Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by parent, Jun 11, 2019.
He found another way, just like Candidate #1 did.
None of us here can possibly know whether the school Superintendent used his influence to help his son. Assuming he did, as someone above said, life isn't always fair.
There will be many, many times in one's life when you think/believe/know you deserved and should have received something (job, promotion, pay raise, etc.) but didn't get it. And someone else who you think/believe/know didn't deserve it as much as you did, got it. It's happened to me many times.
You have two choices . . . stew over it or move on. 99% of the time stewing over it simply prevents you from achieving your goal. Moving on causes you to think creatively about your next steps -- done right, you often end up ahead of where you would have been had the original path been clear. [Being realistic - stew over it for a couple of days and then move on!]
The key is the lesson kids learn. When life isn't fair, do they take their ball and go home. Or do they pick up their ball and form their own game.
My best advice to any applicant is to stay in your own lane. Max out what you can control and don't worry about what you cannot.
DD did not attend Girl's State, stopped participating in Girl Scouts in 8th grade, never participated in JROTC, was not a principal nominee, does not have any direct military background, and has no political connections.
What she did have was an overwhelming drive to attain an appointment, so she put forth her best effort in everything she did do. As a result, she achieved her ultimate dream - an appointment to USNA.
As far as making accusations about someone else's behavior...the accuser had better have hard, cold proof. Suspicions don't cut it.
Personally I cannot imagine a parent approaching the school board with their child applying to the USNA can help in any way. I also cannot imagine it would do any favors for the child's application process or within the school community itself. I doubt nothing but negative consequences for your friend would come of it. Any possible accusations would be very difficult to prove and likely nothing would happen as a result. It's not worth it. If both boys went to Boys State then they cancel each other out on the point system. I don't believe co-president of NHS is that big of a deal in my opinion either. Like others have said your friend should focus on his test scores, class ranking, possible varsity team captain, other leadership positions that show real leadership, being very prepared for interviews and making sure his CFA is maxed.
Over 15,000 kids apply. Is it an absolutely perfect system? No. Does it produce a qualified class of Officers every year? Yes. This all reminds me of the threads that come about January- March, discussing how XXX got an offer with a lessor resume than person YYY. It happens allllll the time.
Honestly, if going to boards, reporting to admissions, etc make your SON feel better, then I say go for it. But I can pretty much guarantee the outcome will not be favorable to his application. In fact, it will probably have the opposite effect. It’s just not going to have any positive outcome to your DS, as I see it. Absent illegal activity that brings legal proceedings. And if he/she was a corrupt Supe, I would think he/she would have shown those colors before competing against your DS senior year.
If this were my son, I would advise him to work on his own stuff. Mind his own business. All he can control is his own application. He could be competing against hundreds of the Supes sons. And not even know it.
Life is not fair. Or equal.
BTW, my youngster did not attend State. Was not president of NHS. And not an Eagle Scout. But he is a very happy USNA Midshipman ‘22
My DD went for an NHS officer position and got one (appointed by teachers) and is attending Girls State. NHS officer was her own idea, I thought she already had enough on her plate and was against it and Girls state was because of the advice given on this board.
That's what we did, found another way. The process at my DD's HS was a mess due to the counselor who used to handle it had retired and the new counselor had no idea what she was doing. I emailed and asked questions last August and was told to wait until Jan. I waited and emailed again and again and again. And yes, I handled it and not my DD. I handled it because parents at our HS who makes noise and start copying the right people on emails usually get a fast response and by February the deadlines were quickly approaching. I was tired of playing nice and in my emails I told the school that they were responsible for students losing out on an amazing opportunity because they were dropping the ball.. During this time I also emailed our state American Legion Auxiliary in desperation and two weeks later I received a phone call from an 80 year old lady asking how she could help me and my DD. She was the liason for another HS in our district and pretty much said, "if your DD can find a sponsor in 3 days I will turn your DD's paperwork in with the applicants from this other HS." Needless to say DD found a sponsor.
Not too long after I was being the squeaky wheel, the counselor started calling in boys and girls who were in the Top 10% of their class to go over the process, my DD was invited but we had already turned in her paperwork by then. I felt sorry for the students who didn't have much time to prepare, I know some boys from her HS are there this week and I think my DD might be the only girl attending next week. So, maybe the Supe behaved unethically or maybe he didn't? Maybe he's on this board and trying to do everything the rest of us are doing to help our kids based on the advice given here. And I am thankful for the advice because DD is so excited about attending now after receiving texts from a couple of friends who are attending BS this week. She loves debating and politics and I think it is going to be a valuable experience whether she receives an appointment or not.
Well, this is a pretty public forum and when my DS was applying rarely did I meet another parent who wasn't at least familiar with this resource. Sooo.... my guess is if your Superintendent hasn't read this yet then it's probably just a matter of time before they become aware that someone is on to them. Unless there are a shocking number of school superintendents with kids attending Boy's State this summer
Honestly though, don't kill yourself playing the comparison game and stalking every other possible nominee in your district. Focus on your strengths. Worry about the things you can control. Encourage your kid to pull together an amazing package that represents their strengths, practice interviews and enjoy this last summer with your kid.
I have told all 3 of my kids at a very young age that life isn't fair. It stinks, but it is a reality.
There is unethical, and there is illegal. If something is done that is illegal... Of course report. The problem with 'unethical' is that we all have a different definition of that word and in the end, well, life isn't fair.
My son wasn't #1 in his class because other kids took advantage of the system. Knowing which classes were weighted more, which classes to take pass/fail, knowing not to take extra curricular classes because they weren't weighted.... My kid took the classes he felt were important to take and did his best in those classes. Although he lost spots in ranking, he did what he thought was best to make him the best.
Also, my kid wasn't #1 in his district cross county meet because a teammate skipped gym classes all week and rested, which is a smart thing to do for distance runners.. My son took part in a gym class 3 hours prior to the championship race and ended up taking 2nd to his teammate because he pulled his hamstring in gym. He was not happy with his finish, but happy that he followed the rules.
But guess what? He received an appointment and will be reporting to I-Day in 15 days, and will be a member of the cross country and track teams. He took control of anything and everything that he could control. He didn't concern himself with anything else.
The most important thing I can say about the main topic of this thread is that it doesn’t matter if the superintendent uses his influence to get his son into the Naval Academy because he won’t be able to do a da*n thing if his son actually gets in. First off the Navy admissions board does a fantastic job in my opinion on selecting candidates who fit the phrase “well-rounded.” Secondly, the superintendent won’t be able to email professors at Navy or plebe summer detailers to be more lenient on his son if his son actually gets into the academy. It is also important to realize that it doesn’t matter if you are president of NHS if you have done nothing to make an actual impact on the people around you. This is another thing the admissions board does well on, distinguishing title chasers vs impact makers.
In this response I want to emphasize that boys state is not a deciding factor on receiving an appointment to any service academy. There are other leadership opportunities that USNA looks at fondly. Many of the appointees in my district did not attend boys state.
Seven (7) days at Boys State equates to working for ten (10) years to attain Scouting's highest honor?
I will need to see that in writing.
I would like to see that too. I only made it as far as Star Scout, But I can remember putting in more than a weeks worth of work to get ONE merit badge! And you need 21 to make Eagle. (The surveying merit badge was HARD!). And years and years of leader ship on dozens and dozens of camping trips. My hat is off to anyone who makes Eagle.
I'm a bit biased on this one... I literally handed in my Eagle Scout paperwork to the board the day before my 18th birthday. It was one of the harder things I have done in my life. I get a little salty these days. It seems like there are many kids in my area earning their Eagle Scout rank as young as 14. A lot. I'm not sure if the standards lightened up in my region, or if there were rule changes. Our local troop produces 3-4 Eagle Scouts a year. I just these kids are putting in all the work required and aren't just being pushed thru the system.
I don't know about USNA but I can tell you for a fact that at USMA attending Boy State does equate to being an Eagle Scout.
I’m involved in our district’s Eagle Board of Review process. I have not seen any instances of less than stellar effort and achievement. The youngest has been just shy of 16. All have demonstrated leadership at multiple positions. Some of the projects are better than others but all meet or exceed the standards and have significant leadership. We do a lot of project proposal screening and typically turn back 50% of the first proposals, telling the Scout that more is expected (usually the portion of leading others in project execution needs some beefing up). The Boards of Review are not perfunctory- on at least one occasion a Scout was asked to work on a lacking aspect.
The level of effort over many years (and determination to complete it in the context of sports, cars, girl interests, jobs, etc.) is significant and for some kids, extraordinary. One candidate, approaching his 18th birthday, flew home from college every weekend in the fall to complete his project and BoR. Some of the projects have brought tears to my eyes. A boy in our troop was hospitalized in a Children’s Hospital with serious brain swelling when he was a sophomore. For his Eagle Project, he organized and led a concert of professional and amateur musicians to broadcast (and tape for regular rebroadcast) on the hospital’s close circuit TV so that hospitalized teens could watch age-appropriate stuff while in their beds. The level of organization was extraordinary - he delegated Scouts to learn sound-board operation, stage management, cameras, publicity etc.
I don’t know enough about Boys or Girls State to compare with Eagle. I just know that in most cases, becoming an Eagle Scout is a milestone achievement that inherently represents sustained leadership over years. Our USNA AC serves on the Eagle BOR in a nearby district and has similar opinions to mine. I think people sometimes react to the equal comparison between Boys State and Eagle not because they feel one is “better” than the other but because one is so different from the other, with greatly different time frames. They are hard to compare.
Earning Eagle is a great achievement. Attending Boys/Girls State is a great achievement. As far as them being weighted equally by the SAs, it is possible, but the answer is the same as other subjects... None of us really know unless we are working in admissions. Either way, a candidate should take part in Scouting and/or Boys-Girls State because they have a passion for it. Not to pad a resume. I'm an Eagle, so I am biased. My son left Boy Scouts after one year, and never attended Boys State, but he still received an appointment. Kids need to be true to their passion and skills. Admissions will figure it out.
I agree with this statement. Boy Scouts, now "Scouts BSA" and Boys State are really two different programs and hard to compare. I am an Eagle and active on the Board of my local Scout Council, and will freely admit to my bias, as well as my lack of knowledge about the Boys State program. I view fellow Eagle Scouts as I do my USNA classmates and other USNA grads - Right or wrong, there is a presumption of honor, mutual respect, and trust created by a common experience. I don't know how this relationship can be developed during a week at Boys State.
The point made is that USNA (and USMA) gives as much credit on the WCS for those that achieve Eagle Scout and those that attend Boys State. I questioned the source of this information earlier in the thread, and my recollection is that two people (one USNA and one USMA) stated that they heard it directly from Admissions reps. Taking them at their word (and assuming that it is correct) that means the USNA Admissions and USMA Admissions place as much weight on Boys State and Eagle Scout. Thats is a statement of fact .....whether we like it or not, and we can debate until we are blue in the face whether it is right or wrong.
That being said, it doesn't mean that candidates should go out punching tickets and attend Boys State because they aren't an Eagle Scout. None of us knows the WCS Algorithm, i.e. what carries what weight. I am sure there are other activities that go into WCS with equal weight , e.g. is Captain of the Football team the same as being an Eagle ? (To avoid creating another debate, I am merely throwing this out as a hypothetical, I don't have any idea how that is weighted !). The point is that all these activities are cumulative and add to a persons WCS -- there is certainly no reason that a person cannot be an Eagle Scout , attend Boys State, and Captain the Football team, and there are certainly plenty of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy who haven't done any of the above. It makes little sense to try to figure out or try to game the WCS algorithm, there are plenty of ways to demonstrate the commitment to service, leadership, and other factors that make a successful USNA candidate.
The 2015 RAND report on United States Service Academy Admissions indicates the following activities are worth 600 Extracurricular Activity Level Points for USMA admissions:
High school class president. Editor-in-chief of a school publication. Participation in Boys/Girls State, president of National Honor Society or recipient of a national or state award. Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts) or Gold Award (Girl Scouts). Triple participation or honors and awards in selected extracurricular activities (each worth 500 points).
However, one should not look at one or two activities in a vacuum (e.g. High School President + Boys State + Eagle Scout does not equal 1,800 points, but may move the candidate to the 700 point tier). I agree with
@Old Navy BGO that it makes little sense trying to figure out or game the WCS algorithm. Even if the WCS criteria, like that published in the RAND report, is correct; one would have to assume that the WCS has not changed since this information was obtained for the RAND report (and I, personally, would not bet on this assumption). JMPO, but even if you were to calculate your own WCS score, that score would provide little value unless you knew the WCS scores of each of the other candidates you are competing against.
As is often indicated in this forum, candidates should focus their time and energies on those things that they have direct control over and don't obsess over "behind the curtains" processes or the other candidates in their congressional districts, etc.
That 2015 RAND report is often quoted and seems completely worthless, in my opinion.
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