West Point, tips, help?
My hopes are to attend West Point after next year. Anyone have any tips on the acceptance process, training, academics or anything? I know it is physically demanding, but I'm training this summer for that part and am fairly fit. I'm 3rd in my class of 500 acedmically. Any advice? Thanks
- TomLv 710 years agoFavorite Answer
My immediate tip is to apply for the West Point Summer Seminar if you are currently a high school junior. It closes to applications on April 1. According to Colonel Batchelder in the West Point SLS video at the link, 50% of students who attend SLS are offered an appointment to West Point.
I suggest also applying to Usna Summer Seminar as it is beneficial to attend at least one and it is over twice the size of West Points, 2250 v 1000 precandidates invited. Usna Summer Seminar also closes to applications on April 1. Usafa Summer Seminar closed to applications Feb 28. Uscga AIM is also currently accepting applications.
Admission to a service academy is by means of a presidential appointment. The path to an appointment and the selection process are nearly identical at West Point, the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy. To be eligible for an appointment, a precandidate needs a nomination. There are several sources of nominations but for most the nomination comes from the Members of Congress(MOC) that represent the Candidate- the house member and his two senators. When a precandidate obtains a nomination he becomes a candidate. Each MOC may have 5 Cadets he nominated and were charged off to him at West Point, 5 Mids he nominated and were charged off to him at the Naval Academy, and 5 Cadets he nominated and were charged off to him at the Air Force Academy at any point in time. For each vacancy due to graduation or otherwise, the MOC may nominate 10 candidates to compete for the appointment.
There are three rounds of competition in which an appointment can be earned;
1) National Competition for an Loa(letter of assurance)
[Cadets/Mids receiving an Loa are not charged off to the nominating MOC as one of his 5 Cadets/Mids.]
2) Competition within nominating sources.
3) National competition among waitlisted candidates for declined offers of appointment, strictly according to whole person scores. [Appointments off the waitlist are not charged off to the nominating Moc.]
An MOC may:
1) Choose a Principal Nomination and rank alternate nominations.
2) Choose a Principal Nomination and not rank alternate nominations.
3) Offer an unranked slate of alternate nominations.
Approximately 70% of MOC offer an unranked slate of alternate nominations. An MOC can choose whichever method to fill each vacancy at each service academy.
With the exception of triple qualified-scholastically, physically, medically-candidates holding Principal Nominations or ranked alternate nominations in the round of competition within the nominating source, the whole person score is used for selection decisions for service academies. A very similar whole person score is used for selection decisions for rotc scholarships.
Whole Person Score=Academic Composite(60%) + Extracurricular Composite(20%) + Admissions Panel(20%)
Academic Composite= PAR + SAT/ACT
PAR=Weighted GPA+Class Rank based on Weighted GPA
[PAR is an abbreviation for prior academic record.]
Admissions Panel: CFA + Interview + Letters of Recommendation + Writing Sample+ Summer Seminar Squad Leader's written evaluation
The weighting of the whole person score is detailed at the top of page 7 of the 2009-2010 Usafa Catalog. It is helpful to read the entire "Admissions" chapter of all three Dod Service Academy Catalogs:
It is helpful to read the outstanding advice offered on the Air Force Academy website to students prepping for a service academy, rotc scholarship or any highly selective university:
[Be sure to open all links to the left of the dialog box. Full CFA instructions at the end of the physical prep link.]
The Class of 2013 Profiles detail the academic and extracurricular accomplishments of candidates who successfully competed for appointments. Common activities include participation in varsity athletics, over 90%, Varsity letters, around 80%, Athletic Team Captain, around 2/3: and NHS membership, around 2/3.
My suggestion is to carefully read the prep advice given on the Air Force Academy site along with the accomplishments of candidates who successfully competed for appointments. Be sure to have test scores well into Loa range, generally above the 75th percentile, in other words, above the middle 50% range, especially for Math. The SAT Math tests Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Geometry. The ACT also tests Trigonometry. There are two SAT exams left this academic year. The next exam after June is in October. The first ACT exam in the 2010/2011 Academic year is in September. The downside of not having competitive scores from Junior year is that the Selection Boards start to meet in late summer early fall and issue Loa's. The military considers that the goal of a candidate should be to serve as a military officer regardless of service branch or commissioning source, so it strengthens an application to apply to more than one service academy and rotc scholarship. Also, consider the purpose of the Loa process is to compete for the top candidates with highly selective universities that offer early admissions. If the Academy knows the candidate is applying for rotc scholarships at highly selective universities under early admission, they know they must compete by offering an Loa. If on the other hand a candidate is only applying to one service academy and a state university he is likely to be admitted to then there is less of a need for an Loa to be offered because the candidate is likely to accept an appointment when it is offered. There is less of a need for the service academy to compete for the candidate.
- 10 years ago
WP is about the whole person concept, unless you are related to someone who went there. Join as many clubs and athletic teams as possible. If your not good at sports then join clubs. Get into your schools leadership, be part of SIP or ASB. More than 3/4 of the cadets that go to WP were in a sport and were leaders at their schools. The rest are naturally athletic that were very smart. I was actually a dual sport athlete played football and baseball, was on student government and was a student representative on the district school board. I also went to a state college was the number 1 ranking ROTC cadet at that school, took the WP physical and stamina test and did well and still did not get accepted. Unfortunatly my SAT's held me back. Good luck and start looking into Congressional nominations for next year.Source(s): Former Army Officer
- ArlineLv 44 years ago
Seriously join ROTC in H.S. and get straight A's. during hmm... I say your freshman year write a letter to your governor asking for a letter of recommendation and explain in extreme detail why he should give you this letter.