Questions about applying for 2023

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by galileo, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. galileo

    galileo New Member

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    I am a junior and want to apply to the AFA for the class of 2023. I would appreciate some help/advice for a couple of questions I have:

    1. The applications steps on the website say to reach out to your ALO as Step 2 -- even before filling out the pre-candidate questionaire. I emailed the ALO listed for my school as a sophomore prior to visiting the Academy for a tour, and again this past December when the summer seminar apps opened. I did not receive a response either time. I have checked to make sure I used the correct email address, and I did. The email address is as listed on the website. Should I keep trying?

    2. I am taking the SAT in March and only have PSATs right now. I asked in this forum earlier if I should opt NOT to have the summer seminar app be my pre-candidate app since I did not have SATs, even though it said PSATs were accepted for the summer seminar app. Someone said I could send the SATs later, so I opted in. Now have some other new information to add -- a new leadership position and honor society. I realize it is too late for the summer seminar consideration, but can I make additions to the pre-candidate app for the candidate consideration? Or will they not see anything I add now since I opted to have the summer seminar app be my pre-candidate app and the deadline for submissions has past?

    Ideally, I would have asked the ALO these questions which is why I tried to make contact in December. If anyone here has any advice, I would appreciate it.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    Your volunteer ALO may be extremely busy, and just not have time to talk to you, or may not want to waste your (or his) time before you have some concrete numbers from the SAT/ACT to discuss.
    I would wait until after this school year ends to contact him again, but that's just my advice. Your mileage will vary depending on whom you ask.

    I don't know what they see or don't see regarding SS apps and pre-candidate apps.
     
  3. Billberna

    Billberna Member

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    Your Summer Seminar app, which you opted to become your Pre-Candidate app, is designed for a rough ballpark estimate of whether you will even be competitive as a candidate. You didn't mention what the PSAT scores were, but if they compare pretty well with the average SATs of an incoming class (may be a little lower, since they are PSATs and are taken earlier in your high school career) and you have a decent GPA (avg was 3.85 unweighted) and class rank, you will probably be allowed to proceed and be considered "competitive" in early March. For example, in a recent class, the mid 50% range for SAT Math was 640-700 (avg 673) and for Reading/Writing was 630-700 (avg 661). Having PSAT scores within the mid 50% or better is a good indication of competitiveness. I cannot say whether or not adding more items to the SS application at this point will register with Academy Admissions. However, if you are deemed competitive and become a Candidate, you will have ample time to add positions, awards, and updated test scores. Make sure you continue to take the SAT at each opportunity and give the ACT a try. You might find you do better on it. Admissions does superscore the tests, so you incur no risk at all by retaking the test as often as you can. If the schedule is like this past year, your candidate full application process will open up at the beginning of March and everything will be due by the end of October. So keep this in mind when planning additional standardized tests. You can continue to update standardized test scores through the end of January of your senior year. Good luck. And our DS did not get selected for Summer Seminar, but did become an appointee nevertheless, this past December. So do not be discouraged if you do not get selected for Summer Seminar. Only 600 out of 3200 applicants (19%) will make it to Summer Seminar this year.
     
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  4. mintyicedtea

    mintyicedtea Member

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    Did you mean July instead of March for the full application?
     
  5. Billberna

    Billberna Member

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    @mintyicedtea Yes, thanks for spotting that error. The full application opened up around July 1st for those who used their SS apps as their pre-candidate apps, and everything was due by the end of October.
     
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  6. 2021mom

    2021mom Member

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    The application has a rolling deadline. That is, when you start your application determines your deadline. Your specific deadline to complete your file will be posted on your portal.
     
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  7. Bracken

    Bracken Member

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    Many threads discuss availability of ALOs. What you'll find by reading them is that USAFA ALOs are generally more hands-off than in other SAs. I'm sure exceptions exist. Like you, I thought DD should become very familiar with ALO so she contacted ALO early like the website suggests and received nothing. Her ALO contact throughout the process was limited to 2 email responses but now she's an appointee. My point is that the admissions website and this forum provide excellent advice. Make your timeline of exams, deadlines, applications, and work hard on your test scores and grades. Don't rely on your volunteer ALO. Own this process.
     
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  8. Billberna

    Billberna Member

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    Bracken makes an excellent point. The entire application process can be completed without any communication between a candidate and an ALO. Finally, sometime in the fall of your senior year, the ALO will contact you for an interview. Do not feel you have to wait for a reply from an ALO before beginning the process. The booklets provided by Academy Admissions, "Instructions to Pre-Candidates" and "Instructions to Candidates" are detailed and adequately inform you on the process.
     
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  9. usafadad2022

    usafadad2022 New Member

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    I second this. My daughter didn't make it to the AFA SS last year but she got the appointment for class 2022. She attended the Naval Academy SS and got the overall outstanding candidate award (5 out of 800). My MOC didn't nominate for multiple SAs, she has to pick one - USAFA as she loves flying dearly.
     
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  10. Flygirl22

    Flygirl22 New Member

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    I tried contacting my ALO in April of last semester, and never received a response either. I was actually told by a family friend who happened to also be an ALO that my particular ALO would only respond to applicants after they reached the candidate phase of the application. Therefore, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    Regarding the pre-candidate app, I didn't go to AFASS, but it is my understanding that the pre-candidate application is pretty baseline and as long as you meet the bare minimum requirements you'll be allowed to move onto the candidate phase, in which you can enter all your additional activities. I wouldn't worry too much about trying to update it.
     
  11. Vaquero

    Vaquero Member

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    I wouldn't worry about the summer session. If it is like Navy's, it is used primarily as an outreach program. My grandson attended Navy's SS, but did not attend AF's. He had no contact with his ALO until his interview. Ditto for his BGO.

    He has a USAFA appointment but is waiting to hear from USNA. Again, I wouldn't worry about a SS. What you should worry about is taking the SAT/ACT early and often with diligent preparation each time. I believe a very good performance on the SAT/ACT is far more important than attending a SS. My grandson started with a 29 on the math portion of the ACT and bumped it to a 33 but worked diligently on preparing for the math portion.

    I don't know what your high school is like in terms of math classes. Our's is very poor and my grandson was home schooled. Out HS does offer dual enrollment math classes in conjunction with the local community college. He enrolled in 3 consecutive such math classes beginning the 2nd semester of his junior year. Those math classes helped with his ACT math score.
     
  12. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    As long as you have completed a 'pre-application' online you will get copied on invites to local admissions events in your area this spring and summer.
    Great place to meet alums, current parents, MOC staff, admissions staff, ALOs, etc. and ask questions.

    ALO interview is part of the process but nothing major to gain by seeking them out now - it will get scheduled for you when the time comes.

    Don't kill yourself being first to apply; it just moves up your deadline. Train hard and use all spring and summer for CFA prep; get that done early in Sept along with your nomination applications. Register and prep for ACT/SAT tests and retests between now and June; get those scores sent out to USAFA and MOCs by August/early Sept.

    Start of senior year is crunch time for letters of recommendation, HS transcripts, activity / sports records, etc all to be sent by your HS directly.

    You could start your official application file in August and really not lose anything as far as timing goes; apart from SAT scores etc there is not much to send until start of Sr. year. [You could do CFA this spring but why not take advantage of 4 more months of training ?]

    Enjoy the summer and good luck !!
     
  13. tejanath29

    tejanath29 Member

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    Can you still update your SAT/ACT scores even after submitting your pre-Candidate questionnaire? My portal says I cannot go past the scores page without putting in scores. Also, when are applicants generally moved to candidate or competitive candidate during the application process?
     
  14. 1meanteacher

    1meanteacher Member

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    My son started his application process at the beginning of his senior year. He had ACT scores to enter into his pre-candidate questionnaire, but he took the test 2 or 3 more times after that and was able to update his scores each time. He also had his official ACT scores sent to USAFA each time he tested. After he completed his pre-candidate questionnaire, it took about a month for his status to change to candidate. After finishing up his application in November, he received his appointment in February.
     
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