Nomination Question

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by CA_hopeful, May 16, 2015.

  1. CA_hopeful

    CA_hopeful Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    6
    Hello, I am only a sophomore at the moment but am set on going to USMA and was wondering if anyone can give me some advice on nominations. A family friend mentioned that it is a good idea to try to get introduced to your congressman or senators and to contact them early. He even mentioned that I should try to get some local politicians who know my congressmen to introduce me. I also read a little bit about contacting nominating sources prior to applying in The West Point Guidebook (by Sue Ross), but it has been awhile since I read that so I may not remember it perfectly. However, when I went online to my nominating sources' websites it sounded like they discouraged any communication outside of the application process. I think I live in a competitive area (Central California), and I want to do everything possible to get a nomination and ultimately an appointment, but I haven't seen much discussion on this topic and don't want to do anything that will either be viewed as "cheating" the process or that will actually harm my application. Thoughts?
     
  2. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,275
    Likes Received:
    178
    Likely your MOCs will have a nomination coordinator in his/her office, and also a group of people doing the nomination interviews and reviewing the package you put together. These people will make their recommendations to the MOC. You may or may not even see/meet the MOC. (My DS met only two of the three.) Don't worry about getting to know your MOC. Focus more on putting your best package together for the SA (since this is what the MOC board will review). If you have questions, you can contact the coordinator; if you attend an academy day event in your town, you may meet the MOC; but in reality the nomination process should be based on the strength of your academics/athletics/leadership, etc., not whether your MOC knows you or not. And you don't need to be of the same political party to receive a nomination.
     
    CA_hopeful likes this.
  3. CA_hopeful

    CA_hopeful Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    6
    [QUOTE="ca2midwestmom, but in reality the nomination process should be based on the strength of your academics/athletics/leadership, etc., not whether your MOC knows you or not. And you don't need to be of the same political party to receive a nomination.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, this really helps!
     
  4. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,886
    Likes Received:
    231
    It's not who you know...it's can you follow directions. The nomination process/application is almost as detailed as applying to the academy. Start the process as soon as it's open (likely summer after your junior year). Don't put your energy into tracking down your MOC to meet them. However, if you go to an Academy Day, they are often there...along w/ their nomination coordinator, so you can meet, and it's not a contrived situation.
     
    CA_hopefulmom, CA_hopeful and Pima like this.
  5. Blondie1

    Blondie1 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    175
    You will hear so much dis-information about the process. Might be true for some districts, but our experience was that it is not a matter of who you know, or how much schmoozing you do. It is all about the strength of your application. Contact your congressman's office and find out if they have a SA liaison. See if the offer any SA forums where they discuss the process. Then focus on what you control and make yourself the best candidate! Good luck.
     
    CA_hopefulmom and CA_hopeful like this.
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,800
    Likes Received:
    932
    Best advice ever.

    I recall when DS went through the process, 1 MOC made it clear when we say 250 words, we mean 250 words. The essay was placed through a word counter program, and at 250 it was marked, regardless if the candidate was mid sentence or not.

    Their position was the committee had to read hundreds of essays to whittle down to the few that would be selected for an interview. They just didn't have the time, but more importantly part of the military is about following directions. Their direction was up to 250 words.
    ~ FYI, that was the 2nd time we heard that. Notre Dame at their invite recruitment told the audience the exact same thing.

    I don't believe getting in contact as a sophomore will make or break anyone when it comes to a nomination, UNLESS you are contacting them to work in their office as an intern.

    The system has been in place for eons. They know what the SAs are looking for...whole candidate package (WCS). Grades, SAT/ACT, sports, Ecs, leadership, etc will get you a nomination faster than contacting them, especially if they interview. MoCs do not interview, a committee does.

    FWIW, California is considered a competitive state for nominations because the MOCs talk and spread the wealth. Senatoras mayhave 800 candidates for 10 nomination spots. Getting 1 nomination is something you hope for...2 well than you are special.

    You are only a sophomore, I would spend more time worrying about your WCS than the nomination. Strong WCS will help you more than any introduction. I would also adhere to the golden rule here....plan B... ROTC scholarship. Come next year you might have to juggle sports (FB training in our state starts 2 weeks after the end of school), meet your FFR, applying for 3 nominations (writing essays), applying for AROTC scholarship, studying for the Sept SAT/ACT, training for the CFA and PFA, applying for colleges (more essays) AND Gforbid going through the remedial process with DoDMERB while also visiting colleges
    ~ AROTC requires an interview too before the package is submitted.

    Just saying everything I listed is part of what your life may be next summer.

    OBTW, just me, but I would study for the PSAT. As a junior it is your one shot to get an academic feather. Score high enough and you can be a National Merit Semi Finalist or Finalist. Colleges look at that. It goes under the award section.
     
    CA_hopefulmom and CA_hopeful like this.
  7. CA_hopeful

    CA_hopeful Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    6
    Thank you for all the feedback! I really know very little about AROTC and need to acquaint myself with their system and process. I definitely plan on prepping for the PSAT/NMSQT. I got a 211 this year (as a sophomore) and need to raise it in order to qualify in the normal range for my state. Also, sort of off topic, but when is the best time to take the actual SAT/ACT for the first time? Most people at my school take the SAT for the first time the spring of their junior year, would it be beneficial to take it earlier?
     
    CA_hopefulmom likes this.
  8. Midwest

    Midwest Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2014
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    60
    Unless you are someone who can knock a standardized test out of the ballpark on the first attempt, why not start taking them in your freshman or sophomore year and spread out the studying time. Spring of your Junior year is a really busy time to be taking it the first time because it competes with AP Testing, which is usually the first two weeks of May. If you have 3 - 5 AP tests to take along with ACT/SAT testing, it will be a pressure cooker.
     
    CA_hopefulmom likes this.
  9. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,275
    Likes Received:
    178
    Now. Take the ACT and/or SAT as many times as you/your parents can afford and you can work into your schedule. It's not cheap, especially if you will be taking AP tests and/or dual enrollment classes through your community college. It's not unusual for high achieving students to take it 6+ times during their high school years. Some students may do better on one test vs the other. Getting a 211 on the PSAT as a sophomore is a good indication of your success on the SAT as a junior and senior. Until you get a 36 on the ACT or a 2400 on the SAT, you should keep taking them.

    (My cadet took his first ACT in the spring of his freshman year. Took it again in the spring of his sophomore year. 3x as a junior; once as a senior. Went from 28-35 composite.)
     
    CA_hopefulmom likes this.
  10. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,579
    Likes Received:
    800
    My sons took the SAT once.

    But if you are one of those kids who needs a second or third go, make sure you are studying in between. And take the ACT too; it's a slightly different platform and some kids perform better on it.
     
  11. MedB

    MedB Parent

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    116
    To the OP and others, please remember that everyone is different and not everyone walks on water like Fencer's kids do (D1 athletes that take 27 credits per semester, test perfectly first time out, etc, etc).

    USAFA (or any SA) is filled with a variety of amazing young people with diverse backgrounds and individual strengths. If you are here on this board, you are already ahead of the game. Congrats. Take in all of the advice, work your butt off, and don't be discouraged by hearing about the superstars that slay giants with a mere glance... Do that and remember in the end you are all 2nd LTs. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
    SDMom2019 likes this.
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,579
    Likes Received:
    800
    Med, my kids have had their own set of struggles, and just staying at USAFA was one of them. Both kids really had to work at finding their niche there. And while they were both athletically "lightning bolted" at graduation, neither was in the top 100. Their accomplishments going into USAFA were not that unusual, and there were many cadets who outscored them academically, and militarily (TwinA's 500 on the PFT, though, was an outstanding accomplishment).

    Just like "regular" college students, these kids' lives will be theirs for the making while at USAFA or any of the SAs.

    Fencer suggests you work your hardest every day at every task. You may be #1 at everything or you may fail. Chances are, you'll be someplace in the middle. But to have a goal and then not work toward it with all your skill, smarts, and determination - seems unfortunate
     
  13. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    889
    Likes Received:
    280
    @dangbaithu2, that's a fairly impressive resume, but you still need a nomination to get into a service academy. Keep trying, and better luck next year!
     

Share This Page