What should I be doing?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by FFalcon16, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. FFalcon16

    FFalcon16 5-Year Member

    Jul 30, 2010
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    I have just started my junior year in high school and I am wondering what else I can be doing to make my application more competitive.

    I run cross-country and play varsity baseball.
    I am a Civil Air Patrol, Earhart Award Cadet.
    I am a solo-pilot.

    Are these enough extra-curricular activities or should I seek more?

    Thank you,

  2. usna candidate

    usna candidate 5-Year Member

    Jul 8, 2010
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    I'm still a candidate for USNA, but I just received an Letter Of Assurance. I guess one of things you may be lacking is leadership experience. Definitely run for a student body officer, and if you can, join National Honor Society. They also look at Community Service, so the humane society, or something meaningful would help. Also, when you start your application process, stay in touch with them. Call your admissions officer so that they know you are serious. Stay in touch with them.
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

    May 21, 2008
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    You seek extra curricular activities because you WANT to. Not because you think you're filling a square for an academy application. If you had NO extra curricular activities, I would say to find things that interest you, and get involved. Also, strive in your passion in those extra curricular activities to develop leadership positions in them. But you obviously have some extra curricular activities. That's good. And hopefully you are doing them because you like them. However, if you have interests, and you aren't involved in those interests (Extra Curricular activities), then you would then be considered to not have much motivation.

    See, it doesn't matter what the extra curricular activities are. Some people believe that "Military Oriented" activities such as Civil Air Patrol, Junior ROTC, or Scouting somehow carries "More Weight" than say Choir, marching band, young republicans/democrats, or even the stamp club. Well, they don't. What matters is that you're involved with activities that include team building, leadership, and selfless acts of contribution. So, the question to you then is: Are there some additional extra curricular activities that you WANT to be involved in? If the answer is yes, then get involved in them. If the answer is no, then don't. The academy want you for who you really are. The reality is, if you're involved with a number of activities, and by "nature", you strive to excel in those activities and advance in their hierarchy, then a military academy most probably seems like an environment that you too might feel comfortable in and challenged. If you aren't motivated to do activities, excel in them, be highly involved in activities with other individuals, etc... then a military academy may not be the type of environment that you'd feel comfortable in either.

    So my advice when it comes to what can you do, is: Be involved in whatever activities you WANT to be involved in. Excel in those activities because you want to. Be involved in volunteering in areas that you want to. Study hard, and get the highest GPA possible for you. (Don't look or ask what the "Standards" are.) Get the best you can. If you CAN be a 4.0gpa, then that is what you should be striving for. If the BEST you can do is 3.70, then that's the best you can do. Same with the SAT/ACT. Do the very best you can. Remember, the academies/military is made up of people who are continually striving to be the BEST they can be. If you are the best you can be in high school, then you should definitely be applying for the academies. Because that's the type of person they want. Best of luck to you. Mike.....
  4. Mikeandcris

    Mikeandcris Parents of 2014 Grad and F-15 Pilot 5-Year Member

    Jul 6, 2009
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    All of the above and...

    My two cents: Review the dates for the SAT and ACT tests and plan to take the SAT at least twice (or more) and ACT at least once (and possibly more.) You should also try to take a prep course for the SAT/ACT. The cost is high, but you can usually get a half price deal. Practice SAT questions in your free time and as the test time gets closer, practice with actual old tests. I believe someone can increase their SAT and ACT scores dramatically by practice, practice, practice.
    Finally, you are already connected to this forum,which will give you much advice and help...so keep checking in and keep asking questions.
  5. Seamonkeydo

    Seamonkeydo 5-Year Member

    Dec 11, 2009
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    Obtaining Earhart for CAP is pretty good but from what I have learned here it is not looked on as any more imprtant than reaching the Mitchell. Here is the key, are you in a leadership role in CAP. Are you a Cadet Commander, have you taught classes. How has CAP prepared you to be a leader at the next level. When it comes to voulteer service what can you show as your own. You have been volunteering with CAP that is nice, but what can you say are volunteer service that you have done, started or managed.

    a penny's worth.

  6. Pima

    Pima 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
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    Also remember one thing your ECs show is commitment. You can have 30 ECS over the course of 4 yrs in hs, but get less for it than if you had 4 over 4 yrs.

    Here's why: Having 30 probably means you never stuck with any of them, you probably did it for a semester and said, never mind, let's try something new! Sticking with 4 over 4 yrs, shows you were committed to those things and never quit! You were a true team member.

    Boards can read through ECs, they can see one someone who is doing it to beef up their resume, and when one does it for other reasons. Joining every club/group that exists in hs in their jr yr., but not in their sr yr, would most likely fall in the 1st category.

    Mikeandcris, also make a strong point. It is not only about ECs when it comes to your WCS, your PAR (prior academic record) makes up the bulk of the score (60%), thus, you can have great ECs, but if your SAT is barely breaking 1200 and your wgpa is 3.2 than you will be hurting yourself because you placed priority on the wrong aspect of your packet.

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