Questions about the process

JitsMom

Member
DD is a Sophomore. She will be going through this process next year. When glancing through the admissions process on the USNA website, it doesn't say anything about an essay, resume, etc. being part of it. Just GPA, Rank, SAT Scores, school transcript, and an interview after all is submitted. But if she does a significant amount of out of school activities (such as years of muay thai and jiu jitsu training), where is that information applied?

Also, how hard is it to get a nomination? Is that half the battle ?
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
5-Year Member
DD is a Sophomore. She will be going through this process next year. When glancing through the admissions process on the USNA website, it doesn't say anything about an essay, resume, etc. being part of it. Just GPA, Rank, SAT Scores, school transcript, and an interview after all is submitted. But if she does a significant amount of out of school activities (such as years of muay thai and jiu jitsu training), where is that information applied?

Also, how hard is it to get a nomination? Is that half the battle ?
Difficulty in getting a nom depends on your location and personal situation (parent on Active Duty/Reserve, disabled Vet, etc).
Essay is part of the application and also many nominating sources ask for one.
The resume is not a requirement per se but is a good thing to have for interviewers, especially the Congressional Panels. As a BGO, I have rarely been handed a resume by
my candidates during my interview and I certainly don't expect one.
Info on out of school activities goes into the online application for USNA as well as onto the resume.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
That early questionnaire is a pre-screener to do an initial qualification just to be a candidate. Once through that screening, the full app becomes available.

Getting a nom is one piece of the puzzle, though it can feel like another whole process - because it is. Successful applicants are scholastically, medically and physically qualified, with at least 1 nom. Easy enough to say, but it’s a long road that takes perseverance, attention to detail and commitment. The application process is a test in itself. She is starting at the right time to learn the ropes.

If your daughter hasn’t read every page, link and drop-down at USNA.edu, I recommend it. Ditto elected official service academy web pages and info nights. Read the Stickies at the top of the Nominations forum here on SAF.

If she wants to be a Navy or Marine Corps Officer, she should also be researching NROTC scholarships. Another whole process!
 

Shaka

Member
All of the above....and there are usually 3 essays for USNA. Not long. We found that DS setting up a resume was a great experience because it helped him distill his information for his interviews (Boy's State, Noms, BGO, WP and ROTC). As mentioned above - there are 4 distinct processes happening 1) SA applications 2) Nomination applications 3) ROTC applications 4) Regular university applications. All in, my son wrote 25 essays (themed off of about 5 topics), got 23 letters of recommendation, and filled out 9 applications and did 4 different physical assessments (CFA, VMI, NROTC and AROTC). He had an excel spreadsheet to keep track of all the requirements and did all his essays in Google Drive. When I saw the applications process I realized it in and of itself is a great way to weed out people - only those with determination and strong executive functioning skills can make it through all that!
 

GoCubbies

Member
DD is a Sophomore. She will be going through this process next year. When glancing through the admissions process on the USNA website, it doesn't say anything about an essay, resume, etc. being part of it. Just GPA, Rank, SAT Scores, school transcript, and an interview after all is submitted. But if she does a significant amount of out of school activities (such as years of muay thai and jiu jitsu training), where is that information applied?

Also, how hard is it to get a nomination? Is that half the battle ?
You'll see everyone on this forum recommend to apply to every nomination source your DD for which she will be eligible. My DD followed that advice to the letter - to include applying for a VP nom. She applied for all the nomination sources even though she had a Presidential nom in her portal in late summer 2018.

As a sophomore, your DD will be applying for noms in the summer/fall 2020 timeframe. Your MOCs will have varying times in terms of when nom apps become available and when they are due.

Let's say, for example, your senior senator won't have nom apps open until 1 July 2020. That doesn't mean she has to wait until the nom app opens to work on them. My DD got a hold of the nom app from the previous cycle (oftentimes, they're still on the MOC website) and looked at the requirements. For example, when she saw one of the apps required 2 letters of recommendation, she asked a couple of her junior year teachers in Apr/May if they would be willing to write an LOR for her in the Jul/Aug timeframe. The app also required a 4x6 picture. When she took her grad pic in late June, she made sure she ordered enough 4x6 pics to include in nomination apps. So when the nom app finally opened on 1 July, she already set the conditions for her to get all the requirements done by 31 July. She knocked out that nom app by the first week in August.

The rep for our district didn't open her app until 1 Aug. My DD called the office and asked the staff if the app on the website is still relevant for the upcoming app cycle. The lady told my DD that the app would be the same but they just needed to change the dates to reflect the new cycle. Once she got that confirmation, my DD started working that app in July. When the app opened on 1 August, she was ready. She submitted that app within a couple of weeks if it opening on the rep website.

The big thing is she didn't have to wait until classes started in late August to ask for LORs for noms. She had greased the skids with her junior year teachers during the spring that she would need LORs over the summer. The teachers were more than happy to do it for her. They put the LORs in envelopes and left at the school office for my DD to pick up during the summer.

How hard is it to get a nomination? Our rep gets less than 10 apps per SA every year. Basically, my DD was competing against less than 10 other students for the 10 slots our rep has on each slate. For the noms from the senators, the letters sent to my DD from both said they got over 350 apps for the 10 slots on the slate. I don't think any of the MOCs did the primary nom thing. I think they just submit 10 names on a slate to the SA and let each select from the 10. I guess what I'm trying to tell you is I'm echoing what someone mentioned previously. It depends on your district on difficulty on getting a nom. If you live in a district around the DC area, then it'll be difficult to get a nom from the rep or senators.

Read your local paper. Many times, the reps will put out a news release on who they nominated and to which SA. If you see the rep is nominating less than 10, then either 1) they got less than 10 apps or 2) they got more than 10 apps but chose to nominate less than 10 because maybe the MOC didn't feel the others were competitive. On the whole though, it seems the MOCs try to maximize the names on their slates. Also, ask the staff member in the MOC's office on how many apps they get in a typical year.

The reality though, it doesn't matter who else is in your district. Your DD just needs to put forward the best app she can and things will take care of itself. DD can control what goes into her app. She can can't control who else in the district/state applies.

Good luck!!! Wish you and your family a good ride in this long process.
 
DD is a Sophomore. She will be going through this process next year. When glancing through the admissions process on the USNA website, it doesn't say anything about an essay, resume, etc. being part of it. Just GPA, Rank, SAT Scores, school transcript, and an interview after all is submitted. But if she does a significant amount of out of school activities (such as years of muay thai and jiu jitsu training), where is that information applied?

Also, how hard is it to get a nomination? Is that half the battle ?
I personally would suggest she begin working on her resume regardless of where she hopes to go. Better to work on it as you go then to research back for it. It is something she will eventually need somewhere. I would also suggest she begin working on an essay simply to help her think clearly about potential questions for future interviews. My two cents worth.
 

Heatherg21

Member
Our DS is applying now for nominations from ALL sources available to him and to 3 SA's. He has been updating his resume since his freshmen year. Being in Future Business Leaders of America was a great asset as it required him to do a resume, and he also competed in interview and resume, great way to practice! His Junior year Honors English teacher, Honors Pre Calculus and Honors physics teachers were all brought into the loop spring of his jr. year to let them know the process and to expect email links from academies asking them to complete their portions. He greased the skids with them early and followed up with emails the day he inputted their info into the application portal. Make sure your DD/DS takes as many ACT and SAT as necessary to get her scores up. And make sure you take the tests early enough to have scores back in time to meet application deadlines, both for noms and academies.
Be ready to answer questions re goals, reasons you want to serve, make sure your essay catches the reader's attention and is unique and could only be written by your kiddo, not generic. We also have a 'yea, me!' binder that he keeps all of his awards, certificates etc in. At a glance we can see what he has accomplished. He keeps a ledger of his community service hours as well. And he requested various letters of recommendation early, teachers are hard to reach over the summer. Also, sit down with HS guidance counselor and make sure they know the path she/he may be choosing to make sure her course load meets an academy requirement. Try to attend Boys/Girls State. Compete in any competitions that are suited to he/she. Speech contests, poetry, essay, talent etc. The portal will leave you plenty of room for your DS/DD to list athletics and other awards. Most of all, pour yourself a glass of wine and settle in. This is a long long road. I am a mom of a DS who is just working on apps for 2024, and it is all consuming.
 
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