Informing Civilian School of Service Academy Application

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by LOTR2000, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. LOTR2000

    LOTR2000 New Member

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    As a candidate to a service academy (USMA), I am aware that my chances of acceptance are small, regardless of being qualified. And although I want a service academy more than anything, I am applying to civilian schools as well. I know that I cannot apply ED to any school and had a long chat with my guidance counselor regarding applying EA instead. There is one civilian school in particular that I am very interested in. The advice I received from my counselor was to let the civilian school know that I cannot apply ED, since I am a SA candidate, but that they are my first choice civilian school. Not so sure I agree with this advice. First of all, it's coming from a large public school advisor that has little experience with the academies. Secondly, in this environment of such superficiality in the admissions process, I feel the civilian school would use it as an excuse to reject me. On the other hand, I like being up front and honest but I am not sure my honesty would be appreciated.
     
  2. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    @LOTR2000, what outcome are you expecting by telling the civilian school that they’re your first choice — oh, except for USMA? Do you think they’ll now look more favorably on your application, knowing that they’re your second choice? Think of it another way: Would you do the same thing if it was two civilian schools? For example: “Hello, Harvard. I’m not applying ED because my first choice is Stanford. But I want you to know that you’re my first choice of East Coast schools.”

    I think your college advisor means well, but is suggesting a clumsy, awkward and unnecessary step. Every school wants to be someone’s top choice (hence, ED). Telling them they’re runner-up is not likely to win you any points. They’re going to choose you — or not — based on your merits alone. They could give a diddly where else you’re applying (and USMA curries no special favor, nor should it).
     
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  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    +1 to MidCake
     
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  4. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    I agree with MidCake. Unless your family or advisor has an exceptionally good relationship with the civilian school, you are rolling the dice by telling them they are second fiddle. Blindly informing them that they are second choice to an SA may help your case, or may garner an instant rejection. Play honest, but play to win - the admissions office is not showing you their cards and you should not show them yours unless you have something to gain from doing so.

    If your stats are competitive for USMA, you will be accepted to several excellent civilian schools through early action or regular decision. One of the disadvantages of having an SA as first choice is that you lose the opportunity to apply ED.
     
  5. GoCubbies

    GoCubbies Member

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    The only tangible way you can show a school it is the first choice is applying ED. Otherwise, telling them via essay or some other manner will probably not have the effect you’re looking for.
     
  6. Humey

    Humey Member

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    Not everyone who has a first choice applies ED. Not sure why not going ED would be an issue. I dont think anyone needs to know who your first choice is. There is no upside to it.
     
  7. GoCubbies

    GoCubbies Member

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    You are correct, but I’m saying a tangible way to show a school some love is applying ED.

    The upside to ED is higher acceptance rate. Look at the ED vs RD acceptance rates for Vanderbilt and Northwestern. Schools like to protect yield. A good way to do that is getting a large potion of your entering class from the ED pool. Right or wrong, that’s a game played in college admissions.
     
  8. Humey

    Humey Member

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    One reason for higher acceptance rates for ED is the smaller pool of applicants. On the other hand, the ED applicants are probably more competitive. Assuming you are correct, then sure playing the game would make sense. However, since you cant play that game, then why worry about it. I am going to assume that if you want to apply as ED, then your scores and resume are going to be very competitive any way. Look at the extreme version, there seem to be people who apply to the Ivies ever year and they get accepted to all of them. They dont apply ED and the school wants the student more than the student wants the school. Sure, they are the rare applicants, but sometimes they will want you even if they dont know how far up the list they are.
     
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  9. usmajy

    usmajy Member

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    Had this same issue last cycle, with USMA as first choice and civilian school as second (and third, and so on). First of all, don’t tell your civilian school why you aren’t applying ED. They don’t care. Second, ED doesn’t really give you as much of an edge as statistics and anecdotal evidence may say they do. ED applicants are considered with different lenses from RD applicants and there are so many variables at play that are out of your control.

    If a service academy is your first choice, don’t apply ED anywhere and don’t tell your would-be ED school you would’ve except XYZ. Stick with non-restrictive EA and RD.

    Obviously, this is just my opinion, but I hope this helps. Good luck!
     
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  10. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    LOTR2000. This is 2018. No competitive schools in America want to know they’re second choice. Don’t do it! Clear and simple. No matter how great you are they will offer that ticket to another candidate who is their 1st choice! You read the verdict from the rest!
     
  11. LOTR2000

    LOTR2000 New Member

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    Thanks to all for the input. I agree, and won't be saying a word about my service academy application to any civilian school. When I told my parents what the advisor said, they were not surprised. Their response was that our large public school in particular just pushes the masses.
     
  12. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Additionally, many recruited athletes are in the ED pool further skewing the acceptance rate.

    Most colleges use ED to lock in the cream of the crop that truly view it as a #1 choice and to increase acceptance of offers by very qualified applicants. Applicants whose stats are below the top half of the college's profile are less likely to benefit from ED.
     
  13. shock-n-awe

    shock-n-awe Member

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    If your not applying ED, why communicate to any school your preferences? DS applied to 3 SA’s as well as SMC and top universities. He never had to rate them other than to himself and AROTC scholarship . When he accepted his USMA appointment, he then had communication with a new plan B school with AROTC scholarship as well as merit scholarship about his plan.
    We would pay their deposit money and plan to attend their school only if DS was injured and DQd before BEAST. Obviously they weren’t excited to hear that, but as long as he was willing to forfeit the deposit, they were ok with it.
    Many discussions have been had about what I described , but I still see no reason to tell any school where they rank on your scale. Honesty is of course the only route, but why even discuss what other schools you’re applying to when all colleges know many kids apply to more than one college.
    It won’t increase anyone’s chance of acceptance by stating they’ve wanted to attend a particular school since they were five years old.
    Although some SA candidates have been known to state that.....
     
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  14. MoSwimmer66

    MoSwimmer66 Member

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    Many people can't apply ED due to financial aid reasons. This was the case when I applied to college way back when. I had to apply and then line up the financial aid applications to see what made the most economic sense.
    So, many reasons not to apply ED outside of SA issue.
     
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  15. THParent

    THParent Member

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    In my very limited experience, anyone who is highly competitive for an Offer of Appointment at any of the Service Academies, will be accepted to nearly any school to which they apply.
     
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  16. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    Agree in general, but there are some exceptions.

    Not all top colleges super-score, so the candidate's standing could be affected if for example, the college takes the last test sitting only and it is a bad test day.

    Also some colleges have so many applications, that even near perfect candidates are turned away due to the sheer numbers (e.g Cal, UCLA, NYU).

    So always have a "safety" school.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  17. THParent

    THParent Member

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    That is very true.
    I don't think my DS could have gotten into Johns Hopkins or MIT.
    I think the chances were about 70% in his favor, but we'll never know because he didn't apply to either of those.
    Thank goodness. ;)
     
  18. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Not so today. Financial aid requirement does not hinder ability to apply ED. Insufficient financial aid offer is the only permissible reason to decline an ED offer. Language to that effect is included in ED application agreement.

    ED should only be used on a college that is the clear #1 choice. If the financial aid is sufficient, you accept offer; if insufficient, you decline. If the goal is to maximize financial aid, then there is no clear #1 choice.
     
  19. Humey

    Humey Member

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    I dont believe in lying. However, sometimes you have to keep your mouth shut and this notion that you have to give anyone every bit of information is naive. You have your interests and the school have their own. You worry about your own situation and let the college worry about their own. Do everything that is required and answer everything honestly. I am a CPA and have been taught when dealing with the IRS, never let you client alone with the agent. Whatever the IRS asks a question most people will answer the question and then add other five pieces of information that at best, is a waste of time and at worse ,bring ups something the agent never thought about. Same idea works with everything else. If you dont say anything about preference, the college has no idea if they are #1 or #9. If you tell they arent #1, then they know the answer
     
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  20. 5centsmom

    5centsmom Member

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    DS was in same situation last year. It didn’t help that the Ivies he applied to don’t offer EA: they want your full commitment but won’t show their hand. Do remember that many of the best engineering schools are not at Ivies, too, if that’s a factor in your decision process.
    May I suggest a two-prong approach? One, show great interest in choice #2 & 3. Make contact with their admissions regularly with thoughtful, I’ve-read-the-website questions. Visit if possible. Don’t neglect this budding relationship as the months wear on. Secondly, talk to your recommenders and let them know your situation. Can they work into their recommendation your interest in school 2&3?
    And lastly, I think it’s great that you’re taking plans B+ seriously. It’s a good sign you’re mature and are ready for making decisions like taking the SA route. Best of luck!