I am currently a junior planning on applying to West Point in the Spring. I have a decent ACT score (32), but a low class rank (76/362… top 20%). My class rank should be going up after this year given high A’s and one or two B’s with 4 AP classes, but I am very stressed that my class rank could keep me out. I have excellent extracurriculars/leadership (President of National Honor Society, President of CFA Leader Academy, tons of volunteer hours, Master Chief of NJROTC, Orienteering/Raiders, Cross Country letter, and student government for one year). My first priority is securing a nomination right now, but I want to know if I should be as worried as much as I am currently. Thanks for feedback.
You need to mange your nerves but there is no way to eliminate the stress. I recommend applying to ROTC at the same time.
Is it still worth even applying to West Point? Also note I am taking 5 AP’s next year. I am doing everything I can to increase my class rank, and my GPA is 4.5. I just come from an extremely competitive high school in South Carolina. I also have been through adversity and hardships which are personal to me. I am not sure if that will help me in any way. @Sportsman88
I can’t tell you your admission chances but better to apply and be reflected than always wonder.
@Sportsman88 Fast forward to next year, say I have a 32 ACT score, my nomination secured, and pass the DoDMERB exam. I successfully complete the CFA and everything is complete for my profile, including essays and recommendations. Do I have a bad, 50/50, or good shot?
In relative terms of course
It’s just too hard to say. I’m Navy and know USNA better. South Carolina is probably middle of road. VA or MD would need much higher stats than ND or ID. I do think you need at least 32 to be competetive. GPA is always most important but a high test score, 34+ could help make up for class rank. What is your GPA?
Remember, anyone’s chance is just a guess.
Thank you. I currently have a 4.3 weighted, 3.6 unweighted. My GPA will be soaring, though, because our school’s policies just changed to the 10 point grading scale, and we are switching our GPA to scale. The GPA’s I told you are from the end of last school year when these were not in place. Also note that I am applying for Palmetto Boy’s State and Junior Leadership at the County level. One of my friends from another high school near me got into WP with a 27 ACT but ranked 14/370 in his high school class. I was originally applying to USNA and USAFA, but I heard you have to be near perfect in science/math related courses, but I want to become a lawyer. That is why I started looking into USMA. Thanks for all of the help! @Sportsman88
Do you want to go to law school right after USMA? Check your options if so. You can’t go the JAG right out of USNA. There are a handful of Mids each year who select for Medical Corps and go straight to med school.
@ryanalexander116: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Once you are 3Q and have a nomination, your chances of admission are about 50-50 as you can see from the stats for the USMA class of 2021 (very similar each year):
1247 SAT Avg
28 ACT Avg
The toughest gate is the nom.
As for your class rank, the academy takes the competitiveness of your high school into consideration. You need to stop stressing about anything you can’t control and focus on those things you can. Submit the best application package you can and then let it go. That’s all you or anyone can do.
I just have extremely bad anxiety. I live in a fairy uncompetitive rural district and I heard I shouldn’t have trouble securing the nom. I’m only worried about the 50/50 shot after 3Q. I’m also applying to Virginia Tech, The Citadel, and Texas A&M. @ChoatieMom @Sportsman88
You do need to learn to manage your anxiety. Any service academy is a stressful environment.
Try to relax. USMA is a great place to be a graduate of…surviving the grind is a beast. Your numbers are competitive. Make sure you apply to all three sources for nominations (congressional and both senators). My observation - cadets either get crushed, rebel or learn to manage the system. If you are a constant stress case, you will get crushed. The system is designed to cause stress. I fell into the “manage the system” approach. It has served me well.
I am not sure about JAG straight out of the academy. I am in contact with a Yearling who is majoring in Law. I will see if he can give me the latest info.
@ryanalexander116 how many threads did you start? My Yearling got back to me. Commissioning directly into JAG is very unlikely. There might be exceptions, but the traditional path to JAG is graduate and commission into a standard branch. After 2 years of successful service, you can begin to apply for JAG/ Law School.
I have a feeling you will get in if you get a strong nomination
Ryanalexander. Dude! You have all the stats many WP applicants envy so stop with this dilemma. As USMA87 said, SA system is designed to test and stretch your stress. And if you cannot stress manage you will quit during Beast. Throughout your Plebe years upper classmen will make it very difficult for you in every turn to test your resolve and desire to be an officer. It is all intentional and meant to break you down and rebuild your character and promise and the desire to serve your country and your men and women in peace and wartime. So think very hard, before you enroll. Since you are a Junior, apply to SLE, SS, NASS, AIM, all the academies, and go to as many programs you are allowed to go. The summer program will give you a flavor but not the real thing. It is less stressful but if you can take it, then you will know that it is possible you can make it through 4 years.
Based on published data, your stats are in top 25% of the WP and SA classes and mid 50% in the Ivies and top 20 schools. SAs care more about your class rank than your grades. They will use your unweighted GPA and recalculate to their standard. Your ACT/SAT is worth 65% of your academics, then rank, and grades last. If you don’t report rank then SAs will take your ACT/SAT national rank as your high school rank. So this works better for those who attend super competitive schools. This is what the admissions will tell you if you made personal visits and make personal contact with SA admissions. As Choatmom said, you don’t know if you don’t try. Your biggest weakness is your self confidence which you will need to absolutely groom before you leave college or SA. This is your biggest weakness and I am not sure if you should attend SA. Lack of confidence can get people to second guess their commander and put the patrol out of leadership. You should work on building your confidence. You should try out and be in a Varsity team. Team sports build team work, leadership, and self confidence. You will quickly find out what you are good at and where you need to work on your weakness.
Based on what I read on your post, you maybe better off at ROTC Program. Why, because at ROTC, you will not be under constant watch by cadets 24/7. There is less hazing. Even though much of harsh hazings have gone away, there is hazing. It is like a frat, if you want to be one of us, you have to become one of us. That means they don’t care if you were a valedictorian or a bronze medalist from prior enlist time, you are all the same! And that’s how the Army Navy Air Force want you. SA cadets are especially harsh to prior enlistees who wear their battle badges. Not because they are jealous but because they have to break you down to become like everyone else in your class. Upper classmen want their plebes to re-earn their trust and respect through their experience at the academy - together! They want you to fall in line and become a single fighting unit that can support each other - your men and women.
Apply to all SAs between now and Feb. Go to summer programs, go to Boys State. See is SAs are right for you. Apply to all the ROTC Program National Scholarship between Aug-Sep first round, apply to top 30 colleges and study which school is right for you. Visit the campus you want to become part of. The chemistry is very important. Visit the Battalions and Units at each schools and classes in your senior year between Nov-Feb. You will feel it the moment you step on to campus and the barracks. Some you won’t even feel a thing. Visit the SAs, if you can afford to travel. Choosing a college is your life. You should take the next 12 months as the time for you to narrow down and set your coordinate to your 4 year college and SAs. Remember, start working on your self confidence! Good luck Junior!
@Patriot4Life Thanks… is it true that the SA’s care about the English and Math scores the most on the ACT/SAT?
@ryanalexander116: Although verbal skills and communication are important in all facets of life, remember that all of the academies are primarily engineering schools and put more emphasis on your math and science scores. At USMA, you will be taking the three Plebe-killers (calculus, chemistry, and physics) your entire Plebe year, and you will have a rigorous required math sequence to complete. Here is a good thread from the service academy forum on this topic:
You can join in there if you still have questions. However, I’m suspecting that you are still trying to figure out how competitive you are and that is fruitless. You have a nomination and you’ve submitted the best application you can. All you can do now is wait. I would suggest you find something fun to do in the meantime.
Check out https://www.usma.edu/admissions/SitePages/Class%20Profiles.aspx to review a breakdown of ChoatieMom’s data. Clearly the nomination is the toughest hurdle.
This website also gives tests scores, RIC and some other highlights. Seventy percent of WP’s class is taken from the top 20% of the secondary RIC after they have made it through the nomination process. Listen to Patriot4Life.
I went to an engineering schools and found the ROTC units were very ready with ROTC scholarships to fund interested students. If you don’t get the nomination, go the ROTC route in a major they are interested in.
Currently have a nephew on a free ARMY ROTC ride at Georgetown University where he is continuing Mandarin language studies he started six years earlier. He was accepted at WP, but decided that the academic programs in languages and political science at Georgetown better met his academic interests. He still very much wants to make a career of the ARMY.
I have been admitted to USMA class of 22. What I believed helped me the most was attending USMA SLE in the summer. I had barely known about West Point previously, and only applied to SLE on a whim, but that experience changed the course of my college application.
Like I said before, I was a complete outsider to USMA before I went there, and I never had any intentions of applying there or attending USMA. However, due to my academic achievements at SLE(receiving awards in Cybersecurity and Kinesiology), and decent ACT scores later on, I ended up receiving an LOA(Letter of Assurance/Conditional Offer) at the end of the summer. That prompted me to complete my application, and eventually, I was admitted.
If I had never attended SLE, I would have known anything about USMA, I wouldn’t have received an LOA, and I wouldn’t have gotten in. Although you don’t have to attend SLE to receive an LOA or get admitted, that was what helped me with my application.
In conclusion, apply to SLE: https://www.usma.edu/admissions/sitepages/summer.aspx