NJ a very competitive State!

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by 1mountaintop, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. 1mountaintop

    1mountaintop Member

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    I have previously posted that NJ, especially North and Central Jersey, as one of the most competitive for Admission into West Point. Newsweek rated the top 500 High Schools across country and nine of the top 25 are from New Jersey, all of them private. NJ Public High Schools are also well represented spread throughout list. Just adding some backup to what is anecdotally known.

    http://www.newsweek.com/high-schools/americas-top-high-schools-2016
     
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  2. time2

    time2 Member

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    The whole topic of school rankings get discussed a LOT on here (generally with regards to colleges). Such ranking are inherently arbitrary and subject to whatever criteria they choose to use. Everything about applying to an SA is a competition and best to treat it as such.

    Each MOC can determine their own criteria for issuing NOM's and some parts of the country have more applicants than others (higher population density, more military installations, etc.). You can only apply for a NOM based on your parents legal residence, so it is really pointless to compare location X to Y. Regardless of where someone lives, they may not be interested in the military and therefore, don't even apply. Much like if you don't plan to major in the Arts/Theatre, those schools won't be on your list for consideration, regardless of how 'competitive' they seem to be in published rankings.

    The same criteria for being 3Q applies nationally to EVERYONE regardless of where you live, it seems like some keep mixing these two things up. WP determine who is 3Q separate from the MOC NOM process.
     
  3. brovol

    brovol Member

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    We were told a few times last year that the school competitiveness factor isn't actually something that is objectively scored by WP admissions, and is more or less something that is looked at in a very close call when deciding between multiple candidates vying for one spot. My son went to a rural school in Michigan, which is not highly competitive. A kid, every few years will go to an ivy school or service Academy, but not a lot. We were repeatedly told that it had no effect on the WCS, and were also told the the ACT/SAT scores are the most important academic factor by far.

    Sometimes i think folks either worry about, or rely too much on the school competitiveness factor.
     
  4. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    All part of the fun of living in the Garden State. :)
     
  5. 1mountaintop

    1mountaintop Member

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    I know the WCS calculation does not use HS ranking at all, it is the pool of talent developed by these schools that make it one of the most competitive areas of the country. If you have 20 other kids that are competing within your district that have near or perfect SAT or ACT due to the support of both family and the excellence of the school your chances of getting in are greatly diminished. As far as dismissing it as arbitrary, every system employed is considered arbitrary. Unless you have a better list of school rankings then the information provided is valid. The rankings take into account SAT/ACT scores, college placement etc. I could be wrong, perhaps rankings that include making kids feel good, high self esteem and have the most safe spaces would be better system. I did not post this to brag about my DS kids school, he attended a public school in NJ not one of the top private ones. I posted only to provide info on the competitiveness on NJ which is a frequent information request. I have also said that we pay for this as we have the highest taxes in the country.

    For those in less competitive areas, take it as a blessing... your chances of getting into WP are greater.
     
  6. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Its all relative. If you are in one of those super highly competitive districts, you just have to be a star to both get a nomination, and get an appointment. Personally, I would rather have the higher ACT and class rank at a less competitive school than a slightly lower ACT and class rank at the highest ranked school in the country.
     
  7. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Without additional information how many kids from "good" school apply to West Point, can't use the number of good schools in to area to determine the competitiveness. Making a big assumptions that kids from good school apply to West Point at the same rate as other schools.

    Some top schools in my area in some years have no applicant to West Point .
     
  8. 1mountaintop

    1mountaintop Member

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    I find it hard to believe but you know you folks are right, how good the schools in your area have no bearing on how competitive it is. I used some of my connections and I have it from a good source that West Point admissions does not look at any of these factors. The selection committee assembles in a large conference room, looks over all the files and scores and then uses a giant ouija board that determines who gets appointments. Would never have guessed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
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  9. AJC

    AJC Member

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    All things being "equal" geographic distribution and diversity (of all types) seem to carry the most weight.
     
  10. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    “Diversity” ugh, I hate that word, its so PC. Its no reflection on you, its such an over used word. Interesting article about high schools and what’s with the “poverty circle?’ I live close to one of the schools listed, and I get a chuckle as I watch all of the high dollar cars pull into the school, and the fake smile on the parents faces as they drop off their “yuppie larva.’ Behind the smile, “the brat is gone, now I can do what I want.”


    The competitive schools have no bearing on anything, other than have parents bickering that their kid is better than your kid. Ugh It’s the standardized test scores that truly gage the scholastic potential of a student. I’ve seen scores from the schools listed to those who are not. It just depends on the applicants desire to service. And that is what SA are looking for in an applicant.


    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  11. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    C'mon Tug - that is pretty judgmental. I guess I take offense because my kids went to one of those kind of schools. It isn't fair to stereotype the parents.

    As far as the Newsweek article, you have to take into consideration their criteria and how it is weighted. Number 9 on the list has their Avg ACT as 24. So what about that school made it the 9th best high school in the country. Certainly not ACT scores. The 2 top schools in my state weren't on the list. As with all lists, you have to take them with a grain of salt.

    High school competitiveness absolutely factors into WPs evaluation of a candidate. A student could have an average class rank at a very competitive school whereas if they attended a less competitive school, their class rank could be higher. WP will not penalize a student because they go to a competitive school. They take that into consideration and try to be as fair as possible. A candidate's class rank can be adjusted in their favor if they go to a competitive school. Therefore, school competitiveness does play a factor in the admissions process as it could result in an adjustment to a candidate's class rank. A boost to something that counts as 30% of a candidate's overall evaluation is nothing to sneeze at.


    I was once told by a MALO that if one of his candidate's lived 30 miles south, then they would be a shoe-in. Instead, this candidate lived in one of the top 5 competitive districts (per WP) in the country.
     
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  12. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    I live in So Cal where it is very material. If you don't believe me watch the TV show about the house wives in OC. One of those gals lived on the other side of the street from me. It was all smoke and mirrors, they were over their heads financially. Anyways don't take it personally, it wasn't meant to be personal, I don't even know your name or the color of your hair.

    My point is don't compare yourself to others. You're doing a huge disservice to yourself. You goals are not the same as others, your measure of success is not the same as others. Just set your goals and do the best you can. Make your goals just beyond your reach, attainable and with a time limit.

    Buff81, did you ever drop off your kids in a just because you can? They do that here. Its nauseating to me.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  13. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    This is spot on. Most of the parents at our son's well-known east coast boarding school did not spend $240K on a high school education to have their son or daughter end up in the military. Our son had the field to himself the year he applied. College counselor just shrugged her shoulders and gave us a kind of don't-blame-me/what-can-do look. FFR and BGO said the academies love BS kids because they have the academic chops and have lived away from home for several years, so they hit the ground running and rarely drop. They are good admissions bets. But there aren't many of them in the applicant pool. We looked at Naviance from his school going back several years; most years there were no academy applicants.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  14. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    There is a stigma about the military. In the history of the US, todays culture, has the lowest percent of the general public joining the military. Two thirds of the people who walk through the recruiters doors do not qualify based on being over weight. Many congressional districts do not promote or use their SA slots due to the fact they don't believe in the military! I remember when my son received an appointment, a friend of ours ask why we were sending him to a military boarding school. Their statement, "He seems like a good kid and never got in trouble, I never thought he had a disciplinary issue."

    Your goals are not their goals. Your idea of success is not shared by others.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  15. 1mountaintop

    1mountaintop Member

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    Thanks Buff81- I appreciate your comments. I was curious about the 24 ACT score for a 9th ranked school. It is of course one of many factors in their analysis but certainly seemed low to me. My DS scored in upper 30's and that is what is needed for WP but I wanted to know what an average score was. This was posted by PrepScholar:

    What's a Good ACT Score Compared to the Rest of the Country?
    The short answer: 20 (composite score) is the national ACT average. About half of students score above that, and half of students score below. The top 25% of ACT takers score about 24 or more, so if your score is above 24, that's excellent. The bottom 25% of ACT takers score 16 or less — so if you're scoring in that range, be careful!

    Again, to reiterate:

    > 24 = Excellent

    20 = Good (Average)

    < 16 = Lowest Quarter

    Here is the precise Official ACT chart of percentiles.

    The number 20 is not a coincidence. The ACT makers actually design the test so the target average score is about a 20, and the target section score is 20 on each ACT section as well.

    Remember that the lowest score you can get on the ACT total is 1, and the highest you can get is 36. If you're comparing your ACT score against the SAT, keep in mind that the SAT has a much higher minimum score.

    Now, these are statistics on a national level. What's really important to you is how your ACT score compares to other students applying to the same colleges as you are. If you don't impress the admissions officers with your stats, you may find it hard to get in.
     
  16. 1mountaintop

    1mountaintop Member

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    Okay I am chatty this morning, perhaps it is my excitement as I will be picking up my DS this afternoon for a three day pass.


    Very sad to hear Tug and Velvet about how WP is viewed in your areas and military in general. There are certainly large cultural differences. We live in an affluent area, while I am not rich and mow my lawn, clean pool and gutters etc. and wife clips coupons we have been very, very fortunate. When our DS was accepted it went like wildfire through social media. He was given a long and the only standing ovation at awards night and was surprised and brought on stage at a large political event he attended with another standing ovation. So many acquaintances who I had barely spoken with congratulated me and my DS and stated you should be so proud, for his service to country and the accomplishment of getting in. Perhaps it is because we are nestled between WP and Annapolis or it is the makeup of our population and recognition of how good these schools are, I can’t say.

    Many have applied from our school to WP. Naviance had 11 prior applications in 5 years accepting only one who we knew from Scouts. Ours is a regional school of about 2,000.

    That being said there are many paths to an academy and WP. We are close friends with a family who sent their DS to a private school and paid those exorbitant fees who went to Air Force and the family was ecstatic. We know of another family who we have become good friends with who home schooled, to their credit, and also very happy and proud as DS is attending WP. Our DS went through public school and it worked out for us.
     
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  17. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    NJ is a very competitive state. Since I grew up there, I figure I can contribute with some facts...

    New Jersey ranks #1 in the nation for nakedness.
    http://www.nj.com/entertainment/ind...d_nations_number_one_state_for_nakedness.html

    #1 most densely populated state in the nation
    http://www.statemaster.com/graph/peo_pop_den-people-population-density

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/1781...te-dumps-and-whether-or-not-you-live-near-one

    New Jersey has more dentists per 100,000 residents than any other state

    New Jersey leads the world in number of scientists and engineers per square mile.

    New Jersey ranks #1 in property taxes

    "New Jersey ranks high in a wide range of areas. We’re a top state for teachers and teen drivers and, overall, our schools rank #3 in the nation. New Jersey is also the third thinnest state in the country and we rank #4 in spending on the arts. As the Garden State, we come in at #3 nationwide in cranberry production, #4 in peach production, and #5 in blueberry production."
    http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/new-jersey/nj-ranks-number-one/
     
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  18. 1mountaintop

    1mountaintop Member

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    LOL- Thanks I have never seen that listing. What was most surprising, with Jersey being the butt of so many jokes, is that we are number 1 in raising a family...would never had thought, awesome.
     
  19. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    @USMCGrunt - I have to thank you for enlightening me that NJ ranks #1 in nakedness. I've lived in NJ for a good portion of my life, but I didn't not know this. Clearly I am hanging out in the wrong parts of the state. ;)

    My son was homeschooled and learned about WP from a fellow homeschooler (who was a WP cadet at that time and was was several years older than my son). That conversation sparked an interest which grew into a strong desire to attend WP and serve in the army. It seems to me that our cadets play an important ambassador role as so many are completely unexposed to this path.
     
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  20. NJ_Dad

    NJ_Dad Member

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    I seem to be a perpetuator of this topic a few times already but not this time LOL . And all it ever does is let us parents know deep inside the emotional probability of our kids getting in. If you want to get numbers forget the MOC call WP Admissions and they can tell you how many files were opened up in your congressional district. That is the only number that you would care about and in the end it means nothing other than giving you some deep seeded hope for you child that you keep to yourself to not crush their dreams. District 12 NJ.
    Ridiculously competitive 40 men/women applied in 2015 I was told.
     

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