Question about COVID-19 Impact on Admissions

RingPlanet111

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2020
Messages
14
So as stated by many in past threads, COVID really has affected admissions for all service academies greatly.
I was wondering what you guys thought about COVID impacting admissions and competitiveness?

My personal opinion is that the number of overall students applying to the academies will be Less because even with SA's going "test-optional", all candidates are still required to provide PSAT scores AND documentations proving that you couldn't take the test. This will definitely hinder a lot of applicants because most would have taken PSAT during their junior year and statistically would have scored lower than when taking the ACT/SAT after their junior year. Additionally, providing appropriate test documentations will lose a lot of candidates as well, given that the SA process is Long and Grueling in the first place, and providing documentation will make the process even more complicated.
However, I believe that the QUALITY of applicants applying to the SA's will be greater overall. For instance, candidates that scored very high on their ACT/SAT before COVID or candidates that made varsity sports pre-covid. Also, college applicants I think will sky-rocket, given that they've already taken the ACT/SAT and Varsity sports well before Covid. Just my prediction, but although the overall applicants to any SA will be Less, the Quality of these applicants will be Greater.

What do ya'll think?
 

kinnem

Moderator
10-Year Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
14,239
Just my thoughts. They're worth what you paid for them.

The initial steps in the process of getting an appointment is a regional competition. I expect most folks in the same congressional district, or even state, will be in the same boat. Either they were able to take the SAT or they weren't. Someone will be admitted from that Congressional district regardless. Someone may get a step above because they made the effort to travel outside their region to complete the SAT. Others may make the effort to get the necessary documentation (which I don't think is that hard) and they come out ahead that way. In either case, they grabbed the problem by the horns and solved it, so they probably deserve that bit extra. So... I don't think the quality of the applicants and appointees will be any better or any worse for a particular region. Since the whole country is composed of regions, then the same thought should apply nationally.

If this were primarily a national competition, which it does become later in the process, I might agree with you, but it isn't. Besides the cream of the crop is the cream of the crop and will always rise to the top. The quality will be no better than any other class year.
 

RingPlanet111

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2020
Messages
14
That does make a lot of sense. Thanks @kinnem .
I know for many of the more "prestigious" civilian colleges (non SA) like Princeton, although they are also test-optional, if you compare a candidate with ACT scores and another without scores, given all else equal, the student with ACT scores will probably win out. There's a lot of "ranking BS" that happens behind the scenes at civilian schools, so students with high ACT/SAT scores or incredible EC's/sports will probably get selected first (and much easier than before) before others without such scores (given all else still equal). Most of these acceptances will probably come from ED/EA.

Then again, this might explain why someone on these threads mentioned more LOA's being given out so early to compete with civilian schools for top students.
Anyways, just me opinion. Thanks
 

DeepWaters

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
249
Interesting topic to contemplate. Thanks for posting. I'd add that those DodMERB download stats that Mr. Mullen periodically downloads may be a useful metric to test number of applicants this year compared to years' past. I recall a recent post that suggests the numbers are tracking previous years, but I haven't seen any published stats from previous years either.

I will say that I know every applicant every year really has to want it. But I think our applicant class is this to the x factor. I'm not alone, I'm sure, in driving 8 hours so I could get an ACT under my belt. And I'm sure each one of us has a story how we creatively prepped for and the lengths we took to have administered the CFA. Statistically many of us won't reach our goal of admission. But you can't fault us for not truly trying under extraordinary circumstances.
 

justdoit19

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Messages
3,668
I was thinking exactly what @kinnem posted. It’s not a national competition. It’s a competition within your state for a nomination firstly for the slate offered to a SA. Those that would apply for a non, will still apply locally. Slates are presented to the SA, and then selections are made from those slates. All who presumably had pretty equal opportunities to test within their state.

IMO, the place this will come into play more-so will be candidates pulled from waiting lists. Or other nom sources beyond MOC’s. Once it does become a national competition.

Another thing I could see now that this has become an almost whole year of schooling issue: the quality of the education of that almost whole year. Locally we have high schoolers NOT receiving a good education. Accountability is gone. Still completely virtually. Sure, those dedicated will do their best, bet there is a whole group that has checked out.

And this is my 2nd observation about the current situation and how it could affect applicants, and that’s students mental health. It’s TOUGH doing school and life like this!! It takes A special person to rise above the challenges covid presents. Beyond the educational pieces....I think some potential candidates may check out. Not even peruse their dream. Whether by intention, or sub consciously.

I think COVID only adds another subjective piece of the admissions process. One mire thing that can not be measured, or known. Which means it all comes down to the same age old advice of “control what you can, and do you BEST!” Hang in there everyone!!
 

Swimmomstl

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
100
Does anyone know kind of documentation are they looking for? My DD received LOA in August. She has a perfect ACT score but did not take the ACT with writing. A WP contact has reached out to her regarding taking the ACT with writing. She informed him her college advisor said ACT is giving priority - as they should - to students who have no scores. And since she has a perfect score, he said there is little to no chance she would be able to take it again. He asked for documentation - not sure what documentation they are requiring? She is happy to submit writing samples or whatever they might need in place of retaking the ACT again. There was no mention of this on her LOA - it only asked for CFA, DODMERB and nomination. She has completed all except noms which come out in December/January in our state.
 

THmom

Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
508
Does anyone know kind of documentation are they looking for? My DD received LOA in August. She has a perfect ACT score but did not take the ACT with writing. A WP contact has reached out to her regarding taking the ACT with writing. She informed him her college advisor said ACT is giving priority - as they should - to students who have no scores. And since she has a perfect score, he said there is little to no chance she would be able to take it again. He asked for documentation - not sure what documentation they are requiring? She is happy to submit writing samples or whatever they might need in place of retaking the ACT again. There was no mention of this on her LOA - it only asked for CFA, DODMERB and nomination. She has completed all except noms which come out in December/January in our state.
I wonder if they'd take an AP English score. Does she have that? Have principal/counselor proctor an essay and send?
 

milmomsomeday

Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
102
Does anyone know kind of documentation are they looking for? My DD received LOA in August. She has a perfect ACT score but did not take the ACT with writing. A WP contact has reached out to her regarding taking the ACT with writing. She informed him her college advisor said ACT is giving priority - as they should - to students who have no scores. And since she has a perfect score, he said there is little to no chance she would be able to take it again. He asked for documentation - not sure what documentation they are requiring? She is happy to submit writing samples or whatever they might need in place of retaking the ACT again. There was no mention of this on her LOA - it only asked for CFA, DODMERB and nomination. She has completed all except noms which come out in December/January in our state.
I'm wondering if they are looking for documentation that the ACT isn't allowing her to take it. I'm sure it varies by region, but I would assume signing up for the test and then having hers cancelled would be the documentation they are looking for instead of hearing "her college advisor says the ACT is giving priority". Personally, we are in a hotspot state and my son is only a junior is scheduled to take the ACT in December. I personally wouldn't hold weight to a college advisor over what the ACT actually does.
 

justdoit19

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Messages
3,668
Does anyone know kind of documentation are they looking for? My DD received LOA in August. She has a perfect ACT score but did not take the ACT with writing. A WP contact has reached out to her regarding taking the ACT with writing. She informed him her college advisor said ACT is giving priority - as they should - to students who have no scores. And since she has a perfect score, he said there is little to no chance she would be able to take it again. He asked for documentation - not sure what documentation they are requiring? She is happy to submit writing samples or whatever they might need in place of retaking the ACT again. There was no mention of this on her LOA - it only asked for CFA, DODMERB and nomination. She has completed all except noms which come out in December/January in our state.
It’s going to be a year of ‘exceptions/uniqueness’ this year. Her best bet would be to contact her admissions partner and proved the information you stated here. I’m sure that there will be many individualized situations this cycle, and therefore nothing “set in stone” as far as documentation required.

Offering writing samples/AP scores is a great idea! I think your DD emailing and providing what she has is the best bet. She can only do what she can do, after all. But ask WP.
 

jl123

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
1,406
Does anyone know kind of documentation are they looking for? My DD received LOA in August. She has a perfect ACT score but did not take the ACT with writing. A WP contact has reached out to her regarding taking the ACT with writing. She informed him her college advisor said ACT is giving priority - as they should - to students who have no scores. And since she has a perfect score, he said there is little to no chance she would be able to take it again. He asked for documentation - not sure what documentation they are requiring? She is happy to submit writing samples or whatever they might need in place of retaking the ACT again. There was no mention of this on her LOA - it only asked for CFA, DODMERB and nomination. She has completed all except noms which come out in December/January in our state.
USMA requires ACT/SAT with Writing. Of course admissions is asking for documentation - proof that she is unable to meet the requirement because ACT denied her the opportunity to take the test again. She needs correspondence from ACT. The opinion of a college advisor will not cut it.

She should try to schedule another ACT test with Writing. They will superscore the results and her scores from the previous test will be included. If ACT will not let her schedule another test, she should save the correspondence as proof that she can not take the test again.

Then she should contact her RC (Regional Commander) and inform him that she is scheduled to retake the test, or submit verification that ACT will not let her take it again and ask for guidance. Under normal conditions, she would be required to take another test, no need to ask anyone, just do it. But these are not normal times, and only her RC can provide correct guidance - it is likely that the person who contacted her was the RC or someone on his staff.
 

kinnem

Moderator
10-Year Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
14,239
I'm wondering if they are looking for documentation that the ACT isn't allowing her to take it. I'm sure it varies by region, but I would assume signing up for the test and then having hers cancelled would be the documentation they are looking for instead of hearing "her college advisor says the ACT is giving priority". Personally, we are in a hotspot state and my son is only a junior is scheduled to take the ACT in December. I personally wouldn't hold weight to a college advisor over what the ACT actually does.
Bingo.
 

jebdad

5-Year Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
432
Does anyone know kind of documentation are they looking for? My DD received LOA in August. She has a perfect ACT score but did not take the ACT with writing. A WP contact has reached out to her regarding taking the ACT with writing. She informed him her college advisor said ACT is giving priority - as they should - to students who have no scores. And since she has a perfect score, he said there is little to no chance she would be able to take it again. He asked for documentation - not sure what documentation they are requiring? She is happy to submit writing samples or whatever they might need in place of retaking the ACT again. There was no mention of this on her LOA - it only asked for CFA, DODMERB and nomination. She has completed all except noms which come out in December/January in our state.
This must be a regional thing because I have had no problem signing my son up for the ACT for October (this Saturday) and December.
 

DeepWaters

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
249
This must be a regional thing because I have had no problem signing my son up for the ACT for October (this Saturday) and December.
So lucky. Which state? For the September ACT, everyone I knew had to drive at least 3 hours (or in some cases fly). For any testing center in October less than 1 hour away, those were all full an hour after registrations opened. And since then, at least of third of those locations have cancelled. Good luck to your son by the way!
 
Top