Tips/Suggestions

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by A299, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. A299

    A299 Member

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    I am just curious as to what programs, volunteering, EC, etc.. Help ones chances of getting in. I am currently a junior and want to be as prepared as possible when the time comes to apply (soon)!! So any suggestions or tips would be very helpful.
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    This probably won't help you directly, but maybe other readers. I don't believe in having a checklist of want you need to get accepted to the academies. It's not a traditional university; which in my opinion, is just a continuation of where you left off in high school.

    The military, which means the academies, are a way of life. Whether it's for 4,5, or 20 years. As such, you have to look first at your existing way of life. You look at who you are, where you came from, where you want to go, and decide which path is best for you. If the military and/or academies is part of that way of life, then pursue it.

    The military wants leaders. Do all the things you want to. Clubs, sports, volunteering, etc. in these activities, demonstrate leadership. If you aren't the leader type, then the military probably isn't for you. If you're naturally the leader type, then you'll have no problem assuming leadership roles in these activities. Same with teamwork. The military wants team players. If you're a team player, you'll have no problem being involved in team activities. If you're not a team player type of person, then the military isn't for you. The academies are top tier academic institutions. If you're top tier in academics, then you'll have no problem taking AP or IB type classes. If you're not into those types of classes, then the military academies probably isn't right for you.

    The point is, if you have to do, study, participate, lead, etc. something because it's something that is need to get an academy appointment, but it's not something you would normally do otherwise, then maybe the academy isn't the right place. The way it should work is..... You ask, what are the academies looking for in an applicant and cadet? You're told, the academies are looking for individuals who are leaders, team players, volunteers, puts others before themselves, academic overachievers, wants to serve their community and country, wants to be part of something much bigger than themselves, knows that they have to start at the very bottom and work their way up, etc. you then look at yourself and your way of life, and you either say.... That's me. Or, maybe that's not me.

    So, to vaguely answer your question, if the academies seem right for you, then simply do MORE of what you're already doing. Do more in your sports. Take on more leadership roles. Do more volunteering. Do higher levels of academics. Be part of more teams. (Not just sports, but teams in clubs and activities). If you do more of what you are already doing, and it happens to be what the academy is looking for, then you'll be fine with your application. Best of luck.
     
  3. g041rf0rc3

    g041rf0rc3 Member

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    Christcorp,your answer is perfect.They also looking for candidates with maturity and the ability to overcome adversity. All this builds the candidate's character.
     
  4. JestFutureFalcon

    JestFutureFalcon Member

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    Traditionally, submitting applications early increase chances of getting appointed so my advice is keep an eye on the deadlines. In fact, set alarms and sticky notes around your house to tell you when an application process opens so you can get it turned in. It shows that you are eager to get into the academy, but that does not mean to just write things down on the application. Take the time to write well thought out answers to the writing samples and such.
    That said look up the USAFA Summer seminar. Since you are a junior, you should be interested in this. I believe the application opened in January for me. You definitely do not want to miss the chance to go to the seminar imo. Other than that, Christcorp says it perfectly. Just start stepping up in every aspect of your life; if you have free time to spend hours on a phone or tv then you aren't truly challenging yourself. Dont try to join organizations to make your resume look nice, but just work harder in what you are doing now so you can enjoy what you are doing.
    definitely start prepping yourself physically cuz the CFA is painful, even if you are in amazing shape. Be ready to want to die when you get halfway into the mile run on the CFA lol
     
  5. ACTPrepAcademy

    ACTPrepAcademy Member

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    Also consider Boys/Girls state. If you are involved in scouting, work for Eagle/Gold award.
     
    Kansaskid1 likes this.
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Jest, I am not sure that "traditionally" an early app would mean a better chance of appointment. Maybe. Do you have stats to back that up? I don't have stats to refute your statement; it just seems "iffy" to me.

    A299: what are YOUR PASSIONS? Are you passionate about astronomy? Belong to a club? become a leader of that club, an officer of that club. Are you interested in in a non-school sport which has had your full attention since you were ten? Don't give it up! Become the captain, compete at the highest possible level! Are you doing well in all your subjects at school or homeschool? Why not show how well you are doing by taking some dual-enrollment courses (and maxing out your grades there, of course!)? Do you read to the blind? Cut grass every Saturday?

    Be the BEST YOU possible. And take those paths which will enhance, enlighten, strengthen, encourage, ennoble, and challenge you.
     
  7. JestFutureFalcon

    JestFutureFalcon Member

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    Fencer I know it sounds fishy. There aren't stats to prove it but i know it is considered when applying. Like I said, if you turn in the app early, the board sees that you're motivated to attend the academy. If you turn in an application late it's probably because

    A: you put it off and you don't prioritize an application that affects your future
    B: you don't have good planning skills and didn't decide to start the application until the school year started and now it's hard to complete the application while staying on top of work, school, etc.
    C: you simply just learned about the service academies (this reason is pretty excusable. one of the questions I was asked in almost every interview for Academy related things was "when did you start planning to apply for the X academy?")

    Both my ALO and my BGO both told me that it is "traditionally" better to turn it in early for that reason. That's why I said it that way. In fact my BGO mentioned the only way you could probably get an appointment if you start your application in December or later in the app cycle is if you are the "perfect" candidate- otherwise you have very little chance of an appointment. When i applied for the congressional nomination from Senator Nelson, one of the tips they gave was start applying early so there has to be some reason behind it.
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Jest; you are correct. I've mentioned this quite a few times in the past. I haven't said it much the last couple years, because the "EA" program, that doesn't really exist, motivated individuals to do their apps early.

    But to clarify something; there are cutoff dates for applications. Whether you're at the end or in the middle with the majority, non of this is going to hurt your application or odds of receiving an appointment. However, if you are part of the very first applications completed, and are the first to be reviewed by the board, then yes, it can help with their scoring. It's all psychological. Remember however, your application isn't even looked at, until it is 100% COMPLETE. That means CFA, Medical Physical, etc. EVERYTHING. Until then, it's sitting in a basket.

    But yes, if you are the very first batch of completed applications being reviewed by the board, then there is an advantage. The board is fresh, these are the first apps, they haven't been looking at them for 4 months yet, they recognize the motivation, etc. After the first couple weeks of the cycle, it probably doesn't benefit you any more than if you waited til towards the end of the cycle.

    Another benefit of completing it early, is when it comes time for your MOC and ALO interviews. If you can put in your MOC interview application that you've COMPLETED 100% your academy app, that will demonstrate to your MOC your determination. Same with your ALO. They start scheduling you for an interview once you've completed a certain number of items on your application. If by the time they actually sit down and interview you, if you can say that you COMPLETED the application, that will impress your ALO that you are committed and determined to get an appointment. Thus, the ALO will probably score you higher. This is all part of the "Human Nature" factor of interviewing and reviewing individuals. For what it's worth, I know of a few individuals who started their application as soon as the cycle started; around the 2nd week of June; and they were 100% completed with the app before July 31st. We're talking 100% complete with everything. It's definitely possible. The individual has to simply be prepared, during their junior year, to do this. Best of luck.
     
  9. A299

    A299 Member

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    So say I submit everything by July. What if I take the ACT in Sep and score better. Will it still be possible for me to update my submitted score? Or would I be one of the individuals who's application gets thrown in a basket until COMPLETELY finished?
     
  10. JestFutureFalcon

    JestFutureFalcon Member

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    You send in updated application material as you see fit. If you feel like your resume needs some updating, it's your responsibility to send it in and they will update it as needed. Same concept for standardized test scores: when you send in better scores it gets updated on your portal a little later. Like I said, get all parts done early, and you should be good. It doesn't like reset your application or anything when something is updated; I remember they told us at the seminar that when you send in new items to a completed application it just gets reviewed again with the next batch
     
  11. A299

    A299 Member

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    Does that same rule apply to the nomination process? Will they be able to review my application with my better scores or is it a submit one time only deal?
     
  12. JestFutureFalcon

    JestFutureFalcon Member

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    You bring updated scores to the interview. From my experience (very little because I am also an applicant), you can print out the unofficial test report and they accept that.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Just for clarification regarding the MoCs, I would personally contact their staff for guidance in this matter.
    1. Some MoCs are strict to the rule regarding their deadline.
    ~ IE If the deadline is 9/30 they may say that they are only going on what is submitted.
    2. Not all MoCs will interview, and those that do, will typically only interview a small percentage of their top applicants.
    ~ Only 1 interviewed for our DS. They had @350 applicants, but interviewed 18 for a slate of 10. The other 2 went by paper/resume only. Thus, if you do not contact the staff to get guidance from them, you may miss out because you assumed that everyone will interview.
    3. Just my opinion, but when you start sending items via piece meal you raise the risk that something will get lost in the mix. If their drop dead date for submission is Nov 15th, than wait until you get your newest scores ti submit the entire package instead of sending an updated one later.

    MoCs do not have a rolling nomination process. Nobody will be placed on a slate until you pass that drop dead date for submission. You get no points/edge for being the 1st to submit. Come the day after the drop date they will start to review the packages. Hence, again contact the staff directly because if your scores jump up a lot and you wait to bring it to the interview with your resume, than you are risking that you won't even make the cut for the interview level because they are going off on only your old stats.
     

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