USMA Application Process

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by AMI123, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. AMI123

    AMI123 5-Year Member

    Mar 18, 2009
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    My son was admitted to the SLS. He received an ID# to view his application etc. online. When are teacher recommendations etc. forms posted on the portal. Can someone give a step by step description of the application process from this point on. Any info would be appreciated
  2. aprouddad

    aprouddad 5-Year Member

    Apr 24, 2007
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    We went through this same process with my son last year. I'll tell you what I can remember. No guarantee the process will be the same this year.

    Once the application process really starts, the whole right side of that web site will become a checklist of things your son needs to do. Items not yet complete have a red icon. Once completed, the icon turns to a green check mark. The process is very well managed and very well thought out.

    I don't remember exactly when this happens but most of my son's teacher evals were done in early/mid August so probably around then. Most of that is done via email. On the web site, the applicant provides the email address of each teacher. WP then corresponds with the teacher. Once the teacher replies, the icon turns green.

    Around the first of July, they asked for a transcript. The other parts of the application (candidate statements, personal data record, etc) are all done on line and son had those completed by mid August. He took the CFA at SLS so that item turned green on it's own once the score was reported to admissions.

    Actually, the WP application was the easy part (thanks to the web site). Get started early on the congressional nomination stuff. In our case, only one of those had any degree of on-line support. Most were good old fashion paper forms to fill out. All required letters of recommendation that had to be submitted the old school way (ask for written letters from each). Each MOC has a different process. It seemed to take son much longer to get all that done than the WP app.

    The DoDMERB (medical exam) process can be time consuming as well. As I recall, he got the letter asking him to schedule those appointments in early July. We made the appointments and got all the exams out of the way before school started. If you run into issues, check the DoDMERB forum on this site and get in touch with Larry Mullen early (check any thread over there and you'll find his email address).

    Just keep checking the web site. Stay in touch with admissions. Your son won't get left behind. The process is detailed but not difficult.

    Hope that helps.

    (BTW, he had a great time at SLS.)
  3. America's Finest

    America's Finest 5-Year Member

    Oct 25, 2008
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    I found this saved on my computer. It helped me through the application proccess but forget where I got it from.

    Apply early for both the Summer Leadership Seminar and the official application. Of course, the “early bird” may not always get the worm but it certainly has a better chance than the late bird.

    Study hard and do well on the SAT or the ACT. While your high school GPA is important, the Admissions office places high value on the standardization of SAT/ACT scores among candidates. You will be hard-pressed to find West Point cadets with SAT scores lower than 1200 but it’s best if you can score 1300 and above. Get a head-start with a highly rated study book like Cracking the SAT, 2007 Edition (College Test Prep).

    Make sure you medically qualify. All of the service academies have strict medical requirements (as outlined by the Department of Defense) and will give formal waivers for a limited number and scope of problems. Go to a doctor and find out early on in the application process whether you have a medical condition that will disqualify you or require a formal waiver. We wouldn’t want you to get your hopes up for an appointment, only to find out later in your senior year that you are not able to medically qualify. Also if you end up needing a waiver, you want to find out about and apply for one as early as possible so you can prepare for backup plans.

    Be physically active and maintain your fitness. While West Point likes to see on your application that you participate in and excel in team sports, it’s not mandatory. However, with that said, being physically in shape is mandatory. The requirements are quite simple, though: You must be able to run and do sit-ups and push-ups. Start training as early on as possible to build up your capabilities in these areas. If you are late in the game, certain exercise equipment can help you quickly catch up: Perfect Pushup Bars / Shipping Included; Chin Up Bar / Pull Up Bar; Inversion Therapy - Inversion Rack.

    Keep your application paperwork organized and promptly respond to every item that comes in the mail. There are many pieces to the West Point application and nomination process, and it’s easy to miss or forget a piece of paper. The best way to do this is to create a timeline chart in Excel for each of the steps (outlined on the official USMA site) along with the respective paperwork required for each step. By creating a graphical outline, you can, at a glance, identify where exactly you stand in the process and whether you are current with your paperwork. This also helps you remind your school teachers that certain recommendations have not yet been mailed to West Point or the senators/congressmen.

    Find someone who has experienced the application process and talk to him or her. Read websites like Get Into Academy and check if there is a local USMA parents club. Or if you are feeling bold, go out and message current cadets on Facebook (a word of caution: say the wrong things and you may be a future target for hazing). The smartest thing you can do is to ask questions and benefit from the experience of someone who had been successfully accepted already.

    Read the USMA website often, especially the Admissions section. 80% of the questions that candidates ask are already answered in the USMA admissions website. The actual application process is steadily being transitioned to an online interface so keep up-to-date with the website.
  4. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom 10-Year Member

    Jul 9, 2006
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    Congratulations to your son for being accepted to SLS! This will be a great opportunity for him to see West Point up close.
    It would be best if he can show up in excellent physical condition - this will increase his chances of doing well on the CFA which they will administer to him that week.

    As soon as his 6th semester grades are in, have him send them to West Point. Each summer a number of SLS participants who are excellent candidates are offered early LOA's. Some as early as July or August.

    Basic parts:
    Application - on the portal late summer. This includes the recommendations, essay and CFA if needed.
    Congressional nominations - he can contact his MOC's and get the applications. Each has their own criteria and some may have multiple essays. Over the summer he can request his recommendations and write essays. The due dates are typically in the fall.

    Testing - he can take the SAT's and/or ACT's as often as he wants. Review the test dates and schedule when he will sit for the exams.

    DODMERB - probably shortly after SLS he will receive notification from DoDMERB on getting his physical. He should go and get it taken care of ASAP.

    As America's Finest mentioned - organization is key.

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