Is my GPA high enough and what does it mean that I am a blue token athlete?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by navyvolleyballgirl, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. navyvolleyballgirl

    navyvolleyballgirl New Member

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    I am currently a junior in high school and have committed to play volleyball at the Naval Academy. I have a 3.4 unweighted GPA but a 3.8-4.1 weighted GPA. Since I am a junior, I have not taken my SAT but expected to get a 1300 or higher since I will study very hard and try hard. When I committed, the volleyball coach said I was such an important athlete, he would use one of his eight blue tokens to get me into the academy if I struggled with the application process. I heard that it means that I can get in even if my scores are not very high or I run into a problem during my application process, I can get into the academy.

    FYI- I am currently taking 5 AP/college credit classes and my senior year will take as many AP classes offered.

    Thank you!
     
  2. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Congratulations for being a high-level athlete who’s capable of playing D1. That’s to be admired.

    Now, that said, check your terminology. “Committed” (and Letter of Intent) does not work for SAs the same way it does for civilian colleges. Use the search function above to read the very many threads about recruitment. You’ll see there’s plenty of debate, but bottom line is, do not bank too much on what you were told.

    This is not to say the coach was being dishonest. Not at all. But the SA application process is very complex, with several places where you might — to use your words — “run into a problem.” There are situations where the coach might not be able to help you, as well-intended as he may be.

    So of course, go for it with all you’ve got. As my DD will attest, representing USNA as an athlete is amazing. Do better than 1300 on the SAT. Nail your classes, leadership roles, nominations, and so on. Meanwhile, you must have a Plan B, C, D....

    Your original question was about GPA. Course rigor and class rank, in the context of your school profile, matter more than GPA. The fact that you’re taking so many AP courses is a very good start. Best wishes to you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  3. THParent

    THParent Member

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  4. navyvolleyballgirl

    navyvolleyballgirl New Member

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    My fault. The volleyball coach is new and that is the term he used to me. Thank you!
     
  5. THParent

    THParent Member

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    I'm not mad at ya. ;) I just linked the definition for you.
     
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  6. ThePatternisFull

    ThePatternisFull Member

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    Subject: What does "Committed” mean?

    I have sent this to our coaches and administrators in a format tailored to them and feel that it is important that you understand what “commit” means also.

    Social Media has caused a lot more public discussion about students being recruited by Colleges, Universities and even the Academies.


    We see now, more than ever, an announcement on line or in the local paper about a student “Committing” to the Naval Academy. You may run in to a student in a Blue and Gold interview or read about in the paper who says “I committed to Navy”.


    What does that mean?

    When a student athlete"commits" to our program we have asked the coaches to insure that He/She and the Parents understand what that means.


    They are committing to come to the Naval Academy and play for us if they complete their admission record, are approved by the Admission Board, complete the medical examination and, for a Direct admit candidate, apply for nominations from their Congressman, Senators and the Vice President. The nomination portion is not required for someone we are sure will be headed to NAPS or Foundation.


    We have had two or three recent incidents where the family is under the impression that since the student "committed" that they are done and he/she is guaranteed to be admitted. Unless the record is complete and the medical has been completed there is no way to tell if the student will be successful in the admission process. Candidates must understand that.


    Also recognize that high school coaches and guidance counselors may not understand the nuances of a “commitment.” If you speak to a guidance counselor about a candidate and they say “oh – he/she is all set and was already accepted at Navy last year” (or something to that effect) they probably mean that the candidate “committed” to Navy and they do not understand the entire process. Please don’t hold that against the candidate! This is a “teaching moment” for the counselor, coach or parents also.
     
  7. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    A bookmark-worthy post! All the right info in a tidy statement from an authentic source.
     
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  8. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    I have to add one sort of correction to the above post. While the candidate must complete the application, be deemed qualified by the admission's board and pass the medical evaluation, coaches at some level of recruit have the ability to give nominations outside the normal process. These are the true "Blue Chip" recruits and they end up with a Superintendent's nomination. Being identified as just a recruited athlete means you have to apply for the normal nominations and first compete on your nomination slate. There are a group of appointments called Additional Appointees that most recruited athletes get charged to if they do not win there slates.

    Why is this important to the OP and other readers with an interest in attending a Service Academy? College recruiting is a difficult game and things change frequently. The volleyball coach at USNA has a "Blue Chip" (no one knows how many each coach gets but it is not many and its safe to assume that Football gets more than Golf) and tells you that you are Ms All State and he wants you to come to USNA. You think you are on easy street and can skate by with the minimums. Well Ms All World and her teammate Ms All Country reach out to your coach this summer and they both want to attend USNA. Now you are #3 on the coaches list since you are only Ms All State and that Blue Chip is gone. While the coach still has a spot for you on the team, you are now competing as a competitive candidate on a nomination slate. This happens all the time in recruiting and while you may think you have committed, there is nothing formal assuring that you will get an appointment.

    The best option for a candidate interested in playing a sport at a Service Academy is to apply as a competitive candidate and win your nomination slate. Being competitive for admission without the help of a coach will open many more doors and give the academy many more options to find a spot for you.

    I can tell you a story of a young lady who was told by a coach that they would get her in even though she could not win her nomination slate. The coach and this candidate had frequent phone calls through the season and she was told everything was on track. You can imagine how disappointed this young lady was when that coach told her that she could not help two months later and hoped she had a good plan B. As a re-applicant the next year, the same coach told her that she could walk on during Beast if she got accepted. The point of this is to reinforce the part about things change frequently in recruiting. You need to do all you can do to win your spot without the extra help to assure you get what you want. If you are that strong of an athlete, you will be able to play when you get there.
     
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  9. navyvolleyballgirl

    navyvolleyballgirl New Member

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    Thank you very much for your well resourced and informational reply! Yes, I do understand that I still have to go through all of the regular admissions process as any other non-athlete applier would. I just wonder what the difference is with being a Blue Chip athlete from a regular athlete who has committed. Also, I have received a letter from the coaches confirming my commitment and expressing what they will do for me on I-Day. Since I am a junior, I am not able to sign until my senior year.

    Again, thank you!
     
  10. ThePatternisFull

    ThePatternisFull Member

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    Capt MJ Thank you for the bookmark-worthy comment. I am just trying to help and share quality information. When DD began the process we were clueless and learned a great deal.
     
  11. jebdad

    jebdad 5-Year Member

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    In the simplest of terms, blue chip means that they will guide your application through admissions and that if you are unable to secure a nomination yourself, they will secure one for you.
     
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  12. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    @navyvolleyballgirl, now that you’ve gotten some great feedback, suggest you still read all the previous threads to truly understand how dicey the world of college recruiting is, and how different the process is at USNA.

    Also suggest you no longer use the terms “committed” and “sign” in reference to USNA. One does not commit to play at USNA. And one does not sign a Letter of Intent. These are not mere semantic corrections, but real differences in the process. If you successfully clear all the application hurdles, you’ll receive an offer of appointment. Only then can you say you’re committed.
     
  13. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    It’s a gamble, to say the least, to rely on what any coach tells you as far as “committing” and “signing” as a junior (because you are unable to “sign” at regular college until a senior).

    It’s a further gamble to rely on a coaches statement because any number of unplanned contingencies could occur (injury, or another better athlete expresses interest x school and now you aren’t blue chip anymore, or coach could leave program, etc etc...).

    And it’s by far the BIGGEST gamble of all at a service academy because a service academy coach doesn’t simply get to pick their athletes like they do (in simplistic terms here) at regular college. The admissions board, medical reform board, senators and congressional people all choose. The athlete has to clear all of those hurdles. If they don’t? The coach can’t do anything. Period (they may have input if they choose, true, but ultimately all hurdles have to be cleared).

    DS was “recruited”. He relied on nothing (Bc that’s the kind of person he is....gives 200 pct to all he does, controls all variables within his control), and went whole hog forward despite recruitment. He received 3noms, and AFROTC and NROTC. I point this out BC he earned all of that on his own merits. Not from the coach. Who KNOWS if the coach would have ultimately pulled a chip for him or not. But attending was important enough for him to not take that GAMBLE (there are far better athletes than him on the team...so maybe he wouldn’t have been chosen by coach). There is something very satisfying in earning all the above on his own merits.

    So, to those reading, give it your all. Don’t rest on your laurels. Is it really worth the gamble to not?

    Best of luck to the class of ‘23!!
     
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  14. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    @navyvolleyballgirl, as a junior, you have time to also check your motivations. Do you want to play volleyball at USNA or do you want to train to become a naval officer while playing volleyball on the side?

    Make sure it’s the latter. Being a mid alone is hard enough. Being a D1 athlete alone is hard enough. Being both...that’s a very, very demanding role. Many varsity athletes quit the sport within a year or two, voluntarily or involuntarily (say, due to injury). Of course, you can always leave inside of two years with no obligation. But that’s a tough route to take. So just be sure of why you’re pursuing this path.
     
  15. skismuggs

    skismuggs 5-Year Member

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    You are only the top recruit/blue chip athlete until the next one comes in with better grades, better accolades and resume. They could promise you one of those chips even in writing and give it to someone else for whatever reason. Like everyone has said, commitment to play at the SAs has no weight like it does at the civilian colleges. Best of luck.
     
  16. navyvolleyballgirl

    navyvolleyballgirl New Member

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    I agree with you. I have looked into it and given deep thought. I want to go there not just for volleyball. I want to go there because of the training and academics. It sets you up for life. It will be very daunting but it is something I REALLY want to do, something I know in my heart I am meant to do.
     
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  17. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    ...aaaand hopefully you want to go there to become a naval officer and serve in the best navy in the world. For at least 5 years. On a ship. Or in a submarine. Or the marines. Hopefully that part too.

    It’s quite a commitment, takes a special person with a passion. Make sure you have done all you can to educate yourself, including the part after the 4yrs of “training and academics”.

    Also that you are doing it for you, not your parents or other mentors. It’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement surrounding recruiting and an appointment the USNA. Lots of attention! But all that goes away one day.

    Good luck to you!! I have my own junior interested in following in his brothers footsteps. Perhaps you will be classmates, USNA ‘24!
     
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  18. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    For many, that excitement goes away on Day 3 of Plebe Summer, when they’re dropped for the fifth time that day in the P-way, in horizontal rest, dripping sweat from their whiteworks while detailers mop the wet floor beneath them.
     
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  19. ThePatternisFull

    ThePatternisFull Member

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    USMA 1994 not sure why you can correct information that comes directly from USNA Admissions office. I am a BGO and received this information from David W. Davis senior Associate Director of Athletics for Admissions. I am not sure how you can add or detract from this source.
     
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  20. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    All I said is that a small percentage of true Blue Chip athletes do not have to compete for a nomination from an MOC. Everything else you said was spot on. The academies set aside a small amount of Superintendent nominations each year for special athletes.
     
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