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Service Academy -USNA USMA USAFA USMMA - Will Test Scores and Determination Help Me?

kata820kata820 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
I am a female going into my senior year and I have started my applications to all the service academies listed above. I have visited both usna and usma. Both are amazing institutions that i feel i would do well in. However usna definitely feels like home. I spent a week there for summer seminar and all I want to do is go back. I want to serve and continue to progress myself as both a person and leader. Usma also felt like a good fit but usna definitely was the one. How do I stand out within a competitive district where more than 75% of nomination applications are for usna? I have what I think to be a good act score(31) and have the drive/passion but I am concerned on paper I dont stand out. On the cfa particularly my numbers are just averagish. I am more of an endurance person verse speed and I can do pushups and sit ups all day long. Is there a way to show them this? Pullups are definitely a struggle too. I do as many as I can with bands everytime I walk into my room but it does not seem to be helping very much. I just cannot get over the bar on my own. Please give advice! I really want to do well in my interviews too. I know my liason for west point wanted short concise yes no answers while other reps I have talked to want me to expand upon my responses. How do I read these interviewers? Are there and preparations you would suggest? Also, is there anyway to show interest in the prep schools other than checking the box on the application? Thank you so much for your time. I really do want to do the best I can and follow the advice/directions both academies and you guys provide. :)

Replies to: Service Academy -USNA USMA USAFA USMMA - Will Test Scores and Determination Help Me?

  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom Registered User Posts: 4,926 Senior Member
    edited July 2018
    What I tell everyone here who asks what they can do to increase their chances of admission is to first look at the makeup of current classes at the academies and make sure they at least meet if not exceed those stats. For example:


    As you know, your first step is getting a nomination. The academies cannot consider applications without a nomination, so you need to familiarize yourself with this process by carefully and diligently checking the websites of your congressperson and both senators and following their instructions to the letter--yes, it IS a test; the whole process is a test. Once you start the nomination and application process, you will be assigned a Field Force Representative (FFR/USMA) or a Blue and Gold Officer (BGO/USNA) who will shepherd you through this very long and arduous ordeal and who will have insight into how competitive your district is and how you stack up against the competition in the year you apply as you are only competing against others in your district. Getting a nomination is the gating factor; once an applicant has a nomination and is deemed 3Q (qualified academically, physically, and medically) and the application goes to the academy admissions team, the likelihood of an appointment is close to 50%.

    In the meantime, you should be taking advantage of all the rigor your high school offers which means taking the highest/most rigorous courses available to you, especially in calculus, physics, and chemistry as the academies are primarily engineering schools. You should also be pursuing team sports and leadership as well as upping your physical condition to the highest level you can. West Point, for example, scores candidates based on a Whole Candidate Score (WCS=60% academics, 30% leadership, and 10% physical), so you need to be the best you can be in each of those silos. Once your candidate profile is open, you will know who your local FFR and BGO are, and they are the primary people you need to stay in contact with. Your FFR/BGO can answer any questions you have. These resources will tell you to do your best academically, up your physical fitness game, and pursue leadership opportunities. You will want to show quality over quantity, stay focused, and put your best application forward. Ultimately, that's all you or any candidate can do. If you want to listen to and participate in the conversation of candidates and parents who are a little further along this path, lurk on serviceacademyforums.com which is the official website for those applying to service academies. This is the place to research previous discussions like how to increase your pullups (LOTS of threads on that one), how to prepare for interviews, how to deal with DoDMERB issues, etc. That forum is moderated by current and former military officers and staff who are more than willing to share their firsthand knowledge.

    It’s great that you were able to attend NASS, but I will underscore for others reading here that both NASS (USNA) and SLE (USMA) are just summer camp marketing tools targeted to those who might not otherwise know about or apply to a service academy. Neither has any bearing on admissions as they are not part of the Whole Candidate Score (WCS) used to determine appointments. Most appointees do not attend the summer programs due to the limited number of slots/sessions. Also note that neither NASS nor SLE reflect what it’s like to be an actual cadet or midshipman one iota. It’s just an opportunity to look around, play soldier/sailor for a week, get your questions answered, and compete a CFA (optional).

    As for the prep schools, the academies decide that one for you. No one who is deemed academically qualified is a candidate for them. An applicant is considered for the prep schools only if s/he is judged close but does not currently meet the academy academic standards but has something else in their profile that the academies find attractive. Both NAPS and MAPS are used to give applicants that the academy is interested in an additional year of academic prep for consideration for a slot in the following year’s class. The prep classes are heavily weighted toward athletes and prior enlisted.

    Applying to the service academies is a long, involved process. Take your time, be precise, be thorough, be aware of all dates and deadlines, and put your best self forward. Keep the lines of communication open with your FFR/BGO, get your questions answered, be informed. Above all, understand and communicate clearly why you want to be an officer in the United States armed services as there is no other answer to the question, “Why are you applying to this academy?”

    Best of luck to you.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,987 Senior Member
    Do you have a sport you could qualify as a recruited athlete? Track? Cross country? Helps a lot.

    Are you considering the Coast Guard Academy too? No nomination needed and they have a more balanced male/female ratio.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,449 Senior Member
    @kata820: Could you please share some of your thoughts & impressions about the summer session at the USNA.

    My son was accepted to all four, attended three, and had a very different experience & results than indicated by an above poster.
  • kata820kata820 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Yes, of course. I definitely came in set on west point but fell in love with navy. At the end it felt like home. I really liked how they more eased into the intensity rather for the program(even though they will not do that plebe summer). I got to really understand why they are so hard on you and why everyone has so much passion for those around them/their branch. I would have been fine with an indoc situation West point did too but I feel like the way Navy gave you the opportunity to know people first gave you a better understanding. Personally, my squad leader went to the prep school and was a track recruit (despite obtaining an appointment and being nominated and having the grades). Knowing him and being able to learn from him really taught me so much. His selflessness and other attributes really showed what you learn while you are there-Do it for the person next to you. It is such an amazing community. I loved every single thing we did and every person I met. I stay in touch with everyone I met. I hope most of us will make it in. Personally, my favorite part was indoc (where they ask you knowledge and drop you). I think that after sea trials made us so unified. I cannot wait for plebe summer if I get in. I hope your son had the same experience! I loved it and know I want more even with the experience being watered down.
  • kata820kata820 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,449 Senior Member
    USNA was the most rigorous physically & psychologically. Banging on garbage can lids at 3 in the morning to get them up for drills crawling through mud & obstacle course. USAFA was the most intellectual as they do not work out plebes or summer session folks until they get acclimated to the altitude. West Point used a combination of loud sounds (cannons), drills & some instruction. A bit somber since news of the combat deaths of some very recent graduates was received that week. Accepted to but did not attend Coast Guard Academy--which you should consider.

    He loved all three. They stayed in contact with him even while in Europe.

    My prep school was a Naval Prep School. All but one were athletes. Very nice people. Both of the football PGs my freshmen year were killed in combat shortly after being deployed abroad. I believe that both were Navy Seals.
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