Residence state

jonnyfrank1961

New Member
My son is applying to the USNA, and this is a very real goal for him. His credentials are solid across the board. We live in a competitive state, and he has considered the worst case scenario of not getting in the first time around. If he does not get in, he is considering moving to South Dakota, North Dakota, or Wyoming and doing a gap year while focusing on maxing his ACT and SAT scores and staying in excellent shape (he has solid scores already in all those areas) while reapplying. He would have a physical address, and as parents we would not claim him as a dependent.

The question I have is how long does he need to live there in order to get his nomination there and be considered a candidate from one of those states? He would probably work part time, so he would have a 1099 or w-2 as well. I realize this is very "out of the box", but he is very focused on the USNA and has no issue waiting a year and reapplying. Any and all input would be appreciated.
 

mswmommy

Member
My son is applying to the USNA, and this is a very real goal for him. His credentials are solid across the board. We live in a competitive state, and he has considered the worst case scenario of not getting in the first time around. If he does not get in, he is considering moving to South Dakota, North Dakota, or Wyoming and doing a gap year while focusing on maxing his ACT and SAT scores and staying in excellent shape (he has solid scores already in all those areas) while reapplying. He would have a physical address, and as parents we would not claim him as a dependent.

The question I have is how long does he need to live there in order to get his nomination there and be considered a candidate from one of those states? He would probably work part time, so he would have a 1099 or w-2 as well. I realize this is very "out of the box", but he is very focused on the USNA and has no issue waiting a year and reapplying. Any and all input would be appreciated.
What you could do if it comes to that is call the office of each Senator and Congressperson for each of those states. Ask what their specific criteria might be in order for someone to be considered enough of a resident to qualify for a service academy nomination from that office. I learned that each office may have different criteria so there isn't one answer for them all.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
This is a legal question, and the requirements for establishing residency vary from state to state. Common factors include maintaining a residence, registering vehicle, registering to vote, etc. There is often an "intent" element , ie. does the person intend to establish the state as his/her residence.

Intent is hard to prove either way, but I suspect that a MOC office will look askance at a carpet bagger that comes to the state in order to get a nomination. In addition, the BGO will inquire . How will DS explain his presence in a state that he has no apparent ties too ?

Admissions will know this is a reapplicant. I suspect they will question a GAP year without any meaningful academic activity and quickly figure out the scheme.

Its' probably been done before...but that doesn't make it right. If truly a strong candidate, I would suggest that attending a four year college, taking a strong STEM courseload, participate in NROTC, etc. (See the sticky above about Reapplication). In my opinion, that is more honorable (and effective) route to Appointment than trying to game the system.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
I second what Old Navy BGO says.

If your DS moves to ND and rents or owns property in his own name and registers to vote there and gets a driver's license there and pays taxes there (or is set to), he MIGHT be considered a resident after a full year of living there. But it sounds to me like he will have been in ND at best for only a few months when he starts applying (graduation through application). My gut feel is that won't be enough for USNA and may also not be enough for the MOCs.
Imagine the MOC/BGO interview:

Q: "So, I see you're new to ND. What brings you here?"
A: "Well, I wanted to make it easier for me to get a nomination to a SA."

Uh, that's going to go over well.:rolleyes:

A couple of other points. Competitive areas typically send a large number of candidates to SAs. It's not uncommon for several (or even all) nominees on a slate ultimately to receive an appointment.

In a less-competitive area, you may need to "win" your slate. And, don't kid yourself, there are highly competitive candidates in places like ND. There are fewer of them. But, there are a lot fewer folks at USNA from ND than from northern VA. So, even if your DS moved and could get over the "carpetbagger" hurdle, no guarantee he would win his slate.

[Edited to reply to the above] -- I too used naturally used the word "carpetbagger" without even seeing it in the other post. Understand the OP's DS's desire to serve and to do whatever it takes to do so. And understand the frustration of those who live in ultra-competitive areas. However, moving for no reason other than to make it "easier" to obtain a nom does connote the concept mentioned. Politicians do it all the time -- move to a state to run for political office b/c they think it will be easier to get elected there. They often do (see H. Clinton in NY and many others in both parties). So, the term is what it is -- a statement of what is occurring, not a matter of respect.]
 

pleber16

USNA 2016
5-Year Member
Your son also needs to consider that all involved in the USNA application process (MOCs, admissions officers, BGOs) are looking at end goal. Going to USNA is a means to an end. If he really wants to be a Naval Officer, they're going to want to know why his plan B doesn't also steer him towards that goal. Personally I think he'd have much greater success with a 4 year college and NROTC as others have suggested. Because what if he doesn't get in the second time either? Now he's a resident (maybe) of a state he might not have a real desire to be in with not much more development than higher test scores, better physical fitness, and hopefully some job experience.

Other added benefit of NROTC, another nomination source he wouldn't have otherwise.
 

Imboden

Member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that USNA generally won't accept applicants with a "gap year" from academics unless enlisted. This is unique to USNA admission standards from the other academies. This means that you would need to be enrolled full time in a four-year college or certain prep schools.
 

time2

10-Year Member
Agree with above remarks that 'gaming' the NOM process is NOT a good idea and can really back-fire on an otherwise qualified candidate. Calling the MOC in some other state/region and asking about residency requirements is a dreadful idea and likely to raise all sorts of red-flags. They have seen enough applicants to know when a person is trying to 'game' the NOM process.

You also have NO idea how many will be applying next year for a NOM in that area, so you may find yourself no better off than where you started.

Some people also do not realize that the criteria for being 3Q is the SAME nationwide, getting a NOM is the only variable you might be able to impact by changing where you live.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that USNA generally won't accept applicants with a "gap year" from academics unless enlisted. This is unique to USNA admission standards from the other academies. This means that you would need to be enrolled full time in a four-year college or certain prep schools.
Not sure I'd say "won't accept." But you do raise an excellent point. USNA recommends that an unsuccessful applicant attend a 4-year college. Someone not doing that would have to explain why -- for example, totally unable to afford any college of any type and unable to secure scholarships of any kind. Or maybe doing some sort of research project that is educational and really the equivalent in terms of advancing knowledge to a year of college.

The other "problem" with the gap year strategy is that it is almost certain to weaken one's application. There will be no new grades b/c the candidate isn't in school. The candidate isn't involved in school so is getting further away from studying and the knowledge he had as a senior and not building on his knowledge like his peers who are in college/prep school. Not going to have many leadership opportunities, though there would be some benefit in working. Not likely to be engaged in team/competitive sports. Essentially, one is counting on the same packet doing better in another place. And having to explain to USNA why gap year is beneficial.

Finally, the OP actually raises an interesting question and one that I'm sure MANY parents/candidates have considered, so no one should jump all over him for asking, myself included. He does highlight the unfortunate fact that where one lives (or where the parents live) does have at least some impact on the likelihood of getting an appointment, though maybe not quite as much as some believe. In the end, Congress wrote the law and the rest of us have to live with it.
 

jonnyfrank1961

New Member
Thanks for the empathy, lol. The inquiry was based on a simple conversation I had with my son over Thanksgiving break regarding worst case scenario, and this was one of many considerations, and certainly the most far fetched, hence the post. Rest assured, the moral compass of my son and his entire family is working just fine, and this wild eyed idea has been put to rest.
 

jl123

Member
My son is applying to the USNA, and this is a very real goal for him. His credentials are solid across the board. We live in a competitive state, and he has considered the worst case scenario of not getting in the first time around. If he does not get in, he is considering moving to South Dakota, North Dakota, or Wyoming and doing a gap year while focusing on maxing his ACT and SAT scores and staying in excellent shape (he has solid scores already in all those areas) while reapplying. He would have a physical address, and as parents we would not claim him as a dependent.

The question I have is how long does he need to live there in order to get his nomination there and be considered a candidate from one of those states? He would probably work part time, so he would have a 1099 or w-2 as well. I realize this is very "out of the box", but he is very focused on the USNA and has no issue waiting a year and reapplying. Any and all input would be appreciated.
There is a bit of a Catch 22 in the idea of moving to a less competitive state to increase chances of an appointment.
  1. Such states have 1 or maybe 2 congressional districts so you are essentially competing statewide on all three MOC slates (1 congressional, 2 senatorial). Moving to a new state on the chance that there are not 3 more qualified candidates in the entire state is a big risk.
  2. While getting a nomination in one of those states is virtually guaranteed to even the most minimally qualified applicant, getting an appointment is a different story. If you don't win one of the slates, you then compete nationally for an appointment.
  3. For most re-applicants the best strategy is to select a college or prep school that gives you the best preparation, and then think about nomination strategy. It may, or may not, be possible to pursue a nomination in the location of your school. It depends on the eligibility requirements of the MOCs.
Unless there is a deficiency in another area, the best way to improve your chances for appointment as a re-applicant is to get excellent grades in a curriculum similar to plebe year in subject matter and rigor.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
One other thought . . . meant to be realistic, rather than discouraging . . . and NOT directed at the OP.

USNA is a very competitive school. The fact is that some people just aren't competitive enough in the minds of USNA Admissions and/or the MOC nominations process to be appointed. It will never happen, just as a lot of folks will never be accepted to Stanford or Yale or MIT or (pick your favorite hyper-selective school). It's not a value judgment, merely the reality that there are far more highly qualified applicants than slots in the entering class.

For those who want to be an officer, there are of course other ways to achieve that goal, including reapplying to USNA as well as ROTC and OCS (whereas there are not other ways to be accepted to Stanford!). For those who wanted more than anything to attend USNA . . . this may be the first of what will undoubtedly be a number of "setbacks" in life. It may be the first time in life where you don't get the prize simply for participating, but it is reality in the "big bad world" out there.:) It's crushing at the time. I can only say that, having watched the process for nearly 2 decades as a BGO and on this site, the overwhelming majority of people who don't get into USNA go on to happy, outstanding, and wildly successful lives at their "Plan B" school and/or career.
 
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