So about those TWEs...

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Treeman, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. Treeman

    Treeman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    10
    I was going to write out a little post with advice, but it started to turn into an essay, so here's a short(er) version of my advise for next year if you just got your first TWE, and some food for thought if you like me, just got your Nth.

    Try to focus on your weaknesses in later applications. My 800R, 750M SAT doesn't mean anything when I had little to offer in leadership positions. If you can't expect to change your application much, don't expect much change in your results.

    AFROTC is awesome, go for it.

    if you want to pursue a second academy application right out of HS, in your freshman year at college, plan on taking a very easy first semester to get good grades that will both look good on your application and give you an easy transition from HS into college academics. Don't ignore your normal course progression to take underwater basket weaving, but do attempt to ease into things, like perhap a history gen ed class as opposed to a biology or physics requirement.

    If you go into AFROTC wanting to reapply, don't get it into your head that AFROTC is just a stepping stone to the Academy. Focus on your detachment and the people there. Keep your academy bid in your head, but don't let planning for a possible transfer take you away from making good of your current situation.

    You will be having a lot more fun at a civ.uni that anyone that goes to the academy. Especially freshman year. Fun is not bad, but if you don't like fun, you can set your own standards and dedicated said fun time to other projects and personal development.

    Sometimes stop to take a pulse on why you still want to go to the academy. If the reason that first pops into your head is that you failed the first X times, or you want to finish what you started, and THEN you start thinking about the engineering program, the flying, etc... then you might want to reconsider what you're aiming for, and why you're aiming for it.

    The academy is definitely awesome, we all know that, but life is what you make it, and you can do just as well elsewhere if you work for it.

    I feel like I might let this fish go, not sure yet, but probably.
    To everyone who got in, congratulations, get ready for whats coming.
    To everyone who didn't keep trucking.
    To my class mates from HS who went to the Academy, I guess I'll have to settle for seeing you after we commission, as its starting to look like my place isn't on the hill.

    Cheers.
     
    matty, MammaMia, shellz and 6 others like this.
  2. ComputersAndGuns

    ComputersAndGuns New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    5
    Got my TWE last night in an email. Didn't quite sting like the one I received last year but it still is going to leave a mark. I just wanted to leave my word of advice. I will say this and there might be some who disagree but they can have their own opinion. There is no difference between a cadet in AFROTC and a cadet at the academy. There should be no argument or thought that there truly is a difference. Both cadets are devoting themselves to live by the core values to the best of their ability. It does not matter where you receive your education but how much effort and commitment you put forward to commission as an officer in the United States Air Force.
     
    amak22, mulan, shellz and 1 other person like this.
  3. shellz

    shellz Parent

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    75
    Class acts, the both of you ^^. Good luck on what lies ahead. I have a feeling great things are in your futures!
     
    Wishful and JRun like this.
  4. Rocko

    Rocko Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    110
    Great advice given by both. The only line I might not completely agree with is:

    "if you want to pursue a second academy application right out of HS, in your freshman year at college, plan on taking a very easy first semester to get good grades that will both look good on your application and give you an easy transition from HS into college academics. Don't ignore your normal course progression to take underwater basket weaving, but do attempt to ease into things, like perhap a history gen ed class as opposed to a biology or physics requirement."

    I have no experience so this is just my thought process. While good grades are important, so is proving you can handle a rigorous academic load. Admissions expects you to take a rigorous class schedule in High School so why would they not expect the same in College? There is no easy schedule if you are accepted to the Academy. If you were given a TWE, in my mind you should take the most rigorous load that you can handle to prove that you CAN make it at the Academy. I'm just not sure taking a light load would give admissions the "Warm fuzzy" that you are ready, willing and able to handle a rigorous schedule (Academically, Physically and militarily) like the Academies will put you through. And that is exactly what you should be trying to prove to them.

    Again, I have no first hand knowledge but this is my thoughts.

    ROTC is an excellent route and in 4 years it will not matter what path you traveled down. You will all be 2nd Lieutenants and how you commissioned will mean nothing. You will continue to have to prove yourselves to move forward in Active duty.
     
  5. Treeman

    Treeman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    10
    Fair enough, and that very well could be the case. The admissions council is as inscrutable as it is arcane, in a single term, do they like a higher GPA or harder classes passed? I suspect the former but of course there is no way of knowing. You are certainly right that you shouldn't take all incredibly easy classes, especially in the long run, but for those students in the situation of being in their first term of college while applying to USAFA, avoiding hard classes to get a better looking GPA that term and survive the shock of entering into college academics may be useful. In addition, getting used to AFROTC may be tough at first, so that's another potential reason to not be ambitious your first term. That's actually a better summary of the point I was trying to make, it isn't about trying to take it easy, but avoiding being TOO ambitious on day 1..
     
  6. waiting game

    waiting game Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    8
    You might consider going to one of the Prep schools for a year if you're sure an Academy is right for you (Northwestern Preparatory School, New Mexico Military Institute, etc).
     
  7. shellz

    shellz Parent

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    75
    They want both....
     
  8. aeroparent

    aeroparent New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    ...and then some - plus that guarantees nothing. DS took the harder classes as an Aerospace Engineering major, had a respectable GPA plus AFROTC and extracurricular activities, but still received his second TWE.
     
    Smalltowngirl likes this.
  9. amak22

    amak22 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    25
    I completely agree with you! That's how it should be but sadly it's not. The AFA commands a certain level of respect. It's kind of like saying would you rather hire the guy who went to Harvard or "X State University?" I don't want to take away from what you're saying because after getting the horrible TWE your post really inspired me. I just want to remind people of the reality of society and that if the AFA is your dream there is no shame in reapplying. Thank you again for your words and I look forward to hopefully meeting you after we commission! :)
     
    Smalltowngirl likes this.
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    The hardest thing about the TWE is for people to realize that "most" of the time, not being accepted, isn't personal. The academy isn't "STATE-U" where some of the applicants/enrollees come in with a 4.0gpa and some come in with a 2.0gpa. The academy is like applying to Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Princeton, Columbia, etc... In the academy's situation, there are on average a MINIMUM of at least 3,000 applicants who are "More than qualified". There's probably close to another 2,000 who meet the minimum standards for the academy. Unfortunately, the truth is, the academy can and will only accept 1,000-1,200+/- per year. This is based on federal law and the needs of the military.

    It's difficult for anyone to hear that they didn't receive an appointment. Senators and Representative can have 20, 30, 50, even 100 individuals applying for a nomination. Yet, they can only nominate 10 individuals. Those who apply to the academies, but also apply to schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Georgetown, etc. understand that while they more than qualify to go to most of these schools, they can't accept everyone. There will be 4.0gpa students who don't get accepted to the Ivy League schools as well as the academies.

    As for the Academy and ROTC being different, and that the academy commands a certain level of respect over ROTC, that's simply an individual opinion based on ego. Each individual is different. Some do great at ROTC, but would have done terrible at the academy. They thrive on the variety vs the 24/7 military environment. Some would do great at the academy, but ROTC would have given them too many distractions and they wouldn't have done nearly as well. They need the 24/7 military focus. Just like in the "REAL MILITARY", it isn't a 24/7 environment. When your work day is over, you leave the base, wear civilian clothes, take your kids to soccer practice, etc. But for school, some do better at the academy and some do better with ROTC. There is no greater "COMMAND OF RESPECT" for the academy. Not unless it's in an individual's own mind. The military doesn't care. Both commissioned officers are treated the same once they graduate. Because the academy is a 24/7 military environment, it does provide for some additional training and military environmental opportunities that prepare an academy grad for active duty better in some ways over an ROTC cadet. But there's also some advantages to the type of officer an ROTC cadet will become vs an academy grad. Comparing the academy to ROTC is like trying to compare active duty to the guard or reserves. Better or more respected is not the right way to look at it. It's simply different, with different operational goals, all leading to the accomplishment of the same mission. Me personally, I need the 24/7 military. I could never have made it in a guard or reserve unit.

    My son had similar thoughts. He ONLY APPLIED for the air force academy as far as the military goes. He didn't apply to west point or Annapolis. He didn't apply for ROTC either. He applied to the air force academy and 4-5 other universities. He either received an appointment and attended the academy full time, or he would go off to a university and attend it full time. Whatever he did, for him it needed to be full time. So it's not a matter of the academy having a higher level of respect than ROTC or anything else. It's simply different.

    Don't let the TWE discourage you "personally". Yes, it can be upsetting, but the truth is: the military doesn't need as many cadets and officers in the military as are applying. It's not a matter of you weren't good enough. There could be 2500 applicants with PERFECT and IDENTICAL applications. They could all even come from the same school and home town. The academy is still only going to accept 1000-1200+/-. So, as long as you know you did your best and gave it all you had in applying; then you should have no problem sleeping at night and moving on with Plan-B. If you honestly tell yourself that you gpa, ACT, CFA, etc. was not the best you could have done, then you know what to work on if you want to re-apply. But whatever your choices, realize that sometimes there's absolutely nothing you could have done to improve your chances. Sometimes it's just a matter of numbers.
     
  11. amak22

    amak22 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    25
    @Christcorp I think you misinterpreted what I was saying. I understand that in the military it doesn't matter where you came from. Rather, I was talking about more towards life after service and the special sort of Ivy League factor. From a psychological perspective, an everyday person would be more likely to hire the Ivy League grad over somebody else just because of the school they went to. Personally, I too think it is an stupid, corrupt, ego thing but that's the way it's perceived. Sorry if I came off wrong, I don't mean to talk bad about ROTC at all, on the contrary, I am off-the-charts excited to participate in it this upcoming year.
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    The ONLY TIME, the school you went to; e.g. Air Force Academy vs Harvard vs Michigan State, vs University of Wyoming, vs University of Phoenix, vs Georgia Tech, vs The University of WhereEverTheHellYouWent..... Is if you are 22-23 years old and coming right out of college and are applying for a job or intern some place.

    When you are 30+ years old, and you are applying for a "REAL JOB", the prospective employer only cares about your EXPERIENCE!!! That's why they love ex-military. They have EXPERIENCE. That's why company's, especially in the tech fields, have head hunters who actually try and STEAL employees away from other companies. They NEED, they WANT, they MUST HAVE.... EXPERIENCE. Trust me; someone with multiple degrees from multiple schools, who has competed again many others for a job. ANY Corporation out there, will take the 30-35 year old, with 10-15 solid years of experience in the field, with a degree from the University of Our Lady of Perpetual Help..... Over a 22 year old coming out of Harvard, Yale, or Princeton with NO EXPERIENCE. In some cases, these companies will take an individual with NO COLLEGE DEGREE AT ALL over a college grad if the non-college grad has a lot of experience. I myself, hire a lot of people, and in our job qualifications we specifically write in the College Degree Requirements, followed by: "OR EQUIVALENT EXPERIENCE". This leave us open to getting the best person.

    So, for the 22-23 year old coming out of college looking for an entry job or internship; depending on where the job is they are applying to..... the IVY LEAGUE school definitely will pull more weight than the University of OMG. But when a company is hiring mid-level or NON-ENTRY jobs, they want the EXPERIENCE. Verifiable and documented EXPERIENCE. That could give one crap where you went to school.
     
    USAFA83GradWife likes this.
  13. amak22

    amak22 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    25
    University of Our Lady of Perpetual Hope. That made me laugh! Thanks for explaining that, I never really thought of it in that light!
     
  14. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    290
     
  15. PNYRN85

    PNYRN85 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    8
    I so agree with Christcorp on this one. The Comptroller of the company who my sister works for, graduated from a state school here in the northeast and he admits that his school/degree got him his first job. What he did with his first job and how he climbed the corporate ladder was from his EXPERIENCE. He emphasized the fact that he did not incur a HUGE college debt by going to a state university but still got him his entry level experience.
     

Share This Page