The USAFA Question

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by The Blue Baron, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. The Blue Baron

    The Blue Baron Banned

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    What is the advice as to how proceed regarding :
    - ALO (M.I.A.)
    - USAFA Counselor Unavailability
    (Never heard once)
    I wouldn't ask if this had a precedent, but this is the 1st time such event in an academic institution I plan to attend/attended to. I'd dare include such with jobs(relating to bosses and potential ones) and other areas.
    And the advice so far is to resign and along such lines. I don't want to resign due 2 people or in the other hand fall into some sunk cost fallacy.

    What do you guys suggest ? You guys have seen it all, so.
     
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  2. GoCubbies

    GoCubbies Member

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    It's brutal. My DD has contacted her USAFA Counselor twice via email. No reply to either one. Fortunately, her queries weren't critical so she was able to work around the issue that she needed assistance. My DD was doing to ask her ALO if the Counselor is still around or if she got changed out and the portal hasn't reflected the new one yet.

    Her ALO listed on her portal has been responsive. He says the USAFA changed things a bit, so he has to figure out if he's going to the interview or someone else will do it. We assumed it would be someone else because there was another post on this forum about this issue. I thought the final answer was the ALO listed in the portal will not be the one doing the interview and it'll be another ALO some distance away.
     
  3. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    Where in the process are you? How long has the delay been? Did you follow up with a reminder?
     
  4. BBBRRRTT

    BBBRRRTT Member

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    The ALO waited to the last minute, and then did a skype interview around 8 pm in the evening in January with our recruit. I got the impression this reservist/corporate executive was being hassled by the whole process. I learned later that this was part of his reserve duty, so it was a sweet heart deal to add years to his service by conducting half hour interviews in the evening over a glass of beer and the newspaper (ok.....I added that last part for illustrative effect, but it might be fact).
     
  5. skismuggs

    skismuggs 5-Year Member

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    Did you call the contact numbers? Did you email them? Call USAFA? They (ALO) could be deployed. I have to say that I had to reread your post a few times because it was a little disjointed.

    I had sent three welcome letters out to candidates last week asking them " please respond to this email so we can proceed". So far, I have gotten ZERO responses back. This goes both ways too.
     
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  6. The Blue Baron

    The Blue Baron Banned

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    Post ALO Call.
    One Week.
    Yeah.
     
  7. The Blue Baron

    The Blue Baron Banned

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    Yes. Yep. Yeah.
    It's almost a test of character.
     
  8. The Blue Baron

    The Blue Baron Banned

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    I'm really trying to take this process seriously.
     
  9. newmember

    newmember New Member

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    Blue Baron, I was wondering if you even had an open application with USAFA or have you completed the Pre-Candidate application?

    Also, you have referenced doing well on your next SAT, have you signed up? A 1290 total 430 Math? I don't think that is even close to being a qualifying score. Also, is that the old SAT because that cannot be based on a total 1600 score

    DS did not have any contact with his guidance counselor because most of the necessary information regarding the application is in the candidates handbook on the portal.

    DS only had minimal contact with his ALO because other than an interview it was not necessary. The ALO contacted him when it was time for the interview and I believe it was done over skype but this was after most of the application was turned in. Again most of the necessary information to complete the application was on the portal.

    Asking questions to learn about the process is great. And it seems like you are really enthusiastic but sometimes as the saying goes you need to "Just Do it"!
     
  10. The Blue Baron

    The Blue Baron Banned

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    Completed PCQ
    Non Competitive(It was SAT score since I did check most boxes and the GPA)
    Had ALO Interaction like @BBBRRRTT 's case even though he told me "I'll call you at X hour - minutes your time".

    470 Math. My bad.

    Nonetheless there is much stuff.
    For example:
    I'll take 3 STEM related SAT subject tests on November while the rest(2) on December.
    Which one of these tests should I take on December for a better application (the 3rd test):

    Literature
    U.S. History
    World History
    French
    Spanish
    Latin

    Is History and Lit taken for granted(You're expected to know all that)?
    Would language tests be redundant since it is in my resume and can also just be tested at USAFA?
     
  11. The Blue Baron

    The Blue Baron Banned

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    And Thanks Ma'am.
     
  12. newmember

    newmember New Member

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    SAT subject tests will not improve your application. USAFA does not use them. Focus on the standard SAT. Are you taking the SAT in October?
     
  13. The Blue Baron

    The Blue Baron Banned

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  14. 2021mom

    2021mom Member

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    Hey Blue Baron, If you have specific questions, fire them away here on this forum (after searching for previous posts of the same, of course :)

    It's mid-September. ALOs are talking to candidates and doing interviews for those that are far enough through their applications. If you've not started an application or been qualified to start an application, there's not much your ALO or a USAFA counselor can do to help. Only YOU can get your test scores up. Even if you can't start your application, you can read all about the requirements. You need good solid SAT or ACT scores. If you are a senior in high school do not miss a testing opportunity because the clock is ticking. Forget about subject tests unless you need them for other college applications. GOOD LUCK. Now go take a practice test!
     
  15. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    Okay...I've read every post, sat through all the Monday morning quarterbacking, and put away my moderators cap. I'm now donning my ALO cap...so...read on.

    First, its clear many have no clue how the process works with ALO's. Okay, I blame the ALO's for not telling you; or you for not listening. I don't know which it is but here's how the admissions process works when it comes to the USAFA Form 4060 interview.

    ALO's are assigned in two categories: "Mentor ALO's" and "Evaluator ALO's." I happen to be both. The mentor ALO's mission/job is to do precisely that: mentor the candidate through the admissions process; responding to questions, helping with the paperwork, etc. They're the "big brother/big sister" in the process. The evaluator ALO is precisely that: an evaluator. Their role is to interview the candidate to a sufficient extent that they feel ready to fill out the 4060 evaluation of candidate. That's it.

    SO...if a "reservist/corporate executive" takes a half hour to conduct the interview, don't try to second guess it because you don't have the knowledge and experience. Accept it and move on. If you saw the ALO conducting the interview while drinking a beer and reading the paper, then please forward to me your name and the ALO's name, or just your name, and I'll ensure that ALO is no longer in the program. If you didn't, then to put such a statement out is irresponsible of you. FYI, my interviews run 90-120 minutes...I dig...and dig...and question, and talk, and question some more...I get to know the individual in that interview; it's my one shot.

    Now...let's turn to the counselors at USAFA. I called one yesterday about two students that are overseas. I was stunned, literally STUNNED when she picked up! I have been an ALO for 24 years, I have all the secret phone numbers that people on this forum don't...and I don't get a person 90% of the time. They're just that busy! I've been up there several times to work as a reservist and the amount of work the counselors have (there's only 10 of them for the entire world) is just mind boggling! They tell ME to e-mail and follow-up with a call. And be patient; and that's what I'll tell my candidates.

    And finally, the role of the ALO. And BBBRRRTT, I'm going to use your comments as an example here: "I learned later that this was part of his reserve duty, so it was a sweet heart deal to add years to his service..." I'm guessing you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, so let me educate you and the rest of our members. The ALO is most often a category "E" reservist. A Cat "E" is a reservist that is not a "drilling" reservist assigned to a mobility unit. That means they don't drill on UTA (unit training activity) weekends, and they don't get called to active duty for two weeks in the summer/or whenever. They also are not paid. They receive no compensation of any kind for their service other than points for their retirement. So if an ALO in "Cat E" status has a school 300 miles away that they must visit, that's on them. If they require a hotel...on them...maintenance on the car...on them...meals...on them. And what do they receive in this "sweet deal to add years to their service?" For every four hours of verifiable (and it must be logged and attested to by the minute" they receive one point for retirement. So in a full day (8 hours) they could received two points. They are limited in the number of points they can count each year toward retirement; currently it's 105 points maximum, if my memory serves. So...does that mean they only work that many hours a year? Maybe and maybe not; but only that many points counts. And what do points do? First you must have at least 50 a year for a "good" year; which means that year counts for retirement. Then when you look at what those points mean, you check the value of the points in retirement monies. For a colonel with 30 years (me) a retirement point is worth $0.77125 per point. So...if a reservist has 5,000 points, and is a 30 year colonel, they are looking at a check (before taxes) of approximately $3856.25 per month, after they reach age 60.

    And lastly...realize that many of our ALO's (reservist/corporate executives) have other careers. Many are airline pilots, others are corporate types, some are school teachers like me...almost all have jobs and families and the ALO thing is something they volunteer to do. They are busy; you may have no clue how busy. I have 28 schools I cover in the fifth largest city in the USA...that's a bit of a challenge with all I have on my plate. But I love helping young men and women achieve their goals so I do the job...my wife has asked me many times in the past years to end it..."you've done enough" she'll say but...I am not ready to give it up.

    So...climbing down from my soapbox...cut the ALO some slack...if you have a real, legitimate complaint, immediately contact the LOD (Liaison Officer Director) for your area! They will want to know! If you don't know who that is, PM me...I can tell you. We don't want "half-hearted ALO's" in our program; we want the best and the motivated.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  16. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    BlueBaron...I'm going to be straight up with you. I'm an ALO, have been for over 20 years, and I'm a "grad." I don't sugar coat things, I prefer honesty and I hope you do to.

    That being said, a math score of 470 on the SAT is an automatic disqualification. Period.

    It doesn't matter how good the rest of your package is, that score is too low per USAFA standards and will result in you not being qualified and not continuing in the process. You need to raise it significantly.

    IF you raise it, and I mean into the 600+ range, then you'll probably ( I say probably, I don't know without seeing your package ) be moved into the qualified category.

    Press on, work on the score, and hammer that test! I spent three years taking them; I HATE HATE HATE them!!!

    In the end, it worked out, but it was NOT fun!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  17. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    +1000 to flieger83.

    I personally know a few ALOs and like flieger83, they have many things on their plate in addition to their volunteer work as an ALO.
    One, who is no longer an ALO, was my DD's. She, and LTC, was awesome. She is an AF reservist with 100's of combat flying hours in the A-10. She "quit" the ALO work since it was unable to earn enough points in a year to help her retirement. Instead she went back to more of a "full time" position with her unit.
    A second one, is the local AOG President, runs his own company, puts on many events for prospective candidates and really enjoys helping young men and women desiring to attend an SA. He is also constantly coordinating and working with the local AF Parents' Club as well as the other services' graduate associations and many local WWII vets, bringing us all together several times a year.
     
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  18. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    Great Post!
    I'll add that for about 15 yrs of my 27+ yrs as a BGO, I was also a drilling reservist but I never got any drill credit for BGO duties as I was assigned to deployable units throughout most of that period. In one instance I recall being in the Persian Gulf on Reserve Duty when a candidate had submitted enough items to trigger the interview but luckily, I was back home in time to get his interview completed.
     
  19. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    Yeah, a potential USNA applicant with a 470 Math would not be an official candidate, no candidate number or portal access. I get notified if I have a hopeful from one of my schools who falls short and my duty is to contact them and urge higher grades and test scores. That contact is through the email address that they provided
     
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  20. The Blue Baron

    The Blue Baron Banned

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    Got it. Thanks all.