A couple of weeks ago my son got a "Scholastically Qualified" ltr in the mail. He also received a nomination from his MOC. USNA states that approx. 2000 "SQed" and 1500 offered and 1250 make up a class.
Congratulations. Your son has completed two of the more significant portions of the application process. He has been awarded a nomination. This nomination can be by any one of the following three methods as determined entirely by the MOC:
Competitive: This is the method of nomination favored by the academies. The Member of Congress submits to an academy an unranked slate of up to ten nominees for each vacancy. The candidates are then ranked in order of merit. The most highly qualified is selected for an offer of admission (an appointment). If the Member has more than one vacancy, ten nominees may be submitted for each vacancy (two vacancies:20 unranked nominees, three vacancies:30 nominees, etc.).The academy then selects the best of the qualified nominees.
Principal With Competing Alternates: This method provides for designation of a principal nominee by the Member of Congress. The other nine unranked nominees are submitted to the academy for evaluation and compete as alternates. If the principal is fully qualified (academics, medical and physical aptitude),he or she will be appointed and will fill the vacancy. Note that this method does not take into account the quality of the other nominees if the principal nominee is fully qualified. On the other hand, if the principal does not qualify, the alternates then compete for the vacancy. Selection at this point is based on order of merit only.
Principal with Numbered Alternates: Under this method, the principal nominee is designated and the alternate nominees are ranked in order of preference by the Member of Congress. If fully qualified, the principal nominee receives the appointment to fill the vacancy. If the principal nominee does not qualify, then the first alternate is considered for the appointment and so on In effect, the highest designated nominee who is fully qualified for entrance is appointed to fill the vacancy.
Since the Competitive will definitely and Principal With Competing Alternates may involve the Admissions Dept competitively ranking all the candidates by order of merit in order to make an appointment, it is unlikely that appointments will be granted by these methods, unless in the second method the Principal is fully qualified, until the admissions deadline so all candidates packages will be complete and they can be evaluated fairly.
Many MOCs will not divulge their method of submittal. That should not prevent the candidate from calling and attempting to ascertain the method.
Your son is also scholastically qualified. This means he has been before the academic board which meets every Thursday. The board is comprised of various department heads, senior professors, members of the Commandants staff, and members of the Admissions Dept. A member of the Admissions Dept will present the file to the board. It will be presented on a large projection screen. The presentation will continue until the board, using little multicolored dies, agree on one of three outcomes: qualified, deferred for more information, or not qualified. The NOT QUALIFIEDS are then further examined at this time as potential NAPS or Foundation candidates. Only the not qualified are considered for these alternate programs.
His next two steps are to ensure that he is medically qualified by jumping through all the DoDMERB hoops and to pass the CFA. After he has completed both of these, he will be triple qualified. Last year there were approximately 1900 candidates who fit this category.
He is competing with the other 10 names submitted by the MOC. If someone else wins the 1 spot out of the 10, is he put in the pool of with all candidates that are nominated?
Exactly, all candidates who do not receive primary nominations from their MOC or the VP, or nominations from the President, SecNav, ROTC, etc. will become Qualified Alternates and enter the national pool.
. Are the LOA's considered in this # of 2000 "SQed"?.
LOAs are letters promulgated by the Academy to “capture” highly desirable candidates and assure them that they have a spot at the Academy if they qualify. LOAs are not a part of US Code Title 10, which delineates in detail the selection process. Therefore they must fit within this law. All LOAs who qualify will be awarded a primary MOC nomination, either as a primary candidate or as the most qualified by merit, only if they indeed are, of a competitive slate. All others will be relegated to the national pool where they again will be ranked by merit and selected. Judicious promulgation of LOAs by the Admissions Dept should ensure that they all are qualified to obtain appointments by one of the above methods.
What is the final due date for all applications?
Jan 31. Amplifying info such as revised SATs and end-of-semester grades may be added later but the basic package must be complete by Jan 31.
How does the board work? What type of piles do they sort thru? Does it start by states?MOC's? Senator's
I answered some of this above. After the candidate has completed the application (less DodMERB and CFA) and has completed the BGO interview, he is eligible for the board. My observation is that I see very few deferreds or not qualifieds at this time, so the admissions department is only putting those before the board at this point in the admissions cycle who they feel will pass.
Do they release the Appointees all at one time or as a pile is completed?
The Academy does rolling selections. The first group will be triple qualified primary ranked nominees from MOCs and also Presidential nominations. The others normally can only be filled once the deadline has passed and all pertinent applications are submitted and evaluated. And furthermore, only when all the primary appointments are filled can the qualified alternate pool begin.
Can some of the "SQed" be offered NAPS?
I am not 100% sure that SQed are NEVER offered alternate programs but I don’t think so. As I have stated above, these candidates normally come from the Not Qualifieds. NAPS offers normally have very strong packages with the exception of academics, either course work or SATs and, thusly, are not scholastically qualified. The typical bottom of the triple qualified list are normally overall weak candidates.
I hope I have made some sense. It is a complicated process. Some MOCs don’t necessarily understand all the nuances and sometimes “play games” which can convolute the process and really not help anyone. Also, MOC representatives, barely understanding the process themselves, over simplify their answers to candidates, further confusing the issue. Bottom line: All appointments are done in strict accordance with US Code Title 10, Chapter 603.