Is there anything I can do to improve my chances or strengthen my application?


New Member
May 4, 2022
Here are my current stats:

Not taken SAT yet – taking it on the 7th of May tho
PSAT: 1370; perfect English score
GPA: unknown yet (my school updates it in June); estimated to be around 3.9 unweighted
Class rank: unknown yet for junior year, but as an underclassman, I was 19th/200. Since I've taken more APs than most students, I expect my rank to improve quite a bit.
CFA: not attempted, but I have been training

Caucasian female with Slavic immigrant parents + fluent in a Slavic language (being purposely vague here)

No one else is applying for USAFA at my school, but I know that at least 4 are applying to USNA (only one other person is as competitive as me, except with lower grades and sports; however, he has great extracurriculars)

Freshman year: All honors/all A's (1 B in history)

Sophomore year: All honors + AP Chem/all A's (1 B in history)

Junior year: AP Physics 1 (A), AP Lang (A), AP Computer Science Principles (A), AP US History (A), AP Chinese Language and Culture (A), Honors Precalculus (A)

Senior year (expected classes): AP Computer Science A, AP Calculus BC, AP Lit, AP Bio, AP Psych, AP Art or AP Envi Sci (not sure yet)

Martial Arts – not offered by school (11 years)
Boxing – not offered by school (3 years; hoping to box at USAFA)
Varsity Wrestling (1 year; sophomore year only)
Varsity Track (1 year; junior year only but planning to continue senior year)

Non-athletic Extracurriculars:
Cashier/Customer Service; 10-15 hrs a week during the school year–at least 20 a week during the summer – sophomore-junior year
NHS – junior year (will run for an officer position in June)
Community Service Club – junior year
Environmental Club – junior year
Civil Air Patrol – sophomore-junior year
USNA Summer Seminar – attending in June
Mandarin tutor – junior year
Published author in school paper – junior year
History Bowl Team – made it to nationals – junior year
Northeastern University Engineering Design and Innovation Course – sophomore year
Foreign Study/Studying Slavic Language Abroad – 8th grade to junior year
Jazz Band (electric guitar) – junior year
Community Service/Volunteering – no clue how many hours; food pantries/banks + Habitat For Humanity + environment-related events
General electric, acoustic, and bass guitar practice – 8th grade to junior year
Chinese National Honors Society — junior year

Leadership Positions:
Community Service Club President (I basically re-founded/revitalized the club due to it being abandoned during the pandemic)
- Led many drives, organized community service sessions, initiated increased participation
Environmental Club Vice President
- elected to be president senior year
History Bowl Team
- chosen to be varsity team captain senior year
Freshman orientation leader (Junior year and hopefully senior year as well)
- Basically, we just help freshmen transition into high school life and give tours around the school, speeches, Q&A sessions, etc
Civil Air Patrol – hopefully at least Cadet Staff Sergeant by June/July-ish

Just one – a school award that relates to one of our core values. My award was specifically for service.

Why I don't have many extracurriculars freshman/sophomore year:
- Had to take care of my much younger brother
- Didn't have a driver's license, and my parents worked long hours over an hour away from home so they couldn't drive me to anything

Please let me know how I could improve!
Your grades and test scores are in line. Science and math, science and math! The area that stands out is leadership. I suggest applying for Girls State, push to be a captain of sport, (cross country??), and keep at it with the other items like CAP, and History Bowl (captain again?). You're resume looks great! and you have a humanizing story with regard to caring for your sibling. Have you reached out to your Liaison Officer? Have you clearly stated to your counselor that you want to attend a service academy? Have you thought about who will write your letters of recommendation? Those are all big stumbling blocks. Have you applied to their Summer programs? other than that, I think your resume is great, just keep grinding away. You certainly have not given them a reason to over look you. Good Luck!
I realize this is old, but have you taken the SAT yet? USAFA may not require it until November but nominations may want it earlier, my nomination applications were due October 1st!! You certainly want to leave time to retake it as well just in case. I cut it too close and gave myself no chance of retaking it (luckily I didn’t need to though). Note that there is usually only 1 test per month or so
If you were my child I’d not suggest adding a thing. Certainly not anything that is going to take time and effort.

I’d suggest doubling down and stressing the martial arts (belts and competitions) as well as the boxing (training and competition) And I would be in touch with the boxing team coach at the SA assuming there is one.

IMO find the competitions in your area or travel to those competitions outside and build a competition resume.

Have that inner warrior jump off the essay or interview.

This is the sort of thing that sets you apart from all the others that have a similar outstanding HS resume.
I agree with the above. Your resume is really diverse which is great, but instead of adding things, I'd go for awards and leadership positions in what you already do. Just be prepared to explain the difference you made in the interviews. My priority #1 for this would be a team captain position in Track and Field, USAFA loves leadership and sports so I think this would be the most beneficial. Also, know that a math score on the SAT is vital.
Why improve and stress the sports? Besides it making you stand out from the pack.

If you fall short of a direct admit, even with your outstanding resume, an offer for prep school could be a possibility.

You won’t necessarily get a prep school offer because you have the grades and strong test scores and all the rest but you might get one because of the MAs or boxing.
Biggest thing I see is a potentially low math SAT. Assuming I can do basic math (a poor assumption, since it seems the more math you take the worse you get at it), if you got a perfect English PSAT score, that means you got a 570 math? The total looks good but USAFA really cares about math and that PSAT score indicates a likely low SAT math score. Since USAFA super scores, take it ASAP and then keep studying and take it again.

I also echo others- work toward meaningful leadership roles in your current activities and plan to explain the value added in interviews/essays
Hi! Your current stuff looks really, really solid. Sounds like you might like reading if you got a perfect EBRW score on the PSAT? If so, maybe check out: Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot by VADM. James Stockdale. It is essentially a collection of his writings and contains some very sound advice on why to subject yourself to "trials by fire." I think that being real with yourself about why you may want to go this road is critical... one which many applicants ignore.

CAP: Have you gone to an encampment? What about NCSA's? The experiences (and lessons learned) from these opportunities left a really good impact on me! Volunteer for everything! Maybe ask your superiors or advice on the application/leadership, they will know more about how to help you than anyone on here. Most importantly: don't be like me. When I got my Wright Bro's I thought I knew everything. I did NOT. Don't be "that cadet." Instead, focus on helping people if you can (like you already are ;)! ** Some CAP squadrons make it their mission in life to send cadets to service academies. They will bend over backwards to help you... usually. Good luck!

Also, get a estimated count of how many service hours you have, and get people who can verify them to sign them, at least starting now. (I used excel.) You will definitely need to give them at least an estimated count.

Maybe give yourself grace and focus on enjoying being who you are? Maybe ask your competitors at your school what you think you can improve on (obviously not if they're just going to try and outdo you in those areas)?

Enjoy the journey, help others, and I'm looking forward to serving with you!
You are not only competing with people from your high school, but in your confessional district and state (for senatorial nomination). More importantly though, don’t worry about how you compare to others, just focus on yourself.