What is the GPA threshold for Graduate School Scholarships?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by GCR, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. GCR

    GCR New Member

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    As my DS prepares for BCT, we can't help but forecast what type of GPAs are needed to go to graduate school immediately after graduation. In years past, how many cadets were able to attend B-school (i.e. Wharton, UMich, Georgetown)?
     
  2. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    They mentioned this at the appointee tour. I think they said 3.8 GPA to get a scholarship (they sent someone to Harvard last year). Top 10% of the class also gets the option to attend graduate school.

    If anyone heard any different, please correct me.
     
  3. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    It depends on your major's department and AFSC interest as well.

    For instance, majoring in Astro and putting in for a Dev Engr AFSC means that generally anyone over a 3.0 that wants to go can make it to Grad School.

    That's an extreme case, though.
     
  4. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    The scholarships have various GPA requirements. On the low end are the AFIT scholarships with a 3.0 being the minimum eligibility. However, most (to include med school) will only be competitive above a 3.25. At the high end are the top scholarships such as the Marshall, Rhodes, Truman - these require a 3.8 minimum. I am not positive, but the mid to high range ones like RAND, Hertz, Gates might be a 3.8, but certainly a 3.6 or above. UofMaryland, Harvard, Rice, and MIT are 3.5 mins.

    There are a lot of other factors that make a difference such as department and overall averages but these are the GPA requirements.
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Also. Substitute the phrase "option to attend" with "opportunity to apply". The grad school you are applying to determines if you will be accepted or not. Not the air force or academy. They simply allow you to apply or not and "if" accepted to the grad school will allow you to go.

    When you are applying to a grad school, you are applying basically for a scholarship. And the school you are applying to will determine if you get it or not. And that is what's required for you to attend grad school as your full time job upon graduating the academy. Your family could be millionaires and that wouldn't matter. You have to have a scholarship from the school you applied to.

    Now, if you want to get your masters or PhD on your own, like most academy grads will do when they graduate while working as an officer, then there's other tuition assistance methods available. But if your asking about going to grad school full time upon graduating the academy, your department with your major will determine based on your GPA and standing whether you can "apply". And the school you are applying to will determine if they will give you a scholarship and accept you.
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Hornet beat me to it. L.
     
  7. lga

    lga Member

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    Does TA and RA count?

    Some grad school offer RA and TA as part of the funding arrangement. Does Air Force 'consider' RA/TA as scholarship?
    Students have to 'work' to cover the cost of study, but at least AF does not have to pay.
     
  8. jassen2

    jassen2 Member

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    For the Class of 2014, we learned that there are fewer slots for graduate studies compared to years past. Where they used to send 4 or 5 to one school before, now they only have slots for 2. Also, we heard that there are no GSP slots for this year. All due to funding issues.
     
  9. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    No, the program has to be approved by USAF/USAFA in order to be eligible to attend full-time. There are a limited number of these programs.

    You are able to attend school and receive any sort of scholarship on your own time.
     
  10. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    To add to the other comments already made. As noted, there are a limited number of full-time post-graduation grad school slots available -- which are dependent on a number of things. However, that does not mean that a grad cannot attend graduate school, with military tuition assistance, on a part time basis. My daughter, a 2013 grad, is attending an MBA program on a part time basis at the University of Delaware -- this was the closest MBA program to her base, Dover AFB in Dover, Delaware. Granted it's not easy to work a full day plus attend night classes with a 1.5 hour commute each direction -- however, it is possible. She was told at UDel that she is one of the youngest (age 22), if not the youngest, student ever accepted into their MBA program. I only mention the age comment because other MBA programs might want someone to have more years of employment before entering a part time program -- UDel was excited to get a USAFA grad as an applicant -- I don't know what other schools, in other locations, might have told her had she been stationed elsewhere.
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    What Hornet says is totally correct. The program has to be approved by USAF/USAFA. "Irrelevant" of the conditions the grad school puts on the scholarship.

    But you are correct. Some school require that their grad students do some work as part of their scholarship. The grad school Hornet attended; and my son currently attends; does require a certain number of hours working on projects or whatever as part of their scholarship. But this isn't the deciding factor on whether or not USAF/USAFA accepts the school or agrees with a cadet going directly to a grad school after USAFA graduation. It's not just cost. Like I mentioned previously, your family could be independently wealthy and be willing to pay 100% of all grad school expenses. That doesn't mean that USAF/USAFA is going to let you attend grad school full time. USAF/USAFA has their school criteria, scholarship criteria, student criteria, etc... And the grad schools have their criteria on whether or not they will even accept you.
     
  12. GCR

    GCR New Member

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    Great input, is the USAFA school, scholarship, and student criteria posted anywhere?
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    A lot of that is determined by the individual departments. E.g. engineering department; behavioral science department; etc... As Hornet mentioned previously, a lot also depends on the schools available for you to apply to.

    AFIT; (Which is the Air Force's Graduate School) at Wright Patterson AFB, deals mainly with engineers. And while the 3.0GPA at the academy may be enough to consider you for that Grad school opportunity right out of the academy; you wouldn't be able to apply or qualify for say the Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, RAND, Hertz, etc... Their gpa standards are much higher.

    Also, many of the grad school slots that you are "COMPETING" for, are not just against other cadets. For a grad school slot at MIT, you are competing against individuals nationally and even internationally. Do most of the schools reserve slots for certain students; e.g. Air Force Academy grads? Yes. But that's totally their prerogative. The RAND, where Hornet went, only takes 3 AF Academy grads per year. They take approximately 24-27 total students. And those students come from all over the country and world. But they do take at most, 3 air force academy grads each year. Can they change these numbers? I'm sure they can. They are a private corporation. Just like Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, USC, etc,....

    FWIW: If you become interested in applying to Grad school directly out of the academy, there are individuals in your department (Your Major) who will be able to help you and help determine if you'll qualify. If you do qualify to apply, you'll even have an adviser assigned to you to help you with the application process.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    A lot of people ask "What do I need to do to get an appointment to the academy". And as politely as I can, I have "Dogged" many of these individuals because it appears that they are looking for the "Minimum Standards to get in". And I've always told those who want to apply, to: 1) Do your best academically; and 2) Be the most well rounded person you can be. That you aren't trying to meet a "Set of standards" like many colleges. (Do these things and you'll be admitted). To get into the academy, the "Minimum Standards" are almost NEVER ENOUGH. The minimum HS GPA could be a 3.2, but you'd be really hard pressed to receive an appointment with that. Especially considering that the average GPA of a normal entering academy class is an 3.86 gpa in high school.

    Well, the same advice goes for wanting to apply to grad school.

    1st: Get accepted to the academy
    2nd: Excel academically and be one of the TOPS in your major department
    3rd: Minimum; be in the top-10% of your academy class. BOTH your GPA and your OPA. Preferably in the Top=5%
    4th: Do your best.

    You are competing with other cadets and undergraduate students from all over the country; and even other parts of the world. There is no special: (Do these things and you can go to grad school).

    If the academy/USAF decide that this coming year, they will only allow 70 graduating cadets to go directly to grad school, then that 3.6 gpa last year as a cadet may not be good enough this year. This year you might need a 3.7. But if you do the BEST YOU CAN, and no matter what your GPA is you know you couldn't do any better; then that is all that can be asked of you. Best of luck.
     
  15. Enlisted_Programmer

    Enlisted_Programmer 323rd Mustangs

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    I had my sights on top 5% and it is definitely possible. I would love top 10 even Valedictorian, but I'm thrilled to just have the chance to be around such competition. I love a good challenge, and I hate having no one competing to be better than me. Don't get me wrong. I am not so great, but I look much better than those who give no effort like many in non AP high school classes.
     

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