LOE

Znichols10

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Jun 14, 2019
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Hi, I am going into my sophomore year of high school, and my friend who is going into junior of high school just got an LOE from USMA. I was wondering what are the factors that play into whether someone gets one. Must I express interest? What kind of grades do I need? Any athletic factors at this point? Thanks.
 

MidCakePa

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Please don’t read too much into an LOE. It’s a Letter of Encouragement, simply encouraging you to continue with the process. It has zero bearing on your chances of appointment. Admissions is telling you they’ve seen enough to know you might be a decent candidate. That could be any number of things, but most likely grades. So keep up the good work and build up your candidate package, whether or not you get an LOE.
 

user501

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Hold on, how is it possible to get an LOE as someone going into junior yr. right now? The youngest candidates only open the questionnaire at the middle of junior year at earliest. Even for those going into senior year, the main application won't open until this August. Is your friend recruited for athletics?
 

shock-n-awe

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Maybe it’s a Letter Of Enlightenment sent along with a brochure request submitted online.
Or as mentioned a desired athlete?
 

jl123

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An LOE is very different from an LOA. LOA = appointment if 3Q + NOM.

An LOE is simply a letter from the Regional Commander telling you that your file appears to be competitive based on currently available information. It is usually used to get people to complete an application that is unfinished, but can also be used to get someone to start an application.
 

boxmm24

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An LOE is very different from an LOA. LOA = appointment if 3Q + NOM.

An LOE is simply a letter from the Regional Commander telling you that your file appears to be competitive based on currently available information. It is usually used to get people to complete an application that is unfinished, but can also be used to get someone to start an application.
I think @user501 's point is that someone entering their junior yr could not even have a file open until January. Something doesn't sound right.
 

jebdad

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I have never heard of a rising Jr receiving an LOE. Seems odd, but maybe something new.

I would not dismiss the LOE as "zero bearing on your appointment." When a person is given an LOE, the MOCs are copied on that. It means something to the MOCs as they like to nominate people who are going to get in. If you are the only person in your nomination pool with an LOE, that can help you.

It's not given out to many and if you receive one, it means they see something strong about you and want to see you complete your file.
 

Znichols10

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Hold on, how is it possible to get an LOE as someone going into junior yr. right now? The youngest candidates only open the questionnaire at the middle of junior year at earliest. Even for those going into senior year, the main application won't open until this August. Is your friend recruited for athletics?
No, thats what confused me
 

Znichols10

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An LOE is very different from an LOA. LOA = appointment if 3Q + NOM.

An LOE is simply a letter from the Regional Commander telling you that your file appears to be competitive based on currently available information. It is usually used to get people to complete an application that is unfinished, but can also be used to get someone to start an application.
I think @user501 's point is that someone entering their junior yr could not even have a file open until January. Something doesn't sound right.
Could it be an LOA? She has like a 32 on the ACT, which really isn't that remarkable. She gets B's
 

Korab

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An LOE is very different from an LOA. LOA = appointment if 3Q + NOM.

An LOE is simply a letter from the Regional Commander telling you that your file appears to be competitive based on currently available information. It is usually used to get people to complete an application that is unfinished, but can also be used to get someone to start an application.
I think @user501 's point is that someone entering their junior yr could not even have a file open until January. Something doesn't sound right.
Could it be an LOA? She has like a 32 on the ACT, which really isn't that remarkable. She gets B's
No way - not for a rising junior.
 

jl123

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To clear up some points:
  • LOA's are few. LOE's are many.
  • Diligent candidates that complete the application early may not get an LOE simply because the purpose of the LOE has already been met - the application was completed.
  • I have not heard of MOC's being copied on LOE's as policy, but I could be wrong. Certainly an individual RC could decide to do so or a candidate can submit a copy with their application.
  • Anyone could receive an LOE, even a rising junior (although less likely) - it is just a letter encouraging someone to apply or finish the application. Nothing more.
  • As long as USMA is aware of a potential candidate's existence it is possible. There are numerous camps, outreach activities, etc.
  • A rising junior submitting a 32 ACT score could very well attract attention - a 32 for a rising junior is remarkable. The 75th percentile is 33 - that means this student is already almost in the top 25% of cadets that accepted appointments.
 

Love4monsters

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I remember my son getting mail before his junior year about USMA after a big ACT score. He didn't release them to anyone so we've always wondered how access is given as lots of college mail started then.
 

Korab

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I remember my son getting mail before his junior year about USMA after a big ACT score. He didn't release them to anyone so we've always wondered how access is given as lots of college mail started then.
This is what I am referring to - lots of letter and emails come from even high PSAT scores, including from USMA.
 

MidCakePa

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It means something to the MOCs as they like to nominate people who are going to get in.
Sorry, but your statement is confused. An LOE has virtually zero — zero! — bearing on one’s chances of receiving offer of appointment. Having one gives a candidate a bit more likelihood of getting in as a candidate holding a piece of dry toast. You are confusing an LOE with an LOA.
 

USMA 1994

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There seems to be a lot of opinions here and some are close and others are way off.

1. An individual cannot receive an LOA or LOE if they are not an official candidate. That individual cannot start the application process until the second semester of their Junior Year
2. LOAs and LOEs are significantly different and are used for different purposes but neither are issued in large quantities.
3. LOEs are an ENCOURAGEMENT to complete you application as you are a competitive candidate that will compete well against other applicants. It also authorizes an overnight visit.
4. LOAs are an ASSURANCE of an offer of appointment if you meet certain requirements, typically completing the application, passing the CFA, Obtaining a nomination, becoming medically qualified

I would not say that getting an LOE has zero bearing on your chances of an appointment. If you are one of the few to receive one, you are toward the top of your potential nomination slates, BUT these are typically done in September not in February when the slates are resolved. Just because you are on top of the slate in September, there is no guarantee you will still be there when the slate closes.

The advice for these individuals is also separate:

1. LOA holders: You have a guaranteed opening, do not slack off and make sure you complete all the steps as soon as possible.
2. LOE holders: You are definitely in the game but need to keep striving to make your application the best it can be. Keep practicing the CFA, take the ACT one more time, seek out more leadership roles, keep updating your application with new accomplishments.

To the rest of the candidates who may read this: Do not focus on an LOE or LOA. The end game is an appointment. Over 90% of appointed candidates have neither of these.

PS: My DD received an LOE and did not receive an offer her first year and did not receive an LOE or LOA her second year but gained an offer.
 

Objective

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To clear up some points:
  • LOA's are few. LOE's are many.
  • Diligent candidates that complete the application early may not get an LOE simply because the purpose of the LOE has already been met - the application was completed.
  • I have not heard of MOC's being copied on LOE's as policy, but I could be wrong. Certainly an individual RC could decide to do so or a candidate can submit a copy with their application.
  • Anyone could receive an LOE, even a rising junior (although less likely) - it is just a letter encouraging someone to apply or finish the application. Nothing more.
  • As long as USMA is aware of a potential candidate's existence it is possible. There are numerous camps, outreach activities, etc.
  • A rising junior submitting a 32 ACT score could very well attract attention - a 32 for a rising junior is remarkable. The 75th percentile is 33 - that means this student is already almost in the top 25% of cadets that accepted appointments.
A few things.
  • LOE's are absolutely not "many".
  • You need a started application to receive an LOE (per my son's FFR)
  • A 33 ACT composite is 98 percentile not 75th (Source: ACT.org)
 

Dogstar1226

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Apr 24, 2019
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I'm certainly a novice when it comes to SAs. I'm on this site primarily bc I have a DD that is interested in the SAs and will likely be competitive. While I truly understand that an LOA is not the end all be all, a quick count on the 2023 Appointment Thread shows that 58 of the 173 (34%) self reporting received an LOA. That, to me, isn't as extremely rare as some would believe. Additionally, I took a look the MOC applications for my area and state and both Senators and our Congressman ask if the applicant received an LOA. My advice to my child would be to go after an LOA but it certainly is not the end of the road if she doesnt get one.
 

jl123

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A few things.
  • LOE's are absolutely not "many".
  • You need a started application to receive an LOE (per my son's FFR)
  • A 33 ACT composite is 98 percentile not 75th (Source: ACT.org)
  • Many is a relative term. LOE's are issued liberally to potentially qualified candidates that have not completed the application. It is a "kick in the pants" to get the application finished. LOE's, like LOA's are up to the RC. How and when they are used differs among RC's. Some use them more than others, some sooner, some later.
  • When an LOE is issued is up to the RC. I've only heard of them issued after application, but know of no restriction on sending one before application is started if data is available on candidate. My comment was that it is not impossible in the case the OP mentioned. (I stand corrected if someone has knowledge that RC's are prohibited from doing this by admissions - FFR's are not admissions officers).
  • If you read carefully I referred to 33 as the 75th percentile of cadets that accepted appointments for USMA (depending on class year that might drop to 32). Not ACT national percentiles.
 
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