What Programs/Extracurriculars Can I do to make my application stand out?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by LB101, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. LB101

    LB101 Member

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    I am currently a junior girl, I am very interested in applying to West Point and I'm trying to learn everything I can about the process.
    -Currently my grades are at a 4.0 and I am about to take my ACT which I am assumed to get a 31 on (I will retest till I get 33/34). I also have 200 hours of community service from working at my church and traveling to Peru and Guatemala on mission trips.
    -Participated in Link Crew 2017 as a mentor
    -I have taken an EMR (emergency medical responder) ROP my sophomore year (1/2 way through getting my license)
    -Last summer I participated in Camp Neuro at USC
    -Participated in Varsity track for all of high school and I plan on becoming captain this year ( also in Varsity Athletic Leadership Club)
    -I am in Surgical Technician I ROP class which counts on my transcript (half way through my Surg. Tech. License)
    -Next school year I plan to take 4 AP's and finish my EMT license or Surgical Tech License
    -This summer I am attending Pre-Med 2 week program at UCI (university California Irvine)
    -I may also 'intern' for a congressman in DC for a week over the summer

    What else can I do to have an outstanding application that is more appealing to West Point. I know my grades are low so is there something I can do to balance that out? I obviously have a passion for medicine... Is there a way to incorporate that with something West Point would like.
    Any help would be great! Thank you!
     
  2. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    Many of your ECs indicated "participated in" tags - look for options that show that you had meaningful leadership roles/responsibilities with these organizations. WP is not looking for those with a closet full of participation medals, they are looking for the next generation of leaders.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. keeperkat90

    keeperkat90 Member

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    I highly suggest getting more volunteering in. Not something that you can use as a box check, but something you actually care about and can say you made a difference by working with that organization for X amount of months.
    -c/o 2018 usafa
     
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  4. AirsoftRanger

    AirsoftRanger Member

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    You have a leg up on many applicants with that list, those grades.
    your main objective now is to apply when the portal opens, you will then understand from which teachers you need recommends.
    senior year is the general opportunity to become a "leader". When applying, soft shoe religious aspects (Luke 16:9).
    till then, BECOME West Point material. Positive. can do. Be the light in the room. then, You'll always know you were WP material, even if you end up elsewhere.
     
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  5. LB101

    LB101 Member

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    Thank you so much, I didn't think of that!!!!!
     
  6. LB101

    LB101 Member

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    Thank you for your advice, I will keep all of that in mind as I move forward.
     
  7. Goat 965

    Goat 965 Member

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    Apply to attend Girls State next summer. Take AP and honors classes, and nail them. Do not let senior-itis get to you in anyway; take as tough a class load as a Senior as you have previously. As a poster named Tugboat says " PushHard, Press Forward"............
     
  8. Dadx4

    Dadx4 Member

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    If pre-med, you might consider an alternative track through AROTC. I think WP might be a more difficult road for medical school. It's doable, but keep your options open.
     
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  9. Artillery

    Artillery Member

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    Yea I agree with Dadx4 on the premed part. Apparently ROTC or VMI or something like that is better for premed cuz West Point's program is very competitive and hard to get. As far as your resume, there's three categories for the West Point app's resume side - athletic, leadership, and academic, which is 10%, 30%, and 60% respectively. Athletic ability is simply measured by the CFA, and because it's only 10%, my FF rep told me it's basically a pass or fail as in, you won't get as much bang for the buck if you train like mad and spend a whole lot of time squeezing out one more pullup. Academic is a combination of grades/class rank and standardized test scores. A 31 on ACT is not shabby at all, 33-34 is obviously better. If your school doesn't rank, that score could be 60% of your app. As far as bang for the buck goes, test scores is the best place put most of your time. Leadership is the other 30%, which means that it may not be as large of a portion as academics, but if you don't have it, you'll most likely not get it. West Point values leadership a lot, too. Because you're a junior, you'll most likely get the positions senior year. Team Captain is good. See if you can get officer positions in clubs, student council, Girls State is always a plus, work your way up ranks in all the stuff you do. But again, the test scores and class rank is the best place to make improvements because it'll end up adding the most points. Obviously that doesn't mean neglect the other portions because you need all the points you can muster up, but if you wanna push something to get the most points possible, getting a couple points higher on the ACT will do grounds more than a couple more pushups will.
     
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  10. GoArmy2022

    GoArmy2022 USMA 2022

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    I'm not going to go on about plan B and C stuff with you, because I'm sure you have a couple of other schools you're interested in and know that backup plans are important.

    You probably already know that the Medical Corps is one of 17 Army officer branches cadets are permitted to select. I am unaware of how difficult it is to be selected for this branch, however...

    As far as file improvement goes, if you do a club sport outside of track or something that is not one of your school's "official" sports for the season, you can still include that as an activity. It is imperative that you do this if you are in a club sport.

    Plan around your program at UCI and find out when your Girls State will take place. Apply for this. If there is a free week before or after your Girls State, make sure you apply to SLE for the session during which you'll be free. If it is not possible for you to attend either SLE or Girls State, it is IMPERATIVE that you attend Girls State instead. You can visit West Point later.

    Something that's pretty important right now for all rising candidates is CFA preparation. If you are not preparing for the CFA now, you may run into trouble later. First of all, the basketball throw is not exactly what most candidates expect it to be...consult YouTube University if you'd like to see what I mean. This exercise is pretty much just form practice...

    You said you're a track runner? You should be able to clear the mile and shuttle run without a problem. Sit-ups will also likely not be an issue for you, but I recommend trying to improve this area anyway. Push-ups and pull-ups, however, may be a problem. Ensure that you train in these areas months before taking the CFA. If you start preparing late, that's on you. Make sure you watch the video instructions before taking the CFA for real.

    Good luck, and go Army!
     
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  11. ten042

    ten042 Member

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    Girls State! Talk ton your school counselor and let them know you want to be considered. Let them know to contact you for ANY leadership program that they hear of. If they do not know about Girls State, you can look up and contact your nearest American Legion Post and find out who to email (or call) regarding Girls State. You can apply and pay your own way.
     
  12. Goat 965

    Goat 965 Member

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    Yup, my DD went to Girls State via contact with our local American Legion. Good advice, ten042.
     
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  13. LB101

    LB101 Member

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    What exactly is AROTC and VMI? My FFR did tell me going the medical track through WP is very hard, but not impossible.
     
  14. LB101

    LB101 Member

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    Thank you so much for your feedback!! At this point I'm not too worried about the CFA, I am very athletic, it seems that I just need to find more leadership roles and involve myself with things that make me a more competitive applicant. I am trying to find out how to get into girls state, I want to do SLE but I won't have my ACT score until mid February.. my FFR told me to go and apply right away anyway but leave the scores open; Is there even a chance I will get in, and if I do get in how much of a difference will it make?
     
  15. Artillery

    Artillery Member

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    ROTC is the Reserve Officer Training Corps. Basically, as you go through a regular civilian college, you can also train to become an officer and earn a commission upon graduation. There are many ways to participate in this program. Obviously, you first have to find a civilian college that has a ROTC battalion. The way I applied was through the ROTC scholarship. ROTC will pay for your 4 years of college (usually just tuition, not room and board), if you receive the scholarship. In this sense, it is far easier to do premed in college because you're not competing for commission slots as much as at West Point. I'm sure ROTC has some kind of cap on branchings, but it won't be as competitive.

    As for VMI, that's Virginia Military Institute. There are a couple military colleges out there that aren't service academies, but are still military colleges. VMI is one, the Citadel is another, Marion is one. It's basically a mini, less competitive, West Point. They have a corps of cadets, and you're doing your undergrad. But it's just not West Point (take that for what it is). You'll have more luck going medical at one of those colleges. Based on your resume, though, I would suggest that ROTC is a better fit for you. Competition for admission to these colleges are a little easier. Not to discount them as institutions, they're great. But obviously, they wouldn't compare as far as academic rigor to a place like Princeton. All I'm saying is that, if you can do ROTC, you should apply for places that have the best of both worlds.

    Medical Track through West Point obviously isn't impossible, they do graduate medical officers, so someone has to get it, right. It's just a little harder to get, it ain't gonna be a sure fire thing. You'll just have more luck at ROTC or a military college that isn't West Point. But, that's of course not to say that you shouldn't even try for West Point just because it's harder to get. It wouldn't be the end of the world if you didn't get to branch medical at branch night. I'm pretty sure you can switch branches once you reach CPT if you do Captain's Career Course (not exactly sure what that is, I was just told this by someone I don't remember who).

    Best of luck!
     
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  16. GoArmy2022

    GoArmy2022 USMA 2022

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    Going to SLE can help determine whether or not West Point is the place for you, but not getting into it does not have a large impact on your application in general, PROVIDED you take the steps to improve your standardized test scores. I applied to SLE with a 28 ACT. I had a 35 English, but my Reading and Math were 27s and my Science was a 24. Got rejected. Kept taking it. Wound up with a 33 composite. 36 English, 33 Reading, 32 Science & Math. Determination and studying. I got into West Point.
     
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  17. glen

    glen 5-Year Member

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    Jumping in here to offer alternatives to a Service Academy if you are serious about applying to medical school upon graduation from college. As noted, your obligation upon graduating from a Service Academy is subject to the needs of the particular service. You may be an excellent candidate for medical school, but you may be #11 on the list of 10 selected to defer military service to go to med school. This is just a fact - in return for a fabulously expensive free BS degree, you belong to the military service. An alternative is to apply to a regular college or university (preferrably a small college where you get individual attention in designing your pre-med program), receive full or partial tuition and room & board scholarships (your credentials would indicate you are likely to receive significant scholarships from colleges seeking students with your credentials) and then get accepted to medical school - The Army offers medical school scholarships in return for a commitment to serve in the active duty or reserves, and once accepted to med school, you will know you can continue your education right away. Once on active duty you are also eligible for additional $ benefits - including a currently a bonus for signing up. This way you enter military service as an officer earning a officer's pay, and do your internship at some of the best hospitals in the world. Military Colleges (SMCs) are also an option - you will need to enroll in ROTC, but do not have to accept a commission unless you also accept an ROTC scholarship. The smaller SMCs do offer academic scholarships so that like a civilian college, you can keep your options open assuming your grades and test scores are competitive. See the Army Medical website at:
    https://www.goarmy.com/amedd/physician/benefits.html
     
  18. brovol

    brovol Member

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    The formula is fairly clear for appointment to academies. The big things, which will carry the majority of the load are ACT/SAT scores (particularly math and English), Varsity sports and other leadership positions, and the CFA. The "extracurricular" activities can be a lot of things, but is you want your application to stand out in a positive way, it should include the traditional officer spots in either student council or NHS. President and vice president literally count more than the other spots. Academy applications "stand out" if they have high scores, as they are given points for accomplishments, with the academic components (ACT/SAT and class standing) being the largest point pile.

    Others will tell you how important "community service" is, and I will just say, I respectfully disagree. Community service may be a relevant intangible, but it aint scored; so dont over assess it. You already have about six times the community service my son had, and he received offers of appointment to USMA, USNA, and USAFA just a couple years ago, and spoke quite a bit with multiple RC's at WP, and admissions officers at the other academies about what he needed to earn a spot. Never once did anyone suggest community service or volunteering. Instead, they said improve the ACT, which he did, bringing it up to a 33, and work on the CFA (which many here will say is no big deal "as long as you pass", but two WP RC's disagreed with, saying it is worth 10% which is a lot considering who wins a slate spot can be a very close call, and the CFA is something a candidate can control and improve on a lot with commitment). If you can get a captain spot on varsity track, that is a big deal, as would be earning a varsity letter in another varsity sport. run for high office in student council and NHS. Big points there. My son never did this, but we were told Boys or Girls State is worth a bunch of points. School paper or Yearbook editor spots are good too. Scouts is huge. My kids didnt have those things, but at the time he wished he had.

    Points win the day with academy appointments. People that focus on the fluff better have strong traditional applications, or they will miss the boat. The academies are not vague about what you need to do. Look at the class profile for USMA incoming classes. they dont list how many community service hours the kids did, or how many started a "garden club" at their HS. They list ACT/SAT, academic things like class rank and valedictorians, varsity athletics, NHS, Boy/Girl Scouts etc. Thats what they care about. Spend your time on those things. Forget trying to add "fluff".
     
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  19. brovol

    brovol Member

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    The other thing I would offer the OP is that you have said that you "assume" you will get about a 31 ACT, and are not worried about the CFA. Dont assume, and start worrying. Until you take the tests and receive your scores, you wont know. My kids had a lot of classmates who generally did well on standardized tests, and were far better "students than my kids, but did lousy on the ACT/SAT. My kids had no idea how they would do, but got good scores. My son knew he needed to get to 31-32, and studied hard, taking it several time, and improved a little each time till lifting his ACT to a 33. My son was a very good, multi-varsity-sport athlete, and captain in baseball and soccer. He was extremely fit, and muscular, but he has to work a lot on the CFA, and still didnt max it. Got good scores, but could never got the shuttle score where he wanted, or even much past average. Take nothing for granted. Work hard, complete your application, then come back and let us know where you are, so advice can be offered as to where you need to be.
     
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