Academically qualified?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by sa_applicant2023, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. sa_applicant2023

    sa_applicant2023 USAFA, USNA applicant for C/O 2023

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    8
    hello,
    I have a quick question - in the eyes of USAFA, how would I be looking academics wise? The reason I am asking is because I had horrible grades in freshman year, but I had a massive upward trend. An example is being that I had a 71 in geometry and 82 in chemistry in freshman year, and now, during junior year, I have 100 in precalculus (perfect score) + letter of rec and 95 in physics + letter of rec, and 96 in forensic science, and 100 in electronics Stem class. ALL of my classes are honors classes (2 aps - us history and world history) and I go to a specialized high school in NYC. After making up what i missed in geometry, my SAT is 700 reading and 740 math (took another SAT and the math was so easy that i think i will get a higher score this time)... was I able to compensate for the earlier lack? This entire year I have had straight A’s. My unweighted GPA is a 3.61 (as of 5th semester, will go up with 6th semester grades coming out) and my weighted is 3.81.

    Also, i wanted to know - does USAFA take ino account SAT or gpa more?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  2. WinstonWolfePF

    WinstonWolfePF Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    56
    Averages are available online. Compare yourself to those.
     
    Tiff22 likes this.
  3. pstine

    pstine Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2016
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    36
    upward trends in grades are better than downward trends in grades. The only way to find out is to apply and give it your best!
     
    Tiff22 likes this.
  4. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    324
    Here’s an advice from another NYC STEM School Grad Class of 1985. I will give you a very honest and candid advice.

    If you’re currently at Brooklyn Tech Stuyvesant Bronx Science then you already have an advantage because these schools are nationally recognized STEM Schools and very well known at the Academies with long history, about 100 years of recruiting. Your graduating class size is already huge at 800-1400, depending on which school you are attending. And they are all top students representing their districts in NYC.

    Having said that, your weak performance in Geometry and Chem but strong performance in Physics and Analytical Math indicate that you don’t like to memorize but like to work with numbers. I am just guessing but here’s my hypothesis on your habit and preference based on my experience. You don’t like to dig in and take time to self study but like something fast and easy to get things done quick. You don’t invest on your weakness so that remains unchanged. You chase after your strength which is numerical and analytical.

    Fortunately, there’s a place for every type at the Academy. Since you took Geometry and Chem in your Freshman or Soph year’s I wouldn’t worry about them anymore. Your overall GPA and SAT are average at the STEM Schools. Average SAT at your school is about 1450 Tech 1500 Stuy. So you’re an average student at your school. Fortunately, they don’t rank so the Academy will take your SAT to rank you. But Academies will take note that you’re an average student at your strong school.

    Continue to stay strong in classes with mostly As in your senior year. Retake your SAT until you get near 800 in Math and break 750 in Verbal. Academies put most weight on your SAT on Academic evaluation.

    I hope you have a lot of leadership and Varsity. For a person who has average grades at STEM School you should have invested on strong EC track record and participation. You need leadership and athletics points to stand out. I hope you are going to Boys State New York this summer. If you don’t know about this you are behind your peers. Tech also has CAP you should have enrolled in that even if you’re are non Tech student you can enroll in their Wing. Tech CAP is very well regarded by USAFA. As the school has Aerospace program with their own wind tunnel. It’s too late now if you didn’t.

    Kick *** on your CFA. Nomination and DODMERB you cannot control. If you live outside NY-6 and NY-3 Congressional District you have a good chance for Nom with all the above working for you. If you live in those 2 districts it will be very hard for you to secure a Nom as those 2 districts have super strong candidates who are at the national standard.

    It’s bit late in the game to add things but you can certainly strengthen your SAT and take leadership roles in your senior class! It’s your overall package that will count.
     
    GH148, hopefullmom2023 and zychcowski like this.
  5. sa_applicant2023

    sa_applicant2023 USAFA, USNA applicant for C/O 2023

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    8
    Hey, thanks for the advice.

    If it helps, please dont hesitate to look at the rest of my profile.

    i am an african american male.

    Fluent Arabic conversational speaker. Can write.


    3 years TKD experience, getting black belt in September

    1 year varsity wrestling, never doing again bc i hated it.

    1 season outdoor track varsity.

    Next year during senior year is cross country, indoor and outdoor track all varsity.

    (NO LETTERS GIVEN OUT) was never a captain.


    Heading to Boys State this summer

    School government officer, senior historian.

    CAP non commissioned officer C/SSG

    CAP Cadet Advisory Council Representative

    1yr shift manager, next year Manager in Chief of a School cafe that donates proceeds to a nonprofit for disabled adults.

    11th grade selected as Newspaper editor.

    Congressional District Office intern, since Jan 2018.

    worked a summer job after 9th grade summer doing anti-bullying campaigns for youth campers.

    Worked another job the next year as a marketing intern for two different companies

    Currently work a job as a salesperson in a suit store, responsibilities to close/open the store and train new employees since June 2017.

    I actually attend SITHS, not brooklyn techl. I am in CAP though and heading to boys state.

    I am also in the 11th district of ny (ny-11)
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  6. pstine

    pstine Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2016
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    36
    You look good on paper and I know you probably want someone to say that you're a shoe-in but IMHO it doesn't matter how good you look on paper and it doesn't matter what anyone on here says because you still have to apply and get a nomination and be med qualified and interview and go through the candidate process. Feel free to message me if you want to talk about the application or have any questions but just give the application the best try you can and you'll find out in a year whether you're selected for USAFA.
     
    CrewDad likes this.
  7. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    324
    1. sa_applicant2023
    Thanks for sharing more info. First, you are fortunate you are a URM candidate. It is an advantage for admissions to all Academies and to most US colleges today. You are fortunate to be a URM in this decade. All SAs are seeking to recruit African Americans and Hispanic candidates from inner city schools. One catch here is your school is not an inner city school but a Magnet School, one of the top schools in the country. And you took a test to get in and therefore you should be a hard working smart student already and expected to work very hard to earn your grades like everyone with equal chance with similar struggles. Your school did not exist when I was in school, if it did it was not yet a Specialized School in NYC.

    You now have 2 advantages going for you. Specialized Science School and being a URM. However, I would not put my legs up yet because it really only takes another URM candidate in your NY-11 to bump you out of the race. So it just takes ONE URM candidate to undo it for you. I saw this happen even to a non URM candidate with everything looking perfect with perfect SAT, perfect GPA, strong ECs until another equally stronger candidate with unique attributes showed up and that candidate got the Golden Ticket. And do not ever feel nor express that being a URM is an entitlement. The moment people read that in your essays or at a college, they will walk away including your class at USAFA if you make it there. USAFA is not taking 3 or 5 URM candidates like you in your area. They are really looking for just ONE from your district. But if there is ONE strong non URM who is a must have, they will take him or her. So the URM card is not a trump card. But maybe used when all else is equal, more likely they may take you instead. So stay humble and do everything like everyone else.

    So you are not competing with stellar White or Asian students you are actually competing against your own ethnic group, URMs. Likewise, an Asian male with perfect SAT score is not competing with URM nor a White student but competing against his own ethnic race. This is very little understood by applicants and parents because no schools will come out and say so. But this is how all colleges build their classes in order to stay close to national demographics and have diversity. SAs make best effort to build the class mirroring the national ethnic demographic. And they do a good job at it. You can see this from their school profile. And you will also notice that African Americans are lagging in representation, This leaves a little more room for you to compete against other URM at your NY-11 district ONLY and not at the national level.

    I noticed you don't dedicate to few sports for very long. This is a red flag for SAs and most competitive colleges. In the job market, you would be perceived as a job hopper. They like to see you do few activities with many years of demonstrated strong performance with awards at the county, state, and national levels. Most preferably 3-4 years at each Varsity. You are an activity hopper with 1 year in one Varsity and move on to another. You need to stick to few and deep with strong quality and commitment to get you to County, State, and National level. CAP is a good example which you are doing. Eagle Scout is another good example, it takes 4-5 years to make Eagle Scout with multi-dimensional leadership role. 3-4 years in 2 Team Varsity Sports and 1 individual sport like Tae Kwon Do with Captainship in Senior year would be the best combination. Stick to few with strong dedication. I'm glad you are going to Boys State, that's a real winner in leadership points.
     
  8. sa_applicant2023

    sa_applicant2023 USAFA, USNA applicant for C/O 2023

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    8
    Simply put, Its just the utter fact that I did not like wrestling at all during sophomore year. I wanted to explore and do something i actually love and not dread. I did outdoor track this year during junior year and it is something i plan on doing next yeat during senior year too, along with indoor and cross country.

    Moreover, if i had the opportunity to explain this idea to the admissions committee, I would be more than happy to because i was simply looking to do something that I loved enough to have myself be occupied during my last two years in high school, not to find things that help me kiss up to the Admissions committee.

    Tae Kwon Do was something I went back into after I left it for varsity wrestling and i already had 3 years experience prior to vars wrestling. Im into my fourth year in TKD and plan on recieving my black belt in September as continue training in the summer. Thats also something I love and I hope to have as a representative of my commitment to something.
     
  9. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    324
    sa_applicant2023, you don't want to go the path of justifying anything to admissions. If you do then one very important part of your package can be weakened which is your personal statement. Instead, you want to demonstrate your potential and why you maybe a great candidate through demonstrated successes and long term dedication. Society likes people who are dedicated in few things for a long time and do those things well, even better if done exceptionally. You will learn this as you navigate through college and your career. There are many veteran posters and new posters on this Forum. I am one of the new posters. And I am just one of the posters who care very much to offer an honest advice to rising candidates like yourself based on personal experience and having seen several 100 top quality candidates for SAs and nation's top schools. So giving you my input based on those who were successful vs. those who were not. Many successful candidates experimented what they liked and disliked in middle school and dedicated in very few things with high quality performance, awards, and leadership in high school.

    I hear a bit of defiance and little humility with advice given to you. The purpose of you reaching out to others on this Forum is to seek others' honest opinions, and not seeking gratification or affirmation on what you did so far. I have given you my honest opinion how I see it. I decided not to sugar coat it since you are now a Junior and applying to SAs shortly. Nevertheless, you did and still doing many things well. But it would be better if you stuck with few varsity sports for at least 2 years or longer. Even better if you have a mix of team sports and individual sports. You seem to have all in individual sports. I would like to advise you to stick with Varsity Track in your Senior Year and get your Black Belt in TKD and don't quit after you earn it. I did TKD for 8 years in my youth and practiced in gym everyday for 5-6 hours throughout middle school to high school and was a national champion in the Olympics demonstration team in 1984. TKD was not yet Olympics sports until 1988. After middle school, TKD and gymnastics was all I enjoyed doing when I was young. I believe TKD was my strong EC ticket to a top college. So I know how hard it is to stay in top shape and performance. And when writing your personal statement, be sure to show humility and appreciation for team work because non of your athletics are team sports. If you can get Captain role in one of your sports that would make a big difference, personally for your leadership experience. You may want to join a club, join student government and run for president or officer this fall. You need something in leadership at your school. Nomination and qualifying DODMERB is another that's out of your control but must have for SAs. Consideration to USAFA from NY with URM status should give you an advantage as a baseline.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  10. Perspective

    Perspective Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    15
    I understand that DoDMERB is out of a candidate's control, but how are nominations out of a candidate's control? It's certainly merit-based and is strongly influenced by a candidate's decisions and/or effort put into the application.
     
  11. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    324
    It is a combination of merit and where you live. If you live in a non competitive district you have better chance for NOM with the same credential. But if you live in a super competitive district it is a reach for even the best candidate with everything going for him and her. You can have perfect rank GPA perfect test scores. It only takes one other candidate to have something you don’t have to get the Appointment. And that can put you on a waitlist which is very hard to get Appointment from NWL if not a reapplicant or from Prep School. So where you live you cannot control unless you move into less competitive district before you apply which in most cases it is very difficult to do so close to application.