Advice For My Application to USAFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by jroberts2028, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. jroberts2028

    jroberts2028 Member

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    Hey guys! I am a junior in high school from Connecticut and I plan on applying to USAFA. This is a list of my current "resume" per say. I will try to be as detailed as possible.

    I go to a recently renovated school with a block schedule. In total, I have 8 classes split between two alternating days. Freshman year, I took 5 honors classes and 3 average classes. I ended with a 3.8 weighted GPA for the year. Sophomore year, I took another 5 average classes and 3 average classes. I ended that year with a 3.9 weighted GPA and I took the PSAT that year. I got a 560 on math and a 580 on English. This year, I have 3 AP classes, Physics, US History, and Statistics. I also have 3 honors classes and 2 average classes. I retook the PSAT and got a 640 on math and 580 on English. So far, my GPA for the year is about a 4.1. I haven't taken the SAT yet, but I'm expecting about a 1300-1320. Next year, I will probably be taking 2 AP classes, Physics 2 and Chemistry. I will also be taking 2 honors classes and 2 average classes, one of which will be an EMT Certificate course through the local community college.

    I run Cross Country and Indoor/Outdoor Track. I am currently floating between JV and Varsity for track and I'm a hard JV for XC. 5k PR is 22:37, 1600m is 5:51, 3200m is 12:59, and 800m is 2:39.

    I am in National Honor Society and I will be applying for an Officer position. I am in a Superintendent Advisory Counsel, which is a little less prestigious than NHS. I am the coordinator for the Student Leadership Club, so I work with the principal to help improve the school's environment. I used to work at an amusement park as a cashier in retail. I am currently applying for a new job, which I will be working about 10 hours a week.

    I will be signing up for a gym membership and will be working on the other aspects of the CFA other than the running, which I am lacking in all of them. I might also become a volunteer fireman as well.

    I am also a member of Civil Air Patrol. I have been since January 2014. I have reached the grade of C/1stLt and I'm the current Cadet Commander of my squadron or 50 cadets, however, my term as Commander ends on March 8th. I was the captain of a Color Guard team and we reached the National Cadet Competition in 2017, top 16 teams in the nation out of over 1,000 teams. I have put well over 1,000 hours into the program. I have received several rewards over my time, like the Wing NCO Award of the Year (best NCO in the state in several categories) in 2017 when I was a Chief Master Sergeant. Through the program, I have done about 200 hours of Community Service and my Squadron Commander has named me as the most influential cadet in the squadron in the past 10 years.

    Is there anything that I should improve on to increase my chances? I know its a long post, but my family isn't the richest people in the world and not having any student loans and having a guaranteed job for 8 years is a great opportunity. Any suggestions are welcome.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  2. A1Janitor

    A1Janitor Banned

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    Boys State is a must.

    Take practice SAT exams ... you can get that score higher with effort.

    Volunteer in community?

    Captain of XC or track next year?
     
    ringczar23 likes this.
  3. ringczar23

    ringczar23 Member

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    Take and re-take the SAT / ACT every time it's offered.

    Learn to Pole Vault.

    JROTC?
     
  4. jroberts2028

    jroberts2028 Member

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    Thank you for the response. I will be trying to be captain of XC and track and I have updated my original post to include my community service.
     
  5. jroberts2028

    jroberts2028 Member

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    I wish that there was JROTC in my school, but we don't. I will see if I can start Pole Vault. I see that it helps with the CFA in terms of the upper-body parts. Thank you.
     
  6. Carm23

    Carm23 Member

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    Looks pretty good to me, but it's hard to predict your "chances" of getting in from numbers. Generally, a good GPA, good test scores and decent class rank are necessary to be considered "qualified" and "competitive," though there are exceptions. Unless you're aiming to get recruited by USAFA for sports, just keep competing to stay in shape, maybe get some state or conference wins, and definitely try for captain of the team. Leadership is an absolute must, and leadership in different areas and organizations shows that you're adaptable and react to change well. Knock out things like your DoDMERB, essays, and the forms listed on your portal so you can focus on training for your CFA and getting those nomination applications in. Also, apply for every nomination. Senatorial, Congressional, and Presidential if either of your parents are active duty or retired. Having more noms doesn't necessarily raise your chances of appointment, but it gives the Academy more flexibility in handing one out. The admissions board will also see your application more. Keep on doing what you've been doing.
     
  7. jroberts2028

    jroberts2028 Member

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    Thank you for your advice. It's going to help a lot for my application. I plan on doing my nominations as soon as I send out my Pre-Candidate questionnaire. I can't send it in because I haven't taken the SAT yet and I dont want to send it with my PSAT. I do take the SAT within the next month though.
     
  8. HB2019

    HB2019 Member

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    Take the SAT as soon as possible and as many times it takes until you are satisfied with your school. Highly recommend using Khan Academy as well as the Princeton Review book in order to bump up your scores. Also take a look at the ACT and maybe take a few practice tests because you might feel more confident on that test. Best of luck on your application and continue to work hard in and out of school.
     
    ringczar23 likes this.
  9. jroberts2028

    jroberts2028 Member

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    I haven't considered taking the ACT, but I see how it would be a helpful thing. I have the SAT practice book from College Board, but I haven't really used it that much. Thanks.
     
  10. swps

    swps Member

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    The ACT and SAT are obviously different and it's really easy for one person to do well in one and not the other or do great on both. It only helps you to take both and get a good a scores as you can so planning on taking the ACT is a great idea. There are different strategies for taking ACT vs taking the SAT. So, it's important to know how the ACT is administered and graded. The best advice to start would be to get an ACT prep book with tests and take them repeatedly. That way you not only know the type of questions but the format and time frame allowed to answer questions. Like others have said, I firmly believe it's important you take the test multiple times as your scores will improve. First time DS took it cold and got a 29, second time he did some studying with the books and got a 32 and then he took an ACT tutoring class and DS was able to get a 35 with a 36 on couple sections. He took so many tests and scoring them, he thinks he missed a 36 by one questions. Since USAFA superscores, it makes sense to take as many as you can. Good luck with applying!
     
  11. BBQ-Devil

    BBQ-Devil Member

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    100% this. Focus on getting your SAT/ACT scores up above 1400/34 if at all possible. I have been told SA's weigh Math heavier than English so take that FWIW. Spend an hour a week on Kahn Academy or another test prep source. As stated above the USAFA superscores so take the test every time it is given if the cost is not too much of a burden. DS took the SAT five times.
     
  12. williamsdr3

    williamsdr3 Member

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    I believe our test prep company claims that about 25% of students will perform significantly better on SAT vs. ACT or vice versa. Anyone not satisfied with their score should definitely give both a try.
     
  13. TFO4175

    TFO4175 Member

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    I would say stay in what you are now and try to excel rather than piling as many things as you can. Really try to excel in xc and your school work because in depth participation of your extracurriculars is better on an application than barely participating in several things. You don't have to be a blue chip runner on the track or xc team but I would say strive for varsity and a leadership position for sure. My times weren't stellar especially for my high school, 4:51 1600 17:27 5k , but it was enough to be on varsity and show my coach I was hard working enough to be a captain even though I wasn't the top runner. Good luck
     
  14. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    Simply: why???

    I am not denying the value of such a program, but it is definitely NOT A must. Leadership is important, but certainly, he's got important attaboys on the resume and to tell someone that Boys State is the Must-have, is not correct, and possibly, not helpful.

    One thing I do strongly suggest is that you PRACTICE the SAT and the ACT, and take both - many times if necessary. Your CR score does not seem to have moved and that is somewhat concerning. That 580 is just barely above average. Get it up! READ THE DICTIONARY! (I'm serious. It does wonders - Saturday night instead of playing with your phone, pick up a dictionary and READ IT) A 640M and 580CR is not horrible but especially the CR should be higher.

    Do not try to spread yourself too thin. Unless you have a burning desire to be a firefighter, skip that in favor of higher/more leadership through CAP.

    Also, a strong leadership position through Superintendent Adv Council would mean more than NHS "member."

    And, hm, ten hour a week job. Can you stretch it to 20? Especially in the summer, a ten hour a week job is essentially cutting a few lawns. Get a real job (library, burger flipper, life guard, etc) and do it with gusto.

    Good luck !
     
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  15. A1Janitor

    A1Janitor Banned

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    I wrote Boys State is a must because it provided an excellent experience for my son. He loved it ...

    It is also a great leadership position to have on the resume as well. My son more than likely didn’t need it based on his EC activities and leadership positions ... but it was the best one for him as far as development.
     
  16. jroberts2028

    jroberts2028 Member

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    Thank you for the advice. I wish I could strive for more in CAP, but I've already done almost everything I can without putting my heart and soul into the program. And during the summer, I plan on working 48 hours a week, since that is the max that I can work a week. This will keep me just a bit less busy than the school year, which means I won't be waiting any time.
     
  17. jaglvr

    jaglvr Member

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    I disagree... OP has reached the pinnacle in CAP unless has time to test for Eaker and Spaatz... not sure how long you have been Amelia... If you can earn either before application closes, go for it! Less have Spaatz than Eagle or Gold. Otherwise remain active but increase your fitness and academic scores.
     
  18. charlestonmom5

    charlestonmom5 Member

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    Re: applying for a nomination, if I remember correctly, the MOC's wanted a Candidate number on the application, so the order would be to do the pre-candidate application with USAFA, then wait for the status change (to Candidate) in July, then apply for nominations.
    In the meantime, keep taking the SAT, keep up the physical fitness, and keep working on the Plans B, C, etc.
    Re CAP, are there any Cadet Special Activities that look interesting to you? You could do Boys State and a CAP thing...
     
  19. jroberts2028

    jroberts2028 Member

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    The only real NSCA that I way interested in was Blue Beret, but I didn't go because I would need to pay for it myself and I didnt have the money for everything.