Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by 2Steaktacos, Nov 16, 2011.
Do you know when the application process opens?
Jump on it too, it was a great experience for my son and cemented his desire to attend the USAFA.
From "...The Source..."
"...application site will be open 1 Dec 2011 until 29 Feb 2012; Selections will be made on a rolling basis."
USAFA Summer Seminar
My son attended USAFA's Summer Seminar last year and enjoyed the experience. I have heard that it is another helpful contibutor in and applicants overall package, does anyone have any comments regarding what type of weight it has in the overall appointment process.
It is my understanding that the Summer Seminar has no effect on the evaluation of your application.
It is my understanding also that the Academy supposedly does not give extra credit for attending. My son attended USAFA Summer Seminar this year and absolutely loved it. My husband and I debated whether to spend the money to send him or not but after reading many of the comments here we truly believed that this was the best time for him to get a feel for USAFA and he would either come back with new doubts, love it and be more determined than ever, or hate it. If he hated it then he would know to stop the process and that was the time to find out, rather than after he arrived as a cadet. If he had new doubts then he should look around a bit more at other things and do some real soul searching. In his case, he came back more determined than ever that this was what he wanted. As a side note....when he had his nomination interview with MOC committe he was specifically asked if he had attended summer seminar or ever visited the Academy. They said that their biggest fear as a nominating committee member was selecting someone as their nominee who had never seen the Academy and didn't have a real idea of what went on there.
Here's the deal with summer seminar and it's relationship to your application and receiving an appointment.
OFFICIALLY: It has absolutely NO AFFECT on whether or not you get an appointment or not. There are no extra points. It can't. There's no way that they can possibly have 12,000+ applicants attend summer seminar. Roughly 950 attend. They can't hold that against all those who applied buy couldn't go.
UNOFFICIALLY: The appointment process is a 7 stage process.
1. You fill out an application and provide all information such as grades, tests, etc...
2. You have certain letters of recommendations from teachers
3. You are interviewed by your ALO
4. You apply for a nomination from your MOC and any other sources that you're entitled.
5. You take you CFA
6. You are medically evaluated.
7. The academy reviews your ENTIRE Package.
Now; in these 7 processes, there are 4 parts of it that include the "HUMAN FACTOR". As much as people want to be unbiased, that isn't totally possible. A MOC, ALO, teachers writing a recommendation, and even the evaluation board will be somewhat impressed if you apply for summer seminar. Even if you don't get it. It's human nature. They will see that you are SO INTERESTED in the academy, they you went "Out of your way" to apply; and possibly attend their summer seminar. This is an area that people will see as initiative, determination, commitment, and self evaluation. Officially, applying and/or attending summer seminar won't count for anything on your application. But when your MOC or ALO sees that you applied (Whether you are accepted or not), they see that you're not just apply to numerous schools. They see that you really care about the military and the academy.
Remember: Believe it or not, not everyone applying to the academies has it as their #1 school choice. Many/Most simply apply because it's another school, which happens to be a "Full Ride Scholarship". So anything you can do to set yourself apart from the others, will help. No different than volunteering for habitat for humanity or meals on wheels. It's another DEMONSTRATION of your interest and determination in the academy. Best of luck.... mike....
Mike, I have a ? about the "human "factor"
for example- if you are applying to two academies-do you look less dedicated to USAFA if they know you are also applying to USNA or do you look more dedicated to a career in the military?
First; most MOCs want to get as many of their constituents an appointment as possible. Almost every one of them will ask you if you're interested in other academies and would be willing to be considered for a nomination. Having said that, people understand that everyone has preferences. I love hamburgers. But I prefer McDonalds over Burger King. We love cars, but I prefer Ford over Chevy. So; you are committed to "Serving your country as a commissioned officer". You prefer the academy over ROTC or OTS, and you prefer air force over navy. Doesn't mean you don't like the others. Just that you have a preference.
CAVEAT. It doesn't bother me at all if a person truly WANTS TO SERVE, and they apply to all 5 academies. Good for them. However; if you really don't want to serve for 9 years in a particular branch of service (4 years of academy and 5 years commissioned), then I don't believe you should apply to that academy just because it's a pseudo "Free" education. My son, because of his grades, test scores, sports, etc... had more options available than he could imagine for college. But he really wanted to serve and be commissioned in the air force. So he did NOT apply to any other academy. Even though the MOCs tried to encourage him to. His plan was: Air Force academy; if not there, then go to a civilian college and try for ROTC; if not that, then civilian college and then apply to the air force via OTS. But going army, navy, coast guard, or merchant marines was simply not an option for him. It was air force or nothing.
But he's not everyone. Some apply for air force and navy only. Some air force and army. Some all 3. Some all 3 + coast guard. Some all 5. All I ever recommend to people discussing this topic is: "To thine own self be true". Apply to an academy because you truly want to serve. Because you believe in it. Because the type of mission that branch has is in line with what you want to do with your life. But no, the MOCs don't look down on you if you're applying to more than one academy. Simply tell them the truth. You really want to serve your country; you want to do it as a commissioned officer; you prefer the academy over other commissioning programs; and you have a preference of which service you'd like it to be in. But, you'd be just as excited and honored to be nominated for certain other academies.
Best of luck to you. Mike....
What about those candidates that are very close (distance wise) to the academy? Should they apply to summer seminar as well? My DS lives in the springs and has gone to the AFA several times. Would the human factor come into play for those type of candidates?
Not sure what the question is. You could live in Military base housing at the academy, but that doesn't mean that you know what the academy is "Really Like". That's part of the reason for summer seminar. And the academy doesn't take into consideration where you live. They try and give the same percentage or similar to all states/districts/etc... Doesn't matter if you live on the academy, in Co. Springs, Wyoming, Florida, etc...
My son is a brat. I was in the air force for 21 years. He was born in a military hospital. I've been helping individuals get into the academy, ROTC, Enlisted, Civilian Colleges, etc... for about 12 years. He probably knows as much, or more, than most applicants about the academy. Yet, that doesn't mean he knows ANYTHING about the academy. He applied, was selected, and loved summer seminar.
Read into this however you want......... OK, I'll say it. YES, apply anyway.
CC it was more in reference to the human factor you mentioned in post #8 and how does that plays into account to someone that lives so close which can go and visit at pretty much any time vs. going to summer seminar. Could it be looked at in the reverse for those types of candidates that have had the opportunity to go and see? Can’t you set up an appointment to visit the school and spend a day with a cadet pretty much at any time?
I didn’t mean to imply that he/I already knows everything… trust me we don’t assume that at all. I can see where my vague question can be read that way sorry about that. And lol yes I completely got the hint he’s already planning on applying I was just wondering if at all possible can it be looked at as a negative due to his proximity.
IMPO it is much different than just visiting and trailing a cadet for the day. They attend classes that interest them (they get a preference). They eat in Mitch's for a week. They have team building/bonding exercises. They do an actual CFA. They live in the dorms and have to wear a "uniform" of sorts. The Academy tries to give them a small taste of cadet life. Just another view point.
IMPO since I went to the seminar it is one thing to watch what is going on, but when ur at the seminar they are really showing kind of what it will be like they are waking u up early yelling at you and your doing pt together and going to classes with people and having cadre! So I know that when we got up the first morning and had people yelling at us and having to recite knowledge and doing push ups that's when I realized that I really wanted to go there I also know thats when my roomate decided she didn't! So I would suggest to apply and go it's completely worth it and if you have any questions you can send me a pm!
Gotcha. Truth is: your MOC, Rep and Senator is representing colorado. The state is exactly 299 miles from the new mexico to wyoming border. Colorado Springs is pretty much dead center at mile post 156. Thus; anyone can get to the academy in roughly 2 hours or less. So basically, I'd say that ALL candidates from Colorado, going for a nomination, will be looked at the same if you applied for summer seminar. If anything, if you didn't apply to summer seminar, your MOC would probably question that. Considering if you were selected, it wouldn't really cost you anything to go. So basically, if you're from Colorado area or close enough driving distance, it would probably be a negative to not apply.
As for the admissions board reviewing your package, there isn't a specific place for you to say you attended summer seminar. But we all know that you can interject just about anything into your essays and other areas where you are allowed to explain/elaborate. You can make words like summer seminar stand out. Best of luck. mike....
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