Prep versus HS senior

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by iceman2018, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. iceman2018

    iceman2018 Banned

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    Out of all applicants that apply out of high school, what determines who gets an appointment versus spending a year at prep?
    I understand that there's a specific number of slots allotted to preppies that have done well at prep school.
    If it comes down to choosing between a qualified high school senior and a preppie, who does the admission board give the appointment to?
    Is going to a prep school comparable to attending a SAT boot camp to boost your score?
    It seems like spending a semester at a prep helps a lot in getting a slot to a SA.
    I just don't like the part where none of the classes are credited if one does not get a coveted appointment.
     
  2. Blue Skies

    Blue Skies Member

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    Prep school is a very good way to stay close to the academies, while boosting your scores or beefing up your candidate package. Going as a Falcon Scholar is practically a shoo-in- as long as you do well. Going as a Free Agent is good, although you will be paying your own way. I have had two sons go the Prep route- one at USAFA Prep and one at NWP, as a free agent. Both are great places and both guys went on to academies. Little Sis was all signed up for NWP until she received her appointments last week.
     
  3. WAM

    WAM Member

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    Wow, Blue Skies

    3 Academy kids? Is there a club for that? Congrats to that dear little sister. Our three younger kids decided one night we needed a kid at every Academy. Way to make Mom insane.
     
  4. Blue Skies

    Blue Skies Member

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    Thanks, WAM!
    Well, I thought three different academies might be the case for a while- USAFA, USMMA, and USNA. It's not a totally decided thing, but it seems she will likely choose USAFA. (There have been lots of phone calls to Kuwait this week to talk to AF Big Brother :)
     
  5. WAM

    WAM Member

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    Kuwait!

    Hey, that's nearly our neighborhood! Our DS coached his little brother's Little League team there recently for a tournament. We are in Amman, and the quality of AF officer we continually ran into here is what got our DS on this journey. God bless her as she chooses. Wow!
     
  6. iceman2018

    iceman2018 Banned

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    Thanks. Makes me reconsider my plan "B".
    Getting in directly from HS is preferred but prep would be the next best option unless a type1ROTC scholarship is granted.
    After high school, the last thing I would want is to spend another year waiting to start college.
    Are preppies viewed differently compared to direct appointees? Besides being a year older and being prepared by the prep school for the academy, what other advantages do preppies have compared to cadets that got in straight from HS?
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Sorry; but there's no "Choice" being made between giving it to a high school grad or a prep school grad. It doesn't work that way.

    Each applicant; whether they are a high school graduating senior, a prep school grad, or a current college student, has to belong to at least 1 NOMINATION SLATE. Yes, even the college student and prep school student is REAPPLYING to the academy and is applying for nominations just like they did when they were a high senior.

    EACH of those nomination Slates are authorized certain appointments. So, the competition is against OTHERS on that slate. And EACH applicant gets POINTS for EVERYTHING YOU DO on your resume. So in "theory", most prep school cadets who are applying for the 2nd time to the academy, SHOULD have more points this time around than they had the first time, because they gained more points because of more achievements at the prep school. Just like college students will probably have more points than they did the prior year when they applied as a high school senior. Because they have more accomplishments.

    And once the slates have been appointed, the remaining MOC nominees are put into the national pool. But there, their scores are racked and stacked. They are ranked. If your total score is ABOVE that needed to fill the class, then you get an appointment. If not; you don't. And like I said, if you get an appointment from one of the SLATES, then that's where you got it. MOC, Presidential, Superintendent, etc... It's not a simple processing of comparing a preppie to a high school. But in theory; if the preppie and the high school applicant, were 100% IDENTICAL APPS, then the preppie would probably have the edge because they are a year older, more mature, and academy experience being s/he's at a prep school. But the odds of a 100% identical everything application and choosing between the two is almost impossible.
     
  8. burnerafter16

    burnerafter16 Member

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    After going through all the selection panels of MOC and then the admission board, an appointment is a just a ticket into the academy. Straight from high school, a year of ROTC, preppie, or prior enlisted- getting in is the easy part
    DS's squad have had 2 preppies, 1 prior enlisted, and 2 ICs out process after 1st semester. This is only a squad of 26 to begin with . I wonder what the numbers are for the entire wing?
     
  9. haleym

    haleym Member

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    Basically, you boost up on your academics, physicality, and have the chance to mature more during that one year away. I have yet to go through BCT or doolie year, but I know that I have a completely different perspective of it all now than I did in high school. :smile:
     
  10. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    My freshman year at CGA there were 3 brothers in the Corps of Cadets. One was in my freshman class, one was a junior, and the other was a senior. Needless to say that their parents are pretty happy.
     
  11. Blue Skies

    Blue Skies Member

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    Yes, Preppies at the Academies are thought of differently. They are the experienced ones. They are the ones who automatically assume "leadership positions" within the BCT flights because the the younger basic cadets look to them for guidance. Also, if your MOC's Nominating Committee knows they are interviewing a Preppie, it makes a difference in their thinking. (I served for several years on a Congressional Nominating Committee. We believed a prep experience made a strong candidate for appointment. In our district, a free agent prep has a GREAT chance of nomination.)

    As an ALO, I really push the prep experience to my candidates because it has been so beneficial to my own sons.
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    burnerafter16; you have recognized something very important. The academy/air force knows that there are no magic pills that make one "TYPE" of applicant more successful or potentially more successful over another.

    The same perception seems to come from applicants too. For some reason, it's assumed that an applicant that is in JrROTC, CAP, or Scouts has an edge over the applicant who is leader of the marching band. There are so many false perceptions when it comes to the academy and the application/appointment process.

    As burnerafter16 has recognized, EVERY TYPE of applicant makes it to the academy..... and EVERY TYPE of CADET will quit or fail out of the academy. There is nothing special about any of the applicants/cadets. Most learn quickly that while they were "Special" in high school; once at the academy, they became LITTLE FISH in a BIG POND. Everyone else at the academy is JUST LIKE THEM.

    If you look at ALL of the attributes of an applicant and cadet, and eventual graduate / military officer; the ONLY things you can find in common are:
    1. The overwhelming majority were athletes in high school. This made them physically fit, but it also made them PART OF A TEAM!!! They learned how t be part of a team. Work towards a common goal. Learn how to win. Learn how to lose. Learn how to work hard. learn how to rely on others. (This is why athletics is so important in applying to the academy. NOT BECAUSE they want all their cadets to be IC athletes. Because the military is the ultimate example of a TEAM. Team Athletes KNOW what this means, MORE than non-athletes.) That's why cadets who were serious high school athletes, have a better chance of success than any other attribute. Including those who were in JrROTC, CAP, and Scouts.

    2. The overwhelming majority have a high level of confidence in themselves as a follower and as a leader. Borderline arrogance and contempt.

    I am so glad that burnerafter16 commented on this thread. Cadets, alumni, the academy, and the air force; knows that there is no special pill or "TYPE" of cadet who is going to succeed. OR FAIL. While there are definitely certain attributes of a graduate; there are plenty who had those attributes who will quit or be kicked out too. Excellent observation burnerafter16.
     
  13. burnerafter16

    burnerafter16 Member

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    After the initial elation of the arrival of the BFE, the congratulatory remarks and mention of being lucky to get a golden ticket by friends, family and strangers wears off- there's the sobering reality that it was just another rung in the steps towards our kids goal. Who would know without the benefit of a doubt if they would thrive at the academy? Not their resume, class rank, score assigned by admissions board or ALO nor whether they are a preppie, prior enlisted, or a star high school athlete- is a fool proof indicator of future success. Obviously it's an indispensable preliminary screening tool that selects the most impressive group of kids that have volunteered to serve their country via the SA route. Yes-we're happy and proud but beneath it there's the realization that the next 9-20+ years shall be an epic roller coaster ride.
    To the appointees of class 2017 and of course the hopefuls that are still waiting,
    Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride!
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    burnerafter16. Again, you pointed out another epiphany. You mentioned that getting their appointment:

    "was just another rung in the steps towards our kids goal"

    You would be surprised by how many don't really understand that. To many; "The Appointment" was their goal. So many people say things like: "I've always wanted to go to the academy". "It's been my goal to work hard and get accepted to the academy".

    The academy is only 4 years long. That is insignificant time in the life of an 80-90 year old person. The academy should be like you said: "Another rung in the steps towards a goal". When people set goals---- to REACH goals----- they get very discouraged when things don't go as planned. I can't tell you how many people had going to the academy as one of their goals; then, when they got there, they were totally disappointed and wound up leaving. These are individuals who have "Wanted the academy their whole lives".

    But when you set your goals that encompass your "Whole Life"; then, whether you get an appointment or not; or wind up in ROTC or not; or whatever happens........ You adapt and adjust so your goals remain achievable and meaningful. This is how you get through the academy or whatever. Especially if it turns out to not be exactly what you thought it was going to be. You look at WHY you wanted to come to the academy. What the goal is you're trying to reach. Then, you'll make it through.

    Unfortunately, there are many whereby the academy is their goal. Or one of their goals. "Why do you want to go to the academy?"..... "Because it's a great education". "Because it's a top-10 school". "Because it's prestigious with history and honor". These are all true statements about the academy; but those shouldn't be the reasons you want to go to the academy. In other words, the individual who graduated the academy and the individual who graduated and commissioned ROTC or OCS/OTS, could have very similar goals. They each simply took a "DIFFERENT PATH" towards those goals.
     
  15. WAM

    WAM Member

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    4 kids in one Academy would make me very very happy

    ...but four in four Academies would def make me crazy. Imagine watching WebGuy in four places, sending cookies, keeping track of four different schedules and different vocabularies. Yet, it would be a very happy crazy :)
     

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