Texas

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by ChrisWilder07, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. ChrisWilder07

    ChrisWilder07 Member

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    Does anyone know how competitive Texas is, and especially Congressional District 5, as far as the number and quality of applicants? I know Texas is a big state but I'm not sure if there are a ton of applicants to USNA
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Not to be flip but does it matter? If more than one person from your district applies, then its cimpetitive. Certainly Texas is competitive. You can't win the race if you don't enter. Go for it. :thumb:
     
  3. ChrisWilder07

    ChrisWilder07 Member

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    Good point, kinnem. You make a great point, and the competitiveness of my area shouldn't even matter since either way it's a competition.

    Thank you for your knowledge and encouragement.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    OK. Now with that being said, you might be able to find out from your congressman's office how many applications they had last year. That wouldn't tell you how qualified the applicants were but I don't think too many people apply who don't consider themselves qualified. Whether the Naval Academy does is another matter.

    You might also ask how many names were submitted on their slate. The difference would tell you something about the strength of applicants for that year, but each year will be different. Of course I don't know if they would release that information, but its possible that Google (who knows all) might know. A congressman would normally nominate up to 10 people, but only one of them could become the vacancy winner. The rest would go on the National Waiting List.

    BTW, this link might be helpful to you: http://hensarling.house.gov/services/military-academy-nominations.shtml

    Finally, I hope you will also be working plans B - Z starting this spring which should include NROTC.

    Good Luck! :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  5. engineer

    engineer Member

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    Texas is considered a competitive state for USNA. It is a large state with a very pro-military population and typically produces a substantial number of applicants for the service academies. When we take our son to the airport after breaks, there are always a good number of mids on the plane with him.

    You may be able to ask your BGO how many candidates you are competing with from your district and whether any of them have been offered an appointment. Good luck!
     
  6. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Just to be a bit contrarian on this one ... the question is a good one. And the answer is fair but incomplete.

    Anyone thinking there is not relative competiveness that can and often does vary greatly, need only look at where the numbers of Mids come from. Even factoring in Congressional districts and consequently #s of potential appointees, anyone thinking that there are not many more qualified candidates/district (generally, not specifically, and not always, and there can be and usually is variability among districts w/in the states) in VA, MD, PA, FL, NY, CA, and TX ... among others ... isn't doing some primitive analyses.

    And while it is not a major factor for most candidates, these states (and some others) can and do have huge #s of candidates vying for 2 or a few more Senatorial appointments. Conversely, sparsely populated states like Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, the Dakotas, etc. will have many fewer candidates. That can be a tremendous advantage in the nomination process for candidates coming from Anchorage vs. Dallas.

    Furthermore, because of these demographic realities, generally, there will be many more appointees/nomination from these competitive states coming from the national pool simply because on average, they are far more competitive.

    Btw, underlying this issue is the reality that there are many "more" who have military experience and consequently awareness of the monumental opportunities for exceptional education and professional engagements available through the Service Academies. Think ... DC, Norfolk, Mayport, San Diego, Whidbey, Corpus and San Antone, etc. ... major military towns.

    So ... does it matter? The answer is that it may matter hugely. Especially if you are one of 2 3Qed nominees from Pocatello vs. the 22 from Potomac. On a case by case basis the issue of residency can be make-or-break. And if you're one of the winners ... or losers (especially if you are substantially more qualified than that winner), it matters.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    All true Whistle Pig. You are absolutely correct. From an individual perspective though it makes no difference to how you approach the process. You assume other excellent candidates are applying and strive to make yourself the best possible candidate you can.
     
  8. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    You are absolutely correct. A hugely overrated and largely unwarranted concern. For the MOC’s competitive appointment, all that matters is that a candidate is the best. The size of the pool is not all that important. Only one (or two in some years) will receive an appointment from this source. As a BGO for almost 30 high schools in the rural South, some years I have multiple LOAs competing for these slots. Other years at the end of the cycle Admissions has to dust off rejected files, reopen them, and try to find a candidate who is minimally qualified. Incidentally, no one complains about these minimally qualified appointees so long as they are white males. All other qualified candidates are placed in the national pool where their overall WPM score becomes the deciding factor. I have heard second-handed that if it comes to a choice of two equally qualified national pool candidates, the lesser represented area may get the nod over an area that perhaps has a lot of Presidential/etc candidates. Personally, however, even though it makes sense, I cannot vouch for how prevalent this is. Nor what the definition of "equally qualified" is.
     
  9. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Good information. Note however the OP didn't indicate this was a concern. Rather it was seemingly asked as a point of information.

    Of course, for any and every candidate, the "answer" relative to the competition or otherwise is always apparent and simple.

    Do your best. :thumb:
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    ^^^ Good point.
     
  11. chiromed0

    chiromed0 Member

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    Well, everything they said is true. However, at our MOC interview AF peaked most kids interest in this area. Our DS attended the North Texas Blue Chip dinner and the room was packed, I think about 58 candidates with other alumni. In contrast, our DS was invited to the Black & Gold alumni dinner and I think there were 12 candidates. It may be up to the B&G and MALO's how many are invited. I don't know.

    Bottom line is if you are around the DFW metroplex (or any for that matter) you are going to have more competition for everything, period. But that makes it all the more special when you get interviews, Nom's, etc. It makes us sick knowing there are other congressional districts in this state and elsewhere without any or enough students even applying for the slates open. Knowing how hard these kids work to get to the top of their class at schools with 600-1000 people in each grade compared to some with 75 in a senior class. I guess it's all relative.

    Apply and go for it. Nobody knows (believe me!) unless and until they apply and ride the roller coaster. Besides if you get the nod from your B&G for that dinner you can meet Roger Staubach. That was cool. :thumb:

    Only advice from our experience would be to get EVERYTHING done as early as possible. A very, very frustrating event was waiting on recommendation letters and school transcripts b/c some teachers simply refused to communicate with us over the summer and the beginning of his Sr. year. Also, if you can, go to Texas Boys State. Some areas it's very competitive for that but in our DS high school the counselors didn't even know what Boys State was. He was the only one representing our school district.

    Good luck.
     
  12. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Hmmmmm......sorry it makes you sick to realize there are not as many wonderful, outstanding kids outside the DFW metroplex.......us hicks out here in West Texas are pretty sure the top end of our smaller classes (my sons was relatively large at 323, but we know lots in classes of less than 30) are every bit as outstanding as the top end of your large classes in the metroplex.

    I know of kids in small school districts who cannot get in the top ten percent or even half of their class with an A average. Bet that's not the case in your large schools!

    I'm wondering if maybe the bottom end of your large classes is larger than the bottom end of our smaller classes.........

    Rest assured, some areas are indeed more competitive. However, remember too that MOC's are divided up relative to population. You got more MOC's in DFW than we do out here in the hinterlands. If it is USNA you are talking about, then coastal areas with a large naval presence are naturally more competitive. Even more so than DFW. All SA's have more applicants/interest coming from military areas, of which DFW is not the strongest by a long shot.
     
  13. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Great reminder Jenny re: MOCs representing virtually same numbers thus essentially minimizing/eliminating the erroneous notion that DFW is more competitive than out in Tumbleweed, Texas. And in fact, that is precisely the design and intent of our Founding Fathers' genius, isn't it. In fact, geographic disparity and expanse might just make West Podunk ... MORE competitive for any number of reasons!:eek:
     
  14. chiromed0

    chiromed0 Member

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    ???? Re-read my post and starting a flame war here is inappropriate, at best. I was referring to how many congressional slates are open vs people not applying in many rural districts b/c of the very reasons you state; less military presence. Any issues you may have with this fact ought to be taken up with the ALO's, MALO's and B&G officers that pointed this out to me!

    I made no reference to smaller class quality of applicants but simply the statistical fact that it's harder to compete in schools with 3000+ students of drastically varying resources. In the metro you have kids from private academies and public schools all competing for the same few MOC Nom slates.
    There are more stories of students moving around in the metroplex just to gain higher class rank or just across the town to get into another MOC's district to be more competitive. Those kind of issues are much less likely in rural areas b/c it's a lot harder to move to other districts out there b/c they are larger geographically. Within 5 miles we have 3 congressional districts.
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd?state=TX

    There's probably 1.5M plus population on Tarrant county side alone. Most of that is our district.

    No reason to be defensive about anything. If you read ANY of my posts I am more than proud of all the candidates I've met. All the candidates have to meet high criteria to gain appointment; however, there is more emphasis in metro schools for class rank, G.P.A., etc. b/c a lot of these students have the resources to apply for private ivy league universities where that is the primary criteria. The academies have wider criteria that helps candidates present a more comprehensive assessment of their qualifications.

    Having said all this I'm sure the bottom end of the metro schools are larger, they have thousands of students. This isn't a city slicker vs country bunkin' comparison. The original question was whether it was very competitive here in Texas for USNA? Short answer from the size of the information seminars, and we went to them all! Yes! However, there were times when we were 1 of 2 families and other times we were 1 of hundreds so I really don't need to validate my information more than that to say we've witnessed these things first hand.

    At any rate...please don't take offense to comments made here. These young people are all impressive to me and I genuinely am proud of them all.

    Again my advice is simple...Go for it! In the end you are competing with yourself, first and foremost. We've seen it all when it comes to this adventure from candidates getting nominations they didn't even ask for and LOA's to candidates who are not competitive academically at all and even appointments to candidates who stayed at the academy 1 day before leaving b/c they had no idea what a military academy was like. Everyone's journey is slightly different and that's what it makes even more special.

    From my understanding the academies try to offset greater interest from coastal areas with higher acceptance rates from the rest of the country. The AFA hardly accepted anyone from our area for Summer Seminar despite an incredible number of applicants from here b/c of this same reason. They try to get a broader representation at the academies.

    Bottom line....apply, apply, apply for everything. You never know what you're going to get unless you do. Do your best and you won't have any regrets. Give your MOC's every opportunity to give you something even if it's not your first choice. That's what our DS did and he couldn't be happier with the results.
     
  15. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Can't help wondering if you're overreaching and protests too much?
     
  16. chiromed0

    chiromed0 Member

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    Why b/c my posts are longer? Look, I'll make it plain & simple. If you're from Texas (anywhere) then you are alright in my book. :thumb:

    I got nuttin but love for these kids and admiration for their parents! Peace.

    Over reaching? Who me? Naaa....:shake:
     
  17. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Just pointing out that Congressional districts are divided as to population, living in an urban area does not mean your MOC serves more people. Although you may well have more interest in SA's....that happens in various areas all over besides the obvious ones: San Diego having high interest in USNA, etc. Sometimes, one kid attending USNA from somewhere inland and remote sparks interest in others and lo and behold, a previously "under-represented" area becomes a hotbed of interest in a SA.

    Also, while it may be difficult to get to the top in a large pool of high school kiddos, it is oftentimes just as difficult to get to the top in a small school. Imagine a class of twenty in Podunk, Texas. With ten smart kids. All the standard barometers "top 10%, 25%" etc can become very difficult to achieve. This is not an unusual situation in the slightest. Happens all the time. A kiddo can be number three in a class of twenty with super grades and not gain admittance to the University of Texas because he/she is not top ten percent. These kids wish for more classmates!

    Keep in mind, too, that the SA's are pretty savvy and can figure out that an applicant from a huge high school may have different leadership opportunities than one from a small school where it is theoretically "easier" to be senior class president, etc. The SA's recognize there are different situations and look for the candidate who has carved out some opportunity for themselves in spite of large class size or the challenges remote locations present.

    Not sure how USNA would offset greater interest from coastal areas by accepting more candidates from the other, more interior areas. When the nominations are done, applications done, USNA is looking at a pool of candidates from which there are ten nominated from each MOC. One selected from each, then the others go into the "national pool" and compete against each other to earn the appointments for the balance of the class.

    Yes, USNA has, in the past, published some "under-represented areas"....certain MOC districts where they have had less interest historically. It is my understanding they mitigate this challenge by RECRUITING, not by selecting more candidates. As stated above, one from each MOC nationwide, then the others compete with each other. The recruiting is achieved by sending current mids home early at Thanksgiving to recruit in high schools and to appear at MOC forums throughout the year to raise awareness of the opportunity.

    Summer seminars are yet another beast altogether. Often, applicants selected are those who have had little exposure to USNA and all things naval. Summer seminar acceptances are not reflective of chances at earning an appointment.
     
  18. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    I, too, have heard of families moving to get their kids in another school district, etc. Too funny. Their time would be FAR BETTER spent looking for opportunities for their children to gain leadership experience in unique and noteworthy ways.....creative Eagle Scout project, 4-H, community service, etc.....and making sure their kids test scores are up to par.

    Can you imagine relocating and then junior not being able to get more than a 24 or so on the Math section of ACT??? Which makes it significantly harder to get appointed.....sometimes people don't THINK.
     
  19. Staffer

    Staffer New Member

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    In TX-5, contact Margaret Smith in Cong. Hensarling's office

    re: questions on congressional nomination process.
    Ph: 214-349-9996
     
  20. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Here's the deal.

    Historically, there have been districts where no one even applies to USNA. It's obvious that qualified candidates exist in every district in this country. One of USNA's goals was to reach out to the under- or non-represented districts and try to get the qualified candidates to start applying.

    Some districts have a higher number of qualified candidates than do other districts. That does NOT mean that the individuals from the "more competitive" districts are any more qualified, only that there are more of them in certain geographic regions. That is simply a fact.

    As a result, if there are two equally qualified candidates, the person in ND or SD is more likely to get a nom simply b/c there are fewer people competing for the MOC's slots. However, that doesn't necessarily translate into a better shot an an appointment b/c these folks (other than principal nominees) have to compete in the national pool.

    In summary, "more" or "less" competitive is used by BGOs and admissions types to refer to the number of qualified candidates who apply to SA from a particular district. It is not a reflection on the quality of the candidates themselves.

    Anyone who has been to a SA knows that people from MT and ID and WY are just as qualified as those from northern VA, DFW, Los Angeles, etc. As an example both the current AND previous Superintendents are from North Dakota.
     

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