Nomination Questions

ArngeDrank

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Jan 11, 2020
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Hello

A few days ago I secured my nomination from my local congresswomen to USAFA (CA District 18).
Now, researching all about how SA nominations work, I'm a bit worried and I've spent a significant amount of time thinking about a few things. Let me elaborate:
(This list is just a random assortment of questions/thoughts I've had that would ease me if answered or responded to. I also know a lot of this is hypothetical and probably can't be accurately answered but nonetheless I'm still curious.)


1. Does anyone know how competitive CA 18 is? Heart of Silicon Valley with Stanford, Google, competitive High schools, etc. makes me think it's probably pretty competitive. Though, I've heard of a LOT more people applying to USNA and USMA than USAFA this year. Do you think my MOC nominated all 10 people for the at least one slot that is available?

2. I do not know if my MOC uses the principal nominee system, but if they do, what are the chances they would've told me if I was the principal nominee? While nothing was explicitly stated in the letter she sent me, a lot of the wording she used almost gives me the impression that I could be...? I'm probably just over-analyzing it. If she uses that system, and I'm NOT the principal nominee... Am I basically out?

3. I've communicated with her aid and asked about what system she uses, as well as how many slots she has available this year. Are they allowed to disclose that information, and if they are - what are the odds that they will?

More thoughts will come to me, and will probably ask them as they do. I apologize for the pointless questions. At this point in the process, I'm just pretty worried and a little stressed out because this academy has been my dream/goal since 5th grade. I know I don't have control over it at this point, but that won't stop me from worrying...

Thanks!
 
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MidCakePa

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I apologize for the pointless questions.
There's no need to apologize, but yes, these are pointless questions. There's nothing you can do now, right? So why worry about it?

But to satiate your curiosity:

Silicon Valley is no doubt very, very competitive. But no matter where you live, it only takes one person with better credentials than you to make that district competitive.

A MOC staffer may or may not tell you what system they use. That's at their discretion. If you are not the principal nominee, you still have a chance.

You've done all you can. So now go do something meaningful: Work on Plan B, C, D... Enjoy senior year. Hug your family more. Get in better shape. You won't regret doing any of those things.
 

zoesmith

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I'm applying from district 17 haha! I've been researching, and I found out that there's only one AFJROTC, and one CAP squadron as of this moment (if I mapped it right). There was another AFJROTC but I guess they stopped offering it a couple years ago due to lack of participation. Doesn't that say a little bit about the interest level? I'm not sure, but I haven't found anything about it being crazy competitive like other states are. Any info is greatly appreciated!
 

OldRetSWO

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I'm applying from district 17 haha! I've been researching, and I found out that there's only one AFJROTC, and one CAP squadron as of this moment (if I mapped it right). There was another AFJROTC but I guess they stopped offering it a couple years ago due to lack of participation. Doesn't that say a little bit about the interest level? I'm not sure, but I haven't found anything about it being crazy competitive like other states are. Any info is greatly appreciated!
Apples and Bowling Balls type comparison. The fact that there are few or no AFJROTC/CAP opportunities is not indicative of how competitive an area is or is not. My district has ZERO NJROTC or Sea Cadet units but is very very competitive for USNA (and USMA). Dozens of highly qualified applicants for just the congressional nom and most that I interviewed were well over 1400 SATs along with athletics, etc. For instance, I was only on just one of 7 interview teams for our first interview weekend and our team had 2 USAFA LOA holders.
 
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Apples and Bowling Balls type comparison. The fact that there are few or no AFJROTC/CAP opportunities is not indicative of how competitive an area is or is not. My district has ZERO NJROTC or Sea Cadet units but is very very competitive for USNA (and USMA). Dozens of highly qualified applicants for just the congressional nom and most that I interviewed were well over 1400 SATs along with athletics, etc. For instance, I was only on just one of 7 interview teams for our first interview weekend and our team had 2 USAFA LOA holders.
Spot on. I live in Monument, CO, and I'm about a six minute drive to the Academy's North Gate. Needless to say, the district I live in (CO-05) is pretty competitive. Out of dozens of high schools well known to students across Colorado Springs, there are only 4 JROTC detachments. You'd figure there would be way more, but no. OldRetSWO is right, the number of JROTC detachments is relatively unrelated to the competitiveness of the district. My school district alone (District 38; Lewis-Palmer High School and Palmer Ridge High School) routinely sends 3-5 students per high school per year to Service Academies, despite never having had a JROTC detachment.
 

ArngeDrank

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There was another AFJROTC but I guess they stopped offering it a couple years ago due to lack of participation.
You know, this got me thinking because it’s the same situation with my district. Over the past few decades every high school in my school district of 7 large high schools started out with JROTC. Predominately MCJROTC. Over time, every school has been stripped of JROTC due to lack of interest. MCJROTC was taken away from my school starting this year, actually, and now only one school is left with it. And it’s STILL not meeting marine corps standards for participation. Those who want to still do it travel to the school but for me it’s impossible due to my excessively busy schedule. One of the saddest decisions I’ve made in high school.

NOW, I recognize what the rest of you are saying:

Apples and Bowling Balls type comparison. The fact that there are few or no AFJROTC/CAP opportunities is not indicative of how competitive an area is or is not.
I agree that your statements are completely valid and JROTC/CAP doesn’t necessarily determine a district’s competitiveness. But... don’t you think that a district with a healthy amount of participation in those programs would boost the amount of interest people have in the service academies? I say this because those programs are excellent in boosting that interest. One of my instructors was a retired USMC major who was the 3rd company officer at USNA for some time. He would talk about the SAs on the daily and offer advice/help to anyone who was even remotely interested (one of the people who wrote me a LOR btw). In CA 17 and 18, as we’ve heard.. JROTC is dying, and it’s sad.
 

OldRetSWO

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But... don’t you think that a district with a healthy amount of participation in those programs would boost the amount of interest people have in the service academies?
No, I do not agree.

This Congressional District (not School District) has 30 or so High Schools and no AROTC/NROTC/MCJROTC units but produces dozens of very highly qualified applicants every year.
 

zoesmith

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Thank you for answering my question! I know there isn’t any public knowledge, but is there a way to somehow estimate how competitive CA 17 and 18 are?
 
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Thank you for answering my question! I know there isn’t any public knowledge, but is there a way to somehow estimate how competitive CA 17 and 18 are?
There's not really a great way to estimate how competitive any given district is, but use your representative's nomination committee to your advantage. Shoot them an email and ask them how many people applied for a nomination. That might give you some insight into how many people you're competing against
 

kinnem

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Even if you could divine how competitive these districts are, what in the world would you do with that info? Were I you, I would spend my time on something productive or maybe even fun!
 

ArngeDrank

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Even if you could divine how competitive these districts are, what in the world would you do with that info? Were I you, I would spend my time on something productive or maybe even fun!
I think it's more of an "ease the mind" type thing, even though we know it's completely pointless to anxiously wait. Just something that's hard to not worry about.
I've resorted to 5 AM swim workouts to keep my mind off of it!
 

kinnem

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I think it's more of an "ease the mind" type thing, even though we know it's completely pointless to anxiously wait. Just something that's hard to not worry about.
I've resorted to 5 AM swim workouts to keep my mind off of it!
I would submit that you will never have peace of mind. Even if you figured it out you would then worry about "but will I win the slate?". Deep breaths. Forget about it. You'll hear soon enough, and when you're supposed to.
 

hopefulmom182

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When my DS was signing up for his interviews with his MOCs, he was able to count the other slots open for interviews on the sign up sheet. That gave us a ball park of the competition. I would further say that having JROTC in your district could alleviate the competition a bit since JROTC can be a nomination source. To the Monument, CO resident----We are not in CO-05, but we are nearby and know people who've competed in that district. While there are a lot of folks applying to SAs from that district, many in that district will be eligible for Presidential noms, alleviating the NEED for them to get MOC noms. This is how so many from one high school can get appointments. Finally, it can't hurt to ask your MOCs office their method of submitting a slate. Either they will tell you or they won't. You're no worse off. I would assume a full slate. Most MOC use competitive slates when submitting.
 

Vaquero

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I do not know if my MOC uses the principal nominee system, but if they do, what are the chances they would've told me if I was the principal nominee? While nothing was explicitly stated in the letter she sent me, a lot of the wording she used almost gives me the impression that I could be...? I'm probably just over-analyzing it. If she uses that system, and I'm NOT the principal nominee... Am I basically out?
In our state--Arizona--the senators coordinated their slates to avoid duplications. One used a principal nominee method while the other did not. Our MOC did not use a principal nominee system and grandson received nominations to both from him. With the coordination system between senators, he received neither USAF nor USNA nominations from our junior senator.

USNA was my grandson's first choice when originally applying. His nomination letter from our then senior senator told him he was his principal nominee for USAFA but he also gave him a USNA nomination. He had a LOA from USAFA but not USNA.

Under a principal nominee system, you are not "basically out." It depends entirely on the total strength of your package including the interview, the competitiveness of your state/congressional district, and how the different academy admissions boards evaluate candidates.

My grandson was not the principal nominee to USNA but still received an appointment.
 

ArngeDrank

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Under a principal nominee system, you are not "basically out." It depends entirely on the total strength of your package including the interview, the competitiveness of your state/congressional district, and how the different academy admissions boards evaluate candidates.
Thank you for the information. I've been corresponding with one of my MOC's aids for a few months and they told me that they coordinate with both CA senators to also avoid duplicates. I've gotten a no from one Senator so far, and a yes from my MOC. I haven't gotten anything from the other Senator, but based on the above information I already know I'm not going to get another one.
 

Dadx4

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Thank you for the information. I've been corresponding with one of my MOC's aids for a few months and they told me that they coordinate with both CA senators to also avoid duplicates. I've gotten a no from one Senator so far, and a yes from my MOC. I haven't gotten anything from the other Senator, but based on the above information I already know I'm not going to get another one.
There is a competitive advantage of having a MOC nom instead of Senator though. Congrats on nom!
 

Dadx4

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Unless you live in a state where it is all the same. South Dakota for example...
I think that wherever a candidate lives, competing in district is going to be less competitive than competing statewide, assuming that all candidates apply for all noms.
 
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