Constructive Criticism Welcomed!!

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Harleyboys98, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. Harleyboys98

    Harleyboys98 Member

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    I’m looking for tips to be a more competitive applicant. I’m a male from Arizona..

    Current junior

    3.65uw/3.91w GPA

    Top 18% in class

    ACT composite=30
    English=35
    Math=30

    National Honor Society

    Varsity football- 3years when graduate
    -1 year as defense unit leader
    -Academic Excellence Award

    Varsity baseball- 2years when graduate
    -1st team all region

    American Red Cross Club founder/president
    -$1000 and counting raised for hurricane victims

    1st degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do

    Eagle Scout- lots of eagle palms
    -SPL, Patrol Leader, etc...

    Boy Scout Camp counselor over the summer
    -Ranger/ Troop Guide leading newly arrived troops around camp and taking them on various activities. Basically it my job to ensure Scouts excitement within camp.

    Part time job as a Valet. About 15 hours a week

    Special Olympics volunteer once a week

    Mentor for a young man with autism by teaching him communication skills

    Applying to boys state

    Thanks!
     
  2. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    Well, your ECs look decently strong. ACT could be a bit higher, especially the science part that is dragging your composite down. Grades are within the averages, most likely (maybe on the low side).

    Make sure you keep taking the hardest classes and get As in them.
    Take the ACT and SAT a couple more times, if you can.
     
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  3. SeaLegs

    SeaLegs Member

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    In my neighborhood, we have Huntington learning center. Your Math test scores seem a bit lower than a service academy might like — given that they are math/science schools. An investment in this learning center can only help....If not for a service academy, for scholarships. It really is an investment! My DS’s Math score went from 30 to 34. His overall, from 29 to 32. Your ECs seem very similar to my DS, who is in the class of 2021 at USNA.
    We have now come to realize that the most of the students at USNA are well-rounded students (academic AND social) with High recommendations for character and leadership. I wish you well.
    Oh, yes... take the ACT as many times as you can, and remember....ENJOY YOUR SENIOR YEAR!
     
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  4. Dadx4

    Dadx4 Member

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    Given your strong profile, I think your ACT is fine, but it wouldn't hurt to raise it a few points.
     
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  5. Patriot4Life

    Patriot4Life Member

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    You look fine Eagle Scout keep it up. Do well your junior year. Bring up your overall GPA. Do well in STEM classes. Retake your ACT.
     
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  6. Harleyboys98

    Harleyboys98 Member

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    In my opinion, bringing up my GPA as a junior is easier said than done. Any thoughts?
     
  7. Patriot4Life

    Patriot4Life Member

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    It can be done. Take strong classes and do well in them. In fact your 11th grade count the most. Your 9th grade the least. USAFA doesn't even calculate 9th grade. They look at your 10-11 only. Your ACT count more than your GPA however. So take ACT until you get all sections to 30+. Again your English Math most important. I think the Academies look at Sci and Read like Subject tests. If you take writing and get 9 or better that will give you extra boost on calculating your Reading score up. We run Point matters.

    Navy ROTC and USNA and even USCGA will give you max score based on percentile and recalculate your ACT to SAT. USNA Navy ROTC and USCGA your current ACT E35, M30 = V800, M720 so 1520 So that's good news for you if you're applying to Navy and Coast Guard. CG require writing so get 9 or better. That puts you at 95% and so can boost your Reading Score to 32 when recalculate. But if your reading is so low it will not bring up that much.
     
  8. Patriot4Life

    Patriot4Life Member

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    I took 10 classes my Junior Year 9 were hard core classes with AP CAL US GOV COMP POL. If I can do it so can you. Plus I had 4 Varsity. 11 Eagle Palms. Summit Rank Award in Venturing. Did 180-335 service awards each year since Middle through my Junior Year. I did MMA with 1-Dan TaeKwonDo. Juijitsu Boxing. Marksmanship. Did all that camp SPL every year. NYLT my Freshman Year. 150 miles hike in 3 countries. And still did 95 in Junior Year with 10 classes including 3 APs. And 1550 in SAT. My high school average SAT is 1450 so I attend a very rigorous school.

    If I can do it so can you. So can anyone. Focus be dedicated and time manage. Thanks to all this I got selected to attend USAFA as a Merit Scholar and USMA SLE. And did Boys State. Air Force paid for my plane and tuition to attend. I'm not URM nor am I come from such district. 700 applied for Nomination in my district. And they will only pick 4 for principal Nom. So very tough to be selected where I am. Arizona you have a much better shot.

    And thanks to staying dedicated I now have Appointment to USCGA and LOA to USNA.

    I'm not special. I just managed my time and stayed dedicated. Even still I had time to play game online through late evening on Friday nights. Only Friday nights.

    So you can do it Eagle Scout! Good luck and like to see where you are in a year.
     
  9. Billberna

    Billberna Member

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    Patriot4Life, I am curious. You are very new to these forums, having just joined on Nov 23, and you have posted frequently, providing details about admissions that I haven't heard until now. You write your information and your advice with a tone of authority. Can you tell us what your background is? Are you an academy cadet? An academy cadet's parent? Are you connected in any way with the academy admissions office or process? It helps me to interpret your comments if I have a sense of your connection to this process. Thanks.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    Billberna,
    Patriot4life answered your questions. They are a candidate with an appointment to USCGA, and an LOA to USNA.

    OP,
    I am going to take a different approach. Yes, your ECs look amazing, but I would agree with others that your ACT is a little worrisome.
    Composite 30, but English 35. ACT is 4 categories. If you took just those 2 that you listed you would have a composite of 32.5, composite of 30 sends warning signs up! To get a composite of 30, it means the other 2 sections avg out 27.5 each.

    Here are some other points.
    1. 3.91 wcgpa. What is the weight scale. 4.5/5.0/6.0
    ~ Hint USAFA uses a 4.5 weight for AP. Thus, if your school uses 5.0 you should expect your wcgpa will drop.
    2. 18%
    ~ Every kid will say I attend a rigorous school, however they don't understand that USAFA has their own algorithm to determine how rigorous the school curriculum actually is within the nation. They will ask your GC to submit paperwork which will include the % that go Ivy vs 4 yr Private/Public vs 2 yr vs work. If 20% go Ivy, than your class rank looks strong. If 0% go Ivy, than not so much.
    3. Curriculum rigor.
    ~ As stated before you can get a lot of APs under your belt for your senior year. The GC will submit in that same paperwork how many kids take AP. If yours is filled with Art and not AP French, you get dinged. You do not get dinged if the school does not offer these classes, but with that point you cannot say your HS is rigorous/competitive.
    4. Nomination
    ~ In the end you need a nomination to get an appointment. Don't wrap yourself around just USAFA. Your 1st hurdle is an appointment
    5. SLS
    ~ Have you applied?
    6. Medical
    ~ If you have any issues get the paperwork in order now

    I wish you the very best, and remember to have plan B in place.
     
  11. Harleyboys98

    Harleyboys98 Member

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    Yes my school uses a 4.0uw and 5.0w grading scale! This will be worrisome when seeing my overall wcgpa going down, after USAFA’s calculations.

    With regards to my ACT, if I️ recall correctly, Reading- 33
    Science-23 (obviously needs to go up ;))

    In your opinion, do I️ have more of a prep school application?
     
  12. Harleyboys98

    Harleyboys98 Member

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    Sorry for the keyboard errors :)
     
  13. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB 10-Year Member

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    Have you taken the SAT? It doesn't have a science section and I found it much easier to bring up my scores than the ACT. For context, I am not bad at science...I have an MS in physics (so close to that PhD, I can see the light!), I was just pretty bad at the way the ACT tested it... I could not go fast enough for some reason on that section.

    As for bringing your GPA up, its all about time management and learning how you learn best. Figure out what works for you when it comes to learning different types of information. Are you a visual learner? Auditory? Listening to lectures in class were borderline useless for me, I never learned material until I wrote it out/drew some pictures myself. Once I figured this out, school became much easier. Try as many different approaches to learning as you can, ask your teachers for help, and figure yourself out. Not only will it improve your grades, but it will give you what you need to succeed at a challenging school like USAFA