Newbie Dad looking for ground floor help - admissions

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by midwestdad4, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. midwestdad4

    midwestdad4 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    My sophomore in high school is now really talking up wanting to "pop by" the USCGA while we're on summer vacation out east. When people ask about plans for college, the only one she will talk about is the Coast Guard Academy. As we wrap up sophomore year, we're needing some direction for what a realistic applicant is and if she could even measure up.

    Just to add to the part of "is this realistic?" My daughter is focused on engineering - either mechanical or marine. She is a hard working 4.3 student with a part time job for 2 yrs now. Her passion is marching band/drum/percussion and has been accepted to a summer drum & bugle corps travel/performance group. She continues to take a heavy load of the required AP or advanced classes - heavy on the math and science which she just loves. She is NOT an athlete....well not a traditional one...she is a longtime water and downhill skier. She is also taking classes at the local community college to obtain her welding certificates before she graduates. (Underwater welding is something that she has always joked she wanted to know....but I don't think she's joking at all)

    My wife and I have no experience with this process since she is our oldest and I enlisted in the Navy, so my path was very different. Where do we begin? I apologize for the simpleton nature of this post - I just don't know who to ask for direction. Thank you.
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5,573
    Likes Received:
    7,745
    First step - all hands read every page, link and drop-down at USCGA.edu, especially the potential candidate. Information is power. Sophomore year is a great time to learn and organize.

    Equally important is to do the research - again, your daughter should own the process - on the career fields available to CG officers. While USCGA is a very important career decision, it’s a way station leading to the obligated service years. There has got to be something she would be interested in doing as an officer.

    She should browse the CG forum here, as well as other SA forums, and search on threads with “stats” or “chance me” in the title. She will get a feel for the scholastic and athletic ranges of SA candidates.

    Leadership experience is important. If she is not a leader in organized sports, there are other ways to demonstrate that. The SAs are looking for well-rounded candidates, not just high class standing, high standardized test scores, high GPA in AP courses.

    A very real part of SA and military life is daily or near daily PT, running, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups. Your daughter should accept that is part of the package. There is a physical aptitude test that SA applicants take to demonstrate readiness for the physical training program.

    This is generic advice I would give anyone looking at a SA and military service. The CG forum makes for good reading from grads, cadets, parents, applicants.

    I also recommend your daughter take a look at USMMA. She might be surprised at the potential fit she might see there, with her bent toward marine engineering.

    Lastly, you will see many mentions of DODMERB, the medical clearinghouse for officer accession programs. Read the Stickies at the top of the DODMERB forum. Things to watch out for are any ADHD or similar diagnoses for which medication or IEP was used within a certain number of years. Asthma is another big tripwire. Getting medically cleared can be just as challenging if not more so than the rest of the process.
     
  3. corescue59

    corescue59 USCGA Admissions Partner 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    48
    If your daughter decides to visit USCGA this summer, she should stop by and talk to the admissions staff. She might want to contact them first and see when it would be convenient.

    July 1 is the start of swab summer for the new class and is a crazy time!!

    What state are you from? You can can get a hold of admissions to find out the admissions partners that live in your state. They are a wealth of information. There are quite a few admissions events going on currently throughout the country with admissions partners and possibly admissions officers in attendance. I would search them out and have her attend.

    Your daughter can also go to the USCGA.EDU site and read the blogs from current cadets. You can also ask them questions.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Wishful and Capt MJ like this.
  4. cns3700

    cns3700 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2017
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    35
    In addition, have her look at attending Bear Day events and applying to the AIM summer program in her junior year. Event information can be found on the USCGA website.
     
    Wishful, gabbyw and Capt MJ like this.
  5. jaglvr

    jaglvr Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2017
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    213
    FYI regarding a visit... you must have valid ID to gain access to grounds. That goes for any of the SA grounds.
     
  6. AuxNoob

    AuxNoob CGA Admissions Partner 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2012
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    219
    Everything above is good info. Make sure your state has an acceptable license, some don't yet (last I heard).

    My son graduated in 2017 with a Naval Arch/Marine Engineering degree. He has been willing to talk to potential cadets. That said, it might be a bit early for your daughter, maybe. PM me contact info if she is interested. And the Alumni parents are pretty happy to talk as well. It is likely there are contacts near you that you as a parent can talk to. Been there. Neither my wife or I were from military families. But Coastie families tend to be tight with each other. Again, PM me contact info if you would like a contact in your area. As an Admissions Partner I can also get you in contact with an Admissions Partner probably relatively close to you.
     
  7. sanman

    sanman Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2018
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    38
    Have her reach out to her admissions officer and ask them what she can do to make her a more attractive candidate. The one thing that seems to be missing at the moment is any sort of community service.
     
  8. Aeroman65

    Aeroman65 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2017
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    39
    All the responses so far have good advice. My daughter was a little different. She told me early in her junior year that she was interested in the coast guard academy. I was surprised. Her older sister had no interest at all, but they are very different people.

    I found this forum and learned what I could. She applied for AIM and was selected. I thought for sure she would no longer be interested after AIM, but again she surprised me. She enjoyed it immensely. She worked hard on her application and had reasonably good stats. Those earned her a spot on the waitlist last year. She had no interest in the other SA’s. She did not make it off the waitlist.

    She went off to plan B school, did extremely well, and reapplied this year. She was offered an appointment, which she will accept.

    Bottom line: if your daughter is interested, support her decisions and guide her along the journey. The process is a long one, and the waiting is difficult. But if attending CGA is her goal, it is achievable - even if not selected the first time.
     
    Sargon likes this.
  9. MtJo

    MtJo Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    61


    My DS was not an athlete in high school but had outside non-traditional sports he enjoyed. He then started Cross country his junior year and track that spring. He also focused in on leadership opportunities. Both leadership positions he held he got by default. No one really wanted to do it so he jumped on them and made them his. Years ago we were in the Colorado Springs area and took a tour of the Air Force Academy. It started him thinking and actually, he was fairly certain the Naval Academy was where he wanted to go. He attended Summer Seminar at Navy but was not selected for Aim. Somewhere he changed his mind for Coast Guard Academy and did not even apply to any other SA's. That made me nervous but according to him, it was CG or not go to the service academy. You can read for hours on this forum and get a general idea of what it will entail, but the best source is the academy website. It will also have a student profile that may help.
     
  10. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    970
    Hello midwestdad4. I know you have asked about USCGA and you have been given lots of great advice above. I would like to advocate for USMMA. I agree with Capt MJ who has made a terrific suggestion that USMMA might just be a perfect fit for your daughter. The combination of Marine Engineering and band is perfect for USMNA. They have a Regimental Band at USMMA that plays everyday and has lots of opportunities to play in parades (most recently NYC St. Patrick's Day) and special occasions (look up Beat Retreat.) My daughter is in Band Company (yes, they all live together) and recently had the opportunity to play with the Navy Band in Washington D.C. If you would like, please pm me when you get the minimum number of postings here (five) and I can put your daughter in touch with mine. She would have an entire year at sea working on US flagged merchant ships traveling the world, getting paid, and actually doing hands on Marine Engineering. And after USMMA graduation, your daughter can enter the Coast Guard as an officer (or any other branch of the armed forces, NOAA, or USPHS). Check out USMMA.edu and stop by the school for a visit during your summer trip. It is a hidden gem. Le me know if you or your daughter have questions.
     
    Wishful and Sargon like this.
  11. MuniMan24

    MuniMan24 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    36
    What was your daughter's plan B?
     
  12. Aeroman65

    Aeroman65 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2017
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    39
    I sent you a message Muniman24.
     
  13. 21MomSalute

    21MomSalute USCGA Admissions Partner

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    22
    Congrats to your DD and you! I agree with the others, you should definitely go visit if you can. The summer on campus is full of training activities so there is always something to see. She might look into applying to AIM, the summer one week session after junior year, for a longer, more realistic taste of the Academy. Not all cadets played a traditional HS sport, so don't let that be an obstacle. Like you, my daughter did marching band in HS. If yours is doing DCI or the like, then she certainly understands stamina. Our DD loves the music programs at CGA - from Glee and Chorale, to dance and theater, to numerous bands for drill and concert, the orchestra with ConnColl, and there's even CGA Windjammers - our own drum and bugle corps. So you will find that there are multiple opportunities for your DD to continue to play at CGA, and she may even explore some new outlets. It's a whirling journey but one we are proud to be on. I'm very happy to answer any offline parent or admission questions - just drop me an email (my user name at gmail) anytime.
     
  14. TBK2023

    TBK2023 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2019
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    35
    I agree KPmom. USMMA is the best deal of all 5 academies. In terms of earnings, USMMA grads earn more money then all the other SA's according to a study done on graduates after 20 years.
     
  15. midwestdad4

    midwestdad4 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would like to thank all of you for your input. I sat my daughter down and had her read each and every post, then research the USMMA as well. We now have the tools to make sure we're asking the right questions and know what to plan for as she continues high school and makes some decisions. I'm sure I'll be referring back to this site as the time creeps forward but I'm very appreciative to all of you who took the time to answer my basic questions and helped me gain better understanding. Thank you!
     
  16. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,301
    Likes Received:
    942
    Best of luck to her. Also keep in mind, no nomination needed for Coast Guard, nominations needed for all other SA's. However, For MMA, a nomination can be from ANY MOC in the country where only your MOC can nominate your DD for the other SA's.
     
  17. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    970
    Correction to above: Nomination to USMMA can be from any MOC in your STATE (not country). Nominations are usually less competitive to USMMA than the 3 DoD academies, at least in most parts of the country.
     
    Wishful likes this.
  18. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,301
    Likes Received:
    942
  19. Impulsive

    Impulsive Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2019
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    108
    Is your DD is interested in Marine Engineering, make sure she also looks at the Naval Academy and Kings Point. Apply to all three if possible, sometimes a candidate looks better to one of the schools than the others and don't neglect any of the opportunities. If she gets appointments to all three, she can always pick her favorite, based on her chosen career path. As a "Plan B" the Webb Institute in New York and the University of New Orleans also are top ranked Marine Engineering schools with both having a 100% placement rate upon graduation.
     
  20. CGAdad

    CGAdad Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    7
    A lot of great ideas mentioned here. My daughter is currently a HS Junior and waiting to hear if she has been accepted to attend AIM program this summer. She's been interested since 8th grade. She's attended a number of events over the last couple of years. Definitely have her reach out to her district Recruiter -- introduce herself and stay in touch. My daughter has corresponded a number of times with the recruiter, giving updates on grades, sports, and other activities. Remember that anytime you visit the Academy dress appropriately (no ripped jeans) because it's like an early interview... notes are being taken.
     
    21MomSalute likes this.