"Not Competitive" Letter


10-Year Member
Jun 27, 2006
My son recently completed his preliminary application to the Air Force Academy about 3 weeks ago. Today he received a letter from the AFA stating that based on his application, he is currently not competitive.

Here are the pertinent details:
Attending a private prep high school (the 1st class of 18 seniors graduated this year - with 100% matriculation rate)
G.P.A unweighted 3.2, weighted 3.8
Class Rank 22/37
SAT: 710M 610CR 460W
State Champion 2-Mile, track, 5 place 1 mile (Class 1A)
Tennis Team State Champions
Cross Country, Team Captain
Sea Cadets - Recruit of the year (out of 38 new recruits)
Numerous AP courses and 2 college courses.
Active in Church Groups.

I know his GPA and Class rank are not that great, but virtually everyone in his class is attending the school on an academic scholarship as the school is brand new and is trying to establish a reputation for academic excellence credentials.

According to my research, my kid's Math SAT score is better than all but 28% of the admitted 2005 class and his Critical reading scores are in the middle 50% of the admitted class.

The letter was dated June 30th, since that time the AFA academy should have received the results from his June SAT. Which are as follows:
710M, 650CR, 570W. His improved CR score should put him on the top half of the students who were admitted in 2005.

The AFA website does not show these new scores - it still reports the scores as he gave them.

Q: What is/was the likely cause of his not competitive letter?

FatherofFive, something doesn't seem right that he's been taken out of the running this early in the game with stats like those. Do not be afraid to contact admissions to speak with someone about it. Its highly possible that it could be an error. It does happen. My son's appointment letter to USMMA was addressed to someone else. Talk about freaking out. They over-nighted him a corrected copy with an apology but it almost gave me a stroke.

Truly. Don't just let this slide. One phone call from your son to admissions on Wed. could give the answers you need. Good luck!!
The preliminary application did not really give my son a chance to mention his Extra-Curricular awards. It simply asked a series of Yes/No questions. I know that the academy places a great deal of emphasis on class rank and GPA, but I thought that there were procedures in place that allow the selection process to look at they type of school, graduation rates at the school, matriculation rates etc.

My son is in a summer program for the next week and a half. But from what I can tell by looking at his online submission, the preliminary application does not appear to contain a text box (like the USNA app did) where the applicant can put in the type of stuff that was contained in my earlier email. If anyone knows differently, please let me know because there is a lot more to my son that the Academy does not know about.
Father of Five:
My daughter did not apply to USAFA but to USMA & USNA..... she got her candidate letter right away to USMA but USNA sent her a "not qualified at this time" letter the end of May and requested her 6th semester transcripts and any new SAT scores..... 8 days later with the results of her May SAT's she got her candidate number for USNA ...her GPA is similar to your son's ..... I would go ahead and have him send his 6th semester transcripts into admissions if he has not already done so and make sure admissions has his highest SAT's ... I have heard of other kids being competitive candidates at USMA and USNA and not even getting a look at USAFA... It truly can be puzzling at times!
Follow up with Admissions

There is wiggle room at all of the academies with regard to class rank. Many private prep schools do not rank their students at all. Some that do may have half of the class that are National Merit finalists. As a result, the Admissions Office is not comparing apples to apples when they are looking at class rank. Consequently, they emphasize the SAT results more when they are calculating the students academic score. Call and explain your son's school. It may or may not work at USAFA. If it doesn't, it may work at other service academies.
I don't think a parent should be calling Admissions. Wait until your son is back and let him call. Also, you may want to have the college counselor at the high school prepare a more robust description of the competitive academic nature of the school. None of the colleges or service academies have history with the school as it is new and I'm betting they will find it useful.
Seems kind of weird. I applied to USAFA with a 2.93 gpa and SAT scores of 620math, 610 verbal and 600 writing and got into Summer Sem(and went.) They sent me a letter after Summer Sem saying i was a tentative candidate.
I wouldn't give up yet. I would have your son call and see what they say, to get a more informative answer. It could have been that paper work got lost in the mail or something of that sort. Even if they say he is not competitive right now, keep sending in different things showing them what he does. Just send it in with his SSAN and everything. Every little bit helps in this situation. I did not think that my stats were competitive at all and I ended up getting a LOA in April, so don't give up there is still a lot of time. Even if USAFA says that he is not competitive, don't stop sending information about him. It shows determination and that can never hurt.
I agree with Mom of Twins about having your son call and his college counselor prepare an acurate description of your son's school.
Agree, USAFA09 is right. Also, this initial screening is not the board. It's probably some 0-3, maybe brand new to the job. It never ceases to amaze me how admissions and the board works. I have. on multiple occassions, had candidates turned down for summer seminar and then pass the board and triple qualify. Keep submitting. Every little thing helps.
This is all good advice. Thank you all.

When he comes back from summer camp he will definitely update his records with the Admissions office. As it turns out his GPA and class rank were only for 4 semesters of High School. He just got his jr. year grades back and he did well - his cum GPA is now 3.4/4.0 and 4.0/4.2 Yea! His class ranking is now just inside the top half of his class.

I'm hoping this and his improved SAT scores will be enough to get his status changed to competitive. If not, then it may be time to get the school counselor involved.

I have assumed an advisorly role in this process. I do the research and tell him where he needs to be score-wise and it's up to him to do everything else.

I'll let you know in a couple of weeks.

Good Job F of F,

I am willing to bet that as soon as admissions gets his updated transcripts he will get a new letter within a week!

Good Luck!
Mission Accomplished!

My son is now showing as 'competitive' on the AFA website! After admissions contacted his school and verified the things my son was telling them, they removed his class ranking from his application. Along with his junior year transcripts and improved SAT scores, he has put himself back in the running.

Persistence pays. :thumb:

Could it be the class rank, and someone in a hurry saw that and ignored the rest?

That record is better than mine was, except I was in the top 20% of my class. Doesn't say much for my class, now does it? :biggrin:

Don't give up, though! Keep trying! :mad:

ETA: Woops! Read the whole thread, *******!
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