NASS or Boys State


New Member
Dec 29, 2016
Thanks to everyone for the very informative posts. A great site. Two of the three weeks for NASS conflict with our week for Boys State. If I'm lucky enough to get into NASS and don't get the third week at NASS and have to choose, will the Boys State participation have a bigger influence on the Whole Candidate Score than attending NASS? Both are such amazing opportunities and I hope I can do both. If I'm lucky enough to get into both, the only way to choose one over the other is pretty much which one will have the bigger impact on the WCS. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks again for all the information on this forum. It is so helpful.
From what my son was told the last two years, attending any of the SA's summer seminars really has no impact on your WCS, while attending Boys State does get you points on your WCS.
Boys State looks better on paper and I'm sure it helps with nominations.
Do everything to go to both, but if you can only chose one, go to Boys State.

One big plus in going to NASS is knocking out your CFA so you don't have to do it later.

However, in terms of enhancing your candidacy, Boys State in the end is better.
+1 for Boys State. The only exception would be if the candidate needs more information about the SA to determine if it is right fit for them.
Getting selected to Boys State adds points to your WCS, NASS selection (or attending CVW) does not. NASS is partly a recruiting effort to encourage individuals who might not have otherwise considered an SA to generate interest. In some states, there is no longer a selection criteria used to determine Boys State attendance and anyone paying the fee can attend. I would be prepared to explain how you were selected (if your state has a selection criteria), which means more then simply attending a 'pay to play' type of event. Several older threads on that topic last year.

As mentioned above, I would try to arrange your schedule such that you can attend both Boys State & NASS. Getting a better inside look at USNA from NASS (or even a CVW) can help to provide you more background to help solidify your decision.
I had a similar predicament with West Point's SLE and my Boys State, but managed to attend both without conflict, so here is my perspective as a current candidate. As others have mentioned, Boys State is highly beneficial to your Leadership sections of the Whole Candidate Score. I've heard some say it's equivalent to becoming an Eagle Scout. So obviously it's an amazing opportunity and can help greatly from the academy's point of view. However, attending SLE helped TREMENDOUSLY with obtaining my nomination. This year I had 3 interviews and 1 mock interview for a nomination. In every single one, SLE and my experiences was a key focus of the discussion. In both senatorial interviews, they specially asked what I learned about West Point and even asked about the Honor Code etc. From their perspective, going to NASS or SLE proves that 1. You're a competitive and 2. You know what you're getting into AND want to go back.

So in summary, yes pick Boys State if you have to. However, realize that NASS will help greatly in pursuing your nomination if you feel aren't well exposed to the Academjes.
A few things should the OPs scenario play out:
1. See if you can do both. If there is a conflict, contact Admissions to see if they can move you to the session that works.
2. If USNA is unable to move you to a NASS session that allows you to do both, I would explain the situation to your BGO (or Admissions) and ask to attend a CVW.

NASS and CVW are suppose to help you understand what you might be getting yourself into....both have pros/cons....but going to either will certainly be helpful. You could even mention your CVW (either what you experienced or that you will be going to one), should it come up in a MOC nomination interview similar to rwjohnson416's.
Very interesting discussion. My son had an opportunity for Boys State last summer but his time to attend the Naval Academy summer seminar conflicted. We opted for the summer seminar because if he wouldn't like the military style atmosphere then there would be no point in going to Boys State.
See if you can do both. If there is a conflict, contact Admissions to see if they can move you to the session that works.
My DS did exactly this and was able to attend both NASS and Tx Boys State.
My opinion is that you should attend Boys State over NASS if you can attend only one. My DD chose Girls State and she believes that it contributed to her appointment.....However circumstances differ and it depends on whether you are sure of military life or not. If not NASS might be more important for you.
I would choose boys state if you can only choose one, but the naval academy is pretty flexible with NASS and I was able to change my week to the first week so that way I could also attend girls state and the air force academy summer seminar... usna accepts the most people to their summer seminar out of all of the academies and it won't help you get into usna itself, but could help a lot with nomination interviews and your bgo interview.