United States Coast Guard Academy (AIM Program & Admission)

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by highdee, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. highdee

    highdee Member

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    Hey there!

    I recently visited the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and I loved it. I got to have a very nice conversation with the swim coach there and he gave a overview of the Academy but I have a few more questions that I didn't think to ask actually.

    First off, can someone explain the AIM summer program to me?
    -I don't know much about it really.

    I really am interested in applying and getting accepted into the Academy.

    Freshman year I did well, Sophomore year (last year) was more of a struggle and I did pretty poorly in Algebra II and Chemistry. This year, Junior year I'm planning on being a lot more focused, these are the classes:
    -Honors English III
    -Pre-Calculus (Considered Honors too, +1 weight)
    -Honors German III
    -AP United States History
    -AP Biology (2 periods, the actual AP course and then an Honors lab)
    -Study Hall

    I was wondering if these classes are good, I've heard that the Academy really wants students strong in science and mathematics.

    I could take AP Chemistry or Physics senior year but I want to know if it's absolutely necessary and which course would be better, I'm leaning towards Physics because of my bad Chemistry experience.

    An acquaintance of mine got into the Academy but she got into the AIM program and was a Valedictorian so...I'm wondering how realistic my "dream" is.

    Overall, I want to know what to expect from the AIM program and how to go about applying and the same goes for applying to the Academy and hopefully getting admission.

    Thank you!

    Oh and a side note: I've received the Bronze and Silver Award in Girl Scouts but have not been able to start working on a Gold Award Project as I haven't been able to come up with an idea as of yet. I haven't been able to get many service learning hours due to the fact that I'm a competitive club swimmer. (aka. I practice after school 5 days a week and don't get home till 7 pm every night, plus I practice Saturday mornings unless I have a swim meet which are relatively often.)

    Thanks again!
     
  2. alyswimmer

    alyswimmer Member

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    AIM was a great experience (I went this year and it solidified my decision to apply there...if I get in, I am going! haha). Essentially, you spend a week living in the dorms, and experiencing cadet life. The first three days were tough because the cadre treat you like the Swabs, complete with the yelling and short shower times. But it really gives you an idea of what you're getting yourself into. The next few days are awesome! During the week, you do PT in the mornings, build a robotic boat, talk with a helo crew, etc. It was probably the hardest thing I've ever done, but if you're considering going there, it'll give you a great idea of what the Academy is all about! I overall LOVED it! :smile:
    I believe AIM applications opened up sometime in February, so be on the lookout! I can only speculate on how admissions works, so just work hard at everything you do, be dedicated, get leadership positions, and the rest will sort itself out. You have no chance whatsoever of getting in if you don't apply, so apply and see what happens! :smile:
     
  3. highdee

    highdee Member

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    @alyswimmer

    Thanks so much for your input and telling me about your AIM experience, it's cleared up a few things! I do have a question though...how did you prepare for AIM physically? Also, did you have a lot of leadership prior to your application? (I've been having some issues finding time to get service learning hours/having leadership opportunities!) Thanks again and it's nice to hear from another swimmer!

    -highdee
     
  4. alyswimmer

    alyswimmer Member

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    No problem! Glad I could help! :)
    as for the physical aspect, I was not prepared very well. But I treated AIM like a wakeup call and got into MUCH better shape over the summer. You run pretty much everywhere you need to go on campus, so you get dehydrated pretty quick (much of the dorms don't have A/C). This happened with me...in three days, I lost 7 lbs, probably all water weight. Not exactly healthy!! However, if you get used to the heat (spend a lot of time outside, turn your thermostat up, run during the middle of the day, etc.) it'll be a great help! Also, drink more water than you think is humanly possible while you are there!
    Like I said, AIM was a wakeup call for me. I came back with a great source of motivation, because I knew where I was at physically, and where I needed to be.
    I'm a girl, so I really needed to work on my upper-body strength. I used this program http://www.hundredpushups.com/test.html which helped a LOT with the pushups because it starts you off at a beginner level. I did like 7 pushups at the CFA for AIM..(i know, embarrassing!) but now, I can do 25 easily, and working on doing more.
    As for the situps, practice doing them in 2-minute intervals because it gives you an idea of how to pace yourself for the 2-min situp section of the CFA.
    Run a lot, and work on doing intervals/sprints to get faster (like what you do in swim practice, only running)
    Aside from the CFA, as I said, you run EVERYWHERE during AIM. And you do stairs. a LOT of them. Get used to running up/down them. Morning PT was not too bad...just a lot of knee-highs, lunges, etc. Running up the "staircase of death" as I so affectionately called it was, indeed, brutal for me though!
    The AIM cadre expect you to give 100% effort, 100% of the time. they do not expect you to be a star athlete and excel at everything. If they see that you're truly trying and giving it your all, you'll be fine. Believe me, if I survived, anyone can!!
    As for the leadership positions, I didn't have too many in junior year. I was copy editor of my school's literary magazine, lifeguarded year-round, and was practically the manager at the my summer job (had to open/close/fix things/etc). I also had a small role in a community service organization in my school. My school usually reserves leadership positions for seniors, so I have a lot more this year. But it's important to build that committment and foundation before senior year, so that you can have those positions later. Also, there are other ways of showing leadership. You could start a club/service organization in your school (I'm in the process of starting the Overseas Coupon Program in mine), or offer to organize dry-land practices for your swim team before the season officially starts (in PA, coaches are not allowed to begin formal practice until a certain date, but i'm not sure if that rule applies everywhere). there are lots of ways to get involved!
    Anyway, hope this helped, and feel free to PM me if you have any other questions/concerns/etc :smile:
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Is it not called the PFE anymore?
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    It is still called the PFE - Physical Fitness Exam.

    • 2 minute cadence push-ups,
    • 2 minute sit-ups,
    • 1.5 mile run.
    The AIMster is just confused on her terms.

    :cool:
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    WHAT THE WHAT?!?! No pull ups? No standing long jump? No shuttle run?
     
  8. USCGA13STN

    USCGA13STN Member

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    That all changed back in 06.
     
  9. alyswimmer

    alyswimmer Member

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    Sorry! it's called the PFE, you're right! I'm getting all the acronyms confused :biggrin:
     
  10. SamKrak

    SamKrak Member

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    Definitely look at improving your grades in math and science. They are harping on that a lot now. Other classes look pretty solid, do well in them and you'll have a solid application for AIM.

    As for AP Chem/Physics: you'll take Chem your 4/c year, Physics your 3/c year, so you'll see both again. Whichever you think you can impress admissions with, I would choose that one.

    Any extracurricular stuff besides girl scouts? Any leadership experience?

    Swimming is always a good sport, really popular here!

    Also, it's not the end of the world if you don't get into AIM. I got denied, and now I'm a 3/c!

    Hope this helps!
     
  11. highdee

    highdee Member

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    Thanks for the information SamKrak!

    I'm in a German club and Junior Class Council, I'm planning on joining another club like "TIP" but I'm not sure as of yet. I'm also planning on making a club where we'll send carepackages to troops overseas because surprisingly my school doesn't already have that!

    I'll work on my math and science too, hopefully AP Biology looks decent!
     

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