New procedure for appointments

Unitedwebe

Member
Can someone enlighten me on the new process for appointments (new to me, anyway)? My friend’s son received the congressional nomination and is waiting to see if he receives the appointment from USAFA. It used to be that if you had a Congressional nomination you were pretty much a shoo-in for an appointment. Has anything changed in this process recently?
 

Billberna

Member
Actually, if your friend's son received a Congressional nomination, it is most likely that his name is on a slate of up to ten names to fill a single vacancy at the Academy for that member of Congress. He still needs to compete among that list of ten candidates to be awarded the slot. If your friend's son happened to secure a "principal" nomination from that MOC, and he is otherwise fully qualified, then yes, he is pretty much a shoo-in. But most nominations are not principal nominations. They can be ranked (1-10) by the member of Congress, or unranked, leaving Academy admissions the decision of who to appoint from that list. A candidate who is appointed from that list - thus, winning the slate- is charged to the member of Congress. Remember that members of Congress are only allowed 5 cadets at the Academy at the same time. This means that in most years, there is only one vacancy to be filled for that MOC. If a candidate does not win his/her slate in this way, then that candidate will go into the national pool of qualified candidates with nominations. From that pool, any remaining appointments are given in various ways - i.e. by order of merit (to the next 150 in the pool which is roughly the top remaining 10%), and then as needed to fill the class as determined by Academy admissions.
 
Congressional nominations work like this, and anyone can correct me if I am wrong, as I don't claim to be an expert, but this is the way I understand the process. Each senator and congressional representative can have up to 5 constituents attending each of the service academies at any given time. When they have a slot that is not filled at a particular academy, they can select up to 10 applicants for nominations for that one open slot. So only one of the 10 who received a nomination will receive an appointment to fill that open slot. That is the basic process. There are several variations on how the congressmen can present those candidates to the academy, like ranking them in their preference order or assigning one as the primary nomination but that is basically how the process works.
 

Helic

USAFA c/o 2022
Is there any way to know the number of vacancies there are for that specific MOC currently? Is it possible to not have any?
 

Billberna

Member
Is there any way to know the number of vacancies there are for that specific MOC currently? Is it possible to not have any?
Although it is theoretically possible for an MOC to not have any vacancies some years, most MOCs coordinate with the academies to avoid this. In other words, in a year that they have two vacancies to fill, they might just fill one if it appears that there will be no vacancies the next year.
 

time2

10-Year Member
The process hasn't changed recently and has been this way for quite some time. You have to be 3Q and have a NOM to be in the running to receive an appointment. Everyone who is 3Q with a (non-principal) NOM will not receive an appointment. Being the principal NOM AND being 3Q means you are guaranteed of an appointment.
 

Unitedwebe

Member
The process hasn't changed recently and has been this way for quite some time. You have to be 3Q and have a NOM to be in the running to receive an appointment. Everyone who is 3Q with a (non-principal) NOM will not receive an appointment. Being the principal NOM AND being 3Q means you are guaranteed of an appointment.

What’s 3Q?
 

USMA 1994

Member
The 3 Parts of the application:
1: Academically/ECA/Leadership - Done by the academic board
2: Medically - Done by DoDMRB
3: Physically - The CFA
 

Maplerock

Proud to be an American
5-Year Member
It used to be that if you had a Congressional nomination you were pretty much a shoo-in for an appointment.
Wrong.

Some MOCs nominate 10 and not a single nominee may make the academy's cut. A nomination only means that an applicant is one of the top 10 for that MOC.

Even a principal nominee can be rejected if the academy decides he/she isn't qualified.
 

THParent

Member
When I mentioned a "50/50" chance, I was using last year's USNA numbers as a guide
(in which roughly 3,000 candidates were Triple-Qualified with a Nomination)
  • Of those 3,000 candidates, only 1,426 were extended Offers of Appointment.
  • Of those 1,426 appointments, 1,229 were enrolled on Induction Day.
 

Billberna

Member
In the case of USAFA, for the incoming class of 2021, there were 2608 "qualified candidates", and 1508 offers of admission (appointments). So being fully qualified with a nomination puts a candidate in a 58% success group for being extended an offer of admission. (1216 were actually admitted).
 
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