this wks tip for Juniors SOEs

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Vista123, May 1, 2013.

  1. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    High school Juniors, here is something you can do this week to work on your application:

    TEACHER BUY IN JUNIOR YEAR
    You will need the very active support of your Math and English teachers (and science teacher for USMA) throughout this process. Believe it or not they will have to do a lot of work for you and they may not want to, have moved, retired etc. They will have to fill out on-line evaluations of you over their summer vacations. The will have to write a letter for you as part of your member of congress nomination packet. The will have to write a letter for you as part of your NROTC/ROTC/AROTC application packet. The will have to write a letter for you as you apply to the colleges or universities that will direct your NROTC/ROTC/AROTC scholarship. The will have to write a letter for you to square away your Plan B and Plan C colleges or universities. They will have to evaluate your: Cooperation, Dependability, Productivity, Attitude, Leadership Ability, Consideration for others, Initiative, Ability to Plan and Organize work, Attendance and Punctuality, Drive and Character. You will NEED to get their buy in. This does not mean simply being nice to them. Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it. This means 1.) Working hard for them in their class 2.) Going above and beyond to demonstrate the above characteristics 3.)Explaining articulately what you are trying to accomplish and why 4.) Showing your appreciation for them throughout this process by writing hand written thank you notes. One important thing to know is that 99% of teachers became a teacher because they enjoy kids and sincerely want to help them. Many (most) high school students have not yet formulated their goals. You have. Share that with the teachers early on and ask for tips and suggestions. Their tips and suggestions may not be 100% helpful but you may get a nugget in there. More importantly, they will be glad that you are sharing with them and are asking for their help and guidance, and then will buy into your plans.

    For many applying the on-line application will be available over summer. This posed some problems for my son. One teacher was a wonderful lady who was not very media driven(Math). One teacher was going on an extended trip to China (English), and one lives up in his lake house in the woods doing research over summer (Chemistry). My son was driven to get in front of the very first review board and to try to get an LOA (It worked!) so he really wanted them to get their SOEs in as soon as they became available. My son wrote a letter, hand delivered it AND emailed a copy of each letter to the teacher:

    Dear xxxx,

    As we have discussed during the year, I am seeking an appointment to a service academy. I am seeking an appointment to the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy. My goal is to serve my country, gain valuable leadership experience, and receive an outstanding education.

    A major part of this endeavor involves my high school math teacher. To that end, I wanted to give you a little more information about the process. It has been said that applying to a service academy is twenty times more work than applying to a typical college or university. This process not only includes the standard transcripts that indicate a rigorous course load, a GPA over 4.0 weighted, high test scores, and essays, but also includes other, unusual aspects. For example, I must score high on a Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) which includes pull-ups, crunches, pushups, a kneeling basketball throw, a shuttle run, and a mile run. My Candidate Activities Record must include varsity athletics or higher, club presidencies, paid work experience, participation in xxx Boys State, and hundreds of hours of volunteer experience to demonstrate leadership experience and my capabilities. I must receive clearance from DoDMERB – the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board—by completing a physical and vision exam at a military treatment facility. However, even with all of that, I still must receive a nomination by one of my United States Senators (Senator xxx or Senator xxx) or my United States Congressman (Congressman xxx).

    Securing a nomination in our geographical area can be very difficult. We live in an area that is considered highly competitive and each senator and congressman can only nominate ten candidates. For example, Senator xxxx had over 250 requests for a nomination last year to the Naval Academy alone, in which only ten of the 250 were nominated. One helpful factor in gaining one of the ten coveted spots on the nomination slate is being awarded an early Letter of Assurance. Though this is not mandatory it may help. One who has a Letter of Assurance maybe likely to get a nomination. Letter of Assurances go out starting in August after the first Admissions Board meets.

    One of the most important requirements before consideration for a Letter of Assurance is a School Official Evaluation (SOE). The SOE must come from a teacher that I had for Chemistry, Math, and English. Your recommendation matters a great deal. In fact, without your SOE, a Letter of Assurance isn’t even a possibility. For this process, in June or early July, you will be emailed a link to a portal on the service academy website. On this portal, there will be several questions with multiple choice answers and a section for a short narrative. There is nothing for you to type up and send in now. In fact, this can only be done through an email you receive from the service academy. However, in the future, I will ask for a letter of recommendation that I will need to send to Senator xxx, Senator xxx, and Congressman xxx.

    My next step is to turn in an email address for my Chemistry, Math, and English teacher. This should be an email address that you frequently check over the summer. I am respectfully asking you to take time out of your busy summer schedule, while you are off duty, and regularly check your email. You should receive separate emails from the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy. I am also asking that you take a few minutes to link to the portal in the email you receive and fill out the School Official Evaluation. The sooner you do this, the sooner I can go in front of the Admissions Review Board. And as it is rolling admissions, the sooner you are able to do this, the more likely that I receive a Letter of Assurance.

    I have included a copy of my Candidate Activities Record to give you a list of my academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities.

    Respectfully,

    XXXXX


    You will get an almost instant email form admissions once this has been filled out by the teachers.
    Date: June 7 2012
    Subject: Your USNA English Teacher Recommendation Application has been
    received
    DearXXXX,
    Your English Teacher Recommendation Application for the United States Naval
    Academy has been successfully completed by XXXX. Please ensure that
    all parts of your application are complete as soon as possible in order to
    be competitive for admission. Be sure to include your candidate number,
    xxxxx, in all correspondence with the United States Naval Academy. Beat
    Army!
    Admissions Office
    United States Naval Academy


    One other factor, this request should also go out to the guidance counselor. They do not do an SOE but they complete two other sections. his was trickier because they will have two different sections for each academy. They may think they are done after they fill in one section.-but will have one more to go

    I do know of kids seriously held up by teachers’ SOEs. If you want until your senior yr that teacher may want to get to know you first which can add more time.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  2. mjm

    mjm Member

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    LOA

    In reading through your post I agree with everything you say but please be aware that USMA does not offer LOA's anymore. I was told that yesterday when my son visited USMA. They only give out LOA's to minority candidates now. I do not know about USNA or USAFA, though.
     
  3. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    Correct MJM, my son received an LOE (new for the 2017 cycle)from USMA the same time he received an LOA from USNA. He was told by his admissions rep they were "almost the same but with slightly less of a guarantee" but really who knows what that means. (son is not a minority) son did show his LOE and LOA to his MOCs


    Additionally, USNA is doing less LOAs as well. If you are reading this than you probably have scoured this forum for information. You will know that for most applicants LOAs are a thing-of-the-past or at least a rarity. If you were before striving to have your file reviewed for a possible LOA than you were trying to complete every step perfectly AND quickly. Even if there are no LOAs it is still to your advantage to endeavor to get your entire packet completed during the summer before senior year. First, the Dodmerb process can be quick or it can be as slow as molasses. You may need a lot of time to get through it. Dodmerb isn’t triggered (the process started) until you have a certain percentage of your application completed. Additionally, medical waivers will not typically be requested unless your file is complete. The further along in the process the longer DODmerb seems to take as more applicants are in the system (it takes longer the later you wait due to increasing file volume). Second, many BGO/FFR/ALO officers will not interview you until you have a certain percentage of your application completed. Third, you're more likely to get an authorization for a CFA retest if test was failed sooner rather than later. If you wait until the end it may be too late if you do poorly on your CFA. Finally, senior year is already hard and time consuming. Between trying to keep up your grades and trying to live the “life of a senior” that doesn’t leave a lot of time to get your packet in.--so lack of LOAs should not stop you from acting like you are trying to get an LOA (make any sense?)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  4. mjm

    mjm Member

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    Yes, perfect sense!

    During the presentation yesterday at USMA and my son's CVW weekend at USNA the sense he got was to get everything done ASAP. I asked at what point could the DoDMERB physical be done and they indicated that his CFA ( will be done at NASS) and his 3 essays must be complete before requesting the DoDMERb physical. My DS has already sent his requests for LOR's to his teachers for the nomination so he seems to be on top of things.
    My opinion has always been " if you want this badly enough , you will get everything done in a timely manner yourself" . Having siad that I am behind the scenes doing the "motherly nagging" that all teenagers love so much ! :yllol:
     
  5. grevar

    grevar CGA Admissions Partner

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    Thanks for this information. This is a great help.
     
  6. LLL

    LLL Member

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    Is it any English/Math/Science teacher you've had in high school, or specifically the ones you had as a junior?
     
  7. jasongerman9

    jasongerman9 Member

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    I know for USNA they required me to have my junior or senior Math and English teacher (I am a senior this year).
     
  8. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    So, then, USMA does give out LOAs - but only to minorities.

    How is it you came to know this? USMA pronounced this?

    I'm skeptical.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    USNA prefers junior teachers because they've spent a whole year with you. They will accept a senior teacher but, realize if you ask early in the year, the teacher might not have much to say.

    DODMERB tends to send the request for medical after you've completed about 50% of your packet. I've never heard that you must complete certain items, although that could be true.
     
  10. LLL

    LLL Member

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    It was my understanding that it was junior teachers, so thanks for confirming.
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Typically, senior teachers are used only if the Jr. teacher is not available for some reason -- i.e., moved. It is true that USNA typically expects to see junior teachers.
     
  12. mjm

    mjm Member

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    maybe I misheard

    @ Memphis

    I could have heard wrong about the LOA's going to minority candidates. It seems to be a gray area when talking about LOA and LOE coupled with rolling admissions.

    My DS told me he wanted to have everything turned in by September of senior year, regardless. :thumb:
     
  13. rocatlin

    rocatlin Member

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    Just to add something about the junior v. senior teachers. Junior year teachers for the reasons mentioned.

    My son ran into an issue this year with his junior teachers (plural). His first semester teacher quit mid semester and he had subs the rest of the semester. His second semester teacher had health issues early to mid semester and my son has had subs off and on.

    My son emailed his prospective admissions counselor at the Academy. The advice he got was to make sure he shared his junior work early on with his first semester senior English teacher so he/she could give an eval. He's also going to hit up his counselor to see if something can be worked out as far as having input from the times his official teachers were available -- if the English department has contact with them.

    Basically being proactive where he can and dealing with changes as they pop up.
     
  14. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    One other thing . . . rather than writing a long email to your teacher, talk to him/her before you leave on summer vacation and go over those same details. Coming from you -- with your passion, your interest, etc. -- will likely be more effective in the long run than an impersonal email.

    For those who go the email route, consider whether your teacher already knows most of those things. If you typically have several students from your h.s. applying to SAs and your teachers have been at the school for awhile, they probably understand a bit about the SA process. Obviously, if you are the only or one of a very few students who've ever applied, some "education" may well be needed. Again, doing it in person is best if you can do so. Emails/letters are a good alternative if you can't.
     
  15. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

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    ^^^+1 !

    Could agree more. DS approached his Junior year teachers in April to let ASK them if they would be open to recommending him, and to 'brief' them on the SA process since it starts in the summer when most of them are not actively at the school, but is also initiated via their email address. He had all teacher recommendations submitted by late July, and even before he had his personal statement finished. Some things are better said/asked in person.

    With DODMERB and Nominations, this process is much more involved than any other college application so start early and finish as soon as possible. You can always update your accomplishments, awards, etc. after you've applied.

    And re: the comments about LOAs: USMA did issue some LOAs this year, just not that many. Most went to recruited athletes, minority candidates, and a few to service connected individuals about to deploy. How do I know this? Peruse these forums. I would expect the same next year but also expect that the number of LOAs will decrease over time to effectively zero. LOE's did not start until early last fall so some LOAs may have gone out before the change - but this is speculation on my part. In any case - unless USMA officially announces they are going back to LOA's, don't expect it. The one thing this year did was allow them to evaluate all candidates on a competitive slate fully before picking someone. I think C/O 2017 will be one of their most competitive to date when all statistics are finally compiled into a profile.
     
  16. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    Hi, I completely agree about asking in person. In fact the first line of his letter states "as we have discussed..." My son went in to talk to his teachers but also handed them this letter. In addition our VERY VERY large high school requires that ALL requests for letters of rec be done via email with an attached resume. So he talked in person, handed the letter and emailed the letter. No stone left unturned...

    Son's USMA LOE was dated September 18. His USNA LOA was dated August 29.

    Things change year to year-so who knows what will happen next yr, but I would say act like they are forthcoming-it will benefit you either way.

    good luck to 2018
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013

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