Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by navymidshipman2015, Dec 14, 2010.
Today I was accepted to the USAFA Prep School!!!!!
Congrats navymidshipman2015!!! Although you may have to change your user-name if you accept.
I'm kinda confused on how you got into the Prep School before the Academy? How does that work? But congrats!
I can answer this pretty clearly, but the question is: do you all want to hear it?
(really...there may be some things you won't like to read)
That or PM me. Cause I'am very interested to know.
I say lay it out.
I want to hear it!
The USAFA Prep School.
The original premise was to select those airmen in the USAF that were "close" to admission to the academy, and to train/educate them so that they might enter. The AF loved the idea of "growing their own" this way. And that's a great idea/mission!!!
Then the PS would select the highest rated "almost made it in" candidates and would give them a strong academic/athletic/military year in which to gain admission to the academy.
And it is GREAT at that, in both areas.
In the "not too recent" past though...it's been "changed" a bit. What you will see now at the prep school are:
a. AF Airmen that have applied but are not quite ready to enter the AFA on their own. MOST of the time, what hurts the airmen is there HS SAT/ACT scores. And since they've been out of school for a couple of years (basic training, technical training, move to their base and work in their career field), they've been out of the "pure" academic environment. So the PS is a superb place for those that qualify: they are immersed back into the academic world, and that is their entire focus. Historically these candidates do VERY VERY well at the PS and at USAFA. There's approximately 75 slots per year for AF airmen, and sadly, it's never completely filled.
b. Recruited athletes. The AFA is a Division 1 school. And yes, they recruit athletes. They're more restricted than other schools (other SA's not included, they have the same restrictions) in that there are legal requirements that must be met to attend the SA. Many of the "recruited athletes" don't have the requisite SAT/ACT scores to attend USAFA but with a year at the PS, they will meet entrance requirements. So...they are sent to the PS.
c. Diversity candidates. NO, I do NOT mean "minority ethnic/racial groups" here. I mean candidates that through some position/situation/etc., meet the DOD definition of "diversity." I'm not a brilliant writer, so I can't give you the "very succinct, clearly understood definition. It's sorta like the Supreme Court's definition of pornography: "Can't say exactly, but know what it is when I see it."
An example I can give you though that fits the "diversity" definition. I had a candidate...his father abandoned his mother and the 6 kids when he was a toddler; he was the oldest. Mom worked 2 and sometimes 3 jobs to make ends meet...as he grew, he started helping out at home; a pseudo father to his siblings. When he was old enough, he started to work jobs in the area: mowing lawns, anything to make a few dollars. In HS he was a 3.0 student, several sports, and a club or two (memory isn't completely what it was) and he worked upwards of 40 hours a week at a job. He was helping raise his siblings, helping pay the rent, etc...etc...
His SAT's weren't there...his GPA of barely 3.0...good but... HOWEVER...every teacher, coach, his minister, etc., all said the same thing: IF IF IF he had been in a "normal home" he would be the class valedictorian, etc...etc... I wrote his recommendation to USAFA that he be sent to the PS...and they agreed and they offered him a PS appointment.
He's now an AF pilot and his siblings will ALL have attended college, with his help.
HE was a diversity candidate...his personal situation put him in a very difficult situation that most folks can't overcome and yet he did because of his drive, motivation, etc.
d. Minority members. Yes, we do give them a special look. Why? Because we want the cadet wing to mirror society as much as possible, as we want all the services to do. So yes, you'll see many members of minority groups admitted to the PS. Make no mistake, these candidates are near the TOP of the list: they "just missed" the SA on their own. We don't simply say "he/she is a minority member, let's select them over a non-minority member."
e. The other "almost made it" candidate. These folks are selected from the list of candidates for USAFA. We "rack and stack" everyone with the weighted composite score, and then we draw a line. Everyone above the line is offered an appointment. When the class is filled, then we look at the PS and the numbers required. Absent the recruited athletes and AF members...there is a number left for diversity, minority, non-minority candidates to fill.
And from them we will the PS class.
NOW...with this long-winded answer, I hope I've cleared it up a bit. Now to "your" specific case. To be offered a PS slot this early, I can only surmise that you are "close" but not there for a direct appointment. And yet..."THEY" want you!!! So they're offering you the PS slot to keep you in the AFA cycle.
It's a great accomplishment to have and speaks to your qualifications!
I think the definition of toddler is 1-3 years old. If he was the oldest of 6 kids and under 3 then I would say that at least at one time his father loved his mother....a lot.
OKay....semantics...I'm not a "crawler is this, toddler is that..."
If I remember correctly he was about 5-6...and yes there was one set of twins...otherwise it was like one a year.
He was/is an amazing young man.
You seemed to look a lot towards weaker academics when talking about the candidates that almost made it into the SA. Just to be clear, the same goes for "almost made it" candidates with strong academics and weaker fitness scores, right?
I can only speak of my personal ALO experience over the last 17 years.
I have NOT seen anyone selected for the PS that had really strong SAT/ACT/Academic scores but were short on FITNESS.
The AFA, again from my experience, is pretty much "black and white" as regards fitness. The "only" test we give is the CFA. If you do "poorly" and you're a strong candidate otherwise, you MAY be offered a second test. If you do "great/awesome/okay/fine/eh..." and aren't notified that they'd like you to take another try...then your test has been scored and added into the entire matrix for your WCS.
The AFA "pretty much expects" that the candidate is going to be fit; if they're not, they are at a serious disadvantage. In fact, one of the areas we ALO's are required to evaluate the candidate upon is how they'd look in the AF uniform.
So, as stated previously, the "Main" area I have seen for PS appointee's was they fell "just short" in the academic/SAT/ACT area.
But again...that's just me.
Awesome info, thanks.
My fitness scores aren't too bad. You might've seen from my thread that I'm just worried about how far I could get hitting average scores and minimums (or what I assume to be today's minimums based on past minimums). The chance to retest gives me some hope, because I know I can show some awesome improvement given more time to prepare.
Besides that, my SAT is good enough for the SA, and I look pretty sharp in my BSA uniform
You evaluate how someone looks in an Air Force uniform? Interesting..
Yes, actually, the AFA would like our "opinion" on how a candidate would look in uniform.
Think about it though...when they review a package for appointment, they have no picture. The ONLY reason the picture would be important...
"In uniform this candidate will look extremely overweight and unfit." "In uniform, this candidate will look like an olympic swimming champion..."
Which paints a better picture of fitness? Make no mistake...it's about fitness.
I'll maybe be seeing you at the Prep School!
We'll see. I'm hoping to get directly admitted, but who knows. I've been out of school for two years.
I'm also a current Airman. They like to send us to the Prep School.
I'm sorry but having applied to both the NA and AFA and trying to figure out how the system works in selecting the most qualified applicant , I am finding many of the answers by both the NA and AFA unsettling. First, lets be clear here, the most qualified people are not necessarly selected. The most qualified of each demographic group are selected (whites, blacks, woman,etc..). In other words, the academy finds the percentages(ie. goals) to match their desired outcomes. Second the Prep Schools are presently not taking the logical applicants that are 3'Qd (Medically, physically and academically) qualified and not selected to attend the Academy. They are reaching out to the candidates that are not presently qualified. I know this because candidates are already being selected to attend Prep School. How can this be when the Academy class is not fully selected yet? If the selections were truly based on merit the selections would occur after the academy class was filled...not concurrently. I am very upset and unsure how to deal with the possibility of not being selected for either the academy or prep school. As a citizen of this great country I have a problem with this methodology.
And when you turn 18 you can use a citizen's right to vote to influence/change your MOC that oversee this methodology. Or...you could commission through a means other than the SAs and when you reach the top of the food chain address your problems from within.
Life is not always fair. Welcome to adulthood.
Separate names with a comma.