Jun 19, 2020
My DS was just accepted into NASS and plans to attend Session 1. He was also signed up for CVW and has some significant conflicts in his schedule that may not allow him to attend CVW. Have folks attended both and is there an overlap of info etc that would make not attending CVW less impactful. He is trying to get to both but just wondering how they differ.
Neither is required, either is sufficient, both is unnecessary.

Many midshipmen do neither. Some do one or the other. Smaller amount do both.

Summer seminar is like USNA marketing.

My son accepted CVW invitation but didn’t apply to nass because of sports conflict. It gave him confidence that he could handle it - and was like a little vacation.

Neither will change acceptance/rejection.
I was lucky enough to attend both, and my advice is that if it is at all possible, do both.

NASS is much more 'recruitment' focused. You get a chance to talk to your region's admissions team, you get a chance to meet sport coaches, you get many, many chances to have any and all admissions questions answered. At NASS, there is a big focus on doing things that are meant to get you excited to complete your application. In addition, there are many guest presentations from speakers that give a lot of information about the Navy. I heard from active duty officers from every warfare community, and I learned more about what there is after the Naval Academy. It is a lot of fun and I had an amazing time.

At CVW it is a much more real representation of life at USNA. You are paired with one midshipmen and you get to meet their friends, company, and professors. There was a brief presentation at the beginning which is the same as the one you would get if you went for a standard admissions tour and a quick speech from the Superintendent. The majority of your time at CVW is unscripted as you are meant to mostly just follow your plebe around to see what their life looks like. I got to meet a lot of other midshipmen who showed me the wide array of people who are at USNA, and all of them were more than happy to talk to me about their experiences.

In summary, I would recommend doing NASS simply because it is an irreplaceable experience. You get to spend a week at the Naval Academy doing fun things and meeting great people. CVW is great, but if your son ends up at the Naval Academy, he will have a chance to experience everything you will see at CVW. However, if he is not sure if the 'academy lifestyle' is for him, it is a good look into what plebe lives are like.
One additional note, if DS goes to NASS and sees USNA as a viable option and continues the application process through the fall, he can request a CVW then to get a different view of midshipmen life instead of trying to jam it in this spring if it doesn't really work.
ADDING: honestly it depends on your sons needs. Has he visited usna before? Is he wondering about attending usna vs another SA? Is he undecided about what he wants to do? Has he already been exposed to usna/midshipmen?

If he doesn’t need exposure to make his decision, he doesn’t need to attend either. Alternately, he may feel he needs both, to help him decide.

My oldest knew after his NASS experience. And didn’t need a CVW to help him decide. My youngest had a lot of exposure from his older brother and honestly didn’t need either, but attended NASS.

As already mentioned, NASS is a marketing/exposure tool for usna. A CVW will give a person a look at the academic year life as a Midshipman. Both are different. Both are useful. Both are unnecessary.
Great information provided above. A number of my students have attended both and benefitted from each experience as explained accurately from the others in this thread. With an appointment, your son will also have another chance to visit, too. One recommendation is that he also 'dig' into the career(s) that interest him in the Navy (or Marines). His research will inform his visits and also allow him to evaluate the entire journey that will start with becoming a midshipman. As a Plan B, he should also apply to a Navy ROTC scholarship, which provides some great opportunities too. I hope your son all the best with his applications!
Some people may not be able to afford to attend both. In my view, if you have little to no idea what USNA is about and / or if you're unsure whether to apply, I would choose NASS. If you already have a pretty good idea (e.g., have visited USNA, your parent(s) is/are grads, you've attended a sports camp there), and know you're going to apply, I'd choose CVW.