What to Do

MichaelV

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2020
Messages
11
Hello,
I've recently come across this website looking for ways to hopefully one day get into the academy. However, I come asking questions of my own.

Currently, I am a sophomore in high school, I've always had a passion for aviation and only recently found out about the Air force academy. The idea of being a pilot in the air force is something that intrigues me. So now I've begun doing some research about what it takes to get into the academy.

As of now, I'm currently taking Geometry, Chemistry, Ap World History, English, Pe, and French. I've been working hard to keep my grades and for the first quarter, I have all A's. However this year is not my concern but instead, it is for my next two years, For what classes like Ap and etc, would help me get into the academy and with what I should consider doing to help with my chances. Because I do not have too much knowledge of what I should do for my next two years.
Any help is appreciated.
Thank you!
Michael
 

BeanBoi45

USAFA ‘25 | USNA & USMA Appointee
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
36
Hello,
I've recently come across this website looking for ways to hopefully one day get into the academy. However, I come asking questions of my own.

Currently, I am a sophomore in high school, I've always had a passion for aviation and only recently found out about the Air force academy. The idea of being a pilot in the air force is something that intrigues me. So now I've begun doing some research about what it takes to get into the academy.

As of now, I'm currently taking Geometry, Chemistry, Ap World History, English, Pe, and French. I've been working hard to keep my grades and for the first quarter, I have all A's. However this year is not my concern but instead, it is for my next two years, For what classes like Ap and etc, would help me get into the academy and with what I should consider doing to help with my chances. Because I do not have too much knowledge of what I should do for my next two years.
Any help is appreciated.
Thank you!
Michael
Hey Michael! I was in your shoes not too long ago. I would say take the classes that really interest you and that you think you can do well in. Most importantly, though, challenge yourself. I fell in love with math and physics in my first years of high school, and have taken college-level and AP classes in both subjects. USAFA really likes to see students who have taken and excelled in math, physics and chemistry. My biggest tip? Learn to love chemistry, not hate it. Do your best to get really really really really good at it. And really good at math. Your other core classes are very important too; be knowledgeable about the world and current events and get really good at reading and writing. Especially writing. Best of luck!
 

Jman0714

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
120
Hello,
I've recently come across this website looking for ways to hopefully one day get into the academy. However, I come asking questions of my own.

Currently, I am a sophomore in high school, I've always had a passion for aviation and only recently found out about the Air force academy. The idea of being a pilot in the air force is something that intrigues me. So now I've begun doing some research about what it takes to get into the academy.

As of now, I'm currently taking Geometry, Chemistry, Ap World History, English, Pe, and French. I've been working hard to keep my grades and for the first quarter, I have all A's. However this year is not my concern but instead, it is for my next two years, For what classes like Ap and etc, would help me get into the academy and with what I should consider doing to help with my chances. Because I do not have too much knowledge of what I should do for my next two years.
Any help is appreciated.
Thank you!
Michael
Hi!

My piece of advice would be to challenge yourself academically. But don’t take AP classes because you think the academy will like it, take AP classes because YOU want to challenge yourself and prepare yourself for the academy. USAFA has a lot of rigorous courses so it is important that you prepare academically.

Another component I would recommend is practicing the CFA. I play Varsity Water Polo and Swim. I'm in relatively good shape and I thought the CFA was going to be a breeze.... I was wrong. The CFA is tough. I struggled with it and it was close to being the one thing could have stopped me from completing my application to the academy. It shouldn't be like that for you. If you start practicing now, it should be the first thing you can turn in when you start your application.

Since you are young, building connections is critical. Since my freshman year, I built connections with community members, staff, and my school district officials so that when it came down to applying, I already knew who would write letters of recommendations and submit my school evaluations. I had worked closely with my teachers, peers, and community members for YEARS so that by the time I asked them to write something about me, it was a piece of cake.

Finally, for extra-curricular's, don't be the candidate who is in 15 different clubs because you want to impress the admissions committee. They can tell the difference between a candidate who is trying to impress them and a candidate who cares. What I did was pick two subjects that I was passionate about and ALL of my extra-curricular's revolved around those two passions. For me, my passions were law enforcement and education. I was the president of a law enforcement club, involved in my local sheriff's office, and went on ride-alongs. For education, I was the executive director of an education advocacy group, sat on the Board of Directors for an educational policy organization, and was a Student Board Member for my District. All of these positions show leadership, but more importantly they showed that I genuinely cared for what I did.

It is great that you are planning ahead. But always remember there is someone else gunning for your spot at USAFA. Turn in your application early. Workout daily. Prepare academically and mentally, and hopefully you can achieve your goal.

I hope this helps.
 

StPaulDad

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
428
You don't mention it anywhere so I will: you might want to find a sport. Not to pretend to be an athlete, but to get in shape, show you have experience in team situations and maybe slide into a leadership role if you're that kind of person. If you aren't currently an athlete then find something no cut like cross country or swimming where determination and work can somewhat make up for missed years of technique or raw physicality.

As for curriculum, the rule of thumb is take the most rigorous courses your school offers. SAs would prefer As in the hardest classes, but after that they'd rather see a B in an AP class than an A in something simple. No harm if your school doesn't offer a full range of options, but if they do and you don't you will be asked why you didn't take on the challenge.
 

justdoit19

Proud parent of an ANG, USNA X2, and a MidSib
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Messages
4,121
One thing you can do, in addition to checking out USAFA’s website, is to touch base with your school counselor. Some are very versed in academy applications and can offer solid advise. Some are not, but have access to other people who are. But letting your advisors know of your plans is a good idea no matter what. They can help guide you.

You will ultimately need evaluations from some of your teachers and counselors, so making those connections is also a good idea. So make sure you are someone they are excited about!

In general, taking the most challenging classes your school offers, and excelling in them, is the academic advice. You will also need to demonstrate leadership and physical fitness. Also, for USAFA, only your grade 9-11 activities are used (although you will include your planned classes for 12, but they evaluate you 9-11 activities) for the application.

Lastly, many don’t get in round 1, but re-apply. And many also apply to AFROTC programs at the same time.

Read websites, read the info at the top of these forums, and use the search/google functions for your questions. It’s a long, LONG process. Good luck!!
 

Mts

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2020
Messages
18
Hello,
I've recently come across this website looking for ways to hopefully one day get into the academy. However, I come asking questions of my own.

Currently, I am a sophomore in high school, I've always had a passion for aviation and only recently found out about the Air force academy. The idea of being a pilot in the air force is something that intrigues me. So now I've begun doing some research about what it takes to get into the academy.

As of now, I'm currently taking Geometry, Chemistry, Ap World History, English, Pe, and French. I've been working hard to keep my grades and for the first quarter, I have all A's. However this year is not my concern but instead, it is for my next two years, For what classes like Ap and etc, would help me get into the academy and with what I should consider doing to help with my chances. Because I do not have too much knowledge of what I should do for my next two years.
Any help is appreciated.
Thank you!
Michael
Hi Michael,

I’m a senior going through the process right now. While there’s probably some more qualified people out there, here’s my take on what you should be doing.

Take as many AP and Honors classes as you think you’ll be able to do well in. It’s useful to have a handful of science and math APs, but it’s never worth taking a class like that and failing. Also try to knock your SATs out of the park. The academic averages for the academies tend to be lower than the top civilian colleges, so nailing them is a good way to set your application apart.

Find opportunities to participate (ideally lead) in your school or community. Student government and clubs are accessible ways to do this. If you aren’t playing a sport, start now. Team sports especially help, and not just on paper. I don’t think I could’ve answered many of my interview questions as well as I did without that experience. If you have the resources to do it, look at starting to pursue a Private Pilot License. It’s not a must, but it’s another way to set yourself apart. You’ll be competing with a lot of people for very few sports, so strive to excel at everything you do.

Remember, if you’re a competitive candidate for an academy, you’ll also be competitive for ROTC scholarships and very good “civilian” schools even if you don’t receive an appointment, so keep working hard and good luck!
 
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