Starting early?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by WP Aspirant, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. WP Aspirant

    WP Aspirant 2017 Hopeful 5-Year Member

    Jul 4, 2010
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    I am sorry if you think it is offensive to have such a large post. Any help would be appreciated much more than you think. If you don't want to read my story but still want to reply, please skip to the next bold part.

    Hello everyone. This is my first time posting on here, but I have been lurking for a few months now.

    I just finished my freshman year of high school in June. I know that my future lies with service to our country, and I know that West Point would be a great opportunity to reach this goal. I know of no people that have ever attended West Point in my district, and I think it is not very competitive; I live in Indiana.

    Here are some details to paint a picture of how I am doing after my first year of high school:

    -4.0 GPA (Unweighted, but our school does not weight them either)
    -I am taking the hardest classes I can get, several honors courses. I will be taking Pre-Calc and either Chemistry/Physics next year. AP classes will come in my Junior and Senior years, and I will probably have at least 5 of those.

    -Several school awards for excellence in certain subjects (certificates)

    - Latin Club
    - Spell Bowl
    - Class Treasurer
    - Student Council Member
    - School Play

    I did not participate in any athletics even though I was presented with an award for having the highest GPA in PE.

    I have an Amateur Radio General License.

    -Community Service
    -I have about 50 hours right now

    Suggested plans for improvement:
    Clubs: Next year, I would like to be in at least 70% of these Latin Club, Student Council, Class Officer, Spell Bowl, Academic Bowl, Diversity Council, Ambassadors, Key Club, Environmental Science Club, SADD, and maybe Pep Club

    Grades: I will maintain my GPA, and I tend to do well on tests. I think that I will do well on the SAT and ACT. NHS membership at our school is basically awarded with a simple application and a high GPA; I think this will be easy to join my Junior year.

    Athletics: I think that I am a good runner (less than 6 minute mile), but yet I did not do sports my first year. I will do Cross Country and Track. I am starting to train for the CFA, as my upper body strength is inhibited from the year of high school without sports. I think I will be capable of passing the CFA well in about one year.

    Leadership: I will run for every officer position I can. I do not know if this will be enough.

    Community service: I am doing several hours of community service each day at the Humane Shelter, and I plan to have at least 150 hours of community service by the start of my Junior year. This will be the easiest section for improvement.


    I want to start my file at West Point as soon as possible. How soon can I do this?

    Is it okay if I have the majority of my community service at one place?

    Will I be able to rebound (as in making my file look better, not athletically) from not doing athletics my first year?

    In addition to the previous question, would an above-average CFA counteract partial lack of athletics?

    Will I be at a disadvantage because my school does not weight grades?

    The USMA website says to get recommendations from Junior year teachers of certain classes. What if I have already taken some of those classes?

    I have glasses and do not want to go through any part of the military with them. Do people get Lasik at West Point or can they get it beforehand? This might be for the medical section...

    How can I improve my leadership section?

    When do I apply for SLS?

    Once I start my file, will I receive instructions on what to do next?

    Should I be worried if I only receive one nomination?

    Is there anything obvious that I seem to have ignored? :confused:

    It is 2:00 A.M. at home, so sorry if certain sections make little sense. I will be able to respond to any replies immediately after about 1:00 P.M. tomorrow.

    Thank you for reading. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  2. Peter

    Peter 5-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2010
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    The earliest you can start a West Point file is in the second semester of your junior year. However, you can prepare for it early, and it seems like you're doing a great job at that.

    It's best if you have community service from something you enjoy doing, but if you can, it's also nice if you branch out a little bit. Still, community service is something they look very highly upon.

    Of course you can rebound. If you do three years of a sport for your sophomore, junior, and senior year, and do well in them (make team captain, earn letters), your application will look strong.

    An above-average CFA would certainly counteract, but again, if you do three years of sports, they're not going to care that you missed out on the first year.

    There are certain schools that don't weight grades, so no. It's not to your disadvantage. Just ask what percentage you are in...I'm sure they can release that information.

    It actually asks for recommendations from a math, English, and a physics/chemistry teacher. Try to develop strong relationships with those four, and you should be fine. If you start out early with those teachers, that's even better because it shows your proficiency and maturity.

    Lasik surgery isn't safe until you're around age 21 or 22 (can't remember) because that's when your eye stops changing, supposedly. Wear contact lenses if you hate glasses so much. They give you much more freedom.

    Leadership is easily improved by joining something you enjoy, and then becoming a leader. Leadership stems from sports, clubs, as well as extracurricular activities outside of school. Also, if you work and are about to get promoted, that is favorably looked upon also. Just join something you like, stick with it, and rise up on the leadership chart and you should be fine. West Point asks that you don't join 100 clubs because that just looks bad. If you join one or two or three clubs that you thoroughly enjoy and you hold high positions in those clubs, that makes your application look very strong.

    SLS is for junior applicants. You should apply around the same time you begin applying for West Point.

    Of course you'll receive instructions. You'll have a whole admissions team that will gladly answer your e-mail, as well as instructions on the site telling you what you need to do. And your MALO officer will always be available in the case that you need to talk to him/her about the admissions process. And if you still got questions, you can ask here too.

    One nomination is actually all that's required. But you still should pursue all nominations that are available for you. In most people's cases, it usually would be the vice president, both their senators, as well as their congressman.

    Just continue what you are doing. It's very good that you are looking at it early, unlike me. I didn't decide to do this until the end of my senior year.
  3. jiu-jitsu girl

    jiu-jitsu girl USMA Appointee 2015 5-Year Member

    Mar 16, 2010
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    Yeah SLS applications are available in December. I got my acceptance letter on January 5th. Be one of the first to apply because it's a rolling application process. So the sooner you apply, if your stats are good enough (looks like they are right now), the better.

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