Scholastic Qualification


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jul 17, 2008
I know this is probably been answered countless times before, but the search engine here isn't... phenomenal. Anyway, I was wondering: At what point are you reviewed for scholastic qualification? When you have essay+recommendations+transcript+Activites log, or do they review you after you have everyyyything completed, i.e CFA, BGO interview, Dodmerb, Nom.? I've finished everything other than my CFA (which i've had to push back because of illness.) Am I all set?. what are my chances of getting a LOA at this point (so far I've only gotten a Pres. Nom)? Can you get a LOA if you don't have CFA done?
You're right it's been answered numerous times. The basic application that is completed online along is just that, it's user friendly with straight forward instructions. Complete it and when you're satisfied with it (and it's good to have another set of eyes to review), then submit it. The recommendations are separate and should follow shortly (this you'll have to track). Now my 2012 Plebe daughter waited until at least towards the end of first semester to obtain recommendations (and the "squeeky mouse gets the cheese" concept was applied). Noms and DODMERB come after and are conditions (that must be met) as outlined in LOAs. The BGO Interview will be submitted by the him/her in a different through different channels (and believe you me, he/she know their jobs and will ensure it is submitted). CFA should be done ASAP and I believe a prereq for LOA.

Keep getting those Noms...the more the merrier. But it only takes one.

The BGO is a wealth of information. If you're interview is a ways out, nothing stops you from calling/emailing/snail mailing/drum pounding and/or smoke signalling him/her for advice. These individuals are volunteers and are passionate about helping candidates. So use this resource to the utmost.

As far as your chances for LOAs. You have as much chance as the rest of the nation has that are also applying. I know you're heard this in the past, the Academy selects on a whole-person concept. Though your original question was on scholastically qualified, you need to understand, everything is intertwined. Leadership, social environment, school work, fitness etc., all should equate to that whole-person. Part of what the board screens for if for basic traits that will help candidates survive the rigors of the Academy and lead our Navy. "Toot" your horn, for no one else will "toot" it as loudly as your self. But also, be humble. The process is long but their will be a lot of people along the way to help. Knowing and learning how to use your resources (with verbal judo) is another leadership trait.

This forum is outstanding and the search engine works just fine. You just have to get "jiggy" with it sometimes. That's part of the whole-person concept. Hope I placed you on the right course and heading. Good Luck to you and feel free to PM anytime.
Remember, what you really want is an APPOINTMENT. From what I have read previously, only ~1/6 of a given class receives an LOA, and once you're there, they don't know or care who got one. So, as hard as it seems, try not to be disappointed if you happen not to get one.

Even if we knew your stats, we could not, with any confidence, predict whether you would get an LOA. If it helps, I can tell you my daughter's stats (she did have an LOA for 2012): 6th of 220 in extremely competitve HS, National Merit Finalist, varsity athlete and co-captain, ECAs, "walks on water" recommendations, etc.

For the Class of 2012, one could get an LOA without the CFA, because my daughter's letter said that it was contingent on successful completion of the CFA, medical qualification, and receipt of a nomination. That may or may not apply this year.

Good luck!
^^^^^ I agree. This also comes up every year on these forums. Getting an APPOINTMENT is the goal. Don't confuse that with a LOA (Letter of Assurance) which are only given to a very small number of applicants. You can also search back on older posts on this subject to see what has been discussed in the recent past.
Typically, USNA won't review your package until it's 100% complete (other than medical). However, I've had candidates receive LOAs with most, but not all, of their package complete (missing, for example, their BGO interview).

As noted above, while LOAs are nice, they are NOT the goal. And, the overwhelming majority of candidates don't get LOAs. And starting I-Day (if not sooner) NO ONE will know or care whether you got an LOA unless you tell them, which would be very uncool.:thumbdown: Thus, as everyone above has said, focus on the appointment.
The Admissions Board reviews candidate admission files for scholastic qualification as they are completed. The board is made up of approximately 12 members of the staff and faculty of the Naval Academy. The board meets every Thursday to review records beginning in late August and continuing until mid-April. Those candidates qualified scholastically by the Admissions Board will receive a a Scholastic Qualification Letter (known as a 'Q' letter). Those candidates determined by the Admissions Board to be highly qualified candidates may receive Conditional Offers of Appointment (known as Letters of Assurance or 'LOA').

Typically, in order to trigger your admission file to go before the Board for scholastic review, you must submit the following documents:
  • Math and English recommendations (1 each)
  • Candidate Activities record (ECA)
  • Personal Data record /Personal Statement
  • Transcript request
  • Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA)
Your Presidential nomination (congratulations!) does not play into the decision on scholastic qualification but the CFA does so complete the CFA and submit the form as soon as possible.

I say above 'typically' because there are always exceptions to rules. The Admissions Board may review a candidate file before all documents are submitted if the candidate appears to be highly qualified. Regardless, all documents must be submitted to be considered for an appointment.

Echoing the advice already given, focus on an appointment and not an LOA. In order to be eligible for an appointment, a candidate must be:

  • Found scholastically qualified by the Admissions Board
  • Medically qualified
  • Pass the CFA (be physically qualified)
  • Receive an official nomination
If you have not spoken with your BGO about this please do so as soon as possible. He/She will help you navigate through the Admissions process and may help alleviate some of your search engine frustrations. The information I have provided above is directly out of the The Naval Academy Information Program Handbook published by the USNA Candidate Guidance Office for all BGOs. I encourage you to use him/her as a resource in addition to the blogs.

Good luck and BEAT ARMY!
Could one receive a principal appointment without being scholastically qualified?
this is maui1, correction in my above post: my question is, would one receive a principal nomination and yet not be scholastically qualified?
Very possible. Most MOC offices know if a candidate is scholastically qualified before giving the noms. While they may give a "courtesy nom" to someone not academically qualified, usually they would not give a principal to such a candidate rather giving a principal to someone they know will get an appointment. I can think of a few scenarios where they may knowingly give it to a non-academically qualified but I would not expect it to be done very often and can guarantee that offices I work with would not - though a principal nom gives a very big boost to a file. More likely is that there are LOAs in the district & the MOC wants to be sure to get more than just the LOAs appointed ... to do that they will give a principal - and possibly rank the alternates - the principal in that case would be someone without an LOA who they believe to be best of the non-LOA recipients but who may not look best on paper. In doing this the MOC district will be assured more appointments for this year than they have available slots (LOA recipients MAY not be charged to the MOC but if the MOC does not give a principal nom the highest WCS will be charged to the MOC - even if it is an LOA). Complicated - there is an awful lot that goes into this process ....
Thanks for taking the time to explain all that. I think I get most of it and it is complicated. We are hoping for an appointment very very soon now and I just wanted to be able to understand the process. If one doesn't have a LOA but receives the principal nomination, it appears that still isn't a guarantee for an appointment from what all I have read, but, it seems the principal is the preferable nomination. It would be a bummer to receive a principal nom and then not get the appointment due to not being 3Q'd. It almost seems like all applicants should be 3q'd before receiving the nomination because then it would be a given. I don't know all the reasons for the process but it is complicated and we will continue to be patient....cuz we have to!

hey, where are you at? I'm in Honolulu....i'm assuming you're in Maui? did you come over to Honolulu for Sen. Inouye's interview? we should know something by the end of the month...
Hey howzit,

We live in California. Every Christmas for the last several years we'd go to Maui or another island. Maui is just close to our hearts.