Prep vs. S.A's: SAT/grade differences

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by fencersmother, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I am a little bit curious about the Prep schools for all the Service Academies. Does anyone know where I can find info regarding average SATs and GPAs at the various prep schools? How do the prep school students compare academically to those kids accepted directly into the Academies at the end of the 4 dig year? At graduation? Are the costs similar to those at the service academies? Will any credits earned transfer to civ colleges should the cadet-hopeful fail to get a nomination or appointment?

    Is there any stigma for those kids at the academy who might have been at the prep school the previous year? My feeling on this answer is no, but I could be wrong.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    There are two different prep programs:
    The academies have prep school - AFA has one at the Academy, USNA has NAPS (CGA uses this as well) and USMA has USMAPS.
    In this program the kids are in the military. They have rank and get paid. The school is free.

    The other prep program is often referred to as "Civil Prep" - the kids are hand picked by academy admissions and offered a scholarship to a specified school by the alumni association.
    AFA and USMA are AOG (Association of Graduates) sponsored, USNA is sponsored by the Naval Academy Alumni Foundation. I think - CGA and USMMA sponsors the kids directly.

    Either Prep program is a Golden Ticket into the Academy.

    I cannot stress this enough. If an applicant is offered a prep program and they want the academy -they should accept the offer. Hands down. For both programs there is no "Commitment" to attend. At least for USMA, however, if the candidate is offered and appointment and does not accept it they are morally obligated to pay back the scholarship.

    chapter 2 is next.
     
  3. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Prep school & academics:
    I hesitate to make any general statements here as a group. There are two groups of candidates who go to prep programs - enlisted and those out of high school. The enlisted group are sent to the prep school for a year to brush up on academics - depending on their high school academic achievements, SAT's and how long they have been out of school. This is an individual assessment made by admissions. USAFA is the only academy where enlisted can apply directly to the prep school. For the other academies the decision is made by admissions through an academy application.

    I suppose one could make a general statement that enlisted SAT's and or high school GPA's are "lower" than those candidate who matriculate directly from high school. IMO - it doesn't really matter since the academies are not only about academies. The enlisted applicants bring military bearing, leadership and fitness.

    Every year admissions hand picks a group of kids who are applying from high school and offers them a spot in either the academy prep school or civil prep. I am not going to speculate on who gets offered which program. I *think* mostly it is about academics but there are other reasons as well for kids to go to prep school.
    The bottom line is these are kids the academy wants - for whatever reason they cannot be admitted in the current admissions cycle and they are offered prep. This offer is akin to an LOA - if you complete the program you *will* get an appointment.

    From what I hear most MOC's are familiar with prep programs. Those at an academy prep school are eligible for a service connected nomination. Those at a Military Jr college are required to enroll in ROTC and are eligible for a service connected nomination. This takes the pressure off. Candidates should also apply for a VP nom as admissions has control over that.

    Prep school kids and academics throughout their academy career: I would not make general statements here either. From what I hear they do not graduate at the bottom - some very good students come out of prep programs an many do very well academically.
    Credits - no college credits are earned at academy prep schools. They are not accredited colleges. This doesn't mean they are back in high school. It means if they participate in athletics they don't lose a year of eligibility.
    Civil prep candidate who attend a military jr college can earn credits that transfer but this is dependent on the institution they are transferring to.

    I have never heard of a "stigma" on prep students. They arrive with some knowledge of structure and military bearing. They help the new class get started. Some are combat veterans and at least at USMA are highly respected by the Corps.
     
  4. HuskiesMama

    HuskiesMama Member

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    There is no stigma. These kids often do quite well, adjust to life away from home quickly, and perform well.

    Just A Mom said it well--either military preps or civilian preps are a ticket in to an academy. A student offered this option--if he/she really wants into the academy--should JUMP at the opportunity!
     
  5. Aspen

    Aspen Member

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    Don't know for sure about the other academies but for West Point, my understanding is that USMAPS is reserved for applicants that are deemed academically deficient relative to the USMA admissions standards. Civil Prep is for applicants that are fully qualified (academically and physically) but were not offered an appointment. That's why an applicant that is on the Wait List (fully qualified) can be offered Civil Prep but not USMAPS.
     
  6. The Commissioner

    The Commissioner Retired Staff Member Founding Member

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    I can speak only for USMAPS. USMAPS students are called 'prepsters.'

    The West Point Prep class of 2009 brings a SAT average of 1087. Compare that to the USMA class of 2012 SAT average of 1272. It should be noted that a SAT score increase of 50 points is not unusual for prepsters when they take the test again in the winter.

    Recent data shows that approximately ten percent of the prepster plebes will be on the USMA Dean's List. Approximately 25% of the prepster firsties will make the Dean's List.

    The average USMA graduation rate for prepsters, for the last ten years, is 73%. The prepster rate trend is showing an increase and over the last few years the rate is greater than that for the non-prepsters.

    Prepsters are not all recent high school students or prior service Soldiers. For example, one cadet candidate in the class of 2007 spent the prior year at one of the civil prep schools. That prepster is now USMA new cadet. :thumb:
     
  7. HuskiesMama

    HuskiesMama Member

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    I believe the USNA Foundation's graduation rate from USNA is 99%.

    Don't know the number for NAPS.
     
  8. mnolan

    mnolan Parent

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    USCGA prep school

    As a university administrator, I have the pleasure of working with a number of USCGA graduates who are returning to college to obtain a masters degree. As my daughter prepared for the academy this summer, we were fortunate to have lunch with some of these officers and talk to them about their experiences, etc..

    One of them (who is studying for a masters degree in engineering at Purdue University..and the Coast Guard is paying for it!), went to the Coast Guard (Navy) prep school. He enlisted in the CG after high school then applied to the academy. His academic preparation/performance in high school was apparently deemed deficient, but the CG thought so highly of him that they sent him to prep school.

    He stated that is was a good experience, and actually gave him some advantages when he got to the Academy. He figured that the BS he endured during swab summer was nothing like boot camp! So he had no problem that summer. He understood what the cadre was doing, and how to survive (and thrive) during it. What he did do, since he still realized he wasn't an academic hot-shot, was to identify successful swabs that might be able to help him academically once school started, and he began to make connections during swab summer. He offered his "experience" and maturity, they helped him in college (math mostly according to him). He never experienced any "stigma"

    He did well at the academy, is on his third tour of duty, working on a masters degree, and up for promotion on a fast track.....so prep school worked for him!

    Mike
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I can only speak for USNA. Enlisted folks go to NAPS. Others may be offered NAPS or Foundation. Today, it is largely dependent on the family's ability to pay. NAPS is "free." Foundation schools require parental contribution based on ability to pay. Thus, as a general rule (there are always exceptions), if your family is well-off, you're more likely to be offered a Foundation program and your family's expected contribution will be in line with their income/assets. Those with less ability to pay are more likely to be offered NAPS.

    I can't speak to the non-Foundation civilian prep schools. Many boast high acceptance rates and they may be right. However, before you spend your hard-earned money, I would research these places very carefully.

    As for stigmas, I have to defer to the folks currently there. But in my day, no one cared. We somewhat envied Napsters b/c they seemed to know more about wearing uniforms, cleaning rooms, and related stuff. However, after a few weeks, it really didn't matter. They seemed to do very well academically -- I can't recall anyone from NAPS (no Foundation in my day) who had academic trouble.
     
  10. NorthernCalMother

    NorthernCalMother Member

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    "Today, it is largely dependent on the family's ability to pay. NAPS is "free." Foundation schools require parental contribution based on ability to pay. Thus, as a general rule (there are always exceptions), if your family is well-off, you're more likely to be offered a Foundation program and your family's expected contribution will be in line with their income/assets. Those with less ability to pay are more likely to be offered NAPS."

    Wow. I have NEVER heard that one! How would USNA know family's financial situation? My son grad'd from NAPS in 07 and his father and I were well prepared to fund 4 yrs of private college. We've become friends w/ families of two of son's closest NAPS friends, and boy, are THEY not hurting financially. USNA1985, where did you hear this 'ability to pay' info?

    As noted, the Academies' preps originated to help prepare prior enlisted. They've also become an avenue for recruited athletes and females/URMs as well. However, I met plenty of NAPS students who just didn't fit these descriptions. Out of high school my son had a 4.0 and great ECs/sports but SATs lower than desired. I met another kid w/ great SATs and resume but grades weren't where they might have been. If you find stats, averages might be misleading.

    Son experienced no NAPS stigma @ USNA (but as someone said, was extremely popular during plebe summer for his folding/shoeshining/uniform/cleaning skills). Remember something like 30% of the class didn't come direct from high school. Son waived the dreaded plebe Chem and was dean's/supe's list first two semesters, so he's one NAPSter who's in good shape academically (so far).

    Sorry, I know nothing about the Foundation or civilian prep schools.
     
  11. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I've always heard that NAPS was the place to put recruited athletes who may not have the academic background to survive the first year at USNA or USCGA.

    I've also heard the NAPS student body is is over 70% recruited football players, can anyone confirm or refute that?
     
  12. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    http://www.usna.edu/Admissions/documents/NAPS%2007%20Candidate%20Guide.pdf

    According to this NAPS Class of 2007 Brochure - there were about 45 recruited football players or about 15%.

    While some recruited athletes are sent to academy prep schools - there is a misconception out there that all of them are sent there to "red shirt" and that all prep students are recruited athletes.
    The Prep schools do have athletic programs. At least at USMAPS all students are required to participate in athletics - most of them are not recruited athletes.
    Many recruited athletes do win direct appointments to the academies as well.

    Keep in mind that anyone who completes a year at NAPS, USMAPS etc is not required to matriculate at the academy - even if they win an appointment. Some actually are recruited away to play for other schools.
     
  13. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    USNA1985 - You are the only person I have ever heard state this and I actually wondered if it is true.
    My daughter applied to USNA and I remember on the pre-candidate questionairre there were questions asked about your race, number of people in your family, if your parents went to college, if any siblings went to college and where they went and there was a matrix to check off the range in family income.
    The Naval academy could probably pick out who is clearly "of means" and who would be a poverty level - but not so much the in-betweens.
    I am sure this is nothing hard and fast or to be relied on. I do know a young man who went to NMMI who didn't have a college trust fund. It was a financial strain for the family.

    For USMA - Aspen is correct. West Point states clearly that USMAPS is for those candidates who are not academically qualified for a direct appointment - although I have seen exceptions here as well.
     
  14. gabridge

    gabridge Member

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    NAPS

    NAPS 1976. Football recruit. Best deal I ever got in my life.

    NAPS was a HUGE help.

    PS I don't buy the parents ability to pay aspect. I think they use NAPS for athletes first, minorities second and enlisted personnel transitioning to college. I suspect the perception of the parental finances arises from the mix they do select.
     
  15. NorthernCalMother

    NorthernCalMother Member

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    By regulation, NAPS can't take more recruited athletes than whatever the NCAA limit is for recruited athletes @ a college (I think about 25%).
     
  16. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Sorry, I've been traveling.

    It is what we were told at BGO training about 4 yrs ago. The view at the time was that, if parents/family could contribute to the prep school cost, they should do so. Frankly, I agree with that. That's the way that most colleges work.

    It is possible that what I said is no longer true and I should have qualified my statement to indicate that it was based on information that is now several years old. If someone has more current information that contradicts this, then I'm happy to say I am no longer correct.
     
  17. Stitch626

    Stitch626 Parent

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    Is there any stigma for those kids at the academy who might have been at the prep school the previous year? My feeling on this answer is no, but I could be wrong.

    I also have been traveling (taking my D to MMI Prep School), but have a comment about the "stigma" statement, based on her recent Orientation week at the CGA. The CGA, I think, is the only academy that has an Orientation Week for the students they have awarded CGAS (Coast Guard Academy Scholars). It is 9 days of mini-Swab Summer, testing and indoctrination into the Coast Guard environment. Their cadre are former Prep School students. During CGAS Orientation this year, there was an incident my D mentioned where a Swab came up to one of our CGAS students and said something like "I got in on my first try" :thumbdown:(as opposed to the CGAS kids having to do prep first, I guess). Anyway, it got back to the cadre who called this Swab out onto the deck and verbally tore him to pieces. Since the cadre were also former preps, they obviously also took this personally. My D said the Swab asked permission to pack his bags afterwards -- I'm hoping they didn't let him. I think he learned a valuable lesson, not to cut down his shipmates - something he can pass on to others.

    In addition, Admissions said Prep School kids can often validate a class or two when they come in and also often make good leaders since they are ahead of the other Swabs in military knowledge -- all bonuses in my book!:smile:
     
  18. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    As a parent observer of KP, I have never heard of any stigma attached to the prepsters. Just the opposite. They are looked up to. My son tried to give back his appointment during his Plebe year when Physics I & II plus Calc I & II were going on back to back and frankly, kicking his rear. He called me up & said he just couldn't do it & wondered if they would accept him for Prep instead. He came out of it ok but I remember exactly what he'd said. "Everyone thinks the prep kids have it 'going on' because they are doing so much better in these classes than the rest of us." Speaks volumes to me about that year of Prep. Just thought I'd share the story. Prep kids are just awesome. Not only do they already "get" the regimental system & how to study with bizarre distractions going on, they had a whole year to get the academy complaining skill down to a real science. :wink:
     
  19. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Two things -
    If a candidate is chosen for a prep program - it matters not which program for which they are chosen nor why they were chosen. Don't dwell on if you get NAPS, USMAPS etc or a "Civil" prep scholarship. While there may be general guidlines - there are most likely exceptions.
    So, embrace your offer - it IS a Golden Ticket.

    Stigma - many candidates don't have a clear understanding of prep programs - they are not sure of the risk they are being asked to take. Many candidates who are offered prep programs also have been accepted at some very fine universities and may have ROTC scholarships in hand. These choices make the choice of the 5 year academy plan more difficult.
    For those who are entering the admissions process - it is great that you have good and insightful information so you feel comfortable making an informed decision if you quest to an academy appointment results in an offer to "prep" school.
     
  20. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    ^^^^^

    Agree. An offer of prep school gives you an extra year of academic, military and physical prep. If you successfully complete the program, you are virtually guaranteed an appointment. The only "cost" to you is a year of your life and, possibly, some co-payment obligation for your paretns/guardians. After the first few months, I doubt anyone remembers who attended a prep school but your benefits in doing so endure.
     

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