Wondering

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Inquire, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Inquire

    Inquire New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everyone. I just wanted to first thank you all for all your helpful posts and responses. I am currently a junior at a not so challenging high school. I am in all honors/advanced placement classes and involved in many extracurriculars , but still am not challenged very much. Even though my projected ACT is a 31, I am concerned that at the Academy I would not have enough preparation for the rigorous academics. My question is, how much does the Academy expect you to know when you arrive? Also, if I wasn't prepared enough academically, what could I expect to happen?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Sorry if I'm asking a stupid question, but: Can I assume that because you are in a not so challending school, and even though you are taking honors/ap classes and still not challenged; that you're holding a 4.0gpa? If not, then I wouldn't worry about not being challenged. Schools and classes can't challenge you. ONLY YOU can challenge you. There's always ways to learn more and challenge yourself.

    But to answer your question, there are students from every school in the country at the academy. The academy expects you to know what a normal high school student taking AP, IB, honors, traditional classes to know. And if you didn't prepare yourself academically, then instead of getting a 4.0gpa that you are use to, you'll probably get a couple of "B" and "C" classes until you get into the groove.

    People need to realize that this is a College/University. In other words, you are going to have some students with a 2.0 gpa all the way up to a 4.0. Although, I'm not sure if anyone has graduated with a 4.0 opa or even a gpa. Guess it's possible. Anyway, that is probably one of the hardest things about the academy or any college. Students who are use to getting a 4.0 all of a sudden get a "B" or a "C" in a class. You'll do fine. But don't blame your school for not being challenged. You are the one who can challenge you. Not the school. And until you're getting a 4.0gpa in all classes; are taking ALL AP/IB/Honors classes; are involved in varsity sports; officer of clubs; and using your spare time for volunteer work or taking college classes; then you haven't challenged yourself enough. You'll be fine. Good luck. Mike....
     
  3. Lilly

    Lilly Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    19
    Inquire:

    I understand exactly what you mean. I too came from a not so challenging high school and went to Vanderbilt and subsequently Duke for post graduate degree. Not USAFA, but still better than average schools. I had the same ACT of 31 (although it was 38 years ago :eek: )

    I can tell you I was not prepared for the academics I undertook (premed). I was behind on day 1 and took the first two years to claw my way up, but I made it. Your ACT score says you probably can too, if you want to.

    One thing about USAFA that's in your favor is that there are no graduate students to distract the profs from their primary mission: teaching you. As has been stated in previous threads, there are plenty of opportunities for extra instruction, you just have to have the initiative to go get 'em.

    Your concerns are valid, but you can do it. :thumb:
     
  4. sarah

    sarah Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    This highlights the difficult job of the admissions department.

    My son is getting A's or A-'s this semester in honors/AP classes including an A+ in BC Calc. But the grading is so tough at his school in the English and History classes, especially (more subjective grading), that he has the highest grade in non-honors English--a B-. And the school won't even write a note to the Academy stating that.

    He's worried his 3.5 is going to keep him out, even though he works like a dog. (And no, the school doesn't rank because the classes are small--50 boys)

    How the heck can the Academy (or any school for that matter) compare these schools from around the country. No wonder you hear about how stressful the admissions job is this time of year. . .
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Excellent question. That is why during the application process, the academy requests a copy of your school's PROFILE, along with all the classes you son/daughter are taking. In the profile, it lists the type of classes available; what percentage of students in your school attend college, as well as which colleges they attend. I.e. If your high school has a 65% attending college percentage, which is about normal, and almost all of them go to the local community college or university; that will be ranked different than a school that has an average of 85% going to college. And that school will rank different yet from a school that has a good percentage going to schools like the academy, harvard, stanford, brown, yale, etc....

    There's a lot to how they learn to compare apples with oranges and not just come up with a big fruit salad. It's difficult; it's not perfect; but it's a pretty darn good process for what it is. That's how an "UNWEIGHTED" gpa of 3.5 can end up being a 3.84 on the academy's rating. Or, negative happens too and a 4.0 weighted can become a 3.75. Or, you get a school which falls into the "National Average". My son's school doesn't weight gpa for normal kids/classes and those in the IB program or taking AP classes. They do internally determine class rank however. So my son's 4.0 gpa unweighted, remained a 4.0gpa on the academy application. Where some at another school at a 4.8gpa weighted, and a 4.1gpa after the academy reconfigured it. Go figure. best of luck. mike....
     
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,580
    Likes Received:
    800
    Inquire, ChristCorp is right: it is up to you now to challenge and motivate yourself, whether for AFA or for any other college.

    Push yourself! Find a way to self-study. Get a tutor and prepare for the more rigorous coursework you will find yourself in, before you know it!

    Can you take some courses at a local U?

    Maybe it is time now to concentrate on some leadership, or on some hands-on science, or on a job?

    How are your athletics? Maybe you should push yourself in that direction.

    You'll take a whole slew of placement tests when you first get to USAFA, should you be appointed. They'll put you where you belong.
     
  7. Redbull{wings}

    Redbull{wings} Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is very true. My weighted gpa dropped to 4.0 and a friend of mine working towards a full ride to another college saw the same thing. Colleges do understand the differences and while not always perfectly, do compensate for them. So I doubt a 3.5 at a hard school looks any worse than a 4.0 at an easy one.
     
  8. packermatt7

    packermatt7 USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    804
    Likes Received:
    1
    I came from a high school that wasn't very challenging either. Had a 4.0 (along with 15 others out of 180 graduates). Got a 31 on the ACT as well. I didn't take any AP courses, but I did take dual credit courses through a program our high school had. These were still very easy.

    Now?
    I'm doing fine. Had a 3.2 last semester, though this semester is harder. Just try your best here. IF you put in the time, you'll be fine.
     
  9. PDub

    PDub Prospective

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    0
    If school is easy, then maybe try expanding other areas besides academics. Sports, clubs, scouting, volunteering, jobs, etc. are all good things to enhance your high school experience. Just keep in mind that for whatever you do, try to stay in it for the long haul and show that you have dedication, and try to get some leadership roles.
     

Share This Page