"Competitive" Status

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by J1317, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. J1317

    J1317 Member

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    Hello,

    I was recently reviewing my application for the USAFA, and there is an area that says "Your Application Is: Competitive (Last reviewed on 5/22/17)." Is this given to everyone who has completed a certain amount of steps in the application, or do candidates get evaluated before their applications are event submitted?

    Thanks,

    John
     
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  2. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    Probably based on your SAT scores etc. since it is so early in the process. You need '3Q' triple qualified [academic, DoDMERB / medical, and physical/athletic] status plus a nomination to be truly considered for admission. So - whatever test scores and GPA you have submitted so far along with sports / activities are probably viewed as satisfactory. CFA would be next major hurdle if you have not submitted already.

    NOTE: there is no advantage to early CFA; train hard for 90 days and take the test in Sept/Oct for best results. DS took his late Oct after football season was over; appointments to USAFA and USMA.

    Final note - at this stage the critical path runs thru MOC nomination process. You can NOT get an appointment without a nomination; focus on that plus CFA and the rest will follow.
     
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  3. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    To clarify MidwestDad a bit, competitive status just means that you meet the minimum requirements to be considered for an appointment. It is in no way an indication of the likeliness of an appointment offer, it just means you're in the game.

    In regards to getting 3Q, it is my understanding that other SAs will explicitly tell you if you have obtained this qualification, USAFA will not. They'll just let you know if any one piece is subpar but there's no official "3Q" notification (for future reference).
     
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  4. 2021mom

    2021mom Member

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    My DS went through this very long process last year. His attitude throughout was "they haven't said no yet!" So if you are "competitive" or move to "candidate" status means you are still int game. DS received his appointment in March. Just work your way through the application.
    A good way to use your summer is
    1. update your resume. You need a single document with all your info - GPA, test scores, Athletics, Leadership, EC activites, Awards & Honors.
    2. Think about who you will ask for Rec Letters. You will likely need letters for MOC nominations and later for your USAFA application. Figure out what you need and who you will ask. Provide everyone writing a rec for you with a personal letter stating what you doing and why you want to attend USAFA and give them a copy of your resume to supplement what they already know about you.
    3. Workout in prep for the CFA.
    Good luck!
     
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  5. falconchic88

    falconchic88 5-Year Member

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    As far as I know, USNA does not explicitly tell a candidate if they are 3Q. I am sure there are ways one could find out. BGO or admissions counselor may be able to tell a candidate. But with 3 appointed to USNA, not one of them were informed by USNA that they were 3Q. I think they use to send a 3Q letter, but that hasn't happened at least since 2010. (disclaimer: my youngest mid is class of 2019, so this may have changed in last 2 cycles, but I am not aware of that)
     
  6. In-the-Know

    In-the-Know 5-Year Member

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    Competitive for USAFA only means that you have standardized test scores that are high enough for you to complete a full application and you will be entered into the candidate phase. If you complete your application, USAFA will consider you for the following programs: USAFA, USAFA Prep, or a Falcon Foundation scholarship. You now must complete the full application, earn a nomination, pass the CFA, and be medically qualified. USAFA only lets you know if you pass the CFA and DoDMERB will post your medical status once it is determined.

    The term "competitive" simply means that if you complete your application, you will be in the candidate pool to be "considered".

    Only 50 to 60 percent of the individuals who enter the candidate phase actually finish all the above requirements. So my advice is "You must complete to compete." BTW, as stated in another post, USAFA will start entering applicants into the candidate phase on 15 July. It will take about a month to promote all the "competitive" applicants.
     
  7. PlanAhead

    PlanAhead Member

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    In regard to the above, DS is unable to do anything else on his app at this time. His online application status says "Competitive" after having applied to and denied from SS.

    So does this mean he can't do anything on the application until July 15? He and I are thoroughly confused as there doesn't seem to be anywhere else to work on the actual application.
     
  8. xcmum

    xcmum Member

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    I believe that unless he went to SS, he would now need to wait until the regular cycle opens up to finish he application. I could be wrong & someone with more experience can correct me.
    After my DS went to SS last summer('16) his application opened up a little earlier than than the regular cycle. His application had to be finished by Oct.
     
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  9. 2021mom

    2021mom Member

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    If the application portal is not yet open, students can still:
    1. Work on MOC nom applications (typically requires rec letters, resume, transcript, and a short personal statement). Look up your specific senators/congress member requirements, and any other nom sources you may have.
    2. Practice/workout for the CFA
    3. Send official test scores
    4. Work on essays/writing sample
    5. Run through mock interviews to prep for AOL interview/MOC interview. Google typical questions.
    The 15th will be here in no time!
     
  10. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    J1317 -- congrats on the first, albeit very important first gate.

    I agree with falconchic88 in that each SA (USNA, USMA, USAFA, USCGA, USMMA) is a little bit different in how they do it, as is each ROTC -- sorry, just the way that it is . . . the nuances in the differences can become important (one example . . . the medical waiver authority for USNA and USMA is the Superintendent, not so for USAFA.)

    The numbers . . .

    . . . approximately 14,000 folks start an application each year for each of the "the Big Three" SAs . . . USNA, USMA, USAFA . . . approximately 10,000 of the 14,000 applications started are "completed" . . .

    From the 10,000, approximately 4,000 candidates receive a Congressional nomination.

    The SA typically determines around 2400 of the 4000 Congressionally nominated to be "qualified academically and in physical aptitude".

    The SA chooses from that 2400 to fill the 1200 slots for a class.

    500 or more go to the Principal Nom/#1 off the MOC Slate;

    200 or more go to LOA/recruited athletes/Prep School leaving about 350 to 500 slots to be drawn from the remaining 1700 or so that are remaining out of the original 2400 . . . Obviously these are all approximations and not hard quotas . . .

    The SA then chooses the 350 to 500 candidates from the remaining 1700 that best meet the needs of the SA to round out the class. (Notice I didn't say the SA chooses the "best" 350 to 500 candidates from the remaining 1700.) Geographic diversity along with other diversity factors come into play (gender, ethnicity, etc.) in order to have a class that best represents our society and our military make up.

    It happens every year that candidates with qualified, but lesser records, are chosen over candidates with better records. All 2400 identified by the SA from the 4000 nominated are deemed "qualified" and worthy. It comes down to a subjective judgment in some cases to who gets offered that appointment.

    A lot of great candidates don't get an offer of appointment. If the SA's could, they'd take all ~2400 that are determined to be "qualified academically and in physical aptitude", but they can't. Due to the geographic factor, there will be candidates that are Principal Noms or #1 from a MOC's slate (say Idaho) whose record is not as good as the candidate that is ranked #10 from a different extremely competitive congressional district (think Northern Virginia). The Principle Nom/#1 from a MOC's slate (from Idaho) will get an appointment, and the #10 (from Northern Virginia) with the better record from a different Congressional district will not. (This is one explanation why every year there are candidates that get offered a SA appointment but are told they do not qualify for a 4yr ROTC scholarship, and why each year there are candidates that earn a 4yr ROTC scholarship that aren't offered a SA appointment. It typically takes a "SA quality" record to get a 4yr national ROTC scholarship, but the ROTCs tend to be more strictly merit based without the geographic factor.)

    Everyone offered an appt is qualified. If you (or your DD/DS) get an SA appt, be grateful. In some ways it is a lotto ticket. The admissions office have rules they must satisfy and they work hard to compile a class that complies with the rules and goals they have been given.

    The SA (and ROTC National Scholarship) process is a difficult process. Be proud if the DS or DD is in the final ~2400 deemed "qualified academically and in physical aptitude" by and SA, and/or have received a 4 year ROTC scholarship. They have made quite the "national" cut. Not making it into the final 1200 for an SA appointment is not a reflection on them. It is the SA selection process.
     
  11. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    My suggestion is to make a timeline for yourself on when to complete each part of the remaining items you need to finish the application. The earlier you complete the application the better in my opinion. During the summer, if you haven't, work on the physical part so you can complete the CFA; know who will complete your recommendations and be ready to ask for them when school starts if you can't during the summer. Get in touch with the MOCs and know their application timeline and get started if possible on each of those. Know the process for requesting test scores and transcripts and be ready to send those to the Academy. In short, summer is the time to prep the completion of the process so you can complete it by October and be on the first list of potential candidates reviewed. Good luck.
     
  12. In-the-Know

    In-the-Know 5-Year Member

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    Competitive simply means that you might qualify for one of USAFA's programs--direct entry, the Falcon Foundation Scholarship, or the Preparatory School based on standardized test scores that indicate you are college ready. If you are deemed competitive USAFA will enter you into the candidate phase and forward you a full application. It is a fairly low bar to be competitive. The college ready benchmarks are based on ACT and SAT guidelines for a sample of four-year colleges. Some of these colleges are not as academically demanding as the Academy. USAFA knows that you may improve your standardized test scores, your high school or college performance may superior and not reflected in standardized test scores, or a candidate may have phenomenal leadership abilities. USAFA wants to see the full application before they make this assessment.

    Once you enter the candidate phase read the "Instructions to Candidates" for the stats for a typically entering class to get a better idea of what it takes earn and appointment directly into the Academy. Remember that the congressional nomination process also confounds these stats and all candidates compete first in their nominating category.

    Finally, remember you must complete to compete. If you don't complete your application you will never know if you will be offered an appointment to the Academy, the Preparatory School or earn a Falcon Foundation Scholarship.
     
  13. Blessedmom

    Blessedmom Member

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    USAFA application opens up in March & USNA in April, would it be wiser to ask teachers for recommendations in Spring of junior year. From past experience, teachers become so busy in Sept writing recommendations for other students?
     
  14. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    Our teachers liked to consolidate and do all letters in Sept for everyone. But ask!
     
  15. America Works

    America Works Member

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    Okay so the application portal will open on July 15th? Where are getting that date from?
     
  16. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    I would add on this. Get a folder and save everything you submit, including the dates, times etc. Do the same for all of your MoC noms. Do the same for your ROTC applications.

    Plus, when it comes to noms. It is not 1st come 1st serve. If the MoC says 9/30 and wants 2 essays. It doesn't matter if you submit early. It will sit there until 9/30.
    ~ That being said, every year here somebody will post on 9/29 OMG I just realized the MoC stated 9/30 what can I do? (FEDEX is the common answer) IOWS, Don't wait until the last minute. A drop dead date is not a suggested date, it is end of business that date and after that it is going into the circular filing cabinet. (aka trash can)
     
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  17. America Works

    America Works Member

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    Just one more day y'all.