Nomination/Appointment: Direct Entry Candidate vs. Prep school Cadet Candidate


New Member
Mar 10, 2017
All....I looked for an answer in the forums and I could not find a 'solid' answer. I hope one of you can answer my question.

DS has three nominations to the USAFA. One of the nominations is from a Congresswoman. Of the Congresswoman's slate of 10 nominations, 2 of them are currently prep school students at the US Air Force Preparatory School. (The reason I know this is because the Congresswoman held a luncheon for all those that received nominations and distributed a pamphlet with a bio for each candidate.)

My question is two-fold 1) Are the nominations charged the same for a Direct Entry Candidate vs. a Cadet Candidate? 2) If so, is there really a chance for a Direct Entry Candidate to compete against a USAFA Preparatory School Cadet Candidate?

Thanks in advance.


Jun 12, 2017
103 there really a chance for a Direct Entry Candidate to compete against a USAFA Preparatory School Cadet Candidate?

Thanks in advance.
Easier said than done, but try not to worry about things you cannot control. What you can control is putting forth your best application and having a solid plan B.

How others on a slate affect your chances is very difficult to answer. You do not know how their application compares nor do you know how many noms they have. Just as your DS has 3 noms, the Cadet Candidates may have multiple noms as well, especially if prior enlisted.

The admissions board will work to optimize the class. If your DS receives an appointment you may never know which nominating sources was charged. 150 can be offered apppointments without winning a slate as long as they have a nom (charged to Sec).

So the odds are certainly in favor of these 2 prep Cadet Candidates getting appointments, as nearly 85% do, but that does not mean the appointments will be charged to the MOC. In fact, both can’t be. And possibly neither will be. Only admissions will know which source is charged.

Last year the biggest wave of appointments came out mid-March so hopefully you will hear good news soon!
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USMA 1994

5-Year Member
Mar 23, 2016
Unless your congresswoman identified one of the current prepsters as the principal nominee, they will compete on the slate on their merits. If your son has a higher score than the prepsters, he will win the slate. Their are other ways the prepsters get their appointments if they do not win a nomination. They have an advantage once we get to filling out the class with the "additional appointees"

I would suggest that a strong Direct Candidate will beat out most prepsters as they were not qualified the year prior. Prep school does not magically increase your high school grades or your ACT scores.