AZ Mom with son applying to AFA

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by acesmom, May 11, 2010.

  1. acesmom

    acesmom 5-Year Member

    May 10, 2010
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    Hello all!

    What a great site! I hope I'm posting properly as I've never been on one of these forum type sites before:smile:

    We live in the Phx suburbs. My son is just finishing his junior year and is in the preliminary stages of his app to the AFA. This has been his dream since he was quite young and I want to do anything I can to help him. He was accepted to summer seminar and will be attending in June, last session. Anyone else from AZ on here with a son/daughter going at that time???

    I would appreciate any advice from those of you that have been through this app process already. We've been in contact with our local AFA liasion and just went to a conference hosted by our local congressman for students interested in any of the service academies.

    My son has is taking mostly honors and AP classes but I've heard none of the academies even look at weighted GPA's or care if you took honors or AP. My sons AFJROTC instructor even told me that...said all they care about is a row of A's...don't care if it's regular courses or AP. I decided I wasn't going to dumb-down my son's education and make him take regular classes just so he could get A's. He wants to challenge himself with honors and AP and I agreed. So, he has several B's in some of those classes and we are worried that will hurt his chances. He still has above a 3.5 unweighted, above 4.0 weighted. Anyone out there have any feeback on this with grades?

    I know they consider lots of other things. My son has good test scores, tons of leadership stuff on his resume, eagle scout, etc, but I know all that still won't mean he will get in. I saw some posts on here about kids not getting in unless they were varsity athletes in high school. Anyone have any feedback or experience with that? My son is on varsity football, but 2nd string, not alot of playing time and probably not college material. He's afraid this will hurt his chances to get in though he DOES have a varsity letter from this year and hopefully will play more next year as a senior.

    Just a nervous mom who wants to see her boys dream come true but knows it's SOOOO competitive! Back up plan is to apply for AFROTC scholarships and go to Embry Riddle perhaps (after I sell a kidney to pay for the $50k plus per year cost!)

    Looking forward to meeting great people on here!
  2. lotrjedi13

    lotrjedi13 _ 5-Year Member

    Jun 18, 2008
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    Hi acesmom! It's good to hear from another AZ person.

    I was in your son's shoes a year ago. The best thing he can do is knock his application out over the summer. Not only does that look good (i.e. motivated) but it also will save him from a lot of stress that first quarter senior year (I learned that the hard way:rolleyes:)

    I don't know why the AFJROTC instructor said that USAFA doesn't care about AP classes/honor courses, because they do. The admissions board factors in rigor of schedule when they look over an application. Mostly A's with a couple B's in really tough courses wouldn't be viewed less favorably someone's 4.0 in lower-level classes. It is true, though, they don't even look at weighted GPA.

    As for sports, my understanding is that they are a very small part of the picture. Yes, 90-something percent of cadets were varsity athletes, but they also had great test scores, great grades, great recommendations, and great demonstrated leadership. Admissions understands that not every (in fact, most) applicants won't be that three-sport, varsity-letterman, all-state, studly athlete. With the time commitments they expect in other areas, it typically just isn't possible.
  3. WAMom68

    WAMom68 10-Year Member Founding Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    Don't stress about this. My son was in the same situation...his only sport was football, on varsity-2nd string during junior and senior year. It shouldn't hurt his chances. :smile:

    As lotrjedi13 said - the academies DO look at what courses make up that GPA. Taking a tougher course load will help him.

    And welcome to the forum!
  4. jjdad

    jjdad 5-Year Member

    May 24, 2009
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    Hey Acesmom,
    I am another AZ parent who has been through the experience with both my sons. One in 2012 and my youngest will join him this summer in the class of 2014. My advice is to tell your son to keep up with the hard work in the classroom, but also start taking the SAT and ACT as soon as possible. Early and often is the term I believe. The Academy "superscores" both tests, in other words they will mix and match your highest scores from math, english etc...
    His test scores are weighed pretty heavily in the whole candidate score I believe.
    My oldest son attended ASU for one year before getting his appointment. He had an ACT superscore of 29, but had one year at the university on the deans list as well. A good friend of his from the same High School, that was a year behind him, had almost identical grades 4.0, valedictorian, student council, 2 sport letterman, etc...also applied for USAFA. I don't know what her ACT/SAT scores were, only that they were a little lower than his, but she was offered a prep school slot.
    My youngest son had an ACT superscore of 32, along with 4.0, valedictorian, sports, student council..yada...yada...he was offered his appointment early, just before Christmas, nice present.
    All that to say....take both the ACT and the SAT, and keep on taking them as often as you can afford. My youngest was sick of taking them but each time he did, his superscore improved. With the value of the USAFA appointment at $415,000, it was time and money well spent.
    Good Luck
  5. TacticalNuke

    TacticalNuke Administrator

    Jun 8, 2006
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    Welcome to the forum, I'm glad to found us. As our members have already shown, I think you will find a very informative and friendly site. I hope you'll enjoy what you find here. :thumb:
  6. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 5-Year Member

    Jul 26, 2008
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    Arizona ALO here!

    Gimme a holler...

    USAFA '83
    (Red Mountain Ranch)

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