Will my sloppy Freshmen and Sophomore years destroy my chances at getting in?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by WFGooser, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. WFGooser

    WFGooser New Member

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    I'll leave it short and simple(as much as I can):

    Im a three sport athlete, Boys State graduate, and AP student who is also active in school leadership roles while also being a member of volunteering groups. My SAT english is in the 75 percentile of last years graduating class at USAFA and im retaking the test to fix silly mistakes in SAT math which isnt far outside the mid 50% range. I have taken AP european history, chemistry, basic biology, anatomy and physiology, two years of Spanish and plan on taking AP Stats and Calc along with a college biology class... From what i've seen, I might look like a decent candidate for a service academy
    but
    my freshmen and sophomore year I didnt understand the importance of what I was doing. I screwed around and I fear that it might hurt me trying to get into a service academy. By the time applications to service academies are due, I can only raise my class rank by so much in my already really small class size. My freshmen year I got a D and a C or two. Sophomore year I followed with 2 more Cs. It wasnt until my Junior year that I got a 4.0 for the semester. I was 1 grade point away from a 4.14 even. My class size is only 50 or so kids and im worried I might barely be able to graze the top 10 by application due dates. The kids ahead of me are mostly remedial class takers and kids who scored triple digit SATs numbers.

    Will class rank and GPA hurt me and destroy my chances even though these numbers reflect a version of me I deeply regret ever allowing??

    Thanks in advance!​
     
  2. davejean90

    davejean90 Member

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    Yes it will be harder to get in because you will be competing against candidates who have good Freshman and Sophomore grades. What you can do now is improve your SAT numbers as you probably need to get the math SAT above the 75th percentile for accepted USAFA candidates. 50th percentile will generally not be enough unless you have some other attribute that the academy is short on. High SATs will show that you are on an upward trend and prove you have the academic background to succeed at the academy. Also, if you don't get in this year, one year of college grades in doolie like classes will further improve your chances.
     
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  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    The answer is 100% no if you don't apply. Apply, what's the worse they can say? No. Then you head off to your Plan B, crush your freshman year at a University and reapply. Be prepared to talk about the lessons learned from those two years and how you changed your path. Good luck.
     
  4. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    Worry about what you can control. Everyone is correct that you can't get in if you don't apply and you can't be afraid to fail (not get an appointment). There will likely be candidates who have better high school resumes than you so do what you can to be better in other areas. Continue to make As to explain maturity during high school (and never make excuses for poor performance). Build a great leadership application and try to max out on fitness and athletics. Finally, if you continue to improve standardized test scores then you can show the aptitude to succeed. There is no magic sauce to getting in as so many factors go into the decision.

    If I were you I would work hard, be prepared to speak to the first two years of school in my essay and interview, and work hard for the MOC nomination.
     
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  5. ElectedTuna

    ElectedTuna Member

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    I also screwed around my first year of High School, I got a 2.3 GPA first semester before I turned things around. Despite this I applied and got denied but I'm reapplying this year with a stronger application. The way I see it is that they promoted me to candidate status because they believe I can earn an appointment, so if I don't apply then I'll never know how close I am to getting accepted.

    Choose to see your situation anyway you want to, I just advise that you spend less time worrying and more time improving your application (as you've been doing).
     
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  6. seacadetmum

    seacadetmum Member

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    I don't know. If I was a "decider" of these things I would be looking at kids that initially had a struggle and pulled up to finish strong. It shows you have drive and determination. My dd almost failed 5th grade and was in real danger of not promoting. From 6th grade on she turned it around and can now say she knows exactly what it's like to NOT be the best and to really work for what she wants. I wonder about the applicants that literally have never failed at anything in their life and then they get thrown into a world where they actually may fail or not be #1 for the first time ever.
    I agree with everyone else, you are human and a kid...keep pushing and use your past experience to write an amazing essay.
     
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  7. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB 10-Year Member

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    Generally, if you have low grades, you want to offset that with some nice high test scores, so while they won't kill you, it'll be something you'll likely want to address in your essays (probably related to maturity? Or something like that) and you will really want to STUDY for those standardized tests. Get out of the 50th percentile and into the top quarter or higher, that is the strongest argument you can make that you are the recent A student, not the old C and D student
     
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  8. WFGooser

    WFGooser New Member

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    Thanks to all for the advice. A lot of my thoughts were backed by knowledge from you and I will use it to my fullest.
     
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  9. BarbieK

    BarbieK Banned

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    I am certainly not an expert in this field but if you are serious about wanting to apply to a military Academy the only guarantee you have is that if you don't apply you won't get offered an appointment. I am the mother of a 2021 cadet and just watched him go through acceptance and become an official member of the Cadet wing at the USAFA. It was one of the most proudest moments of my life. Yes you have hard work to do ahead of you and yes you may be climbing an uphill grade but in my opinion your story could actually be a great asset to you. You are showing that you want to improve and be better. I think you could take you're above questions and comments and incorporate that into one of your essays. Those that read it should be able to see that you realized your shortcomings and have been working hard ever since to improve yourself and become the best that you can possibly be. I too messed up my freshmen and sophomores years and it wasn't until I became a junior in high school that I realized I had better get it together. Long story short I ended up being awarded a scholarship as the most improved student when I graduated from high school. If you are serious about this you will pursue it with a vengeance and you won't let those two bad years get in your way. If you keep improving and you don't get an appointment this year continue on to college work hard that first year and reapply. I met several cadets at the academy who had applied multiple times before being accepted - it just depends how bad you really want it. Good Luck - I will pray for you.
     
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