Here is a repost of an earlier posting I made putting forth my understanding of the components of the Whole Candidate Score and its weighting factors. However, the WCS is only part of the information used by admissions. Also, there are other standards used for recruited athletics and targeted group candidates. Yes, there are points assigned for each of the items within the WCS. As you can see, academics, expecially the SAT/ACT score are heavily weighted.
Class Rank (15)
SAT Score (35)
High School Grades (10)
Extra points for valedictorian/salutatorians/national merit scholar/national honor society,
School leadership – extra points for class or student body president
Athletic Participation – Team captain status important
Team sports valued higher than individual sports
Extra Curricular Activities - eagle scouts, newspaper/yearbook editor, debate
The WCS breakdown that I have is slightly different from Aspens. This is what is presented at our annual All Academy information session:
Academics 60%: 23% class rank, 18% English SAT/ACT, 19% Math SAT/ACT (course difficulty and grades are subjectively factored in)
Leadership 30%: teachers evals and interview 10%, extracurricular activities 10%, athletics10% (leadership positions factored in)
Every candidate admitted directly to WP must be qualified academically, physically (pass the CFA), and medically (pass DoDMERB or receive a waiver). Once qualified, most candidates will compete for a cadetship based on their WCS, but WP does have the option of admitting some candidates without regard for WCS.
Do all qualified candidates eventually get an interview? Also, with the CFA, I am still confused, is it pass or fail or does each score have a weight? Of course I will try to max out, but if it is pass or fail would maxing even help? Aspen, you said that Student Council will get you extra points, do you know if you can get extra points for other activities? I have heard that Girls State, NHS things like that will get points.One last thing, I am aware that team sports are looked upon more favorably, however, I am a member of my Varsity Tennis and hopefully golf this year, and I am a Black Belt in Ninjitsu, will this hurt me? ( I was on JV Crew Freshman year but it was too expensive) . I am only in the top 12% of my class, but my School is very competitive, will they take this into consideration? Thanks for everyone's help, this site is really informative
1. Most , but not all, qualified candidates get an interview.
2. Yes, CFA is a pass or fail test. However, how well you do does carry some weight on your assessment.
3. USMA's mission is to train cadets to be future military leaders. Thus, any activities you do in high school that indicate you have leadership talent or inclination will be viewed favorably.
4. Yes, the academic strength of your school is taken into account when assessing your class rank. I'm sure that USMA admissions realizes that all high schools do not have the same distribution of students. However it is probably good advice to point out your school's competitiveness.
"with the CFA, I am still confused, is it pass or fail or does each score have a weight? "
You have to pass the test to be physically qualified, but for USMA it is not a straight pass fail test. Each event is scored and graded. The candidate must pass each event and have an overall passing score. The CFA score accounts for a maximum of 10% of the WCS. The difference between just passing the CFA and maxing out can be as much as 450 points, so it is worth it to try and max the test.
"I am a Black Belt in Ninjitsu"
You may want to submit a letter from your instructor verifying your rank and any competitions you have competed in and placed in.
"I am only in the top 12% of my class, but my School is very competitive, will they take this into consideration? "
Your school should submit a class profile when they submit your academic transcript. If you are at a competitive school admissions should factor it in.