USNA Inflated Application Numbers Finally Revealed via FOIA

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Luigi59, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Finally, via the Freedom Of Information Act, we see some real, believable, accurate application stats coming from Annapolis.

    http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/12/navy-professsor-says-academy-overstates-applicants-121011w/

    :eek:
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    This is not a surprise to most of us.

    I won't defend the definition of an "applicant." I agree that someone who merely attends NASS and makes no effort to pursue an application shouldn't be considered one. That said, I'm not sure it's fair to focus ONLY on those with 100% complete applications b/c of the volume and complexity of the process. Applicants to Princeton don't have to complete 9 separate items plus a fitness test and medical exam. It's really comparing apples and oranges to compare a civilian and SA application process.

    Most BGOs tell candidates that only a percentage of applicants complete the process, so the numbers aren't as daunting as they seem. At least I do.

    At the end of the day, if the term "applicant" is used consistently over time and the number goes up, then arguably the number of applicants goes up.
     
  3. time2

    time2 Member

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    No surprise to those of us associated with the Academy. Gee, Academy professor they are referring to is none other than Prof. Fleming.....LOL. "Applicant" is defined as a person who starts the application process.....no big revelation there. Everyone who starts an application doesn't necessarily complete it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  4. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    The application process is too complicated to arbitrarily draw a line somewhere in the middle of it.

    For example, how many hopefuls were turned away at the door and not even assigned a candidate number? The Common Application is accessible to everyone who owns a computer and has a street address; the Naval Academy application is not. If Harvard counts everyone who completes the Common Application (no matter what kind of "realistic" chance they have) why can't the Naval Academy count everyone who completes a Precandidate Application?

    And I don't think any of the candidates were ever so disillusioned to believe that 5-7% acceptance rate anyway. Those who understand the admissions process know better.
     
  5. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    I think it would make sense for USNA to add an "applications reviewed" statistic line to the "total applicants." Thus, you have how many people started and how many were actual "competition."
     
  6. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    The essence of this is that there has been, for whatever reasons and none here can do any more than speculate, a clear attempt to delude those who would have any reason to have any interest in these terms and their associated numbers. There has been an approximately 50% "increase" in the number of applicants over the past 4 or 5 admissions seasons. Despite claims suggesting "no change" in how heads are counted, clearly even a dullard would have reason to question such a claim. This would not likely be coincidental with other goings on at the Academy during this time period.

    Anyone(s) suggesting this is insignificant, unimportant,, misinterpretation, or merely illusion risk perpetuating the delusion and/or diminishing the merit and importance of reporting accurately, consistently. Doing so would seemingly cross over from counting differences to issues of honesty and honor.

    jadler and I often agree. Not on this one. This is the danger as soon as we start changing the language to fit our hopes and desired interpretations. What is the meaning of "is"? When is an applicant not an applicant? Oh my. Only in America.
     
  7. navy2016

    navy2016 Member

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    If all schools count the number of applicants they start a file with them, how is USNA " inflating" the stats?
     
  8. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Statistics are supposed to be facts, so reporting how many records went in front of the Admissions Board, just like other facts presented in the class profile, shouldn't make a difference. There is absolutely no interpretation -- the record either went to Admissions Board, meaning a candidate had preliminary qualifying scores AND the candidate finished their application (less the CFA) or it didn't.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The Naval Academy having a much higher acceptance rate than 7% is not news, for anyone that's been in the process. Might be interesting for those who haven't been part of the process and have only seen this from afar. Yes, a few posters have attempted to declare USNA the toughest to get into, in the WORLD!
     
  10. breadcrumbs

    breadcrumbs Member

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    Well thank goodness!! We were all getting worried. Now people will be able to sleep better at night since the admissions numbers have FINALLY had a search light shed on them! :rolleyes:
    ITA with this.....must be an ego thing?
    Agree completely, why this is headlines news, on this forum in particular, is beyond me. Perhaps better suited to a generic college website.

    From the article:
    USAFA did same, at least with my #2 kiddo. Even after my child wrote admissions after attending USAFA SS, saying thanks but no thanks, please close my file. What came in the mail in April? A 'you've been declined, no vacancy' letter, yes, seriously. Um, uhhh, duuuh, kid never did ANYTHING besides apply/attend SS! And even told you, I'm not pursuing an appointment. Any guesses as to whether my kid was counted in their 'application' numbers? I guess yes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  11. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Yes, it's much better to lie about the number of applications to appear more prestigious than other universities, colleges, or other academies. (We had more apps therefore we must be the best, the most desirable, the etc etc). :rolleyes:

    Truth, honor, character, integrity, and accuracy be damned, right?

    Indeed, but whose ego at USNA is the one being stroked? Admissions? Alumni? Administration?

    Without the inflated stats, the USNA is one of the most prestigious, rigorous, selective, and competitive institutions to gain admission to. Why mislead people with "application" numbers that are completely irrelevant? Counting SS apps, counting anyone who submits their name and address, counting juniors who are ineligible to apply? For what purpose?

    Most who are seeking this information are attempting to gain an insight on "their chances" and to falsely inflate them for ego seems to contradict the concept of "honor."

    Other than the USNA official website, what better website to look for accurate reliable information about a service academy then here? Unfortunately, it took a FOIA request for USNA to release the data that some other academies routinely release as part of their class profiles.

    All schools do not do that, you have been misinformed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  12. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Indeed.

    When a candidate is assessing the admissions probabilities of their application, it only makes sense to count and compare applications that are actually competing for an appointment.
     
  13. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    +1 :thumb:

    +1 :thumb:
     
  14. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    We don't know, as USNA does not release that information, at least not unless another FOIA request has to be filed.

    But USNA counts them as applicants anyway. One can only assume that if you or I also logged into the USNA admissions website, entered our name to "apply" to NASS, would we also be counted as someone who has applied for an appointment? Apparently, yes.

    From the article: (emphasis mine)

     
  15. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    The "solution" to this is simple . . . USNA should define what it means by "applicants" in situations where it provides the number of applicants. From that point on, people can draw their own conclusions.

    And, for reasons stated above, I disagree that an "applicant" is someone who completes the entire process. USNA does describe these folk differently in its publicly available materials. I believe they are called "fully qualified," but could be mistaken about that.

    In my personal opinion, someone who actually starts the process by submitting SAT scores or other parts of the application and then pulls out for whatever reason (e.g., change of heart, medical DQ) is an "applicant." Where I personally draw the line is someone who merely attended a camp or NASS or filled out an interest card but didn't do anything more. However, USNA has not asked my opinion on this.:biggrin:
     
  16. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    nuensis is spot on, but just scratching the surface. The whole college application/acceptance process is at least as corrupt as the rest of society. From those first letters that arrive in middle school telling the kid: "You should attend the Stanford summer program" or "Attend the national security leadership conference in Washington DC." All for a hefty price.

    The whole college app culture, typified by such solicitations, are designed to inculcate a sense of aspirational inferiority in parents and students. The response is to spend money on advisors, prep classes, extra-curriculars (like the above sentioned "conference"). My favorite was the, "Make a difference on a Summer Humanitarian Mission to Africa." Of course, it cost $8000. If you are lucky enough the be accepted". How about just sending $5000 to a legit mission already on the ground and have your kid sack groceries during the day and wash dishes at a soup kitchen a few evenings a week.

    We went through this process with son #1. He had top 2% test scores and was targeted. I was shocked at the $ and psychic energy that parents were spending. He did not apply to an SA, but did apply to Stanford and three Ivies. They rejected him post haste with no explanation. You'd think someone died. He is now an AROTC MSI (engineering) at a big state school that actually read his app and looked at the person. They let him know they wanted him. He is in the honors program and discovered that it is filled with kids just like him. Either they were turned down at the super elites or their parents didn't want to spend
    $50-60K versus $0-20k at big state U.

    This news means nothing to us. The USNA application process is a helluva lot more rigorous that the super elites, but the accpeptance process is infinitely less arbitrary. We look at the quality of the graduates not the admissions and PR offices. It is our job as parents to contextualize the noise from the outside culture.

    #2 son is a junior and aspires to USNA. He is a math/science/sports minded tinkerer who intends on studying Mech Eng. He is probably the least talented member of his hockey team, but he works as hard as anyone else and they love his 80's vintage boom box which he modified to play MP3's in the locker room before practice and games.

    The path we're following as follows: 1) Keep the school day rigorous, 2) Stay active, 3)Determine if his scores, GPA etc. put him in the USNA upper 50% of acceptees. Remember the SA's field a full slate of D1 sports and they also seek diversity, 4)Dig deep and learn about the place, 5)Seek out current mids and recent graduates. Find out how they dealt with those issues that look the most challenging, 6)Have backup schools, consider ROTC, 7)Focus on the place you want to be 5-6 years from now. If USNA doesn't pan out, there are many more paths to his goals.

    My advice the all college aspirants and their parents is to focus on what you love and what is important to you and follow that path. There is a reason everyone wants to come this country. Opportunities abound. Pathways to one's aspirations are everywhere.
     
  17. AikiBudo

    AikiBudo Member

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    Good post cb7983. These admission numbers revelations are neither shocking nor new. Yes, USNA "inflates" it numbers but they are not alone - welcome to the real world.
     
  18. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Ummm....Yes, they are new.

    Unless you were previously aware that NASS applicants and ineligible juniors counted toward regular admissions stats before this data was released.

    Why do you think that is? For what purpose?
     
  19. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Luigi59, I admit I have no military background. I never had to live by an honor code more formal than "What would my grandmother do in this situation." It has served me well.

    I don't like it any more than you. It seems a little inconsistent with the admonishment to not lie, cheat, or steal, etc. My grandmother would have included "knowingly mislead", but what did she know? She couldn't vote until she was 33.

    However, it is what it is and I call it the encroachment of the outside culture. Admissions officers all pay to go to the same conventions and seminars. They hear the same spiel about attracting the best candidates. Then they all retire to best same watering hole afterwards and compare the size of their respective...applicant pools.

    Remember there is an element of corruption that has existed forever. Have you read John McCain's bio? By his own words, he would never have qualified for admission to the USNA in a competitive process, and he barely graduated. However, his grandfather was on the deck of the Missouri when the Japanese surrendered and his father was an admiral.

    I assure you, based on my experience, that there are many great candidates getting push back from their parents, saying that USNA is not good enough. This can help their cause. Further, if any kids decide against USNA because it's not "selective" enough, then thank goodness for the FOIA disclosure. They are hardly equipped for life, much less a service academy.

    Refer to my earlier post. The best thing that has happened to my #1 son in ROTC is that he is with kids with much lower scores, but a strong desire to serve and succeed. He finally appreciated the connection between desire, effort and success.

    I still believe, that at the end of the day, the service academy admissions folks are bound and determined to get the best candidates possible with goal of the best outcome for the long term rather than the best admission stats.
     
  20. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The other curve ball is the U.S. Naval Academy, as any service academy, is bound by a number of laws as a member of the federal government. While "twisting" the numbers may be acceptable to various private institutions, it should not be for an institution created and funded by the U.S. public.

    "That's just the way it is" isn't an acceptable response from an institution pumping out public servants, nor should these numbers require a FOIA request to be released. There's no reason they should be FOUO and are certainly not classified or integral to the safety and security of the United States.
     

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