Application Strengths/Weaknesses

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Airplane girl, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Airplane girl

    Airplane girl Member

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    I am going to be applying to the Naval Academy next year (I'm in 11th grade now). I'm go to a private school in NYC with around 94 people in a grade. I'm pretty sure NYC isn't that competitive of an area for the Naval Academy. I would like to know if there are any major weaknesses in my application, and if I seem like I could be competitive.

    Academics: 3.77 GPA. I'm pretty sure it's going to be higher by the end of the year, since it doesn't include my 11th grade grades. In 9th and 10th grades, I got a lot of A-, but this year I have As in every class except for one. My school does not rank, since any ranking would be statistically insignificant in such a small school. (I've asked the college counselors and that is what they said).
    PSAT: 1350
    ACT: Haven't taken it yet, but I have been taking practice tests and typically get around a 30 or a 31.

    Classes:
    My school does not have advanced classes for English and History until 11th grade, and does not have advanced science until 12th grade. Everyone in my school also takes two science classes a year, and each one meets half as often as a normal class. My school also does not have any AP classes.

    Regular English 9th and 1oth grades, advanced English 11th grade
    Physics/Chemistry, Chemistry/Biology, Biology/Physics
    World History, US History, Advanced US history
    Problem based math 9B and 10B, Precalculus (My school has a weird math program in 9th and 10th grades, but basically I was in the middle section, not basic or advanced. The curriculum included algebra I, algebra II, geometry, and some trigonometry).
    Spanish 3, 4, and 5
    French 1 and 2
    Problems in science (extra science class to explore parts of science that aren't normally taught in a typical science curriculum)


    Activities:
    C/1st Lt in Civil Air Patrol
    - Held high-ranking staff positions at the unit level and at encampments, been to several national activities
    Kenpo (martial arts)
    - Orange belt
    - Member of the black belt club, an advanced kenpo and leadership development program
    Russian language lessons
    Flying
    -Around 45 hours in a Cessna 172, close to solo
    Writing
    -wrote a novel (not published) in 9th grade for Camp NaNoWrimo
    -had a summer internship at a writing camp for children, where I helped 6-8 year olds write stories

    Awards:
    Billy Mitchell Award, Civil Air Patrol
    Veterans of Foreign Wars NCO Award, Civil Air Patrol
    Civil Air Patrol Achievement Award

    School clubs:
    History of Mechanized Warfare club
    -Leader this year, member since 9th grade

    Literary Magazine
    - member in 9th and 10th grades, interferes with History of Mechanized warfare club this year

    Thank you so much for reading all of this, and I would really appreciate any suggestions or any comments that you have.
     
  2. USA3210

    USA3210 New Member

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    You look pretty good so far, but make sure to focus on standardized testing. Make sure to take the tests as early and often as possible.
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    I suggest you add another sport -- one that requires running and/or a team sport. If your school doesn't offer varsity/JV sports, consider joining a youth league during the school year or during the summer and/or consider attending a camp during the summer.

    Also, you'll want to do VERY well on your CFA as it will count much more given your lack of varsity sports. Start now working on each of the elements and, as summer approaches, start doing practice tests with the order and timing of the CFA.

    You also might want to add an activity beyond CAP/warfare club. It's not the sheer number that counts, but your list is a bit anemic compared to the most successful candidates. If it's too late to do anything meaningful with a school activity, look for opportunities in the community. You're in NYC -- the possibilities are endless!

    Use your summer wisely. Take a few weeks off but use the rest of your time productively. This can be working a full-time job, doing concentrated volunteer work (i.e., focusing on a specific task/project/action), participating in a sports league/camp, etc.
     
  4. usslloyd

    usslloyd Member

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    If you do varsity sports all year, including a couple of captain positions, does this compensate somewhat for not having leadership in other school activities (e.g. president of clubs, student government). I know they'd like to see you do everything but your time is limited with sports practice each day (at least to do it meaningfully).
     
  5. THParent

    THParent Member

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    From what I have read, NY State has a lot of competition for Senatorial nominations. The two Senators in your state typically receive applications from several hundred candidates. That leaves the lone Representative in whatever district you live in, as an unknown quantity.

    What it boils down to is wherever you live, you're in a competitive area. You are not competing (for a nomination) with the rest of the country, you are competing with candidates in your area.

    As for the rest, do the best you can through the remainder of your Junior year. The academics that USNA bases their selection on, are those first 6 semesters of High School. Good ACT, SAT, and AP test scores are a must. Take and retake the SAT and ACT. USNA will accept new scores throughout the application process.
     
  6. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    The top candidates do it all. Seriously. That said, I've seen successful candidates who are 3-sport varsity athletes be successful. They are usually captain of at least one (sometimes more than one) team and most have at least one major non-athletic activity in which they're involved but that doesn't consume their time. It could be outside of school. You can also look for opportunities to lead that don't involve being elected to an office. For example, maybe you can be a leader at a summer camp that teaches your sport to disadvantaged or special needs kids. One successful applicant who played lacrosse worked PT at a local lacrosse store (yep, there is such a thing). This allowed her to combine her sports with another activitiy.

    The best candidates look for ways to lead. It's obviously more challenging when you're heavily involved in varsity sports, but there are definitely opportunities out there.
     
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  7. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    Take both SAT and ACT this spring; sign up for a retake date in June as well. You might have to travel a bit to get to the test sites but its not going to be that bad around NYC metro area.

    This spring and summer there will be admissions events in your area; make sure you have opened a preliminary file on USNA admissions site. You can start the real one by April I believe once Class of '22 admissions are winding down.

    Also check with your MOC office and website; they can probably tell you timeline for nomination cycle next fall.

    [BTW since its private school be aware that noms are based on where you reside; your home district determines how competitive things are for noms etc.]
     
  8. usslloyd

    usslloyd Member

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    That makes sense, USNA1985; for example, possibly you hold leadership positions in things like Sea Cadets which take place out of school. I was just curious since doing year-round sports would pretty much take up your school day, when clubs and things meet.
     
  9. Airplane girl

    Airplane girl Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I really want to do more activities, but my schedule every week is already so full. On Monday I have kenpo, on Tuesday I have black belt club kenpo, on Wednesday I have ACT prep, on Thursday I have Russian lessons, on Friday I have CAP, on Saturday I go out to Long Island and fly, and on Sunday I have kenpo. I also go to the gym practically every day that I don't have kenpo to get ready for the CFA. And I can't do a lot of clubs at school because most of my free periods are taken up by taking an extra language and science class.

    And I didn't write about my summer activities, but every summer I barely have any days to relax, since I go to so many CAP activities. For example, last summer I went to encampment as staff, and then National Blue Beret, which is where CAP goes to Oshkosh for 2 weeks and volunteers at the airshow. When I was back in New York, I had the internship at the writing camp that I mentioned above.
     
  10. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    When people talk about 'competitiveness' they seem to be confusing getting a NOM with being 3Q. The same criteria applies for everyone regardless of where you live concerning being 3Q. Your competition is everyone else applying to USNA in this cycle and as mentioned above, top candidates find the right balance of several activities which USNA considers of value. Getting a MOC NOM is the only aspect that is regional. Two different things. I don't get involved with the 'what are my chances' questions of specific people, since there are already hundreds of others threads offering advice along with information USNA posted on their official website and there are aspects of your application we will never see (i.e. teacher recommendations, BGO reports....etc.)

    You have to decide on those things that make a difference with regard to the colleges you are applying to. Many things in h.s. are fun to do or may take up a lot of your time, but you need to keep the bigger picture in mind. Just because something takes up a lot of your time, doesn't mean that colleges will consider it valuable to their applicants. Top USNA applicants are those who excel in academics, leadership, ECA's and athletics.
     
  11. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Some good comments about how to strengthen your application.....but keep in mind that its always difficult to predict success. It's all relative, if you have all the tickets described above, and another candidate comes in with the same tickets plus something above that, then it is likely he/she will get the Appointment over you. Bottom line, put your best foot forward and hope for the best.

    Good luck.
     
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  12. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    True but in very affluent regions like NYC/NJ/DC Metro / Southern CA where average school achievement and SAT profile is higher than norm the odds of getting a nomination dictate appointment chances regardless of 3Q. A slate from a 'competitive' district will have much higher SAT mean than one from a rural area even though the MOC population is the same per district. Factor in the 2 senatorial noms spread over a much much higher population and the odds decrease further.

    In this context 'competitiveness' refers to the nominating district; not 3Q.
     
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  13. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    That was my point as well. However, in many of the threads you often see the two terms being used interchangeably and for those not as familiar with the application process, easily confused.