Competitive College Applicant


Dec 27, 2015
I know these "chances" post are annoying, but the CGA does not really posts statistics for college students that were appointed. In high school I was 6th out of 370 with all honors/AP courses, did several ECs, varsity sports throughout the fall, spring, and winter, several volunteer hours through different organizations. I was very involved in high school and my weaker points were test scores (26 ACT, 1250 SAT) and fitness. I did not receive a ROTC scholarship or appointment to USNA.

Since then, I retook the SAT and got a 1340 (690 math and 650 reading) and enrolled at NC State in the college of engineering and should finish this first semester with anything above 3.5 (hopefully 3.7). I took English 101, Chemistry 101 (and lab), Calculus 1 (Received an "A"), Naval Science 110, Engineering 101, and a Music Class for general education requirements for a total of 18 credit hours. On top of that I also joined the NROTC program as a non-scholarship student. When I take the PFE I should be around 9:00 run, 40 pushups, 70 situps or better. I am asking for the opinions on how I look as a freshman re-applicant. Thanks for any feedback!
When applying to service academies, leadership experience is key. Academics and athletics mean pretty little without leadership experience you can point to. That said NROTC is a great demonstration of your commitment and leadership development. Your heavy workload and improved test scores also shows commitment. IMO you should have a good shot as long as you emphasized these points in your app/essays.
I’d like to weigh in briefly on a topic that we often see on this forum: what are my chances? The admissions statistics for the past years can be found online. From a class rank, grade and test score perspective, it is easy to see where one stands. Here are some numbers for the Class of 2020:

· 40% of the class were in the top 10% of their high school class; 80% were in the top 25%.

· 80% had a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher.

· Math scores, for the 25th to 75th percentiles, ranged from 610 – 690 on the SAT and from 26 – 32 on the ACT.

· Verbal ranged from 580 – 660 on the SAT and 26 – 30 on the ACT Reading.

I would venture that the majority of applicants fall within these ranges. If you fall below these numbers, getting an appointment would likely be a long shot unless you have something super working in your favor. The hard fact is roughly only one in five applicants received an appointment for the 2020 class. Most years there will be a parent on this forum who goes off on a rant complaining that highly qualified DD or DS didn’t receive an appointment. The math, however, is what it is. Four out of every five applicants, many with very good credentials, will not receive an appointment at the end of the day.

I’m not writing this to discourage people from applying. The only way one can be sure of not receiving an appointment is to not apply. However, queries like “what are my chances” don’t really serve much purpose. No one on this forum is going to be able to tell you anything more than what the admissions statistics indicate. All you can do is put together the best possible application, make sure you get everything in on time, keep your grades up through your senior year, stay in shape, and then keep your fingers crossed and hold your breath until you hear back from the Academy. Good luck to the applicants for the Class of 2021.[/QUOTE
You did everything they could ask for from a reapplicant and you did it well. A in Calculus, and very respectable all around GPA. You improved almost 100 points on the SAT and you are in a ROTC program. In my opinion you have a very solid chance of getting in. You have also set yourself up well for a NROTC scholarship.

Whatever the outcome, be proud of what you accomplished your first semester of college.
Agree with TennisDad. In addition, the holistic admissions process is also key at CGA. Think of it this way...CGA is a big puzzle, which currently has approximately 974 pieces (cadets). All of those pieces are unique, and must have multiple facets to complete the puzzle.

The needs of the Academy to fill their "puzzle" is only known to Admissions, thus the "chance me" posts, like TennisDad said, are somewhat futile. The puzzle changes every year. An applicant can only put forth the best application that they are capable of, and then the Academy will decide if they are the piece that completes the puzzle. Good luck to all!
I'm currently part of the Coast Guard Academy Scholars program and I'd love to weigh in a little from my own personal experience.
Because the Coast Guard Academy is such a small school with a small student body, they're looking to maximize the "bang for their buck", so to say. From what I've been told, they love having kids who can impact the corps in multiple ways. In addition, like other have said, the "puzzle" of academy admissions changes yearly. One year they may need certain athletes to fill spots that were left vacant by graduating 1/c's, another year they may need musicians to fill out the band. If you make yourself attractive in multiple ways (athletically, academically, musically, etc) then you have a much higher chance of being the cadet they need to fill out their corps.
RJB is correct. Numbers are your biggest challenge. This is true in the college application process as a whole. I work in the admissions office of a very well respected college in the south. The 1 in 5 is about accurate when you are talking about admissions to a college that only admits so few students. My college admits 1800 per year and this year we received close to 30K applications and the Common App is increasing those numbers. The numbers are real and it is getting harder and harder to get accepted.
Leadership, community service and your letter of "why this college" are very important. Desire to be there is very key.