Do you think I have a good shot of getting in to the AFA?

Kaya W

New Member
Sep 28, 2017
I am currently a sophomore at my high school and am dead set on the academy so I've got time to prepare and train. I'll start off by listing what I've got so far and what I'll be doing in my next two years of high school.

1. I've got a part time job at the base movie theater and bowling alley where I've held leadership positions such as shift lead, and training others.

2. In my first year of my JROTC I was assigned to be guidon and platoon guidon.

3. In JROTC I've been holding leadership positions from parking lot detail project officer, class leader, and class inspector.

4. I'm apart of unarmed/armed drill team, FOX team, Sabre team, And Colorguard. I will be first in command of sabre team My Junior year.

5. I'm moving to another base in the state where I live but I'll have two close places to volunteer at in my free time.

6. My gpa is from a 3.833 and above, I currently though I have 4.0. I am also tied for first place in my class rank with a group of 16 people. I will be taking a PSAT later in October/November so then I'll know what I need to study come SAT time.

I currently am in Biology Honors, and Algebra 2. Next year I will be doing precalc unless I take it during the summer in which I'll take AP calc and senior year trig. I'm shooting for ap courses since I haven't done any yet.

Am I so far looking good? I'm not eligible for NHS until second semester with how my school works, but I'm confident that I'll get it. I'm also thinking about doing leadership next year, is that something the AFA would like to see?
Yes. You have a great start. Be fit, keep taking challenging courses, and keep your nose clean! And, add some sports & leadership positions. Good luck!
Be sure the add some sports into your extracurriculars! Being on a sports team usually tells USAFA or any college that you are a team player and have some sort of team camaraderie experience. Although sports is not entirely needed, it does make your application more well-rounded.
Register for Summer Seminar & Girls State.
IMO you are off to a great start and have a strong trajectory! Awesome, keep up the good work - so far! And it sounds more like you want reaffirmation and a just a bit of advice. I'll try to add advice that hasn't been given.

See the sticky thread by Christcorp on sports. Read the other SA forum threads and in particular, a 2-part sticky on admissions. As you read through the USAFA forums, also search by selected posters and that is also a very good way to see older but always relevant posts.

I assume you've read most everything on the USAFA website, but go back and check Admissions tab, Selection Criteria, and go into each section. Make your own paper rubric. You will get a deeper understanding and it will generate even more questions that will help you refine what areas to work on. Notice it states 50/20/30 for Academics/Extracurriculars/Selection Score (although in one section under Academics is says 55%, but no matter; just assume it's 50% or more!) Read each section carefully. Print it out. Underline it. Highlight it in yellow. Put it away for 3 days and then come back with your pink highlighter. I say this sort of jokingly, but you get my point. It is within your control to really understand what USAFA wants in a candidate and WHY.

Balance what the rubric is with what you LIKE to do, and what you would do even if it isn't for getting into the USAFA.

I'm going to skip Academics & Extracurriculars for now. Ditto for CFA.

Selection Criteria - this is the one part that uses the terms holistic, intangibles, and qualitative. Think about that.

I used to interview MBAs for an investment bank. What stood out the most were the people that were 3-dimensional. Everyone wanted to work at my IB. They made the interview cut so they all had good grades, were from top ranked schools, and had some work experience. (Sound familiar?) The question most of them failed to answer - even though I may not have ASKED EXPLICITLY was: Above all other candidates, why should I hire you? The ones that stood out the most had something special - they had INTERESTS that were INDEPENDENT of just what they thought we would want to hear. We wanted a WHOLE PERSON. I fondly remember 2 in particular - one worked for LSG Skychefs. the other was from a long family line of gemologists. Now, you would think they may be the last 2 to be picked as everyone else was huffing and puffing about what they knew about the markets. But these 2 showed interests, humor (airplane food, is there anything funnier??) and a dimension that rounded out a room full of storming brokers.

I have seen posts saying essays aren't that important, that everyone's will sound the same, etc....but....that is one element, albeit a very small %, that is ENTIRELY IN YOUR CONTROL. Because so much IS NOT, anything that IS should take great attention, particularly because you are starting so early. Grades, SAT/ACT, essays, preparing for interviews (because you know they are coming!), CFA....these items you know they are make your rubic, plan it out, and GOOD LUCK TO YOU!