Per an email from our Area Coordinator: "USNA is 2,000 applicants ahead of last year (which was the biggest year in 40 years), and the competition is EXTREMELY keen for 2014." Looks to be a very interesting cycle this year. Therefore, my humble notion is that in no way should we make comparisons to selections in past years. Large numbers of applications does not necessarily spell doom and gloom; each candidate must be academically and physically qualified and receive a nomination. Best advice is to not procrastinate in gathering and submitting all your information. I would remain very patient throughout this entire process this year; things may not happen as rapidly as in past years.