USAFA Summer Seminar


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Dec 28, 2008
This forum is absolutely priceless! Thank you all for your help!!! I have yet another question (I am one of those people who likes to be prepared for everything, plan well, and start early and I've been working constantly since 8th grade to prepare myself the best I can for the academy) So that was my explanation for having so many questions! I truly value your advice!

I applied to the USAFA Summer Seminar when it opened on Dec 1, and have not yet recieved any further info from them. My status on the website is "applicant (your application is under consideration)". I know that I must be patient!

Here's my question: I have heard that I will be having an interview, what should I be prepared for? I am extremely comfortable in interviews (i had them for applying to high school and job interviews) but is there anything sort of "different" that I should be ready for?

Also, I am sure I will be asked why i want to attend the academy. Most importantly, I feel that I have a duty to serve my country and want to be a part of something greater than myself. (Does this sound too "cheesey", it is the honest truth) *note: i come from a mildly mildly military family (my parents are not military but I have uncles on both sides who are/were, so i have not been raised with the idea of going into the military, though my parents are very supportive)

ok that was really long! hahaha, but I really would appreciate your help!
The interview will probably be very laid back. Your ALO just wants to see what you're like, see if you can talk in front of people and they just wanna see what you're about. So you can expect simple questions that ask you basically to tell them about yourself. Its only a SS app so its not going to be a too in-depth interview.

Second... Good answer, but from my experience from interviews for nominations and such, they may want to probe that answer a bit more... Why do you want to serve your country? Why be a part something greater than yourself? The answer you gave is the generic "Ms. America" answer. Its not wrong, just maybe not the "best" answer.

Good luck!
thanks for the advice on the answer, i totally agree! I was just cutting it down a lot because I've already written so much! But moving in that general direction would be good? thanks again!
it's so good to start early!

just for comfort, it took a couple of months- yeah like two!- for usafa to notify about summer seminar.

the alo interview is very laid-back. is it at your house? they like to subtly gather information about you, it's not a make or break type of thing, nothing to worry about.

my best advice- do you know who your alo is already and have you contacted them? if not, write/email/call them now!

I'll only add that my son's SS interview was with 2 ALO's -- (an ALO and a "trainee" ALO :biggrin:) and... surprise... a year later, they BOTH interviewed him -- again -- for the Class of 2013. So, do your best, but realize, too, you may be seeing them again. The interview is not just for the summer seminar; it is their first look at you, in person. In other words, you will likely be developing a "relationship" that can only help you in the future.

Best of luck!
Another thing A_Q

You will not (at least it was for me) get notified by USAFA about SS until the package arrives with everything in it. My ALO had known weeks in advance that I got accepted but was unable to tell me due to the position he is in. Being an ALO, he is limited on what he could say, so when I called him between the weeks of my interview and receiving my SS package, he would not pick up or return calls. So once you have all your stuff in, remember to be patient. You seem to hold on to patience very well, which is very good. Just remember that before you know it, you will get the paperwork saying congratulations on making SS! Keep up the good work and good luck!
About how long after you applied were you notified? I too have to be patient!
thanks for the words of advice guys!

yes, i have contacted my alo (i also talked to him last year when a friend of mine who goes to my school recieved her appointment) and he called me today actually and said that he'd like to figure out some time to talk with me and answer questions, etc. he also said that although he does not have direct play in the SS admissions process he'd like to write a recomendation for me, since he though my app was strong and because he know how rigorous my school is. (I didn't ask of anything, he brought it up and offered)

so i should be having a longer talk with him soon!

(and I wonder why USMA sends out decisions so much earlier than USAFA?)

THANKS to you ALL!!!!
Academy Q's,

Just on your note about the answer for "Why do you want to go to the Academy?" I gave almost exactly the same answer: "As an American citizen I feel it is my duty to serve." I also talked about education. but the fact is, it's all absolutely true AND all the interviewers I told it to (mainly for nominations) seemed to like it. So, I think it's a good one to go with.

As for timing, I didn't hear anything until April, but I got rejected so you'll probably hear back sooner. Just be patient. The waiting will get worse as you get further into this. I think all current and previous candidates can attest to that.

Best of luck!
thanks! yeah i was also going to talk about the education and the incredible opportunities. Also that since almost every career that exists in the civilian world is needed inside the military, why not pursue a career and serve your country while doing it?

that's truly what I believe, and is really what made me realize that this is the path for me
okay good that he knows you exist!

USMA does a rolling admissions- just that army efficiency! usafa, i don't know, they wait until everyone gets their stuff in?

your alo won't tell you that you got in- at least not directly. mine sort of broke the silence, i remember. i was trying to work it out so that i could go to the other summer seminars and all i needed to know was, if i got in to the one at usafa, when i would be going. i called him for help about flights and it was sort of a big hint. are you applying to any of the others?

and as for the answers to your "why i want to go to the academy" questions, i would say personalize it. and by that i mean, is there an experience from childhood that has helped shaped your desire to go to the academy? maybe your grandparents' war stories? a movie? an interesting point in history? and then don't forget about yourself and your character- the academy is hard, what is it about yourself that makes you think you can survive?
good ideas for that. yes, my grandpa was in army air during WWII. should i tell them about when I first started looking into the academy? It was when I was in 8th grade, and we were writing a personal essay on the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington, and it was at that point that I realized I wanted to serve. (So would delving into that a bit and the reasons behind it be a good idea?)
We won't be able to tell you whether or not you are going to give the "right answer." Mainly because there really isn't a "right" answer.

Just make sure that your answer is thorough, and you can present your real motivation (again, everyone can sense a BS answer) and desire to want to pursue a life as an officer in the military. Because as many people on this forum will tell you, the academy isn't what you should really want. What you should really want is to be an officer in the military. Now the motivation that drives people to do that is different for everyone, and that is what you should be able to convey to whoever asks you that question.
thanks! but so going back to why I first wanted to serve and then tracing that back to the academy would probably be ok? I just wasn't sure if it was over doing it.