USAFA Prep School vs. Air Force ROTC

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by usafacademy4, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. usafacademy4

    usafacademy4 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know many of the cadets at the prep school are almost guaranteed an appointment to the AFA the following year. But which would be a better choice to accept, USAFA Prep School or Civilian college Air Force ROTC?? My ultimate goal is to gain an appointment to the USAFA, but is denied this year, I will definitely, without a doubt, apply again next year after a year of ROTC. Does anyone have any experience from the prep school and that can give me insight on the lifestyle there as opposed to the AFA or ROTC?
     
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    272
    Well, if going to the academy is one of your goals, the P-school would be the better choice.

    I have to ask, how much is the academy your goal and how much is simply becomming an officer in the AF (the far more important choice)?
     
  3. Derrick

    Derrick USAFA Class of 2015

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with what raimius said.

    I'm not sure what the lifestyle is at Falcon prep comparaed to USAFA, but I'd imagine that it's closer to the military and academy lifestyle than most AFROTC programs. I say "most" because SMC's are pretty rigorous as well. So like raimius said, how badly do you want the academy compared to just being an officer in the Air Force? If the academy IS your final choice, realize that it's a lifestyle and any years of ROTC/prep don't count towards your four years spent there. The prep school would be your best choice. If you realize that you want a college experience too (parties, more freedom, etc), then AFROTC at a normal college would be the better choice. In the end, you still end up comissioning as a second lt.

    Just something I was told, but if you don't make it into the prep school, but still want to attend the academy, attending AFROTC at a SMC could give you a little more help getting into USAFA next year. I was told by an admissions counselor from USMA that it shows that you can handle the rigors of a military academy-like environment and it could possibly give you a few more points towards your WCS. However, you may decide to attend AFROTC at a regular college for the experience. It could possibly change your mind about reapplying. I had a friend who was set on USMA last year, didn't get in, said he was going to reapply, did ROTC at a state university, and it changed his mind. He said he realized that he really enjoyed where he was and decided against it. Fair enough. If you're not "happy" at the academy, you won't do well.

    Best of luck.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    You asked the question of: "Which one would be better to accept". Have you been offered the air force academy prep school? It's not like you get to apply to it. Not like ROTC. You apply to the academy. If they want you bad enough, and the only thing holding you back are some academic areas, they MIGHT OFFER you the Prep school. But you can't apply for it.

    Having said that; I'd definitely take the prep school over ROTC if you truly want to go to the air force academy. The Prep school is pretty much a guarantee, so long as you aren't a complete screw ball. ROTC isn't guaranteed to get you into the academy. (Better chance than if you didn't do ROTC, just not guaranteed).

    And Raimius is quite correct in his question to you. I tell applicants all the time: "The academy should not be your goal. It should be a means of reaching your goals". Yes, it can be a short range goal that you've had dreams of your whole life; but you have to look beyond that. It's only 4 years. You have another 5 years of guaranteed service, up to possibly 20-30 more years depending on whether the military becomes a career or not. There's 3 ways to become a commissioned officer. The air force academy is simply 1 of those 3 ways. As the Templar Guard said: "Choose Wisely". Best of luck to you. Mike.....
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    CC is correct, too many times candidates think Prep is the overflow for those that missed the direct apptmt. It IS NOT!

    If your PAR is in line with the AFA, i.e. you have a 30 ACT and a 3.8 gpa with 9 APs it is highly unlikely they will give you prep. It exists for the candidate that has a PAR issue, and needs one more yr of education to get them to be academically competitive.

    If your PAR is competitive than I doubt you will get prep, so ROTC is your real option for next yr.

    That being said is if all you desire is an AFA commissioning, than it is best to just keep re-applying.

    ROTC det CCs will support you and you will be eligible for an ROTC nom on top of all of the other sources, so it also helps you in that manner.

    Good luck.
     
  6. usafacademy4

    usafacademy4 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    How does the Falcon Foundation scholarship to Marion Military Institute compare to AFA prep school or AFROTC? I was given a falcon scholarship and I chose Marion.
     
  7. jackson1989

    jackson1989 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    2
    This is a quote from the Falcon Foundation as stated on its own "Fact Sheet" dated March, 2011:

    "APPOINTMENT DURING PREP SCHOOL YEAR
    Falcon scholars have been identified by the Admissions Office as having the potential to be successful at USAFA following successful completion of their prepatory program and attainment of admissions guidelines. Barring unusual circumstances, the Air Force Academy is committed to appointing Falcon Scholars who:

    1. Successfully complete their preparatory program
    2. Continue to meet admissions guidelines
    3. Obtain a nomination valid for the year of entry into USAFA" END Quote

    Falcons do have to take prescribed academic courses from their school. They must take the SAT and ACT each time it is offered until their scores are competitive. They must be in a fitness program and retake the CFA.*

    Falcons do NOT have to submit teacher evals or essays. They do not require an ALO interview but do require a positive school recommendation in place of the ALO interview.**

    * From Lt Gen Kelly's Apr 2011 letter to Falcon Scholars.
    ** From my notes at the Falcon Foundation conferance on 18 APR 2011.

    This is a copy of an excellent post on the prep forum. It should sum up any questions you have about the Falcon Foundation.

    My son was a Falcon Scholar who attended MMI and I would be happy to answer any particular questions for you in regards to his experience - just PM me.
     

Share This Page