Should I seek a congressional nomination?

MattpNavy

Member
Hi all, I am an incoming first year student at the University of Virginia, but I have been interested in going to the United States Naval Academy for the past several months, and I needed advice for nominations; I have an interest in "transferring". I know I will secure a Presidential Nomination, since my Dad is an academy grad and had a career in the Navy. I am already going to a top tier school, I had an excellent HS GPA and very good SAT scores. I was also a strong athlete and have done my fair share of extracurriculars (Not trying to toot my horn, just providing information). Since I am not yet completely sure I want to attend the Academy, and how much time congressional nominations take, I was wondering if it was worth going for Congressional Nominations, or if I should just rely on the Presidential. I know it helps to apply from college, especially an accredited one, and I also know that I may fall in love with UVA and may drop USNA entirely. Thank you.
 
I'm just going to go ahead and tell you that any piece of advice you may get on this thread will mostly like to go for every nomination that you can get as it increases the number of slots you can be appointed to.
I don't think you should count on having anything "secured" or assuming that you are a top applicant just because you have a solid GPA and extracurricular participation. Many, many, many people applying to the academies will have these traits and many will not get in. That being said, if your stats are as high as you say, congratulations on your hard work and hopefully it will pay off.
As someone who has gone through the application process for both the academy and multiple nominations, I can tell you it's not an easy feat or something to take lightly. While I've met some current mids that are an expecting to the rule, if your heart isn't really in it, it'll show in your application and you'll be likely denied. As a college freshman, your packet will not be reviewed until your fall semester grades are available so you've got some time to decide if this is what you want. However, nomination sources don't work the same way so take your time in deciding on this big investment but don't wait until it's too late.
Have you considered NROTC at UVA?
 

brovol

Member
First, you dont "transfer" to a service academy; you start new, and must do the full four years regardless of the credits you earn previously. As to whether you should seek MOC nominations in addition to the Presidential nom, the answer is a resounding YES. There are limited appointments from the presidential nominations. Every candidate to an academy should seek each and every nomination he/she can get, as each provides a separate and distinct "chance" for appointment. You need to "win" an appointment, and each nominating source has a limit of appointments which can be granted through that nomination source. Your chance of winning an appointment through a presidential nomination could very well be far less than winning an appointment through any one of the three MOC nomination sources you have.

You should spend some time reading up on the application and appointment process for the academies. start with the USNA admissions site. Coming from a good HS wont hurt you, but dont assume it will help too much either. You class standing is what counts as far as grades (as opposed to your GPA). Great SAT/ACT scores are big time relevant (probably the single most relevant factor, but all factors count).
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Ditto all nom advice above, and reading every page, dropdown and link at USNA.edu.

Presidential nom does not = appointment. It's a simple matter of eligibility. You are or you aren't. But - if 300 applicants out of any class of candidates is eligible for a Pres nom, only 100 get an appointment charged to a Pres nom. That's why applying for VP and all elected nominators and any other source is smart.

HS and college courses and grades, athletics, etc. - thousands of others will have the same toolkit.

UVA has an NROTC unit - have you visited them to explore that path to a commission, if your goal is to serve as a naval officer? They can nominate too.

Dad's a grad, great, you might get a snick of credit for that, but legacy applicants don't necessarily get a huge edge. There are many accomplished candidates with parents and siblings who are USNA grads, who don't receive an appointment.

Be sure to read the "college applicants" info on USNA.edu which tells you to take courses mirroring USNA plebe year. As noted above, there are no transfers to USNA. Everyone starts as a plebe. You will take validation tests which may place you out of a course or into a more advanced section.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
Why do you want to attend USNA ? Be prepared to explain why you have just been thinking about it the last few months. You sound like you think you have this thing all wired, are a shoo-in, and its just up to you to make the decision whether to go or not. There are literally thousands of applicants who every bit as qualified. A lot of good advice above -- read and heed...and if admitted, make sure you are really committed before you go. Plebe summer isn't a lot of fun unless you are 100% in.
 

MattpNavy

Member
Thank you to all who replied, all of your advice is really appreciated, and yes I know there are no transfers to the Academy, which is why I put commas around the word, and trust me, I understand how competitive the process is and I am far from believing I am a shoo in. I will go after Noms from MOCs, as well as question my motives for attending USNA. Thank you to all again.
 

MattpNavy

Member
I'm just going to go ahead and tell you that any piece of advice you may get on this thread will mostly like to go for every nomination that you can get as it increases the number of slots you can be appointed to.
I don't think you should count on having anything "secured" or assuming that you are a top applicant just because you have a solid GPA and extracurricular participation. Many, many, many people applying to the academies will have these traits and many will not get in. That being said, if your stats are as high as you say, congratulations on your hard work and hopefully it will pay off.
As someone who has gone through the application process for both the academy and multiple nominations, I can tell you it's not an easy feat or something to take lightly. While I've met some current mids that are an expecting to the rule, if your heart isn't really in it, it'll show in your application and you'll be likely denied. As a college freshman, your packet will not be reviewed until your fall semester grades are available so you've got some time to decide if this is what you want. However, nomination sources don't work the same way so take your time in deciding on this big investment but don't wait until it's too late.
Have you considered NROTC at UVA?
What do you mean by "nomination sources don't work the same way," is the nomination process different for college freshmen?
 
I'm just going to go ahead and tell you that any piece of advice you may get on this thread will mostly like to go for every nomination that you can get as it increases the number of slots you can be appointed to.
I don't think you should count on having anything "secured" or assuming that you are a top applicant just because you have a solid GPA and extracurricular participation. Many, many, many people applying to the academies will have these traits and many will not get in. That being said, if your stats are as high as you say, congratulations on your hard work and hopefully it will pay off.
As someone who has gone through the application process for both the academy and multiple nominations, I can tell you it's not an easy feat or something to take lightly. While I've met some current mids that are an expecting to the rule, if your heart isn't really in it, it'll show in your application and you'll be likely denied. As a college freshman, your packet will not be reviewed until your fall semester grades are available so you've got some time to decide if this is what you want. However, nomination sources don't work the same way so take your time in deciding on this big investment but don't wait until it's too late.
Have you considered NROTC at UVA?
What do you mean by "nomination sources don't work the same way," is the nomination process different for college freshmen?
All I mean is that while USNA will not look at packages of freshman before fall grades come in, most nomination sources don't do that and are still due earlier so it'd be best to get on those right now.
 

trini1066

5-Year Member
I'm just going to go ahead and tell you that any piece of advice you may get on this thread will mostly like to go for every nomination that you can get as it increases the number of slots you can be appointed to.
I don't think you should count on having anything "secured" or assuming that you are a top applicant just because you have a solid GPA and extracurricular participation. Many, many, many people applying to the academies will have these traits and many will not get in. That being said, if your stats are as high as you say, congratulations on your hard work and hopefully it will pay off.
As someone who has gone through the application process for both the academy and multiple nominations, I can tell you it's not an easy feat or something to take lightly. While I've met some current mids that are an expecting to the rule, if your heart isn't really in it, it'll show in your application and you'll be likely denied. As a college freshman, your packet will not be reviewed until your fall semester grades are available so you've got some time to decide if this is what you want. However, nomination sources don't work the same way so take your time in deciding on this big investment but don't wait until it's too late.
Have you considered NROTC at UVA?
Doesn't hurt to have a parent that graduated from the USNA . Actually it helps .
 
Warning: Long Post

Like all previously said before, Academy admission isn't easy. From all that I've learned and from talking with my BGO I have learned this. Some people get in with extra-ordinary skills, and they are your typical "achiever" person. They are captain of like 3 varsity sports, their parents are retired military officers (or Academy grads) , they have had all A's since middle school, their SATs are over 1500, and they have more than 500 hours of community service. These are only one piece of the story. There are also the other people who get appointments, who aren't the highest achievers. Everyone has a story, and the Academy will listen to everyone's. I'm sure you know now that nothing is "secured". Many people applying to the Academies are doing so because their parents are in the military. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the majority of people applying.

Second, attending a top tier school is great, but isn't what you want to shoot for as a point in any future interviews. In your future interviews I'd say that as you should bring up you are in a great school, say what you've done to realize your position in society as a top tier school student and how being a Naval Officer will help you be a better person.

Third. PLEASE DO NOT rely only on Presidential! Apply for as much as you can, you sound like you qualify for many others.

Fourth, you said something about probably dropping USNA to to stay at UVA. Honestly, I would really not do that. For some people, the Naval Academy is where they see themselves and they are trying their hardest to get there. Not everyone has all the credentials that other applicants have, so the biggest part of their application is their motivation for wanting to go to the USNA and STAY there. In the end of the day, for anything you want to do, you have to have the motivation to do it. Think about it. One could be a star student, with everything perfect and maxed out and you're just an LOA candidate because you're that great, but then after two years you quit and leave the Academy while someone else who probably barely made it in, had to scrape for everything they had and finally made it to the Academy without the highest qualifications actually stays until Commissioning day.

What is my point. Before interviews, please actually consider if USNA is a place you want to go and STAY at, because for many people USNA is the only place they know they want to go. Second, if you still are having the USNA/UVA split, then do not make that clear during your future interviews. Especially your BGO one. Commitment is key, and if you sound like you're going to waste the Academy's money by going in and dropping out, your BGO and other interviewers could pick up on it. So as a key of advice, I'd say not to bring up UVA at all, unless if you're asked about your current attendance to it, or if asked about a Plan B.

Fifth and final thing, you sound like you have achieved a lot. That is good, but in future interviews you will have, let those achievements speak for themselves most of the time unless if directly asked about what you've done or something relates to it. Focus more on your commitment to the Academy and what you have done/will do to help make the society you live in/and will go to, better. Cause without your commitment, you will not last 4 years at the Academy. It's taxing, and stressful, and an environment where, if you do not want to be there, you will not make it.

Congressman/Senator nominations process has started for most Senators/Congressman. Look for yours online at the senate websites. There should be a link to it on the Academy page.

You are a student already at UVA so again look at the NROTC path if you're already there. And again I will reiterate, please find out if you want to go to the Academy. There are many ways to get commissioned, and the Academy is NOT the only way. But if you are going to do it, please be committed, and motivated to do so.

Wishing you the best.
 
Warning: Long Post

Like all previously said before, Academy admission isn't easy. From all that I've learned and from talking with my BGO I have learned this. Some people get in with extra-ordinary skills, and they are your typical "achiever" person. They are captain of like 3 varsity sports, their parents are retired military officers (or Academy grads) , they have had all A's since middle school, their SATs are over 1500, and they have more than 500 hours of community service. These are only one piece of the story. There are also the other people who get appointments, who aren't the highest achievers. Everyone has a story, and the Academy will listen to everyone's. I'm sure you know now that nothing is "secured". Many people applying to the Academies are doing so because their parents are in the military. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the majority of people applying.

Second, attending a top tier school is great, but isn't what you want to shoot for as a point in any future interviews. In your future interviews I'd say that as you should bring up you are in a great school, say what you've done to realize your position in society as a top tier school student and how being a Naval Officer will help you be a better person.

Third. PLEASE DO NOT rely only on Presidential! Apply for as much as you can, you sound like you qualify for many others.

Fourth, you said something about probably dropping USNA to to stay at UVA. Honestly, I would really not do that. For some people, the Naval Academy is where they see themselves and they are trying their hardest to get there. Not everyone has all the credentials that other applicants have, so the biggest part of their application is their motivation for wanting to go to the USNA and STAY there. In the end of the day, for anything you want to do, you have to have the motivation to do it. Think about it. One could be a star student, with everything perfect and maxed out and you're just an LOA candidate because you're that great, but then after two years you quit and leave the Academy while someone else who probably barely made it in, had to scrape for everything they had and finally made it to the Academy without the highest qualifications actually stays until Commissioning day.

What is my point. Before interviews, please actually consider if USNA is a place you want to go and STAY at, because for many people USNA is the only place they know they want to go. Second, if you still are having the USNA/UVA split, then do not make that clear during your future interviews. Especially your BGO one. Commitment is key, and if you sound like you're going to waste the Academy's money by going in and dropping out, your BGO and other interviewers could pick up on it. So as a key of advice, I'd say not to bring up UVA at all, unless if you're asked about your current attendance to it, or if asked about a Plan B.

Fifth and final thing, you sound like you have achieved a lot. That is good, but in future interviews you will have, let those achievements speak for themselves most of the time unless if directly asked about what you've done or something relates to it. Focus more on your commitment to the Academy and what you have done/will do to help make the society you live in/and will go to, better. Cause without your commitment, you will not last 4 years at the Academy. It's taxing, and stressful, and an environment where, if you do not want to be there, you will not make it.

Congressman/Senator nominations process has started for most Senators/Congressman. Look for yours online at the senate websites. There should be a link to it on the Academy page.

You are a student already at UVA so again look at the NROTC path if you're already there. And again I will reiterate, please find out if you want to go to the Academy. There are many ways to get commissioned, and the Academy is NOT the only way. But if you are going to do it, please be committed, and motivated to do so.

Wishing you the best.
+1 to everything in this post but I believe OP meant that they may find they love UVA and decide against applying to the academy, not get to the USNA and drop out. Correct me if I'm wrong....
 
Warning: Long Post

Like all previously said before, Academy admission isn't easy. From all that I've learned and from talking with my BGO I have learned this. Some people get in with extra-ordinary skills, and they are your typical "achiever" person. They are captain of like 3 varsity sports, their parents are retired military officers (or Academy grads) , they have had all A's since middle school, their SATs are over 1500, and they have more than 500 hours of community service. These are only one piece of the story. There are also the other people who get appointments, who aren't the highest achievers. Everyone has a story, and the Academy will listen to everyone's. I'm sure you know now that nothing is "secured". Many people applying to the Academies are doing so because their parents are in the military. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the majority of people applying.

Second, attending a top tier school is great, but isn't what you want to shoot for as a point in any future interviews. In your future interviews I'd say that as you should bring up you are in a great school, say what you've done to realize your position in society as a top tier school student and how being a Naval Officer will help you be a better person.

Third. PLEASE DO NOT rely only on Presidential! Apply for as much as you can, you sound like you qualify for many others.

Fourth, you said something about probably dropping USNA to to stay at UVA. Honestly, I would really not do that. For some people, the Naval Academy is where they see themselves and they are trying their hardest to get there. Not everyone has all the credentials that other applicants have, so the biggest part of their application is their motivation for wanting to go to the USNA and STAY there. In the end of the day, for anything you want to do, you have to have the motivation to do it. Think about it. One could be a star student, with everything perfect and maxed out and you're just an LOA candidate because you're that great, but then after two years you quit and leave the Academy while someone else who probably barely made it in, had to scrape for everything they had and finally made it to the Academy without the highest qualifications actually stays until Commissioning day.

What is my point. Before interviews, please actually consider if USNA is a place you want to go and STAY at, because for many people USNA is the only place they know they want to go. Second, if you still are having the USNA/UVA split, then do not make that clear during your future interviews. Especially your BGO one. Commitment is key, and if you sound like you're going to waste the Academy's money by going in and dropping out, your BGO and other interviewers could pick up on it. So as a key of advice, I'd say not to bring up UVA at all, unless if you're asked about your current attendance to it, or if asked about a Plan B.

Fifth and final thing, you sound like you have achieved a lot. That is good, but in future interviews you will have, let those achievements speak for themselves most of the time unless if directly asked about what you've done or something relates to it. Focus more on your commitment to the Academy and what you have done/will do to help make the society you live in/and will go to, better. Cause without your commitment, you will not last 4 years at the Academy. It's taxing, and stressful, and an environment where, if you do not want to be there, you will not make it.

Congressman/Senator nominations process has started for most Senators/Congressman. Look for yours online at the senate websites. There should be a link to it on the Academy page.

You are a student already at UVA so again look at the NROTC path if you're already there. And again I will reiterate, please find out if you want to go to the Academy. There are many ways to get commissioned, and the Academy is NOT the only way. But if you are going to do it, please be committed, and motivated to do so.

Wishing you the best.
+1 to everything in this post but I believe OP meant that they may find they love UVA and decide against applying to the academy, not get to the USNA and drop out. Correct me if I'm wrong....

Thank you for the +1, and I believe you are right actually. It's because OP said "may drop USNA entirely" so I misread it as "drop out of" My apologies. Thank you for the correction!
 

MattpNavy

Member
Warning: Long Post

Like all previously said before, Academy admission isn't easy. From all that I've learned and from talking with my BGO I have learned this. Some people get in with extra-ordinary skills, and they are your typical "achiever" person. They are captain of like 3 varsity sports, their parents are retired military officers (or Academy grads) , they have had all A's since middle school, their SATs are over 1500, and they have more than 500 hours of community service. These are only one piece of the story. There are also the other people who get appointments, who aren't the highest achievers. Everyone has a story, and the Academy will listen to everyone's. I'm sure you know now that nothing is "secured". Many people applying to the Academies are doing so because their parents are in the military. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the majority of people applying.

Second, attending a top tier school is great, but isn't what you want to shoot for as a point in any future interviews. In your future interviews I'd say that as you should bring up you are in a great school, say what you've done to realize your position in society as a top tier school student and how being a Naval Officer will help you be a better person.

Third. PLEASE DO NOT rely only on Presidential! Apply for as much as you can, you sound like you qualify for many others.

Fourth, you said something about probably dropping USNA to to stay at UVA. Honestly, I would really not do that. For some people, the Naval Academy is where they see themselves and they are trying their hardest to get there. Not everyone has all the credentials that other applicants have, so the biggest part of their application is their motivation for wanting to go to the USNA and STAY there. In the end of the day, for anything you want to do, you have to have the motivation to do it. Think about it. One could be a star student, with everything perfect and maxed out and you're just an LOA candidate because you're that great, but then after two years you quit and leave the Academy while someone else who probably barely made it in, had to scrape for everything they had and finally made it to the Academy without the highest qualifications actually stays until Commissioning day.

What is my point. Before interviews, please actually consider if USNA is a place you want to go and STAY at, because for many people USNA is the only place they know they want to go. Second, if you still are having the USNA/UVA split, then do not make that clear during your future interviews. Especially your BGO one. Commitment is key, and if you sound like you're going to waste the Academy's money by going in and dropping out, your BGO and other interviewers could pick up on it. So as a key of advice, I'd say not to bring up UVA at all, unless if you're asked about your current attendance to it, or if asked about a Plan B.

Fifth and final thing, you sound like you have achieved a lot. That is good, but in future interviews you will have, let those achievements speak for themselves most of the time unless if directly asked about what you've done or something relates to it. Focus more on your commitment to the Academy and what you have done/will do to help make the society you live in/and will go to, better. Cause without your commitment, you will not last 4 years at the Academy. It's taxing, and stressful, and an environment where, if you do not want to be there, you will not make it.

Congressman/Senator nominations process has started for most Senators/Congressman. Look for yours online at the senate websites. There should be a link to it on the Academy page.

You are a student already at UVA so again look at the NROTC path if you're already there. And again I will reiterate, please find out if you want to go to the Academy. There are many ways to get commissioned, and the Academy is NOT the only way. But if you are going to do it, please be committed, and motivated to do so.

Wishing you the best.
+1 to everything in this post but I believe OP meant that they may find they love UVA and decide against applying to the academy, not get to the USNA and drop out. Correct me if I'm wrong....
Yes this is what I meant.
 

MattpNavy

Member
I'm just going to go ahead and tell you that any piece of advice you may get on this thread will mostly like to go for every nomination that you can get as it increases the number of slots you can be appointed to.
I don't think you should count on having anything "secured" or assuming that you are a top applicant just because you have a solid GPA and extracurricular participation. Many, many, many people applying to the academies will have these traits and many will not get in. That being said, if your stats are as high as you say, congratulations on your hard work and hopefully it will pay off.
As someone who has gone through the application process for both the academy and multiple nominations, I can tell you it's not an easy feat or something to take lightly. While I've met some current mids that are an expecting to the rule, if your heart isn't really in it, it'll show in your application and you'll be likely denied. As a college freshman, your packet will not be reviewed until your fall semester grades are available so you've got some time to decide if this is what you want. However, nomination sources don't work the same way so take your time in deciding on this big investment but don't wait until it's too late.
Have you considered NROTC at UVA?
What do you mean by "nomination sources don't work the same way," is the nomination process different for college freshmen?
All I mean is that while USNA will not look at packages of freshman before fall grades come in, most nomination sources don't do that and are still due earlier so it'd be best to get on those right now.
Ok, thank you for the clarification, and for the advice in general.
 

trini1066

5-Year Member
Warning: Long Post

Like all previously said before, Academy admission isn't easy. From all that I've learned and from talking with my BGO I have learned this. Some people get in with extra-ordinary skills, and they are your typical "achiever" person. They are captain of like 3 varsity sports, their parents are retired military officers (or Academy grads) , they have had all A's since middle school, their SATs are over 1500, and they have more than 500 hours of community service. These are only one piece of the story. There are also the other people who get appointments, who aren't the highest achievers. Everyone has a story, and the Academy will listen to everyone's. I'm sure you know now that nothing is "secured". Many people applying to the Academies are doing so because their parents are in the military. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the majority of people applying.

Second, attending a top tier school is great, but isn't what you want to shoot for as a point in any future interviews. In your future interviews I'd say that as you should bring up you are in a great school, say what you've done to realize your position in society as a top tier school student and how being a Naval Officer will help you be a better person.

Third. PLEASE DO NOT rely only on Presidential! Apply for as much as you can, you sound like you qualify for many others.

Fourth, you said something about probably dropping USNA to to stay at UVA. Honestly, I would really not do that. For some people, the Naval Academy is where they see themselves and they are trying their hardest to get there. Not everyone has all the credentials that other applicants have, so the biggest part of their application is their motivation for wanting to go to the USNA and STAY there. In the end of the day, for anything you want to do, you have to have the motivation to do it. Think about it. One could be a star student, with everything perfect and maxed out and you're just an LOA candidate because you're that great, but then after two years you quit and leave the Academy while someone else who probably barely made it in, had to scrape for everything they had and finally made it to the Academy without the highest qualifications actually stays until Commissioning day.

What is my point. Before interviews, please actually consider if USNA is a place you want to go and STAY at, because for many people USNA is the only place they know they want to go. Second, if you still are having the USNA/UVA split, then do not make that clear during your future interviews. Especially your BGO one. Commitment is key, and if you sound like you're going to waste the Academy's money by going in and dropping out, your BGO and other interviewers could pick up on it. So as a key of advice, I'd say not to bring up UVA at all, unless if you're asked about your current attendance to it, or if asked about a Plan B.

Fifth and final thing, you sound like you have achieved a lot. That is good, but in future interviews you will have, let those achievements speak for themselves most of the time unless if directly asked about what you've done or something relates to it. Focus more on your commitment to the Academy and what you have done/will do to help make the society you live in/and will go to, better. Cause without your commitment, you will not last 4 years at the Academy. It's taxing, and stressful, and an environment where, if you do not want to be there, you will not make it.

Congressman/Senator nominations process has started for most Senators/Congressman. Look for yours online at the senate websites. There should be a link to it on the Academy page.

You are a student already at UVA so again look at the NROTC path if you're already there. And again I will reiterate, please find out if you want to go to the Academy. There are many ways to get commissioned, and the Academy is NOT the only way. But if you are going to do it, please be committed, and motivated to do so.

Wishing you the best.
Have you been admitted yet or just in the process ?
 
[/QUOTE]
Have you been admitted yet or just in the process ?[/QUOTE]

Still in the process, actually. But I have asked so many people so many questions.
 

tex2021

Proud parent of USAFA C/O 2021
Have you been admitted yet or just in the process ?
Still in the process actually but about finished. All I have left are nominations and waiting. But I have asked lots of people lots of questions.
Congrats on getting the applications done early in the game but be prepared to wait a long while to hear back from the academies. My advice for you is to Enjoy your senior year and prepare for the CFA.
 

USMA 1994

Member
There is no component to the WCS dealing with parents graduating from a service academy. It my help in your congressional interviews as it will allow you a little more background information as to why you want to serve.

Like all the other advice, apply for all possible nominations sources that are available to you. You didn't mention ROTC, but this is another way to gain a commission as an officer and would also offer an additional nomination source. You do not need a scholarship to join ROTC.
 
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