I’m currently a female sophomore who really wants to get into the air force academy or the naval academy. I understand that with my strengths there are a lot of weaknesses, so I’m looking for advice since I have time to improve:
Academics: All honors and AP
Only AP test taken so far I got a 4 on, AP World, but I plan to take the APUSH exam
Planning on taking all AP classes next year (AP Composition, AP Calc BC, AP Chem, AP Gov) and Physics as well as German IV
ranked 8 out of about 800
Academic team and up for board position next year
Junior Statesmen of America and on proxy board, so board position guaranteed
Jazz Band 2nd chair trumpet
National Science Honors Society
National Math Honors Society
National German Honors Society
Volunteering for a program where I play soccer with special needs children
Athletics (Where I lack severely):
JV field Hockey where I received the MVP award, probably Varsity next year.
My mile time right now is very very bad at 9:30, and I need to cut off at least 2 and a half minutes in order to hopefully do well.
I can do about 35 push ups in two minutes but I’ve been practicing every day
I can do about 40 sit ups in 2 minutes which is another greatly weak point
I can do 2 pull ups and I’m aiming for 5
I haven’t tried the shuttle run or basket ball throw yet
I’ve been going to the gym 4 times a week and running whenever the weather permits it so I’m really trying to improve.
Not a current student but I know people who have been admitted to service academies and I’ve done a lot of research on the process, so take all I say with a grain of salt. First of all, from the way I understand it, it’s more important to be competitive in your congressional district than competitive nationally. If you are in a smaller state, you have an advantage since there are more nominations available per capita. Each representative can generally send 1 nominee to each academy and each senator can generally send 2 (per the entire state). If you live in a district that’s more inclined to serve (conservative/active military instillation) it will obviously be more competitive. Each representative has their own application as well, usually with multiple interviews. Be sure to coach yourself for those. All in all, it’s a very long and involved process, as is anything to do with the military. As for your sheet, just work on the athletics. Even if you’re not varsity, high fitness test scores can show dedication and make up for it. As for academics, it really is a crap shoot so just continue to work hard and hope for the best.
Maybe some leadership - senate, team captain, club president, etc. For sports, consider martial arts or cross country and track since you’re running. Maybe get into 5k’s or marathons on a regular basis.
Have you also thought of ROTC?
Also, apply to the Summer Seminars at all of the Academies. These are for rising seniors. They give you a taste of Academy life but are also selective and look good on the apps. The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) have summer camps that are also selective. Good luck!
I am going to throw a little background at you. forgive me if you know this. Your numbers are good enough (assuming your ACT/SAT will match up)–you meet the minimums. That could be enough. or not. I will explain…
getting admitted is a 2 track process. You need to earn a nomination from your congressman, senators, or even the VPOTUS. You can get one from any or all–you just need one but you should apply to all. The other track is you need to be accepted by an academy. You need both of these things. They have separate processes but both are required for an appointment to academy.
so first track, the nomination. each congressman and senator can have 5 nominees atyending each academy at any one time. So, for example, your congressman could have 5 openings or zero depending on how many noms he has handed out in the past few years. same for your senators.
For each opening a congressman or senator has he can nominate up to 10 people to fill that opening.
Now your congressman/senator (c/s) has a choice. He can send in 10 names for each opening and the Academy chooses one to fill the c/s’s quota and the other 9 become alternates. So you would need to be the best in your district/state (depending if it is c or s nominating). If you become an alternate then you are competing nationally. Not every c/s will have a qualified nominee, or not every c/s will choose to have every one of their slots filled (say they have 3 openings (currently 2 freshman already there), they may choose to only nom 2 so they have one for next year). They Academy will use the alternate pool to fill out their class (usually bring in 1500 a year expecting 30% attrition over 4 years to graduate approx 1000–they can only have 4000 there at any given time).
The other choice a c/s has is to designate one of those 10 the primary nominee. If that person meets the minimums. they are in. The academy must appoint them. the other 9 become alternates. in that case you are competing against your district or state.
Track 2. getting accepted. while you are competing thru the nomination and doing whatever interviews/essays/etc your c/s wants, you are also sending in grades/scores/pt tests/physicals/etc to be accepted by the academy. It is possible to be nominated but not be accepted. Again, if you meet the mins and get a primary nom a non-accept will be changed. But, if you are an alternate nom and are not accepted you will not be appointed. So back to the competing nationally.
so keep working on all fronts. leadership is a good ting to have. good test scores–recommend taking them now, even as a soph to get a practice round in before you start taking them for real. you look well rounded which is good. start finding out now what your c/s nom process is. It starts way earlier than regular college, and it is possible to miss an early deadline which cam kill ya before you start. find out who the local USAFA/USNA liason officers are so you can start meeting with them. They will be a tremendous help to you navigating this process—especially if your HS hasn’t sent a lot of kids to the academies and the counselors are not familiar with the process.