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Jul 15, 2008
Anyone know anything about LOAs? What are the conditions upon which they're given out? And when?
Letters of Assurance are sent to those candidates that West Point will offer an appointment to based on the information (gpa, ec's, test scores, etc.) that has already been turned in, but the file is not yet complete. LOA's are not given out on any particular time schedule.

My daughter received her LOA in Dec. (2006) on the condition that she passed her CFA and gained a nomination, both of which she did. She received her appointment in March.
LOA's are also often given to recruited athletes while they complete the tasks necessary for an appointment. I know of people who have received LOA's as early as September of their senior year. In simple terms an LOA means that if you complete the requirements in a timely manner you will get an appointment.
LOA's are simply conditional appointments given to highly qualified candidates.

They are a way for the academy to try and sway the student their way, earlier than another college or academy.

Everyone likes to feel "wanted," and this is the way the SA's do it - by promising an appointment as long as the other condition(s) is/are met.

Most often, the Letter of Assurance is conditional on receiving a nomination, but it can be contingent on any other requirement as well - medical clearance (DODMERB), fitness test (CFA), etc.

Although the word "guarantee" doesn't appear in the USAFA LOA, it describes the appointment as "virtually assured upon the receipt of x" where "x" is the contingency.
At West Point, LOA's have been offered as early as July and August. Even before the formal candidate applications are completed.

From my fairly limited observations during the last 4 years, LOA's (for non-recruited athletes) have been offered to candidates with high SAT scores (1300+), strong GPA's, varsity team experience and demonstrated leadership activities in school/club/church.

If you have strong credentials like this, you don't need to want until the official applications are sent out. Just send the information to the Admissions office along with your high school transcript (through your junior year).

Good luck and thank you for considering a career in the service of our country.
If you have strong credentials like this, you don't need to want until the official applications are sent out. Just send the information to the Admissions office along with your high school transcript (through your junior year).

I've already had my 6th semester transcript sent to admissions. What other kind of information are you talking about exactly?
If you haven't already sent it in, I suggest you submit a summary profile that includes your academic, athletic and leadership accomplishments. It should be short, a page or two at the most.

Also, contact the admissions officer for your area and ask if your profile is likely to qualify you for an LOA and if there is any information needed for your file to be considered for an LOA.
When you say a summary of your achievements, do you just mean a resume? Thanks.:smile:
Yes, I mean a resume type document.

The goal is to get some information in front of the Admissions office prior to sending in a complete formal application.

I only recommend doing this if you feel you are an exceptionally well qualified candidate that has a chance of receiving an LOA.
My S receive a LOA last week. He didn't have to send in a seperate resume. He opened his file at West Point when he applied for SLS last December and since then updated his file by sending in his 6th semester transcript, SAT scores, and other info.
He is what one could call a "recruited scholar" - Congratulations on the early LOA! I am sure he will have other very fine offers coming his way this fall - any idea where West Point stands in the mix?

As far as sending a resume - if you have accomplishments that are not reflected in the appication or you have additional material anytime in the application process feel free to forward the information to admissions. They will update your file as the year goes on - this goes for SAT scores, academic or athletic achievements and/or awards or any leadership accomplishments (e.g. if you make Eagle scout)
Enjoylife, just to get an idea of what qualifies for an LOA, would you mind posting some of your son's creditials? much appreciated
JAM-thank you. West point is actual on the top of his list right now followed by Stanford, Duke, and some Ivies. We're vacationing/visiting other colleges including USAFA and USNA next month to finalize his choices.

etaylor2013- I'm pretty sure this is what he had on his file at WP before receiving LOA.

SAT: 2220
GPA: 4.3? (school weighing only AP and UC approved Honors-not all honors)
Class rank: Top 5% (I think his school is pretty competitive- sends a few to Harvard, Standford & other Ivies and many to UC Berkeley & UCLA each year)
Sports: Baseball (captain 1 year)
Awards: only listed city or district wide and national ones-not school awards
EC's: President or Vice President of all clubs involved including Student Council and one district President representing 12 schools.
Many volunteer hours, summer internships, and other jobs-I'm not 100% sure if he listed theses.

These are some of the things I'm pretty sure he had listed. He also attended WP SLS and passed the CFA there. His school sent in his transcript to WP as soon as it became available in July.

I hope this helps. :smile:
Congrats to your hard-working son! I hope to see him in the class of 2013!
As you can see enjoylife's son is a fine example of the type of candidate that will be offered an early LOA from West point.

West Point is looking for candidates who are scholars, leaders and athletes - knowing that few are strong in all three categories when they find one they like to make the offer early. West Point knows that a candidate like enjoylife's son is highly qualified and probably will be offered admission to some very fine schools. The early LOA is their way of "early decision", so to speak. They are letting him know that there is a place for him if he want's it and fulfills his LOA requirements.

That said - forget about getting an LOA - go for an appointment. If you do get an LOA that's great but most cadets don't get one - come R-day no one will care.

A Letter of Assurance is given by Admissions to those candidates whose early record indicates superior or very high ability to master the academic program. It is NOT a FINAL OFFER. It does mean that, all other standards being met, you will be offered an appointment to be in the next class. You still must complete the application process (including the "resume" of extra-curricular activities) and secure a nomination from at least one source (Senator, Representative, Vice President, etc.). There are a number of "hurdles" in the application that must be cleared, such as the physical aptitude test and a thorough medical exam, before an LOA becomes an actual offer.
As JustAMom pointed out, while LOA's are wonderful assurance of an appointment if all other conditions are met, do *not* be discouraged if one is not offered.

When my son was interviewing for his congressional nomination, he about freaked out when another applicant handed the receptionist a letter with USMA letterhead before he went in for his interview. Though s did not know the contents of the letter, the receptionist congratulated the recipient and asked for a copy for their records. S was just sure that meant this applicant would get the top nomination and that he personally would have no chance for a nomination from this source.

That incident really psyched him out! However, we learned soon enough that s had no reason to panic. There is room for both of them in the Class of 2012: s received the principle nomination with no LOA, but as long as the other applicant had the LOA, he could be given a slot lower on the nomination list and still be admitted. That said, I know our senators and congressmen meet together to keep from duplicating nominations as much as possible to give USMA more leeway in offering appointments (although not all states and districts do this).

S and the "LOA applicant" - a recruited athlete - are now both sweating it out together in CBT. So as s would now say, "it is all good, mom, it is all good!"

So keep the faith! If you get an LOA, congratulations! If not, it is *not* necessarily the end of the journey.

Best of Luck as you go through this application process.
Ditto to all that anonagron said. PLEASE do not get all worked up about the LOA!! Our state (GA) does exactly like she said: the MOCs work together to ensure the highest number of qualified applicants receive nominations. Georgia recently sent 41 to USMA...something is working! Trust the system! Do your best, stay in shape, and DO NOT SLACK!! Be confident; go ahead and try on your suit and make sure it still fits!