Importance of Summer Seminar


Jan 6, 2018
I have received my appointment for the class of 2022 and with the summer seminar app closing for juniors I was wondering how important summer seminar is. Will I be at a disadvantage next year because I did not attend? Thank you!
Yes. I was asking more about the importance it has on knowing what is going on once there and if there is any elitist vibe from those who went rather than the effect it has on admission
You don't have to worry about SS.
You may want to read Skies to Conquer, A Year Inside the Air Force Academy by Diana Schemo. And after you do, encourage your parents to read it so they have an idea (if non-military family) of what you're going through.
Thank you!
Yes. I was asking more about the importance it has on knowing what is going on once there and if there is any elitist vibe from those who went rather than the effect it has on admission
At SS our Cadre told us not to mention that we attended... I guess one year a kid was ridiculed because his local newspaper had posted an article saying something along the lines of "local high school student accepted to service academy Summer Seminar."
I concur with Wishful - Summer Seminar has attendance has little or no bearing on appointments. Summer Seminar is a great tool to help convince on-the-fence Juniors to apply to the Academy. On Day 1 of BCT, past performance and activities will not matter - all basic cadets will start on an even footing and will have the same opportunity to succeed.
SS is a wonderful week of "playing air force academy." It will have no bearing on your future acceptance, nor on your competence in the academic or military trials which may await you there.
Rtbabby. If you had no interaction with the military you should definitely go to summer seminars. But it will not disadvantage you at all if you didn’t get in or decided to do something else. But by attending you may sway in favor or against applying to a particular academy. For most, it usually falls in favor to apply on August 1 when most Apps open online for part 2. You get to skip part 1 which you did for summer app.
From the Academy Admissions Instagram feed : 2018 summer seminar applications were around 3200 submitted for the 600 available spots . They will notify attendees on March 1st.
CrewDad, "should" is a strong term, for something which may cost many hundreds of dollars, in transportation alone.

It's kinda like summer camp for a week, in lovely surroundings, where kids get to do some really keen stuff.

Neither of my kids went to SS. I don't know if any of their friends did who graduated from USAFA, but the young man from their high school years with whom they were friends did not get an appointment, though he'd been to SS (and loved it).

If you can afford the associated fees and have the time, go! Enjoy! If you can spare neither the time nor the money, don't sweat it! It won't matter.
IMHO, SS is of most value to those potential candidates who have not decided if the SA type of environment is right for them. SS can not provide attendees the full-on experience as to what the life of a doolie would be like, but can provide an initial taste of the academy/military lifestyle.

SS attendance has little or no impact on an applicant's WCS so is more like a fun summer camp for those who have already decided to apply to at least one of the SAs.

(Thank you for your comments fencermother).
Yes. I was asking more about the importance it has on knowing what is going on once there and if there is any elitist vibe from those who went rather than the effect it has on admission

I didn’t go to SS and I’m about to graduate in May from USAFA. Just try to go visit Usafa before I Day to get a feel for the place.
Sometimes, based on how well you do at SS then you have a better chance of being accepted to Usafa. However, you have already been accepted so that doesn’t matter.
I have many friends who have worked SS as a cadre, and all it is is baby sitting. The only real part of SS to doolie year or Basic is the first day. Everything else is doing arts and crafts or seeing different classes.

The only hands on/real doolie year experience you can get from any of the Academies summer seminars is coast guards. They actually put you through basic training and teach you how to take classes as a Cadet.

Also at usafa no one cares if you went through SS. In all honesty I only know 3 people who did cuz the rest knows it doesn’t matter in the long run. You can only tell those who went thro it based on the blue polos that sometimes people wear after 1645, but that depends on if they even still own the polo.

Like it was mentioned above, SS is for those who don’t know if they would make it in a military academy, not for those who have their minds set on it.

Please don’t base not getting accepted to SS as not being good enough to succeed at Usafa. If that were true I would have failed out a long time ago.
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One thing to consider, that I don’t see discussed much if at all, is how attending a SS affects the MOC nomination process....both directly and indirectly. I am speaking to that from DS’s experience.

He was told in person from one of his nominating sources (a senator) that attending SS factors in her nominations. It shows a candidates dedication, interest level and gives them a heads up and a way to stand out as they consider their slate (paraphrasing that). She was very pleased and interested that he had attended (very few did). He stood in a line of maybe 50 kids to meet and chat one on one with her for a few minutes at her service academy open house event, and that was one thing that made him stand out that day.

He was also able to talk about his SS experiences in his interviews as well. He ultimately went on to receive 2 principal noms and one ranked slate nom. So 3 total. He has already accepted his appointment.

I am not saying at all that attending affects your selection by the academy. I agree with what has already been said to this point. What I am saying, is that at least in DS’s case, it appears that attending affected his appointment at least indirectly, as it had a very positive direct impact on his receiving a nomination. And principal ones at that. My point is that attending can also be good for your nomination process, a very important part of receiving an appointment. So attend if you can!!
I agree that having a summer experience at the SAs can demonstrate your interest and commitment to MOCs. And that adds more equity, personal pride, and experience in your journey to SAs.

I also agree that not being selected doesn’t mean you were not qualified. It appears SAs want to invite as many potential qualified applicants as they can to the program, since they are screening with test scores and essays. But when they have to choose between candidates they think who will apply vs. who is on the fence, they will likely choose the ones who are on the fence.

My DS was accepted to USMA SLE and AFSS but denied for NASS. We thought Navy didn’t want him. But for the real deal, Navy was the first to offer him LOA in September and Appointment in January with an MOC Nom. Although you can be disappointed with any denied letter, summer program does not adversely impact your Appointment.

Enjoy your summer! And definitely go to the program if given the chance!