How is my plan for re-application?

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Oct 11, 2022
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Hello everyone! I've shared my plan for the next year with my BGO and I plan on getting in contact with an admissions officer to talk about it with them too, but I thought I might run my re-application plan by here for any of you who care to read it.

Life -
I don't plan on attending college next year. I only got accepted into one college anyway, and it's way to expensive for me to afford. Instead, I will be spending a year working in the FEMAcorps, which is a service program involving with disaster logistics and preparedness ran by the Federal Emergency Response Agency. I applied about a month ago, and was accepted in early April. I'm really excited and passionate about doing this, and serving at-risk communities. I will try my best to do a good job and be as helpful as I can for my team, and maybe if I feel it's appropriate I might ask my team leader for a letter of rec.

Tests -
I took the SAT twice before applying to USNA. I had a composite score of 730ELA and 640math. I took the ACT for the first time on Saturday, I think I dusted the reading, english, and science sections, but the math portion definitely railed me, which is a shame since it's math that USNA only really cares about. I'm also re-taking the SAT next month, so I'm going to study as hard as I can to try to get my math score where it should be. I will keep retaking both tests at any opportunity available until my math score is up to ~750sat or ~34act.

CFA -
I go to the gym before school 5 days per week. I'm a pretty skinny guy so I had no problem with the run and crunches last time I took the CFA, but the rest of the test was definitely sub par. That might've been what held me back from the class of '27.

Grades/LOR's -
Obviously I won't have 1st semester grades next year, so I'm trying my best to keep my grades up now as a senior. I will be asking all of my teachers in the next few weeks for another letter of recommendation to give them all ample time.

Sports/Leadership/EC's -
I'm hoping serving with FEMAcorps will count as some sort of volunteering/community service, since it's more of a volunteer position than a job. I won't have the opportunity to really play a sport or be much of a 'leader' next year, however I'm finishing out my last season of high-school rowing this Spring, and I'm looking to be part of our boys' varsity 4 boat. We're looking like we might have the opportunity to make it to regionals, which is exciting. If I end up being fast enough by the end of the season, who knows maybe I'll contact the coach of the lightweight men's team and see if I can get recruited 😉

Nominations -
I've already emailed the people from my district who nominated this year. I'm hoping to get another interview with them and update on all I've done, so hopefully they will take a chance on me again and suggest me to my district rep for a nomination. I'll also apply for senatorial and vice-presidential.

That's pretty much my whole plan for next year. Let me know if any of you have any suggestions, or things you think I'm doing wrong. Thanks everyone, peace ✌️
 
I am by no means any expert on what you need to do for a more favorable result, but I don't understand the college comment. How did you only get accepted to one school? Did you only apply to one school, or only apply to reach schools (Ivys, ect.) Most state schools offer some kind of rolling admissions "until full" I would think it should be fairly feasible to get into some type of college program. At the very least I would suggest that you talk to admissions about which, if any, online programs that they would consider as comparable to attending in-person college your freshman year. That would allow you the freedom to pursue FEMAcorps and take Plebe like classes. A large number of colleges offer online learning now.

As Old Navy BGO said, I don't really think your plan will put you in a better position. (Although it does sound like a great gap year plan, if what you really want is a gap year to figure things out and the primary concern isn't whether or not you will get into USNA next round.)

Best wishes on whatever you decide to do.
 
I don't plan on attending college next year. I only got accepted into one college anyway, and it's way to expensive for me to afford.
Your application package didn’t work this time. To improve your odds for next time, what are you doing to boost your credentials academically? This FEMA program seems worthy, but it does not burnish your academic record or strengthen your ability to handle USNA academics. USNA expects reapplicants to demonstrate their ability to handle college-level calculus, chemistry, English — the so-called plebe-like class schedule.

Not having any real options for a four-year college calls into question your judgment, planning and decision-making. Not doing ROTC also begs the question of how committed you are to becoming a commissioned officer. You may need to explain all this next time, as your BGO may probe here.

I think I dusted the reading, english, and science sections, but the math portion definitely railed me, which is a shame since it's math that USNA only really cares about.
That’s not accurate. USNA may be a STEM-heavy school, but it cares a great deal about English. Effective officers are great communicators and great readers. English is an important part of the curriculum.

Obviously I won't have 1st semester grades next year, so I'm trying my best to keep my grades up now as a senior. I will be asking all of my teachers in the next few weeks for another letter of recommendation to give them all ample time.
This is a significant gap. Your competition will include reapplicants who took — and excelled with — a plebe-like schedule. They’re trying to demonstrate their ability to handle college-level academics. Meanwhile, you’re simply recycling your high-school stuff and hoping for a different result.

If you truly want to improve your chances and result, I strongly urge you to rethink your approach. It smacks of a wasted year — not unlike treading water — rather than making progress.
 
My thought exactly, community college courses, even remote, to continue to advance learning and stay academically fit - if you are determined to do the FEMA thing. USNA recommends mirroring a plebe-like schedule as much as possible. Demonstrate you can handle full day FEMA Corps activity as well as after-hours studies - just like the heavy schedule at a service academy.

If the FEMA activity offers ANY leadership opportunities, jump on it. Anything to counterbalance what your re-applicant competitors and HS seniors are bringing to the table.

I must admit I agree with the “treading water” description used by @MidCakePa . In and of itself, it is a fine use of time. Strategically and tactically, it may be a risky choice.


Cross-posted as usual with @MidCakePa while I went off to get the link.
 
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I would strongly advise against not taking college courses. From a USNA perspective, that’s non-negotiable. My son was injured the week before I-Day last year and subsequently had to sign a contract with the academy. It’s very brief. They require 3 things to “stay in the mix” for reappointment…
1) excellent character
2) physical fitness (PRT vs CFA)
3) college courses (min 11 credit hours/semester including Calc, Chem, and English)
(***And seek a nomination again.)

As a SA competitive candidate you should be able to enroll somewhere as a non-degree seeking, commuter or online student to take these courses. My son did it in July, 4 weeks before classes started at a local school that he had not applied to previously.
 
Hello all, thank you for your replies! I appreciate you for taking your time to respond.

Your input has not been taken lightly, you've given me a lot to think about. I had already looked a little bit into the programs at nearby community colleges, but I will definitely dive more heavily into it now. I want to get the admissions officers at USNA's opinions on this asap, does anyone know what the earliest time is to be able to call them and have a brief conversation about re-applying? Thank you.

While I'm in no way trying to doubt the validity of some of the points you guys made, there are some things I must admit I don't really understand. If you guys could help me out to clarify some of the things you mentioned that would be immensely helpful. For one:
If you truly want to improve your chances and result, I strongly urge you to rethink your approach. It smacks of a wasted year — not unlike treading water — rather than making progress.
I don't really see how next year is 'wasted'...

I know that going to a community college is an option, and I recognize that not taking college level courses DOES put me at an academic disadvantage when compared to collegiate freshmen excelling in their 'plebe' courses. This is something I will bring up when speaking to someone at USNA. However, I still think FEMAcorps is pretty productive. To quote their mission statement:

"Projects vary, but all FEMA Corps members are trained in one or more of FEMA's mission-critical functions: disaster survivor assistance, individual assistance, logistics, planning/geographic information system, and public assistance."

The purpose of the Academy is to make selfless Naval officers to serve the federal government, right? In the application process they made it clear they looked for community service. I thought serving a federal program like FEMA would be just the kind of thing the people at admissions would love.

Again, I'm not trying to disagree with you here, much less argue, but I am kind of struggling to see your perspective.

Also,
This is a significant gap. Your competition will include reapplicants who took — and excelled with — a plebe-like schedule. They’re trying to demonstrate their ability to handle college-level academics. Meanwhile, you’re simply recycling your high-school stuff and hoping for a different result.
As I mentioned in my original post, I'm determined to take the SAT and ACT again as many times as possible until I'm in the 1500-34 range. I'm not just re-taking them, but studying for them too. Isn't the purpose of those exams to demonstrate college-readiness?
I'm also training for the CFA in the gym every day, hoping to make big improvements there as well. My CFA was really quite bad compared to my academics and athletics, it actually got me DQ'd from my USAFA app.
Considering how I'm striving to improve on these tests, I don't really see how I'm just recycling my previous application.

At the end of the day, the insight you all have given me has been very helpful, and eye-opening. I'm going to get this sorted out however I can, because I am truly determined to help the United States and be a servicemember. I've looked into it, and I don't think taking online courses on top of the shifting schedule of FEMAcorps is an option, so I'm going to have to choose community-college or FEMAcorps relatively soon, wish me luck!
Thanks again everybody ✌️
 
I would strongly advise against not taking college courses. From a USNA perspective, that’s non-negotiable. My son was injured the week before I-Day last year and subsequently had to sign a contract with the academy. It’s very brief. They require 3 things to “stay in the mix” for reappointment…
1) excellent character
2) physical fitness (PRT vs CFA)
3) college courses (min 11 credit hours/semester including Calc, Chem, and English)
(***And seek a nomination again.)

As a SA competitive candidate you should be able to enroll somewhere as a non-degree seeking, commuter or online student to take these courses. My son did it in July, 4 weeks before classes started at a local school that he had not applied to previously.
I began writing my previous reply before you commented that, sorry for not addressing it.
This is also very eye-opening, and something I'll bring up if I'm able to speak with someone on the Yard. Thank you.
 
Keep in mind this is a competition. You aren’t just competing against reapplicants you are competing against everyone on your slate, including high school students.

You don’t give your grades … and that’s ok. But would you have been appointed had you aced your CFA? Stated another way - how did your whole person multiple compare to your competition last time, and can you succeed without demonstrating higher level academics this time?
 
If you review the link provided from usna.edu, nowhere does it emphasize keeping up with or increasing community service for re-applicants. Almost all of the text relates to academic performance in some way.

The comment above from @USMCfam is telling. And that was for an appointee to be able to defer a year due to an injury.

It may just be a matter of re-arranging your priorities. Academic course work first that meets USNA advice, then fit in community service in around that. There are so many ways to give of your time.
 
Keep in mind this is a competition. You aren’t just competing against reapplicants you are competing against everyone on your slate, including high school students.

You don’t give your grades … and that’s ok. But would you have been appointed had you aced your CFA? Stated another way - how did your whole person multiple compare to your competition last time, and can you succeed without demonstrating higher level academics this time?
I'm not sure how I would've done with a better CFA. For reference, my GPA is 3.85uw, I've taken 10 honors/AP's. My school doesn't rank.

My CFA was quite bad. My scores were:
40 feet, 4 Pullups, 9.5 sec, 94 crunches, 21 pushups, 5:50 mile. Make of that what you will, I obviously have no idea if that's what got me rejected or if it was just one thing among many, but as I said USAFA outright DQ'd me for that CFA score.
 
I'm not sure how I would've done with a better CFA. For reference, my GPA is 3.85uw, I've taken 10 honors/AP's. My school doesn't rank.

My CFA was quite bad. My scores were:
40 feet, 4 Pullups, 9.5 sec, 94 crunches, 21 pushups, 5:50 mile. Make of that what you will, I obviously have no idea if that's what got me rejected or if it was just one thing among many, but as I said USAFA outright DQ'd me for that CFA score.

Yes, the CFA needs to be much better. So that is the biggest priority … and with proper training, you can pass. Strength is the issue and fortunately the mile is good.

My personal take … and I admit I am the last person to listen to - my son is graduating USNA this year and I am just a parent:

While your academics are good, they might not be good enough to beat your competition. If you were my son, I would strongly recommend community college mirroring a plebe course load - while you workout faithfully. That’s what you will be doing at USNA. Every year.
 
I think I dusted the reading, english, and science sections, but the math portion definitely railed me, which is a shame since it's math that USNA only really cares about.
Withholding judgement on everything else because other people have already said more than enough, but I wouldn't worry about the ACT math, honestly. It's scored on a curve and everybody I know (including me) got ****ed over by the math test specifically, so missing 10 questions might still get you a 34, who knows?
 
You say your motivation is to “help the United States and be a service member”

Seriously?

If this is true, and you can’t afford civilian college, and your gap year is not going to help you with the USNA or any other SA, and if you do that gap year you can’t get the community college hours in that you need to strengthen your application, and you truly want to serve

Then consider doing what many of us did , think about going the enlisted route.

Not because it’s another way to get to a SA, which in a way it can be, but because your country needs you.

Couple that with all the college money you might earn and the courses you could be taking etc etc ——it’s another route
 
All colleges and SAs want to admit people they think will succeed. One (the best) way to show them that is to take College courses that are similar to what first year students in SAs take...and do well in them.
I am with others in suggesting you take CC classes that mirror what a first year at the SA would take.
 
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