What do my chances at West Point look like so far?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by robertwilliams10, May 11, 2011.

  1. robertwilliams10

    robertwilliams10 New Member

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    I am currently a sophomore at a top college preparatory school in my area. In my freshman year, I took two honors classes, Chemistry Honors, which is usually taken by strong juniors, and Geometry Honors, which is usually taken by strong freshman or sophomores. However, I didn't do so well in these two classes (around a C average for both Chemistry Honors and Geometry Honors). The English and History courses were the same for every freshman, but I believe I would have been in honors classes, if they were offered (around a B in English and around an A for History). I took the maximum number of courses available to a freshman, including two electives, Multimedia Design and Band. I had two unsuccessful campaigns for school vice president and school treasurer, but I was elected class representative for the ninth grade class. Over the course of my freshman year, I had over 50 community service hours, which earned me Community Service Honors. I was also a member of my church's youth group. I was cast in my school's spring drama production, and wrote and performed a play for a school drama festival. I did not participate in my school's athletic program in my freshman year, as I was focusing on my academics during the transition from a small Catholic middle school to a rigorous college preparatory school.

    During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years was when I was inspired to attend the Academy. I don't remember what triggered this sudden desire to serving in the Army, but I felt that it was something I needed to do. Due to this increasing interest, I looked into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After doing some research, I realized that this is somewhere I want to attend, to better myself and my country.

    In my sophomore year, I took three honors classes, Biology Honors, Spanish II Honors, and Algebra II Honors, and an Advanced Placement course, AP World History. I am taking the maximum number of courses available to a sophomore, including Intro to Computer Science and Band. I was elected a class representative for the tenth grade class, but later resigned that position, as I was elected school secretary, the highest school government official a sophomore could be elected. I also participated in the Model Congress, Model UN, and Euro Challenge teams at my school. Over the course of my sophomore year, I had over 50 community service hours, which earned me Community Service Honors. During the summer before my sophomore year, I volunteered at the hospital where my mother works five days out of most weeks during summer. I was also a member of my church's youth group. I was cast in my school's fall drama production, and wrote and performed a play for a school drama festival. I was a member of my school's Junior Varsity Basketball team and Junior Varsity Lacrosse team. For next year, I am considering joining the Cross Country team at my school. I am also considering the U.S. Army Cadet Corps for next year.

    Looking at this, what would you say my chances at receiving a Congressional nomination and an offer of admission into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point?
     
  2. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    52.7% chance...

    nah just kidding. No one can really tell you here. The best you can do is measure yourself against the cadet profiles and always strive for the best: http://www.usma.edu/Class/2014/profile.asp
     
  3. cisco

    cisco Member

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    You could probably get a pretty good nomination from this, if any of your parents are in the military, you could get a presidential nomionation (that's better then congress), does your school have a JROTC? If so it would of been best to have joined your Freshmen year, but in your Junior year you still can (most of the people who go in their junior year do much better, but unfortunatly can only go up to LET 2 and not have that full leadership experience that West Point likes). JROTC isn't a must, but it certainly helps considering West Point is basically a giant ROTC. With JROTC comes a lot more stuff to add on to your impressive list. I'm a sophmore too and im in my high schools JROTC and i've accomplished a lot and it certainly puts you ahead of most people. So if you can try to join next year, you could get a full ROTC scholership to west point if you try. Good luck! Hope to see you there (; lol
     
  4. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    I'd check your facts on that one. I've never heard that a presidential nomination is better than a congressional nom. I would agree that having more than one nomination source is probably better, but I think they generally view most nomination sources pretty equally.

    Now I know this one is false. You don't need an ROTC scholarship for West Point for two reasons:

    a) There is no ROTC at USMA. It is a federal service academy.
    b) West Point is 99.9% taxpayer paid. All costs are picked up except for a few in-processing and plebe year expenses, but they are not anything drastic. In fact, you even get a salary at the academy.


    @Robertwilliams10: I think the best advice you could receive is join organizations you are truly passionate about and strive for leadership positions within them. I've been told a gajillion times that it is far better to be a leader in one organization than to be a member of five. The military etiquette learned in JROTC probably would help at the academy but, for admissions, I think it's viewed in the same sort of light as scouting and clubs. It's an extra-curricular. Just do what you like and be sure to be a leader in it!
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  5. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    *facepalm*

    You're asking for an exact answer to an imprecise scenario. No one can tell you that.

    Keep working hard.
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    You are on track if you do good on SAT/ACT. Simply, SAT/ACT scores are important for SA admissions.
     
  7. cisco

    cisco Member

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    Sorry, That scholership one is false (this was not me, my friend made this for me and typed that)
    And i'm not sure if a Presidental Nomination is better or not but in my eyes i think it would be.
    And you do not need to be in JROTC, in my school 6 people got into West Point last year and none of them were in JROTC. But, it does help with the whole extracurricular thing.
    But it's not just academics for West Point, they have a standerd for your health/physical strength/ability. You have to do a certain number of push-ups, sit-ups, 2 mile run. I think it's the same as the Army's but i could be wrong?
    And also you get a salary for joining any Service academy or ROTC in college. But how much i don't know, people always change their answers so it's been bothering me.
    Oh and for nomination's you only get one, but recommondations is different.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  8. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Service Academy.....as in military service.
     
  9. cisco

    cisco Member

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    Sorry.. There's this thing we got call Service Learning in my school and force of habit lol.
     
  10. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    It absolutely does, and I hope I never insinuated that one must be in JROTC to seek admission to the Academy because that is completely false. All I said was that it was an extra-curricular that helps with your application.

    I'm very aware of this as I will be taking the CFA in just a few weeks at SLS! :biggrin:

    And, no, it's not the same as the APFT (which consists of the 2-mile run, push-ups/2min, and sit-ups/2min) but there are indeed many similar events between the two of them.

    I have a friend with a Presidential nom and an MOC nom; you can receive more than one nomination. You only need one, but it is possible to get more than one.
     
  11. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    If you can get a Presidential nomination do it!!

    The big advantage is that you get the nomination immediately and well before the Congressional nominations are determined in the December-January time-frame. If you have a complete - and very competitive file - you can get your final acceptance early in the selection process. I believe that the chance of getting into West Point decreases as time goes. My son did this and got his LOA for the Class of 2015 on July 26, 2010 and his final acceptance letter on October 11, 2010 .

    The people who get an early nomination AND complete this entire file (all green icons on the Portal) have a CLEAR advantage.
     
  12. Granuaile

    Granuaile Prospective - 2017

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    Basically in the same (nervous) boat as a soph

    So, I too have a lot of jitters and am just asking for any tips, not forecasts of the unforeseeable. My main problem is that I sign up for too much and then don't follow through. Or sports.

    Freshman year, I took:
    Religion
    English 1
    World Civilizations
    Chorus
    Intro to the Sciences
    Geometry Honors
    Spanish 3 Honors

    Sophomore year, I took:
    Religion
    English 2 Honors
    PE
    Biology Honors
    Algebra 2 Honors
    Spanish 4 AP
    French 4 AP

    However, my GPA is only a 3.5, and I have been simply strapped for time. That means I never did get around to doing any sports. I am on leadership. Freshman year I was a representative, this year I was a council member, and next year I'm going to be VP and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for president senior year. I'm pretty confident about the SAT (haven't taken the PSAT yet). I'm most worried about sports. When they say they want leadership, how much does leadership in sports count? I'm busting my butt to even get on the CC and track teams next year, let alone getting in shape to pass the CFA. Zero chance of me being named MVP or captain or anything. Help?!
     
  13. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    I am not a captain of any of my sports teams (team handball and volleyball, to which I cannot play anymore due to voluntary work, club which I've created, and I suggest you do the same, if possible). However, I have talked to my teacher about it... He said he would write me a recommendation letter, and talk about how have I demonstrated leadership as a person in the team. Being a CAPTAIN is good for the name. However, I have no idea how will WP look into a recommendation from a coach...


    Oh, and by the way, I was wondering - I am attending HS here in Brazil, so I am not sure how do GPAs work in the U.S., but tell me... What does it mean having a "3.8 GPA or else you are screwed"? I have a GPA of 9.1 (out of 10), tied as top student. Having a "4.0 gpa" is virtually impossible. How is it possible in the U.S., though?
     
  14. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Being a leader on a sports team is important but you need to worry more about being on a sports team first.
    It is very difficult to get into West Point without some sort of sports participation in high school.
    It doesn't have to be a school sport. It can a club sport - like soccer or swimming. But you really need to somehow find a sport and fit it into your schedule.
    A team contact sport is the best but don't focus too much on that if that is not possible.
    Concentrate on doing some kind of sport in order make your file competitive.
     
  15. Granuaile

    Granuaile Prospective - 2017

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    @BillSL: Often, 4.0 GPAs are weighted. So if you take an honors class, and if you get an A in that class, that counts as a 5.0 and an A- would be a 4.7 and so on and so forth. Same for AP classes. Therefore, my weighted GPA is much higher than my unweighted. Same with everyone. However, not all school use the same scale for weighting GPAs. The academy is going to look more at an unweighted GPA and a class rank because a weighted GPA is too hard to interpret.

    Also, there may be grade inflation in the states in recent years :rolleyes:

    Thanks for the tip, I never thought of recommendation letters from coaches.

    @Buff81: Ohhhh yes. I believe you wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, athleticism is not where I am inclined. Not at all. That is no excuse for not working at it, especially not if I want to go to the academy. On the other hand, I need to be realistic, and I know that I will never be one of the recruited athletes (or even a good athlete). I'm trying simply to get onto the track and cross country teams at the varsity levels. I'm pretty sure I'll only make JV junior year (there's no cut) but if I drastically improve junior year (and I'm pretty sure I will: my problem is not one of health or ability but simply inexperience in athletics) I can make varsity as a senior.
     
  16. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    WP will not use GPA (weighted or unweighted) in calculating the academic portion (60%) of your Whole Candidate Score.
    Class rank and SAT/ACT scores are used.
     
  17. Granuaile

    Granuaile Prospective - 2017

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    I stand corrected. Thank you Buff81!
     
  18. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    Thanks for the GPA clarification! Unfortunately, I have read somewhere that recs from teachers other than the 3 requested (English, Math and Physical Science - Chemistry or Physics). It can't hurt, though... Especially without a formal "Leadership Position".

    Demonstrated leadership in Sports accounts for 10% of the WCS - I sure hope this rec can band-aid a bit of that.
    Any thoughts, Buff?


    That's great to know! But... What about "school competitiveness" and "do well on your math and physics classes"?

    Buff, by any chances, do you know how does WP look into foreign curriculums? I (and most Brazilian HSs) mean, I take the following classes, which are mandatory:

    3 Languages (Portuguese, Spanish and English);
    3 Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology);
    Mathematics;
    History;
    Geography;
    Physical Education;
    Sociology;
    Philosophy;
    Ethics.


    Also, I have taken classes during Summer (including a Leadership Studies - with practical experience -, in which I have got an Honors grade) and I'll be taking an intense course this summer, which will cover Calculus I and II.

    Would this harm, help or would simply be irrelevant?
    Thanks!
     
  19. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    The required by West Point recs are from your English, Math and Chemistry/Physics teacher.
    A letter of recommendation from a coach will not hurt you, but not necessarily saying that it will help you either.

    Curious to know where you got that percentage.
    Athletic participation is one part of the leadership portion of the WCS.
    I get the feeling that you are concerned about showing through your file your leadership skills. West Point looks for leadership potential through the things that you are involved in - not just sports. Whatever your ECs are - take on leadership roles. If you are in a club - be an officer, if you are in Scouting - be an Eagle Scout, get involved in the student govt of your school, be on the newspaper or yearbook and be editor - you get the idea. Organizing a community service project is another way to show your leadership skills.
    Not everyone can be captain of the football team. There are other ways to show your leadership potential.

    Whatever it is that you like to do - be very involved and take on leadership roles.

    School competitiveness is definitely taken into consideration. Not all high schools are alike which is why ACT/SAT scores are used and not GPA. If you go to a competitive school (based on your schools profile), then a lower class rank is acceptable.

    I'm not sure exactly what you are asking but I'm going to guess that you are referring to class rank. Doing well in ALL classes affects your GPA which affects your class rank.

    You need to ask your RC about that. That's a PhD level admissions question!



    I hope that I've answered your questions. If not- rephrase and ask again.
     
  20. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    Thanks a lot, Buff!

    I got that percentage from an e-mail I've received from my RC (NE)(titled: "INTRODUCTION TO WEST POINT, PLEASE READ IMPORTANT INFORMATION").

    Quote:

    Now, I do have leadership in areas other than sports - in sports, I do take an active part in them, but I am not a Captain (there are no "assistant coaches" or anything for that matter).


    I got that from the WP Admissions website:
    http://admissions.usma.edu/pros_cadets_seniors.html

     

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