LEAD question


Dec 2, 2022
My DS is currently enlisted (AF) and is considering applying through the LEAD program with USAFA. He is about ready to submit his pre-canidate questionnaire. However, his high school GPA and ACT scores are low. He enlisted because he thought he didn't want to go to college. Things have changed in the last 2.5 years since enlisting. He is currently taking college classes and is an "A" student in all the classes he has taken so far.

He watched his little brother go through this application process over the last year and now he's ready to try for it before he is too old to do so. He meets all the basic requirements except that ACT/SAT minimum score.

My question is, should he retake the ACT/SAT before submitting his initial pre-quesionaire? Or would he be automatically make it through to part 2 of the application process?

He is fully aware that, if accepted, he would most likely have to go to the prep-school first.

Thank you for your thoughts on this.
I'm pretty sure that LEAD applicants are evaluated differently than the rest. I would suggest your DS get his EPRs together and set up a meeting with his commander to determine if an endorsement would be supported. Might as well submit the PCQ. A result usually is returned fairly quick. You never know unless you apply.
Hi! I am a LEAD appointee for the Class of 27'. Echoing what MDRDV said, It would seem to me that LEAD candidates are evaluated under a different set of standards, that seems to be more forgiving to High School deficiencies. However, he is doing good by going to school and doing well, as the standards are still high and they want to see academic progression.

As for whether or not he should take the ACT/SAT before submitting the pre-questionaire, I would say it is not required as if they say that it is not satisfactory he can simply get them to open his application back up after improving it. However, especially for a prior, he should put a lot of energy into improving his standardized test scores as it is one of the clearest ways that the SA can determine that he has the aptitude skills necessary to attend. I also reccomend he takes STEM classes like Calculus I and any lab science with a Calculus component to show academic aptitude, if he has not already. I think doing that myself was one of the main reasons I was selected for a direct entry rather than a prep school entry.

Beyond all this, he still should be focusing on the main components: Athletic, Academic, Extracurricular. He is out of high school, which can make these things hard, and I also am not sure if he is Active Duty or not, which could make things easier or harder. For Athletic he would do well to join a club sport and for extracurricular to volunteer or lead the squadron booster club or something to that effect.