What are considered "hooks" for SA admissions?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by rosepetals, May 16, 2015.

  1. rosepetals

    rosepetals Member

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    My older son is a rising senior about to start the college app process, and I'm aware of what people consider "hooks" for some schools- international/national awards or honors, underrepresented minorities, first generation, development cases (large donors), published research, being the kid of a celebrity :), etc.

    To my surprise, I've heard people mention hooks on these forums and wonder what kinds of things are hooks for service academy admissions? Are they different than hooks for regular college apps?

    I'm aware that a hook can't override the foundation needs to be there - test scores, grades, fitness, leadership, extracurriculars, etc. -- so what could possibly be considered a hook?

    Wondering about this for my rising freshman USAFA-hopeful.
     
  2. MiddyB

    MiddyB Member

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    To answer your question, there is no universal hook. You will only find one thing common among all appointees, they want to go to a service academy. What gets them there is their unique story and accomplishments and their drive.

    Sure you'll see a common trend of class officers, and varsity athletes, and academic prowess, and an insane amount of volunteer hours. It is not the actual thing, but what it represents. The academies are looking for the best of the best in the areas of leadership, athleticism, intelligence, and service. How you stand out in doing those things among 15k+ other applicants is the hook you are looking for.
     
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  3. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    For the service academies, I would say that if you had 2 equal candidates from the standpoint of outstanding leadership, academics, etc., the nod for the appointment would go to underrepresented minorities, recruited athletes and females. Living in a congressional district that has very little interest from competitive candidates, makes it easier to get the appointment for an outstanding candidate, too.
     
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  4. rosepetals

    rosepetals Member

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    Thank you, both!

    This may sound like a crazy question, but are Asians considered URM for academies? I know many selective colleges view us as over-represented, so it is actually tougher to get accepted at those schools.

    It's not something we can change, obviously ;)....I'm just wondering.
     
  5. MiddyB

    MiddyB Member

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    As far as service academies go, if you are anything but a white male you are considered a URM.
     
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  6. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    I don't think this is right. According to this page http://www.ceousa.org/attachments/article/663/ceousa-service-adademies.pdf there is no evidence that Asian applicants receive preference at the USNA or at WP. If WP and the USNA don't give any preference to Asians, I doubt the Air Force Academy does. "In fact, there is evidence that Asian applicants with the same academic qualifications find it somewhat more difficult to obtain admission that do their white counterparts." It actually wouldn't surprise me that much if they were penalizing Asians in the Air Force Academy admissions process because many elite colleges penalize Asians in the admissions process because there are so many qualified ones applying. For example, at Harvard they scrape 50 points off Asians SAT scores, add 230 points to African American's SAT scores, and add 185 point to Hispanic's SAT scores to "balance" things out in the admissions process.
     
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  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    If your father received the Medal of Honor..... That's a hook.
     
  8. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    If you were going to be the shoe-in for the Heisman, you'd probably only need to meet the minimums in other areas...
     
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  9. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    Having former career military parents help.
     
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  10. ElSib

    ElSib Member

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    Not only a "hook" but an automatic nomination as well (if I'm remembering correctly).
     
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  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Yes, there are some hooks. And yes, there are plenty of automatic nominations. Having a retired from active duty parent is an automatic nomination. But as ramius said, you still have to meet the standards. Some people forget about that part. My aunt believed that her grandson would automatically be allowed into the academy because the father, my cousin, died on active duty. I explained that my cousin's son would indeed get an automatic nomination, but that didn't guarantee them an automatic appointment.

    That's the difference with the military academies vs traditional universities. There are some true "hooks" at civilian schools. Even for the 2.0 gap applicant. There are some guaranteed admissions. That's not the same at the academies. There's a lot of super athletes, officer kids, etc. that don't make it to the academy.
     
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  12. mviljac72

    mviljac72 Rango98

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    If one has a retired from active duty parent, who exactly does that person receive an automatic nomination from? Senator? Representative? I am a bit confused with what you are saying
     
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  13. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Presidential Noms. Although the number is unlimited for those who qualify to receive a Presidential Nomination, I believe only 100 or so can be appointed. I think for USNA in recent years there has generally been around 800 or so with Presidential Noms. I am guessing the other SAs are somewhere in that ballpark.
     
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  14. mviljac72

    mviljac72 Rango98

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    Thank you for the help.
     
  15. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    West point does have an admissions "goal" for minorities and Asians do have a set goal. However, I do not know if there is a large percentage of highly qualified Asian applicants in comparison to the "goal" for admissions.
     
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  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It is the Presidential slate...none of those that you are asking about. It is a separate slate. Most posters will call this a non-compete slate. Iows, every candidate that is eligible will get a Pres. nom. they than compete against those on the Presidential slate, which is competitive.
    ~ It is confusing because it is competitive to get the appointment, but posters say it is not competitive because it is automatic...no interviews, etc. If Mom or Dad meet the military eligibility requirements (time in the military), than the candidate gets it, no ifs, ands or buts.

    Now for the posters question regarding a hook, first I agree with CC aka Mike, they need to be 3 Q, however, if we assume that they are 3 Q....I would say being 1 of the following:
    1. MoC child
    2. Flag officers child
    ~ Parents network. Do you actually believe John McCains DS would not have received a principal when he applied for USNA
    ~~ Not inferring he did not deserve it, just saying Dear Old Dad helped.
    ~~~ I am also going to say just because the folks gave a donation for the reelection of a specific MOC, that does not equate to a hook
    3. Interning on an MoC staff....maybe.
    ~ Maybe....see #1 &2.
    ~~ Interning can help and hurt. You better be on the ball 110% of the time.
    4. In VA, it is insanely competitive. Many MoCs like 2nd time applicants.
    ~ Eric Cantor was known to give principals to 2nd time applicants that were also in ROTC at college.
    ~~ MoCs talk in VA. 1 nomination is common.
    5. State champion for a sport.
    6. NMF with the Whole package.
    ~~ NMSF is easy. NMF is different
    ~~~ If you also apply for AFROTC scholarship, you could be like many other posters. Type 1 AFROTC scholarship with admittance to HYPPSM, and enough merit to make it a free ride. It can become a hard decision to choose between Harvard free ride and USAFA.

    My very best advice is to attack this like you would an Ivy, minus any URM aspect. If your child is a freshmen than be prepared for the hook line to move.
    ~ In 2008 I recall they offered @1650 appointments, but by 09 or 10, it dropped to 1300. It literally was in 1 year a drop of 20% appointments.

    Nobody is psychic. Nobody here sits on the selection board. If you really want to see the current competition, look at the following, and pm specific posters.
    1. USAFA 2019 list from your state
    2. Nomination forum threads from your state
    3. ROTC forum for AFROTC scholarship recipients
    ~ AFROTC is national, and majors matter.
    4. HS Naviance program for Ivy selection

    If you do that than you can get a glimpse of how they rack and stack. Remember for an appointment, it starts geocentric (MoC) and goes to a national level. AFROTC scholarship starts and ends nationally.

    I also would have your child sit one on one with the GC now. Tell the GC you want to be competitive for an Ivy league education.
    ~ Posters typically forget 1 of the 3 Qs is medical. You might think they have no issues, but if I could collect a dime from every poster that didn't realize allergies or an inhaler after age of 13 was going to place them in remedial, I could pay my mtg every month. Add in color deficiency that they didn't know existed would pay my car payment too.

    Hence why we always say have a solid plan B in place.

    Good luck, and I am glad you are being proactive, just saying from someone that rode the rollercoaster, this is the kiddie rollercoaster. The true ride starts once they are at USAFA or AFROTC.
     
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  17. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    And, don't forget that "diversity" at US Service Academies does not necessarily mean the same thing as it does at an Ivy, or even at Flagship State U. Racial minority, sure but: Homeschooler? Yes, Diversity. From a district with very few applicants? OK, Diversity.

    Excelling in a some of the different sports, read: less popular; can also be a hook: FENCING ! Boxing! Rifle! Water polo!!!

    Even something as "workaday" as playing a trumpet - Yep, let's look at that person for the D&B

    WCS, PLUS the needs of the AF - bring it all to the table!
     
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  18. amak22

    amak22 Member

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    @fencersmother True. I'm Asian, play trumpet, and received FF to NWP :)
     
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  19. rosepetals

    rosepetals Member

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    Thank you all for this enlightening conversation!
     

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