Is there any advantage to applying to USNA early?

MidCakePa

Member
An early application that’s sloppy and rushed is worse than a later application that’s thoughtful and flawless. Each year, numerous candidates post her about a mistake they made or something they missed or a wish that they’d done a certain aspect better. So best advice is this: Submit the best application you can as early as you can — emphasis on the former.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
Yes and no. Completing your application earlier means one less thing to do during the academic year. It COULD (and I emphasize this word) mean that, if you are going to get an LOA, you might get it earlier, which might make you feel better. If you qualify for a Pres nom, that could mean you receive an appointment earlier. It also gets you in front of DODMERB earlier which gives you more time to resolve any medical issues, should you have any. Finally, it makes your BGO happy b/c he/she isn't stuck having to squeeze you in over the T-giving/Christmas/New Year holidays or worse, the last week of January.

It generally doesn't mean you'll receive an appointment earlier (subject to the exception above) nor does it necessarily mean your package will be reviewed earlier.
 

justdoit19

Member
IMO, it’s a great strategy to get the DODMERB triggered and BGO interview completed early. As in July/August. And honestly that’s pretty easy to do. Have your transcripts sent. Also ACT/SAT’s. Dump in your school counselor/math/english evaluator emails (hopefully you have talked with them about doing this over the summer...) and follow up to get those done by them. Your candidate activities record is also pretty easy to fill out.

Completing all that pretty ‘easy’ to do stuff will trigger DODMERB and BGO interview!

That’s where DS sits. Working on his personal statement. Did his medical’s last week and has his BGO tonight. Essay is in its final edit stages (this is the biggie that I think is important to not rush. Sleep on it for a while. New things will come to mind. Have an English teacher edit it. Don’t rush).

Then on to MOC’s next, after final ACT this weekend. The summer of a SA applicant is not really a “summer break”!
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
In the drive to submit early, keep quality control and attention to detail fully integrated, especially when filling out online forms. Don’t do it when you’re tired or in a rush. Think, think, think, don’t guess.

Over the years, there have been numerous posts:
“I meant to hit No not Yes, and it won’t let me edit.”
“I completely forgot about the school suspension I got in 8th grade/DUI/misdemeanor arrest/other bad thing. How do I correct that?”
“My grandma told me the rough patches on my skin were eczema, so I checked that I had it.”
“I forgot to put _____.”

The responsibility to get it all right is the applicant’s, but don’t hesitate to “hire” a parent as a fact-checker and proof-reader before hitting the Submit button. Read any instructions at the top of a page before starting to enter data.

As has been said many times here on SAF, the process of applying is a test in itself - of organizational skills, timeliness, ability to follow directions, executive planning, perseverance, patience and thoroughness.
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
5-Year Member
There are people who will tell you to go ahead and use all (or just a bunch more) of the time allotted to punch up fitness, accomplishments, etc but
I'll put it this way, I'e seen a lot of applicants come and go and the vast majority of SUCCESSFUL applicants get their stuff in on the earlier side of
the application window. Last month, we had a field admissions rep from USNA at our Boys State college fair and she told applicants to get their stuff
in ASAP with a target of end of summer.
 

ders_dad

Member
Getting through DODMERB early is a big advantage. Last year DS powered through his application and had everything in but his BGO interview by the first of August. This really helped in getting his NROTC application in for the first Boards in late-September/ early October. Also helped in preparing his MOC applications. But there were a couple of additional and significant leadership milestones that came to fruition after his application was completed and he had to get his guidance counselor to submit those around the New Year. But on the whole, getting the application completed early is a big plus, provided it is solid and well-executed. DS would have written his statement differently if he had done it in October, mainly because he had more experience writing them for MOCs etc.

Don’t do this because you think it will get an LOA. You really must pay heed to the vastly more experienced voices here who counsel against focusing on LOAs. My DS had what I considered to be a home-run application- letters in two varsity sports, Eagle Scout, 36M 35E ACT, the most senior youth leadership trainer for Scouts in the two-State Council, IB Diploma candidate, top 5% of his class, yada, yada, yada. We thought, “Well, my son is different-they’ll notice him.” Well they did, but not until the last day of February. Just know that when you get the application in during August, you’ve got what seems a lifetime of waiting ahead. There are some absolutely stellar kids of parents on this forum who didn’t get the call this past year and it is humbling to realize my son was lucky enough to get an appointment. And luck and location are big factors.

DS’s one big mistake was not applying for early acceptance (not early decision) to his alternative schools. EA deadlines often are in October and he missed them all and could only apply regular decision. As a result, he had an NROTC scholarship in hand in early November but no sure place to use it. Many top schools focus on the ED and EA applications. He was rejected from Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Michigan. Had he applied EA, I’m pretty sure he would have been accepted at Michigan and Northwestern. As it turned out, none of that matters now.
 

USMAROTCFamily

5-Year Member
I echo the sentiment of getting applications in early, if you have done all that you are going to do from the strength of the application, for the sake of getting DoDMERB started if you have any medical issues that can throw you a curveball. The remedial/waiver process can take a very long time when there are issues and the quicker you can get these resolved the better.
 

Flea

Member
IMO, it’s a great strategy to get the DODMERB triggered and BGO interview completed early. As in July/August. And honestly that’s pretty easy to do. Have your transcripts sent. Also ACT/SAT’s. Dump in your school counselor/math/english evaluator emails (hopefully you have talked with them about doing this over the summer...) and follow up to get those done by them. Your candidate activities record is also pretty easy to fill out.

Completing all that pretty ‘easy’ to do stuff will trigger DODMERB and BGO interview!

That’s where DS sits. Working on his personal statement. Did his medical’s last week and has his BGO tonight. Essay is in its final edit stages (this is the biggie that I think is important to not rush. Sleep on it for a while. New things will come to mind. Have an English teacher edit it. Don’t rush).

Then on to MOC’s next, after final ACT this weekend. The summer of a SA applicant is not really a “summer break”!
Does the candidate activities record need to be verified by the counselor before it triggers Dodmerb? My DD has completed everything but the essay and will meet with her BGO next week, still waiting on counselor to verify her record and Eng teacher eval.
 

Flea

Member
Getting through DODMERB early is a big advantage. Last year DS powered through his application and had everything in but his BGO interview by the first of August. This really helped in getting his NROTC application in for the first Boards in late-September/ early October. Also helped in preparing his MOC applications. But there were a couple of additional and significant leadership milestones that came to fruition after his application was completed and he had to get his guidance counselor to submit those around the New Year. But on the whole, getting the application completed early is a big plus, provided it is solid and well-executed. DS would have written his statement differently if he had done it in October, mainly because he had more experience writing them for MOCs etc.

Don’t do this because you think it will get an LOA. You really must pay heed to the vastly more experienced voices here who counsel against focusing on LOAs. My DS had what I considered to be a home-run application- letters in two varsity sports, Eagle Scout, 36M 35E ACT, the most senior youth leadership trainer for Scouts in the two-State Council, IB Diploma candidate, top 5% of his class, yada, yada, yada. We thought, “Well, my son is different-they’ll notice him.” Well they did, but not until the last day of February. Just know that when you get the application in during August, you’ve got what seems a lifetime of waiting ahead. There are some absolutely stellar kids of parents on this forum who didn’t get the call this past year and it is humbling to realize my son was lucky enough to get an appointment. And luck and location are big factors.

DS’s one big mistake was not applying for early acceptance (not early decision) to his alternative schools. EA deadlines often are in October and he missed them all and could only apply regular decision. As a result, he had an NROTC scholarship in hand in early November but no sure place to use it. Many top schools focus on the ED and EA applications. He was rejected from Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Michigan. Had he applied EA, I’m pretty sure he would have been accepted at Michigan and Northwestern. As it turned out, none of that matters now.
Good point! We are from Tx and toured A&M this week and they stressed to apply NOW especially for engineering majors because it fills up quickly. UT has an early deadline too if you want a chance at their engineering program.
 

ders_dad

Member
Does the candidate activities record need to be verified by the counselor before it triggers Dodmerb? My DD has completed everything but the essay and will meet with her BGO next week, still waiting on counselor to verify her record and Eng teacher eval.
No. Last summer, almost to the day, DS was notified to start the DoDMERB process. His counselor had not yet verified his activities record. I don't know if any one thing triggers DoDMERB but I've seen it written that the DoDMERB process generally starts when "half of the application" is completed.
 

Flea

Member
Does the candidate activities record need to be verified by the counselor before it triggers Dodmerb? My DD has completed everything but the essay and will meet with her BGO next week, still waiting on counselor to verify her record and Eng teacher eval.
No. Last summer, almost to the day, DS was notified to start the DoDMERB process. His counselor had not yet verified his activities record. I don't know if any one thing triggers DoDMERB but I've seen it written that the DoDMERB process generally starts when "half of the application" is completed.
That's what I thought but she has had more than half completed for several weeks now. We know Dodmerb is going to be an issue and that is the reason she started early. Will the admissions counselor be able to advise us on the Dodmerb process? Her regional counselor is meeting with her today to answer any questions.
 

justdoit19

Member
Does the candidate activities record need to be verified by the counselor before it triggers Dodmerb? My DD has completed everything but the essay and will meet with her BGO next week, still waiting on counselor to verify her record and Eng teacher eval.
No. Last summer, almost to the day, DS was notified to start the DoDMERB process. His counselor had not yet verified his activities record. I don't know if any one thing triggers DoDMERB but I've seen it written that the DoDMERB process generally starts when "half of the application" is completed.
That's what I thought but she has had more than half completed for several weeks now. We know Dodmerb is going to be an issue and that is the reason she started early. Will the admissions counselor be able to advise us on the Dodmerb process? Her regional counselor is meeting with her today to answer any questions.
I *think* that their admissions counselor is 'in charge' of it all. I say this, BC DS had his transcripts sent a LONG time ago, and they weren't showing up in his portal, so he had emailed his admissions counselor. He received an auto response 'out of the office until XXX'. The very next day of the return date, a couple of things were recorded in his portal (including transcripts, which were probably sitting in a mail pile on their desk). Also, the DODMERB letter was emailed to him. My guess is that his admissions counselor was gone, then they got to work upon their return.

I don't think any specific thing has to be completed, rather a 'substantial' amount completed. I have also read 50 pct.

I bet your DODMERB will rigger soon! Check email, as it was a separate email.
 

ders_dad

Member
My understanding is that the DoDMERB process is completely separate from the rest of the application process and serves all of the SAs and ROTC scholarships. Last summer, they were down in late June/early July for system maintenance. I think this time of year is their "down time" as they transition from one year of application processing to the next. I would be patient.
 
Does the candidate activities record need to be verified by the counselor before it triggers Dodmerb? My DD has completed everything but the essay and will meet with her BGO next week, still waiting on counselor to verify her record and Eng teacher eval.
No. Last summer, almost to the day, DS was notified to start the DoDMERB process. His counselor had not yet verified his activities record. I don't know if any one thing triggers DoDMERB but I've seen it written that the DoDMERB process generally starts when "half of the application" is completed.
That's what I thought but she has had more than half completed for several weeks now. We know Dodmerb is going to be an issue and that is the reason she started early. Will the admissions counselor be able to advise us on the Dodmerb process? Her regional counselor is meeting with her today to answer any questions.
I *think* that their admissions counselor is 'in charge' of it all. I say this, BC DS had his transcripts sent a LONG time ago, and they weren't showing up in his portal, so he had emailed his admissions counselor. He received an auto response 'out of the office until XXX'. The very next day of the return date, a couple of things were recorded in his portal (including transcripts, which were probably sitting in a mail pile on their desk). Also, the DODMERB letter was emailed to him. My guess is that his admissions counselor was gone, then they got to work upon their return.

I don't think any specific thing has to be completed, rather a 'substantial' amount completed. I have also read 50 pct.

I bet your DODMERB will rigger soon! Check email, as it was a separate email.
DODMERB is usually at 50% completion. Also there are new admissions counselors who have been on the job a whopping 1 week! Folks don't rush. Put together the best package you can in the time frame that fits you. I am always amazed that the folks with the least amount of experience are giving the most responses.
 

Stork103

Member
Getting through DODMERB early is a big advantage. Last year DS powered through his application and had everything in but his BGO interview by the first of August. This really helped in getting his NROTC application in for the first Boards in late-September/ early October. Also helped in preparing his MOC applications. But there were a couple of additional and significant leadership milestones that came to fruition after his application was completed and he had to get his guidance counselor to submit those around the New Year. But on the whole, getting the application completed early is a big plus, provided it is solid and well-executed. DS would have written his statement differently if he had done it in October, mainly because he had more experience writing them for MOCs etc.

Don’t do this because you think it will get an LOA. You really must pay heed to the vastly more experienced voices here who counsel against focusing on LOAs. My DS had what I considered to be a home-run application- letters in two varsity sports, Eagle Scout, 36M 35E ACT, the most senior youth leadership trainer for Scouts in the two-State Council, IB Diploma candidate, top 5% of his class, yada, yada, yada. We thought, “Well, my son is different-they’ll notice him.” Well they did, but not until the last day of February. Just know that when you get the application in during August, you’ve got what seems a lifetime of waiting ahead. There are some absolutely stellar kids of parents on this forum who didn’t get the call this past year and it is humbling to realize my son was lucky enough to get an appointment. And luck and location are big factors.

DS’s one big mistake was not applying for early acceptance (not early decision) to his alternative schools. EA deadlines often are in October and he missed them all and could only apply regular decision. As a result, he had an NROTC scholarship in hand in early November but no sure place to use it. Many top schools focus on the ED and EA applications. He was rejected from Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Michigan. Had he applied EA, I’m pretty sure he would have been accepted at Michigan and Northwestern. As it turned out, none of that matters now.
Wow Ders, can’t believe those schools rejected your DS, he sounds pretty awesome. Great advice, ED/EA does seem to significantly increase your chances of getting in - at least that was the case with my DS and all his buds.
 

justdoit19

Member
Does the candidate activities record need to be verified by the counselor before it triggers Dodmerb? My DD has completed everything but the essay and will meet with her BGO next week, still waiting on counselor to verify her record and Eng teacher eval.
No. Last summer, almost to the day, DS was notified to start the DoDMERB process. His counselor had not yet verified his activities record. I don't know if any one thing triggers DoDMERB but I've seen it written that the DoDMERB process generally starts when "half of the application" is completed.
That's what I thought but she has had more than half completed for several weeks now. We know Dodmerb is going to be an issue and that is the reason she started early. Will the admissions counselor be able to advise us on the Dodmerb process? Her regional counselor is meeting with her today to answer any questions.
I *think* that their admissions counselor is 'in charge' of it all. I say this, BC DS had his transcripts sent a LONG time ago, and they weren't showing up in his portal, so he had emailed his admissions counselor. He received an auto response 'out of the office until XXX'. The very next day of the return date, a couple of things were recorded in his portal (including transcripts, which were probably sitting in a mail pile on their desk). Also, the DODMERB letter was emailed to him. My guess is that his admissions counselor was gone, then they got to work upon their return.

I don't think any specific thing has to be completed, rather a 'substantial' amount completed. I have also read 50 pct.

I bet your DODMERB will rigger soon! Check email, as it was a separate email.
DODMERB is usually at 50% completion. Also there are new admissions counselors who have been on the job a whopping 1 week! Folks don't rush. Put together the best package you can in the time frame that fits you. I am always amazed that the folks with the least amount of experience are giving the most responses.
My responses are through going through the process with 3 DS's. Relatively recently. And are a sharing of their experiences and outcomes in order to help readers. I think that is the purpose of the forums. I have appreciated the information shared over the years, by more senior members as well as people who have a current and fresh perspective. We all add to the pot.
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
5-Year Member
Does the candidate activities record need to be verified by the counselor before it triggers Dodmerb? My DD has completed everything but the essay and will meet with her BGO next week, still waiting on counselor to verify her record and Eng teacher eval.
No. Last summer, almost to the day, DS was notified to start the DoDMERB process. His counselor had not yet verified his activities record. I don't know if any one thing triggers DoDMERB but I've seen it written that the DoDMERB process generally starts when "half of the application" is completed.
That's what I thought but she has had more than half completed for several weeks now. We know Dodmerb is going to be an issue and that is the reason she started early. Will the admissions counselor be able to advise us on the Dodmerb process? Her regional counselor is meeting with her today to answer any questions.
I *think* that their admissions counselor is 'in charge' of it all. I say this, BC DS had his transcripts sent a LONG time ago, and they weren't showing up in his portal, so he had emailed his admissions counselor. He received an auto response 'out of the office until XXX'. The very next day of the return date, a couple of things were recorded in his portal (including transcripts, which were probably sitting in a mail pile on their desk). Also, the DODMERB letter was emailed to him. My guess is that his admissions counselor was gone, then they got to work upon their return.

I don't think any specific thing has to be completed, rather a 'substantial' amount completed. I have also read 50 pct.

I bet your DODMERB will rigger soon! Check email, as it was a separate email.
DODMERB is usually at 50% completion. Also there are new admissions counselors who have been on the job a whopping 1 week! Folks don't rush. Put together the best package you can in the time frame that fits you. I am always amazed that the folks with the least amount of experience are giving the most responses.
Yeah, I've got almost thirty admissions cycles as a BGO under my belt now along with double digit years as a MOC interviewer so I probably should not try to give an opinion on what I've seen work across thousands of applicants.

Got it.
 

Flea

Member
Does the candidate activities record need to be verified by the counselor before it triggers Dodmerb? My DD has completed everything but the essay and will meet with her BGO next week, still waiting on counselor to verify her record and Eng teacher eval.
No. Last summer, almost to the day, DS was notified to start the DoDMERB process. His counselor had not yet verified his activities record. I don't know if any one thing triggers DoDMERB but I've seen it written that the DoDMERB process generally starts when "half of the application" is completed.
That's what I thought but she has had more than half completed for several weeks now. We know Dodmerb is going to be an issue and that is the reason she started early. Will the admissions counselor be able to advise us on the Dodmerb process? Her regional counselor is meeting with her today to answer any questions.
I *think* that their admissions counselor is 'in charge' of it all. I say this, BC DS had his transcripts sent a LONG time ago, and they weren't showing up in his portal, so he had emailed his admissions counselor. He received an auto response 'out of the office until XXX'. The very next day of the return date, a couple of things were recorded in his portal (including transcripts, which were probably sitting in a mail pile on their desk). Also, the DODMERB letter was emailed to him. My guess is that his admissions counselor was gone, then they got to work upon their return.

I don't think any specific thing has to be completed, rather a 'substantial' amount completed. I have also read 50 pct.

I bet your DODMERB will rigger soon! Check email, as it was a separate email.
DODMERB is usually at 50% completion. Also there are new admissions counselors who have been on the job a whopping 1 week! Folks don't rush. Put together the best package you can in the time frame that fits you. I am always amazed that the folks with the least amount of experience are giving the most responses.
My responses are through going through the process with 3 DS's. Relatively recently. And are a sharing of their experiences and outcomes in order to help readers. I think that is the purpose of the forums. I have appreciated the information shared over the years, by more senior members as well as people who have a current and fresh perspective. We all add to the pot.
I appreciate your advice!!!
 
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