Class profile across several years

USMAROTCFamily

5-Year Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Messages
977
curious as to source of data !! Is this website legit? How is this data obtained?
This data is very enlightening and definitely confirms information that I believed to be true, but had no data to confirm. I easily found my DS's info from his class profile and it looks accurate to me. For some of the admits, I have to say that there were some very jaw-dropping low standardized test scores. I was equally surprised at looking at the high standardized test scores some cadets had who were later separated due to academics.
 

UHBlackhawk

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Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,106
I've used that data on numerous occasions for a couple of years now and checked for accuracy against specific cadets I know well. While it is largely accurate, the data does share the same problem of all large data bases - input/transfer errors. In particular, I find the USMAPS attendance data highly suspect - to the point that I do not uses that column at all. It is unlikely that appointees with such low test scores would receive the academic "Q".

A more germane use of the data is to compare test scores to academic GPA. There are cases for both arguments - low test scores followed by an expected low GPA and low test scores followed by an unexpectedly high GPA.

I believe in merit and do not like special consideration for athletes, legacies, minorities, etc. However, we live in a world of special consideration and USMA needs to operate in the real world along with Harvard, Stanford, Michigan, etc. West Point does this quite well, with the majority of appointments decided on a competitive basis - arguably much better than civilian universities.

Admissions tracks those who receive appointments with special consideration and out of order of merit by identifying those whose WCS scores, although qualifying, are likely not high enough to win appointment on a competitive basis.

From a briefing to the Board of Visitors for the Class of 2016:

Athlete: 218 total, 125 with WCS < 6000
Black: 103 total, 45 with WCS < 6000
Hispanic: 116 total, 44 with WCS < 6000
Women: 187 total, 41 with WCS < 6000
USMAPS: 197 total, 92 with WCS < 6000

Note: Appointees can fall into more than one group - several of the Black, Hispanic, Women and USMAPS are also athletes. Athletes are clearly the most advantaged category, but there are many athletes win appointments with no extra help.
I think we need to remember the purpose of Service Academies which is very different from the goals of other universities. They do not exist to produce scholars. They exist to produce officers, and an officer corp, in general, should probably be representative of the troops they lead. Thus the desire to reach out and recruit such candidates.
In addition, I don't know that there is a direct correlation between ACT/SAT scores, high school GPA and the leadership ability and grit needed to be an officer. Now, these are part of the evaluation process as Cadets do need to handle the four years of academics and, on the flip side, we don't want an officer corps full of "rocks".
But any time we evaluate admission stats we also need to evaluate who graduates and who goes on to be a successful officer. Those are the stats that matter.
 

jl123

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
1,272
I think we need to remember the purpose of Service Academies which is very different from the goals of other universities. They do not exist to produce scholars. They exist to produce officers, and an officer corp, in general, should probably be representative of the troops they lead. Thus the desire to reach out and recruit such candidates.
In addition, I don't know that there is a direct correlation between ACT/SAT scores, high school GPA and the leadership ability and grit needed to be an officer. Now, these are part of the evaluation process as Cadets do need to handle the four years of academics and, on the flip side, we don't want an officer corps full of "rocks".
But any time we evaluate admission stats we also need to evaluate who graduates and who goes on to be a successful officer. Those are the stats that matter.
I agree completely. Test scores and GPA are good indicators of academic ability only. Harvard admissions has a much easier job than USMA admissions.

No system is perfect, but the WCS system's focus on academics (60%), leadership (30%), and physical fitness (10%) does a good job of identifying those who will be able to graduate. As far as identifying successful officers, any system of evaluating 17 - 20 year olds is going to be hit or miss at predicting outcomes 5 - 10 years in the future - much to the chagrin of every NFL GM!
 

DeepWaters

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
169
Does anyone know how they calculate the academic part? Is a certain percentage for the SAT/ACT?
 

UHBlackhawk

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Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,106
I think we need to remember the purpose of Service Academies which is very different from the goals of other universities. They do not exist to produce scholars. They exist to produce officers, and an officer corp, in general, should probably be representative of the troops they lead. Thus the desire to reach out and recruit such candidates.
In addition, I don't know that there is a direct correlation between ACT/SAT scores, high school GPA and the leadership ability and grit needed to be an officer. Now, these are part of the evaluation process as Cadets do need to handle the four years of academics and, on the flip side, we don't want an officer corps full of "rocks".
But any time we evaluate admission stats we also need to evaluate who graduates and who goes on to be a successful officer. Those are the stats that matter.
My personal observation is that things such as sports that help build resiliency are often good indicators, which is why they are weighed so heavily. But, as you said, there are many first-round draft choice misses.
 

usmadata

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
10
I think we need to remember the purpose of Service Academies which is very different from the goals of other universities. They do not exist to produce scholars. They exist to produce officers, and an officer corp, in general, should probably be representative of the troops they lead. Thus the desire to reach out and recruit such candidates.
In addition, I don't know that there is a direct correlation between ACT/SAT scores, high school GPA and the leadership ability and grit needed to be an officer. Now, these are part of the evaluation process as Cadets do need to handle the four years of academics and, on the flip side, we don't want an officer corps full of "rocks".
But any time we evaluate admission stats we also need to evaluate who graduates and who goes on to be a successful officer. Those are the stats that matter.
It's far from given that more "representative" officers are more effective than the "most able" officers. Especially today, when "representative" is often code for "the same ethnicity." That philosophy has a cost, which the Army leadership never cares to articulate.

On tests: Yes, the leaders of the future Army need to be able to do standing power throws (or whatever the PFT requires now) and ought to be able to complete battle drill 1A. But given the choice between two candidates who can do that, the academy ought to pick the one with the higher test scores every time. These tests are not arbitrary events related only to academic performance at the academy. ACTs/SATs are (or were) highly g-loaded, and are in fact highly correlated along the spectrum of life outcomes and predict success in a variety of endeavors. Herrnstein and Murray, and Arthur Jensen have thoroughly demonstrated this. We have these tools available, so why not use them? Especially as we consider that the consequences can be so far-reaching in national security, not to mention in individual soldiers' lives right now.

Disregarding or downplaying a measure with such wide demonstrated predictive validity in favor of "representativeness" (or whatever the admissions composition goals are this year) is irresponsible. Reducing the intellectual capital and aptitude available to the services now will pay tremendous anti-dividends down the road. The Army's got a lot of problems. It doesn't need to shoot itself in the foot any more.
 

usmadata

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
10
I've used that data on numerous occasions for a couple of years now and checked for accuracy against specific cadets I know well. While it is largely accurate, the data does share the same problem of all large data bases - input/transfer errors. In particular, I find the USMAPS attendance data highly suspect - to the point that I do not uses that column at all. It is unlikely that appointees with such low test scores would receive the academic "Q".

A more germane use of the data is to compare test scores to academic GPA. There are cases for both arguments - low test scores followed by an expected low GPA and low test scores followed by an unexpectedly high GPA.

I believe in merit and do not like special consideration for athletes, legacies, minorities, etc. However, we live in a world of special consideration and USMA needs to operate in the real world along with Harvard, Stanford, Michigan, etc. West Point does this quite well, with the majority of appointments decided on a competitive basis - arguably much better than civilian universities.

Admissions tracks those who receive appointments with special consideration and out of order of merit by identifying those whose WCS scores, although qualifying, are likely not high enough to win appointment on a competitive basis.

From a briefing to the Board of Visitors for the Class of 2016:

Athlete: 218 total, 125 with WCS < 6000
Black: 103 total, 45 with WCS < 6000
Hispanic: 116 total, 44 with WCS < 6000
Women: 187 total, 41 with WCS < 6000
USMAPS: 197 total, 92 with WCS < 6000

Note: Appointees can fall into more than one group - several of the Black, Hispanic, Women and USMAPS are also athletes. Athletes are clearly the most advantaged category, but there are many athletes win appointments with no extra help.
The big question is: What is the Opportunity Cost of special considerations?

All those low-WCS candidates took someone's slot--presumably someone with more (as you said) merit, that USMA could have admitted. Just looking at athletes, it looks like ~10% for the class of 2016. This cost has not been addressed by Academy leadership. It is a political or public-relations calculation. And year over year, it is significant, especially when we look at costs of attrition and the presumably-worse subsequent performance in the Army.

That is all, thanks for reading.
 

jl123

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
1,272
Does anyone know how they calculate the academic part? Is a certain percentage for the SAT/ACT?
Only admissions knows for sure. There was a Rand study that provided a detailed analysis of the WCS score and is available on this forum if you search hard enough, but that study is at least 15 years old.

The overall structure of the calculations is probably still relevant, but the specifics have likely changed. For example USMA once placed significant emphasis on Class Rank, but has since stopped using it.

One thing is certain, test scores are very important - at least they were in the pre-COVID admissions cycles.
 

USMAROTCFamily

5-Year Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Messages
977
Only admissions knows for sure. There was a Rand study that provided a detailed analysis of the WCS score and is available on this forum if you search hard enough, but that study is at least 15 years old.

The overall structure of the calculations is probably still relevant, but the specifics have likely changed. For example USMA once placed significant emphasis on Class Rank, but has since stopped using it.

One thing is certain, test scores are very important - at least they were in the pre-COVID admissions cycles.
I would be surprised to hear that USMA is no longer using class rank. I think it is more telling than GPA, in many cases, unless the candidate is coming from a highly selective school where 1/2 of the grads go onto Ivy-caliber colleges. Also, while my kids' school did not officially rank their students, USMA pushed them to rank their applicants, anyways. I would think that every single item on the spreadsheet that is kept by admissions has some kind of bearing on the overall decision-making of who gets appointments and who does not, otherwise I do not think they would go to the effort to capture the information.
 

Casey

USMA 2015
5-Year Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2010
Messages
629
No, and it doesn’t matter once you’re there. Your CQPA becomes the number that matters (GPA taking into account all three pillars)
 

boxmm24

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
131
No, and it doesn’t matter once you’re there. Your CQPA becomes the number that matters (GPA taking into account all three pillars)
This is interesting data. Do our cadets ever find our their WCS?
I have read a few other posts on here say that their plebes were able to find out their WCS once they got to WP, but I don't know how and when. Likely it required persistence and determination as well as knowing the right people to ask. My DS probably wouldn't care enough to find out, but I do think it's possible.
 
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