USAFA: Worried about lack of extracurricular activities and possibilities

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by hkim62, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. hkim62

    hkim62 New Member

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    Hello. I just want to ask a question about extracurricular activities. I am becoming a senior next year and worried about lack of extracurricular activities. The reason why I couldn't do it was because I had to work at my step parents' work place. So, I have plenty of work experience though like 4000 hours or so because I have been working for 3 to 4 hours every day after school and about 7 to 8 hours every Saturday but Sunday I definitely could get a break. Is it okay that I have any extracurricular activities?

    And, please check my status
    ACT
    English: 28
    Math: 35
    Reading: 22
    Science: 26
    Composite: 28

    GPA
    unweighted: 3.8
    Weighted: 4.5
    - IB classes and AP classes
    6 IB subjects and I have taken 3 AP classes
    IB Psychology: 5
    AP physics 1: 2
    AP Chemistry: 3
    AP Government: 3

    Extracurricular Activities
    FBLA 1 year in sophomore

    Volunteer hours
    Around 120 hours so far but keep doing it

    Work experience
    Around 4000 hours and keep doing it

    This is just a list of what I have done. And, does it help if I can speak four languages? As a South Korean who came to America in 2012, I can speak Korean, English, Japanese, and decent Spanish (not perfect). Also, is congressional nomination required? Please value my stat and tell me what can I do more. Thank you for your time
     
  2. Sneak

    Sneak Member

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    There is a section on the application where you can explain if there are any special circumstances that have affected your life in high school. I think you should probably explain your situation there.
     
  3. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    Will you be a Senior this fall?

    You will definitely need a congressional nomination unless you are a child of an active duty or retired service member.

    I think you should take the the ACT over again perhaps twice. You need to get your scores above 30.

    Also, are you a US citizen?

    What sports do you do? Do you have other leadership experience, perhaps church or at work?
     
  4. Hodge

    Hodge Member

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    If people have life obligations that prevent them from extracurricular activities then the academy will want to know about this. Having to work is an exact example academy admissions uses as they realize that this activity is sometimes more beneficial to the applicant in personal development than normal high school activities. Just share what you shared here and they'll understand your situation. Even better if you can explain how it's developed you or what you've done to better your workplace by being there.

    As for your ACT you'll want to try and get it above a 30 which I believe was the average for 2019. The higher you can get all those numbers (GPA, ACT, SAT ,etc) the more it makes your application stand out. Good luck!
     
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Take the SAT too, and take both again, and again. Your goal is 36/36/36/36 or 800/800.

    If there are circumstances which have prevented you from sports, or EC's, or (fill in the blank), write about it! There are been many appointees without sports, or jobs, etc., simply because their at-home obligations would not permit these .

    But beware! They can pretty much see through your fluff (if fluff it is), so don't exaggerate, don't pad, and don't try to fool 'em.
     
  6. hkim62

    hkim62 New Member

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    So, it's not bad to take as many Act as I can? And do you think I can get a congressional nomination as it is now? because I know the dead line for the nominations are around October. Also, Until what date do I have to become an US citizen? because I am just waiting for the interview part. Is it before December the due date for application or June the due date for going to academy? By the way, I will get a citizenship before the last day of December. Also by the way, thanks for y'all for taking my situation seriously and answering my question. :)
     
  7. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    You might want to check around the USAFA website: http://www.usafa.af.mil/

    There you may find specific information which may apply to your specific circumstances. I do not know the restrictions placed on South Korean applicants, though I know there have been some on this forum who delayed citizenship then lost their chance. Call your MoC and see what dates are set for applications and interviews, and see then if they will even interview a non-citizen. If you are in a district with many hundreds of US citizen applicants, your MoC may not make too much time for you.

    Note: deadlines are not suggestions, they are DEADLINES. Do not delay. Make a chart to keep where you can see it every day (wall, frig, etc), and make sure you know and heed those dates. ALL dates.
     
  8. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    Your reading score is very simple to explain. You have only been in this country for 4 years. Everything else is fine but could be better. You definitely will need to get the Reading Score aabove a 26, I think that is the threhold. Get in touch with your ALO, you need to get started right away. Also, start with the application. I think they open it right around now. You can work on it, put it aside and work on it more when you have more time or you have finished your good drafts of the essays.
    I do know you will most likely need to bring that reading score to a 26 or so. Your Math score is excellent. Good luck.
     
  9. got_milk

    got_milk Member

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    I don't think attaining a nomination is possible with your ACT scores. I took the ACT 9 times so take it every chance you can. Hang in there
     
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  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am going to disagree with got_milk regarding attaining a nomination. Simply because we do not sit on the nomination committee, nor do we know what state the OP resides. A state like CA, TX, CO, FL or VA where the MoCs talk may make it harder to obtain with those scores than compared to a state like NC where the MoCs do not talk.
    ~ I.E. In VA you will only get 1 nomination to 1 SA. In NC you can get a nom from all 3 MoCs.

    The interview exists to see more of you on paper. Same is true for the essays, which is the point DevilDog was stating.

    Now for the reality. Getting appointed is one thing. Commissioning is another thing. USAFA is not a cake walk, it is a pressure cooker. Profs are not going to slow down the class or grade you with sympathy because of your deficiency in English.

    I would also say that maybe you are not a good test taker or your school has an inflated grading scale. 4.5 wgpa says to me that the weighted scale is a 5.0, and USAFA does not use a 5.0 scale for their algorithm. Additionally, looking at your AP scores overall, they are low, a 2 on AP Physics is not strong. Many colleges will not give you college credit if the AP test score is less than 4. Some will accept 3's if it is not your intended major.
    ~ Everyone will tell you to do plan B. AFROTC scholarship, and AFROTC selection boards do not talk to USAFA selection boards. AFROTC selection starts and ends at the national level. They do not care if 100% of the scholarship recipients are from Nebraska, if they are the top, than they will get it. USAFA appointments start out as geocentric (MOCs) and move to the national level later on. They do care about where you reside at first. AFROTC also cares about your intended major. Basically 85% of all scholarships go to STEM aka Tech majors. They also do not superscore, just best sitting. Currently, even as a tech major I would say you have a very low chance of getting anything higher than type 7.
     
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  11. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    I would like to add that I had worse ACT scores and got a nomination when I applied. It really depends on where you're applying from, who your competition is, and how you perform in an interview. I guarantee that I was one of the least qualified candidates applying to the academy, but they told me that I gave the best interview of any of the candidates. I still get occasional phone calls from my MOC board to check on how I'm doing here.

    That being said, an appointment may be a little difficult to get with your ACT score, if only because your reading is a 22 and I believe the minimum is a 24. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Like got_milk said, keep taking it! I took the ACT a total of 5 times.

    Finally, I would like to add that was in a similar situation when I applied to USAFA. I had a decent amount of extracurriculars, but no work experience, and only 1 year of a sport in senior year of high school, and had the same worries when I applied. However, I got a chance to explain (during interviews with my MOC board and my ALO) that I took care of my baby siblings and did school from home for the first three years of high school, so that both of my parents could work and not have to pay for daycare.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016

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