USCGA or USNA hopeful

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by bcal, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. bcal

    bcal Member

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    Hi everybody,
    I am a rising junior, and I am very interested in either the Coast Guard Academy, or the Naval Academy. However, I desire to know if I have a realistic chance of gaining admission to either of these schools. So a little about myself. I attend the 9th best high school in the nation (according to Newsweek) and I am ranked 71 out of 362. My GPA is a 3.8, but I have a weighted GPA (HPA) of a 4.6 (I still have two more years of high school so this will probably take a hit). I have taken the SAT once and I got a 1710. I plan on taking the SAT one more time and the ACT twice more. For extracurriculars I am a member of the Civil Air Patrol and I am an extremely active debater. I have around 300 hours of community service form volunteering at my local library and in a youth first offender program. For employment I have a summer internship at the Florida State Attorney's office. I am the weakest in sports because I was never good enough at any to play at a competitive level, however I am about to receive my black belt in TaeKwonDo. Thank you for taking the time to read this and any thoughts about my chances would be greatly appreciated.
    Bcal
     
  2. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    You are on the track I believe.

    The following information is what I know about USMA... Not sure if USCGA or USNA are any different.

    GPA is not used by the Admissions Board (you are required to send in your transcripts, though). Class rank is the most important "academic score" at 30% of your Whole Candidate Score (WCS). SAT/ACT scores are also at 30%. Another 10% are teacher's SOEs (recommendations), so get to know your English, Math and Physical Science teachers (Physics and Chemistry) well. 10% is leadership is demonstrated leadership in school/ECs and 10% is leadership in sports. The final 10% is the CFA.


    My suggestion to you is shallow. But I think I should tell you anyways.

    1. Crank up that SAT/ACT.
    2. Crank up your class rank.
    3. Get leadership positions on your ECs (debate team, perhaps?)
    4. I believe you can get a recommendation from your employer. Work well!
    5. Contact team sports are better than non-contact team sports, which are better than individual sports, IF I RECALL CORRECTLY (don't quote me on this). Any chances you can play as a goalkeeper in something, if you are not that skillful with a ball? I know I wasn't... and I became a fine Team Handball goalie!

    Good luck!


    And DON'T FORGET to apply for SLS at the end of the year. Also, practice for the CFA! The sooner the higher, the higher the better!
     
  3. bcal

    bcal Member

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    Thank you for the reply, and I will look into some other sports. Definately need to get my SAT/ACt up, but doing the same with my class rank does not look promising. Do academies look into the competitiveness of a school?
     
  4. Ectriso

    Ectriso Member

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    Yes, there will be a school profile sent in on your transcript I believe. It will say how many students matriculate to a 4yr college, etc. As for sports, they might prefer contact sports or whatever over individual, but from what I understand they won't give a person more points for soccer then lets say tennis. Definitely take the SAT/ACT again. What were your individual section scores for the SAT?
     
  5. bcal

    bcal Member

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    I took the SAT first semester of my sophomore year, so I will take it again. In math I got a 610, reading a 640, and in writing a 460. Writing is my weakest and I am taking an SAT class through the Princeton Review to bring that up. Just to give you an idea of how competitive my school is, as a sophomore I took 5 AP classes and 2 honor classes (got A's and B's) and I am still ranked 71st.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree you need to get that rank up. I am not concerned about the SAT score since you are only a rising jr and with time it will naturally rise due to your educational progression.

    Ectriso touched upon school profile.

    I think you need to understand what goes in that and how it can impact you. It is not USNWR ranking, instead they are going to look at your course rigor compared to other students, AND the % that go Ivy, 4 YR, 2 YR, Tech or nothing. The purpose is to see if the school does grade inflation. You will also notice that candidates will say the SA changed their gpa on their portal. The reason why is because schools have their own weighting system, thus they need to bring it to their system that they use for every candidate. Some will increase, some will decrease, some will stay the same.

    For example you are @ top 20% out of your class. Now if 0% go Ivy,25% go 4 YR (with the bulk going IS), 25% go 2 yr/Tech, and 25% go straight into the work place, it isn't going to be seen as favorably as if the profile is 25% go Ivy, 50% go 4 YR, and 25% go 2 yr. Notice the difference? In the 1st scenario you are in the 2nd tier, in the 2nd you are in the top tier. Rank matters, but it is important to put it in perspective for the school profile.


    These are some of the things that the GC will include when they submit their paperwork.

    OBTW, TKD is considered an athletic sport and the fact that you have a Black belt, probably will be a 3rd degree by your SR yr, shows athleticism and commitment. 2 things they are looking for.

    I agree will Bill, you need to practice that CFA. DS was a National and State champ for TKD, but the body parts you use for TKD are specific (mainly lower body), so it would be wise to work out on upper body strength...i.e. PULL UPS, because the CFA is a one shot deal unless the SA decides to give you a 2nd try. 2 Pull ups, but run a 5:30 mile is going to hurt you. If you look on the USNA forum, there are always threads going regarding the CFA, so use that info to your best ability.

    Finally, you should understand that the system works not from a nationalistic approach, but from a geocentric approach. Thus, when you go up, you are going up against everyone in your area. Your school can be ranked #9 in the nation, but as stated the way you win that apptmt is to have the highest WCS. Currently you are number 71 in your school, if 15 ranked higher than you from your school apply for your Cong's nom, and he has only 10 to give, you maybe SOL. It doesn't matter the school is the top 9 nationally, you need a nom from your MOC to get appointed and IMPO, your approach should be centered around your ranking, not the school. Keep it geocentric right now.

    There is a great program that most schools have called Naviance. It allows you to input your data and will show your chances from a historical perspective for that particular school. Again, if I were you, I would bump the SAT up because they superscore, but at least you will be able to see what others had academically prior to you.

    Also remember to have plan B in place.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  7. bcal

    bcal Member

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    Thank you for the great information, you clarified a lot. Regarding the CFA, I have always worked out regularly so that should not mount a significant challenge. I will however, step this up. I am entering the IB program next year and will be taking all IB/AP classes so I will continue to work at it and hopefully my class rank will rise. Unfortunately my school does not have Naviance (I just checked), and plan B is University of Florida :thumb:
     

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