What are my chances? I'd love to get some insight!

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by blakeUSAFA18hopeful, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. blakeUSAFA18hopeful

    blakeUSAFA18hopeful Member

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    Hello Everyone! I'd like to hear your thoughts on my chances of receiving a nomination to USAFA:

    GPA: 3.89
    Homeschooled
    Black belt in Taekwondo (under the tutelage of Master Lynette Love, Olympic Gold medalist)
    Captain of Track/Cross Country team
    Eagle Scout
    A/V Tech volunteer at my local church
    Red Cross Disaster Relief certified

    I'm taking the ACT in May and I hope I do well! I currently live in Colorado, and I think that hurts my chances due to the high visibility of the Academy here (everyone knows about it, so I assume more people apply). I'm eligible for the Presidential and Vice Presidential nominations as well.

    Any insight that you can offer would be greatly appreciated :)

    Thank you!!
     
  2. burnerafter16

    burnerafter16 Member

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    Don't worry about being from CO. If you've done your research, you already know your chances. Prepare and do well on the ACT. Lign up all the other requirements (ie. nomination, reccomendations etc.) Don't forget about plan "B" and "C" just in case and you should be OK.
    Keep up the good work and train for CFA.
     
  3. bmw17

    bmw17 NWP 2012

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    I would reccomend also taking the SAT if possible. Some people like that test better and might get higher scores.
     
  4. EagleDriver

    EagleDriver Member

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    Except for lack of ACT/SAT scores, you look good!....I would suggest taking those practice SAT/ACT courses...they really do help your test taking...it will come down to those scores and your Candidate Fitness Test/Interview if given...you have a good all around extracurricular aspects intact. Good luck to you. :thumb:
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    If you went to the search field at the top of the forum, and typed in "What are my chances"? You'd find approximately, 247,455 posts on that very topic.

    Why will you find that many posts? Because if it was an question that could actually be "ANSWERED", then we would post that answer in the sticky section where everyone can see it, and they'd NEVER have to ask the question again.

    But alas, such a question can not be answered. Whether you're looking to see what your chances are for a nomination, or more importantly, an appointment. It hasn't been able to be answered in the past; it can't be answered today; and it won't be able to be answered 5 years from now.

    Why can't it be answered? Pray tell!!! Simple..... It doesn't matter WHAT your scores are. "Assuming they meet at least the bare minimum requirements. There will be some people with a 3.4gpa who WILL RECEIVE an appointment. And there will be some people with a 3.95 gpa who WILL NOT RECEIVE and appointment. How is that possible. Because, as I said, it doesn't matter what your scores are. What matters, is what your COMPETITION's scores are. And that my friend, is the once factor that neither I, you, your ALO, your congressman, your senator, nor anyone else has. Not except for the academy, and they won't even know that until every applicant has submitted their application. Same with a nomination. Until the cutoff and your senator or representative has their interviews and panel reviews of your application vs everyone else; NO ONE knows the answer to your question.

    I'm not trying to sound rude or mean. Simply trying to let you know of the facts, and HOPEFULLY for those who actually do use the search feature in this forum; 2 very important things:

    1. There is NO MAGIC LIST that if you complete certain items or have a certain score, that you will get a nomination and appointment.

    2. Except for the LAST GROUP (About 1/3 of the appointments), (National Pool - AKA Qualified Alternates); the majority of applicants do NOT HAVE THE SAME COMPETITION!!! Unless you're comparing yourself to someone in your same state, and same congressional district, and you're both on the same nomination slate; then you don't have the same competition.

    This is why I said someone with a 3.45 WILL receive an appointment, while someone with a 3.95 WON'T receive an appointment. Because that 3.95 individual might have someone competing on their MOC's nomination slate with a 4.0 gpa. While the person with the 3.45 could be the ONLY person on that nomination slate. Or maybe they are the highest gpa person applying. Remember; about 1.5 MILLION kids applied to college in 2011. Only about 12,000 applied to the air force academy. There's a lot of districts where the air force academy isn't a big attraction.

    Anyway; sorry for the long response. I give it often, in the hopes that maybe some day the responses will be places in a place where everyone will see it first, and not ask the question. Because the truth is; not one person here has any idea what your chances are. I and others have seen individuals who we would bet our paycheck on DEFINITELY WOULD get an appointment,..... and they DIDN'T. We don't know who your competition is. You aren't competing nationally; initially. You are competing against those in your state and district; and other slates like presidential. Tell me the scores of ALL the other people applying, and I'll be happy to tell you what your chances are. Best of luck... Mike....
     
  6. Tigger

    Tigger Member

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    Maybe one of your replies should be in the sticky section:smile:

    I'm being serious! You always patiently answer this question and provide the rationale for why it is impossible to answer so maybe it would be a great addition.

    Just a thought!

     
  7. icarus

    icarus Member

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    There will always be young kids that haven't researched enough and just seeks guidance from people that have been there before and know more.
    If the question was: "Do you think I am qualified?" rather than "what are my chances?" then the USAFA admissions FAQ should suffice.
    In this case the OP just wanted to ask "what are his chances?" with what he has presented and hopefully a stellar score in the ACT. It may not be far-fetched to just encourage the young boy and say that-yes!, your chances are good. Keep up the good job and stay out of trouble. Your chances are way much better than one who never tried.
     
  8. blakeUSAFA18hopeful

    blakeUSAFA18hopeful Member

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    Thank you all so much for your insight! Christcorp, thank you! I've done my research, but I also like to hear the human element of it too! Again, thank you all so much!
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Sorry icarus. I just can't do that. And Blake, just because someone doesn't jump up and down with encouragement, DOESN'T MEAN that they are "Discouraging" you either. If you're looking for reinforcement of your accomplishments, I'm sure there are plenty here that will give it to you. That's simply not my style. I prefer to tell you the truth. And the truth is: I and other ALO's have seen individuals with 4.0 gpa's and 30+ ACT's NOT GET an appointment. This isn't meant to discourage. If anything, it's meant to ENCOURAGE YOU to exercise ALL of your options. The truth is: If you are indeed qualified to receive an appointment to a military academy, then what you SHOULD be doing is:

    1. Applying to ALL the academies that interest you.
    2. Applying for ROTC scholarships to whatever schools interest you.
    3. Applying to NO LESS than 5 significant universities.
    4. Applying to NO LESS than 3 Backup schools such as state universities and such.
    5. Looking at any and all other backup options to meet your goals.

    Remember: Going to a military academy is NOT A GOAL. It's a means of helping you ACHIEVE your goals. But the academy is not the only means to help you. Figure out what your goal(s) is/are, and then look at all the options that can help you accomplish that/those goal(s).

    I'm not trying to discourage you. But if you look through some of the current threads about WHO is receiving appointments; you'll find by June that there will be some upset and disappointed individuals who don't understand why they didn't get an appointment when their gpa/act/sat is higher than someone else who DID receive an appointment. So, if you want encouragement, then I encourage you to talk to your ALO. Contact your senators and representative's staff and look at who from your state and district received appointments. Ask your ALO to look at your stats and give you an honest assessment of how you compare to those in past cycles. (That doesn't mean you might not be competing against a "#1" type of applicant this year. The type that has it ALL. Because the "WHOLE PACKAGE" is what the academy cares about. You might be competing this year against the 4.0gpa unweighted, who took ALL AP classes or the 4 year IB program. Who is ranked #1 in their class. Who is also the class president. Who is also the captain of 2 varsity sports. Who also has 300+ hours of volunteer time. Who also went to boy's state. Who also works part time. etc......

    On the other hand, your resume and application could very well be the BEST of those applying for a nomination in your district. The only encouragement is to say: "Do the very best you can do." Don't think that if you do certain things, you win a nomination or appointment. If you have a 3.86, then strive for as close to a 4.0 that you can get. If you have a 32 composite ACT score, try AGAIN and aim for a 36. If you have 300 hours of volunteer time, go for 500. In other words, whatever you are doing now, I encourage you to do BETTER. That's the same advice I give to everyone. Only you know when you've done your best, and there is no room left for improvement.

    So again; please don't read this or my prior post as any form of discouragement. It isn't. But I can't honestly answer a question such as "What are my chances" when I don't know who you are competing with. If you click on the link in my signature block, that is the new Air Force Academy Brochure. If you look at the AVERAGE scores for current cadets; averaged; you'll find that your scores are right there with all of them. In other words, SOME are lower, and SOME are higher. What matters however, is what are the scores and accomplishments of those you are competing against in your district; in your state; on the presidential nomination list; (I believe I read in another thread that you are a brat; so you are eligible to apply for a presidential nomination if your military parent is either retired or STILL active duty with 8 or more years; or guard/reserve with a certain amount of points.

    best of luck to you. mike....
     
  10. burnerafter16

    burnerafter16 Member

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    To Blake,
    There are approximately 12,000 kids each year that apply to the Academy, aware of the "full package" admissions is looking for. Even if 90% of them don't get appointments, their motivation to pursue the requirements necessary to compete for an appointment still offers a very positive outcome in the bigger picture of young men and women maximizing their potential and being productive members of their communities (even if they are shunned by the SA).
    There is more than one route to a destination. If your goal is to serve your country by attending a SA and it doesn't happen, alternate routes abound.
    When we started this process two years ago, it was as simple as giving it the best shot and hoping for the best.
    Keep doing your best in your academic, athletic, and community pursuits. Complete the requirements and submit your application before the deadline. I believe that you're headed in the right direction.
     
  11. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    You might want to consider some volunteer work or even a paying job in there.

    If I read correctly that you are homeschooled, perhaps you have some flexibility in your schedule which might allow for either or both of these.

    For a while, home schoolers were considered to be part of the "diversity" program (which is not limited to racial diversity), but I don't know if it is now. Before and I think during the time my kids were there, USAFA tracked all the homeschooled kids, but I think if you ask admissions or even your ALO, you'll find that homeschooling with demonstrated success is no impediment to your eventual appointment.
     
  12. icarus

    icarus Member

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    I'm thankful that our ALO adhered to the "KISS" principle.(Keep It Simple _ _ _)
    Met just a few times and didn't say much- The interview, to check DS's tatoo form, and then to present the appointment during awards night at school.
    If we were inundated with all this statistics and probabilities, we would have been apprehensive and would have worried unnecessarily.
     
  13. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    As a homeschooler, your GPA doesn't mean a lot. So you need to do well on either the ACT or SAT. The average ACT score for appointees is in the 30-31 range. As has been said previously, try both exams and then focus on which ever one suits you better and get as close to a perfect score as you can. Take the exam however many times it takes. Another way to demonstrate your academic ability is to take some community college courses and do well. You need to show that you can be successful in a traditional college environment. Someone will also need to create a professional looking transcript documenting your coursework. This is not particularly difficult. But if you need a sample, PM me and I can supply you with an example of what we sent to USAFA.
     
  14. Ambition

    Ambition USAFA Class of 2017

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    Is it common for an ALO to present the appointment at their High School? And during what ceremony do they do that?
     
  15. icarus

    icarus Member

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    ALOs volunteer their time so it depends on their availability. In our case, a Lt Col presented the award during awards night and it was very cool. Each school has it's own policy on when these awards are presented. Some are given during graduation. Either way, it's a memorable moment to top of High School graduation. Congratulations on your appointment!
     
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Honestly; of the 12,000+ initial applicants; 6000+ nominees; 2500-3000 qualified candidates; do you think come to these forums, or more importantly ask the type of questions that are asked here??? slim to none. When I initially talk with my candidates, usually in June/July, I tell them what to expect in the application and nomination process. I give them a hard copy of the academy brochure or give them the link that's in my signature block here. I tell them what the average cadet scores were. I tell them the type of scores the past selection of appointees had. And I tell them to do their best on everything they can. if they have any questions, to call me. The LESS THAN 1% who actually visit this forum ask the questions they do, because they see other questions, and they expound on those questions. But you were probably no where near the NORMAL applicant for your ALO. The process is in fact very simple. It's not difficult. It's the individuals applying who usually make it MORE difficult than it really is.

    If the ALO is local enough and CAN make the time to present the appointment, they will. It's usually done during the school's "Senior Awards" assembly or similar. I have one of my applicants with a PENDING Appointment. (He's waiting for a medical waiver). He his waiver is approved, I WILL be presenting it to him at their awards ceremony.
     

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