So here is the scenario. My son is home from a military preparatory program at an established military prep school (it is Christmas break). He got a 4.0 in his first semester classes (calculus, chemistry, etc), did ROTC (with leadership appointments), raised his ACTs to 33 English and 32 Math (good SAT scores too), and got very good fitness scores (5;40 mile etc). He has applied to all of the academies (except USMMA) this time around. Last year, he got a Congressional nomination to the USNA but did not get in (he has solid high school grades and did varsity sports for 3 years with some leadership positions including club president, President's club, etc; he also did the USNA summer session). He also did not get into the USCGA. The bottom line is he is focused on one of the military academies. He is feeling very confident right now of his chances, but I feel compelled to have the "what if" conversation with him just in case he does not get in again. I am thinking he would be interested in taking a year long Chinese language (Mandarin) immersion program in China (he is of 25% Asian ethnicity) if he does not get in, as he has expressed a desire to do this in the past if he failed to get in yet again as he claims the academies like the Chinese language ability. Assuming the worst case and he does not get in, what could he do for the next year to further enhance his chances? Do you think the Chinese immersion would be a good idea? Are there any programs the military favors? Should he keep taking the ACT and SAT to keep his scores climbing? He will stay in shape, as he enjoys sports and working out, so that will not be an issue for him. What I am asking here is what can my son do to maximize his chances of getting into an academy should he not get in this time around? My guess is he will do whatever it takes within honorable limits. Thanks in advance for any and all feedback and ideas. I have also preached the idea of having a contingency plan, and I have him as a captive audience for a few weeks, lol.