NASS vs. Boys' State


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jan 2, 2009
I'm a junior and have already been accepted to West Point's SLS during the second week. Just yesterday I submitted my application to NASS for the third session. After applying I went to the Keystone Boys' State website and saw that it coincides with the third session of NASS. If I were to be accepted into both programs, which would be more beneficial to attend?
I think I would do Boys' State versus two summer seminars unless you are strongly torn between the two academies and really need the info to help you decide. However, given the choice and my son's experiences, he thought that NASS was WAY better than SLS just as an overall program. However, I would probably choose to attend the summer seminar of your first choice school to give you an inside look at it. Boys' State will look good on your application to the academies (I would think it would make more of a difference than an extra SS - at least from another academy), plus give you an entirely different experience.
I agree with Marciemi. When my cadet was applying, we were told that Boys State carries more weight on your application than the summer seminars. You will also notice that on the class profile for each year, the number of Boys/Girls State attendees is noted so that indicates that Admissions thinks a lot of it.
I have heard so many different things regarding this subject. As far as which is more "beneficial" to attend depends on you as a candidate. Weigh the pro's and con's... Do you have a first choice? If it is USMA, then great, go to SLS and Boys State.

The reason I'm saying this is because there are other ways to visit Annapolis first hand that are, in my opinion, a much much better way to see the the Academy. I believe West Point only offeres visit weekends to candidates with appointments; However, I went to a USNA Candidate Visit Weekend which meant I got to live in Bancroft hall with a plebe (w/2 roommates) for 3 days. (go to all of their classes, get amazing behind the scenes tours, eat with them, get "chewed out" with them, I even got to drive a Yard Patrol boat.. It was incredible, and more beneficial to me than the NASS was) I was a Junior and I hadn't even fully completed my application. If I were you I would contact my regional director to see if I qualified to go to one of these, that way you can go to boys state instead of NASS.

When I was a Junior, I e-mailed my regional director for USMA to kinda "get on his radar" and ask him how I could improve. His only reply was to enhance my application by going to Girls State. I was thinking "what!? that's it!?" but sterlingmom is right- they actually do regard it as a very impressive aspect of a candidates application.

Best of luck! I hope this helps!
Yeah, that advice lines up with what I've heard from others. Seeing as I would much rather go to West Point, I'm leaning towards Boys' State, especially because there seems to be other ways to visit the Naval Academy. Thank you all for your help!
Marciemi's advice is right on the money. Additionally, you could also attend a CVW at USNA to get a good persepective of what it's like. Best of luck!