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Reapplying, Northwestern Prep, Self-Prep

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by KamikazeKim, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. KamikazeKim

    KamikazeKim Member

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    I've been posting on this forum since a couple months but have been browsing the forum since last year. As many of other families, I received my TWE sometime in mid-April last year. I decided to Self-Prep at NWP this past semester and was fortunate enough to receive an appointment. I understand there are probably a lot of questions about the program or self prepping in general and just wanted to make a thread to help people answer their questions. If you are not comfortable with posting publicly, I'm more than happy to answer your question through private message.
     
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  2. slump

    slump Member

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    Thank you for starting this. I recieved my TWE this April and instantly decided to apply to NWP. I think its the best move for me too. The lady at NWP was great and said as far as she could see, it was my SAT scores that held me back. My fear from reading posts on this forum of such qualified applicants who have been denied is how can I stand out once my SATs improve? What do you feel made the Academy notice you on the third attempt? What were your weaknesses that denied you twice? You are so inspirational to keep trying and Im so excited for you that you made it in! Congrats!
     
  3. KamikazeKim

    KamikazeKim Member

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    Thank you! As for what kept you back, you can ask your ALO or admissions counselor as to why, specifically, you were not chosen over other candidates. I decided to email my admissions counselor, but they just told me "eh, there were people that were better". Was hoping I could get more details but hopefully your ALO or counselor could provide you details as to why. If your comfortable sharing with me, I could also give my two cents as to why. Going to NWP as a "free agent" or self prep (I'm assuming you are since thats what it sounds like) is a bit of a gamble. The Durbecks are good at what they do and can help the holes in your application. If you do go to NWP and believe it is your SAT scores, they can help you with that. However, it ultimately boils down to your effort and how much you raise it by. The cliche saying stands very true, you can bring a horse to water but you can't force it to drink. Even if you dunk the head of the horse into the water and the horse refuses to drink, it will die of thirst. It is the same way at NWP. The teachers there will do their best to make you score better on those standardized tests. I can say for sure, that Ms. Becker, the english teacher, raised my score a substantial amount that really helped my application.

    As for what the academy noticed, I'm not too certain. This was my second time applying I think the biggest difference was my English ACT score and my interviews. The ALO interview that I had done was mediocre (at best) and I believe my essay was was well written as well. What I could've talked about was poorly chosen and just thinking about it makes me facepalm. This year, I believe I had a great interview with my ALO and portrayed my personal character in the essay much better. The academies put very high value who you are as a character. SAT/ ACT scores, GPA, etc all those numbers mean a lot but the academy's jobs are to create officers, not perfect students.
     
  4. slump

    slump Member

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    When you say going to NWP as a free agent is a bit of a gamble, what exactly do you mean? Were you a Falcon or free agent? My Admissions counselor said my only area of concern was my SAT scores. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get in next year. Looking back on my essays and interview, I sorta feel that might have impacted me as well. Do you feel the content of your essays this year where more of what they were looking for? I guess I really didnt know exactly what to write about because I had never gone through something like this. I never saw a sample of someones essays that actually got in to compare. Anyway, I'm hoping at NWP they will be able to guide and assist with this....thanks again for the help!
     
  5. KamikazeKim

    KamikazeKim Member

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    Well, as you know TWE's and such are coming out right now. I, myself, was a free agent. There were approx 35-40? free agents. Somewhere around there? Just because you go to NWP doesn't mean you get an appointment. As a Free agent, you really have to fight for your appointment so there will be people who won't make it. That is what I meant by a gamble. If you sincerely believe improving your SAT will definitely get you in, I think NWP would be a great place for you.
     
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  6. flightoverfight

    flightoverfight Member

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    It's definitely the road less traveled... it can be done but it's not easy. If you can stick it out though, it speaks volumes about your character. I was a Free Agent at NWP in the '15 class and 6 out of 30ish Free Agents from the class made it in... so you really do have to fight for your spot. It can be an incredible and life-changing experience, but you have to see it as that. USAFA is the exact same way, and Doolie year constantly tests your character and perseverance. Bottom line: NWP will set you up for all the success in the world and the Durbecks are phenomenal people, but they're not the ones filling out your application.
     
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  7. slump

    slump Member

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    Thank you both for your honest opinions. I feel like I've had to fight my way this far, I guess if you want something bad enough, be prepared to keep fighting because nothing worth having is ever easy! I'm gonna swallow hard and give them the fight of my life. It's everything to me, and I'm prepared to do whatever it takes. If I don't succeed next year, then third times a charm :) Its so nice to have people like yourselves helping and giving advice. I don't have an older sibling, so any advice and help is always a blessing to me! Thank you both from the bottom of my heart!
     
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  8. kjc_25

    kjc_25 Member

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    Nwp is definitely a gamble. I improved all portions of my application significantly and still did not receive an appointment. If I could do it over again I would do ROTC at a civilian college. Worst case you don't get in you're still on track to commission in 3 years. It can also be another source of nomination if you live in a competitive area. Doing ROTC also shows the academy you are committed to a career as an officer. I wouldn't trade my time at nwp for anything but I think it's way riskier than the alternative especially if you are not on scholarship. You lose a semester of college credit and if you don't get in you're really in a hole. Live and learn I guess. Feel free to pm me with any questions.
     
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  9. KamikazeKim

    KamikazeKim Member

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    Since flightoverfight gave a statistic, I would like to share our statistic at NWP this year. We had about ~45 free agents this year at NWP. Out of the 45 students, at least 40 had AF as their first pick. Out of the 45 free agents, from what I know for sure, 8 received appointments for AF. 1 for Annapolis 1 for WP, 2 for MMA and none so far for CG. The student who received a Navy appointment also received an Air Force appointment. Now, I don't keep contact with all my classmates at NWP. It's difficult to keep track of everyone when they are in dififerent sides of the country. There will be some students, for sure, that I missed so the statistic is slightly better than what I portrayed.

    I actually know who kjc_25 is and she had one of the highest standardized test scores. I remember because during one of the study halls, I overheard Mrs. Durbeck coming up to her and congratulating her on how well she did on the test. Even though she is from Colorado, the state with the most competition, she definitely had the standardized test score to be admitted. On the other side of the spectrum, there was the student who received an appointment for Navy and Air Force. Navy was her first pick but this person wasn't as nearly an outstanding student as kjc was, at least in my opinion. Yet, they got appointment to not just 1, but 2 academies, 1 being their first choice. There are a lot more factors that go into admissions than just test scores. The district that you live in, school profile, interview, essay are all very important aspects of your essay that you shouldn't overlook.
     
  10. USMA96

    USMA96 New Member

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    You can add one more to the appointments from self preppers at NWP for USNA. My DS was a free agent and received his appointment earlier this week. He is on the waitlist at USCGA, but will attend USNA.
     
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  11. slump

    slump Member

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    wow! thats great! Congrats! Does anyone feel comfortable enough to share the theme of one or some of their essays that they felt were written well? Just very curious as to what the academy might find of interest?
     
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  12. slump

    slump Member

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    Gosh, I'm really sorry. From the post below from Kamikazekim, it sounds like you did great at NWP and scored excellent on your tests. It just doesn't seem at all fair when you give it your all, and despite that, someone else is taken over you due to geography or something beyond your control. If I had an ROTC scholarship, I think my decision might be easier, but I dont. BUT, if I can bring my test scores up, then I am assuming I can reapply for ROTC scholarships and have more options moving forward???
     
  13. kjc_25

    kjc_25 Member

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    Its quite alright, the academies don't owe me anything and I don't sit on the boards so I don't know why they made the decision they did. I'm just saying that even though I improved on every single part of my application, scores, leadership, CFA, I didn't get in. Its a gamble. That's why its important to have a backup and it took an extra year of maturity to see that the academies aren't the end all be all and that ROTC would have been a comparable option. You can still reapply and worst case scenario you'll already be on the path to success.
    So since you don't have an ROTC scholarship you can do it without a scholarship and try to earn one. It's all dependent on your grades and performance in your detachment. You can't apply for one at NWP you would have to already be in your detachment and proving yourself.
     
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  14. slump

    slump Member

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    ugh, yes that is a very good point. Thanks for pointing that out. My head feels like it has been spinning ever since I got the TWE and I am worried that I am making hasty decisions out of desperation to hold onto this. I have a lot to think about, that is for sure :( I do so appreciate everyone's experiences/opinions.
     
  15. kjc_25

    kjc_25 Member

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    No worries, its your decision to make just thought I'd try to help with my experiences and new perspective on things. But get in contact with your ALO and see what he/ she thinks.
     
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  16. slump

    slump Member

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    I truly do appreciate your insight. I will definitely do that! Thanks so much!
     
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  17. JM45

    JM45 Member

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    My suggestion would be to keep in mind, at every turn, there are no guarantees to any approach, and no sure-fire way to get in. Do what is best for you, and what makes sense for you, even if and especially if you don't get in next time. "Just in case." Also, keep in mind that you are more than a number on a GPA, or CFA, or standardized test, and especially that your "competition" are others within your nomination source. Find out what makes you different from them, and celebrate that. Remember, by the time they make selections , everyone at that point is good and qualified. As far as essays, don't hesitate to consider this arduous process you've just gone through, and how you plan to overcome! Good luck!
     
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