Race/Essays

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by LH-USAFA, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. LH-USAFA

    LH-USAFA Member

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    On the personal information for the USAFA application, should I mark Caucasian or "Declined to respond"?

    Also, all three of my essays were slightly on the short side, 3-400 words instead of the advised 4-500 for the two required essays... Will word count hurt at all or will they just look at content/grammar/structure?

    Also, my ALO just submitted my interview, status is complete! How soon will the board review the second round of applications?
     
  2. Stonewall

    Stonewall Member

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    I'm only a candidate also, but from my experience, quality is greater than quantity. Admissions doesn't have time and doesn't want to read over an extra 100 words if it's all fluff.

    On the ethnicity remark, I just marked that I am Caucasian. I don't think it will hurt your WCS for not being a minority.
     
  3. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Just a gut feeling but I don't think checking off "Declined to Respond" is in anyone's best interest going into a military situation. Again, just my gut feeling. Smacks of not being a team player.
     
  4. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Following directions is a good habit to get into in the military. I cannot say that it will hurt you, but they will be aware that the word count was not in the advised range.

    Stealth_81
     
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  5. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    You have a legal right to not disclose and the SAs have a legal obligation not to hold it against you

    Besides - it's all about 'how you feel' nowadays
     
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Not debating the legality at all. Just a mom's thinking.
     
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  7. lsredmond

    lsredmond Member

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    My daughter declined to respond regarding her race. She received an appointment, graduated, and is now a 2Lt.

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I have no idea if my sons checked a race box - or not.
     
  9. proudofmyboy

    proudofmyboy Member

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    If you know, you know. If you don't, you don't. Do not play games. Just tell the truth. It is that simple.
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Piggyback on stealth. He is SOOOO correct. Now maybe they changed the instructions to read "SUGGESTED", in which Case disregard this post. But if the instructions say 400-500 words, that is what they want. The review board does have time and does want to read your essays.

    Remember, this is the military. This isn't "going off to college". You are joining the military. It just so happens that your job for 4 years is "student". The military is not a democracy and you don't get to decide what something means and to do it the way you think it should be done. Following instructions (orders) is what the military is all about. If not, that's how people die.

    So, for those applying in the future. Read the instructions. If it says 400-500 words on an essay, that's what you do. If they "suggest", then you have the latitude to do what you want. This isn't like your other college applications.
     
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  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    P.s. As for marking race, the academy uses that info for the same reasons as everyone else. Metrics and statistics. But let's be realistic here. Because everyone knows that in today's world, race usually has a positive or no affect at all on an application. It's not like 70 years ago where to might not get a job or accepted for something because of your race.

    As such, this is MY percentage, but there's 97.876354% chance, if a person declined to mark race down on an academy application, they are white. Why? Because the academy is generally under represented with minorities and are looking for highly qualified applicants. And anyone on this forum should know, that being a minority can only help. So if you are a minority, you'd be stupid not to mark it down. Hence, why if you decline, you're probably white. Again, being a minority doesn't guarantee you anything. But if you are highly qualified, it doesn't hurt.

    Same goes for mentioning in your application other areas that you have in your life that shows diversity. Diversity isn't just skin color or gender. Don't be shy about emphasizing being a farm or ranch kid. Being from a single parent family. Being the first in your family to apply to college. Being from the inner city and your struggles to get out of a bad economic or social environment. Make yourself unique.
     
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  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    +1 Stealth and Mike.

    I recall years back when DS was applying to Notre Dame and at the admissions meet and greet discussed their approach to the essays. Please understand that I am not saying this is USAFA's approach, but it is the approach for a higher tier college. They take the essays and scan it through a computer program that counts the words. If it is over the max, they draw a red line at the very last word allowed. If it is mid-sentence than so be it.
    ~ Their position was that they set a limit for a reason.

    If it was below the min. they also annotated the number it was below.
    ~ Their position was that they set a min. for a reason.

    I state this to reinforce what Stealth and Mike are stating. There is a reason to stop and think...edit and re-edit if it states the min number.

    JMPO, regarding the race aspect. Just a question would you consider not marking it Caucasian as trying to game the system? Maybe I am wrong, but that is how it came across to me. Why would you not mark it? If you view yourself as Caucasian, than why not state it? Once in the AF they will require you to acknowledge your race for their own records.

    Finally, I am befuddle by one part of your post. The review of 2nd round applications. I am assuming you meant that you did not submit early enough for their Jan. decision. If that is the case than I think you do not understand the appointment process. Very few will find out in Jan. Many will be deferred to mass mailing March.
    ~ IE MoCs have until end of Jan. to submit slates. Candidates with a nom. can submit up to the end of Feb.
    ~~ Using you as an example:
    ~~~ You are on your MoC slate with 9 others. They all had in their package by Nov 1st. You did not. You submitted this week, but because of the queue in front of you to be reviewed, admissions does not get to your until the 1st Monday in Feb.
    ~~~~ The other 9 can get an appointed, but cannot be charged to the MoC because you have yet to receive your WCS, unless of course the MoC uses principal or the candidate has an LOA. If that is not the case (principal/LOA) than that MoC charge/appointment is still up for grabs.

    Thus, why I am not understanding what you mean by 2nd round applicants.
     

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