Principal Nomination = Prep School?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by MedB, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Hi All,

    First... We've found this forum a wonderful source of information as well as inspiration. Thank you to all who share their experiences here!

    As a proud parent of an excpetional young man, I am glad to report that my son has recieved a principal nomination from one of our Senators!

    But we have a question...

    We understand that this principal nomination designation means the USAFA is compelled to offer him an appointment. Does that mean it has to be a DIRECT appointment? Or is it possible he will be invited to the Prep School instead and that would fufill their obligation.

    The reason I ask is that my son's overall package is pretty impressive, however he is only "good" in the academic arena with SATs in the low/mid 600s and GPA in the 3.4-3.5 (adjusted) range. Yes he takes AP/Honors classes and is top 13% of his class, but compared to many candidates here, his academics are just ok.

    We actually believe the Prep School might help him compete in the Academy proper and be a good thing. But again, we aren't sure if the principal nomination means a direct appointment only.

    Thanks,

    MedB
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I don't know the answer, but I can't see why at all they would offer him Prep with those stats. Yes, it might be lower than many you see on here, but on avg, or at least a few yrs ago, 680 M and 650 V were the median scores, which means there are some above, some below.

    Additionally, although you may feel his cgpa is low, but you need to remember why they request the school profile. Your DSs school might not hand out A's like candy, thus, they would re-look at his cgpa.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    The answer is quite simple. Prep school and Principal nominations have nothing to do with each other. Matter of fact, if you son DID go to the prep school, he would need to totally reapply; including another nomination; next year to go to the academy.

    Now; as far as the principal nomination goes, the academy MUST give your son a direct appointment. They have NO CHOICE. "UNLESS"; yes, you knew there was a "But" coming. UNLESS he is NOT 100% qualified. That means qualified academically, physically, and medically. If he is qualified, then the academy MUST give him the appointment. If there were 12,000 people applying, and he was academically number 11,999 on the list, as long as he met the minimum academic standards, then he still gets the appointment. With a principal nomination, he isn't competing with ANYONE. Doesn't matter what his scores look like compared to anyone else in the country. It just doesn't matter. If he's academically, medically, and physically qualified, then the academy must give him the appointment. There is no debate, questioning, what if's, etc... The appointment is his.

    As for the prep school, that is not something you volunteer or apply for. That is something the academy decides whether or not to offer you. If your son didn't have a principal nomination, but had a competitive nomination, and his scores made him not as good as his competition, but the academy thought other than academics, he was a great prospect, then the academy might offer him a prep-school spot. But you son is not in that boat. He has NO COMPETITION. He has one of the COVETED nominations. A nomination that only about 15-20% of representative/senators give out. The nomination people drool about getting. Most simply give a list of 10 names to the academy and says: "YOU CHOOSE". With a principal, the academy doesn't get to choose. If he's qualified, he gets the appointment. If he isn't, then he doesn't get the appointment.

    Hope that explains it for you. Best of luck. mike....
     
  4. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Thanks, Pima and Mike.

    This is what we suspected... but my wife and I aren't sure whether to be excited or sad! :)

    We had more than half hoped he would be selected for Prep School first to help with study habits etc, as he is in the lower end of most of the published academic guidelines. But things happen for a reason. So it's time to see if he can sink or swim in the deep water of one of the most demanding schools in the country. -gulp-

    By the way, we have not recieved a 3Q notice (did I get that right?) yet. Are there true published minimums anywhere? All I can find is suggested minimums to be competive....which as you point out is not a factor at this point.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Congrats on your DS receiving a Principal nomination!

    Unless they have changed this year, USAFA does not send out a 3Q notice. You can easily check if he is medically qualified by checking his status on DoDMERB. For academics, you can read around the forum. But as you say, he doesn't have the highest academics but I believe they are well above the minimums. For physical qualification, he needs to exceed the minimums on the CFA. Again read around the are quite a few threads on this. You did not post his CFA scores but if you do someone can probably give you an opinion and it will just be that as the official minimums are not posted anywhere public.

    Again congrats.
     
  6. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    Be grateful for the principle nomination. There are many avenues of help at the Academy. At one point, I too, had hoped for a prep school slot vs. direct appointment for my son. I won't sugar coat anything, it hasn't been easy at all. He has struggled. We are from CA, DS had a 3.8 GPA and 2000 cumulative SAT. However, there are many programs in place to help new cadets succeed. Know that the Academy will help them succeed, they just have to be willing to ask for the help. Mom and Dad can't help them once they get there. We can offer them advice and that is about all. Help your child understand that there are programs to help them once they get there to succeed. They must NOT wait to ask for help or they will find themselves on Academic Probation. Not fun, but certainly a wake-up call. They can survive.
     

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