I copied this from another board. It's not the post that I was looking for, but it is pretty direct. There will be approx. 400-500 kids who are 3Qed, who will not get in. Some of these will have nomination letters from their MOC, but were not selected as the primary nominee. It's a tough place to be and it's harder seeing other kids slotted for NAPS and and an appointment next year, but that's the system.
What is the Admissions Board looking for? Why does the candidate complete multiple application sections?
Firstly, they are looking for achievement. Easy to measure. Easy to quantify.
Secondly, they are looking for attitude. This could be difficult but a good BGO can help.
Thirdly, they are looking for motivation. A bit harder. But measurable by both what and how the candidate has performed to date.
Next, they are looking for character. Teacher recommendations are important but this may only be truly measurable over time.
Lastly, they are looking for potential. Will the candidate graduate and then remain in the service beyond obligation. This is extremely difficult to measure. The BGOs attitude assessment combined with achievement to date and all the other above factors all play a part in this.
These are the factors assessed for a scholastic qualification. Remember that only a part of this is the pure academic qualification of which there are minimum requirements which, if not met, no matter what the whole person multiplier, will result in a Not Qualified score.
The Academy must also address the minimum cutoff for qualification which will result in a reasonable chance of success.
Now the fun begins. The Board meets and the result is usually somewhere around 1900 candidates who are successful based on the above grading card. There will be only 1500 offers. What happens to the bottom 400 qualified candidates beyone the primary nominees in the least competitive districts and the recruited athletes? Were they qualified academically? Yes. Were they prepared to meet the academic requirements of the Academy? Yes. Why were they not selected? They were at the bottom of the pack in their achievement, attitude, motivation, character, and potential as measured by the board.
Is this the type individual that we want to come back the following year and compete with that new group? Do we want to give them incentives? I don’t think so. Let them prove attitude and motivation by going to a university on their own. Let them increase their achievement and potential by successfully completing course work on their own. This is the character that causes the Board to give them the green cube on their second look.
In summary, if the Board was correct on the first look, only a portion of these candidates will prove them wrong and provide the necessary groundwork to be successful again.
The following is an actual composite conversation I have had with several triple qualified unsuccessful candidates:
Me: “You need to go to a good state university and take calculus, chemistry, and composition English. You also need to retake your SATs and get a 600/600 minimum.”
Unsuccessful Candidate (UC): “My girlfriend has a job here in town. Can I go to the local community college instead.”
Me: “These are Academy guidelines. It might depend on the strength of the remainder of your package but, to be safe, if I were you, I would follow their instructions.”
UC: “Do I have to take calculus. I am not very good in math and would probably flunk it.”
Me: “Enroll in State U. Take precalc this summer at the community college and you should be prepared.”
UC: “I have this neato job lined up at the beach this summer so I just couldn’t take any classes.”
Me: “Well, you will just have to establish your priorities and determine what is important.”
UC: “I don’t think I can handle five years of college. Doesn’t the Navy still have OCS? I may look into that.”
I hate to generalize, but the attributes that place at least some of the 3Qed at the bottom of the list were correctly assessed by the board the first time around. Remembering that these candidates by nature of their qualification, are capable of handling the academics, an extra year of government sponsored taxpayer paid education is not what they need. Let them prove themselves on their own.