Application process

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Let'sGoFlying, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Let'sGoFlying

    Let'sGoFlying Member

    Apr 20, 2012
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    Hello everyone!

    I had a question about the application process. What steps should I take to apply for the USAFA? I have visited many USAFA meetings in Raleigh, but it is still confusing. I am a freshman and I know it's a little early to start thinking about it, but I just want to get familiar with the process, so when the time comes, I will know what to do. Thanks for your input.

    Have an excellent day.:smile:
  2. AFAYahoo

    AFAYahoo 5-Year Member

    Apr 12, 2011
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    Its really NOT too early to think about it! To find out about the actual process, you can log on to and read all about the steps to take to actually apply (you'll start the actual process the spring/summer of junior year). Besides the actual application to the AFA, you'll need a nomination from your MOC's (senator/congressional reps)/VP and/or possibly Presidential if you qualify--there will be more of an explanation on the website above.

    For things you can do to prepare for the application process:
    1. Focus on academics. Take the most challenging courses you can handle (Honors, AP and/or IB if your school offers them) and get good grades--A's!! Math/science are impt.--calculus, chemistry, physics, etc. as well as any other classes you would take as college prep (Eng., History, etc)
    2. Hopefully you participate in a sport--physical fitness is impt. when applying--if not, get involved in one. Team sports are impt (whether soccer, baseball, football, etc) as they demand physical fitness but also teach teamwork, leadership, working to a common goal, etc. Have a goal of becoming captain of your team by jr/sr. year. Again, for that leadership aspect.
    3. Be involved in a few key extra-curriculars outside of sports--make your involvement meaningful (don't just show up for the first few meetings and never go again). Examples could be Boy/Girl Scouts (get an Eagle), Key Club, student gov't, Boys/Girls State when the time comes, youth group at church, service/volunteer organizations, etc.--there are many possibilities. The key is to really be involved, work to be an officer/leader in the group.
    4. Consider work experience, even if just over the summer if the school year is too busy with academics/sports/clubs etc.
    5. Prep to take the ACT/SAT tests--plan on taking them more than once to get the highest scores possible in each section.
    6. Consider going to the AFA Summer Leadership Seminar in a couple years, offered over the summer to upcoming seniors. It won't help you get an appt. per se, but will give you a tiny taste of life at the Academy. You can find info about it at the website also.
    7. Practice the interview process--you'll have to interview with your ALO, and a committee from each MOC as part of the nomination process. A candidate may have great qualifications, but if he/she can't answer questions about high school activities/leadership etc. and why he/she wants to go to the AFA etc., his/her score will take a hit. Its one of the subjective areas of the WCS (whole candidate score) so you want to make sure you do your best.

    Hopefully some of this makes sense and will help you! Its a very competitive process, so good luck to you!

    Proud parent of a C4C!
  3. Pima

    Pima 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
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    My best advice is to look at the AFA as an Ivy league education. Many of the cadets, and candidates had a choice...AFA or top tier colleges (HYPPSM, UVA, Berkeley, UNCCH, UIC, Notre Dame, etc), most had either AFROTC scholarship or big time merit money, thus cost was not a factor as much as one may think. Typically the decision came down to lifestyle as an 18 yo for the next 4 yrs.

    The real difference between the top tier colleges and an SA is they are transparent regarding the admission process and how they score an applicant (aka candidate), colleges are secretive. They tell the candidate the percentage weight for academics, athletics, EC's, recs, etc.

    The top tier colleges will also want to see that you aren't only book smart. They will want to see you have the whole package. Athletics, student govt/clubs (leadership), BSA, GSA, jobs, volunteerism, etc. while maintaining a rigorous curriculum will be just as important to them as it is to the AFA.

    No admissions dept wants the 4.0 uwgpa, with 9 APs, 2400 SAT, but no ECs over the 3.8 uwgpa with 8 APs, and 2200 SAT, plus SC/Class president, 4 yrs on the FB team, NMSF, NHS, job and 250 volunteer hrs.

    Besides the nom issue, the only real difference is the SA's state you need to show athletic ability by passing ALL parts of the CFA and be medically qualified.

    If you were my child, I would tell you to take the most rigorous courses available. I would also suggest that you think about how to blend the ECs...killing 2 birds with 1 stone.

    I.E. Job at Target stocking shelves is great. Job as a lifeguard shows athletic ability too. Job at the local hospital can also have unexpected volunteer hours. Job as a paid summer camp lifeguard for your church, BSA/GSA or 4 H, can fill 3.

    I would also say as a long term poster, to make sure right now there is no medical issue. If you look on the DoDMERB threads, so many kids/parents here never thought there was a medical issue until they went for an exam. They never knew that a prescription med by their hometown doc would get them DQ'd. If you have been on meds for anything, including eczema this will be part of your process. Get in front of it now.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  4. wby

    wby 5-Year Member

    Oct 1, 2010
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    AFA book

    The Air Force Academy Candidate Book: How to Get In, How to Prepare, How to Survive
    This is pretty helpful, you can find reviews online.
  5. haleym

    haleym 5-Year Member

    Mar 1, 2011
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    Don't forget that before you can worry about the process, you've got to do well in high school first! I worked my butt off in HS to get where I am, but I still got a TWE this year (no worries though, I'm reapplying!). Take every opportunity that comes your way, take tough classes, work hard, and CARE about what you do. Pick ECs that you will really enjoy and excel in them. Good luck to you! :thumb:
  6. Blueangel5

    Blueangel5 USAFA 2016 5-Year Member

    Dec 14, 2011
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    I definitely agree with the information posted above, I would emphasize being as early as you can to complete your file, and then update as necessary. A helpful quote I once heard is "to be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is to be forgotten". The more you stay ahead of the game, the better your chances will be, good luck!

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