Summer Seminar Controversy

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by SP4C3M4N, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. SP4C3M4N

    SP4C3M4N Member

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    After looking over the "Ask a Doolie Anything!" thread, I noticed that a few people were talking about whether or not SS actually helps you get into the Academy. Most of the responses we "no" but when I met with my ALO a few months back he told me otherwise. He said that although they won't say it directly, SS is the petting zoo for the academy and they will "pick who they like". According to him, you're in some database and they can see what you're like. He told me that going to SS will increase my chances slightly; it definitely won't be a game changer but it can help. I'm just briefly telling you what he said. I'm honestly not sure what to think because everyone is so sure it doesn't. :confused2:
     
  2. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    Uhhh....no....I'm not even sure who would be doing the "selections." But that's definitely not how it works.
     
  3. SP4C3M4N

    SP4C3M4N Member

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    What's your reasoning?
     
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    From my understanding attending these events will not add to a person's WCS. But the evaluations can help admissions get a first hand account of someone interacting with current Cadets and help identify those water walkers that they want offer LOAs to.
     
  5. SP4C3M4N

    SP4C3M4N Member

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    So you're saying it could?
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Have you thought about why it may help compared to other candidates?

    It might be more about ECs and less about attending.
    ~ IE during the summer will you be hanging out at home doing nothing, or will you be attending Boys State, working, training for a fall sport?

    Sure, it can help, but it is not the BE ALL. In the end of the day you need to have the highest WCS on your slate before you hit the national pool. I know a candidate that went to SLS, and when time came around for MoC nominations, he didn't get one in a state where they don't talk, aka meaning he could have had 3. His cgpa and SAT just didn't make the cut.

    Just saying that don't assume anything. My DS did not know about SLS. He had never even showed an inkling to attending USAFA until March of his junior year in HS. He always intended to go AFROTC. He did other types, like SLS, and when not away, he worked as a Lifeguard with 23 saves. He also started working on his PPL. The reason I know about the above candidate is because he was friends with my DS. Guess how many MoC noms my DS received? 3.

    Food for thought.
     
  7. KTMDad

    KTMDad Member

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    For what it is worth, we attended an Appointee tour this week and the question was asked "who has attended Summer Seminar" and I did not see a single hand raised. Keep in mind that this was a small subset of Appointees. While it might not help get you into the Academy, it would be a great opportunity for a student to see what the Academy is like. For most of the Appointees on our tour it was the first time they had visited the Academy.
     
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  8. AHS74

    AHS74 Member

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    From what I understood, getting accepted for SS means the Academy deems you likely to be a well qualified candidate, therefore you are then in a pool of candidates more likely to get an appointment. (because of their qualifications, not because you went to SS).SS is to help make your decision if an appointment comes along.
     
  9. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    When my son went to Summer Seminar his group leader (a cadet) had to write evaluations on each of the attendees at the end of the week. She ended up being in his squadron when he got to the Academy and told him that she wrote him an excellent review and was not surprised that he got an LOA and appointment. I have no idea what kind of weight those reviews have in the admission process, but reports are submitted by the cadet leaders.

    Stealth_81
     
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  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I am saying anything is possible and no one knows what admissions in the weeds details. Maybe admissions is trying to decide if someone should be EA, maybe that eval says this candidate really wants to attend USAFA and they are an amazing candidate. None of us know how they use these evals. This doesn't necessarily add points to a WCS, it's anecdotal info that helps paint a picture for admissions. I think you have seen plenty of info that says why some attend or don't, that plenty get in who attend or don't, and that the whole candidate package for both the Nom and application are the most important items. If you don't get a Nom, then none of it matters. There is no magic formula, stop looking for one that spells out things in black and white, it will drive you nuts. Put the best package together you can, if you go to SLS work hard, pay attention, learn. That is all you can do.
     
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  11. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    I'd wait for our two major ALO contributors (CC and Flieger) comment with their experience. As far as my DS's personal experience, no we don't think so, he lives in The Springs and have several friends that didn't go to SS and make it.

    From what I've heard and seen (totally anecdotal) kids that live in The Spring don't go to SS since they can go and hang out there pretty much whenever. Also if you were to tell your ALO that there may be a conflict between Boy's/Girl's State and SS which should your DS go to I'm betting he'll say go to State. If SS were that important wouldn't it be either or doesn't matter type thing. But once again that's just my view as a parent.
     
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  12. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    One of the kids who was in my SS element lived about 5 mins from USAFA. I lived about an hour away, and I had another friend that went who lives about 20 mins from me. And those were just a few of the people I met there; I'm sure there were other CO natives there as well. I was told by my ALO it was a long shot to get in to SS because I was from here...but maybe they have changed that in recent years? Regardless, I can say from experience, that living near USAFA and going on a tour every now and then can't compare to the experience I got at SS!
     
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  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    :bounce1:Navyhoops!

    I wish there was still the bow down icon!

    Listen to Navy. There is no magic bullet, and I think you are losing sight on how the appointment process, MOC/WCS works. No nom. no appointment.

    For example,
    There is a Congressman in my state that hands out only principals. In the years I have been here as a member the principals have always been 2nd time applicants. I now live in a state where the MOCs talk. Getting 2 MOC nominations are basically unheard.
    ~ School system is so good, that it is not uncommon 8 or more get appointed, most come in from either the Pres. or pool.

    If you get SLS...great! Don't assume you are a shoe in
    If you don't than don't assume it is over!

    60% of the WCS is PAR.

    God bless and God speed.

    Aim High. Above All

    PS. I would love to know how many go to SLS? From there how many of them get LOAs?
    ~ Not trying to be antagonistic, just saying if 1000 go and only 75 get LOAs, than 925 are back in the fight for an MOC nomination.
     
  14. waiting game

    waiting game Member

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    Spaceman, I think it could be yes and no. My DS (USAFA Class of '18) missed the application window for SLS at USAFA because, like Pima's kid, he wasn't yet interested in an appointment to an Academy. But he did attend Navy's Summer Seminar. He learned a lot about Academy life and integrated that experience into his admissions essay. He also saw what he was up against when he took his CFA and used the rest of the summer to improve before taking it again with the ALO here.
    On a separate note, do everything you can to go to Boys State. You'll actually get extra leadership points for it.
     
  15. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    Interesting such varying experiences. Do you still keep in contact with them or more importantly did they get an appointment as well?

    I think Navyhoops gave the best advice! If I would have seen that first I would have kept my mouth shut:(
     
  16. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    Pima, what state are you in? Which congressman are you referring to?
     
  17. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Sorry, I wasn't trying to condradict; just wanted to provide a different perspective :)
    I didn't really keep much contact with those from my element. I am still very good friends with the guy who came that I knew before SS, and he is going Marines. Other than him, I only recently got in touch with one of the people I went to SS with again, and he decided to pursue ministry rather than an appointment. I don't have any one else's contact info from SS, so I suppose I will see when I get there if any of them made it in :) I certainly hope they did!
     
  18. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    No not at all I'm sorry if I gave you that impression. It's through discussing different points of views that helps all of us gather enough information to make an educated choice. Please contradict away! I rarely take things personally ;)
     
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  19. SP4C3M4N

    SP4C3M4N Member

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    I do like Navy's advice. One of my friends got accepted and another one didn't. I questioned both about what they did right and wrong and it was obvious to see why the one didn't get it. Bad ACT scores, 3.7 GPA, and I might even go as far as saying a little cocky. I get that there's a fine line between not receiving an appointment letter and getting one but its the tiny little things, the extra service hour or rank in cap that I worry about hindering me from getting to the Academy. I feel confident but i'm afraid it's my confidence that will screw me over in the end. What is Boy/Girl's State? Everyone talks about it but I'm still confused about what it is and how you do it. Also could someone please define MOC, WSC, DS, PAR, and SLS. Still trying to understand the lingo on the forums.
     
  20. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    I am inclined to agree with NavyHoops on the topic of Summer Seminar. I have heard that the cadre there do have the opportunity to write evaluations for their cadets, but I don't have a clue how important or not these assessments are. Most sources say that Summer Seminar really has no bearing on admissions. My personal experience supports this conclusion: I was rejected for SS, but still received my appointment almost exactly a year and a month later. :)

    It is good to be confident. Confidence helps you to achieve great things and made good decisions. The potential pitfall is overconfidence, which can produce really bad results. Since you are already aware of and concerned about this, I doubt that you are suffering from overconfidence. :thumb: Just remember--when you get that BFE sooner or later, don't let it get to your head. ;) It was really humbling to me to read about all the great candidates who got turned down, and I feel very blessed to be where I am now.

    I don't know a whole lot about Boy's/Girl's State. I know the program is involved with the American Legion and offers some great summer leadership seminars, but I'm not sure how the organization works or how to get involved. I will leave that for someone else to answer--I'm sure some of our other members have attended the program and could shed some light on it.

    Acronyms (yes, hard to remember, I know :tongue:):

    MOC--Member of Congress
    WCS--Whole Candidate Score (a numerical score USAFA assigns to your candidate file after reviewing it--the top scorers get appointments)
    DS/DD--Dear son/Dear daughter (I have also heard darling son/daughter, but that is probably more for younger kids :biggrin:)
    PAR--Prior Academic Record
    SLS--Summer Leadership Seminar

    Good luck to you and keep up the hard work! The time definitely goes faster than you think. :)
     
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