Admissions Confusion and Strategy?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Silbur, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Silbur

    Silbur Member

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    I've spent a lot of time making sure I understand the process of admissions, but clearly not enough, so now I am resorting to this forum.

    My understanding is that each senator or congressman can nominate 10 candidates for each vacant slot. And whoever is "first" out of the 10 nominated candidates (assuming he/she is qualified) is granted an appointment. The rest of the candidates (who are also qualified) are then placed into a national waiting list. West Point picks from this list and everyone given an appointment makes up the class.

    NOW!!!!!! IMPORTANT PART ASSUMING THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE!!!!!

    I have obtained a nomination from my senator. However, I called my district's congresswomen's office and was told I will have her nomination, but it is not updated yet. My congresswomen, however, requires me to revoke my nomination if I get one from another source. Soooooo finally here is my BIG question....

    In terms of "strategy" (assuming my understanding of the appointment process is correct), would it be better to take my congresswomen's nomination rather than my senator's because it will most likely be less competitive for that "first" spot?
     
  2. GoArmy2022

    GoArmy2022 USMA 2022

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    You need to ask your RC about that. It may take a while for him to determine which MOC he wants to charge you to, if any, so please contact him with this question.

    I'm sorry that none of us can tell you, and Admissions may take a while to answer your question because they are running a little behind in general this year.

    The reason we can't tell you which nomination you want is because we don't know which candidates you are competing against. Even if we did and had a good idea of their WCS scores, we wouldn't be able to tell you which ones West Point wants because we don't know USMA's specific needs for the year and how they're filling them. Basically, we're not Admissions officers and only they can really tell you which nomination you should keep.

    I hope you found this helpful, and go Army!
     
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  3. Wishful

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

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    Your understanding is partially correct. You description (rank the slate in priority order) is one of the three ways a MOC can post their slate. The other 2 are the principal nom (MOC says that this applicant, if 3Q'ed gets nom only) & the unranked slate which is the most common way because it's the fairest to the MOC's constituents. The MOC presents 10 applicants in unranked order & leaves it up to the SA to decide.

    A nomination is a nomination. All you need is one. A senator's doesn't weigh more than a Congressmen's. Can't answer to Admissions procedures at WP, but my understanding is that you will be competing with people from your region, not the other 9 people on that MOC's slate. If you don't get an offer straight out, you go into the national pool which is another opportunity to receive one, also prep school, if academically applicable. Good luck.
     
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  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Nomination Slates aren't due until Jan 31. Applications don't need to be completed until Feb 28. There is almost certainly no way admissions could tell you which slate is more competitive until long after you need to make your decision.

    OP, your understanding and thinking on this are generally correct. However, a very competitive candidate in your district would certainly be told the same thing. If they think like you they'll accept the congressman's nomination and now you're out of the running.

    Flip a coin. There is no point to gaming the system and a Senator's nom does not carry more prestige.
     
  5. davejean90

    davejean90 Member

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    The important question is, are either of these nominations "principal". If either are principal nominations, then you can drop one since West Point must select you IF you are qualified medically, academically, and physically. If you are just one of a 10 candidates in the slate, then there is no reason why you can't stay on both slates. It just provides the academy with two ways to slot you in. By the way, although the more nominations received the better, there is still a chance you will not get an appointment if have not been designated as the principal.
     
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  6. AirsoftRanger

    AirsoftRanger Member

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    your MOC asked you to notify her and decline the nomination if you receive another;
    It sounds like the MOC might probably then nominate another candidate, give another candidate a chance.
    This seems like a better approach than our district, and would not diminish your chances at all, if USMA does all the slotting; 2 years ago, our congressman nominated 10, 6 of which received 3 nominations, and none of them were 3 q'd, thus not one admission from our district that year.
    DS's FFR explained that his district was completely slotted by the USMA admissions team, and not by the MOC. I would think your FFR could confirm the method used for your district. Reading between the lines last year, it sure seemed that the FFR steered the admissions committee to first fill the congressional nominations, then fill the senatorial.
    DS's general approach to his application was the Japanese adage "the nail that sticks up is the one that gets hammered", but in this case, I would not apply this adage.
     
  7. Enthalpy

    Enthalpy 2021 USMA Dad

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    Silbur, Congratulations on the nominations. You should ask both your RC and FFR their input. I would agree with your strategy if neither is a principle nomination. Godspeed.
     
  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG 5-Year Member

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    Respectively disagree that a nomination is a nomination and all you need is one.

    Nomination differs on your chance of an appointment based on the competitiveness of the slate. If you only have one nomination, you compete in that slate and if you don’t win it, compete in the national pool. In general, senatorial pool is more competitive than a congressional pool. So OP’s scenario OP could be #5 in the senatorial pool, but number #1 in the congressional pool. As #5 in the senatorial pool, not likely to win the senatorial pool. But if the Congressman doesn’t give OP a nomination because OP already has a senatorial nomination, although OP’s chance of winning senatorial pool is very low, the OP can t compete in the congressional pool where he or she has a higher chance.
     
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  9. Wishful

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

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    I see your point & agree.
     
  10. AirsoftRanger

    AirsoftRanger Member

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    It is most important to know who ranks candidates.
    in our district, All candidate ranking is handed over to USMA regional admissions.
    I am quite certain that for 2021 the district filled Congressional appointments first, then senatorial later.

    I do wonder, are more districts trending over to USMA appointments instead of MOC slates?
     
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  11. brovol

    brovol Member

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    This is completely correct. All nominations are not completely equal. They may start out that way in theory, but once there is a pool of candidates in each slate, you can compare the quality of those candidates. Obviously in a perfect world you would be in, for lack of a better term, the weakest pool.

    Although you do not know the numbers for everyone in each of the pools where you have a nomination, your FFR has access to information, if he or she or is willing to disclose where you stand. More importantly, your RC will know specifically and very clearly where you stand, and what the numbers are that you will need to beat. In the case of my son a couple years ago, we spoke with three different RCs at West Point, in all three shared that type of information with him. In short, I would contact your RC and ask your questions directly.

    Although senatorial pools are generally going to be much larger than a congressional pool, you never really know what their slate might look like. Presumably it will be a stronger pool. However, in Michigan one of our Senators, who does his interviews last, does not give out a nomination to anyone who already has one. Thus, his nomination slate will consist solely of candidates who did not get a nomination. Although one could probably analyze that too much, you could also just generally assume that there may be reasons those candidates had not previously received a nomination. Just offering that as an example.
     
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  12. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    I ended up here searching and trying to figure out how all this works with the nominations. Now I have more questions than when I started searching haha. But what stands out the most for me, is that there are a lot of different strategies that nominating sources use. And I guess one has to put a lot of faith in the MOC's ability to do a good job of getting candidates they think are deserving in. Really is mind blowing!!! It's all out of our hands, going to let it all go. But all these wonderings and ponderings are what roll around in my brain when I wake at awful hours of the night/morning! I suspect that will not end with an appointment, as then what my DS is doing or not doing will occupy that brains space should he receive an appointment.

    Ignorance is bliss at times, for sure!
     
  13. Oscar Whiskey

    Oscar Whiskey Member

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    DS has a similar situation. He applied to USAFA and USMA. He also requested the VP and Presidential to both. One Senator did not select him to interview. The other Senator doesn't do interviews. He interviewed with his Congressional Representative's board. Both WP and USAF portals show he has the Presidential nomination. WP sent DS an LOA last month and he was directed to inform his MOCs. The Representative POC said that the SOP is that they nominate LOA holders to that SA. He listed USAFA #1 and USMA #2. I asked him about his decision to consider Army and AF--he had a valid line of thinking and also told me why he was not interested in the Navy. He says he has envisioned career goals for both the Air Force and the Army. I think that both are great schools (although I'm biased to one). So my question is if he's given a choice of nomination from the Representative, how best to position him for greatest success in achieving a nomination to one of his SA preferences? The risk adverse me says that he should double down on USMA and if USAFA wants him he can be considered for the Presidential nomination. The other option would be -- If the Reperesentative board slated him to USAFA before being informed of his USMA LOA and were flexible to ask him to choose -- should he choose the MOC nomination to USAFA and hope the USMA LOA and Presidential and/or VP nomination comes through for WP? My thinking is that would give USAFA two nominations to choose from; while WP has the LOA and Presidential. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  14. Wishful

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

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    brovol: I think you meant to say my post was incorrect. I see your point & agree with you.

    How about contacting the MOC's offices & try to find out if they have any recent candidates in the AFA or WP? Chances are the Senator's will, but maybe your congressional district hasn't sent anyone in a couple of years. Thus as far as the academy is concerned, your district may be an "open slot" or "undeserved" one. All you can do is ask. Next I like the idea posted by brovol above about contacting FFR's & RC's. Any info gotten may help in which strategy to go with.
     
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  15. Oscar Whiskey

    Oscar Whiskey Member

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    Well in true military form, I did a lot of pondering and considering courses of action- for nothing. DS’s USAFA portal shows that he has a nomination from his Congressional Representative.
     
  16. Wishful

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

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    Good, Congratulations!
     
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  17. GoldWinger

    GoldWinger Member

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    Stressful stuff! My DS applied to USAFA and USNA and found out yesterday she got nom' by her Senator and this morning got an LOA from USAFA (via MOC staff when she was interviewing for the USNA nom) The panel quizzed her on why USNA was #1 choice with a LOA from USAFA. She has her Sen nom and Pres from USAFA and pres from USNA so she figured her best chance was to ask for Cong nom for USNA and see where fate takes her. Does anyone know if an LOA and a Sen/Pres nom will definitely get her an appointment to USAFA or is there still risk out there? Feeling blessed with an LoA but still not sure what it means. Thanks for comments!
     
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  18. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    She's guaranteed admittance provided she meets the items mentioned in the letter she receives. At this point it would normally be successful completion of DoDMERB and completion of her application if it's not yet done. It will be spelled out in the letter she receives.
     
  19. Oscar Whiskey

    Oscar Whiskey Member

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    Congratulations -- It is great to have options!
     
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