USAFA Prep School compared to high school

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Alpineskier, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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    I am of course trying my best to get an appointment, but i fell that my CFA will become an issue when I submit my application. I am a cross country runner (even though everyone said i look like a football player) so my upper body just sucks. So I hope to get into at least the prep school but there is not much information on it. Im just curious what its like compared to academy and more importantly how is the work load compared to a high school student taking AP classes.
     
  2. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    Well I can't give you a terribly accurate comparison of the prep school and the academy, but judging from what I've seen and heard they are similar in many ways. You're rooms will be spotless and in order according to the AFI, PLI, or whatever they require of you. (Not sure what they call it at the hill.) If you want to succeed, you will have to act professionally and render the proper customs and courtesies to everyone around you at all times. Etc.

    I too was a cross country runner and my CFA wasn't fantastic. (I had really low scores on pullups and pushups.) Definitely don't stop running though. That's one of the biggest problems for people here. I used to be able to run 10-12 miles fairly easily back in Kansas. When I got up here I could hardly run a mile without feeling like I was going to pass out. I've acclimated to the altitude now and can run a good 4-5 miles fairly well, but I can certainly still feel the difference when I run.

    If I could shortly summarize a comparison of prep school academics and high school academics, I'd say they are basically the exact same the only exception being your homework and quizzes are graded way harder here. You can get points off for something as simple as not titling your homework correctly, or writing the wrong class period in the margin of your page. They try to instill attention to detail in all of the students here so they will dock you for the smallest of mistakes. Also, I can tell you that an A+ paper in high school is a B paper here. I took honors English in high school and many writing courses growing up. In high school I don't think I ever got below a 95% on a paper and I average around 85% on papers here.

    If you have any more questions let me know and I'd be glad to answer them. :smile:
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  3. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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    Reply and more questions

    Thanks thats really helpful.... one more question what is the interaction the cadet candidates have with the cadets at the academy?
     
  4. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    Practically none unless we are specifically authorized to. Cadets and Cadet Candidates are not permitted to interact with each other. About the only time I ever run into a Cadet is if they are at the Burger King / Commissary near the Prep School or at the mall / a restaurant off base.
     
  5. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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    Last Questions

    Thanks!! You really have been helpfull and i have one last question. When you got into the prep school what did your letter look like? Like did you get a letter saying you did not get into the academies but you got into the prep school. Or did you get a letter that said you did not get into the academies but we are considering you for the prep school and then later you got a letter. And what was the time frame of you getting accepted?
     
  6. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    I initially got a "rejection" letter from USAFA. It basically said "Thanks for applying but we do not have a vacancy for you. Please continue to take classes in x, y, and z areas at another college if you plan on reapplying." I believe I received this letter in March. I don't remember if the letter mentioned the Prep School or not. It certainly did not say I was accepted to the Prep School. If anything it might have said "All candidates are considered for a Prep School scholarship and you will be notified if you receive an offer." This is all from memory though, so that may be inaccurate.

    About a month later came a day I will never forget; 18 April 2012 when I performed my daily (habitual) check of the application portal. (Yes, I was still hopeful even after receiving the rejection letter.) When the page loaded, instead of the usual "Status: Candidate" it read "Status: Prep School Appointment Offered." I believe I got an official letter in the mail about a week later asking me to respond by a given date.

    And now I'm here. :thumb:
     
  7. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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    Cool!!! Thanks for everything and congratulations!!! Mabye ill see you next year
     
  8. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    Any time. Good luck!
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    alpine,

    I don't think you are understanding why the prep exists. It is not for the next top 100 candidates that did not an AFA appt.

    It is not for the candidate that does poorly on the CFA, nor is it for the kid that has a 4.0 with 7 AP classes and a 1300 SAT. It is for the cadet that they believe needs another yr academically to be competitive at the AFA.

    I am not inferring they are not smart kids, but typically it is 1 of their PAR portions that are not in line with the avg of the incoming class, i.e SAT is low, but everything else is right on the mark.
     
  10. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Other Prep Schools

    Lets not forget about those who receive a Falcon Scholarship to attend other prep schools. And another path is to attend the other prep schools as a "free agent." Those who pay for their tuition to attend. There are plenty of threads here on that subject.
     
  11. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    Thanks for clarifying this for the OP. I think in my case it was a combination of CFA and Academics. Though, in the majority of the cases I've seen here, candidates have the whole package minus academics. :smile:
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Lfry,

    I don't think it was your CFA at all. I bet your CFA was in their margin, because IMPO, if your academics were very strong, they would have re-opened the CFA. I believe it was LY that a poster here had their CFA portal opened 3X because they were a principal nom. I think for you somewhere in your PAR you just needed a little more time.

    JMPO.

    Like I said before, candidates that get a prep or a falcon scholarship are not academically inferior, the AFA just wants them to have the highest chance of commissioning, and 1 more yr would be financially a great investment.

    Too many candidates believe that 1300 apptmts will be given, and if you are number 1301-1400 you will get prep school. I think that is where alpine is coming from thinking that the CFA is going to place him in prep. It won't. The prep school mission is not to make you physically fit.
    Reality is IMPO, if he is taking a rigorous work load(AP) as a hs student and pulling a 3.6 uwcgpa, top 15%, NHS, 1300 SAT, he will not get a prep or falcon scholarship. They may re-open his CFA portal, but he is not their ideal candidate for that path.

    Caveat:
    I was really surprised at the stats for prep when it came to academics, they were out the door amazing. Yet, than again, the incoming class was much higher. thus the AFA was looking at the fact that a 1280 SAT is great, but if 1330 is the avg, they were better at prep due to the speed of academics at the AFA.

    The 1280 and 1330 were just numbers I threw out, don't attack me for the actual stats.

    Want to see the real competition for SAT? Look up AFROTC stats regarding scholarships since most AFA candidates apply for an AFROTC scholarship as plan B. AFROTC does not superscore, they do best sitting. AFROTC only counts up to the end of jr yr for ECs. SAT for type 1 is @1330 best sitting.

    Yr after yr. there are great academic candidates that get AFROTC type 1 scholarships, but the TWE from the AFA. Reason why? Academically, they were great, they had the whole package, just not high enough to get an appointment, while at the same time too high academically to be an ideal candidate for prep or falcon.

    OP needs to get that this is a double edge sword.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  13. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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    Pima,

    I see what you are saying and i did kinda think that the next 100 are for the prep school, but I also knew it was for people who needed an extra year to have the best chance. I can see from where my first post made it look like I though I that way but looking at myself over all I would be happy to get into the academies my first year but in many ways i feel I would benefit from an extra year. My dad was a west point grad and went to the prep school so I kinda know what i would be getting into. And thanks for clarifing that up I think I thought that it was the next one hundred that needed that boost but that would not always be true. Thanks
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I hope you are being smart and applying for ROTC scholarships.

    I also hope you understand AFROTCHQ board does not talk to AFA regarding scholarships. They are two separate entities.

    AFROTC is national, not geo-centric (MOC noms).

    You can an apptmt, but no scholarship. You can a scholarship, but no apptmt. You can get both.

    Apply for a scholarship as plan B.
     
  15. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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    Yes im appyling to both Army and Air Force ROTC and West Point as well
     
  16. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    While I am not disagreeing with the overall wisdom of your post, AFA and AFROTCHQ did talk last year since admissions was so tight at AFA. I recall a candidate on this Forum who was offered an AFROTC scholarship at the request of AFA. I'm not saying that this could happen this year or that candidates should not work whole-heartily on Plan B and Plan C. But the two organizations did talk last year.
     
  17. Tigger

    Tigger Member

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    Alpineskier,

    My daughter applied to the AFA and for an AFROTC scholarship last year. She received an AFROTC scholarship (I believe in late Februrary/early March) and did not receive an appointment. So her Plan B was set to go when she received the offer of a Falcon Foundation scholarship in mid-May. Very, very happy day:)

    She is at NWP now and surrounded by many truly outstanding students.

    Good luck this year as you pursue your dream and just try your best at everything. In the end, that's all that you really have any control over:smile:
     
  18. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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    Thanks!! And thats awesome!!
     

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