VP Nominations - Last Chance

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by thehoaxbuster, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. thehoaxbuster

    thehoaxbuster Member

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    Hello,

    Please allow me to briefly describe my scenario. I'd really appreciate feedback on this:

    I applied to both USNA and USAFA. I applied for a nom from my congressman and from my senator, and both nominated me to USNA. I was also just appointed to USNA. However, I am still VERY interested in the prospect of going to the Air Force Academy. Up until a couple of days ago, I thought my chances of getting an appointment there were all but extinguished because both of my nominations went to Navy. However, my BGO told me about the VP Nomination possibility.

    I checked on the White House website for the VP Nomination page, and it said that all VP nomination applications were due by Jan 31, so I promptly turned one in, placing Air Force as my preference. I understand that the Academies themselves take the pick for the VP nominations. Will USAFA recognize the fact that I've been nominated twice to Navy, and appointed there, and proceed to keep my USAFA chances alive by granting me a VP nomination? Is this a possibility?

    The USNA class of 2014 profile shows that 773 Presidential nominations were given out... with this in mind, can I be hopeful that I could still receive a nomination and be eligible for a USAFA appointment?

    Many Thanks!
     
  2. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    Presidential Nominations are different than Vice Presidential Nominations- Presidential noms go to children of active duty vets, etc. while the VP Nom works just like a congressional nom. I think the VP gets somewhere like 5 noms per class per school (somone will know better than me). so, in short, while you still have a chance, the odds are against you.
    congrats on your USNA appointment!
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    It's hard to comment without knowing the specifics of your process. Thus, in my reply, I'm making some assumptions which may not be true.

    I assume that, when you applied to your MOCs, you indicated some sort of preference in terms of which SAs you wanted. Thus, you either only listed only USNA for one or more MOCs or you ranked USNA higher. If any of the above is the case, then you got what you said you wanted . . . a nom (actually 2) to USNA.

    Alternatively, you may have "split" your noms, meaning that you listed USNA first for one or two MOCs and USAFA first for the other. This happened to one of my candidates several years ago with USNA and USMA. He got 2 noms to USMA and none for USNA. Asked me what he should do. I said he should go to West Point since he clearly must want to go there given that he prioritized it on 2/3 nom slates.

    You have to make a decision at some point. I know many candidates want to have 2 appointments so they can choose at the last minute. With the competitve nature of all SAs today -- and the competitive nature of noms in many parts of the country -- this simply isn't going to happen for most candidates.

    Thus, I advise the following: If you would be EQUALLY happy at more than one SA (excluding USCGA where noms aren't an issue), go ahead and split your noms so as to give yourself the best chance of getting into one. However, if you are at all leaning toward one SA, put all of your eggs (nom opportunities) in one basket.

    In this case, it sounds like you have a really good shot at USNA yet you still want USAFA. I assume that means you really want USAFA. If that's the case, you should have made that your first choice (just being honest). VP noms are very hard to come by. Pres noms are only available to children of military parents. I'm not sure whether USAFA will know about your USNA noms unless you tell them. However, if I were your ALO, I wouldn't be all that sympathetic because it would seem to me that your preference is USNA.

    With all the above said, if you won't truly be "happy" at USNA, DON'T GO. If USAFA doesn't work out this year, reapply for next year.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    PDB, from what I know of the VP nom, it is kind of like the Presidential. You qual you get the nom. Only 5 can be charged at any given time, whereas Presidential has 100 per yr.

    My question is to the OP why are you discussing this with your BGO and not your ALO. The person you need now fighting for you if you want AFA is your ALO, not your BGO.

    Your ALO has the contacts at the AFA, not your BGO.

    I agree with the others if the AFA is the way you want to go, think long and hard before signing those papers. If it is buyer's remorse or what if, than ask yourself why? In your heart you might really want the USNA over the AFA, and fear is playing into the current equation, feeling that you are forced into a path and that bothers you more than anything else.
     
  5. NMMI PREP DIRECTOR

    NMMI PREP DIRECTOR Member

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    thehoaxbuster,

    Congrats on the USNA appointment. As for, "What do I do now?", the better questions may be, "Where do I want to be in 5, 10, 20 years; and how am I going to get there?" Will going to the USAFA better serve your needs/dreams than the USNA?*

    I think the advice others gave you was sound. Please make sure you are doing what you want to do.

    *Also please understand that I do not have a "me first" philosophy. I believe the best candidates internalize JFK's statement, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."
     
  6. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    I am pretty sure that there are no special qualifiers for the VP Nom (such as child of MoH recipient, active duty parent, prior service, etc.)
    the white house site says average 1 or 2 vacancies per academy per year. so its worth a shot- you might be that one, but don't pin your hopes on it
     
  7. thehoaxbuster

    thehoaxbuster Member

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    I didn't split my noms preferences. I should have done that, because I was still split between USAFA and USNA at t he time (still am). I was under the impression that MOCs contact each other to coordinate who has what noms, and would see splitting noms as 'dishonest'. I thought they would see I had a USNA nom and would not give me another one and default to giving me a USAFA nom.

    Should I contact the Air Force Academy? I've talked to my ALO, and he said there's not much I can do besides wait to see if the VP nom works out. I could try to call the admisisons office...

    Furthermore, if I decide that USAFA is where I truly want to be, how much of a risk is it to deny the USNA appointment and reapply next year for USAFA? I was told by my BGO that it would be a bad idea because the nominations board at my congressman's office would ask my why I denied a SA appointment. Thoughts?
     
  8. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    have you considered going through annapolis and switching your commision when you graduate?
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    First, inter-service transfer is EXTREMELY difficult. Last year, USNA had only one person transfer -- to the Army.

    You could go to civilian school this year and reapply. Yes, it might be an "uphill" struggle with your MOCs but I think that, if you're honest about what happened, you might be ok. It's a big decision to make at age 17 and, if you have good reasons for why you changed your mind, they should accept that.

    Finally, USNA has a few noms which can be handed out but which you can't apply for (e.g., Superintendent's noms). I don't know if USAFA has the same thing. And, they are also a long shot, at least at USNA.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree with 85 the option of x-service is not a path you want to bank on.

    PDB, you missed interpreted what I stated "You qual you get the nom."...in other words, submit the papers, be a citizen, and you are good to go!

    Presidential, is be a military dependent that quals and you are good to go. If your folks served for 6 yrs that doesn't mean you are qual for Presidential. Your folks need to meet the quals for Presidential, AD or previously served doesn't equate into being qual.

    MOH, is not Presidential, actually as a dependent of an MOH you go into a whole new pile. Basically you are in. Unlike Presidential where you have 1 in 7 chances.

    FWIW, I keep drilling into the fact that competition is getting stiffer every yr because of the economy. 3 yrs ago, Presidential noms were topping out at 450+. Now they are hitting close to 800.

    I can pretend and hand hold, but the fact is, Why didn't you apply for the VP back in the fall? It is probably the easiest nom to apply for and get, besides the Pres.

    IMPO, contact that ALO now. You'd be amazed how the SA's feed off of each other. For all you know, they can work back channels with the MOC (Rare, very rare, not best shot) or they can now say, you have that VP nom, we work it through other routes (Supe, NWL) and get you in.

    Time to get that ALO up to date.
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    To echo Pima, to receive a Presidential nom, one of your parents must meet the requirements. They are clearly stated on the usna.edu website and, I'm sure, on the websites of the other SAs. Active duty and/or eligible reserve time can qualify -- check out the requirements.

    If you are eligible for a Pres nom, you get one. They are non-competitive. This is very important to understand. That is why there can be 800+ recipients of a Pres nom (for the 100 slots) and why MOC noms are so important.

    Just to be clear, VP noms are no longer "easy." They've never been easy to obtain and they're no longer even easy to apply for, which they used to be. You now must write an essay and need letters of recommendation -- thus, it's no longer the short paperwork drill that it once was. A VP nom also is not the easiest to get -- arguably it's the hardest. As noted, Pres noms are "easy" b/c you fill out your parent's info and, if it qualifies, you get a nom regardless of your qualilfications. In many cases, the Pres is all that you'll need but, in many other cases, that MOC nom sure comes in handy.:smile:

    The VP nom is competitive -- maybe one person per year per SA gets it. And, now, you have to submit a bunch of stuff even to be eligible. It's worth doing b/c someone has to get the VP noms but it's certainly not the easy way to an appointment.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Clarification, are you stating that now they only offer 1 nom?

    The VP nom has always been competitive b/c anyone and everyone can apply regardless of geographic location, yet only 1 maybe 2 can be charged. However, the way I am reading this post, the nom is now limited to 1 per SA regardless of how many apply.

    There is a difference from being nominated and being charged to the VP.

    DS went through the process a few yrs ago, you applied and submitted the paperwork. Few weeks later you got a letter saying "thank you for the submission, you have been submitted as a nominee, any questions contact the SA".

    Just for my curiosity, how does it work now? Are you saying they go through each resume, weed out and nom only 1? Wouldn't that in essence be principal?

    Additionally, this might be off the wall, but if they do sort through and only nom 1 person, how can they do that if the VP drop dead date is 1/31, the same for the SA's noms.

    I admit I am long in the tooth on this, but I am now confused.
     
  13. thehoaxbuster

    thehoaxbuster Member

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    I've been under the impression that the VP nom is EXTREMELY hard to get. Could somebody set the record straight in terms of statistics and how many actually end up getting a VP nom?

    Second, my ALO just asked the admissions office at USAFA if they would even look at my application despite the fact that both my nominations went to Navy and I was appointed there. They simply said that applications without nominations are not thrown in to the pack of applications that are considered... kind of a generic and empty answer for my purposes, but oh well.

    So here's what I think I may do. I plan on visiting both academies in a couple of weeks, and will take tours, refining how I feel about both academies and their respective services. Also, I've heard that the athletic coaches at SA's practically have nominations in their back pocket if an athlete is qualified enough. I ran cross-country and track, lettering in XC this year... so that's a big stretch... should I try to contact the coach anyway?

    Pima, I didn't even know about the availability of a VP nom until a few days before it was due. I thought they were ULTRA-SPECIAL and were for those who were sons or daughters of military heroes.... Can somebody please explain the statistics/scheduling of VP noms?

    Thank you for the honest replies.
     
  14. Brookhaus

    Brookhaus Member

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    VP noms are similar to congressional noms--VP gets ten noms for each one of the open seats at an academy out of the five that are set aside for the VP. One empty seat=ten nominations. The academy can appoint all ten or only one--same as congressional (which is why some districts have many more than one kid in each academy's entering class).

    Each academy assigns the nominations to applicants of their choice. They are generally reserved for applicants with special needs/issues (for example, we were told by AFA that they go to sponsored Falcon preps with no nominations, recruited athletes with no nominations, etc.). Bottom line is it is virtually impossible to get one unless you fit into one of the special needs/issues categories. If you don't fit a special category or even have an LOA from the AFA, the chance of receiving one of their ten VP noms is probably close to zero.

    In addition to VP noms, each academy superintendent has fifty noms that can be given without geogrpahic limitation. These, too, generally go to special needs/issues candidates (Falcons, athletes, LOAs, etc.) without any other nomination.

    There is some limited flexibility in reassigning congressional noms once they are all submitted and matched against candidates also holding a presidential nom. For example, a candidate with one of each might be asked to return his/her congresssional nom to his/her district so it can be reassigned to another candidate from the same district. The AFA would then charge the nom to the president's 100 nom limit. Same is true where a candidate receives a house and senate nomination--AFA might ask that one of them be returned for reallocation to another candidate from the same district or state.

    As for turning down nominations and an appointment to USNA this year and reapplying to AFA next year, think long and hard before passing up a sure thing. You might easily end up with no nomination and/or no appointment next year.
     
  15. arewethereyet

    arewethereyet Member

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    straight from the web

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/vice-president-biden/academy-nominations
    The Vice President is the only authorized nominating authority who can nominate U.S. citizens without geographical restrictions. He may have a maximum number of five nominees in attendance at each authorized academy at any one time. Normally, he has one or two vacancies each year. In order to be entered into competition for a Vice Presidential nomination, applicants must complete the online nomination application during the application period of March 1 to January 31 preceding the year of entrance to the academies. The Office of the Vice President will not accept paper applications.

    Due to a large volume of applicants (usually several thousand per academy), the Vice President has authorized the academies to evaluate all applications and rank them according to qualifications. In screening candidates, the academies evaluate an individual's high school or college academic record, results of the ACT and SAT tests, recommendations from individuals who are in a position to judge the applicant's character and academic potential, and physical and medical qualifications.
     
  16. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Others above have said it well but let me amplify.

    The VP noms are different than the Pres noms. Pres noms are unlimited in number. VP noms are finite. I've been doing this for more than a decade and never have had anyone get one.

    The VP can only have 5 students at each SA at one time. That means, like MOCs, there is probably one open slot per year per SA. Because the SAs control the noms, they really don't need to pick 10 people for each vacancy the way that the MOCs do. They simply look at all of the applicants for the VP nom and pick the person who will get it.
     
  17. diamondssouthpaw7

    diamondssouthpaw7 New Member

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    I don't believe that the athletic coaches have unlimited nominations in their back pocket to give out. Since the SA's equate to a "full-ride" scholarship in NCAA terms, and they are all D1 schools, I think the NCAA would regulate how many recruits a given SA team can have. A "full-ride" scholarship would certainly trump any 25% offer from another competing D1 school. It would then equate to an unfair advantage for the SA's in recruitment terms, I would think.
     
  18. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    Diamond, because everyone at a sa is on full ride technically, the NCAA has given them basically an exception in this regard. However, I think admissions gives each coach a certain number of players that they can get in by slightly lowering the standards

    As for noms, I do not know how that works. They cannot get presidentials without active duty parents, and even if one per year gets the vp, that leaves a lot left over
     
  19. Brookhaus

    Brookhaus Member

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    With respect, I am not sure it is correct that the VP can have only five cadets at the AFA at any one time. The AFA catalog states the following: "Each member of Congress and the Vice President may have five cadets at the Air Force Academy at any one time. They may nominate up to ten candidates for each vacancy. Vacancies occur when cadets graduate or leave prior to graduation." There is no question that a number of MOCs have far more than five cadets at the AFA (and the other academies) at any one time. A different rule for the VP would place the MOCs in a better position than the VP with respect to nominations. While that is certainly possible, I've seen newspaper reports stating that at least five cadets entering the AFA in 2006 did so based on VP noms. My understanding is that there are up to ten VP noms available to the AFA per vacancy, and they use whatever number of those they want in order to appoint highly desired candidates who do not have congressional or other nominations. If others know the rule is in fact different for the VP, I'm sure they will speak up.

    Having said that, no matter whether the VP is limited to a maximum of five or is entitled to a minimum of five (like the MOCs), I don't think there is any doubt that the VP noms are nearly impossible to obtain for the vast majority of candidates.
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The real problem is the word "MAY" it is not "WILL". The AFA right now just announced that the incoming class will be @200 cadets less for the next 2 yrs from prior yrs. 1120, compared to @1350 for prior yrs.

    They are trying to get the number down to 4000 from their 4500 number. Again that is where words matter...The SA is allowed UP to 4400, but that does not mean they have to BE at 4400.

    My bet is the way they are going to get that number is using that MAY word. I don't think you are going to see every source that MAY have UP to 5, actually hit 5.

    Again, MAY and WILL are not synonymous
     

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