Questions on Competitiveness

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by GoArmy2020, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. GoArmy2020

    GoArmy2020 Member

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    Hello,

    I'm applying to West Point this year and had a few questions on some worries I've been having. I would appreciate any advice/words of wisdom you have to offer!

    Will a good SAT make up for a low class rank?

    My class rank is low; I'm in the top 30% of my class of 500 kids. However, I'm in a very competitive school and take tough classes; I'll have 11 AP's and one Dual Enrollment by graduation. I'm wondering if my above average SAT score will help put me back on track academically. I scored a 2060 on the SAT this June (CR: 710 M: 680 W: 670), will this be enough to offset my class rank? Also, is it worth mentioning in my application that the school I attend is very competitive?

    Is two Varsity Letters enough?

    I'm by no means a star athlete, and it seems like everyone who applies to the academy is. I've done 4 years of Cross Country, a year of Wrestling, and a year of Track. I managed to get my first varsity letter last year for Track, and I'm confident that I'll be lettering in all three sports this year. However, only my letter from Track and Cross Country this season will be on my application, is two enough to be competitive physically?

    Leadership, do I need more to set myself apart?

    I want to stick out in leadership; it's too late to boost my academics so I need to be as good as possible in this section. I plan on leaning pretty heavily on my experience in scouting. Is what I'm doing now enough to set me apart, or should I explore more leadership opportunities? I don't want to further stretch my time, but if it gives me a better shot at WP I'd be happy to take it. My "credentials" so far include:

    Eagle Scout, former Senior Patrol Leader and current Junior ASM for Scout Troop, Cross Country team captain, student body secretary, VP of Model UN club, secretary of orchestra club, National Honor Society member, and I've MC'ed a flag retirement ceremony and a couple other ceremonies. I also volunteer actively, and have about 200 hours documented. Is this enough to make me a "stand-out" in leadership?

    Thank you very much for your help!
     
  2. liger98

    liger98 Member

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    At SLE, the former Northeast Commander (I think all the Regional Commanders switched out) told us yes. He said he looks at how competitive the school is and he uses the SAT/Rank to our benefit.
     
  3. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    OP...thanks for sharing. My dd also worries about class rank too. She is in the top 20% of her school and has good ACT scores, plenty of AP/honors classes, varsity sports and a very rigorous senior schedule, but not a 4.0 unweighted. Some times it feels like class rank has become far more important than course rigor.

    There are about 20 students in her senior class who are working to share the Number 1 class rank with a perfect 4.0 score in a fairly competitive school, but certainly not the highest ranking school in the area. Recently her counselor shared that many parents will NOT allow their dd/ds to take difficult classes because it might screw up their class rank and a chance to win a college scholarship. The counselor says she rolls her eyes :bleh2: frequently out of frustration, but I often wonder if the academies & colleges realize that sometimes the higher ranking 4.0 students are often less competitive.

    Okay... just a rant about class rankings. :bang:
     
  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    USMA will look at the difficulty of your coursework, the difficulty of your school, how dedicated you were in athletics, how much and what type of leadership you have.

    Yes, they'll look at your class rank. They'll see your SATs, your cgpa/wgpa/ugpa... all of it.

    Quit worrying and just do your best with what you're already doing.
     
  5. GoArmy2020

    GoArmy2020 Member

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    Thank you to everyone who responded, I appreciate you advice.
    You're quite right. I should stop overthinking this and just focus on shoring up my application. I suppose there's no perfect formula on how to get into the Academy, and I shouldn't try to find one. Thank you, I'll keep what you said in mind.
     
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Natural to have concerns, but one can only do one's best given limitations of such things as age, geography, availability, etc.
     
  7. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    GoArmy2020, neither my USMA grad nor I knew of the SAF before he accepted his appointment. He followed West Point's guidance about gaining admission and listened to his MALO. Once, when he made a day visit to West Point, he was able to schedule a brief appointment with his admissions representative who looked him in the eye and said, "Raise your SAT score!" That lit a fire under him. The things that West Point wanted to see on his application were the same things the other top universities he applied to wanted to see as well. He didn't have lots of shiny, fancy credentials but he had been active in school and church activities, he had lettered in a sport, and he had challenged himself academically.

    You can get caught up in thinking there is a formula for acceptance and it will drive you crazy. Fencersmother said it well---"Quit worrying and just do your best with what you're already doing."
     

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