When/ If to Reset


5-Year Member
Dec 24, 2015
As I read and think and wait for news from USNA, my mind cannot help but to wander to my Plan B schools. Attending USNA has been a dream of mine since visiting when I was very young- and only recently became a feasible plan, one which I doubt the success of if I don't get an appointment for c/o 2021. Don't get me wrong- as of this moment I would give up my first born to have an appointment, but I also want to feel secure with my other options (and how much money I could potentially "waste") and feel comfortable knowing a little more about the process a second time around. I've posted questions below that I haven't found answers to as well as a conversation starter, please feel free to comment any information that you believe is pertinent/relevant to this topic. I greatly appreciate everyone's help.

To the college re- applicants:

When did you re-start your application process? How was it different? What helped to continue along this path despite finding a new "home" at another school? What did you do that made you successful? What did you tell yourself the second time around that differed from the first?

To the vets on this site:

Do you have any recommendations about asking Admissions what went wrong with the application package? Any sage advice for succeeding in the other commissioning routes?

To parents:

How did you react, and what did you do differently the second time around? Would you say that your DD/DS benefitted from a second/ third round?

To other candidates:

What are your thoughts? Do you think it's a shot in the dark or a relentless pursuit of a long term goal? What are your plans if you do end up Plan B-ing for a year, for two years?
Candidate for c/o 2021 here, also waiting to hear back (USMA and USNA). If this is truly something you have dreamed of since childhood, by no means should you give up. Yeah, it may be painful to go through the process again, and you may not make it even if you apply every year until you're too old. If you get in on the second or third try, that's amazing. If not, it sounds like you have a solid plan B, and there is always ROTC as an alternative commissioning source. But if attending USNA is your dream, then there is no reason you should give up. So even if you think it is a shot in the dark, what do you have to lose?

Personally, if none of the academies work out for me, my current plan is to attend a civilian university, participate in ROTC, and reapply as many times as necessary. As a mentor of mine told me, you've got to make them tell you "no."

In short, don't give up. As we all know, it can be a long, hard road, but in the end it will be worth it.
To other candidates:

What are your thoughts? Do you think it's a shot in the dark or a relentless pursuit of a long term goal? What are your plans if you do end up Plan B-ing for a year, for two years?

2020er from USAFA here. At the academy there are tons of people who got in on their second or third application. In fact, my squad comm took a 3 year journey before getting here. Nonetheless, he is one of the most admirable cadets here and clearly shows the benefits of unlimited dedication and experience. Anyways, a few things I've noticed about those who aren't direct.

1) Academically they are in an incredible position. They either validate a ton of courses due to the credits in the past year or retake the courses and bolster their GPA. Don't get me wrong, they still struggle and work hard but tend to see higher grades for their efforts because of their experience. As well, they know how to study, a huge challenge many directs face.

2) The commitment to the academy is incredible. Nobody goes through doolie (or plebe in your case) year without wondering wether or not it's right for them. Nonetheless, re-applicants never get brought down by this burden due to their journey. To stick with it shows a determination to achieve your goal.

3) Is it right for you to take this path? It's totally up to you. Chasing the dream for a few years is very respectable. However, if you are satisfied with what the year held it's ok to say you're happy. So what makes you happiest and holds your brightest future.

4) Also, if you haven't already, consider the other academies too. I know you fell in love with USNA but be open to the others. I was close minded about USAFA and I was lucky. Had my plan not worked I wouldn't have even tried for USNA, which I now love just from my discussions with some squids. Therefore, be open, apply if you could see yourself there, then weigh your options.