Planning a visit to AFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by crazyride, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. crazyride

    crazyride Member

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    Hello! First time poster here! My DD is a rising junior and extremely interested in the Academy. So we are taking the necessary steps to get prepared and to be competitive. She has reached out to her AOL and has an appointment to meet him next month. We have also decided to take a road trip at the end of the month for her to have a tour of the Academy. Any tips for us? I'm assuming she needs to meet with the admissions office for sure and express her interest in SA. I know she will apply for SA, but it might not hurt to let them know she is interested, right? Also, do you think if she doesn't get selected to go SA that she should attend a sports camp? Thanks for any tips!
     
  2. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    She'll meet with her AOL, not the Admissions office. Remember, it's not regular college. He'll make an appointment you - eventually. Rising Junior? This is October. Does that mean she is a junior NOW, or will be next year? If she is a soph now, don't hold your breath for a return call. If she is a junior, well, spring time is coming.

    SA? Usually stands for Service Academies. Can you please clarify what you mean?

    I suggest you take a good, long, look at the stickies above. Take copious notes.

    Make sure your DD is in the most rigorous coursework available at her school. Does she play a sport? Varsity? Team Captain should be in her future. Does she have a job? What are her grades? her class rank?
     
  3. crazyride

    crazyride Member

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    Oh my… thats what I get for trying to type fast before I left for work today. So I'll start again. My DD has an appointment to meet with her ALO next month. This will be her first meeting with him. We also have decided to go to the Academy the last weekend of this month to take a tour. She is a junior now. I was really wondering while we are at the Academy is there anything we should be doing there specifically? I was under the understanding that there are Admissions officers there. So I thought it might be a good idea to sit with them and show her resume and see where they think she needs help or areas to improve.
    Of course she is wanting to attend Summer Seminar, and I know she will apply in December…I was also wondering if she doesn't get in to the Summer Seminar if it would be a good idea to attend a summer camp. She plays varsity basketball and track.
    Again, sorry for the first post!! I'll get it right after awhile!!
     
  4. Badge250

    Badge250 Member

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    Crazyride: Welcome to the forum! I think you will find it a great resource. As fencersmother said, start with the stickies and search mode. There's a wealth of information there. Myself and many other (more qualified) individuals who have walked down this road themselves or with their son/daughter are going to give you some of the greatest feedback concerning admissions you will get anywhere. There are parents of cadets (like myself), current cadets, SA graduates and even ALO's on this forum. If you are willing to share some specifics about your DD's resume (see fencersmother's post) you will probably find out here if there are any areas she may need to improve on. I'm not sure what admissions office will do at this point to help you in that area, maybe a lot. My DS never made a visit before going to USAFA, so I can't answer that. But you will get great, honest, reliable feedback here!
    Having said that, it would seem to me that any exposure to USAFA campus would be a good thing. If not SS, then a sports camp that your DD is interested in or just a visit like you have planned. Like I said, my DS first time to see the campus was the day before I-Day, which I do not necessarily encourage if your DS/DD has a chance to be exposed to campus/cadet life in any their experiences they offer for high schoolers.
     
  5. crazyride

    crazyride Member

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    Badge 250: Thank you for your reply. Here are some specifics. We come from a very small midwest, rural town, and her class has 64 students. Her GPA is 3.8. She is taking college algebra, chemistry, college english along with her core classes. Next year will be taking trig, physics, adv chemistry ( and undecided on the other hours). Our school only offers AP government, AP psychology, and AP adv biology. She is taking dual credit right now for her fine arts electives (she is horrible at art and wanted something different so she is taking theatre to satisfy the fine art requirement), she is also taking dual credit speech. She is very scared to take an AP classes because our school has only had them for a couple years now and the teachers seem to struggle with being able to prepare them for the test and the students have not been doing so well. We went to an AFA forum last month and one of the speakers advised the students to "do well" vs piling yourself with advance courses and not doing so well. So we are up in the air about the AP classes.
    She plays varsity basketball and lettered when she was in 9th grade. Last year she was co-captain and will most likely be a co-captain again this year. She runs track as well. We do not have captain positions for track. She has been class president since 9th grade. NHS treasure and will run for President next year. President of FCCLA. Works as a lifeguard in the summer.
    Right now for community service she is organizing and leading a service project for our local foster children. It's call Closet of Hope and she and volunteers are organizing the donated clothing for easy access. She is involved in church, hunting, and many 5k runs for the community.
    Most likely she will be attending Girls State as well. The counselor is working with her and knows she needs this so I'm sure she will be nominated.
    So thats a sampling of what she is doing to get prepared. We are also working on the ACT. Right now she is in a school workshop for the Oct test and then after that we have a private tutor lined out for help. She is sitting on a 24 and we know that is not acceptable and will not make her competitive.
    Thank you!
     
  6. Badge250

    Badge250 Member

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    Sounds like she is doing excellent with her leadership, sports and volunteerism. The positions she has held, including working as a lifeguard (which my son did in HS) are great and make her very competitive in those areas.

    The areas to address are academics. As you have pointed out, she needs to continue to work and take and re-take the ACT until she scores as high as possible. Buy the tests she has taken with the answers so she can target areas to improve on. There are many ways to study and prepare for it as well. Sounds like she is working and doing the right things there to prepare.

    3.8 GPA is good, but what is her class rank? That will come in to play also. One thing to consider is what has often come up as a subject here on the forum: taking the toughest classes/schedule that your HS offers. To be honest, I have never heard anyone associated with the academy encourage anyone to focus more on doing well, even if it means not taking AP classes. It is commonly said that the Academy looks at what classes you had available and what you chose to take. Everything I've read on the Academy website and other Academy printed materials suggests you take the toughest classes your high school offers. Christcorp, who often posts on the forum and is also an ALO has said something to this effect: It's about what was available to you and what you did with it. (Sorry CC if this is not an exact quote, but pretty close!) I just don't see the Academy Admissions endorsing the fact that your DD's high school offered AP classes, regardless of the subject, and her not taking them. It is extremely commendable that she is taking college classes. (Maybe that will make up for no AP? I just don't have that answer.) But I can guarantee you that the Academy is looking for individuals that can handle quite a work load because it is NOT easy academically there (speaking from my DS's experience he has relayed to me). Maybe you and your DD can ask the ALO and some individuals on your trip to USAFA to get more answers. Maybe some more members will chime in here on the forum. I hope this doesn't come off as negative. It is not meant to be. I am simply trying to help you so you can help your DD make the best decision for her. Sounds like you have an exceptional daughter and if she keeps working hard, maybe she will get that appointment or even a slot at the Prep School.
     
  7. crazyride

    crazyride Member

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    Whew… my head is spinning. O.K. Thank you for your honest reply. We will be getting the answers we need shortly about her course work. When we go to the Academy at the end of the month we will be asking and when she has her appointment with her ALO Nov 6..we will be asking him as well. Thanks again!!
     
  8. Dad

    Dad Member

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    Regarding a visit to USAFA, consider clicking on the 'Planning your visit' button on the AcademyAdmissions.com website. It's best to get detailed information directly from USAFA regarding programs whose requirements (and sometimes their cancellation) are in flux. We can only tell you what happened in our experience.

    Badge nailed it regarding making the best of what is available. USAFA has algorithms in place to account for various schools and homeschoolers. You know, in order to level the playing field. They are looking at the whole candidate, too.

    For leadership, your daughter might consider starting her own club in something she has interest in. She should remain true to herself, yet try to excel academically, physically, and as a leader. If she does those things to the best of her ability, she'll be happy regardless of where she matriculates.

    Best wishes.
     
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  9. crazyride

    crazyride Member

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    Thank you..We have clicked on "Plan your Visit" and set up a tour with a cadet. It also entails an admissions briefing with with the admissions representatives and a Q&A session. The entire tour and briefings is set for 4 hours. I believe its important for her to get the exposure of the Academy to make sure this is the right decision for her. I, personally, see her adapting very well and loving it if given the opportunity. If not the Academy then hopefully the Prep school!

    Great idea on starting her own club…actually she is already talking with our preacher about making the church parking lot a "hang out" spot for teens. In our rural area there is no where for our teens to go. After the football game Friday the "teens" went to the local Sonic to sit and celebrate and the cops ran them off. So this is a perfect opportunity for her to start something different for them to be able to be safe and not worry about getting ran off. So thats in progress right now with our pastor.

    We are trying and will be making changes to her schedule next year I'm sure. I'm afraid this year is too late. Wish we would have been looking into this more her sophomore year. Thanks Again!!
     
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