Unique Case

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by CaliBoy2000, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. CaliBoy2000

    CaliBoy2000 Member

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    So I’m really getting anxious that my unique case of being born in a different country, then spent my first 2 years of high school in another different country and spending my final 2 years of high school here in in the United States would make me ineligible for an appointment..

    I am a naturalized citizen through my father.

    I haven’t taken any AP classes since freshman year because it wasn’t offered there and I just found out about it by the end of the junior year.

    I’m taking 3 AP classes this year on top of my extracurriculars. SAT scores are pretty below average but I met the minimum requirements..

    That’s my vital info. I don’t wanna list my entire resume and do a “Chance Me” thread.

    I just really want to see everyone’s opinion about my case..
     
  2. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    You are not ineligible if you are a citizen.

    International experience can be a positive but you need to address SAT and GPA issues, study and retake for superscoring.

    No cost to apply !!
     
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  3. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Agree with Midwest dad. You are a citizen! Apply for AFA, but keep taking the SAT or ACT.

    Also have a backup plan such as AFROTC.
     
  4. CaliBoy2000

    CaliBoy2000 Member

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    Got it! Thank you for the feedback! Will definitely work on improving my scores.
     
  5. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    Also, don't sound victimized or whiny (not saying you will), but such an experience as you've had would be an awesome topic for one of thr essays, and would possibly allow you to mention and shed light on some of the challenges you've had moving around.
     
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  6. eljay60

    eljay60 AFROTC parent, former ANC in USAR

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    There are a lot of schools where AP is not offered - like most rural schools in America. When you only have 11 students in calculus, you don't offer an AP calculus. Take both the SAT and ACT and keep taking the one you do best on. Good luck!
     
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  7. rkv

    rkv Member

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    Just chiming in as to the accuracy of the prior posts. You need not worry about only having two years in a U.S. high school. My DS, USAFA class of 2020, moved across the Atlantic six times during his childhood including high school in two different countries. His high school's also did not have athletics in the sense of the typical U.S. high school. Although one did have more class time with classes from 8:30am to 6pm each day. This never came up as a negative in any of his interviews. If anything I believe was viewed positively by admissions. The only comment he ever received was from his ALO who was surprised that the moves had not negatively impacted his grades. If you have the grades, SAT scores, and extracurricular/leadership activities having only two years in a U.S. high school should not be an issue. If anything you probably could turn it into a positive in your essays. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
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  8. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    Everyone here likes to tell you about this one time.... and something unique happened but that is usually not the case. By all means you should apply and do your best to get the things you want. You will be competing against other individuals who nay have higher test scores and other achievements that were not available to you. It will be an uphill battle. Your relatively unique high school career will be a positive for your application but it is impossible to know who you are competing against. As said before, take both test again soon and look for some prep-classes, even on line ones help with test taking strategy.

    The other thing you need to consider is "are you ready for the academic rigor of the Academy." It may not be your fault that you did not have the rigorous academic background but it will be an issue later. You have to learn how to learn in college. Very few cadets find the class work easy and the ones with a strong foundation still require many hours of hard work.

    You should also discuss the possible opportunities for the prep school and foundation scholarships with your ALO. These may be the best option for you to help make up the gap in your academic background. The purpose of these programs is to take outstanding candidates who may not have the strongest academic background and prepare them for the academy.
     
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  9. CaliBoy2000

    CaliBoy2000 Member

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    I really appreciate everyone’s insight. It’s truly been a unique high school experience for me. I’m fortunate enough to have met motivated people in my first year here in the United States, they not only made me very involved in leadership and extracurricular activities, they also opened up opportunities for me to showcase my ability to lead. And for that, I was blessed to be a delegate for Boys’ State this past summer. Which is how I found out about the Air Force Academy and its great program. As for grades, I only had one B which is in Arabic in the 9th Grade, and I’m currently doing fine with my 3 Advanced classes. I understand that the Academy is going to be rigorous, so I am trying to balance everything out this year...

    Anyways, I really appreciate everyone’s insight! I would take everyone’s advice and work on the things that I can control in order to be competitive for an appointment.
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp 10-Year Member

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    Just an FYI. I know a lot of people think that their situation is unique, and they stress out over it. You want to apply to the academy and you don't want your chances lessened because of a "Unique Situation".

    Well, I'm here to tell you, that in the 15+ years I've been involved directly or indirectly with academy applications and appointments, I've yet to find the "TRULY UNIQUE" situation from an applicant. Anything about you has been addressed before by another candidate. The academy has been doing this for 67 years. You're not that unique.

    There have been plenty of applicants who were born overseas. I'm retired military and my son; who is an "Academy Graduate, now Captain", was born overseas. Plenty of applicants who were naturalized citizens. I know one who went into the air force as ENLISTED, so he could fast pace his citizenship, and then applied and was accepted to the academy. (Because his parents weren't citizens). I've seen applicants who in their 4 years of high school, attended 4-6 high schools. 2-3 high schools isn't uncommon for high school kids who are military brats.

    The point is; don't worry that there's something about you that the academy won't understand and you'll be penalized for it. The academy has been doing this a long time, and you're NOT the FIRST with your situation; (Thus, not that unique). And in the end, that's what makes applying so difficult. You need to show that you are somewhat different, unique, special, etc. compared to your competition. Use these experiences overseas to help make your application look better. It will show your diversity.

    In the end however; you need to show that you've taken the most challenging classes available; that you've excelled; that you have leadership experience; and that you've basically done the BEST and the MOST you could, with what you had to work with. If AP/IB classes weren't available, you couldn't be expected to take them. There's a lot of "Home Schooled" and "Rural School" kids that don't have AP/IB available. Do the best you can, with what you have. Have a good GPA and good ACT/SAT test scores, and you'll do fine.

    Best of luck. Don't stress over it. You're not the first applicant to the academies to be like this.
     
  11. CaliBoy2000

    CaliBoy2000 Member

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    Thank you! That’s really a good input. It really shows that I’m not the only one with such situation that has been or going through the process. (Knowing that really calmed my nerves)

    Anyhow, I’m hoping for the best as I carry on with the process! Thanks again for the really good insight!
     
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    My homeschoolers never took one AP class, and didn't take the subject tests of the SAT.

    But do get those SAT & ACT scores up. Way up!
     
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  13. In-the-Know

    In-the-Know 5-Year Member

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    I just really want to see everyone’s opinion about my case..[/QUOTE]
    There is a third optional essay that addresses your situation. The essay essential asks if there is anything else about you that you would like the Academy to know. You can tell the Academy about the lack of AP courses at your last school and your move. Just don't whine about it.
     
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  14. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    I had a young man I was mentoring for USAFA; his father works for a global semiconductor company you have all heard of. He was transferred "down under" and the student started high school in that country.

    When it was time to apply to USAFA, all they wanted was his transcripts, course descriptions, grading criteria/policy, and he had to take either the SAT or ACT. That was it.

    "Flexibility is the key to airpower!"

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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