Disenrollment Explanation - Worthwhile Read

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Velocity2012, May 20, 2019.

  1. Velocity2012

    Velocity2012 Member

    Apr 3, 2017
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    This article about disenrollment was written at the beginning of summer of their first year for the class of cadets that will be graduating in 10 days, but really applies to all classes as some cadets will not make it through to graduation.

    For people like myself, who are not in the know, it provides a really helpful framework explaining an area that many parents don't really understand, and I really appreciated reading it as I began to have close friends, practically family, whose cadets were struggling and ultimately disenrolled.


    I hope that none of the cadets face the challenges listed in the article, but the reality is that some will. Each class loses a percentage for a variety of reasons. As a parent I found the information extremely helpful and hope that those who read do to.
  2. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

    Jan 5, 2012
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    What are the "disenrollment" rates at USAFA ? I suspect that they are consistent with the trend at USNA, with much lower attrition than in the past. "In the old days", attrition rates were > 30%, and stories of the "look to your left, look to your right, one of you won't be here in 4 years" were common.

    USNA has a different approach now ....same high expectations, but there is a presumption that every kid who gets in has what it takes to graduate. The explanation is that the Admissions standards have gotten so high (each class has better stats than the prior class), that the screening is done by Admissions , not as part of the program.

    Sure, there are some things that will get you kicked out in a heartbeat , including honor and drugs --as it should be. On the other hand, its much harder to get kicked out for academics,physical fitness or aptitude, and those that do get kicked out usually have plenty opportunity to correct whatever is wrong.

    Bottom line ....as I tell my candidates , once you are in, the Academy has a vested interest in you, and is looking to help you succeed. They aren't looking for ways to wash out 30% of the class. All you have to do is fulfill your end of the bargain and you will do fine. This probably applies to the other Service Academies as well.
    charlestonmom5 likes this.
  3. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

    Feb 18, 2017
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    Looking at the USAFA press releases for the last couple of graduations, about 18% of inductees did not graduate (or did not graduate in the May ceremony):
    • Class of 2017 - 1,190 Inducted, 979 Graduated (17.7% if inductees did not graduate)
    • Class of 2018 - 1,206 Inducted, 984 Graduates (18.4% of inductees did not graduate)
    I know there are 10-20 cadets each year that end up graduating in the summer/fall/winter due to a number of factors. I don't know if USAFA includes these cadets in the numbers above, or if the bottom-line "loss" rate is slightly less than those indicated above.
  4. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    Washout rates are lower than during the Cold War. Some of that probably is better screening of appointees. The Honor System at USAFA gives more second chances now than before. I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing overall, but it is the reality. That said, I was on athletic probation for a good while, and am very grateful for the second chance there.
  5. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

    Jul 26, 2008
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    During my time at USAFA, the honor system was pretty literal: a finding of guilty resulted in a recommendation to the commandant for dismissal. About the only time you saw a recommendation for "discretion" was when the offender self-reported and nobody would have known otherwise (there was no honor probation). I sat on one of those type boards. We also had a lot of academic, conduct, and other "removals." My class (I think) was the last to suffer "negative reinforcement" which really caused a lot of good people to say "F this...I'm outta here."

    My class entered 1,516 and graduated 956. That's an attrition rate of @37%.

    Like Raimius, I served time on probation; mine was academic. I was given a second chance after my doolie year.

    USAFA '83
    DDmom likes this.