Summer Seminar?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by magtalas192, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. magtalas192

    magtalas192 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    If you attend a summer seminar for on of the service academies, does your chances of getting accepted into one increase as well? If so by how much?

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    increases chances is subjective. For you personally, it definitely doesn't hurt to have it written on your application. However, those who didn't go to SS will in no way be penalized for not getting selected. And your attending SS isn't actually putting you ahead of someone else. Put it this way; if you and another person; same school, same sex, same exact classes, same exact grades, same exact SAT/ACT scores, same sports, same leadership, same volunteer, same exact EVERYTHING that you can possibly be "Graded" on; and the only difference at on in the entire world was that you went to summer seminar and the other person didn't; then it MIGHT give you the edge.

    Realize that there is approximately 350 summer seminar attendies per session. Normally there has always been 2 sessions. I think this year there are 3 sessions. So at the most, the academy can only let in about 1000 applicants into summer seminar. That is about 10% of all those applying to the academy. And application of summer seminar closes halfway through your junior year of high school. So the academy doesn't even have an application on you. There is no way that the academy is going to penalize someone because they didn't go to summer seminar. And if they can't penalize, then there's no way they can give "Extra-Credit" to those who DO attend. That would be the same as penalizing those who didn't go.

    But, there are a couple of things that by going to summer seminar with definitely benefit you and increase your chances of getting accepted.

    1. Many who attend SS and realize they really want the academy, become much more motivated after returning from SS. They go "Balls to the Wall" with their application and get it done much sooner. This WILL help your chances.
    2. If your ALO has 5-10 applicants, and you went to SS and most of the others didn't; your ALO's interview and nomination of you will probably be more positive. This CAN help your chances.
    3. Your representative/senator who you will be looking for a nomination from, will definitely look more positive on your attending SS. And if you're the ONLY one of those applying for the academy needing a nomination who went to SSm that WILL look good upon you and help get the nomination.

    So while attending SS itself does not increase your chances of getting an appointment, it will help you get better recommendations and possibly nominations. This is not to say that not going is going to hurt you. If you went to SS and didn't do a lot of leadership activities, and I went to Boy's State and am Class Vice President, then your SS isn't going to automatically make mine less important.

    The hardest thing for people to understand about the appointment process is that it's a "TOTAL PERSON" assessment. Also, nominations most times are from members of congress. Which means that most candidates are ONLY competing with others in their state and district. There are people who have had excellent grades and very good scores, who did NOT get a nomination and didn't get an appointment. Now, if everything about you walks on water, and your member of congress just can't give you a primary nomination for numerous reasons, then the academy can help you get a nomination from other sources if you're that good. (If you do your application early enough, that's where an LOA comes in). So it is not uncommon for an applicant in "STATE A" with a 3.75gpa and their resume to get an appointment; while another candidate in "STATE B" who has a 3.80 gpa and a BETTER resume all around, to NOT get an appointment. They aren't competing with each other. There's basically 3 levels of appointments. (There are more, but for the average, there's 3). 1. Those who have nominations from sources outside of their state; and their application walks on water. They usually receive an appointment early. 2. Those who's application walks on water and the academy gives them an LOA. All they need is ANY nomination and they get the appointment. 3. Then there's the REST of the normal applicants. You're hoping to get a primary nomination which gets you in. If not, then you do compete with the rest of the applicants.

    It's a very indepth process. Summer Seminar is mostly beneficial to you personally. If you really like the idea of the academy after attending summer seminar, then you're probably going to be more motivated, do better in interviews, will display a better attitude and glow about yourself. Best of luck.... Mike....
     
  3. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5
    All of the academy summer programs (USAFASS, NASS, AIM, and SLS) are designed to impress you with the academy, not impress the academy with you. :wink:

    In other words, they are more concerned with "selling" their particular academy, hoping to slant your decision and/or choice toward them, rather than using it as a method of selecting appointees.

    You can also think of it as "interesting the qualified student" rather than "qualifying the interested student."

    :cool:
     
  4. CadCandMateus

    CadCandMateus Recent Grad

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    13
    To sum up what christcorp said: No, but it's a good experience.
     
  5. thederek

    thederek Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    i don't mean to hijack this thread, but the LOA talk reminded me to ask you folks:

    what is the cutoff date for submitting your application early enough to receive a LOA?

    thanks,
    i'll see some of you at session two on tuesday!

    Derek
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Early enough is a difficult question. Officially, they can offer an LOA any time they want to. Which includes all the way till about Nov-Dec when most congressmen start having their interviews and offering nominations. What I can tell you is that starting in September, is when the academy board starts reviewing "Completed" applications. Completed as in everything is done up to and/or including your nomination and/or you DODMRB physical. In other words, if you don't have your nomination and/or DODMRB physical reviews, but everything else is 100%, they will review your application. And they start this in September.

    The academy has over 50 years of experience on what is considered below, at, and above "Average" scores. (Scores are TOTAL scores. The COMPLETE package). They will then determine if you are high enough above average to offer you an LOA. They offer LOA to those they consider the "No Brainers" which are the ones who are in the top 10% of normal cadets applying and attending. The academies are still deep down inside a university, and as such are competing for you to sign with them. The "No Brainers" are the ones that usually are going to be offered many other schools and scholarships. It also frees up spaces for nominations by congressman. I.e. A congressman can only have "X" amount of constituents at the academy and nominating them each year. An LOA allows that congressman to make that individual the LAST person on their list and put another name at #1; thus getting an additional person to the academy. But the academy is only going to offer "X" amount of LOA's. That's because there are going to be quite a few that are also at this way above average, but they don't get their application done until much later. And because they want the best, they can't give out 1300 LOA. The "No Brainers" are usually the 4.0gpa, killer SAT/ACT, and all the other areas way above average. Not saying you HAVE to be these gpa/sat/act. It's a TOTAL SCORE based on everything. It's usually those who will get an appointment just about no matter what. The LOA is simply the "University's" way of trying to do an early admission and hope you'll stay excited about the academy and not take another school's offer.

    So, having said all that, I recommend that you have your entire application done before the end of August. The earlier the better. While it's possible to get an LOA later, your odds go up if it's in early. There's a lot less applications to look at, and they can give you a much better consideration. 2 years ago applicants; (Class of 2012); I know of 3 individuals who had their applications 100% complete prior to 1 Aug. 2 of them received LOA's and the other received a direct appointment (He already had a nomination - Presidential). So the earlier, the better. Best of luck.... Mike......
     
  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    343
    There isn't one.

    LOA's are a subjective thing, determined by USAFA/RR on a "case by case" basis and ONLY if the "RR" folks decide to award them. In past years we've

    a. NOT given out any
    b. Given out a few here and there
    c. Given out about the same as the other academies

    In other words...do NOT plan on an LOA. What you should do is work to get your package completed as early as possible and that will ensure that you meet the first boards.

    The first boards will review those files that are complete and will then make recommendations regarding ANY LOA's that might be offered "early." FYI...if the first couple of boards meet and there are only "X" fully qualified candidates...the odds of being selected for an APPOINTMENT are better than when the board is reviewing hundreds of packages at a time.

    I could go on and on but the bottom line? DO NOT "plan" for an LOA. Plan instead to have your package in early, complete, and have the finest package you can. If you've done that, then you simply have to wait and see.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  8. thederek

    thederek Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you very much for the information, Christcorp and Flieger83
     
  9. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree - some great and thoughtful information on this thread!
     

Share This Page