SLE or Boys' State

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Davy Read, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. Davy Read

    Davy Read Member

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    Okay this is a little bit odd of a post, I did not know exactly know where to post it, so if you could just hear me out that would be great. I was chosen as my school's delegate for Boys' State (TN) and I was accepted to SLE at West Point. There might be a way to do both, I'm waiting to hear back from West Point on it. (The last day of boys' state is when SLEs sign in and I might be able to sign in at night.) Okay so here is my question: Which one would be better for the NAVAL ACADEMY? I figure that Boys' State is more leadership oriented while SLE is more military oriented. I am leaning towards SLE because I feel I have a strong leadership resume with sports captain, student gov't., etc. I however do not have any military-like resume. I did jot do boy scouts and my school does not offer JROTC. Would I be right or would going to their rival (I know it is not SEC football) for this might come off not as impressive as Boys' State. Thanks.
     
  2. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    My son had to choose also and he choose SLE. And he was ultimately accepted to USMA.
    That said, I only know that USMA looks very highly on a resume that includes Boys' State so my son's transcript must have had enough leadership roles that he was still accepted without Boys State. How much is enough leasership for acceptance to USMA - figure that out, write the book and you'll be set for life. ;)

    It is my understanding that USMA is not looking for 'military experience' on a resume. They are only lookin for academic excellence, leadership and physical ability. And probably evidence of good character.
    I have no idea what USNA is looking for in their applicants.
     
  3. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    Boys State falls under the leadership portion of the Whole Candidate Score. It will add points to the WCS, SLE will not. As an applicant out of HS, you don't need any "military oriented" background per se. You just need to max out the Scholarship/Leadership/Fitness categories of the WCS. Since you were not in Scouts, I think going to Boys State will benefit your WCS in an area where you need it.

    IMO, one area where SLE or NASS helps is in the nomination process. You put it on your resume and it shows the panel that you are serious about your desire to attend a service academy. However, they know about Boys State, too. So you can explain away not going to SLE by saying there was a schedule conflict.

    SLE might also help you decide you like USMA and might consider going there. I see candidates say they have a good time at SLE. I also know, at least in Texas, that Boys State is an awesome experience.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
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  4. JerseyJoe

    JerseyJoe Member

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    Here's my pet peeve. So do you participate in Boys State, Student Govt, Boy Scouts, "I built a yurk in Guatemala", etc... just to build a resume so you canbe accepted into a SA? Or is your participation because you enjoy those activities and truly enjoy helping. This is why the SA's are not turning out quality leaders any longer. Here's the Template kids....check off the boxes.....apply. Repeat cycle.

    I think everyone should have to enlist, do boot camp, and then a year as a non-rate. I bet there would be about 2/3rd less Eagle Scouts, No one in Boy's state, and a bunch of run down yurts in Guatemala.

    I've gained a lot of respect for the ROTC route .vs. the 5 and dive. (even though I received an appt.)

    Sorry for the rant, I return you to your normally scheduled program.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
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  5. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Not the same thing, but a day visit or overnight visit (if qualified for) can subsitute for parts of SLE than some
     
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  6. jebdad

    jebdad Member

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    When my DD was a junior, we did an admissions brief and tour of USMA. Part of the process was that you could meet with your admissions contact and they would look at your preliminary application (basically your SLE application) and give you an idea where you need to concentrate. DD held all kinds of leadership positions that were specific to her school and was a varsity sport captain as a junior. We were stunned when they told DD they thought she was weak in the leadership department. They recommended she attend Girls State. It was the best advice she could have gotten as she went to girls state and received some recognition while there. I truly believe the involvement at GS was a difference maker in her application and helped her receive her appointment. For that reason, I would go to Boys State and get as involved as possible there.

    Do whatever you can to do both, but if you can't, Boys State would be the better of the two. Not only will boys state appeal to any of the SAs, it will also look good to your plan B schools.
     
  7. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    SLE will be a good chance to get an glimmer of USMA cadet life. There is some similarity at USNA if that's where you are headed but not a huge amount. It's not the real thing... but most I know that did not like SLE/SLS did not like cadet life. Less true the opposite, some who loved SLE had a hard time as a cadet.

    I do believe there are probably more intangibles for USMA admissions for SLE attendance than might be obvious, but if you are not an Eagle scout and have not maxed out leadership scores, then I'd concur with the others to head to Boy's state.

    Then try to arrange an overnight or at least day visit to your academy of choice.

    DS went to SLS (SLE), NASS, and USAFA summer program. And candidate overnights to USMA and USNA. Each visit helped him learn more and shaped his decision. While it's not exactly cadet life, some of the differences have apparently held true even in real life as a cadet. And for sure the stuff that was good/bad at SLE turned out to be good/bad as a cadet. It's just that cadet life covers so much more space.

    Advantages for USMA applicant to attend SLE:
    1. Past years you have been able to start a file earlier
    2. Can get a passing CFA earlier (if ready)
    3. 2nd chance at CFA, as you can submit an improved one (with permission, normally granted)
    4. 1 & 2 can lead to earlier medical slots, which can lead to a completed file earlier. Which can lead to being ready for the first board. Which in past years could improve LOA/LOE chances as competition was less stiff. (This appears to have changed some though)
    5. Consensus is that a SLE strong review by squad leader can help, but a bad one will not keep you out. (there are debates on this, but RC on duty for his overnight mentioned DS's SL review)
    6. Attendees may have a chance to meet with RC 1:1, and will normally get a special brief by an RC with a Q&A session. DS feels this helped him. RC reviewed his file, discussed strengths and things to do to wrap up.
    7. As mentioned, it does help with Noms and as general resume fodder for other schools.
    8. SLE and/or an overnight gives you a much better picture of life at USMA than an admissions tour does.
    9. SWAG you can use to impress your HS buddies. (Or give to your sibling when you pick a different school) DD adopted and wears the nice swag from USNA and USAFA once DS committed to USMA. Just not to USMA events!!!! (Then again, she ended up designing a T-shirt for one of the USNA sports teams while in HS, which they still wear. Which is quite funny with her brother at USMA)
     
  8. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    Sorry, dude, but our medical technology has yet to come up with a reliable method to test for midichlorians. Until then...

    Boys/Girls Scouts - standardized and established program across the United States. Teaches awesome lessons. Takes time and effort.
    ACT/SAT - standardized and established program across the United States. Not subjective.
    Boys/Girls State - standardized and established program across the United States. "Learn by Doing." Great educational experience.

    They have to have some benchmarks by which to measure candidates against each other. Why not try to maximize your stats against the competition on an objective scale rather than trying to get in on personality? What else would you have them evaluated on? Patriotism? Altruism? Are there objective tests for those? I guarantee you my definition of patriotism is different from a lot of people. It's an imperfect system, no doubt, but any more of a "subjective" admissions review could lead to some (-more) unfavorable outcomes.

    I don't think "checking the boxes" is the reason the SA's aren't turning out great leaders. That theory could be debated in a whole 'nother thread.

    If you want something from the US Government, "checking the boxes" is the prime directive. You have to play their game. Or you can go beat your head against the wall.
     
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  9. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Invitations to the summer programs is hit or miss, as it weighs heavily on PSAT & National Merit. Which has been shown not to be accurate indicator of SAT performance. Usually only the 1st SAT factors in, and that only barely. DS raised his Math & Reading SAT's over 200 points (combined) from his first test to his last couple.

    I will say this, staying in contact with the RC can make a difference. DS initially received a "Thanks for your interest, not all can qualify" email for SLS from his RC, He subsequently had a discussion about improvement areas and plans via email with the RC, and the RC told him to disregard the rejection letter he will be getting, that he was being added to the program. "he had impressed him with his initiative" was the comment in the RC's email.

    So don't give up. Keep trying. See if there is a way to do both. Ask to be rescheduled if needed, and explain why.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Folks, please don't mix Star Wars and Star Trek references.
     
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  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I went to Tennessee Boys' State.... it was a blast!

    I was.... the Chief of Police for Todd City... and there were no murders or any other felonies while I was the police chief. NONE!
     
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  12. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    Totally agree with this. Putting a name with a face or having some meaningful contact with the RC is very beneficial. My DS was able to meet with the RC at an admissions event (not SLE as he was not selected). RC told him to work on his ACT, particularly his Math, which the RC wanted up "2-3 pts." DS did it, raising math 5 pts. He was then able to report back to the RC basically: "You told me to do this. I did it better than you wanted."
     
  13. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    Do RC's play a big role in getting an appointment?
     
  14. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    Since when has the PSAT shown to not be an accurate indicator of SAT scores? The PSAT and the SAT are nearly identical in terms of the things they test you on.
     
  15. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    How do we measure an applicant's desire to serve or dedication for success? How do we compare an applicant with "resume" and one without a "resume" and somehow determine the applicant without a "resume" is a better applicant?

    So how are we supposed to advise kids asking how to get to West Point? Tell them what typical applicants did to get in or tell them be different?

    Unless you have done an extensive research on what types of leader SA are producing, don't make a statement that SAs are not turning out quality leaders. Based on the statement you made, I don't think you have a good understanding what a quality leader is.
     
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  16. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    It has to do with timing of instruction in most schools. PSAT tests on things that many kids have not taken yet. And that effect is magnified in some districts due to block scheduling and trendy math curriculum. (Math 1 & 2 vs geometry, algebra, etc). From memory, Geometry is an example. Traditionally you would take it as a sophomore and be OK for the PSAT. But with revised math curriculum, you may not take it until 2nd half of junior year.

    It's a real effect that is measurable in some areas/districts.

    Testing on the same thing and multiplying scores by 10x does not make it meaningful. Put another way, when the same students consistently score higher on SAT's both individually and as a group than PSAT would have predicted, it's not a valid test.

    Which then raises concerns about National Merit awards as it's largely based on PSAT. And also because of some of the demographic impacts of NMS...

    Have not heard much lately, but several big name schools significantly distanced themselves from National Merit Semi-finalists for scholarship consideration. The NMSF program also allows certain groups to double and potentially triple dip, so the result is significantly statistically skewed.
     
  17. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    May want to read this blog post. It's probably the most rational comparison I've read, and seems to match the experiences/position of current & retired officers I'm friends with who took the different paths.

    If you have doubts, then now is the time to decide. The cadets I know of that quit largely knew going in, but did not address that doubt. Or the external pressure (grad parent, etc).

    DS is headed for Ranger School in a bit. One of the coachings his mentors have provided is that the people who finish RS are largely the ones that decided they would before they showed up.

    Not to compare USMA with Ranger School, or even discuss RS (I've never been to either, never will, probably do not understand)

    But a common theme is that if you are uncertain, don't go without addressing that uncertainty.
     
  18. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    Sending you a PM

    Edit- it won't let me for some reason.

    2019 WestPoint class appointee

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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  19. leafygreen

    leafygreen Member

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    My daughter has a congressional nomination to USMA, we are still waiting to hear on anything from them however as she is being recruited by the athletic department. Unsure this post will help or not. However, she has been commander of her AFROTC unit this year and was very versed in leadership as well as the military aspect, she KNOWS she wants to be an Army Officer no matter how she get's there. She has her sports down and was captain of her vb team for freshman and sophomore years/JV. Wrestled for two years as well sophomore and junior years, earning Varsity for both years. She met and exceeded the academic and testing scores for USMA. She was chosen and accepted Girls State before SLE was even thought about for us. Turned out, she loved Girls State!! She said she learned more that week at Girls State than in a whole semester in American Govt being dual-enrolled. We had been told State has a lot of weight and honestly she wasn't that interested at first. Not only does it carry weight with SA's, but with all Colleges/Universities and ROTC Scholarships. By going to Girls State, dd realized she would like to eventually work toward a position in the White House. She LOVED politics and frankly was great at it. You can't go wrong by going to either so really pick what is best for you? With SLE you will be exposed to the campus and whether or not SA is for you if you receive an appointment?
     
  20. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    Oh yea, well there wasn't any fires in my city. (Fire chief)


    2019 WestPoint class appointee

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