How to Maximize Chances of being accepted to USAFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by USAFAhopeful2025, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. USAFAhopeful2025

    USAFAhopeful2025 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello. I am a Sophomore at a college prep high school and was just wondering what I can do to maximize my chances of being accepted to USAFA. We have an Army JROTC program here, and I am on the volleyball and tennis teams, I am in four clubs, but I am a bit out of shape (any recreational sport recommendations to solve this? I have a fixed workout routine though). I love leading others and feel fufillment when we succeed as peers and as friends. Thanks for any help!
     
  2. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    901
    @USAFAhopeful2025, you ask a very general question. So a general response would be: Do what you’re doing now, but even better. Seriously.

    Beyond that, your answer lies in two places. Go onto USAFA’s website and read the admission criteria and class profile. Figure out your weak points and work on them. Go to the USAFA forum here and read the many tips on how to strengthen your case.

    Oh, and get in shape. Start now. You have a lot of time to get into shape, but you need to make the commitment.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    10,599
    Likes Received:
    4,122
    One might consider joining their schools cross-country team if it had one.
     
  4. USAFAhopeful2025

    USAFAhopeful2025 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would, but I’m a terrible runner, and have flat feet that don’t make it easy. I do run on a daily basis to try to improve this, though. I just think a cross country team is a bit out of my league
     
  5. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    4,204
    Likes Received:
    3,880
    Even if you are last in the cross country team, you will be a better runner having been on the x-country team. It will force you to improve. This is of paramount importance if you are seeking to become a military officer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
    kinnem likes this.
  6. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    459
    Have you visited the USAFA Admissions site and reviewed the academic, physical, and character preparation pages? Have you reviewed the academic performance, extracurricular activities, and fitness assessment pages to look for weak areas in your "package"? These primary source pages are invaluable in self-assessing where you need to focus over the next couple of years.
     
  7. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    901
    @USAFAhopeful2025, you should rethink this. AThe SAs have a running culture, especially during plebe/doolie summer. You will run and run and run some more. And there’s that little elevation issue at USAFA. So if running isn’t your thing, now’s the time to start making it your thing. And that’s the beauty of XC teams. You’ll have structure and support, and you can participate credibly no matter how fast you are.

    My DD was not much of a runner. A good athlete, yes, but in sports that aren’t running-intensive. She joined the XC team senior year, brought up the rear consistently, but got the prep she needed to hit the CFA mile average and to survive plebe summer. She still isn’t a strong runner, but that XC season was a big boost.
     
  8. USAFAhopeful2025

    USAFAhopeful2025 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all of the help everyone. I’d just like to keep this thread goin, as I still have many inquiries and will probably have more coming up to my Junior year. My next question to help narrow down a few topics is this: I am an all-honors student with A’s and B’s with a gpa at my school of 4.4-4.5 (I dunno if that means it’s weighted or not, it’s just what my academic councilor tells me). What else, other than leadership clubs, JROTC, etc. can I do to help my academic record stand out to the admissions personnel at USAFA? Thanks for helping me out (seriously. I was and still am in the position of not knowing what to do to achieve/if I could achieve the high admission standards at USAFA, even after visiting USAFA’s website, and this thread/website as a whole has already helped me in knowing what I must do to improve my chances of being accepted) :)
     
  9. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    459
    IMHO - select quality over quantity. Find ECs that you are passionate about. SAs would rather see 2-3 ECs on your résumé that you are personally invested in and for which you are making a positive impact than a dozen different organizations where you are simply a passive member.

    SAs base their recommendations on a whole candidate scoring - they are looking for well rounded candidates. I would not count on any single item in your package separating you from the other applicants. Learn how to push yourself now, as you will need that skill to succeed on one of the academies (e.g. join the XC team as @MidCakePa so wisely suggested).
     
    MidCakePa likes this.
  10. USAFAhopeful2025

    USAFAhopeful2025 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you so much for the advice! :) I had already decided after the first meetings of two of the clubs I’m members of to drop them, but I have to wait for the semester to end. (I’ll pick two new ones up for the rest of my high school career; already have two in mind) One of the clubs I’m still in I’m on the leadership team for, and I do plan on taking the XC advice to heart-Thanks MidCakePa:) I would like to know if community service projects or mission projects would work well, as I enjoy helping others and I know the added benefit is that SA’s like that stuff, right?
     
  11. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    901
    @USAFAhopeful2025, you’re welcome.

    As @FMHS-79 said, do what you’re passionate about. If you’re passionate about an activity, USAFA will be impressed. If you’re not passionate about it, USAFA will not be impressed.
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    10,599
    Likes Received:
    4,122
    @USAFAhopeful2025 I want to emphasize something mentioned earlier as it will help you figure out a lot of stuff....

    There is a lot to learn on the website. I'd suggest reading through it all over time.
     
    MidCakePa likes this.
  13. USAFAhopeful2025

    USAFAhopeful2025 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    On a different note, if I want to become a pilot, and also want a degree in aerospace engineering, is an ROTC or USAFA better for this? I’m going to apply for both, but I’m just wondering which I should go for first, even though USAFA is my dream.
     
  14. USAFAhopeful2025

    USAFAhopeful2025 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2018
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys, respond to the question above if you’d like, but since I have some stuff (mainly academic) that I need to improve on, I won’t be checking or responding to this thread for a while. Moderators, please keep it open and up to date so that someone else out there might be able to use this thread to their advantage, as it has helped me. Goodbye and I’ll try to keep you guys updated every now and then!
     
  15. Hut234

    Hut234 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    3
    It's easier to get a pilot slot from USAFA, but where you should go depends if you want the traditional college experience or not. Keep your grades up either way, they are extremely important.
     
  16. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,114
    Likes Received:
    1,437
    If you drop TWO clubs in which you are NOT INTERESTED, why pick up TWO new clubs? ONE club, in which you are a passionate member, will look better on your record than three or four in which you truly have little interest beyond resume packing. For instance, which do you think looks better to an admissions counselor:

    Scenario A
    Sound Academics
    Mediocre Athleticism
    Four Clubs (Art, National HOnor Society, French, and Biology), no leadership (no president, secretary, scheduler... etc).
    100 volunteer hours (at ten different venues)
    Chorus I-IV (all four years)
    Babysitting
    Trip to Latin America (they call it a Mission Trip, but what you mostly did was play soccer with kids who are already playing soccer)


    Scenario B
    Sound Academics
    Up-trending Athleticism
    Fencing Club (Founder, President, Nationally-ranked, Event Scheduler, Certified Director (referee in fencer lingo), three-weapon rating)
    Chorus 1-IV
    Eagle Scout
    400 Volunteer hours at local animal shelter (certified)
    20 hour per week job at Burger Flipper; promoted to Manager of Cups and Napkins after four months.
    Every spring break spent working 50 hours in local nursing home.

    Evaluation:
    Scenario A is ok academically but spread out in four clubs with no officership, meh... Obviously, that fencing is going to get you into the Academy, and will teach you lots of valuable skills. :)