An evaluation would be awesome!

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Ryan.Dotay, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. Ryan.Dotay

    Ryan.Dotay ryan 5-Year Member

    Sep 10, 2011
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    Hello everybody! I am a Junior in high school and a future canidate for the United States Air Force Academy. An evaluation on my standings right now would be awesome, and any tips/ suggestions would be a huge help. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you guys!

    Where to begin! I think just some leadership and other facts that would help my elidability would be good to start:

    -Two Varsity sports (football and lacrosse)
    -Assistant coach on my little brother's lacrosse team
    - Big Brother for the Big Brothers and Sisters Organization
    -My twin and I run a regional section of Nike Re-Use a shoe, which collects used shoes to create playing surfaces in less fortunate areas (going on three years)
    -Full time job at local Supermarket Market Basket, who do write letters of recomendation
    -40 hours of volunteering at the Local Veterans Administration Hospital over the Summer-
    -My Father's best friend is a Colonel and former F-15 and F-117 pilot, and has a good relation ship with the Head of Admissions, both of whom could write letters of recomendation.

    When it comes to academics, I have been very consitent. I kept a steady GPA last year, at about 3.6, and scored in the state NEWA in the top 3 percent for both math and reading. I am in advanced math, and will be taking one AP class this year and one college class, pre calculus, and mulitple Ap's senior year. However, freshman year is what has me concerned and I was hoping you could help me with. Although I am never one to make excuses, feshman year was incredilby difficult due to a family tragedy/ My little brother, Drew, was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia in late spring before freshman year. An immuno-defficiency like disease, almost every day was spent carting my brother to Boston, where he stayed for a few days until he came home.Unfortunately, he would typically catch another fever within just a few days and have to go back. This made my freshman year quite turbulant, especcially when my parents were gone for days on end or returning late at night consistently, shuffling watch over my little brother as he recovered from chemothereapy and a bone marrow transplant, and parental guidence, in which is incredibly important, especcially during one's freshman year, was nearly non-existant during that fall, most of the winter, and the spring when my little brother was in the ICU for nearly 2 weeks. In which I feel is my most important leadership role so far, my twin and Iorganized a benefit concert in just two short weeks that was attended by nearly 500 and raised well over $8,000 dollars for uncovered medical expenses, transportation costs, and various donations to Boston Childrens Hospital. I manged to squeek out with a 3.0, and honors in two classes. I have never been proud of my freshman year, and I abhor excuses and try everything possible to refrain from them, but I realie this did effect in ways I pray I fix before I apply to the Academy. I would appreciate your feedback and insight on what to do about my poor freshman year, and how I can make up for it academically. I hope it does not effect my chances considerably, but I underdtand the situation and I am putting my best foot forward to correct it. I thank you for reading this, and I am excited to see back from you.

    Is Summer Session a key aspect in the process?

    If I recieve straight A's my junior year up until application (which I am on track to do), will this sign of improvement greatly help my chances?

    How important is improvement when looking at an applicant's profile?

    What should I aim for on the SATs and ACTs?

    Thank you!
  2. Eberlz

    Eberlz 5-Year Member

    Jan 16, 2011
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    Seems like you have a good background with ecs. Cannot really say much about the gpa question. If you earn a 4.0 junior and senior year, you will end up with a 3.65. Kind of on the low end, but you had WAY different circumstances than most candidates.

    As for SAT/ACT -

    25th / 75th Percentile
    •SAT Critical Reading: 600 / 680
    •SAT Math: 630 / 700

    •ACT Composite: 29 / 32
    •ACT English: 27 / 32
    •ACT Math: 28 / 33
  3. howacupcake

    howacupcake 5-Year Member

    Mar 19, 2011
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    I enjoyed reading your resume. You seem to have a heart for others and I am confident that you have a heart for our country.

    Your freshman year may have been difficult and perhaps you are disappointed in your grades, but you still have time to make the best of each and every one of your classes. Get straight A's and try your best. Keep your eyes on the goal.

    If this is your DREAM, go for it! Don't waste time thinking that you won't make it, spend your time finding ways to make it there!

    I really like this quote:
    “Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.”-Vince Lombardi

    And its true-if you are PERSISTENT you will get in. You have until you are 23. But I'm sure you'd like to go right after high-school and that is still possible.

    Also, you are a Varsity athlete! And the Academy does look upon that highly. If your overall GPA was in the 3.6 area, you might be offered a scholarship to the Preparatory School!

    I believe you can do it! :wink:

  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother 5-Year Member Founding Member

    Oct 10, 2007
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    I would describe the circumstances of my freshman year to my ALO and see what s/he has to say about it. Since you seem to have an upward trend, just stay on track.

    Question: do you really work FULL TIME at the store? Mine worked 20+ hours a week and it was extremely difficult at times.

    Take the most advanced Math and Science courses available to you.
  5. Pima

    Pima 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
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    Couple of things.
    If I am reading this correctly, it is your Dad's friend's friend. Somebody who has never met you in your life. While having this rec is great, there is a difference on how it will appear.

    In other words it may be cookie cutter and impersonal. Whereas, you may be better off just having the friend and a coach do it. If you know the person, that is different, than your Dad's friend knowing the person. Also remember you are a jr. that friend of your Dad's friend may PCS this yr and not even be there next yr. AD members move often, and we traditionally move on with our lives, so we tend to lose sight where someone goes unless we are really close socially, and even than it can take months before we get the shout out...I am alive here is my new email and contact number.

    I wouldn't worry about the grades, as long as you keep an upward trend. Freshman yr without the family hardship is difficult for many candidates and the AFA gets that. Take the most rigorous course load at school, if that means reducing work hours at the supermarket, do so. No offense, but the job really is more for your spending money and not leadership; FB and LAX, Clubs will illustrate your leadership ability more than saying Head Cashier.

    I would aim for a 1350+ on your SAT and @ 30-31 ACT. They superscore, so take both, and take them often starting this fall. Understand for AFROTC they do not follow the AFA template of superscoring; another reason to take them often. They take the best "sitting" so you could have a 650V/700M for AFROTC, but have a 690 V/730M for AFA.

    Study for your PSAT. If I am correct you should be taking it in school in a few weeks; usually given 1st/2nd week of October to all jrs. You do not register for it, they just round all jrs. up and you take it during the school day. If you score in the 95th percentile, you will become an NSMF. This is an award to put on your resume. From there you will compete for Finalist. It is an accolade that only 5% of everyone in your yr group will earn.

    Additionally, it opens you up to scholarships from different colleges. Traditional colleges like to place in their glossy brochures X% are NMSF/NMF. They get them by offering merit money. As anyone will tell you when you go down this road, you always need a PLAN B.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  6. FightingFalcon

    FightingFalcon 5-Year Member

    Jun 5, 2011
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  7. Pima

    Pima 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
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    OOPS my bad! I thought it was top 5% nationally, didn't realize it was 1% for ea. state, honestly even though our DS got it, I cared more about the rule of thumb at that time and only found out about the NSMF later when he was selected; 1st child. 2nd and 3rd I knew the importance of the test/score. Many people who are going through this process for the 1st time do not realize that taking the PSAT has its bennies.

    Rule of thumb...take the total score and add a 0 behind it. That is what you should expect on your SAT. It held true for all 3 of my kids, almost to a tee.
    So if you get a 205, it would convert to 2050.
  8. buff81

    buff81 Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 31, 2008
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    I can't speak for USAFA but when we interview candidates for USMA, we are to include in our report if there were any work or family problems that may have affected the candidate's performance.
    Hopefully, the USAFA interview has similar instructions.
    Tell your ALO of your situation and experiences Freshman year.
    You don't come across as making excuses, but your brother's illness certainly affected your life in many ways.
  9. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 5-Year Member

    Jul 26, 2008
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    Speaking from an ALO perspective here...

    Your freshman year is what I call a "Diversity" year. The services are VERY much into diversity; the challenges they bring the individual, how the individual copes with the situation, and what they learn/gain from this. Most folks think diversity is ethnocentric; it's not. Many a "caucasian male" qualifies as a "diversity candidate" for many reasons; as do a host of others.

    Your freshman year was hellish; how you handled it, how it impacted you, and how you prioritized those things in your life most precious/important, ARE what we want to hear about! I can write a fabulous evaluation on this type of "trial/tribulation." Everything you went through and did that year has had an immense impact upon your personality and motivation. THAT is something we look for: how would or do you handle stress?

    The rest of the advice you've received here is "spot on!" I'd add this: letters of recommendation from military members. Rank and position are good things IF the person TRULY knows YOU!. We had a candidate two years ago with a letter from a retired 4 star general. Glowing recommendation but it was VERY clear in the letter that the general knew the parent, not the candidate. To be honest, we gave that letter ZERO weight.

    Last year we had a candidate with a letter from an active duty 4 star general officer in the AF, the commander of one of our Major Commands. Not only was it all about how he'd known the parents since "the father was a Lt..." but he's the godfather of this candidate, based at the same locations, been coaching the candidate through Jr HS and HS on what they should focus upon to become a good AF officer, etc.." and then at the end he said: "Please do not hesitate to call my personal cell phone (XXX-YYY-ZZZZ) with any questions you have about LLLLLL...I love to talk about her...she's truly an amazing young lady!

    We gave that letter a LOT of credence!

    Letter's can be very impactful, if they're from someone that truly knows you.

    USAFA '83

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