Things That Will Help Me?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by crazyboy1179, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. crazyboy1179

    crazyboy1179 Member

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    So I've been told that a lot of students who get accepted to West Point are like school presidents, or part of the school gov't, or like valedictorians etc...but is that like necessary to get in?
    Also, I've been told that varsity sports is basically a must, but also that being team captain will be more helpful. The thing is, almost all the captains of varsity sports at my school are seniors. Will West Point know if I become a captain during my senior year after I send my application? Is being a captain a must? While doing a school varsity sport, is it also helpful to do sports outside of school (like shooting, fencing, etc)? And does West Point prefer a sport? Or do they accept anyone who meets to their expectations academically and is a varsity team member of any sport?
    Is it also good to become leader of a club?

    Lastly, I've been told that a congressional nomination is a must, but what if my mom is related to a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of another country; am I able to get him to send a recommendation letter? and get accepted with only that letter?
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Again with typing "like"? Seriously?

    No, a letter from the chairman of the joint chiefs of another nation isn't worth diddly squat in the admissions process for an American citizen.

    West Point prefers to see team sports over individual sports. Football or field hockey is preferable to tennis, for example, but a sport is a plus nonetheless.
     
  3. Rojo17

    Rojo17 Member

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    You will get a lot of the information you just asked for by simply reading through the USMA Admissions webpage. I suggest you go read that immediately. Here's the link--www.usma.edu
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I'll be even more blunt then Scoutpilot.

    If you write your admission letter, essay, or anything for that matter using the word "Like" as you do, you will not need to worry about what to put on your application, you will not get accepted, it's that simple.
     
  5. 1017225

    1017225 Member

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    Just from my personal experience.

    I didn't do a varsity sport. All I did was a year of wrestling in junior year. That being said, I did very well on my CFA, and I did very well as a first year wrestler.

    The main club I have been involved with, Mu Alpha Theta, has contributed a lot to my application. First year, I was the Member of the Year, and subsequently went on to be president for the next two years.

    I also have had very high academic scores on tests and have taken the hardest course-load available to me in my school (15 out of 32 semesters are AP weight, and many of the remaining are at least honors).

    Moral to the story, if you aren't going to do varsity athletics, you had probably best make it clear to the admissions board that you had a very good reason for it. My suggestion, work hard for all three of the objectives. If that is too overwhelming, then pray that you can get two done, and excel in them.

    Good luck to you in the process, and work on cutting out verbal and written crutches such as "like" so as to avoid the mistake of being written off before you even begin.
     
  6. chiromed0

    chiromed0 Member

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    Nice recommendation letters, sure get them but they may/may not hold more weight than a letter from someone from church. More appropriately don't name drop but have sincere, genuine testament to your charecter by people who know you best. They actually DO read into those letters and not just check off that you sent one. Name dropping doesn't hurt I'm sure but I don't think that makes/breaks you at all.

    Secondly, become VERY, VERY familiar with the process to get into the academy. You can ask questions here for sure but some of the answers to your questions are right on the application page. Learn this process inside and out b/c finishing your paperwork as soon as possible IS important.

    As far as varsity sports. They won't know anything YOU don't tell them, that goes for everyone including the MOC's office. They are human and you are 1 of thousands....you must, must take responsibility for your applications consideration. Nobody will do these things for you without significant effort on your part. So if you are playing Varsity sports and get a letter then send them something, call your Malo/Alo/B&G officer or admissions plus MOC office. Bugging them isn't a bad thing as long as it's productive and respectful of their time.

    Is it necessary? No. Our DS is doing very well right now with the LOA/Nom/Appointment process and did NOT receive a letter. That wasn't his fault, time constraints and a less than amenable soccer coach "tried" to derail him in this process (yes, there is gossip behind this) but the point being showing that your athletic and appearing so will be sufficient enough unless you have aspirations of playing D1 sports there. Having a good CFA helps and you can never start practicing for that early enough. Again, even that is pass/fail and not a deal breaker...just pass it at least.

    In our DS's case get as much leadership experience as possible b/c that's truly what you're there to become. Summer sessions (if you haven't already) and Boys State, other leadership things like student council, church, volunteer...something to "show" you are serious, committed and diligently trying to find opportunity to lead/serve.

    In a nutshell you don't have to be the "school stud/studette" to have a chance but you need top grades, test scores, proven leadership experience, athleticism and demonstrable desire to attend the academy. A "complete" profile is your best bet and not being a "one trick pony" like great grades but no sports or vice versa.

    Do as much as you can and document it. Last word of advice make sure your paperwork isn't slowed down by other people out of your control like teachers, recommendation letters, etc. Sooner is better when it comes to this process.

    Hope this helps and good luck. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  7. crazyboy1179

    crazyboy1179 Member

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    Yes, I know that I shouldn't use "like" anywhere on my admission, essay, etc...
    I know it isn't a very smart thing, and i used "like" a lot here because I was just asking questions.
     
  8. Art.Perea

    Art.Perea Member

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    Do they really prefer a team sport? Wrestling has been my only sport since freshman year, now a junior and I am a captain and ranked in county. Should I join a team sport or just stick to wrestling?
     
  9. navy2016

    navy2016 Member

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    First of all, it sounds to me like you have been told things by people that heard of other applying to SA's but didn't apply to an SA himself/herself.
    Like why this website exists....to clear out some misconceptions.

    You must realize that there is no such thing as a perfect formula that guarantees SA acceptance.

    Although I will be showing at I-Day at USNA not R-Day at WP this summer, SA admissions are similar in concept in what they like in applicants.

    Academics- There are valedictorians, but the vast majority were not. You want to strive to be in the top 10 percent of better GPA rank rise. Take AP/IB/ honors or whatever is the highest level courses offered at your school. A and B's are what you want with A's being better. However, it is not the end of the world if you make a C somewhere.

    Leadership/activities/sports- You don't need to be a varsity athlete but the vast majority of successful applicants are. At the very least, stay fit and be involved in a sport- even a JV sport or a league sport in your town is better than no sports. Be active in some (2-3) clubs/teams and try to hold an active position. If you do not get such a position, try volunteering at a local organization or organize fundraisers for a charity. These are good ways to show leadership. Student government positions are often won as a popularity contest. However, to continuously be elected from year to year, the student generally needs to be active in his/her position. With any activity, time commitment is the key.

    Unless you are good enough to be recruited, I do not think a particular sport is favored over another. To help with the CFA, a combination of an endurance sport (XC, soccer, Lax) and a strength sport (wrestling, weightlifting, football) is for your own good.

    Nominations- I received my first senator's nomination. I never met/contacted him ahead of time. It would be nice to introduce yourself if you happen to meet him/her at a public event. Unless your family personally knows the MOC, I doubt connections will matter much. Almost everybody knows somebody that is close to a MOC.
     
  10. navy2016

    navy2016 Member

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    Stick with it. You can easily show teamwork in other school clubs/civic organizations.

    I thought I would have this problem switching from soccer to track but my interview panels saw my scouting resume and had no doubt in my experience working as a team.
     
  11. wrestlingmom

    wrestlingmom Member

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    FYI.....Wrestling is a team sport. I can't imagine a wrestler suggesting otherwise.
     
  12. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Very good input. You also need to answer the unasked "But can he/she keep up physically?" question.

    This means rock the CFA, and ideally have other active/physical activities in your EC's.

    Without sports it leaves quite a bit of free time in your schedule. What did you do with that time? Job? Scouts? Tutoring? Volunteering?

    Someone who is clearly fit, but could not do sports because they had (or chose) to work may get more consideration than someone with very little alternate activity.
     
  13. Sawndog

    Sawndog Member

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    One of my letters of recommendations came from a British 2-star I had worked with, so I wouldn't say "diddly squat".

    BUT, you will need a nomination from a U.S. Congressman, no exceptions.

    What you are asking are circumstantial questions. I myself was accepted without being on a varsity team, was not a class president, was not valedictorian, but I did have experience elsewhere, which is what they looked at.

    So the answer to your circumstantial questions is no, all of those things you listed are not necessary, just highly recommended if you want to truly be competitive.
     
  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    True, but I was answering in reference to his question about substituting the letter vice an actual nomination.

    Moreover, you worked with the Brit 2-star. Sounds like his is a "family hookup."
     
  15. Art.Perea

    Art.Perea Member

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    It is a team sport to a point. But it is nothing like soccer, football, LAX etc. When it comes down to it, its you and one other person on the mat. There isn't anyone else to rely on.
     
  16. Blake3348

    Blake3348 USMA Appointee 2016

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    It's also considered a "warrior sport" by West Point which is more of a plus than a team sport on your WCS anyways.
     
  17. Art.Perea

    Art.Perea Member

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    What is a warrior sport?
     
  18. Blake3348

    Blake3348 USMA Appointee 2016

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    Wrestling, Karate, Boxing, things of that nature.
     

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