Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Packer, Jun 29, 2011.
When should the candidate phase of the application be opening up?
We (ALO's) expect to see "candidates" identified in early July...that'll be the first of MANY batches.
son attended summer seminar in June fell in love and is extremely driven to receive and appointment this spring. He has the pre-candidate application already on file because of summer seminar. My question is regarding his status. His ACT scores reported are low in both reading and science and have an< * >next to them stating this. His Math and English scores meet the basic requirements at this point with Math being his strongest (28). Will his application not "open up" so he can begin his CFS, apply for his presidential nom (Dad meets requirements) and the DoDMERB until the two areas on the ACT he is deficient in improve? Of course he plans to retake the ACTS as many times as possible until his scores improve. The rest of his application looks solid with a 3.94 GPA (4.0 Weighted) Varsity sports- Class V.P, 4 years of student government, link crew, good community service with 2 summer internships at local Boys and Girls Club and so on... He is frustrated with his low scores and waiting to retake ACTS... Curious if anyone knows how the initial application selection works and how candidates are identified? Also I am aware the 60% of the application is based on academics. Are standardized tests weighted higher than overall GPA?
I don't know if his ACT scores will keep his application from opening up or not, but has he considered taking the SAT also? They are different types of tests (ACT=subject knowledge, SAT=more reasoning and problem solving) and some students do much better on one or the other. The AFA will use which ever one he scores better on, and then also superscore, meaning if he takes the ACT (or SAT) more than once, they will take the best sub-scores (Math, Eng., Sci, etc.) from each. Also, its very common for scores on these tests to go up the second time around, even if he doesn't study just because he'll now be more familiar with the format, type of questions, etc. But he should definitely do practice tests to get ready for either test that he takes.
He'll be able to do the application. It's just that until he is considered qualified, his application won't meet the board. We had an applicant last year that had a very good application except for his ACT scores. He still did the rest of the application and applied for his presidential nomination. He got his ACT scores up very good in the fall, and was actually given an appointment at the end of November. "No, he wasn't an Inter-collegiate athlete".
See above what CC said; he's exactly correct.
Also let me add one thing; and this will apply to EVERYONE this coming cycle.
Due to costs...do NOT be surprised if your applicant isn't scheduled "early on" for a DODMERB physical. While we ALO's haven't been given the entire "double-secret handshake and decoder ring" YET...we have been briefed that to save costs "early on" and (my guess) throughout this upcoming cycle, folks won't be scheduled for those things that cost the gov't (think DODMERB physical) until they're considered a "qualified" candidate.
That means you have a nomination, or USAFA has "early tagged you as a full-fledged qualified candidate", and the like.
So...please...NO panicking about "...they haven't scheduled us for a physical...is this bad?" Because it will be VERY common this fall and next spring.
Oh...and pass the word: FORGET ABOUT, DO NOT OBSESS WITH, DO NOT FRET, ETC., OVER THE LETTERS "L - O - A." Those, IMHO, will be MUCH less common than they have been in the past and USAFA has been probably the most stingy with them. I don't have any direct communication/direction from USAFA/RR on this however in recent "discussions" and "Q&A's..." I've come to that conclusion.
Yes, He has taken the SAT as well but seems to like the format of the ACT better. He has taken the ACT three times and also a prep class. Score have improved each time but not by much and this last time his scores went down in Reading and Science. Thank goodness for superscore!! He is the poster child for a kid who is not afraid to WORK for things. Never been an outstanding standardized test taker but always the hardest worker and in the end pulls out the A. He is focused on taking another prep class- private tutoring and working as hard as it takes on his own to improve. Now just a waiting game until the next test in September.
I have to admit I have been a forum "stalker" for the last 6 months. Trying to learn as much as I can about the process... reading posts and absorbing. This was my first post and being that we are entering crunch time I am sure it will not be my last! That being said, I was hoping Christcorp would read and reply to my post. You have kind of a celebrity status here you know! You always have great info and posts and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge!
crair70 if you haven't used the red act test prep book try getting it at the bookstore. It has three practice tests included and a hard working person who studies can take a lot from reviewing his own test mistakes. Good luck my ds did this and brought his composite up 4 points
Welcome to the forums. I agree that Mike (Christcorp) is a great resource! There are many other great resources here as well like Pima and flieger83.
And to add a little more to what Steve said, ALO's are also being told that because we are getting a lot more applicants; a lot in part because of the economy; That we need to determine the motivation factor of the applicant before we go through the time and paperwork to do an interview and fill out the paperwork. I.e. If you still don't have your online essays done, haven't taken the SAT/ACT yet, haven't gotten a transcript to the academy, haven't gotten your teacher's recommendations done, etc... Don't be surprised if your ALO isn't calling you up to schedule an interview. Again, this is subjective. Some ALO's have all LOCAL applicants. It doesn't cost them much time or money to meet with them. But there are plenty of ALO's where they or the applicant has a lot of traveling to do to meet each other. The academy doesn't want to spend the time/money handling applications that aren't PROGRESSING, and they don't want ALO's spending a lot of time of applicants who aren't motivated. This isn't like normal recruiting for a traditional college or even recruiting for enlisted folks. We ALWAYS HAVE MORE qualified applicants than slots.
So some advice: This is your first major test on being mature and responsible. Take control of your academy application process. There are plenty of tips, checklists, tricks, etc... on the forum here on how to get them done efficiently and accurately. Make your ALO WANT YOU to be the one selected. The more organized you are as an applicant, and motivated, the better chance you'll have of having an application that will impress the board. Best of luck.
YES!! They hold the "Super-Star Status" as well... Thanks to all for great info and responses.
Mike and Steve (Flieger) truly are great resources regarding this forum.
Anyone who decides that they know better because they were offended/slighted regarding their situation would be someone I call a fool.
Mike, Steve, Fencer and I have one true bond. That bond is to inform and educate those who are new to the process. We all bring unique views.
1. CC aka Mike
~ Proud Pappa of a AFA 12 cadet.
~~ Active Duty AF for 20 yrs, now retired.
2. Flieger aka Steve
~~ AFA grad who attended Prep
~~~ AD AF
~~~~ Flew both Heavies and Fighters. In the AF world that is not a small feat, it is HUGE!
~ Wife of a retired AF F-15E WSO (20 yrs)
~~ DS did the INSANE, opted AFROTC scholarship over AFA
~~~ DS has a UPT slot from AFROTC --- will commission 2012
Two I would suggest to add to Blackbird's list
~ Mom of twin cadets
~~ 1 had an LOA, the other didn't...she gets it emotionally and understands that an LOA does not determine success at the AFA.
~~~ Twins are C1C's now.
* He rarely posts, but checks his pms daily.
~ My DH
~~ WSO F-111 and F-15E
~~~ Served 20 yrs as an officer
~~~~ Retired 2+ yrs ago and is now at the Puzzle Palace working on the 35.
I know I have diverted the thread, but since Blackbird brought it up regarding resources I thought I should expand upon it for new posters and lurkers in terms why these people are regarding not only the AFA, but AF can illustrate valuable advice.
I have to say, thanks to Blackbird for the complement, but honestly I don't deserve to be in the pool when it comes to AFA advice.
Crair; I appreciate the compliment. But as Pima and Blackbird have demonstrated, the reason this forum is so good and successful, is because of the collaborated efforts of everyone.
I could continue down the list of people that Pima started; to include some other STAR QUALITY individuals like Hornet, Ramius, Cadc, etc... But the list would go on forever. Why; because there's more to the academy than simply: "What form or what's the process"?
Each year, the entering Doolies, graduate basic, and become C4C 4 degrees. Many come back onto the forums and provide all of us with a lot of great UPDATED information about the actual academy, living conditions, etc... Very important for the 17 year old who is applying. Then there's those who have moved up to C3PO or R2D2. They provide some much great information on how to get through the academy. How the classes are. What to do in your spare time. Deciding on majors and careers. Then there's the firsties C1C; who are seniors. They can give some great information on BCT and how to handle all the pressures.
Add to this the parents on this forum who give a lot of insight on how to motivate their applicants and how to handle the separation from their cadets, and you have one hell of a forum.
And none of this could even take place if it wasn't for our administrator "TacticalNuke" and all of our moderators. They make this forum possible and keep us on track. "Especially people like me who can be long winded and get PASSIONATE at times. LOL!!!". So while I definitely appreciate your kind words, and I know Steve, Pima, Fencingmama Hee Hee, etc... also appreciate such words, it's a collaboration that makes this forum so good, and THE BEST. And that means you too, as well as all other posters. It's your perspectives and questions that make us better contributors. So, the more you search the forums, and the more questions you have and more your contribute, the better it is for everyone. Later.... Mike.....
FWIW, I did not acknowledge Hornet, Raimius, Eagle, CadC, etc in my response because they truly bring a different perspective.
When I say different, they LIVED IT for 4 yrs and the posters I acknowledge have a different perspective.
I say this with all respect if you want info for daily life as a cadet, Hornet et al are the people to listen to. Love Flieger to the ends of the earth, but the AFA as a cadet in the 20th century is different than the 21st century.
Every candidate needs to understand that perspectives vary with each poster.
I was just wondering what the letters L-O-A mean.
L-O-A: Letter of Assurance.
In about a month or two at most, you'll start to see folks just obsessing over "...is it time for LOA's? What should I do to get one, etc...etc..."
NOT WORTH THE WORRY!!
Letter, ALO, DoMERB Timeline
DS is in the South Pacific right now participating in a Student Ambassador program til July 21st. He attended June's SS and it confirmed his complete desire to go forward with USAFA. Before he left, he wrote his ALO updating him with resume and timeline goals for his application (immediately upon return).
Here are my questions: 1. Have not heard ANYTHING back from ALO. Is that normal? West Point's ALO wrote back immediately. 2. Along same lines,l West Point has sent him a letter stating that hie is now able to access his application on line. No such letter has come from USAFA. Is a letter of the same supposed to be coming before he can do anything with USAFA? Before DS left, all he could do was open the Pre Candidate portal. 3. West Point has sent a formal letter, along with formal envelopes for his school transcripts. Does USAFA do the same? Before DS left, he filled out the high school's request for transcripts form. These envelopes that just came from West Point make me wonder if DS gave the correct address for USAFA, or if he should have waited for formal envelopes like those that came in from West Point. Input? Address for transcripts? 4. Same question related to DoDMERB.. Formal letter came in, initiated from West Point, for him to schedule up his exams. Will a separate one come in from the USAFA or will the one time optometrist, audiologist and med examiner appointments be used also for the USAFA application?
DS called the other day for updates from USAFA. With nothing to tell him, I could tell he was a little worried. Has he fallen through the cracks due to something he hasn't done?
FutCandMom, he doesn't need to panic yet. My son (now at the Academy as a Basic Cadet) went to Summer Seminar last summer and then received a letter dated July 9 that gave him the info needed to access his online application/candidate kit. So that should show up soon. I don't believe there was a special envelope to send in HS transcripts. But there is info that will be in your son's online application that your son's HS counselor will have to fill out and send in with his transcripts. There will be directions.
My son heard from his ALO before Summer Seminar, just saying "Let's touch base after Seminar" but then couldn't reach him again until mid-August, when his ALO called to schedule an interview. Some are more available than others, it sounds like.
I do believe the DoDMERB exam will apply for any service academy or ROTC program that he applies for. So he should only have to do that once. And FYI, as soon as he gets home, get that scheduled in case there are any issues that need to be cleared up.
Thanks so much for the input! I'll let him know to stop worrying and get back to enjoying the experience of a lifetime in the South Pacific. I just scheduled him up for all the exams for DoDMERB. So, I guess now it's just a waiting game. Thanks again.
I also have a son applying for USAFA C/O 2016. Right now things are moving slowly. USAFA is bringing a new Admissions/application program on line. This is slowing things down. On a another note, the DoDMERB physical should be done one time and everything should transfer DoD wide, the same company contracts out for all physicals. My son's actually came from USNA not USAFA, I am sure a call to his counselor to let her know that it is complete and he is qualified and how do I get it transferred to USAFA is all that it will take. I went through this two years ago with my daughter and the process was sooo much faster. I was very worried, but have just taken the stance that I can move no faster than USAFA does. I am considering sending in his Presidential nomination again, they received the first and said wait until later this summer (?). If it does not come up when his application opens up I will call and then follow up as I know we are qualified based on the 2014 application we did.
Hang In There!
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