Prep School? Qualified?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by ironegg, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. ironegg

    ironegg New Member

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    Ok, so i am a senior at La Canada High School and i REALLY REALLY want to go the Air Force Academy. I just recently discovered that i did not receive my nomination so I'm shooting for the Prep School now. I found about the service academies only recently because my school just doesnt tell us anything about military stuff so i was a tad late in the whole application process which is why i only had time to apply for a congressional nomination.

    So i made a really brief and choppy description of myself in my profile because i absolutely had to get some input on my situation. I feel like i have excellent extracurricular credentials and everything necessary beyond academics. Im fairly confident in all of it. However, my grades are not all that impressive. I have a 3.55 GPA and an SAT of 1900 (still working on it), and im going to take the ACT in february. What will make me a qualified candidate for the Prep school? I feel like i fit perfectly into the category but im so paranoid because it just is never that easy.
     
  2. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Sometimes you can be over-qualified for prep school.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The purpose for prep school at the AFA is not for those that did not receive noms, it exists for the cadets that have the "whole package", but academically are weaker and they feel they need one more yr of pre-SA academicss to be successful. This is why you can be over qualified as Luigi stated. People confuse prep as the runner up situation, for example they give out 1600 appts, but that does not mean 1601-1800 will be offered prep because they missed the cut-off for the SA. This truly is not the case, the candidate with all AP's and even SATs in the low 600's, may be more likely not to be offered prep over the cadet that had few APs and high 500's on the SAT. What they see with the lower scoring candidate is they just need to get a stronger foundation academically before entering. Many of the prep cadets have amazing ECs which allows them to justify that if they had one more yr they will be on par. The ones with the APs, low 600s and not so amazing ECs sends signs of it is just not an academic issue.

    I hope you applied for a VP nom., because that means you will have the chance for a direct admission through that route.

    Few can tell you what makes the "ideal" prep candidate, but I would be willing to bet that it is not due to start the process late.

    I wish you the best, and hope that gives yo a clearer process on how it works.
     
  4. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    Prep school is often offered to those candidates with 'inversion.'
    High SAT/ACT scores and mediocre grades (B-/ C+/C) or
    Low SAT/ACT scores and excellent high school course completion (AP/IB) with stellar grades (4.0, A/B students)

    As previously stated, this is not a backup and you may be overqualified for Prep/NAPS/CGAS. A nomination is not required for this option, you do not apply for this option. It is a decision made by the board during your package review.
     
  5. ironegg

    ironegg New Member

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    so what if i like failed my calculus class or something to show that i need some help.
    I understand that the prep school is more for those that have been out of school for year and stuff- it just look likes my only chance of getting into the academy so i wanted to make myself just right for the prep.

    The time i had learned about the academies was only a couples weeks before Congressman Dreier wanted all applications to be turned in, and only a few days before senator nominations were due. But after familiarizing myself a bit with the whole process, it probably would have been a good idea to try anyway.

    Thank you all for replying!
    I appreciate it
     
  6. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I'd just add that since you're willing to spend the year at the prep school before admission, you can accomplish nearly the same thing by attending any college, taking a normal 4th class schedule (chemistry, more calculus, English, history, maybe Physics) and doing well. Next year begin the process as early as possible and show them you're dedicated enough to try a second time. Of course this route isn't guaranteed, but I still think a better alternative than intentionally failing calculus! :wink: Good luck!
     
  7. Runningman2014

    Runningman2014 Member

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    I completely agree with marciemi. I applied to all my nominating sources but if I don't get a nom. or if the academy doesn't offer me an appointment, then I will just attend another college (hopefully on an AFROTC scholarship), keep up my grades, and apply again next year in hopes that I will get accepted. By the way failing Calculus is a real bad idea. It won't get you noticed by the admission board and if it does it will make them think that you worked hard up until your senior and didn't care anymore. So, you quit working. This is definitely not the impression you want to give the admission board. You want them to think that you are the most dedicated person in the world. This way you won't drop out as soon as you get off the bus or during your first year. Good Luck!
     
  8. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    Just wanted to add that I'm sure you were joking about the calculus and it IS frustrating - that maybe if you were a bit WORSE, you could get into Prep School. But I really think you'd have a great chance on the second attempt if you do well at any college, and won't be any further behind than if you went to Prep School.
     
  9. jackson1989

    jackson1989 Member

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    Focus on the things that you can control and do them to the best of your ability. My son is currently a Falcon scholar at prep school and feels it is a huge blessing for him. He is much stronger academically and more convinced that he has chosen the right path for himself. Remember the academies all look favorably on candidates who reapply, it shows determination. I would be glad to answer any questions about prep that you may have, just PM me.

    Best of luck to you!
     
  10. ironegg

    ironegg New Member

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    Agreed. Well my desperation reflects on my desire to go to a service academy. I certainly will apply next year. Is it typical for people to attend a college for the year prior to their next application process to a service academy? Or do people do like an overseas study kinda thing for a year. I just dont want to fall behind a year or anything while i wait to apply again.

    Yeah it was more in good humour! HAhah im not gonna fail my calculus class. I trust your guys' opinions. Thank you all very much for your input.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  11. ironegg

    ironegg New Member

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    Im particularly attracted to the prep school that very reason. I feel like every teacher at my school hates me for asking them to stay after school and help. They never do. Im one of those people that really NEEDS to study to ge an A- it doesnt come naturally. So my grades are fairly average and i love the idea of actualy LEARNING material rather than temporarily understanding it to et an A on the test. So i dont mind going to a prep school i WANT to- I just dont want to fall into the category thats not good enough for the academy, but "overqualified" for the prep school.

    Its like i want to try my best on every test, and everything i do just because its instinct. But then i also want to be in the academic realm of the prep school so i can start my schooling as soon as possible.

    Its probably just all the paranoia that goes hand-in-hand with getting accepted college and not losing a year. I know my parents wouldnt like that.
     
  12. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hi!

    If you have no shot at a nomination but are still serious, then I have a couple questions and perhaps they've been answered and I just missed them. I'm sorry, I'm tired, been training pilots all day.

    a. Did you apply for an ROTC scholarship? If the answer is NO, then I would advise you to do it TODAY!
    b. Are you currently a candidate for the academy, even without a nomination? There are a LOT of folks in that position that were given "temporary/unofficial" nominations to get them into the system so the academy could "watch" them.
    If the answer is YES, then you have an ALO assigned: TELL THEM you're VERY interested in the PS or any civilian PS program that the academy would recommend/offer!!

    Those are the first things I'd do!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  13. ironegg

    ironegg New Member

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    Is this Steve Staso by any chance??
    If not im very sorry.
    If yes, well then i have spoken to you a couple times! Nick Koeppen, my liaison officer is Major Dunckels.

    I am actually applying for an ROTC scholarship right now, well when im not typing on this forum at least. And yes, I am a candidate- i just didnt get a nomination from my congressman.

    I have never heard of this temporary/unofficial nomination. That is certainly new to me. So I will inquire further about this PS program.

    Wow, well thanks so MUCH! And have fun training pilots- hope i can be one them some day.
     
  14. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    The "Unofficial" nomination is a method the academy uses to identify potential candidates. It's a way of putting a student into the system to see if they're a "decent" candidate.

    It does NOT give them an "official" nomination. They must still obtain one of those.

    BUT...it does assign an LO, etc. So you should get with Major Dunkels and explain that you didn't get a nomination and that you'd like him to let USAFA know that you're VERY serious and would like to be considered for Falcon Foundation, Getty, and the USAFA PS!

    Be ready for him/her to ask some pointed questions: why did you miss the deadline? Etc.

    Won't guarantee anything...the AFA makes ALL the PS decisions; we ALO's can only make comments in the candidate file. BUT if they don't know that you'd be VERY happy with that...

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83

    And no, not Staso
     
  15. KveTina

    KveTina Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean here by losing a year. You know that after finishing the prep school, you'll still have to do four years of the academy?

    But if you think about it, whether you go to Prep school or go to a civilian school and join ROTC and apply for the academy next year, it'd still be like a 5 year program if you were to receive an appointment the next year, right? And there's nothing wrong with "losing" a year, is there? What's a year? It's only about 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, or 31,536,000 seconds. I mean, what's the big difference if you graduated a year later than you wanted to. There's NOTHING wrong with it at all!

    Plus, having a year of prep school or another school and joining ROTC will prep you for the academics and military-ness in some way at least! So you're going in some what of a step ahead from the other freshmen, especially if you went to the prep school. :biggrin:

    BTW:... Are you Steve W.? :biggrin:
     
  16. ironegg

    ironegg New Member

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    HAHA the question of who Steve is!
    KveTina:

    No, i meant that i didnt want to lose a year by NOT going to the prep school. I didnt want to NOT get an appointment then do something else, because i would very much enjoy enhancing my academics- i find it very productive, and i would probably learn a lot more at the prep school than i am now with teachers at my high school.

    HAHA i like your perspective on a year. Im just the kind of person that gets that anxiety if im not doing something you know? But i understand where you are coming from.

    flieger83

    And thank you for the info Steve! Sorry, i mistook you for an officer i know named Steve. Anyway, i checked in with my liaison officer and he actually wasnt entirely sure what it was. He'll be getting back to me though- good guy. So i am intrigued by this, now that i am a candidate without a nomination I'm assigned an ALO? Wouldnt my ALO be Major Dunckels? Or is this different. In any case, i will convey to him how hell-bent i am on getting in. I just tell him that I am VERY interested in the Falcon Foundation, Getty, or USAFA PS and he writes that in his comments?
    Im not doing it just for the sake of it- i did a little research and actually am interested. I just need to somehow let the USAF know.

    Well, thank you once again Steve, i appreciate all this invaluable insight. I dont know where i would have looked to get this kind of information!
    This forum is genius!
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  17. homewith4

    homewith4 Member

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    flieger83: fyi, the date to apply for an AFROTC scholarship is passed. The online portion had to be completed by Dec 1.
     
  18. ironegg

    ironegg New Member

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    Saw that too, i was disappointed but I decided to apply for an NROTC in leu of it.
     
  19. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah, I thought it had but too often without telling the world, "the powers that be" have "left it open" to bolster the applications. So I tell folks: check the site!

    But I hadn't heard anything about that happening this year. My bad.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  20. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    To further clarify...

    IF you are listed on Major Dunkel's "candidate listing" as an official candidate, then he should have done a form 4060 on you. If you're NOT on his listing, then the AFA hasn't made you an "unofficial" candidate. That's something he has NO say on: the folks in CO do that.

    IF they have done that, then he can definitely put in his write up that you're interested in the PS, FF, etc. Again, that's ONLY if you're officially a candidate.

    If you're not, then this is something you'd have to let the counselor at USAFA know. You can also ask the counselor's about the "Falcon Foundation" but here I'll tell you straight out: the AFA picks those people based upon how high they were in the competition for appointment and what they (AFA) see as the potential to complete the program at whatever PS they send you to, and to obtain an appointment.

    I'm a "typical" example. All those many years ago, I was "THE" guy...3 sports, 9 letters, CAP cadet Lt Col, numerous national awards there, NHS, after school job, etc...etc...etc. In short: I had the complete killer resume.

    Except for that 550V 560M SAT score.

    At the end of the day, I was "rejected" by all the SA's. USMA offered me an appointment to their PS and USAFA told me about Northwestern Prep and the Falcon Foundation. This came out of the blue; I'd never heard of it before. I was later told I was selected because I had the complete package EXCEPT for the SAT and that their history of PS students showed a good increase in the SAT/ACT scores and they "assumed" I'd get up to the appointment range.

    Long story short: I turned down my 4 year AF ROTC scholarship (with a pilot slot, back then they guaranteed that provided you were PQ) and went to NWPS.

    My SAT's went up to the mid 700s and I received appointments to USMA, USNA, USAFA.

    Yes it took me an extra year, yes that's a hard choice to make, and it's not much fun. BUT...I eventually got that which I was seeking!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     

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