What exactly does the Candidate status mean


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Oct 29, 2008
I read the blurb on the application that says it means I am competitive, but after reading other posts on this forum I am confused. I applied to the summer seminar and was rejected because of an incomplete application, but they did get some of my info like GPA and PSAT scores. Then I started my online app and for as long as i can remember i have been listed as a candidate. Even before i submitted any paperwork, my app still isnt complete. Does my status as candidate mean when i finish my paperwork I will likely be granted an LOA? or does i just mean I am competitive in General.
At preset my transcript is in the mail and I need to complete the writing samples and CFA.

BTW my GPA is 3.783 unweighted, and 6.574 weighted (top 10%). I am an Eagle Scout and have taken all honors classes 9th-11th grades with one AP, and all APs (5) this year. I am also a 2 sport varsity athlete. My SATs are Math:670 and Reading: 630.

Thanks for the help.
Last edited:
The candidate status just means that after submitting your initial information, that the academy will consider you. It has nothing to do with receiving an LOA, not that you won't get one. Only about 100-200 candidates receive an LOA, so its only offered to the most competitive. Your credentials look good, maybe just raise the SATs some more. I'm curious to know how you have a 6 something GPA?

Good luck!,
Thanks for the info.
The way my school does GPAs is I suppose different from others. They give a basic unweighted one on what they call a 4.0 scale, but really since an A+ is a 4.5 its a 4.5 scale. For the unweighted it is a direct average of grades received in high school. For the weighted Honors and AP classes are taken into consideration. The highest possible GPA would be straight A+s in all APs giving a value of 7.4, our valedictorian has a 7.2. So my 6.574 is in the top 10%, the cut off was about 6.45.

What should my SATs be? My friend is a 2nd year and got in with 600 reading, 680 math, and my scores are right around his.

As hopeful said; the different categories are "Prospect", "Applicant", and "Candidate". Once you get far enough along, and your basic information is competitive, you become a "Candidate". It simply means that you will be considered. As hopeful also mentioned, an LOA is given to only a select few. And those LOA's are generally all given out by about November. Not that a few more can't trickle in after than, just that there aren't that many. There's also a very small amount who are given actual "Appointments" early. Not getting either doesn't mean you won't get selected and offered an appointment in March. That is when the majority; +/- 1000 are actually given out. The early LOA/Appointments are usually for those that are in the top 1-3% of their class; the 4.0gpa unweighted +/-; nailed the CFA; >2000 SAT combined; >30 ACT; etc... mega EC; volunteer; etc.... Basically the top scores based on their historical data from previous years of experience. I can't remember the actual break down of scoring, but I think academics can get a high of like 805 points. Even if my numbers are off, those who got the LOA/appointments early were close to maxing most/all of the areas that the academy admissions board grades you on.

I believe there is 1 more SAT/ACT available in time to get scores in. I think November/December. If you can retake these tests to help with your scores, that can only help. Also, if you're unweighted GPA goes up at the end of this semester, then definitely resend the academy a new transcript. Trying to determine what scores you need is almost impossible. You aren't being graded against a list of scores; Pass/Fail. You are competing against every other applicant who is trying to get in. If EVERY applicant got a math SAT greater than 680; then you need to have a 681. Every group of applicants are different. There is an average for applicants overall. Those are outlined at the academy website. However, you have to remember that you are competing with other candidates. Not a minimum score. This year's freshmen class has an average entrance High School GPA of 3.85 unweighted. Also, of the 1380 +/- that enter basic training, on average there will be about 80-90 that either quit or medically get rejected during basic training. This year it was only about 40 that didn't make it through. Each year and class is different. None better or worse, just different. Of the 1380 that start, usually about 950-1000 will graduate 4 years later. I believe that this year's graduating class had over 1000.

Anyway; do the best that you can. Get the highest SAT/ACT test scores you can get. Have the highest GPA that you can get. Do all the EC, volunteering, sports, etc... that you can. That is all that you can be expected to do . The best. You can't try and aim for a certain level. The whole concept of the air force academy is; once you've reached your goal, immediately set another goal higher. I know it's frustrating wanting to know if you will get accepted or not. Every single cadet currently at the academy has gone through that exact frustration. The vast majority of them had to deal with it until March. Some were fortunatel to get an early appointment or LOA in October/Novemeber. But for the majority that waits until March, all you can do is make sure that every opportunity that you have to increase your scores, activities, sports, etc... that you manually send updates to your counselor at the academy. At the same time, you make sure that you have applied to a number of other colleges in case you aren't accepted. Just like any other college; they don't accept everyone. If it wasn't the air force academy, you would be applying to a number of traditional schools. Same here. Have other schools lined up.

Sorry that we can't give you the magic SAT score, or gpa, etc... to give you a better idea of your chances. I can say however that being they are still waiting on your transcripts, writing samples, and CFA to be completed, chances are that you probably won't have a "Complete" application until probably the middle/end of November. I think it would be very iffy for you to be able to still receive an LOA. The reason being; the few they have to give out; 10% +/- of total applicants, will probably been given out by then. Appointments had to not only been 100% complete applications, medical, cfa, etc... but also had to have their nomination already in hand. Most congressmen don't have interviews until about December, so the actual early appointments are usually for those who had a nomination from the president, prior military, College ROTC, and a few other categories. So, once you are 100% complete, don't get discouraged if you don't see an LOA. It doesn't mean anything other than your application wasn't completed soon enough to really be considered for an early. But that's OK, because 90% of all appointments given in March didn't get an LOA. Just finish your writing, cfa, transcripts, and get your nomination from your MOC. Later... mike....
My daughter has " Candidate Administratively Disqualified" posted on her application. I guess it is over?
My daughter has " Candidate Administratively Disqualified" posted on her application. I guess it is over?

Your daughter needs/MUST speak with her "Blue & Gold" officer and find out what this means, and if there's anything she can do to reverse it.

(same as a B&GO)
Yes, steve is dead on with this. She needs to call in and check. There are so many possibilities. It's possible that the reason it classifies her as administratively disqualified, is something that can be corrected, improved on, or reconsidered. The normal term for "Candidate" refers to being competitive. She needs to find out the conflict. best of luck. mike....