I'm not going to point to the MANY threads about this subject, go look them up. But I will jump straight to the point.
What makes you THINK someone else, who didn't receive an appointment, is MORE QUALIFIED THAN YOU? Because your gpa, act, and cfa weren't at the max? I can point to plenty of 4.0gpa and 36ACT applicants that didn't receive an appointment. And guess what???? They WEREN'T MORE QUALIFIED than you. This is not Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, or even the University of Whereverthehellyoupick. This is one of 5 Military Academies. We care about so much MORE than just your gpa and ACT scores.
If you were given an appointment, then YOU ARE QUALIFIED. Forget who was MORE or LESS qualified. That's like saying you are MORE PREGNANT than someone else. Sorry; but there's no logic there. You ARE PREGNANT..... or you're NOT PREGNANT. You can't be SORT of Pregnant. Same for the academies. You ARE QUALIFIED or you're NOT QUALIFIED. You're not Sort of qualified.
Now, how does the selection process decide, WHICH QUALIFIED PERSON to give an appointment to? There are many facets to this. Some of them are here:
1. National Citizen Diversification: That's my coined phrase. Basically, that means that generally, every citizen in the country pays taxes. The taxes go towards the academies and the military. As such, each state and congressional district, should be equally represented with academy cadets that are funded by tax dollars. This is why half the class is chosen from the MOC slates of your congressional representatives and senators. This makes it a FAIR dissipation of appointments throughout the country of tax paying citizens.
2. Military Appreciation: Another of my coined phrases. In appreciation to the men and women who have served in the military; active duty, Reserve, etc. As well as those who's military parent lost their life in service to our country. And military parents who may have been POW's, Medal of Honor recipients, individuals involved in ROTC in college, and military families in general who had to travel the world every 3-4 years, couldn't have a stable community environment for their family, and sacrificed so much; in appreciation for all those military members.... The academy hold an additional 100-125 or so appointments for them
3. The remainder of the appointments are given to all those in the first two categories that I just posted, but didn't receive an appointment FROM those two categories. This is the National Pool. All of those remaining qualified individuals will be in this group, and their applications will be scored and ranked to come up with the remainder of appointments necessary to fill the class. And just like the scoring in the previous 2 categories, the scores are made up of NUMBERS and ACTIONS. The scores however can and will be weighted. The weighting will be based on so many things. The numbers; meaning gpa, class rank, etc. will be weighted based on the classes you had available, what classes you took, the scores you made, etc. E.g. A 3.8gpa in an ALL IB or ALL AP curriculum will be weighted MUCH HEAVIER than a 4.0gpa in a Mandatory School Minimum curriculum. ASSUMING: That all the classes were available and you CHOSE either the harder IB/AP classes or you chose the minimum required. Those who's school ONLY HAVE the minimum required and NO AP or IB or Honors, etc. classes, will NOT BE PENALIZED. Same goes with all other facets. Extra Curricular, sports, clubs, leadership, work, etc. WHAT DID YOU HAVE AVAILABLE, AND WHAT DID YOU DO WITH IT????
On top of all 3 of these categories, the academy also includes what I call "Life Experience and Diversity". You are given consideration in these areas also. The goal of the academies is to recruit and train FUTURE MILITARY LEADERS. These leaders, will be leading an ENLISTED CORP of very DIVERSE individuals. Every race, color, gender, religion, economic background, suburbia, ranch, farm, inner city, single parent, traditional family, orphan, first member of family to apply to college, and the list goes on. The academy wants, and rightfully so, and officer corp that represents those they are leading. That's why it's so important to present an application that makes you stand out; shows your diversity; shows how you WILL FIT INTO the organization; etc.
Take all of what I just wrote, and you can see that there is NO WAY THAT YOU..... Can determine if someone else is MORE or LESS QUALIFIED than you. There's a lot of applicants who don't receive an appointment and probably believe they should have. Some who will believe they were MORE QUALIFIED. The problem is..... You, nor THEY, can say if you/they are MORE or LESS QUALIFIED than someone else. You simply do not know that answer. In the end; there are going to probably be between 2500-3000 100% QUALIFIED individuals in the final cut for an academy appointment. That's out of approximately 10,000-12,000 initial applicants. ALL of those 2500-3000 applicants are indeed qualified and can get an appointment. But the academy can only give approximately 1,200 of them an appointment. 500-550 (about half) are dedicated to each congressional district/state in the country. So yes, there may be some that get an appointment from their state, but had they lived in a different state, might not have received an appointment. And another 100-125 are going to go to applicants who have an IMMEDIATE Military Family Background. This is one of the FEW things we can do to honor those men and women who have sacrificed so much for us. And the remaining 1500-2000 are going to have to compete for the remaining 500-600 slots. ALL are qualified; but we simply can't give all of them an appointment. This isn't a WORK PROGRAM or a SCHOLARSHIP program. It's the military.
So don't doubt for a second that you aren't QUALIFIED. You definitely are; or you WOULDN'T HAVE RECEIVED an appointment. As for feeling there are some others who are MORE QUALIFIED than you, who DIDN'T receive an appointment..... Well; you don't know that. You can think that, but you don't know that. There is ALWAYS someone MORE QUALIFIED at something than we are. But that's in INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITIES or AREAS. When you look at the WHOLE PERSON, there is no way you can say that someone else, who didn't receive an appointment, is MORE QUALIFIED than you.
So, there's your lecture. Don't want to hear any more about it. Realize how good you are; that the academy saw how good you are; accept the challenge; rise to the occasion; and APPRECIATE the opportunity you have been given.
And if you want to PROVE TO YOURSELF that you are WORTHY, then realize that out of the 1,200+/- appointees that are with you at basic training at the end of June; that approximately 200 of them WILL NOT MAKE IT and be there 4 years later. Want to PROVE you are WORTHY? Be one of the 1000 that DO GRADUATE and become a COMMISSIONED OFFICER and serve your country.
Best of luck