Are Summer Seminar participants ranked/evaluated after the program?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by bringbacknelsoncruz, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. bringbacknelsoncruz

    bringbacknelsoncruz Member

    Jun 25, 2016
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    My child attended the Summer Seminar and returned very excited to attend the USAFA. One could say my child is in love.

    My question: is there any sort of write up or evaluation of the SS participants? For instance, if one had a lousy attitude or conversely were uber wonderful at everything, would that be noted somewhere and ultimately known by the admissions board?

    I ask as my child has a pretty low chance of getting in based upon GPA and standardized test scores in that he is at the bottom 25% for what they indicate the admission profile to be. My child has other things and intangibles going for them but I know there is a lot to overcome based upon GPA and test scores.

    Looking for a bit of hopeful news but full honesty as well.

  2. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

    Jan 31, 2015
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    I have heard it said many times before that Summer Seminar really has no bearing whatsoever on admission.

    I have also heard--less often--that there are "ways" for SS cadre to possibly "help out" certain potential candidates with a few well-placed good words.

    My takeaway is that, in virtually all cases, a candidate's SS performance will not help or hurt their application. However, perhaps a very few of the best (or worst) candidates may reap benefits (or consequences) because of the impression they made. Perhaps someone who has more experience with the system could correct me if I am wrong on this.
  3. Opus

    Opus USAFA '18

    Jun 16, 2016
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    I've heard the same and this is very well put.
    Further, and this is hearsay, those who are selected to attend SS in the first place are already being watched - in a good way, that is. Most of my SS friends ended up coming to USAFA or going to another service academy, so there's that tidbit to consider. (Again, hearsay.)
  4. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17 5-Year Member

    Sep 29, 2011
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    I've never heard of a case where a summer seminar student's behavior made up for substandard grades or placement test scores.
  5. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

    Dec 19, 2013
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    This is true. I also know of several cadets who never went to SS.

    My take-away : if you go to SS and you quit an activity because you're tired/lazy/etc., then expect that it will be noticed. Just do your best. It doesn't have to be "the best", but look like you are interested and want to do well!

    Not goingto SS will not impact your chances. Search this forum - there's a ton of info regarding this topic
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
    LFry94 likes this.
  6. haleym

    haleym 5-Year Member

    Mar 1, 2011
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    WBY put it well. Oddly enough, we had some students come into summer seminar who made some poor decisions during their stay. Things like this will absolutely end up as a big red mark on their application. I would say it is even tougher to stand out as an outstanding candidate (we had a lot of great kids come through) but if a student does stand out and a cadre can explain why to admissions staff, it certainly can't hurt their app!
    LFry94 likes this.
  7. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

    Sep 17, 2014
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    A few additional thoughts...

    First, SS is also very competitive so the fact your son got into SS is a positive sign.

    Second, there is still time to improve the standing in terms of academics. Work hard to improve test scores. Do great this year in school which shows initiative and gives him points to make in the interview with the ALO and MOC,

    Third, start building relationships with the ALO and MOC so they understand the love and goals for your son. Every step to set them apart from other applicants will help them. There are other factors in play as well like the number of applicants from your area, getting the MOC nomination, leadership, athletics - all the other items that are considered for the well rounded athlete.
  8. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

    Jan 31, 2013
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    Poor performance can hurt "my child" more than a good performance can help. CFA studs stand out, as do those showing real leadership potential. Kids are commented upon by cadre, but that factors in very little, unless there is a big exclamation point one way or another.
    USAFA83GradWife likes this.
  9. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

    Jul 17, 2007
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    SS is partly a recruiting effort in order to expose the SA to a wider audience who might not otherwise have considered applying. Not getting chosen to SS has no impact on your chance for admissions. Many attend SS and immediately realize this is not for them and don't further pursue an appointment. Since none of use are on the admissions committee, we can all express an opinion or have hunches of whether or not those attending SS are evaluated, but the facts are we don't know.

    As with all things associated with admissions, it is best to assume you are being evaluated and act accordingly.
  10. pinkroyals32

    pinkroyals32 Member

    May 19, 2016
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    I know during SS we were told if we broke rules such as being outside the dorms after taps would be noted and hurt us during the admissions process so I guess there is a chance they will make note of the good things you do as well
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

    May 21, 2008
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    As mentioned, the only possible thing that could arise from your SS participation, is if you did something really negative. That's it. The cadets at SS aren't talking to admissions or your alo or moc. All we know is that you attended. As mentioned, SS is mainly a recruiting tool.

    Also, the point about SS being very competitive, also needs to be clarified. Competitive is definitely the wrong word. Most kids applying haven't even taken their sat or act yet. If they did, their scores along with their gpa are SELF reported. In other words, admissions doesn't believe you anyway. The academy tries to create a balanced SS class. There are obviously many more applying than slots. Getting selected is based on your profile, background, location, and pure luck. That's why there's absolutely no negative for an applicant who isn't selected. If you are selected, that's good. For you. That's about all. All an alo or moc really cares about with summer seminar, is that you applied for it. Whether you got selected or attended means very little.

    Caveat..... Of course, I wouldn't be me without a caveat. ALO and moc interviews are conducted by humans. As such, perception is FACT unless proven otherwise. If you're the all around applicant who is the 4.0 student, ranked #1-2 in your class, plays 2-3 varsity sports, is a captain on some of those sports teams, class officer, IB/AP program or classes, kick butt sat or act, other leadership positions, etc. then having attended summer seminar is probably going to guarantee you some of the highest marks from your alo and almost guarantee you nominations from your moc. Being all those things and not going to summer seminar won't hurt you, unless you didn't apply. Then your alo or moc might question why. But in the same breath, the same applies for anyone who doesn't apply. Even the average applicant with the 3.8 gpa and an average application. If you didn't apply for SS, you'll probably be asked why not.

    But SS itself isn't significant. Unless of course you doing something really bad or stupid while there. Or, if you didn't even apply to go. Best of luck.

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