Jan 24, 2017
Just curious, if one were to apply to USMA as an ROTC cadet, what would have the greatest bearing then in terms of admissions? Is OML/College GPA looked at or is the candidate's high school career still the biggest factor? How does an ROTC nom play in as opposed to a congressional one? I'm not currently in ROTC or college for that matter, just looking ahead should I not be admitted my first go. Any information would be appreciated.
There are a few things to consider as my DD successfully navigated the process a second time this year. They are still looking for well rounded candidates so it is hard to say what has the greatest advantage but here are a few things to consider:

  • Academic portion of WCS - Your high school class rank, profile and test scores are still used to develop your academic score in WCS. You college grades will provide an increase to your score that is not available to high school students. If you have an above average high school record, the boost can put you over the top. If you had an average high school record, the boost may make you competitive. You can still retake the ACT/SAT to improve your chances.
  • You need to take challenging classes that resemble what a first year cadet will take and DO WELL. You do not need a 4.0 but a 3.5 would be nice, below a 3.0 and your chances get long. If you test out of Calc I, replace it with Calc 2 not music theory.
  • Nomination - You will have the opportunity to compete for an additional nomination which allows for another appointment source. You should also apply to your MOCs. You still have to win a slate to get appointed; you may have a chance to come off the NWL but why leave things to chance. There are approximately 20 ROTC appointment slots each year but based on the data I have seen posted, they do not charge all of them. Your OML in ROTC will have an impact here. Your PMI will have to complete the nomination and most will use your ROTC performance to complete the nomination.
  • You will get to complete another activity list that can help increase your extracurricular and leadership scores but you only have the first semester of college to add things. Finding leadership positions as a first semester freshman can be challenging
  • The academy will not evaluate your packet until after they receive your first semester transcript. You should have everything else completed by December so you can be boarded as soon as your transcript is received.
These are the main differences in applying as a college student but the things you need are very similar. The bottom line is to keep doing things well and do not give up. It can be done.
One more thing to keep in mind, recent data from both USMA and USNA show between 25-30% of the last few classes have at least one year of post high school education.