Chances of acceptance into Naval Academy

Hello everyone!

I am a Junior attending a college preparatory high school that is ranked 4th in the state of Idaho and offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. I have had an immense level of interest in the Naval Academy since 8th grade and almost every morning I wake up thinking about it as my motivation to get through the day. I am just curious as to what my chances are of getting accepted into the Naval Academy based on my accomplishments in high school as of right now, and what I plan to do.

Freshman year - I took all honors courses and ended with a 3.8 because I had an 89% in math(not a fantastic year but every year after gets better), I was on the debate team and participated in track and field long distance. I also attended a church that got me many hours of community service. This year was the year I joined the Civil Air Patrol. Not many opportunities were around for me this year. I applied for the United States Naval Academy Summer STEM and was accepted, and I did that the following summer. This year I came 120/530 classmates, so not the best.

Sophomore year - I transferred to the school I currently attend and joined the Cross Country team. I then did a running club and shortly after did my second year of track and field long distance. I also achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant in Civil Air Patrol and began leading an element this year. I took all honors, except 2 of my classes were freshman required credit classes for the school. I also got in contact with the BGO in my area, and had a chat with him about my future hopefully at the Naval Academy. I participated in many community service events via my church. This year I also began the class of Arabic 1 which was a very demanding class. Overall, despite my 2 freshman required classes, I came 65 out of 200 of my classmates and ended both semesters with a 4.0 GPA. I took the PSAT and unfortunately scored a 1050 which I know is really bad but I was not thinking the test was a big deal so I did not try my best, and trust me I have guilt and learned my lesson. I ran for junior class secretary and sadly, I lost by a few votes. Over the summer before my junior year, I worked as a lifeguard at my local water park and am attempting to achieve the position of head guard.

Junior year (so far) - I have began my journey through the world of the IBDP. I chose to take the hardest math class offered for the IB at my school (math analysis SL 1) and am currently holding the highest grade in the class 1 quarter in. I also chose to take IB Biology HL and am taking two other HL classes which are Language and Literature as well as Anthropology. All other classes are SL as my school recommended we only take 3 HL’s and 3 SL’s. TOK is starting next semester, and this semester as my electives I am taking Arabic II and College and Career Readiness. I am also taking IB Spanish and it is proving quite hard to maintain an A in as I am also doing Arabic (but I am holding onto the A as much as I can). Cross Country season ended and I was a minute off of lettering, so I am hoping I can do that next year and if I go to enough practices I am hoping my coach will give me the title of team captain. Team captains are given a certain amount of runners to give advice to and lead basically. Also, I took the PSAT again and feel confident with my score but haven’t gotten it back yet, and I am all signed up for the ACT and am studying as much as I can. I am almost halfway done with my first IA for IB Biology HL even though it is due next year. I also passed the selection phase for the Leadership Boise Academy and now have an interview that I am going to do very well on as I am prepared as can be. I am planning on doing a workout plan each weekend with my brother that is in the military so that I can pass my CFA (Candidate Fitness Assessment) with flying colors, and will be doing an advanced running club over the winter, then right after jump into track, and then as soon as that ends I will be beginning a summer swim team as well as cross country preseason. So far I have a B in Arabic II which should go back up to an A in a few days when he puts in a large essay I did, and I have a B in Language and Literature HL because of a group project that did not go as planned, but this grade should go up as soon as I finish another essay I am working on regarding a local issue in my state that I am going to try to get published. As far as Civil Air Patrol goes, I have not attended a meeting for a while because of the lack of coordination, respect, and organization I had noticed. This year I was also accepted into the National Honor Society and am getting many hours of community service from that, and I go to a new church that has a program called “Impact” which is basically a student lead community service project, which I am getting many hours from as well and putting them towards my required CAS hours for the IB Diploma. Also, I will be applying for the United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar when January 3rd comes around. I will also be running for Senior Class Secretary when elections roll around. I will be taking the CFA once the summer swim team concludes. I have been searching for as many leadership opportunities as I can that I can reach for and am still in the middle of that process.

Senior year (what I am planning) - I am planning on joining the Young Americans for Freedom club (YAF) hosted by my Arabic teacher. This is a conservative, political club held at my school. I will hopefully letter in Cross Country and even be a team captain if God permits. I will also be taking Intro to Academy Leadership and Advanced Academy Leadership which are classes offered at my school. I will still be in the IB, and will be in all the second year classes including Math Analysis II SL (Calculus, etc) and IB Biology II HL and will be taking my IB exams and finishing my EE, CAS, IA’s, etc. this year. I hope that I will be able to get back into the Civil Air Patrol and rank up a few more times and continue my community service and leadership there.

So, what do you think my chances are with what I’ve done and with what I plan on doing?

Thanks for reading the long post and for your time and advice! (Please excuse any typos, it’s late at night here and I am typing on an old iPhone that has auto correct, which never works well)

First, never ever use your real name on an Internet forum. I am flagging a moderator (@MaineLonghorn) to edit your post and remove your name.

Second, as for chances, I will repeat what I tell every applicant who asks (and you would have seen this very response if you read any of the other “chances” posts on these subforums). Due to the vagaries of the nomination process and the rubric the service academies use to determine appointments, it is impossible to chance anyone for a service academy beyond the general advice given here.

Your first step is getting a nomination. USNA does not consider applications without a nomination, so you need to familiarize yourself with this process if you haven’t already by checking the websites of your congressperson and both senators. Once you start the nomination and application process, you will be assigned a Blue and Gold Officer (who it seems you have already met) who will shepherd you through this process and who will have insight into how competitive your district is and how you stack up against the competition in the year you apply. Getting the nomination is the gating factor; once a candidate has a nomination and is deemed 3Q (qualified academically, physically, and medically), the likelihood of an appointment is close to 50%. How likely YOU are to be 3Q, no one here can tell you. You should continue to reach out to your BGO to help you through the nomination process, inform you of how competitive your district is and indicate how you compare to the competition s/he’s seen so far.

Also, you will need to dig deep to be able to explain clearly and genuinely to the nomination panels why you want to serve as an officer in our armed forces. Be prepared to answer your understanding of the consequences of that decision. Candidates for service academies have a specific drive and goals that differ from typical civilian college applicants. Your application and interviews need to demonstrate that difference.

Last, you should scour the wealth of applicant information on the USNA website and (CC for military applicants) where you can learn more about the process and get all your questions answered by current and former military personnel. However, no one there will chance you either for the reasons I gave above. These sources will tell you to do your best academically, up your physical fitness game, and pursue leadership opportunities (control those things you can control). You will want to show quality over quantity, stay focused, and put your best application forward. That’s all you or any candidate can do.

Good luck!

Also, you note that you will complete calculus in your IB program, but you will also need to show strong grades in physics and chemistry. The academies are primarily engineering schools, and all Plebes are required to take calculus, chemistry, and physics freshman year. These are known as the “Plebe Killer” classes for a reason, and you need to be prepared for them, so make sure you do well in each of these subjects before you graduate.

@ChoatieMom thank you for flagging my post and making me aware of this, is there any way I can remove my name myself? Also, thank you for your response. I have already taken Honors Chemistry and finished with an A, but my school does not offer physics. Am I completely done for because of this?

Tagging @skieurope also to remove your name/school name too.
I don’t have advice other than asking whether you are recruitable for your running. Asking because our DS’ swim club has several swimmers recruited by the service academy, including Navy.
Good luck.

Not done necessarily, but this will be a red flag. The academy will see from your HS profile that physics is not offered and will not ding you for it, but it will make the physics course sequence extremely difficult should you receive an appointment. If you can take a graded online physics course or enroll in one in a community college over the summer, that would be an immense help to you.

As you can see, you will be required to take two semester of physics (regardless of what you major in):

I’m not @MaineLonghorn , but I am a moderator. Edited name and HS.

Just one correction @ChoatieMom - Physics Mechanics/ E&M are youngster year not plebe. Calculus/Chem are definitely the plebe weeder classes. E&M/Diff Eq 2nd semester youngster year next best.

Yes, I saw that in the link, @HazeGrey. Thanks for emphasizing. (It’s Plebe year at USMA.)

what is a plebe weeder class? are there many (any) plebes that actually leave the academy in their first year because they cannot pass Chem and Calc?

@mcfamilyof4 To me, a weeder class is part of the core curriculum that everyone takes that serves as a good benchmark or standard for measuring academic performance/ability. Do well there and you will likely be OK. Struggle there, and you’re likely to keep struggling. My experience is a bit dated, but there were indeed some plebes who were ac boarded out either after midterms second semester or at the end of the year if their grades were significantly unsat. It was usually Calc, Chem or perhaps in my day EN 100 (Intro to Naval Engineering) that caused the biggest issues for people. Saw more of that happen in youngster year when there was more evidence that people couldn’t perform at the appropriate level.

Physics, calculus, and chemistry are considered the GPA “killer” (or “weeder”) classes because not many cadets/mids are truly prepared from high school for the college equivalents and, at the academies, these classes must be passed.

I can speak to USMA, and I think USNA is similar although perhaps @HazeGrey will chime in, but failing one (any) class is not always an automatic separation. It depends. The cadet will go before an academic board consisting of the instructor for that course, the head of the department for that course, and their BTO to evaluate the reason for the failure and the potential remediation. If that cadet was truly doing the work and putting in the effort, actively seeking AI (additional instruction), and the instructor believes the cadet has the potential to pass the class, that cadet may be given the opportunity either the following semester or over the summer to repeat that same course. A second failure is automatic separation. Also, failing any two (different) courses is an automatic separation. The rules for academic separation are prescribed and clearly documented by each academy. Every cadet/mid understands these rules and what to do before separation becomes a possibility. Academic separation is never a surprise.

The USMA class of 2019 had the dubious distinction of losing over 50 Plebes to academic separation. That number was an anomaly and went way down with the class of 2020 but, yes, cadets are actually separated Plebe year for failing (any) classes.

ETA: Ha! @HazeGrey and I cross-posted. :slight_smile: