New to Forum and don't know where to begin

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by egrosearnph, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. egrosearnph

    egrosearnph New Member

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    Hi! My son is a sophomore in high school and we are just beginning the process. I would appreciate any help you can give us.
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Rules: There are NO stupid questions so ask away, people here can help at the basics on, so no worries. :thumb:
     
  3. USCGA_hopeful

    USCGA_hopeful Candidate Appointee

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    i agree with line in the sand. ask away because the less you ask the less you know. and good luck to your son
     
  4. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    Welcome! Start by reading application information on the official website(s) for the academy (or academies) your son wants to apply to. Then read the forums for more information on those academies. Good luck.
     
  5. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Welcome and good luck. My three cents, to pile on to previous posts:
    (1) Think of this process like a long-distance steeplechase race, with multiple gates, obstacles and interim goals along the way. Use a planning calendar that goes out at least 2 years and be sure you and your hopeful know every deadline and due date. Wa-a-a-y more complicated than putting in an app package to a "regular school."
    (2) Use the search function on here. The process follows a certain rhythm, so you will see clusters of timeline-related queries pop up, with some great detailed, "clip and save" posts from forum members.
    (3) Information is power. The more your son learns about the respective Academies and spends time thinking about whether some years of required military obligation following a four-year stint at an SA is for him, the better. It's easy to get caught up in the competitive nature of the chase after the SA appointment and not contemplate the Big Picture: is this the right decision for me?
     
  6. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Welcome!

    What SA is your son applying to?
     
  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Very, VERY well said!!!! :thumb:
     
  8. DO 67

    DO 67 New Member

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    A Very Complicated Process

    I too am a parent of an applicant and would be happy to share my experiences and insight into this process.

    As has been mentioned already, go to each academy's website and you will get a good idea of the process.

    Most people are unaware of the the summer leadership programs offered by the academies. The USCGA calls theirs AIM and the other three refer to them as seminars. These are one week introductory sesssions at the respective academies during the summer following the student's junior year of high school. Admission is competitive and the application packages need to be submitted around February 1st of the junior year. These sessions are invaluable in giving the student insight into what the academies are all about and helps them to determine if this life style is what they are seeking.

    I would echo Captain MJ's comments in that it is crucial that your son have a good understanding of what the academy life will be like as well as the military lifestyle they will experience after graduation.

    Based on my experience with my son, the candidate must have a passion to not only attend the academy but also to serve as an officer after graduation. The academy experience is very demanding and isn't for everyone. This must be something that your son is passionate about.

    I would recommend that your son take an SAT prep course in the fall of his junior year and then take multiple SAT's and ACT's. The academies select the best scores from the various sections of the tests.

    High school athletics are very important as are participation in high school class activities. If he can earn a varsity letter in sports and be elected to be a class officer, these are viewed very favorably by the academies. Also, any community-oriented voluteer activities are of value.

    The Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) will be important for him in his junior year. This is a physical conditioning assessment that the academy will have conducted by one of the high school's coaches or an academy representative. The test is defined on the web sites but basically entails a 1 1/2 mile run, push-ups, crunches, pull-ups and a basketball throw.

    At a point in the process the academy will request a medical examination that will be sent to DODMERB (Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board) for evaluation. You will note quite a few posts on this quorum that deal with various medical-related issues and waivers.

    It is noteworthy that your son can apply simultaneously for ROTC, AFROTC, MCROTC and NROTC scholarships in the event he doesn't make it into the one of the academies. The DODMERB is used for all of the ROTC scholarships also, and he only had to take it once.

    The ROTC scholarship requirements and process are defined on their respective websites. This is a valuable alternative as it can give him an option to attend a very well respected private or public university at the government's expense.

    The entire service academy process is much more difficult than that of civilian colleges and requires excellent organizational skills and a lot of patience.

    One recommendation that my son received, which proved to be valuable, was to set up one large cardboard box for each academy's application process. This way you can keep all of the materials required by the academies and the various nominating authorities organized.

    We found that each nominating authority had different application requirements, and this combined with the numerous academy requirements makes the entire process a real nightmare.

    You should contact your senators and congressman as early as possible. They conduct "academy orientation" programs at which time your son will get to meet and speak with academy representatives.

    Your son can also start to set up an application on their website, which will get him into their data base.

    As he gets further along in the process the various academies have local representatives, who are frequently graduates or parents of current attendees. These representatives will come to your home and spend some time speaking with the parents and then will conduct a private interview with your son. I believe that these carry a significant amount of weight in the process.

    I hope that this has been helpful.
     
  9. cmg

    cmg New Member

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    I'm new too. My son will be graduating from Valley Forge Military College this year and I've heard that civilian military colleges don't like transfers from other military schools. I'm not quite sure where to go to find out how true this is but not too sure on navigating this site. Can anyone please help?
     
  10. LadderdaddyO

    LadderdaddyO Founding Member

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    Things to do!
    Start early,make copies of everything,get a calendar and start some kind of filing system have a back-up plan for letters of recommendation. Notify your teachers and councilor, they will have everyone else college stuff plus all yours and yours is a lot. Did I mention make copies! Also make sure to print out before submitting anything. Leave the work and all the calls to the young man or woman, it help them know what their getting into. Not to say they won't needs advice from time to time. I found that this forum will answers most of your questions. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.
     

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