roughly one mile (highly trafficked) path before I give it another go?

    6. What methods of training have worked the best for you?

    Thanks ahead of time.
     
  2. littlepatriot

    littlepatriot Member

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    Regarding #2, while sports are not technically necessary for admission, I believe it is around 90% of the class has participated in varsity athletics. 3/4 of these are letter winners. Athletics go beyond physical conditioning. They provide discipline, leadership, and teamwork that are essential as a cadet.
     
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  3. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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  4. jebdad

    jebdad Member

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    There's an SAT word. I had to teach myself what autodidactic meant. :)
     
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  5. ddiamond

    ddiamond Member

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    Well rounded is the best bet, IMHO. My advice; Choose activities and causes that matter to you and have real impact.
     
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  6. Andromeda

    Andromeda Banned

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    That's why I'm going to West Point.
     
  7. Letsdothis

    Letsdothis Member

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    For real?
     
  8. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    Autodidactic is an interesting word choice. Hmmm... I'm wondering whether adding "auto" helps to neutralize the negative connotation often associated with didactic. :confused:

    I usually run for the hills when I meet a didactic type of individual. But I suppose the military has its' fair share of didactic leaders.

    Didactic - adjective
    1. intended for instruction; instructive:didactic poetry.
    2. inclined to teach or lecture others too much: a boring, didactic speaker.
    3. teaching or intending to teach a moral lesson.
    4. didactics, (used with a singular verb) the art or science of teaching.

    Just having some fun with vocabulary.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
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  9. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    I've only followed this board since 2008, so maybe someone whose been here longer can chime in with a different observation. I have seen a rare student admitted who didn't play sports. However, they fell into a different category, such as 1) a homeschooled individual who competed in an individual sport, such as martial arts, or 2) a total "water walker" in terms of grades, class rank, other achievements (i.e. started and maintained a club to help poor children succeed, etc). My own DS (c/o 2019) loved marching band. Different band activities took up 3/4s of the school year. He had to scale back on band and find time to work in sports so that he had a chance of admission. If you want to go to West Point, you have to show admissions that you meet the criteria of what they are looking for: well-rounded.
     
  10. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Can some address the community service part of the question. I notice many here posting of candidates with 250+ hours. My son has something in the area of 65. I don't know how real busy and sport oriented kids have time to legitimately do those big numbers on community service.
     
  11. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    All of my kids were multi-sport athletes and also very involved in school activities. They all did a week-long summer service trip with our church every year (35+ hours). Plus, they each picked one volunteer opportunity that they had to commit an hour each week or so. One did nursing home bingo, one did Volunteen at the hospital, and one worked at the animal shelter. They missed some weeks due to athletic or school commitments, some weeks they did several hours, but each one of them had over 400 hours total. It's definitely possible.

    Stealth_81
     
  12. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Wow. My son seems on the go always, and even early in the morning, be it work, games, practices, NHS, schoolwork. Sports are killers. Has swim practice, and then baseball winter workouts. When he gets home he has homework, reading, studying, or some paper. Weekends working. Frankly, it seems too much at times.
     
  13. zachcleigh

    zachcleigh Member

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    There's no set way to get into the academies or get a scholarship. There is not a list of checkboxes, and when they're all checked off you are a winner.

    You compete for a slot.

    Every sport you played, every hour you spent working, every time you crunched down and studied to get an A instead of a B in a class. These add up. Each one gives you points. At the end of the day the top X number of people are winners. If you never played a varsity sport your odds are much lower. As someone above stated, around 90% of academies and winners (higher i believe for the academies) played varsity sports.

    Do not be discouraged. I'm sure the statistics have changed in recent years, but I was shown a chart towards the end of my AROTC application process. It showed that less than 1-2% of winners are in the bottom half of their class for class rank. That is the boat I was in. It worried me greatly but I was still a winner.

    Just goes to show you can be atrocious in one area and still win if you're all around a great candidate.

    However, for those who still have a few years left before applying.... sincerely weigh the opportunity costs everytime you decide to put the book down, not do your homework, or skip the run. It'll save you a lot of stress and anxiety later.

    OP, it doesn't matter what the concretes are. If you want it seize it. If you don't then don't.

    Best of luck to you.
     
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  14. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    The application for USMA does not even ask if you had done any community service. You can put that you've done community service in the additional remarks section. I'm not sure if this is true, but one would think if they cared a lot about wether or not you have done community service they would have specifically asked about it. The WCS calculators for USMA that I have seen(which are a bit outdated) don't factor in, or even mention, community service either.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  15. pgraci

    pgraci New Member

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    I think you're confusing didactic and dictate. One is to teach, the other is to tell.
     
  16. pgraci

    pgraci New Member

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    Brovol,

    I understand it can be hard to find time. Focus less on the hours, more on the effort. Volunteer work is not a requirement for admission to West Point. Although it can help, the important thing is a well rounded candidate. If you child fills there time with meaningful activities such as sports, Boy Scouts, competitive robotics, and is successful in those activities, that should be fine. If however, you are insistent on your child doing community service, try doing something as a family. Habitat for Humanity is a great place to start and in every region I know of, always looking for volunteers.

    I have a few thousand hours of volunteer service. However, I am 21 and those are numbers I have racked up over more than a decade and through multiple organizations, including my local food pantry and a Middle School I teach at in between Active Duty orders. I don't do this pro bono work because I want to bolster a resume, but because I enjoy it and I truly love working with the kids I get to in my free time.

    In summary, make sure your child is a person of character committed to serving others and the rest will work itself out.

    Very Respectfully,
    Pgraci
     
  17. ClimberGirl

    ClimberGirl Member

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    Don't think of these things as "required", think of them as you should do them just because none of them can hurt you, only help you on the whole-person evaluation. Just because it's not "required" doesn't mean that they are not looking for them. Remember, everyone that is applying is extraordinary, find a way to make yourself stand out.
     

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