2020 Application

jaredc

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
6
hi, im a junior right now in high school and I have wanted to go to USAFA for a long time already. I just finished my first semester with a 3.5 which seems a bit weak looking at the standards on the webpage. My fresh sophomore years however were worse as I didn't apply myself. Trying my best this year, I got a unweighted 3.5 with two APs. I also know a foreign language. I can speak Chinese if that helps, and am currently taking the AP course. My school is highly competitive as well, but I'm pretty sure that would not make a difference. My SAT is a 1300 but I plan to take prep classes to improve that.

Extra curricular:
I was a varsity wrestler since Freshman year. I am good, but joining the team is out of the question. I have won a few tournaments and received medals.

My community service however, I believe is my strongest category. I am an Eagle Scout in the BSA and I have been Senior Patrol Leader for a term. I have led many events and received the Presidential Award 3 times already. This means for three years straight, I have done at least 100 hours of community service. Also, I went on a service trip to teach the indigenous people of Taiwan English.

I am aware that my chances may be slim because of my grades Fresh Soph but I would still like to give it a chance. Please give any feedback on areas I can improve in and how I stand compared to the average cadet. Thank you so much. Happy new years.
 

kpmom2013

10-Year Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
1,320
I don't want to rain on your parade, but 100 hours of community service is not something that will make you stand out. My 3 kids (who got multiple nominations and appointments, including USAFA) all had over 500 hours, and one had over 1,000. It is not at all unusual for applicants to have several hundred hours. You are correct to focus on your SAT score. Get tutoring now. Take the test as many times as you can until you are sure you have maxed out. Your low GPA will be a problem, so make sure you finish this year strong. An above average test score and an increasing GPA will help offset poor performance in your first two years. I would definitely look into other commissioning sources such as ROTC so you have a strong backup plan. Good luck.
 

ginapenny

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
87
Apply!!!! Work hard!!! Let USAFA decide!!! Do community service u enjoy! My DS didn't list "hours" but we did them together and often. He also worked! He played a sport he enjoys and has really tried to be well-rounded. Apply for summer seminar as well. My DS attended and got to see the campus. If chosen great, if not it don't worry it's not correlated to getting an appointment!!! Good luck!!
 

jaredc

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
6
I don't want to rain on your parade, but 100 hours of community service is not something that will make you stand out. My 3 kids (who got multiple nominations and appointments, including USAFA) all had over 500 hours, and one had over 1,000. It is not at all unusual for applicants to have several hundred hours. You are correct to focus on your SAT score. Get tutoring now. Take the test as many times as you can until you are sure you have maxed out. Your low GPA will be a problem, so make sure you finish this year strong. An above average test score and an increasing GPA will help offset poor performance in your first two years. I would definitely look into other commissioning sources such as ROTC so you have a strong backup plan. Good luck.
Thanks for the feedback, I'll be sure to look into ROTC programs.
 

jaredc

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
6
Apply!!!! Work hard!!! Let USAFA decide!!! Do community service u enjoy! My DS didn't list "hours" but we did them together and often. He also worked! He played a sport he enjoys and has really tried to be well-rounded. Apply for summer seminar as well. My DS attended and got to see the campus. If chosen great, if not it don't worry it's not correlated to getting an appointment!!! Good luck!!
Thanks for the reply. Some told me the Summer Seminar has no impact on whether you would be accepted or not, some say otherwise. Regardless I plan to apply though. I'll do some research!
 

ginapenny

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
87
Apply!!!! Work hard!!! Let USAFA decide!!! Do community service u enjoy! My DS didn't list "hours" but we did them together and often. He also worked! He played a sport he enjoys and has really tried to be well-rounded. Apply for summer seminar as well. My DS attended and got to see the campus. If chosen great, if not it don't worry it's not correlated to getting an appointment!!! Good luck!!
Thanks for the reply. Some told me the Summer Seminar has no impact on whether you would be accepted or not, some say otherwise. Regardless I plan to apply though. I'll do some research!
Application closes 15 January
 

boiler26

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
19
@jaredc just a few quick notes in addition to what is already listed:

Talk to your wrestling coach about being team captain - if you haven't already.
Try to attend Boys State this coming summer.
If Jared is your real name, talk to admin about changing your user name.

And remember, if you don't apply you will not receive an appointment!
Good Luck.
 

Vaquero

Member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
67
I'll second KPmom2013's comment about focusing on the SAT. You may wish to take the ACT as well. The two tests are a bit different and ofttimes one performs better on the ACT and vice versa. Test scores can be improved with study and dedication.

In my opinion, the SAT/ACT score is more important than hours of community service. You mention that your HS is competitive; however, the standardized test scores are the great equalizer: they provide a means of evaluating candidates across high schools and also class standings.

Boiler26's advice on talking to your wrestling coach about being team captain should be heeded. With the SA's emphasis on athletics, I believe this to be more important than community service, though not trivializing the the latter.

Lastly, are there dual enrollment classes at your HS--classes which give both HS and college credit? If so, you may wish to enroll in a trig or calculus class, depending on your ability and math background. This will also help on the ACT/SAT. If no such option is available, a good junior college math class or two would be helpful. Either dual-enrollment or a junior college math class will help demonstrate your ability to succeed in a challenging core curriculum that emphasizes math, chemistry and physics.

Lastly, very best wishes for success in securing nominations and an appointment!
 

jaredc

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
6
@jaredc just a few quick notes in addition to what is already listed:

Talk to your wrestling coach about being team captain - if you haven't already.
Try to attend Boys State this coming summer.
If Jared is your real name, talk to admin about changing your user name.

And remember, if you don't apply you will not receive an appointment!
Good Luck.
Thanks for the help. Btw it's just my middle name. I'm also nearly completed with Boy Scouts because I'm an Eagle. I'll try to see what I can do about wrestling.
 

jaredc

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
6
I'll second KPmom2013's comment about focusing on the SAT. You may wish to take the ACT as well. The two tests are a bit different and ofttimes one performs better on the ACT and vice versa. Test scores can be improved with study and dedication.

In my opinion, the SAT/ACT score is more important than hours of community service. You mention that your HS is competitive; however, the standardized test scores are the great equalizer: they provide a means of evaluating candidates across high schools and also class standings.

Boiler26's advice on talking to your wrestling coach about being team captain should be heeded. With the SA's emphasis on athletics, I believe this to be more important than community service, though not trivializing the the latter.

Lastly, are there dual enrollment classes at your HS--classes which give both HS and college credit? If so, you may wish to enroll in a trig or calculus class, depending on your ability and math background. This will also help on the ACT/SAT. If no such option is available, a good junior college math class or two would be helpful. Either dual-enrollment or a junior college math class will help demonstrate your ability to succeed in a challenging core curriculum that emphasizes math, chemistry and physics.

Lastly, very best wishes for success in securing nominations and an appointment!
I'm in two AP's and plan to take more next year. Over the summer there are classes offered to high school students that count for college credit. Both AP and non AP. I took language courses that counted as college as well. Right now I am in Pre Calc and plan to take Calc next year. Chemistry sophomore year. This year I'm taking physics.
 

MMShape

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
70
You might want to re-think how you calculated your community service hours. For our DS's Eagle project alone he had over 200 hours of service (it was the never ending project), let alone the dozens of other Eagle projects he helped on, events he did with the troop, etc. 100 over three years seems really low for the experiences you listed...IMHO
 

skiergirl24

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
155
You might want to re-think how you calculated your community service hours. For our DS's Eagle project alone he had over 200 hours of service (it was the never ending project), let alone the dozens of other Eagle projects he helped on, events he did with the troop, etc. 100 over three years seems really low for the experiences you listed...IMHO
I think OP means that he completed at least 100 service hours each year, not 100 total across 3 years.
 

MMShape

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
70
You might want to re-think how you calculated your community service hours. For our DS's Eagle project alone he had over 200 hours of service (it was the never ending project), let alone the dozens of other Eagle projects he helped on, events he did with the troop, etc. 100 over three years seems really low for the experiences you listed...IMHO
I think OP means that he completed at least 100 service hours each year, not 100 total across 3 years.
Yes, wrongly worded by me. But my point was I think he has vastly underestimated his service hours...
 

jaredc

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
6
You might want to re-think how you calculated your community service hours. For our DS's Eagle project alone he had over 200 hours of service (it was the never ending project), let alone the dozens of other Eagle projects he helped on, events he did with the troop, etc. 100 over three years seems really low for the experiences you listed...IMHO
I think OP means that he completed at least 100 service hours each year, not 100 total across 3 years.
Yes, wrongly worded by me. But my point was I think he has vastly underestimated his service hours...
I wrote 100 because it was the minimum for the presidential ward. I have hundreds of hours of community service. A lot comes from a service trip to teach the indigenous people of Taiwan English where the training process counts as hours as well. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
 

CrewDad

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
661
@jaredc. Noticed your experience in Taiwan. Your experience abroad is very meaningful and very few will have that exposure you had in your class so be sure to expand on the experience and the impact you have made to your communities abroad and in the state side if any.

Perhaps you are in the same Council my DS was part of his time in Scouting. My DS spent some time in the Far East Council with the U.S. Forces Pacific. He made Eagle while in the Council, finished with 12 Eagle Palms in the U.S. and Summit in Venturing. He did his NYLT in Taiwan Summer of 2014. He led his Troop to NYLT as a Senior Patrol Leader. He did his Summer Seminar and SLE at USAFA/USMA and CVW and AEP at USNA/USCGA, and Boys State New York with an American Legion Post Sponsorship in NY. He’s now a MIDN at USNA. He was a recruited Athlete to USNA Rowing/Crew Team. He’s 6 feet, small and light compared to other Crew Athletes. Received LOA then Appointment. He’s pursuing Cyber Ops and Quant Economics, double Major. He’s signed up to be a Detailer in Summer STEM or Summer Seminar this year.

Like you, he was a recipient of PVSA - Gold 3x with 1,000 hours. Led or supported Eagle/Summit Projects every quarter for 8 years plus other community and international development projects. And when he was 16, he earned the Congressional Award Gold Medal with 2,400 dedicated hours. He was 1 of 15 from New York State to earn the Gold Medal that year. 373 received the Gold out of 10,000+ candidates in the US. He did 4 Varsity Sports/Club Sports with Team Captains and did other Leadership and Pilot activities as President/Founder that he truly enjoyed. He had strong academics, in top 1% of class with 99+ percentile in his ACT/SAT and AP Scholar. He did 80% of activities while living abroad. So he had much to say about the value and contributions made while living and traveling abroad which adds to your journey and unique experience.

I am sharing this with you because you should elaborate on your living abroad story and your experience in Scouting that can be a major plus. Don’t be down on GPA you have time to improve. Do well on ACT/SAT. You have more time on these to improve significantly. Go to test tutorial centers to improve your score to understand your weaknesses and improve by practice testing more. Test Scores are more important for SA Appointments. Be sure to attend Boys State. And apply to all Service Academies. If you speak other languages fluently or proficiently, even better. The military desires people with high adaptability and multicultural experience. Even better if you speak more than one foreign language. Once you commission, you will be traveling abroad frequently and will be stationed and deployed in places like Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. My DS has gone through 5 Passport Books before turning 18, 3 changes were required when living abroad. He was fortunate to travel abroad extensively during his youth. You will be a serviceman and Ambassador. Thus, having experience abroad is very valuable and you will be respected by your peers. Also be sure to take AP Chem and AP Cal AB/BC your Senior Year. You will be very grateful you took it before becoming a Plebe at any one of the Academies. Even better if you also take AP Lit and AP Gov/APUSH. Many of these classes are required Plebe classes. Good luck son!
 
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