USAFA Nomination and CLS

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by JJawsFoss, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. JJawsFoss

    JJawsFoss Member

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    Hello,

    My son has dreamed of attending USAFA since he was in 7th grade. He is now a senior in high school and has worked tirelessly to achieve that goal. We visited as a family in October 2011 and it seemed like a perfect fit for his personality. He attended Summer Seminar last June and absolutely loved it. He told me USAFA almost felt like a second home. He now has a nomination from our Congressman (unranked list). He is also all clear on his DoDMERB. He has decent CFA scores except he is struggling with the basketball toss (max sit up, almost max push up, 5:45 mile, 13 pull ups, 9.3 shuttle). He has been working with a trainer to improve the BB toss, but still is only in the 46 - 50 foot range so he hasn't submitted his scores.

    He applied to the AFROTC as a back up plan. He has been accepted to both schools selected on his AFROTC application. He interviewed for the ROTC scholarship at the end of December and received a phone call yesterday informing him he was selected for the Commanders Leadership Scholarship for the detachment. He has to decide if he will accept it by Monday. This is an incredible honor - I am so proud of his hard work to get to this point. The problem is that he has been dreaming of USAFA for so long. We thought ROTC was the backup plan and had no idea we would have to make such a critical decision before we heard if he received an appointment. He selected a non-technical major (International Business) because that's where his interests truly lie. However the non tech major makes it so much harder to qualify for the ROTC scholarships, so this it makes the CLS even more of a big deal.

    Has anyone on this board been faced with this decision and how did you approach it? We have talked to his wonderful ALO who confirmed what an honor it is to receive a CLS, but the ALO is also an ROTC grad so he has that background. We live in an extremely competitive district in Minnesota (Kline). Here's my son's stats and activities:

    3.87 GPA unweighted
    32 ACT
    7 AP classes so far
    Cross Country 9-12, Captain
    Track 9-11
    NHS 11-12, Vice President
    Student Council 9-12, Secretary
    Knowledge Bowl and Quiz Bowl 9-12, All Conference and Team Captain
    Numerous leadership conferences, including a recent one sponsored by West Point
    Summer Seminar
    Homecoming King
    Works 8 hours per week as clinic aide at physical therapy clinic
    Volunteers for the Veterans Airlift Command, a non profit organization that transports wounded veterans. Received a fantastic letter of recommendation from the founder.

    Any words of wisdom or guidance would be appreciated. We feel truly blessed that he has an opportunity to become an officer in the Air Force.

    Thank you,
    Jill
     
  2. afag2017

    afag2017 Member

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    Your son sounds like a well qualified individual and you should be proud of his accomplishments so far. With regards to his pending scholarship, since he has not heard back from USAFA I would go ahead and accept it assuming that it is non-binding. That way if he isn't offered an appointment you did not let that money slip away. In the event he does get an appointment most Universities will not ask for the first payment until August and by then he will be off to BCT and starting his first year at the Academy so I don't see any issues as far as paying back money. To sum it all up I would find out those minor details with both situations and if possible accept the scholarship. Best of luck to you and your son!
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I somewhat agree with the above. A normal ROTC scholarship is non-binding. You can accept it and then decline it later. In fact I think they send a confirmation mail in May to ask if you still plan on using it. However, I think the Commanders Leadership Scholarship is binding. They use it to lock in talent they really want to get. However, it may be binding with an escape clause... it may be possible to not use the scholarship if your son receives an appointment to the Academy. I would ask this specific question. If the escape clause exists then the whole thing becomes a no-brainer and you only need to decide on the school (which I expect is not an easy decision either).

    There was a thread on this very topic earlier this year that discussed whether it was binding or not. There was a lot of confusion and speculation especially as the Commanders Leadership Scholarship is a pretty rare honor as you appear to know. AT the end of the thread someone rather authoritative joined in and provided the answer. Unfortunately I don't recall that answer and cannot find the thread. Perhaps you can search for it and have better luck than I. However, I would think the people you already deal with will know the specifics of this and can provide you the answers.
     
  4. Tigger

    Tigger Member

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    My daughter was also offered a CLS (not from her first choice school though) last year while waiting to hear from the Academy. I seem to remember that it was more binding than a regular ROTC scholarship but I will check with her when she returns home later.

    She sounds so much like your son in that she always wanted to attend USAFA and was even more committed after attending summer seminar.

    Ultimately, she decided not to take the CLS. When she didn't receive an appointment she was terribly disappointed but still had an AFROTC scholarship and it covered in-state tuition and she also had a merit scholarship (to her first choice school) which paid for everything else. Then in mid-May she received a Falcon Foundation scholarship and accepted that and attended NWP this past fall. There was no problem getting out of the ROTC scholarship at that point.

    Tough decisions for these kids, but as she said she was very grateful that she had choices and she was honored to receive the scholarships.

    Good luck and I will post if she has additional insight.
     
  5. JJawsFoss

    JJawsFoss Member

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    Hello,

    Thank you for your replies so far. We understand that this is binding - not necessarily legally, but ethically. i believe the detachment cannot offer it to anyone else if he accepts it and then later declines. I have searched these forums and haven't found much but will continue trying different key words.

    The scholarship is for Det 415 at the University of Minnesota and he has been accepted into the Carlson School of Management within the U. It was his third choice school, but he was impressed with the ROTC staff during his interview and liked the facilities.

    Please keep the info and advice coming. It is greatly appreciated. I have been a long time lurker on these boards and have found them invaluable.

    Thanks again,
    Jill
     
  6. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    I was offered a CLS last year and declined. Unless things have changed since then...

    1.You're right, if you accept the CLS and then decline, the detachment can't offer it to anyone else.

    2.If you accept the CLS, your scholarship application will not go to the national boards. Chances are, if you're being offered a CLS, you have a pretty good shot at a scholarship.

    3.This is a big deal! Congratulations to your son, as this means that he is extremely impressive both on paper and in person.

    I'm extremely happy with the way things ended up with me and I wish you luck in trying to figure everything out.
     
  7. JJawsFoss

    JJawsFoss Member

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    Thank you BlahuKahuna for sharing your experience. After many sleepless nights and lots of prayer, he has respectfully declined the CLS. We came to the conclusion that he was offered the scholarship due to his 5 years of hard work pursuing his dream of attending USAFA. He couldn't give up his dream after so much effort now that he is so close.

    He received another bit of good news over the weekend - he received a second nomination to USAFA from Senator Franken. So now he has noms from both Congressman Kline and Senator Franken.

    Now we wait and pray! Thanks again for the helpful information!

    Jill
     
  8. WAM

    WAM Member

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    Congrats!

    Jill, wonderful! How difficult to choose between great and yet greater at such a young age. How fun that this forum creates a chance to watch and celebrate the progress of many hopefuls, it stirs a mom's heart. I will pray for your son as I pray for mine
     

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