What are my chances?

USAFA Cand.

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I completed my application for USAFA in December, and have still not heard back from Air Force. I have a 26 ACT, 1220 SAT, a 4.5 GPA weighted and a 3.75 unweighted, and a schedule packed with AP classes. I also attend a rigorous STEM Magnet school that offers scientific research opportunities and classes that will give me a basis in engineering and science before I graduate high school (these classes often go past the AP curriculum and expand further on certain topics). I have started for the varsity soccer team for four years, and have also been the captain since sophomore year (I have won numerous awards for my high school sports performances). The coach has offered me a spot on the USAFA soccer team, but I did not get an LOA. I have also received my nomination from my congressman. My CFA scores are also very high.

On top of this, I volunteer with two non-profit organizations on a weekly basis.
Just wanted to know if anyone could give me a realistic view of what my chances may be of getting in.
I understand my test scores are low, but my application may be able to balance that out.
 

Christcorp

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Give me a "Realistic view" of the applications of your competition; (The others in your district, state, and eventually nationally); that you're competing against....... and then I can give you a very accurate and realistic view of your chances.

If you can't give me that info...... (Which I would need)...... then unfortunately....... I can't give you the info you're looking for.
 

joekuhl

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If the soccer coach offered you a spot (how did they do that, exactly?), I would think it’s nearly the same as receiving a LOA, in that you should get an appointment as long as you have a nomination and are 3Q’d. Maybe the soccer coach receives a certain allotment of recruits, he has a word with Admissions, and its get done that way? I have no idea if any of this is the case, however.
 

Christcorp

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People tend to "Hear" what they want to hear. The soccer coach doesn't have any guaranteed allotment of appointments. Neither does the football coach or any other coach. The coaches can however argue their case for a certain candidate to admissions. And if admissions and the superintendent agrees, it is possible for a recruited athlete to receive one of a "VERY FEW" superintendent nominations and an appointment.

However, this poster stated that they already have a nomination; so there's no need for the coach to petition for a nomination. They could still however argue for the individual to receive an appointment.

Chances are; what the individual heard was: "IF you receive an appointment to the academy, we would welcome you on the team". Or something similar. With the exception of the football team, very few of the other recruited sports cut players from the team. On football; about 50-60 freshmen will be "RECRUITED ATHLETES". But by the end of the first year, half of them are no longer on the team. By their senior year, only about 15-20 seniors are still on the team.

FWIW: I know first hand, a NUMBER of "Recruited Athletes" that the coach recruited and really wanted on the team; and they DIDN'T RECEIVE an APPOINTMENT. I'm not saying this to discourage the original poster. Simply putting things into perspective. I was honest when I said I couldn't tell you your chances unless I know the scores of all of those you are competing against. That's simply a fact and the truth. I will say however, that your 26act/1220SAT doesn't help your cause. The average incoming cadet has a 30-31 ACT. Not saying you can't get an appointment. Assuming that 26 is your LOWEST ACT score, then you qualify. So just hang in there and wait; just like everyone else.

But for the rest of those reading, especially those who hope to be a recruited athlete, don't read into what the coach or recruiter says to you. They can't PROMISE you anything. They aren't the ones who can give you an LOA or Appointment or Nomination. Depending on how good you are as an athlete; and depending on how well they believe you'll succeed at the academy and as a commissioned officer; they can only advocate for you to admissions and the superintendent. Best of luck
 

joekuhl

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Thanks for the great information, Christcorp – I truly learned much from it. Would I be correct in thinking that any individual getting an appointment on their own, without any assistance from a coach, as a walk-on (<- perhaps not the correct use of the word here) would have the same chance to make a team as the kid who may have received some assistance as a “recruited” athlete?
 
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I have seen and read a lot of these chances posts so I thought I'd share what I found about chances of getting into the USAFA using available info.

Class 2017 admissions profile (from the USAFA website):
Applicants 9,706
Candidate Pool 6,967
Nominated ~4,500 (this I got off the candidate handbook)
Qualified Candidates 2,277 ("these meet all their qualifications for admission")
Offers of Admission 1,475
Admitted 1,190
20% chance of acceptance from the Candidate Pool to Offer of Admission
64% chance of acceptance from the Qualified Candidate to Offer of Admission

The following info I got/found off this website but I forgot who posted it, sorry (credit to you though).
"Between acceptance and I Day a few will decide to take another path.
Another group will decide during BCT 1 to leave.
Finally a group will decide to leave during BCT 2.
When school actually starts in August the number is between 1,000 and 1,100."

I hope this helps and good luck to all applicants!
 

USAFA Cand.

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@Christcorp My district is not that competitive in terms of academic standouts. In all reality, the only kids who have a chance of going to a big-time school, come from the Magnet school. The area I live in has a reputation for being "rough," and not many kids making it out. I would say the average ACT score is around 23 and SAT around 1150 for the kids at the nomination interviews. However, I was only able to talk to a few.
 

fencersmother

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To our OP, first you say:
, and a schedule packed with AP classes. I also attend a rigorous STEM Magnet school that offers scientific research opportunities and classes that will give me a basis in engineering and science before I graduate high school (these classes often go past the AP curriculum and expand further on certain topics)
Then you say:
My district is not that competitive in terms of academic standouts. In all reality, the only kids who have a chance of going to a big-time school, come from the Magnet school. The area I live in has a reputation for being "rough," and not many kids making it out. I would say the average ACT score is around 23 and SAT around 1150 for the kids at the nomination interviews.
I am not criticizing at all but want to make clear your points. The 23 ACT and 1150 SAT you quote: are these at the Magnet school you attend or in your home district?
 

Christcorp

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2 replies; because I was asked 2 questions:

1. Joekuel: All candidates, including the "Recruited Athletes" get their appointments on "Their Own". Usually, any help that a candidate gets from the coaches is mentoring on getting the application done. Now, for the extreme stand-out athlete, the coach may, or may not, petition admissions if the individual is good but because of a limited number of appointments, didn't get one. Also, if the stand out athlete is an excellent candidate, but they are border line in a particular area; e.g. ACT/SAT, or all good grades except say math; the coach could petition to get the individual into the prep school. is

But to put this into perspective, of the 50-60 recruited football players, the overwhelming majority got into the academy on their own. My son was a recruited football player, but actually wasn't recruited until 2 weeks AFTER receiving his appointment. (He received his appointment at the end of october - 2007). This is similar for most athletes. The vast majority got in on their own; had those stellar gpa/act; leadership; Extra Curricular; etc. They competed against everyone else and got it on their own. Very few get any help from a coach.

2. USAFA Cand: Every candidate competes for an appointment at UP TO 3 levels. At your Congressional District level against other applicants in your district; at your state level; and at the national level. Mind you, you only compete at the state level IF you received a State Senator's nomination, and you DIDN'T receive an appointment with your Congressman(woman)'s nomination. If you don't receive an appointment from either of these nomination slates, then your name goes into the national pool. (Approximately half of all appointments come from the district/state nominations). The remaining half of appointments come from the national pool and some select military related pools like a presidential nomination. There's also a very small amount of nominations that the superintendent can give out. Some for athletes and some for others that are deemed worthy, but for some reason didn't receive a nomination from their representative or senator. Mind you, this is just a nomination. It doesn't guarantee an appointment. Those with a superintendent nomination probably already had an LOA but didn't get a nomination. These are very rare.

Now; having said that, once you finish competing at your district level for a nomination, and assuming you are one of the 10 people with a nomination from that district, the academy WILL GIVE an appointment to one of those 10 individuals. Assuming they are 100% qualified. The remaining 9 will be put into the national pool for further consideration.

In a case like yours, where you say the area you grew up in is tough, few make it out, and grades/scores aren't that high; I understand that very well. I may be in Wyoming now, but I was born and raised in the new jersey/new york city area. Most kids I went to school with didn't go to ANY college; let alone a good university. This is where your application and your ALO really needs to step up. The application talks about overcoming hardships and adversity. Applicants are encouraged to describe how they did the BEST they could, with what was available to them. I've helped kids apply to the academy who didn't do any after school sports, because they had to raise their baby brother/sister; or get a job to contribute to the family's income.

This is a difficult position for sure. This is why many of us argue on this forum about the appointment process. Some are upset because they had a 3.9 gpa and a 32ACT and didn't receive an appointment. Yet, they read of others who had lower gpa and act scores and did receive an appointment. The academies want diversity, but so others understand for the 1 millionth time; diversity isn't just race, color, gender, etc. They are looking at the "WHOLE PERSON". They are looking for future military leaders who will be leading enlisted personnel with similar backgrounds. Rich, Poor, Traditional families, single families, ranch/farm kids, inner city kids, athletes, band, 4H, first generation going to college, and the list goes on.

This isn't to say you will or won't receive an appointment. There are only 1100-1200 appointments given. And there's a lot more than that applying. But this is to assure you that as long as you've done the BEST you could with what you HAD TO WORK WITH; and you explained this in the application process and to your ALO; then that's the best you can hope for. This is what the academies are looking for. They don't want just the 3.9-4.0gpa, 33-36ACT class president, who is also a 4 sport varsity letter captain of the team. They want so much more. But there are approximately 10,000 applicants. How you stand out in comparison to them, is how the final score will come down.

Best of luck to you and every other applicant. Mike
 

USAFA Cand.

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@fencersmother No. I don't totally know the magnet schools average scores, as there the kids in my class who have a 36 ACT and some with a 22 Act. My district, however, the average ACT score is a 22 and the average SAT score is a 1010
 

USMA 1994

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@USAFA Cand. What the group is trying to tell you is that no one here can really answer your specific question but can explain the process. We can generally talk about how competitive your area is, but it is impossible to know that each year. I would tell you that Texas, New York and California are competitive because of the sheer amount of applicants, but a candidate from Wyoming with profile stats near the average might not get in this year because there are three or four individuals who have stats all above the average. Where as next year, and individual with stats slightly below the average may get in because he or she is the highest ranked candidate on the slate.

Focus on doing your best and things will work out for the best. Never give up on your dreams and chase your passions, but always have a plan B and C
 

fencersmother

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USAFACand, with a 22 ACT and 1050SAT, I would say your district is the very definition of "average." Average national ACT: 21; average national SAT: 1000.

Your "whole candidate score" will be considered. And all the other things that make you... you... will be taken into account. Have you overcome adversity? Do you have demonstrated leadership abilities? You get the idea, from above, etc.

You seem on the right road for a bright future! Good luck!
 

Enthalpy

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Jan 29, 2017
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84
2 replies; because I was asked 2 questions:

1. Joekuel: All candidates, including the "Recruited Athletes" get their appointments on "Their Own". Usually, any help that a candidate gets from the coaches is mentoring on getting the application done. Now, for the extreme stand-out athlete, the coach may, or may not, petition admissions if the individual is good but because of a limited number of appointments, didn't get one. Also, if the stand out athlete is an excellent candidate, but they are border line in a particular area; e.g. ACT/SAT, or all good grades except say math; the coach could petition to get the individual into the prep school. is

But to put this into perspective, of the 50-60 recruited football players, the overwhelming majority got into the academy on their own. My son was a recruited football player, but actually wasn't recruited until 2 weeks AFTER receiving his appointment. (He received his appointment at the end of october - 2007). This is similar for most athletes. The vast majority got in on their own; had those stellar gpa/act; leadership; Extra Curricular; etc. They competed against everyone else and got it on their own. Very few get any help from a coach.

2. USAFA Cand: Every candidate competes for an appointment at UP TO 3 levels. At your Congressional District level against other applicants in your district; at your state level; and at the national level. Mind you, you only compete at the state level IF you received a State Senator's nomination, and you DIDN'T receive an appointment with your Congressman(woman)'s nomination. If you don't receive an appointment from either of these nomination slates, then your name goes into the national pool. (Approximately half of all appointments come from the district/state nominations). The remaining half of appointments come from the national pool and some select military related pools like a presidential nomination. There's also a very small amount of nominations that the superintendent can give out. Some for athletes and some for others that are deemed worthy, but for some reason didn't receive a nomination from their representative or senator. Mind you, this is just a nomination. It doesn't guarantee an appointment. Those with a superintendent nomination probably already had an LOA but didn't get a nomination. These are very rare.

Now; having said that, once you finish competing at your district level for a nomination, and assuming you are one of the 10 people with a nomination from that district, the academy WILL GIVE an appointment to one of those 10 individuals. Assuming they are 100% qualified. The remaining 9 will be put into the national pool for further consideration.

In a case like yours, where you say the area you grew up in is tough, few make it out, and grades/scores aren't that high; I understand that very well. I may be in Wyoming now, but I was born and raised in the new jersey/new york city area. Most kids I went to school with didn't go to ANY college; let alone a good university. This is where your application and your ALO really needs to step up. The application talks about overcoming hardships and adversity. Applicants are encouraged to describe how they did the BEST they could, with what was available to them. I've helped kids apply to the academy who didn't do any after school sports, because they had to raise their baby brother/sister; or get a job to contribute to the family's income.

This is a difficult position for sure. This is why many of us argue on this forum about the appointment process. Some are upset because they had a 3.9 gpa and a 32ACT and didn't receive an appointment. Yet, they read of others who had lower gpa and act scores and did receive an appointment. The academies want diversity, but so others understand for the 1 millionth time; diversity isn't just race, color, gender, etc. They are looking at the "WHOLE PERSON". They are looking for future military leaders who will be leading enlisted personnel with similar backgrounds. Rich, Poor, Traditional families, single families, ranch/farm kids, inner city kids, athletes, band, 4H, first generation going to college, and the list goes on.

This isn't to say you will or won't receive an appointment. There are only 1100-1200 appointments given. And there's a lot more than that applying. But this is to assure you that as long as you've done the BEST you could with what you HAD TO WORK WITH; and you explained this in the application process and to your ALO; then that's the best you can hope for. This is what the academies are looking for. They don't want just the 3.9-4.0gpa, 33-36ACT class president, who is also a 4 sport varsity letter captain of the team. They want so much more. But there are approximately 10,000 applicants. How you stand out in comparison to them, is how the final score will come down.

Best of luck to you and every other applicant. Mike
Christcorp:
Can you tell me how your son received an Appointment in October?
 

Christcorp

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Because in 2007, it was a different time. They gave out loa to applicants besides recruited athletes. And if an applicant already had a nomination, such as a presidential, which my son had, they'd give out appointments too.

But that was before high unemployment and they could estimate the number of people who would accept an appointment. Use to be they would offer 1700 appointments knowing 500 would turn it down. With high unemployment in 2008 and on, (don't believe today's numbers), they can't offer so many so soon. Too many would probably accept them.

But for what it's worth, they still offer some appointments early to those with a nomination like a presidential, if the applicant is a no brainer
 
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afmighty1

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Feb 11, 2017
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Hi Everyone... I just want to say thank you all for your contributions to this forum & site.. I have gained a lot of knowledge and have had many of my questions answered via these forums..
 

afmighty1

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Since i am new to the site & Forum.. I did have a question to ask, i am parent and my son has expressed interest in attending USAFA. Now thing to add here is my son in in the middle of his 7th grade yr (middle school), and i want to be able to assist him the best i can to put him on the right path to achieve his goals. I was wondering if i could get some feedback on types of classes & programs he should be starting to get into academically starting in 8th grade. Which would give him the best possible chances of getting accepted..
He has just joined CAP here locally and is a baseball & basketball player.
Any feedback you can provide would be highly appreciative.. It is a bit early for him to apply to the USAFA or any other academy but i want to start early with him... Thanks again look forward to reading responses.
 

fencersmother

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One of sons also received and LOA in October 2007 (same class as Christcorps'), and his twin brother with absolutely identical grades, scores, etc., did not. Go figure. And a lesson: do not expect nor anticipate an LOA. The heady days (ha!) of 2007 are long gone, and it's a different world now.

to afmighty1, You have a 12 or 13 year old. My advice as the parent of several of that species: let your child be a CHILD. Yes, if his interest in CAP continues, terrific. He should take the most challenging coursework available to him, whether through his school, as a homeschooler, in distance enrollment, or later, through dual enrollment and do well in them; this advice would apply to him whether he sees a Service Academy in his future or civilian college or enlistment or trade school. Please do not contact an ALO at this time. These kindly folks are VOLUNTEERS and many have several young people on the cusp of applications to worry about, not a 12 year old that likes the idea of uniforms and airplanes (not to belittle your child or any child - ). Encourage your child's interests, and don't do it for him. In other words, if he is interested in CAP, let HIM tell you "Mom Tuesday is CAP! I can't wait! I have my uniform ready!" not "Junior, it's two days to CAP. Let me fix up your uniform for you."

Also, the baseball and basketball are good sports... does he LOVE them or are they just what's available?
 

afmighty1

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Thank you for your feedback. He is a kid (12 yrs old) and has played baseball pretty much since birth. Basketball is just the newiest sport on the block he started to pick up. I just continue to encourage him. But as the next yr goes by if it's something he still wants, I want him to be on the right path. And at the last minute have to try to scramble with classes tougher than he can handle. Thanks again.
 
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