@pstine hits the nail on the head.Last year I didn't finish my application to the Academy so now I'm at a 4-year college in AFROTC and it is my own version of a prep school. What I like about this is that if I don't get into the Academy this year, I will already be 1 year into my AFROTC detachment and I can still commission. Also, if I do get into the Academy, I have already taken calc and compsci etc along with developing officer skills in AFROTC. There are multiple paths to the same goal and you can figure out which is best for you.
So are you saying that prep school students are selected from candidates who are not qualified - 3Q - for USAFA? Or are they qualified, but just have one item/score/number that is on the low side? And how do Falcon Scholars compare to this?Typically, appointments to the prep school are for candidates who are not fully qualified.
Bill- I think he means that prep school is for those who are strong physically and in leadership roles, but are missing critical classes like calculus or have low test scores. Taking calculus for the first time at the academies would be VERY rough. Prep school is an opportunity to prove yourself, improve, and EARN your appointment.Originally, the prep schools were set up to help active duty soldiers get the academic background they needed to successfully complete the academy's academic program. Over time, this has evolved into also helping athletes as well as diversity candidates improve academically. Typically, appointments to the prep school are for candidates who are not fully qualified. If the candidate meets all of the requirements of the year at prep, they have a 99.9% chance of appointment the next year.
I would agree, and I will add DS experience to give additional perspective to how Falcon scholarships may be awarded in some cases IMHO.Prep school appointments are for those not qualified in one of the 3Qs and typically it is the academic Q. Falcon scholarships have more leeway and typically are awarded to candidates that have something the academy wants and they do not have a place to slot them this year. The 3Q evaluation is subjective by the admission officers and admission committee. While it may say we recommend, an individual that does not have a strong academic background including Calculus may be listed at risk.
You comment about being over-qualified may hold some truth. I have seen a candidate ranked #1 on a MOC's slate fail to get an appointment because the MOC identified a different principal nominee. They were told that they were "too smart" for prep school.
There are many things outside your candidate's control. Just do your best with the things your son or daughter can control and things will work out. Make sure they have a Plan B and C.
Bill, while calculus may not be required by the Academy, this is indeed a competition to win an appointment. For a high school senior from a competitive area and a non-military family (only qualifies for a MOC nom), meeting the minimums is not enough to win the nom slate and get an appointment. It only takes ONE other applicant on your slate to out shine you. And there may be college applicants on your slate that you are competing against.Not to go off on a tangent, but the academy admissions website does not even list calculus as a recommended course. Quoting directly from the admissions website:
"To be academically competitive for an appointment to the Academy, we recommend completion of the following high school courses:
- four years of math (strong background in geometry, algebra, trigonometry and pre-calculus