USAFA admissions: languages

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by bhimom, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. bhimom

    bhimom New Member

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    Hi,
    My S is starting his HS Junior and AFA has been a goal of his since start of HS. In doing his research at end of freshman he read the fine print and realized that his 3 years of HS Latin (all As) were not going to be accepted, so he changed course out of Latin 4. He now has taken 2 years of Chinese, both Bs, online over the summers to catch up.
    question: AFA Minimum (and we don't do minimums here) is 2 year of language. Will the 3 years of Latin come into play AT ALL or does he need to find a third year of Chinese.
    Thank you.
     
  2. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Please explain: Why do the three years of high-school Latin not count? Colleges don’t typically stipulate which languages, so if these were indeed high-school level, it’s not clear why they wouldn’t be accepted. Did you speak directly to USAFA Admissions to clarify? If not, strongly suggest you do so now rather than asking on this forum. For things of this nature, always go to the primary source. Best wishes to DS (not just “S” on this forum).
     
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  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    I am sure others more knowledgeable about USAFA admissions requirements will comment, but to educate myself, I went to the USAFA site. The requirement for high school courses is two years of a modern foreign language. Are the summer online courses accredited and offered by his high school or another, and how much HS credit is given on his official record? Any reason he can’t take a modern foreign language this year and next at his HS?

    These were just my uninformed thoughts after reading your post, and I will be interested and educated by the responses.

    I’ll always advocate for primary sources and official USAFA points of contact for the best and most accurate answers, as most of what you find here on SAF are anonymous opinions, some more informed than others.

    This would be a great developmental exercise for your son to call USAFA Admissions and discuss with someone there. He will get the straight skinny.
     
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  4. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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  5. bhimom

    bhimom New Member

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    Thank for the responses:
    - The AFA is one of the only SA/Colleges that specifically does not accept Latin. Son found that nugget by doing his own research which generated him switching to Chinese. Midwest Dad is correct in that is the AFA thought process, which is great if you check it before taking 3-4 years of Latin thinking it was the most challenging language option offered and one he excelled at.
    - He has since followed up with UAFA rep at SA Academy day locally, who confirmed no Latin.
    - The Chinese is though our school district and counts exactly like a regular class. he took it online since there are only a few teachers and they don't get to his HS. His schedule is full as well with other elective (NJROTC and Aerospace Engineering). he only has 2 "open" elective slots.

    crux of my question is whether or not he will be looked at as only doing "minimum" language or if they will see a total of 5 years combined. Do you "red flag" an issue by asking? The weight of taking Chinese 3 next summer, and getting another B, may not be best choice.
     
  6. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    Latin is a great platform from which to study many modern European languages; unfortunately completely useless as a springboard for Asian tongues.
     
  7. bhimom

    bhimom New Member

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    agree for sure. there were many reasons he decided to choose Chinese....all made/make sense. DS s on CyberPatriot ROTC state level team and wants to study Cybersecurity...who knows!
     
  8. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    While I understand the sentiment of “We don’t do minimums here”, if he meets the requirements for admission to USAFA there are no extra points for having a third year of language. If his schedule will be better without it then it doesn’t make sense to overdo it for no benefit.

    At USAFA and in the real AF he will often have to prioritize to get things done and some low priorities will have to be done to minimums in order to get the larger effort accomplished.

    Stealth_81
     
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  9. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    @bhimom, thanks for clarifying, backed by the reliable authority of USAFA. I’ve now learned something new. As for whether you “red flag” an issue by bringing it up, absolutely not. You’ll be helping yourself, by getting first-hand info that you can act on. You won’t “tip off” USAFA — they’ve seen it all. Your best step here is to speak directly with USAFA admissions to get their guidance. They want the best and the brightest; they’re not looking to trip anyone up.
     
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  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    +1 to Stealth. I would add that they will see the 3 years of Latin on his transcript. I cannot say whether it will be a positive or neutral, but it certainly won't be a negative. I expect it will be a positive but that's just my opinion.

    I can't tell how much verbal work your DS did in Chinese, especially since it's an online course. If he CAN speak it, then I would highlight that somehow in the application, since I would think admissions migght have the same question as I have.
     
  11. BBBRRRTT

    BBBRRRTT Banned

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    Well, if you ever need to implement a plan like in firefox(film), then the ability to speak Russian fluently might be handy......
     
  12. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    But you have to THINK in Russian also if I remember that Clint flick right . . .
     
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  13. bhimom

    bhimom New Member

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    That is an excellent point, hadn't thought of it from that angle. There was a speaking element but not "conversational". May be worth a look to improve that aspect, although not sure what that could look like. Thanks!
     
  14. academyboundd

    academyboundd Member

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    It is to my understanding that the Academy only SUGGESTS two years of a modern foreign language. It is not a requirement for candidacy.
     
  15. BBBRRRTT

    BBBRRRTT Banned

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    good point!
     
  16. mommahedg

    mommahedg Parent

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    Yes, you are correct. DS did not have a single class of a foreign language and still received an appointment.
     
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  17. Humey

    Humey Member

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    Interesting because most high schools in my area have a requirement for 2 years of foreign language. Many colleges require 2 years of langauge. My younger son took American Sign Language which I think is somewhat easier because it is still English but in a differnet form
     
  18. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    Русский? Русский? Я отставной полковник ВВС; мой русский теперь не совершенен, но по-прежнему полезен.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
    (and I only misspelled about six of those words originally...okay, so it was a bit mangled...it's been a long time)
     
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  19. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Are you sure? :D
     
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  20. mrfritz44

    mrfritz44 Member

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    My son is contacting admissions and his ALO to check if Latin is discounted as a modern foreign language. He took Latin freshman year on the premise that it would help with ACT/SAT's, and is enrolled in Honors Latin at the moment.

    That said, the thread got us thinking that a language like Russian or Chinese might make his application more attractive. My DD had 4 years of Spanish in HS, but was placed in Russian at USAFA after taking a placement test. Given this maneuver it seems logical that USAF needs more Russian speaking officers and my assumption is that because Chinese is rarely taught in HS, they might need more Chinese speaking folks too.

    Thoughts in that theory?