Do Not Dismiss The Liaison Officer Interview!

Badfinger

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
65
I just read yet another thread about grades, and all the various replies, including those from applicants who seem to check all the boxes but yet did not get in. My DS applied to the USAFA as a Senior in HS. He did not get in. Like many applicants here, his GPA was 4.2, SAT 1450, Volunteer, Track Captain, All State Musician, Valedictorian, Etc, Etc. He did not get in. Yeah these are numbers and accomplishments you can point to and compare with others. But what I don't see getting discussed here as much are the Local Liaison Officer interviews.

I did go with my son to his interview and met the LLO, but I was not in the room during the interview. The LLO told us straight up that the interview itself would not get one into the Academy, but HE could definitely keep one out of the Academy. Subsequent to my DS receiving the TWE, we were able to find out that he did average on the interview, that the LLO had him ranked in the middle of the pack of the applicants he interviewed (I cannot share how I found this out). This is what likely kept him from getting a nomination.

The lesson learned that I can pass along is for the applicants to be aware of "current events" with regard to the military and the AF specifically. Make sure your interview demonstrates/stresses the AF values of Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in all you do consistent with these current events.

Again...don't dismiss this interview...as we were told, it can keep you from getting into the Academy.

But my DS's story had a happy ending. He re-applied after enrolling in College and joining the AFROTC. He really prepared for the LLO interview this second time (different LLO). He received a LOA for the Class of 2021 in early November and accepted his appointment in mid-November.
 

McCMom

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
7
This was something I worried about until we got the appointment notice. My son spoke with his LLO when he first filled out the interest form his junior year and it was a very informal phone call as he had not really started any of the application process yet. That call ended up being his interview even though he didn't know it at the time. Take away is to treat every conversation with an LLO as if it is the interview.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Messages
298
My fear too. Son emailed his officer, they had an interview at a coffee shop, interview submitted on portal a few days later. That's it. No feedback, nothing.

I see other posters who are getting feedback and updates from theirs concerning their standing in the process, encouragement about how great they are, their standing on a congressional slate or advocating to admissions on their candidates behalf. It really worries me that maybe DS did something wrong. Son just did everything on his own. DS never contacted admissions either. He just followed directions, completed the application and submitted all his documents all on his own. It's too late to worry about that now. But isn't that what all the parents are doing right now...worrying? :)

Should he have been contacting his alo and admissions more frequently?
 

KrisKatz

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2017
Messages
80
My fear too. Son emailed his officer, they had an interview at a coffee shop, interview submitted on portal a few days later. That's it. No feedback, nothing.

I see other posters who are getting feedback and updates from theirs concerning their standing in the process, encouragement about how great they are, their standing on a congressional slate or advocating to admissions on their candidates behalf. It really worries me that maybe DS did something wrong. Son just did everything on his own. DS never contacted admissions either. He just followed directions, completed the application and submitted all his documents all on his own. It's too late to worry about that now. But isn't that what all the parents are doing right now...worrying? :)

Should he have been contacting his alo and admissions more frequently?

I don't think so. I think your DS did everything correctly. I don't think admissions or ALO want to be contacted all the time.

My DS has not contacted admissions, he did however contact his ALO once on 4/1/17.

DS received a Principle Nomination on 12/22/16. The end of February ALO said that DS could expect an offer by email by the end of March. On 4/1/17 DS was at a local track meet when he heard that someone in our district had just received an offer. Knowing that there was only one slot open in our district, DS was concerned that was bad news for him. So DS called ALO and was told that the information was incorrect and that the other person had received an offer to USAFA Prep School not a direct entry into USAFA. ALO also told DS to be patient an offer is coming.

Yes I agree, all of us parents are still worrying. Even with ALO's confirmation of an appointment offer coming we are worried. Until it comes, it has not come and that leaves room for change. On the other hand no news can be good news, until a TWE comes DS's and DD's are still in the running.
 

ToasterGuy

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
17
I would recommend asking the ALO to evaluate your interview right after it is over.
This is good because you know right away if you did well, and if there were any shortcoming you have an opportunity to explain or elaborate.
I also think it is a good idea to anticipate what kind of questions you will be asked, and formulate responses to them so you will not be caught off guard.
That is what I did when I interviewed, and I received my appointment this March.
 

brovol

5-Year Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,622
All due respect to OP, I really doubt it was the interview which led to not getting an appointment; particularly if the candidate was "average". If a candidate says or does something which causes some specific concern, as opposed to having an overall poor interview, then the concern would be flagged, and likely followed up on. Also, admissions doesn't literally get rankings from the liason officers. Last year my sons liason met with him, after telling my son to come casual, in jeans, and told him that his job was to answer any questions he had about USAFA, or the process. He explained that the interview wasn't graded, but that he submits a report. This is pretty much how it is for each of the academies. My son went through it for USAFA, USMA and USNA.

There are a lot of things that lead to an appointment or a denial. Almost all of them are objective. The interviews are important, but not make or break, short of the officer discovering some secret plot, or a marijuana grow operation in the candidates basement.
 

Badfinger

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
65
All due respect to OP, I really doubt it was the interview which led to not getting an appointment; particularly if the candidate was "average". If a candidate says or does something which causes some specific concern, as opposed to having an overall poor interview, then the concern would be flagged, and likely followed up on. Also, admissions doesn't literally get rankings from the liason officers. Last year my sons liason met with him, after telling my son to come casual, in jeans, and told him that his job was to answer any questions he had about USAFA, or the process. He explained that the interview wasn't graded, but that he submits a report. This is pretty much how it is for each of the academies. My son went through it for USAFA, USMA and USNA.

There are a lot of things that lead to an appointment or a denial. Almost all of them are objective. The interviews are important, but not make or break, short of the officer discovering some secret plot, or a marijuana grow operation in the candidates basement.

It may not have been for my DS, we will never know with absolute certainty, but the LLO did tell me directly that the interview could keep him from getting an appointment. You may disagree with the LLO, but that is what he said. I don't think he was lying to me.

I agree that the interviews are not graded, but that doesn't mean the LLO does not identify who did well and who didn't. I have to believe the interviews are more than an extension of a background check as your last sentence seems to imply.

When seemingly every applicant has a GPA of 4.0, SAT of 1400 and is captain of this or that sports team, IMO the board is looking for something to play the role of tie-breaker. I told my DS during this entire process, that all things being equal, give them something they can point to to say "this one". For some, that something can be the interview.
 

Daretodream

5-Year Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
246
I would caution you to not work too hard to pinpoint what helped your DS/DD get an appointment or a TWE. There are a lot of threads that touch on all the various metrics that go into reasons a particular applicant get or don't get an appointment. I can tell you Cadets at USAFA can't really tell you what set them apart from those who didn't get an appointment.

I think this site is a great reference point for applicants and parents of applicants. You can compare your numbers and see examples of what you up against and numbers of those who received an appointment. My opinion is this should be a baseline for you to consider just like looking at the official class profile that gives you the median and class stats.

However, there are so many other factors that go into an applicant's chances and competition for an appointment. Some states and districts are very competitive so an applicant who may otherwise be highly competitive in one state or district does not rise to the top of their area. While this isn't a death nail for an appointment, it certainly puts the applicant in a much bigger pool with very few appointments to be given. Another is the involvement and understanding of military academies by your MOC. Some with a lot of experience in the selection and nomination process are very involved and have an idea of what type of applicant succeeds at a military academy. Other MOCs may be less involved and only go by metrics included in an application. You are correct that there are interviews with both the MOC and ALO and these play a part in the admissions process. I think most ALOs will tell you a bad interview can hurt you, but a the grade of an interview is subjective to the interviewer and candidate pool. You make a good point for those going through to understand questions often include current topics related to the military and world events and likely will exceed the scope of their application. It is another chance to set yourself apart from others in your area.

My advice is concentrate on what you can control and try to understand all the factors in the process. You know the SAs look at the whole candidate which includes academics, leadership and athletics. Academics include school work and standardized test scores. Stats make it easy to see where you stand with respect to standardized test. High school work is much tougher to compare. USAFA will look at your school and give it a score. Unless you have some unique inside information on where your school falls on the score then you cannot control this element. However, you can control taking a strenuous schedule and making high grades in those classes. You know the SAs put an emphasis on STEM classes. You can look at previous class profiles to look at the leadership attributes of classes. You can control what you select to build your leadership resume. You need to think about how you can lead and make a difference within these leadership opportunities. Athletics doesn't mean you have to be a star, but in last year's class 88% were high school letter winners in at least one sport. The one consistent with applicant's who receive nominations is that they tend to be well-rounded in all three aspects.

You also usually do not know what USAFA needs in a particular class. This may include diversity deficiencies for a certain metric, or they identify a need for more Cadets from a certain area. You have no control over this issue so I would spend very little time worrying about it.

In summary, everything you can control should be part of your preparation. Do your best and always have a plan B. There is no set of metrics that assure you of an appointment. Work on what you can control and don't try to overanalyze the pieces you can't control.
 

brovol

5-Year Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,622
I'm not suggesting anyone is lying. In fact I completely agree with the contention that an interview could conceivably keep someone out who might have gotten in otherwise. But it wouldn't be because of a poor interview in terms of how polished the kid presented himself, but rather because the officer who did the interview discovered something during the interview which caused a specific concern for the Academy. Perhaps a strong anti-government philosophy, or something in the person's past which would be a disqualifying event. You said your son had an average interview, and was middle of the pack. If that is the case, I am simply stating that I highly doubt it was the interview which kept him out.

My kid was in a reasonably competitive area, and ultimately got offers of appointment to USMA, USMA, and USAFA. He had interviews for each Academy, and although I wasn't there, I am pretty sure he didn't dazzle in any of them. He is a relatively quiet kid, and doesn't have the outgoing personality which leaves people overwhelming impressed, and he had only a 3.8 weighted GPA, only good for top 20% in his class (which is not outstanding by Academy standards). He was a very good athlete, and captain in a couple varsity sports, but wasn't a star or recruited in anything. He had very good ACT scores (34M, 31E, 34S, 30R), but generally he was just well rounded. The interview didn't help or hurt him, which is usually the case.

I just don't want other kids thinking that the interview is more important that it is, and that isn't to say it should be dismissed. The whole candidate score is what matters, and although I don't recall the insight with respect to USAFA, I know at USMA, the interview is not even calculated in the WCS.
 

JMC0759

S-USMMA '12 SUNY 15, D-USAFA '15 TTUHSC '20
10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
298
Back in 2011 DD was told by her coach that a bad interview could absolutely result in a non-appointment.
 

Christcorp

10-Year Member
Joined
May 21, 2008
Messages
5,393
So much here I want to reply to; but unlike normal, I won't. I'll keep this short with only three comments.

1. YES, you interview with your ALO is MOST DEFINITELY GRADED.
2. YES, your ALO can't GET you an appointment, but their interview can most definitely STOP you from getting an appointment.
3. This is how a lot of people with 3.9-4.0gpa and 32+ ACT don't get an appointment. Your ALO interview, report, AND SCORE, is what brings your ENTIRE APPLICATION alive to the board.
 

brovol

5-Year Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,622
Back in 2011 DD was told by her coach that a bad interview could absolutely result in a non-appointment.
Fair enough. I think the question is what is a "bad" interview, which could actually effect the chance at admission. I don't think it's actually doing poorly with presentation of the answers to questions, but rather a disclosure of something, or the officer discovering something, which raises a particular flag.

Only offering comments for whatever value anyone wishes to give them. I was fairly in tune with my sons admissions processes at three Academies, and admissions folks at each school pretty clearly indicated that the interviews are not scored in the admissions equasion, and are mostly informative, unless the liason officer flags an issue for admissions to look into.
 

brovol

5-Year Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,622
So much here I want to reply to; but unlike normal, I won't. I'll keep this short with only three comments.

1. YES, you interview with your ALO is MOST DEFINITELY GRADED.
2. YES, your ALO can't GET you an appointment, but their interview can most definitely STOP you from getting an appointment.
3. This is how a lot of people with 3.9-4.0gpa and 32+ ACT don't get an appointment. Your ALO interview, report, AND SCORE, is what brings your ENTIRE APPLICATION alive to the board.
I'll stand corrected then with respect to USAFA, as I think cristcorp is far more informed, and certainly wouldn't argue further. I do think that isn't the case with the other Academies though.
 

Christcorp

10-Year Member
Joined
May 21, 2008
Messages
5,393
You'd be surprised what the interview reveals. The gpa, act/sat, and all the stuff on your application is pretty verifiable. No one is going to debate that. But for some reason, people keep wanting to COMPARE applying to the academy with applying to a traditional university. People need to realize. In pretty much all traditional schools, they don't care about you or what type of person you are. They are only in it for the money. They want students who will pass the classes and graduate; (Looks bad when your school has a low graduation rate), they want to show diversity so they can attract more CUSTOMERS and keep the politically correct off their back; and they generally want people where money isn't an issue. Either really rich who pays cash, or those that will have no problem getting a scholarship/loan/etc. Again, realize that universities are a BUSINESS. As a BUSINESS, they are in it for money. If you don't realize that, you are naive.

The academy definitely has it's own motives too. But money isn't one of them. We are looking for OFFICERS, FUTURE LEADERS, TEAM MEMBERS. This is why the ALO interview is so important. Just because you have a 4.0gpa, is ranked #1 in your class, and got a 36 on your ACT, doesn't mean anything to us as far as you being a good potential cadet, officer, leader, military member. All that means is, you shouldn't have any problem getting through the academics at the academy. In the traditional school, academics is the only thing that matters. Except for some D1-A athletics that bring in a lot of money. Once you graduate from that university, that school couldn't care less what happens to you. Laborer, CEO, homeless, in prison, dead, etc. it means nothing. The academy is the opposite. What happens after you graduate is EVERYTHING. So; back to the ALO interview.

This is where the ALO figures out who you are. Are you dedicated? Are you committed? Are you passionate? Are you sincere? Are the answers you give, YOURS and Your Beliefs, or the beliefs and values of your parents? Are you there because YOU WANT TO BE, or because your parents want you there? Do you want to serve; or are you looking just for a free education? Do you care about your community and country, or are you just "FILLING SQUARES" to look good on an application? Are you a leader and/or have the potential to be a leader, or did you simply hold leadership positions because of seniority or again, filling squares on an application? Are you and can you be part of a team? Can you be trusted with someone else's LIFE? And the list goes on.

You'd be surprised what can be learned about an applicant during the interview. Everything before that is simply NUMBERS. It's pretty much a formality with everything else. But this is why some 4.0gpa/36ACT applicants DON'T get an appointment, while a 3.75/29ACT applicant does. At the academy, we bring in cadets who quite possibly will be responsible for someone LIVING or DYING. That is important. That's what the military is all about. Life, Death, Freedom, Democracy, etc. And no matter what people want to think, the traditional universities don't care one bit about you or anything that happens with you once you leave their school. They are a business. The academy has to care. And it's really difficult to interview someone at the ALO interview and realize deep down inside, "This person doesn't belong".

Then again, you'd be surprised how many interviews have been done where the applicant said they really didn't want the academy. Their parents were pushing for it. Possibly because of the free education. I even had one applicant ask me not to let his parents know he didn't want the academy. So, he applied; he wasn't going to get an appointment; but the parents believed he was giving it 100% and really wanted it.

And yes, I've purposely interviewed many applicants in jeans and sneakers. To see the "REAL" applicant. Half the questions I ask, I don't care at all what the answer is. What I care about is HOW they answer the question. So, for all thos applicants and parents who get upset because their 4.0gpa/32+act son/daughter didn't receive an appointment........ Well....... all I can say is: It's about a LOT MORE than academics. This is the MILITARY. It's Not a JOBS PROGRAM or a SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. And in return for a great education, we're expecting an individual that can be a military leader. A team player. Someone who can protect and defend their country and fellow military team members. Someone is part of something much bigger than themselves. Someone we can trust with other's lives.
 

KrisKatz

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2017
Messages
80
You'd be surprised what the interview reveals. The gpa, act/sat, and all the stuff on your application is pretty verifiable. No one is going to debate that. But for some reason, people keep wanting to COMPARE applying to the academy with applying to a traditional university. People need to realize. In pretty much all traditional schools, they don't care about you or what type of person you are. They are only in it for the money. They want students who will pass the classes and graduate; (Looks bad when your school has a low graduation rate), they want to show diversity so they can attract more CUSTOMERS and keep the politically correct off their back; and they generally want people where money isn't an issue. Either really rich who pays cash, or those that will have no problem getting a scholarship/loan/etc. Again, realize that universities are a BUSINESS. As a BUSINESS, they are in it for money. If you don't realize that, you are naive.

The academy definitely has it's own motives too. But money isn't one of them. We are looking for OFFICERS, FUTURE LEADERS, TEAM MEMBERS. This is why the ALO interview is so important. Just because you have a 4.0gpa, is ranked #1 in your class, and got a 36 on your ACT, doesn't mean anything to us as far as you being a good potential cadet, officer, leader, military member. All that means is, you shouldn't have any problem getting through the academics at the academy. In the traditional school, academics is the only thing that matters. Except for some D1-A athletics that bring in a lot of money. Once you graduate from that university, that school couldn't care less what happens to you. Laborer, CEO, homeless, in prison, dead, etc. it means nothing. The academy is the opposite. What happens after you graduate is EVERYTHING. So; back to the ALO interview.

This is where the ALO figures out who you are. Are you dedicated? Are you committed? Are you passionate? Are you sincere? Are the answers you give, YOURS and Your Beliefs, or the beliefs and values of your parents? Are you there because YOU WANT TO BE, or because your parents want you there? Do you want to serve; or are you looking just for a free education? Do you care about your community and country, or are you just "FILLING SQUARES" to look good on an application? Are you a leader and/or have the potential to be a leader, or did you simply hold leadership positions because of seniority or again, filling squares on an application? Are you and can you be part of a team? Can you be trusted with someone else's LIFE? And the list goes on.

You'd be surprised what can be learned about an applicant during the interview. Everything before that is simply NUMBERS. It's pretty much a formality with everything else. But this is why some 4.0gpa/36ACT applicants DON'T get an appointment, while a 3.75/29ACT applicant does. At the academy, we bring in cadets who quite possibly will be responsible for someone LIVING or DYING. That is important. That's what the military is all about. Life, Death, Freedom, Democracy, etc. And no matter what people want to think, the traditional universities don't care one bit about you or anything that happens with you once you leave their school. They are a business. The academy has to care. And it's really difficult to interview someone at the ALO interview and realize deep down inside, "This person doesn't belong".

Then again, you'd be surprised how many interviews have been done where the applicant said they really didn't want the academy. Their parents were pushing for it. Possibly because of the free education. I even had one applicant ask me not to let his parents know he didn't want the academy. So, he applied; he wasn't going to get an appointment; but the parents believed he was giving it 100% and really wanted it.

And yes, I've purposely interviewed many applicants in jeans and sneakers. To see the "REAL" applicant. Half the questions I ask, I don't care at all what the answer is. What I care about is HOW they answer the question. So, for all thos applicants and parents who get upset because their 4.0gpa/32+act son/daughter didn't receive an appointment........ Well....... all I can say is: It's about a LOT MORE than academics. This is the MILITARY. It's Not a JOBS PROGRAM or a SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. And in return for a great education, we're expecting an individual that can be a military leader. A team player. Someone who can protect and defend their country and fellow military team members. Someone is part of something much bigger than themselves. Someone we can trust with other's lives.

Thank you for all of your advice and insight, Christcorp.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2017
Messages
108
Christcorp nailed it again, thanks for the useful/helpful info!

ALOs are the eyes of the USAFA admissions board; I would say their report is at the very top of every application and could put a record in the no pile, yes pile or maybe consider pile.
 

YogiMom

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
19
You'd be surprised what the interview reveals. The gpa, act/sat, and all the stuff on your application is pretty verifiable. No one is going to debate that. But for some reason, people keep wanting to COMPARE applying to the academy with applying to a traditional university. People need to realize. In pretty much all traditional schools, they don't care about you or what type of person you are. They are only in it for the money. They want students who will pass the classes and graduate; (Looks bad when your school has a low graduation rate), they want to show diversity so they can attract more CUSTOMERS and keep the politically correct off their back; and they generally want people where money isn't an issue. Either really rich who pays cash, or those that will have no problem getting a scholarship/loan/etc. Again, realize that universities are a BUSINESS. As a BUSINESS, they are in it for money. If you don't realize that, you are naive.

The academy definitely has it's own motives too. But money isn't one of them. We are looking for OFFICERS, FUTURE LEADERS, TEAM MEMBERS. This is why the ALO interview is so important. Just because you have a 4.0gpa, is ranked #1 in your class, and got a 36 on your ACT, doesn't mean anything to us as far as you being a good potential cadet, officer, leader, military member. All that means is, you shouldn't have any problem getting through the academics at the academy. In the traditional school, academics is the only thing that matters. Except for some D1-A athletics that bring in a lot of money. Once you graduate from that university, that school couldn't care less what happens to you. Laborer, CEO, homeless, in prison, dead, etc. it means nothing. The academy is the opposite. What happens after you graduate is EVERYTHING. So; back to the ALO interview.

This is where the ALO figures out who you are. Are you dedicated? Are you committed? Are you passionate? Are you sincere? Are the answers you give, YOURS and Your Beliefs, or the beliefs and values of your parents? Are you there because YOU WANT TO BE, or because your parents want you there? Do you want to serve; or are you looking just for a free education? Do you care about your community and country, or are you just "FILLING SQUARES" to look good on an application? Are you a leader and/or have the potential to be a leader, or did you simply hold leadership positions because of seniority or again, filling squares on an application? Are you and can you be part of a team? Can you be trusted with someone else's LIFE? And the list goes on.

You'd be surprised what can be learned about an applicant during the interview. Everything before that is simply NUMBERS. It's pretty much a formality with everything else. But this is why some 4.0gpa/36ACT applicants DON'T get an appointment, while a 3.75/29ACT applicant does. At the academy, we bring in cadets who quite possibly will be responsible for someone LIVING or DYING. That is important. That's what the military is all about. Life, Death, Freedom, Democracy, etc. And no matter what people want to think, the traditional universities don't care one bit about you or anything that happens with you once you leave their school. They are a business. The academy has to care. And it's really difficult to interview someone at the ALO interview and realize deep down inside, "This person doesn't belong".

Then again, you'd be surprised how many interviews have been done where the applicant said they really didn't want the academy. Their parents were pushing for it. Possibly because of the free education. I even had one applicant ask me not to let his parents know he didn't want the academy. So, he applied; he wasn't going to get an appointment; but the parents believed he was giving it 100% and really wanted it.

And yes, I've purposely interviewed many applicants in jeans and sneakers. To see the "REAL" applicant. Half the questions I ask, I don't care at all what the answer is. What I care about is HOW they answer the question. So, for all thos applicants and parents who get upset because their 4.0gpa/32+act son/daughter didn't receive an appointment........ Well....... all I can say is: It's about a LOT MORE than academics. This is the MILITARY. It's Not a JOBS PROGRAM or a SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. And in return for a great education, we're expecting an individual that can be a military leader. A team player. Someone who can protect and defend their country and fellow military team members. Someone is part of something much bigger than themselves. Someone we can trust with other's lives.

I really enjoy reading your comments, and appreciate how much info you share. It is eye-opening and refreshing and at some points a little humbling. :groupwave:
 

Badfinger

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
65
You'd be surprised what the interview reveals. The gpa, act/sat, and all the stuff on your application is pretty verifiable. No one is going to debate that. But for some reason, people keep wanting to COMPARE applying to the academy with applying to a traditional university. People need to realize. In pretty much all traditional schools, they don't care about you or what type of person you are. They are only in it for the money. They want students who will pass the classes and graduate; (Looks bad when your school has a low graduation rate), they want to show diversity so they can attract more CUSTOMERS and keep the politically correct off their back; and they generally want people where money isn't an issue. Either really rich who pays cash, or those that will have no problem getting a scholarship/loan/etc. Again, realize that universities are a BUSINESS. As a BUSINESS, they are in it for money. If you don't realize that, you are naive.

The academy definitely has it's own motives too. But money isn't one of them. We are looking for OFFICERS, FUTURE LEADERS, TEAM MEMBERS. This is why the ALO interview is so important. Just because you have a 4.0gpa, is ranked #1 in your class, and got a 36 on your ACT, doesn't mean anything to us as far as you being a good potential cadet, officer, leader, military member. All that means is, you shouldn't have any problem getting through the academics at the academy. In the traditional school, academics is the only thing that matters. Except for some D1-A athletics that bring in a lot of money. Once you graduate from that university, that school couldn't care less what happens to you. Laborer, CEO, homeless, in prison, dead, etc. it means nothing. The academy is the opposite. What happens after you graduate is EVERYTHING. So; back to the ALO interview.

This is where the ALO figures out who you are. Are you dedicated? Are you committed? Are you passionate? Are you sincere? Are the answers you give, YOURS and Your Beliefs, or the beliefs and values of your parents? Are you there because YOU WANT TO BE, or because your parents want you there? Do you want to serve; or are you looking just for a free education? Do you care about your community and country, or are you just "FILLING SQUARES" to look good on an application? Are you a leader and/or have the potential to be a leader, or did you simply hold leadership positions because of seniority or again, filling squares on an application? Are you and can you be part of a team? Can you be trusted with someone else's LIFE? And the list goes on.

You'd be surprised what can be learned about an applicant during the interview. Everything before that is simply NUMBERS. It's pretty much a formality with everything else. But this is why some 4.0gpa/36ACT applicants DON'T get an appointment, while a 3.75/29ACT applicant does. At the academy, we bring in cadets who quite possibly will be responsible for someone LIVING or DYING. That is important. That's what the military is all about. Life, Death, Freedom, Democracy, etc. And no matter what people want to think, the traditional universities don't care one bit about you or anything that happens with you once you leave their school. They are a business. The academy has to care. And it's really difficult to interview someone at the ALO interview and realize deep down inside, "This person doesn't belong".

Then again, you'd be surprised how many interviews have been done where the applicant said they really didn't want the academy. Their parents were pushing for it. Possibly because of the free education. I even had one applicant ask me not to let his parents know he didn't want the academy. So, he applied; he wasn't going to get an appointment; but the parents believed he was giving it 100% and really wanted it.

And yes, I've purposely interviewed many applicants in jeans and sneakers. To see the "REAL" applicant. Half the questions I ask, I don't care at all what the answer is. What I care about is HOW they answer the question. So, for all thos applicants and parents who get upset because their 4.0gpa/32+act son/daughter didn't receive an appointment........ Well....... all I can say is: It's about a LOT MORE than academics. This is the MILITARY. It's Not a JOBS PROGRAM or a SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. And in return for a great education, we're expecting an individual that can be a military leader. A team player. Someone who can protect and defend their country and fellow military team members. Someone is part of something much bigger than themselves. Someone we can trust with other's lives.

Thanks for confirming!
 

greenlittleone

New Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
7
You'd be surprised what the interview reveals. The gpa, act/sat, and all the stuff on your application is pretty verifiable. No one is going to debate that. But for some reason, people keep wanting to COMPARE applying to the academy with applying to a traditional university. People need to realize. In pretty much all traditional schools, they don't care about you or what type of person you are. They are only in it for the money. They want students who will pass the classes and graduate; (Looks bad when your school has a low graduation rate), they want to show diversity so they can attract more CUSTOMERS and keep the politically correct off their back; and they generally want people where money isn't an issue. Either really rich who pays cash, or those that will have no problem getting a scholarship/loan/etc. Again, realize that universities are a BUSINESS. As a BUSINESS, they are in it for money. If you don't realize that, you are naive.

The academy definitely has it's own motives too. But money isn't one of them. We are looking for OFFICERS, FUTURE LEADERS, TEAM MEMBERS. This is why the ALO interview is so important. Just because you have a 4.0gpa, is ranked #1 in your class, and got a 36 on your ACT, doesn't mean anything to us as far as you being a good potential cadet, officer, leader, military member. All that means is, you shouldn't have any problem getting through the academics at the academy. In the traditional school, academics is the only thing that matters. Except for some D1-A athletics that bring in a lot of money. Once you graduate from that university, that school couldn't care less what happens to you. Laborer, CEO, homeless, in prison, dead, etc. it means nothing. The academy is the opposite. What happens after you graduate is EVERYTHING. So; back to the ALO interview.

This is where the ALO figures out who you are. Are you dedicated? Are you committed? Are you passionate? Are you sincere? Are the answers you give, YOURS and Your Beliefs, or the beliefs and values of your parents? Are you there because YOU WANT TO BE, or because your parents want you there? Do you want to serve; or are you looking just for a free education? Do you care about your community and country, or are you just "FILLING SQUARES" to look good on an application? Are you a leader and/or have the potential to be a leader, or did you simply hold leadership positions because of seniority or again, filling squares on an application? Are you and can you be part of a team? Can you be trusted with someone else's LIFE? And the list goes on.

You'd be surprised what can be learned about an applicant during the interview. Everything before that is simply NUMBERS. It's pretty much a formality with everything else. But this is why some 4.0gpa/36ACT applicants DON'T get an appointment, while a 3.75/29ACT applicant does. At the academy, we bring in cadets who quite possibly will be responsible for someone LIVING or DYING. That is important. That's what the military is all about. Life, Death, Freedom, Democracy, etc. And no matter what people want to think, the traditional universities don't care one bit about you or anything that happens with you once you leave their school. They are a business. The academy has to care. And it's really difficult to interview someone at the ALO interview and realize deep down inside, "This person doesn't belong".

Then again, you'd be surprised how many interviews have been done where the applicant said they really didn't want the academy. Their parents were pushing for it. Possibly because of the free education. I even had one applicant ask me not to let his parents know he didn't want the academy. So, he applied; he wasn't going to get an appointment; but the parents believed he was giving it 100% and really wanted it.

And yes, I've purposely interviewed many applicants in jeans and sneakers. To see the "REAL" applicant. Half the questions I ask, I don't care at all what the answer is. What I care about is HOW they answer the question. So, for all thos applicants and parents who get upset because their 4.0gpa/32+act son/daughter didn't receive an appointment........ Well....... all I can say is: It's about a LOT MORE than academics. This is the MILITARY. It's Not a JOBS PROGRAM or a SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. And in return for a great education, we're expecting an individual that can be a military leader. A team player. Someone who can protect and defend their country and fellow military team members. Someone is part of something much bigger than themselves. Someone we can trust with other's lives.
Wow. This was an impressive read. DS got into this process quickly, literally days before the applications were due to our Senators and Congressman. The ALO interviewed DS on his cell phone, when he stepped out of class to take the call. DS said the call was very detailed, but he didn't realize it was the interview until later. We have learned the process, the people, and the acronyms on the fly. I wish we had known about this forum eight months ago. It has given me a greater appreciation of the experience in its entirety.
 

BarbieK

Banned
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
31
You'd be surprised what the interview reveals. The gpa, act/sat, and all the stuff on your application is pretty verifiable. No one is going to debate that. But for some reason, people keep wanting to COMPARE applying to the academy with applying to a traditional university. People need to realize. In pretty much all traditional schools, they don't care about you or what type of person you are. They are only in it for the money. They want students who will pass the classes and graduate; (Looks bad when your school has a low graduation rate), they want to show diversity so they can attract more CUSTOMERS and keep the politically correct off their back; and they generally want people where money isn't an issue. Either really rich who pays cash, or those that will have no problem getting a scholarship/loan/etc. Again, realize that universities are a BUSINESS. As a BUSINESS, they are in it for money. If you don't realize that, you are naive.

The academy definitely has it's own motives too. But money isn't one of them. We are looking for OFFICERS, FUTURE LEADERS, TEAM MEMBERS. This is why the ALO interview is so important. Just because you have a 4.0gpa, is ranked #1 in your class, and got a 36 on your ACT, doesn't mean anything to us as far as you being a good potential cadet, officer, leader, military member. All that means is, you shouldn't have any problem getting through the academics at the academy. In the traditional school, academics is the only thing that matters. Except for some D1-A athletics that bring in a lot of money. Once you graduate from that university, that school couldn't care less what happens to you. Laborer, CEO, homeless, in prison, dead, etc. it means nothing. The academy is the opposite. What happens after you graduate is EVERYTHING. So; back to the ALO interview.

This is where the ALO figures out who you are. Are you dedicated? Are you committed? Are you passionate? Are you sincere? Are the answers you give, YOURS and Your Beliefs, or the beliefs and values of your parents? Are you there because YOU WANT TO BE, or because your parents want you there? Do you want to serve; or are you looking just for a free education? Do you care about your community and country, or are you just "FILLING SQUARES" to look good on an application? Are you a leader and/or have the potential to be a leader, or did you simply hold leadership positions because of seniority or again, filling squares on an application? Are you and can you be part of a team? Can you be trusted with someone else's LIFE? And the list goes on.

You'd be surprised what can be learned about an applicant during the interview. Everything before that is simply NUMBERS. It's pretty much a formality with everything else. But this is why some 4.0gpa/36ACT applicants DON'T get an appointment, while a 3.75/29ACT applicant does. At the academy, we bring in cadets who quite possibly will be responsible for someone LIVING or DYING. That is important. That's what the military is all about. Life, Death, Freedom, Democracy, etc. And no matter what people want to think, the traditional universities don't care one bit about you or anything that happens with you once you leave their school. They are a business. The academy has to care. And it's really difficult to interview someone at the ALO interview and realize deep down inside, "This person doesn't belong".

Then again, you'd be surprised how many interviews have been done where the applicant said they really didn't want the academy. Their parents were pushing for it. Possibly because of the free education. I even had one applicant ask me not to let his parents know he didn't want the academy. So, he applied; he wasn't going to get an appointment; but the parents believed he was giving it 100% and really wanted it.

And yes, I've purposely interviewed many applicants in jeans and sneakers. To see the "REAL" applicant. Half the questions I ask, I don't care at all what the answer is. What I care about is HOW they answer the question. So, for all thos applicants and parents who get upset because their 4.0gpa/32+act son/daughter didn't receive an appointment........ Well....... all I can say is: It's about a LOT MORE than academics. This is the MILITARY. It's Not a JOBS PROGRAM or a SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. And in return for a great education, we're expecting an individual that can be a military leader. A team player. Someone who can protect and defend their country and fellow military team members. Someone is part of something much bigger than themselves. Someone we can trust with other's lives.
WOW!!! Thank you for that. That was the most patriotic uplifting commentary I've read in a long time. And you hit the nail on the head with every point. I have seen so many parents help to "pad" their son/daughters resume for the sake of getting them into a school of their (the parents) choice. When I started taking my DS to the local meetings for those interested in applying to the USAFA the reoccurring theme that was said over and over and over again was for parents to stay out of this process. It has to be your son or daughter's decision and they have to pursue it themselves. Stay out, stay out, stay out was what I took away from the two meetings we attended. Have to wonder how many of the kids that leave the various academies within the first year were pushed into it by their parents or other family members. This is something that has to come from inside your son or daughters gut - they have to want this so badly and for the right reasons otherwise they are going to have a very difficult time staying in when the going gets tough.
 
Top