My son was in a similar situation, with the same ACT and similar GPA. IMO, there just weren't enough spots. I think his high school will have 6 at the academy in 2026. His initial response to a year of prep school was an emphatic NO, but once he learned more about the program, he actually turned down a USMA appointment and went to Northwestern Prep. He LOVED NWP. I can't even put into words how important that experience was. He is in his 2nd semester now, attending ASU as a Professional Flight major. So, he's flying 3 times a week and will have his private pilot's license soon. Good Luck!My moment of grief was a very short one once I found out what the scholarship actually was. I'm happy to take the extra year and can assure you it won't be wasted on me!