Specialized High School or Zone School

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jinjkoo, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. jinjkoo

    jinjkoo New Member

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    Hi, everyone. I have just joined the forum and would like to ask for help with my son's split decision whether to remain at Bronx Science with 87 average gpa going Sophomore this Fall or to transfer to his zone school at Francis Lewis High where their JROTC program is top notch and grades are far more forgiving, not to mention that its weighted there and not in Bronx Sci. He hopes that a combination of JROTC, grades in the upper 90's, and outstanding SAT scores will better situate himself for serv acad.
    Bronx Sci valedictorians are only in the range of 95gpa while zone school can go up to 105. He wants to move to his zone school to better his chances to service acad. with higher gpa. I guess my quetion is whether it is better to stay in Bronx Sci--school known for stiff compet. with other brightest kids in the country , 1400 average SAT, with numerous kids into ivy leagues--or to move to Fancis Lewis zone school with 99% of kids who did not make to NYC Specialized High exam like Bronx Sci but with one of the best JROTC program in the nation with about 10 kids making it to serv acad evey year.
    My son also is in the wrestling team with silver metal in the nyc jv tournament last year and in the track team. He loves and trives on sports. He broke his jr. high physical test 3 years back to back in his intermediate school and 2nd in all grade physical in Bronx as Freshmen.
    Please help.
     
  2. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    I would suggest staying in the most rigorous program and not trying to game admissions; it doesn't work that way. The academies know schools like Bronx Sci and understand the grading and rigor. Our son went to one of those well-known high schools, got a stellar education without getting an uber GPA, but his one-sitting standardized test scores put that GPA into the proper perspective; there was zero grade inflation at his high school but the academies already knew that. The naval and military academies are heavy science schools. Your son will be well-prepared from Bronx Sci and will probably be able to validate many of the Plebe killer courses freeing up his curriculum to double major if he wishes and to take more interesting and challenging courses along the way. Our son did not struggle at all academically his Plebe year because his rigorous high school prepared him to hit the ground running. He would not have considered exchanging that for a softer program that might not reflect real college academics as well.

    It sounds like your son is doing very well in a known, challenging program. He should choose to continue doing well on the harder path; that's the academy way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  3. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    I too will agree with velveteenR. You need to look at this in two aspects. If by chance he doesn't get in to WP he is still set up to get into his Plan-B. Getting into the hard sciences is always a good path. As far as JROTC, meh, I don't think it carries as much weight as Boy Scouts, Boys State; and high school athletic programs when you consider how WCS is calculated.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  4. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    One more thing. You also need to look into your Nom source. If its competitive in your area, I would solidify your Plan-B as you work towards WP.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  5. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    I would also recommend he stay with the very challenging school. Typically at these schools, the faculty is much more engaged in the development of their students and know them much better. The letters of recommendation they write will be written with the detailed examples of their interaction they have with their students and will paint a more compelling picture of your student. I don't really think JROTC gives any additional leg up, other than possibly being another nomination source.
     
  6. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    Chime all of these. When we look at an applicant's admissions file, we look very favorably at students coming from top U.S. high schools, including Bronx Science, Gwinnett Math & Tech, Adlai Stevenson, etc. A student from Bronx Science with an 87 average AND a silver medal in the all-NYC tournament as a freshman is learning lessons about perseverance, excellence, commitment, and internal motivation and drive that only students who compete with one another will get. His current classmates and teammates at Bronx Science are making him a better young person, a better applicant in two years, and - remember the long view - a better human being in his 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond. Do what is hard, and what is excellent will follow.
     
  7. jinjkoo

    jinjkoo New Member

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    Thank you all for such prompt and well-thoughtout perspectives.
    One more question: is there a cutoff gpa for the service academies. He is just afaid that there might be some sort of automatic cutoff gpa in his endeavor to apply to WP or NA and coming from Bronx Sci he knows that his gpa will be lower than the average gpa from other candidates but very confident in SAT and extra curriculars.
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Gpa is very misleading. And saying grades are more forgiving, isn't a very positive statement. The academies have been doing this a very long time. They know the differences between home schooled, private school, public school, small schools with no advanced classes, and schools with the most rigorous courses available. And all of this is taken into consideration.most importantly is, did the applicant make the most and do the best with what they had available. This can be challenging with a rural applicant in a school with an entire student body of 100 and no advanced classes, vs the kid who has every type of class available.

    Truth is, the academy will take a 3.7 gpa in the IB program over the kid with a 3.95 gpa in the state's minimum required classes. And if that 3.95 gpa kid had IB, AP, or honors classes available, but only took the state's basic minimum required or "more forging" classes, then that is even more of a negative.

    As for JrRotc, that doesn't give you any extra points towards the academy. What about the kids that don't have JrRotc at their school. Do you think they are punished on their application? No, they're not.

    If you're one of the few parents who have the choice or financial ability to choose your child's school, then you should choose the school that your child most wants to attend. Maybe they want to attend the school with JrRotc because they really want it. Maybe they want a different school because that's where all their neighborhood or activities friends go to school. Assuming that a school doesn't really suck and have a bad reputation for academics, crime, etc. you should discuss with your child the school they want.

    As for applying to the academy, and assuming it's something your child truly wants, just impress upon him or her to make the most of it. Take the most challenging classes and do well in them. Be involved in team sports and other clubs whereby they can develop teamwork and leadership skills. Have them involved in volunteering and community activities. And if the classes aren't the highest around, such as IB or AP, then have him or her take additional classes in the summer at a nearby junior college. The point is, to do the best and the most with what you have. A good gpa in weak or more forgiving classes will only provide a false sense of security and decrease their chances of the academies or any prestigious university. Even the upper level universities prefer a 3.7 gpa in IB or AP vs. 3.95 in state minimum required classes.
     
  9. Sneak

    Sneak Member

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    You can't compare the GPA of one school to the GPA of another. Even if this new school operates on the exact same GPA system as the one your son is at now, the fact that student GPAs tend to be higher simply means that the classes are easier or things are graded differently. The academy knows this. One of the required documents on the candidate portal is a school/class profile that a hs counselor must submit.

    It does not matter where your son goes to school. A 3.8 GPA from an easier school may be the exact same thing as a 3.4 GPA from a highly rigorous school in the eyes of the academy. The point is that where you go to school does not change your academic ability. Going to a more difficult school and achieving a lower GPA will not hurt your admissions chances.
     
  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Remember that when your son's transcripts are received USNA will also look at his school profile. The stronger the school, the more it plays in his favor. A high SAT/ACT along with strong school profile will help overcome a lower GPA. He need to make sure he he takes the hardest classes he can handle.
     
  11. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    What is more important are his ACT/SAT test results, class ranking and GPA. There is no cut with GPA, only WCS, that is a culmination.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  12. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    To the OP and everyone posting,

    Please note that this is a merged thread since the OP posted the identical question on 4 SA forums. Rather than deleting all of the responses in the threads that I removed, I just put them all together under the USMA thread.

    Stealth_81
     
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  13. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    I agree with the other posters that Bronx Science is a better choice, with one other reason: the kids your somewhat impressionable freshman will go to school with. Bronx Science and Stuyvesant have smart, focused, motivated kids. It's cool to be smart there. It's cool to be good at math, and physics, and chemistry. Science nerds are admired, not ostracized. It is not cool to goof off; peer pressure tends to keep your kid on a pretty straight path. At Francis Lewis, the peer pressure works the other way.
     
  14. jinjkoo

    jinjkoo New Member

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    Wow. Thanks for all your great feedbacks.
    My son will definitely be better advised when making the decision. I will show him this forum so that he can make informed decision for his future.
    Great forum.
    Thanks everyone.
     

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