What exactly does an LOA guarantee?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by bbliss, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. bbliss

    bbliss New Member

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    Hi,

    This is my first post. I am a high school teacher, completely ignorant of the USNA application process, and here out of curiosity.

    One of my students received a LOA in December, and recently received a nomination from one of the Congressmen in our state (NJ). Over our recent Easter break, she was devastated to find out that she was not accepted into USNA. This strikes me as odd and I was wondering how often this happens, and why, etc. I know that her grades did not drop off, I have her in my AP class and she works as hard as ever while senioritis sets in among other students. I wrote her recommendation letter, and wrote to both of our senators, she's the kind of student for whom it was difficult to keep the recommendation letter to only one page. Top 5 GPA, good grades in 4 AP classes, 3 sport varsity athlete, student council president, unquestionable character.... you name it, she has it.

    If anyone can shed any light, I would be appreciative. She's been dreaming of USNA for years and I am just curious to know what may have happened... since the "A" in "LOA" stands for assurance... but in this case apparently not? She's pretty upset over this so I don't want to pepper her with questions, I am just asking out of my own curiosity and concern for one of my best students.

    Thanks in advance for any responses.
     
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  2. jculligan

    jculligan Member

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    It is possible that she was disqualified medically
     
  3. JShawshank

    JShawshank Member

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    My first thought was the same as @jculligan. An LOA essentially means that from USNA's perspective a candidate is "accepted". However, the LOA is subject to getting a nomination (which your student did), passing the candidate fitness test (which a varsity athlete should easily be able to do) and passing the Medical review. If she had an LOA and a nomination (noms are known by January 31), then it sounds like she was waiting for a medical waiver but it was not given. Obviously, I am speculating here but otherwise I am not sure how an LOA recipient would not be appointed.
     
  4. bbliss

    bbliss New Member

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    Thanks for your responses. I don't know my student's medical history, but I don't have reason to believe that a medical issue is the cause. Usually if a student has medical problems, teachers are notified. She's not missed any games in any of her sports all year. And I know she also completed the USNA Summer Seminar, which I do know requires a high level of physical fitness. Again, I'm no doctor, and student lives are private, but I haven't noticed any changes in her that would lead me to believe it was an issue of physical fitness.
     
  5. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    It could be a color blindness, asthma, a food or latex allergy....there are a myriad of possible medical DQs that would not cause her any difficulty in sports or show up in a normal school day. I am sorry she did not get accepted this year but if it wasn't medical, she would be a prime candidate to get in next year.
     
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  6. bandad

    bandad Member

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    bbliss,
    I hate to hear that about your student. My DS had an LOA that was contingent on receiving a nomination and becoming physically qualified. DS failed his physical, but retested, and passed (broken hearing machine). He received a nomination. I hear that it is unusual for someone with an LOA, who is qualified, not get an appointment, but it is not unprecedented. DS received word on the nomination prior to the end of the year in our state which is early. If I read your post correctly, your student received nomination later in the game which, this is a guess, may have impacted the decision. She sounds like a great student and the best to her...
     
  7. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    When my DD received an LOA, the letter was very specific about what was needed to attain an appointment. In her case, it was to get a MOC nom and pass medical. Her LOA also stated she was guaranteed an appointment once she met those criteria.

    If your student's LOA didn't state that guarantee or if any criteria weren't met, that would explain why she didn't receive an appointment.
     
  8. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. Member

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    Hello and welcome....I'm only weighing in here as a dad of a former LOA recipient . The LOA document clearly states "you are guaranteed an offer of appointment IF your remaining admissions requirements are satisfactorily met". There are 4 boxes; nominations, medical qualification, B&G Officer Interview and Required Application Documents ( data record, CFA, teacher recommendations, etc.).

    The things that need to be completed are X'd. Clearly, something went south somewhere in what needed to be done satisfactorily. At first blush, and without knowing, my thoughts are the same jcculligan and JShawshank....medical. This is only a guess on our part of course and as much as we speculate about it only admissions can shed light on this. She needs to reach out to her BGO and/or her admissions counselor to find out what held her back.

    I can only imagine her disappointment along with your own. The sooner she can get to the source of truth the sooner she can move on to her the next step in her young life and plan accordingly.

    I wish her well.
     
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  9. JShawshank

    JShawshank Member

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  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    As mentioned it is rare but seems to happen every year to a few LOA recipients. It could be medical and USNA did not grant a waiver for something or it wasn't a waiverable condition. It also could be her Nom source had a principle for another candidate. There are certainly ways for candidates in this position to still be appointed with Supt Noms or NWL. Maybe USNA didn't use a Supt's Nom in this case or she fell below the NWL cut off. None of us know. Sorry she didn't get appointed, sounds like a great candidate. Hope she seeks a commission via another route or reapplies.
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Agree with the others. Given the timing, it sounds like a medical issue. As those above have said, there are many young people who appear (and may even think they are) "perfectly healthy" but have a medical issue that is not waiverable. I also have to believe USNA explained to her the reason she did not receive an appointment. She may or may not want to share that information with others. If for some odd reason she was not told -- she should have contacted her Regional Director (the USNA Admissions person responsible for her file) and asked. Or should do so now. The RD is a better source than the BGO for this sort of question, especially if it's a medical issue.
     
  12. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

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    My son had an LOA contingent upon a medical waiver for color blindness. He got his waiver but "due to an extremely limited number of medical waivers permitted for color vision deficiency" (usually only 3 per year) his waiver was approved for NAPS. Rare occurrences with LOAs happen every year. Medical seems the most likely cause of this turndown.
     
  13. bbliss

    bbliss New Member

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    Update: I sincerely thank everyone who has replied. I learned a lot about the application process and I truly do appreciate everyone who reached out. Just goes to show the quality people involved with our service academies.

    I received an update from the student and it seems that my own ignorance of the process caused the misunderstanding. She did not receive an LOA from USNA and then have it retracted. Something else, which makes much more sense, occurred. She asked me to keep her situation private, so I will respect her wishes. I am, however, proud that she will be serving our country in a different capacity.

    Thanks again for the responses and I sincerely apologize for the confusion, partly based on my own misunderstanding.
     
  14. 2018midmom

    2018midmom Member

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    Kudos to you for trying to gain insight. This is such a different process than many teachers have experienced.
     
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  15. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Am I understanding you correctly? Your son received an LOA for a direct appointment to USNA and due to the limited number of color blindness waivers they sent him to NAPS?
     
  16. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

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    That is correct Memphis9489. That quote was the exact wording on his waiver. I have wondered if that happens frequently for color blind waivers or not. Regardless, we're grateful he got the rare waiver. It could also be due more to the Class of 2018 primary nom issue. There are also a fair amount at NAPS this year whose direct appointments were changed to NAPS. Matter of fact, it seems possible the face of NAPS may be changing due to the increased level of competition at USNA. This year's NAPS class has been told repeatedly that their intellectual level in initial testing and class placement, validation testing, gpas, SAT test scores, etc, has greatly exceeded previous classes and expectations. I'm curious to see if they mention this at the graduation ceremony in less than two weeks.
     
  17. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    There certainly must be something that is changing philosophically at NAPS if what you say is true. NAPS is a preparatory school. It is not to medically prepare candidates. I can't imagine how a year at NAPS would benefit an individual who was already academically qualified for direct entry to the academy. The color blindness will certainly not go away - that's for sure. Usually, those who are qualified for direct entry but, for some reason, cannot be offered an appointment (usually because the class is already full but there could be other reasons) are highly encouraged to re-apply with the added encouragement that things are very likely to turnout differently the next time around - which usually does happen.

    Is your son also a recruited athlete?
     
  18. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

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    Not an athlete, but a prior with a competitive high school resume from a top school, and exceptional enlisted qualifications (twice honor grad, 2 certificate of commendations, meritorious promotion, physical fitness award for perfect CFT, 4.0 GPA in college courses). He was sent to NAPS for a reason and we are okay with that. Semper Gumby! I really wonder if the attrition rate is changing the type of candidates that have been sent to NAPS lately.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  19. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Do you mean the attrition rate at NAPS?
     
  20. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

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    I meant the USNA attrition rate. Since they also changed some appointments to NAPS and many NAPSters seem better qualified academically this year it just made me wonder if it was a fluke due to the class of 2018 primary nom issue or some other anomaly or if USNA admissions is starting to send more higher qualified candidates to NAPS rather than wait list them. Pure supposition and just where my train of thought went at the time since standards continue to rise and class sizes are decreasing.
     

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