Acceptance into USAFA without a varsity letter

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Ulfberht, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Ulfberht

    Ulfberht Member

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    I am currently completing my application to the United States Air Force Academy and as I was filling out the athletic portion, I became slightly worried. I do not have a varsity letter in a sport. I have been on my school's swim team every year of high school, and last year I tried out Tennis because I thought it would be enjoyable, but I never earned a varsity letter in those sports. I am now the team captain of my swim team because my coach sees me as an extremely dedicated swimmer, especially since I joined the team not even knowing how to swim.

    Anyway, here are the rest of my basic credentials just so you can help me determine the likelihood of my acceptance:

    - Member of my school swim team since my freshman year, and am now the team captain.
    - Cadet Commander, PT officer, mentor, and drills and ceremonies leader for his Civil Air Patrol Squadron with a rank of C/CMSgt.
    - Attended 3 CAP NCSAs. Advanced Technology Academy in 2016, Cyber Defense Training Academy in 2017, and Middle East Region Honor Guard Academy in 2017. Was a team leader for the 2017 Cyber Defense Training Academy.
    - 4.385 Weighted and 3.95 Unweighted GPA
    - 1290 Composite SAT score and currently waiting on ACT score reports (will update when they come in).
    - Received honorable mention in school's science fair.
    - Has received high honor roll every marking period of high school career.
    - Drummer in two local church bands for 5 years.
    - Active volunteer for CareOne at Jackson nursing home.
    - Member of National Honor Society.
    - Junior Varsity member of school's tennis team.
    - Member of physics club, fishing club, and debate team
    - Member of school's marching band until junior year.

    I think that's about it. Thank you all in advance for your input!

    Cody
     
  2. Tigger

    Tigger 5-Year Member

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    Are you a student or a parent inquiring on behalf of your student?

    I ask because when describing CAP activities it is stated "...leader for his Civil Air Patrol Squadron." Emphasis added.

    It's okay to ask on behalf of someone I just wanted to ascertain who was really inquiring about this.

    In regards to a varsity letter, my DD did not have a varsity letter and graduated from USAFA in May and is now in pilot training.

     
  3. Ulfberht

    Ulfberht Member

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    My apologies, I only did that because I am so used to writing my resumés in the third person. But to answer your question, I am writing this as an applicant. Sorry for the confusion!
     
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  4. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    1. Search "Chance Me" for #ous, #ous, etc, posts which will have tons of stats for you to ponder.
    2. SAT's are low, have to get to 1370 which is admissions average (as per Google)-retake/practice ad nauseam ("for real & for fun":))
    3. everything else looks very good, try for more leadership positions if possible, but priority is increasing that SAT forthwith.
    4. esp. like going from non-swimmer to team capt, make sure that's gets in.
    5. How's your CFA?
     
  5. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Did you ask your swim coach what it would take to earn a Varsity Letter?

    I find it difficult to understand how the team captain could not earn a letter while participating beginning his freshman year.

    If he is waiting to surprise you at the end of the semester at the awards ceremony, explain to the coach that you are trying to enter an SA and knowing what you are on track to earn could help your application.
     
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  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Agree with above comments on SAT score. It needs improvement.
    If your school does not award letters for swimming, then this will not be a problem. That fact should show up in the school profile portion of your transcript. Personally I think the team captaincy is probably more important but I don't know how they actually score it vs the varsity letter.
     
  7. Ulfberht

    Ulfberht Member

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    To become the team captain does not mean that you have to be an outstanding swimmer. My team gives varsity letters based off of time and I missed the varsity time for the 50 Fresstyle by 0.43 seconds last year. I thought he was going to give me the letter, but he said I would have to work harder next season to get it. I have been practicing a lot recently and I have had people time me; I am around the same times from last year, so I know I can get it this year. It is just that by the time I actually get my letter, it will have been too late since my application would have been long due by then.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    I have to concur about the SAT. I don't know what state you are from, but if it is a competitive state where the MoCs talk than I would be more worried about the SAT than your sports.
    ~ Read up about how they charge MOCs for appointments and how much the PAR is for your WCS.
    ~ Additionally, for AFROTC they only do best sitting and right now you are just hitting the mins for a type 7 -tuition only for In State as a STEM (tech major). Non-tech and you are looking at a higher SAT. 80% of all AFROTC scholarships are Tech.

    I would also add onto the school profile comment made by kinnem. USAFA will ask your GC to submit a report. In that report it will have the school profile.
    ~ IE you state your wcgpa is 4.385, but out of what scale...4.5, 5.0, 6.0? They may come back and reconfigure your wcgpa to their algorithm, it can go up or down.
    ~ They will also look at how many AP/IBs are offered compared to how many you took. They will also look at the percentage of students that take these courses.

    There are impho too many kids that say they are from a competitive school, but do not realize that from the big picture those wcgpas mean nothing when you start looking at the finer points.
    ~ IE: In No VA (Fairfax county) their educational budget is larger than the lowest ranking 8 states educational budgets. WCGPA is on a 4.5. MoCs talk because they have @700 applicants for a nom. 1 nom is lucky. OBTW Fairfax HS's are normally ranked in the top 100 HSs in the nation, be it Forbes, Money, Time, etc, with their avg BEST SITTING of 1350, that is avg. Their PUBLIC magnet school known as TJ (Thomas Jefferson) is so high off the charts that some of these magazines now consider them private to make it fair.
    ~~ In NC, where we lived, APs were 6.o, but Jump Start at the local College only was 5.0. MoCs did not talk, DS got 3 noms. We lived in the competitive school district, yet when the gc did the school profile did we realize the WOW moment. 5% went IVY, 50% went Private/Public, 25% went CC and the remainder entered the work force. OBTW his cgpa went up because of USAFA's algorithm

    Just saying, your wcgpa looks good, but I don't know and nobody else here knows because unless we know your school breakdown we can't guide you. Hint go to Naviance and look at Ivy league schools for a chance me aspect. If you are in the green than your school is probably competitive, if your profile is in the red, than not so much.
    ~ Don't fret because WCS = Whole Candidate and they take into account that you are doing well between your grades and time management regarding sports, and volunteering.

    Best wishes and hopes. I am not trying to be Debbie Downer, just trying to illustrate that there is a lot of different attributes that can impact whether you get an appointment or not. Some are in your control (SAT and CFA) some are not.

    In the end, here is the real fact...nobody cares when your are ADAF if you are a ring knocker (USAFA) or an AFROTC grad. They only care about how you do your job. Don't believe me, ask COLIN POWELL.
     
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  9. Ulfberht

    Ulfberht Member

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    Looks like I have to work my butt off to get that SAT up. I'm from New Jersey, so I'm not sure how competitive this state is. I am also currently taking 4 AP classes out of 7 of my classes. I am taking the SAT again in the beginning of October so I am gonna study the hell out of this one. Thank you all so much for your input! I really appreciate it!
     
  10. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    Jackson NJ is just a step away from Ft Dix and McGuire AFB, so you might be a little competitive there due to military brats situation. Born and raised for 23 yrs in NJ before marrying an AF office, and still have many family members in that state. I would not place Jackson as an academically competitive town when you compare it to other counties, such as far north as Bergen and the middle like Monroe.
    ~ FYI my in laws live in Jackson since before you were bore (1988), I worked in Eatontown. SIL lives in Hamilton. Brother and Mother live minutes away from Princeton. My HS friends still live in Middlesex county.
    ~~ It is no offense to Jackson, it is just that those other counties spend a lot more per student from their real estate taxes, hence why their school systems are at a higher level. See above regarding Fairfax. Prince William is right next to Fairfax, but you don't see them on that top 100 HS list. Still a great school district, but their school budget is nothing like Fairfax. That is what I am getting at.

    Again, I also don't know your MoC (Cong., not Sen). Jackson straddles the Pine Barrons, maybe it goes south, maybe it goes north. Maybe it goes east or west.

    I would go on the nom forum here to see if NJ spreads their wealth for noms. I believe that at least the Sens. do. I also recall that unless you are getting a Pres. nom. the Sens do not submit their slates until sometime in Jan. If that still holds true I would take the SAT and ACT every time you can afford to do so because they will keep updating your WCS for those new scores.

    If you have not started your AFROTC scholarship you need to do ASAP since the 1st board is meeting this week or next. AFROTC does not care what college you go to along as they honor the scholarship. Right now you may find yourself behind the 8 ball if you have yet to start the scholarship.
     
  11. Ulfberht

    Ulfberht Member

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    I filled out my AFROTC scholarship which had nothing like SAT or leadership positions on it. I read the website and it said once I completed this application, they would send me a link to upload all of the files they require, however, I have not received that email yet. I am not sure if this is because they have yet to send the email or what.
     
  12. Ulfberht

    Ulfberht Member

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    I am also southern Jersey, ocean county area, so I'm not sure if that changes anything too much.
     
  13. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    You can also buy the Kaplan SAT book which has 9 or so SAT exams to practice on. After a couple of these practice exams, you will probably recognize a question or two or your Oct. SAT.
     
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  14. 2021mom

    2021mom Member

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    If you reasonably believe you will earn a letter this year, you should included it. Perhaps you should have a conversation with your coach to be sure it is a reasonable expectation first. Per the instructions (copied this from: https://www.academyadmissions.com/admissions/the-application-process/extracurricular-activities/ ) "If you are a junior, include your anticipated 12th grade participation."

    My current Doolie did not include anything expected his senior year, since he completed it over the summer. (Obviously he did not read this tip first.) It was a bit of a hassle to update later, but certainly possible. ;)
     
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  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    The AFROTC web site will include the code to use to have the boards send your SAT (and ACT) scores.
     
  16. Ulfberht

    Ulfberht Member

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    I am going to talk to him about it today. Thank you very much!
     
  17. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    Also, if you submit your application, you still have the option to update it with new accomplishments, scores, letters, etc up through January I believe, so keep that in mind
     
  18. cama93

    cama93 Member

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    Hi, I'm a fellow 2022 USAFA candidate.
    For the SAT: I'd recommend that you go on the college board website and use their Khan academy resource to help improve your score. It gives you personalized practice based on the questions that you missed on the test, pretty great if you ask me!
    Also, if you'd like to get into specifics about separate parts of the test, I scored perfect on the essay, near perfect on the verbal and very solidly in math. I've also taken the test three times (waiting on the hopefully improved results from September!) so I'm very familiar with it. DM me and I can give you specific tips about what you think you struggle with most.