US Service Academies

<p>U.S. Air Force Academy – Colorado Springs, CO
U.S. Naval Academy – Annapolis, MD
U.S. Military Academy – West Point, NY</p>

<p>Unlike other universities if you are accepted you pretty much go. Each has about 4,200 students with high academic profiles, good athletic abilities, and resume of community involvement second to none. The Cadets and Midshipmen are paid to go to school but each has a minimum of 5 years post graduation service obligation. The academics are very technical in nature with science and engineering being dominant and unavoidable even if you ultimately major in English. They are evaluated on everything – academics 60% weight; military proficiency 30%; and athletic performance 10%. They pretty much go to school year around but they also get to see the world as they study. While the classroom experience would rival an MIT or the California Institute of Technology their experiences overall do not look and feel little like any other school.</p>

<p>Our oldest is in his third year at the Air Force Academy and all we can say is wow! He has traveled the US extensively, been to Japan, and been involved with projects for NASA. And, I am biased that it should be on every Americans “bucket list” to see a service academy football game when they play each other. Jet fly over’s, parachuting on the field, Cadets and Midshipmen marching onto the field in formation at the beginning and their schools hymns at the end. In the middle you will witness the most exciting football known to man, with enthusiasm second to none unique in tone and delivery.</p>

<p>There is no free ride in their journey. They earn their education and commission through hard work. They come to serve their country. Yes, many come to fly jets but some of them end up dying for ‘our’ Country too. Make no mistake, the service academy route is a road that only makes sense for a few – some of the finest young men and women I have ever come to know</p>

<p>I agree with most things you've said. In my mind the academies have the closest thing to an actual liberal arts education (philosophy, engineering, hard science, math, history, lit, social sciences...) But why two threads?</p>

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hey earn their education and commission through hard work.

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Its my understanding that the Air Force Academy changed its policy 20 years or so back. It used to be that grads got a regular commission. These days when they graduate they are commissioned as reserve officers, same as ROTC grads. Those hoping for an Air Force career have to then get converted to a regular commission.</p>

<p>I heard this third hand, from the parent of an Academy grad, so it might not be exactly accurate but is something a person contemplating the AFA should check into.</p>

<p>My S went NROTC. He commissioned as an active duty officer the day before he graduated from college in May '09. Don't know why you're saying ROTC gets Reserve commissions unless something has changed or is this related specifically to Air Force?</p>

<p>It is true that both Academy and ROTC grads get Reserve commissions to start with. The Lts/Ensigns compete for regular commissions during their tours. There is a difference between a reservist and an active duty officer with a Reserve commission.</p>

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He commissioned as an active duty officer the day before he graduated from college in May '09. Don't know why you're saying ROTC gets Reserve commissions unless something has changed or is this related specifically to Air Force?

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</p>

<p>I think that the old policy was referring to academy grads. When DH graduated from USMA some years back, he was commissioned as a regular army officer (I think that was the term). Non-academy grads got reserve commissions, but could eventually switch to regular army. Now it has been YEARS since I heard DH talk about that--he has been retired for ten years--but I think the reference was to a different type of commision. Sounds like Erin's Dad has it right.</p>

<p>With so many kids diagnosed with asthma, severe food allergies, etc, these days, I am surprised there are enough completely healthy students to even be attending the academies. You have to be the perfect human specimen of health, so a lot of very qualified students are disqualified because of even minor health issues. There are many ways to "serve" your country, and many careers that can be achieved without joining the military. If that "team spirit, hoo rah" thing is what makes you tick, I can see the lure. If you are more of an independent thinker, intellectual, bookish type, then I would imagine there are better choices out there. The USAFA accepted 1 out of every 8 qualified candidates. That rate is much better than many, many colleges and universities this past year. Even with 1 out of 12 applicants being accepted at USAFA, that rate is still better! Northeastern U had 40,000 applicants for less than 2000 spots, for example. I thought that was just interesting to compare.</p>

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The USAFA accepted 1 out of every 8 qualified candidates

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Teachandmom, I was wondering where you got that stat? The data I've seen states in 2010 there were 13000 applicants for the 1150 slots this past year which matches your 1/12 number.</p>

<p>From Gasdoc's post 7/28 USAFA forum:</p>

<p>Applicants 12,732
Candidate pool 8,085
Qualified Candidates 2,641
Offers of Admission 1,372
Admitted 1,118</p>

<p>Women 257 (22.6%)
African American 102 (9.0%)
Hispanic 111 (9.8%)</p>

<p>SAT verbal mean 641
SAT math mean 672
ACT means just over 30 except science reasoning (29.8)</p>

<p>High School GPA 3.88</p>

<p>Athletic Letter Award (1 or more/any sport) 82%</p>

<p>The Class of 2015 includes 55 sons and 31 daughters of Service Academy grads (7.8%)</p>

<p>*A close friend's D is one of the new cadets. Didn't get into any ivies but should have! Absolutely brilliant girl with stellar EC's. A great athlete. Can see why the USAFA wanted her! For qualified candidates, in my non AFA lingo, I meant candidates who completely made it through the process, had everything they needed to be considered.</p>