Reality for competitive Districts

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Big B's Dad, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Big B's Dad

    Big B's Dad Member

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    DS received the TWE two weeks ago. He was a strong candidate and was 3Q'd. He spoke to his reps in the area and it was interesting to find out the reality he faced. He has a great plan B and is accepted to a very competitive business school (500 per year accepted) and is still considering a ROTC scholarship for that.

    Here is what he learned. The class he applied for is much smaller due to the 4400 size limit talked about in other threads. This really limited the number of National Wait List candidates this year. He was told that this was fairly recent mandate and LOA's and athletic admits were not based on this number and that hurt the national pool numbers. Crappy deal for this year, but reality.

    Another reality. Our state has an agreement among the MOC's to only nominate competitive slates to the academys. This really handicaps candidates from competitive districts like ours as he was competing against a very competitive slate. An example; he had a second cousin from a more urban district get the nod with far less than he had for ACT, GPA, and activities. Comparing notes with the DS's Dad he noted that the slate he was against was almost exclusively from a single high school in the District and not all that strong of candidates. Our District appointee is the 33 ACT with a 4.0 and Captain of two sports teams. The reality is that is who he had to beat out to get the appointment.

    Another reality. Parents and candidates need to understand that the Service Academy process is dependant on many things beyond your qualifications. Race and minorities issues have been kicked around here and the process plays a role in class makeup (I agree with it by the way). My DS went to SLS with many athletes and minorities. His quals were stronger but to a person everyone in those two groups from his squad was admitted and most were LOA recipients. Another does of reality (a good one though).

    Some MOC's appoint and some only nominate (resulting some really good candidates falling to the NWL). He had a guy in his SLS squad that was very marginal but he got an appointment from his MOC. He is in and DS is not but again that is reality.

    There are other means such as the VP and Presidential nods, but those are longer shots than the NWL in most years. Again, reality.

    For parents know the facts and be ready for the TWE and the pain that brings to a high achiever. I was a military guy and know that numbers and policy is nameless and faceless and at times very heartbreaking. The process of applying and interviewing makes them better college students and better people. Hang your hat on that and brief them on the reality they are up against. A friend of mine who went to WP said they don't seek only the best, they seek a cross section of the best. That is cross section is geographicly, race, and gender based. He has called and talked to my DS and provided a great perspective.

    Last reality. Helicopter parenting doesn't help your DS or DD adjust to the TWE. We had one in our District who was so sure her DD was getting in that when the TWE came it nearly killed her mother. Hope for the best and put on your big boy pants and know that not everyone is going to get in and certainly not in the order of qualification. It may not seem fair (fair is in August) but it is the reality of the application process.

    Good luck to all and to those that are headed to WP hold your heads high and achieve. You represent a very strong group of candidates.
     
  2. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    That's very true. It is the same in civilian college admissions as well. Gender, geography, diversity all matter very much, and even moreso the recruited athlete issue. Those who are none of the above have a much higher hurdle to clear.

    Good luck to your DS in Bscholl at plan B. ROTC is an option as you say, but so is reapplying to WP as a college freshman. :thumb:
     
  3. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Which clearly illustrates why nominations prevent the academy from selecting the most qualified class, forcing them to appoint a lesser candidate on the basis of geography.
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Sorry to hear about the TWE, congratulations to your son on being admitted to Business School.

    Did your son apply this year for the AROTC Scholarship as a Plan B to the WP application. Did he receive the scholarship or is he waiting for the results of the final board.

    Best of luck to your son.
     
  5. Big B's Dad

    Big B's Dad Member

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    He waited until January to apply for ROTC while he was college shopping. He was interested in several schools but the business thing and AROTC are not the best of bedfellows so we shall see.

    I should have mentioned he is still alive on a Navy Senatorial slate for Annapolis to date. I did not intend at all for the post to come off as sour grapes but rereading one could go there.

    It was written to let mostly parents know that their DS and DD's really need someone to put the reality of the process into perspective. I get that colleges have a process but the Academy process is brutally subjective and dependant on so many variables.

    He's a great kid and the world is in front of him. He learned alot attending and applying to WP.
     
  6. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    Some hard facts in Big B Dads post.

    A general statement:

    The selection process is complicated and greatly controlled by Title 10 (the law), balancing the class (geographically, racially, gender), selecting good athletics, etc. Hard fact--- political correctness and racial and gender “balancing” (de-facto quotes are normally called “goals” in the Army) are alive and well in this process and in the promotion system in the Army. The process DOES NOT attempt to pick the best 1050-1250 candidates in the U.S. The Admissions people, however, are COMPLETELY DEDICATED to picking the best candidates given the law and the other rules dictated to them from the Army, Congress, and WP Senior Officers. The vast majority (no system is 100% efficient) of the men and women finally chosen are highly qualified and deserving of their appointments.

    One major factor mentioned is the variance in the different Congressional Districts. There are numerous cases every year where a great candidate from one competitive District does not get in but a clearly less qualified person gets in from a less competitive District.

    Interesting facts: I am closely associated with two Congressional Districts and have complete and detailed information of the situation for the past few years in these districts. In both Districts, the number of highly qualified applicants for West Point has been MUCH higher than the applicants for the Naval Academy and AF Academy. In fact, we have encouraged several candidates who wanted WP – but were not the top WP candidates – to switch to Annapolis or the AF Academy. Several of them have been admitted to those Academies. I have no idea what is happening in this regard in the other Congressional Districts. Ten years ago, the AFA in our Districts were the most popular but that has significantly changed. I think it might be that the military people most in the news on a day-to-day basis– due to the nature of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – were ground pounders (Army and Marines) and not normally Navy and Air Force types.

    To those who did not get in this year, my condolences. However, if WP is your dream do not give-up. Improve your record as mentioned in many of these posts and try again. If you decide on Plan B then give it 100% of your dedication.

    Best of luck to all of the fine young Americans who are willing to serve our great country in our Armed Forces – we are proud of all of you.
     
  7. Art.Perea

    Art.Perea Member

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    I can't agree more with how much geography has to do with it. I live in a HUGE Navy/Marines town. Joining the Army is almost unheard of around here. I spoke to a representative from my congressional district about nominations and he said they receive close to 20 applications a year for the Navy and Marine academy and only around 3 for West Point, and sometimes the applicants are so weak, that they give another nomination for the Navy academy.

    Also, I don't live in the nicest community, so most kids are not very interested in college. While in other districts nearly every single kid from high school will go on to college.

    I can't stress enough how much geography has to do with acceptance in the academy.
     
  8. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    geography point-or pointless?

    in our congressional district
    4 people put USAFA as their first choice for noms (with two openings)
    8 people put USMA as their first choice for noms (with one opening)
    22 people put USNA as their first choice for noms (with one opening)


    We were told that our congressional district has more requests for USNA noms than any other district in the state and without a 33 english/math, captain, varsity etc -it will be doubtful,

    but look at the odds those applying for USAFA had this year. pretty good.

    still, that isnt to say the person who got the appointment to USAFA didn't have better scores that the other person who received the appointment to USNA.
     
  9. docwalk

    docwalk Member

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    just a quick point.

    if he enlists. finishes up his enlisted schooling, and does very well at his first duty station. he can get a nomination in time to become a member of the next years class. and most likely get admitted as well.

    the army is big on soldier applying to west point. our standards, as a reality, arent as high as those for kids in high school. and most worthwhile commanders are going to want to be able to say they got someone into west point. if he's serious about the army, maybe consider this option. no promises that your command will think he is qualified. but west point is more than a school. people see the fancy name and the degree, but tend to not look at the fact you are going to be in the army. if he wants to serve, there are ways to get where you want.

    just some thoughts.
     
  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    don't even have to go that far - just need to complete his or her basic training to be eligible for the service connected nomination.
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    This option would seem risky for those that were looking to start college right away or even within a year as those that spend the first year at a Prep School.

    How long were you enlisted before getting an appointment, I saw in another thread you will be 23, have you been enlisted 4 plus years.

    Good to know there are many options.
     

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