What is a letter of assurance?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by talltrees, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. talltrees

    talltrees Member

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    ive heard about them a lot but how do you earn them?
     
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  2. PubTech

    PubTech New Member

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    You need to have an excellent profile such as high standardized test scores and leadership in clubs. If I remember correctly, a counselor at USNA said it’s a conditional offer of appointment. The conditions being passing DoDMERB and getting a nomination.
     
  3. Objective

    Objective Member

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    Use the search function. LOAs have been discussed ad infinitum. Lots of info on this forum
     
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  4. s-xuer

    s-xuer Member

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    LOAs assure you will be accepted. Often the conditions are that you need to pass the CFA and DoDMERB exam. You will also need to get a nomination too. They are given out by the admissions committee, and they are used by admissions to assure good candidates, who match what admissions are looking for to build the class.
    In order to get LOA, you'll have to be what admissions are seeking. I've gathered from reading past posts that LOA recipients are almost always well-rounded with academics, sports, and after-school-activities. So if you excel in those areas, you may get one.
    I've read that last year's application for 2023 opened on 01 AUG, and some folks got an LOA by 06 AUG, notified by mail. I'm surprised it can happen so fast.

    Since that's a short time period, does anyone know what documents/application parts have to be done before an LOA is considered? Also, around what time are LOAs given out most often?
     
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  5. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Unlike USNA, USMA issues few LOA's. Most go to recruited athletes.

    Outside of recruited athletes, RC's determine whether or not to issue LOA's. If an RC chooses to use LOA's, they might go to a superior candidate or to a candidate that meets some other need. You should not read anything into not getting an LOA.

    An LOA by itself does not guarantee appointment - you still have to be 3Q + NOM.
     
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  6. shock-n-awe

    shock-n-awe Member

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    Sometimes a highly desired candidate has a profile that meets a particular need of an SA and/or is a recruited athlete for example. The SA will give that candidate an LOA. The earliest I’ve heard of one being offered was at DS NASS “graduation “.
    Getting an LOA is the exception, not the norm. Don’t expect one, don’t look for one, and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get one. Most kids receiving an offer of appointment have a stellar application and never received an LOA.
     
  7. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    That says it all...but if you need more, as @Objective stated, the Search function will provide lots of reading.
     
  8. shock-n-awe

    shock-n-awe Member

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    Exactly! An LOA has conditions to be met, and sometimes those conditions are not met and thus, no appointment.
    If an LOA was a guaranteed offer of appointment, it would be called an appointment.
     
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  9. Armyboots2

    Armyboots2 New Member

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    Technically the application period would start when the candidate applies for SLE, so January? My DD received an LOA on 8/24/18 for USMA Class of 2023.
     
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  10. user501

    user501 Member

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    Wait, how is it possible to for admissions to give out LOAs so early in August? The full application only opens at the start of August. Are test scores, transcripts, essays, and self-reported activities enough information? School doesn't even start until late August or September, so counselors can't even verify anything yet. I'm a little confused by how quick some of this seems.
     
  11. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Remember that’s LOAs are conditional. They are contingent on certain conditions being met, which will be clearly communicated to the candidate. So yes, an LOA can be granted based on just a couple inputs, pending fulfillment of other inputs. Now, most important thing, as has been said on SAF many times by our most sage contributors: Candidates should not obsess or fret over an LOA. It is a rarity and it is not the prize. The offer of appointment is.
     
  12. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    For almost all USMA candidates, LOA's are inconsequential and shouldn't be given more than 30 seconds thought. Some RC's don't use any LOA's.

    USMA will issue an LOA for what may be described as a "targeted" candidate - a recruited athlete or a candidate that falls into some other USMA need - someone certain to be appointed if qualified who will not be taking a spot from someone with a higher WCS score.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  13. boxmm24

    boxmm24 Member

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    That's a quick turnaround! What parts of the application did your DD have completed in order to be eligible? I'm assuming all essays? Letters of recommendation?
     
  14. GoCubbies

    GoCubbies Member

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    My DD got an LOA in late August 2018.

    She had a prelim app open by applying to SLE. The USMA app opened 1 Aug and she started filling out the requirements soon after. USMA already had her ACT (34) and transcripts after junior year (rank #1 in class of slightly over 100). I recall her transcript turning green on the portal (she showed it to me) and then an LOE showed up on the portal the next day. About 7 days later, the LOA showed up in the mail.

    In her prelim app, she had indicated all her varsity letters, team captain positions, Girls State, all-conference, all-metro, etc... Also, she had a presidential nom on file by late July.

    In her LOA letter, it said she had until 15 October to submit all her SOE and essays or else the LOA would go away.

    So, yes, an LOA can be given without having essays or SOEs on file. All USMA had were her grades, ACT, and activities to go on.
     
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  15. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. 5-Year Member

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    Amen to that! I would say less than 10 seconds of thought...if that. Whether it's USMA, USNA or USAFA, it's about this time every year that LOA's become this somewhat obsessive grail candidates want to know more about ,how to get and spend an inordinate amount of energy trying to pursue.

    I wish they'd get rid of them as they really serve no purpose at all (and yes, I've heard all the arguments for and they don't hold water). Spend 100% of your time and energy on focusing what you can control and put together the very best application you can. LOA's are merely a mental distraction to what you need to do.
     
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  16. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    +1 to @Sydney C. Threads like this only serve to stir the masses. I foresee much rushing to submit packages very quickly in pursuit of the elusive unico...I mean, LOA, at the expense of accurate applications, comprehensive summaries and compelling personal statements.
     
  17. boxmm24

    boxmm24 Member

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    @GoCubbies 's post was interesting to me because last summer (mid-August) we went to an Admissions briefing. We asked how early they started to send out acceptances and we were given the answer "we are already letting people know" as the follow up to "apply early." That always confused me if the mass packets go out in January. The previous post merely fills in the blanks as to how this is possible. I realize it happens only to small numbers of applicants, but it apparently happens enough for the admissions officer to comment on it happening.
     
  18. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    Think of an LOA as the rainbow unicorn. While many people talk about them only a few have actually seen them. They are typically given to candidates that have a strong tangible application and meet one or more under-represented categories. Think of a Female Native American applicant who is raised in a single parent household and will be a first generation college graduate with SAT scores in the 1500 range. 99% of applicants do not fit into this type of category. Your focus should be spent on putting the best application that YOU can put forward.
     
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  19. GoCubbies

    GoCubbies Member

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    She got her LOA in the mall in late August, so it wasn’t an official acceptance in my mind.

    She didn’t get her appointment until what I think was first big wave of acceptances in January. It was the Wednesday before MLK weekend to be exact. I say big wave only because it seemed more than a handful of SAF folks posted of acceptances around that time.

    Because of the previous threads on SAF regarding LOAs, I know my DD (nor I) wasn’t expecting one. It was a pleasant surprise it showed up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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