What are my chances of getting into West Point?
I just finished filling out my Candidate Questionnaire for the United States Military Academy at West Point and I am a little worried about my chances of getting in. It asked for my class rank which is only 87 out of 451. But that ranking is as of the end of 10th grade; I am half way through my junior year and i am sure that since the end of 10th grade it has gone up. They also asked for SAT or PSAT scores and I haven't taken my SATs yet so I was forced to give them my PSAT scores which weren't so good. I plan to score pretty high on my SATs but will they judge me early of my PSAT scores or will they take the time to look at my SAT scores when they come in? I am also a 2 sport athlete (volleyball and baseball) but between them I only have one varsity letter because baseball season hasn't come yet and I was not a captain of any team and i am told they like to see that you have been a captain of a team. Also I lack extracurricular activities. I am however a full IB diploma candidate and I am doing very well in my junior year. I plan to join a lot of clubs and I will try to be the captain of my baseball team when baseball season comes. I feel like I have a lot going for me but it doesn't show in my Candidate Questionnaire and i feel like i made a bad first impression. I pretty much asking what my chances are? and if anyone has gone through the process or knows any one that has gone through the process do you have any advice as to what else I can do at this time? and if anyone knows can you give me just a basic overview of what they really look for in a Candidate?
Thank you everyone that answers my questions GO ARMY!
- TomLv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
You should preface this by stating that you are asking about SLS and not about being offered an appointment to West Point because that is what you are being judged for based on the Pre Candidate questionnaire that you have filled out if you are currently a junior. You will be able to add your Sat or Act scores before the selection panel considers your application in the Late Summer/Fall. If you listen to the SLS videotape on the West Point website, in so many words and a little reading between the lines, Colonel Batchelder states what West Point is looking for as far as SLS. In essence, West Point admits applicants who are almost certain to be awarded an Loa(letter of assurance), candidates being recruited for athletics and candidates being recruited for other academy goals. The recruited candidates are for the most part the SLS participants who the Colonel mentions will spend a year at the Military Academy Prep School.
West Point does not only look at raw Class rank but also considers the competitive level of the high school determined by the number of students continuing on to 4 year and 2 year colleges. 87 out of 451 at Exeter is a lot different than 87 out of 451 at Steeltown Central HS. West Point considers the class rank based on weighted Gpa and make adjustments if the Class rank is not based on weighted Gpa.
Academic Composite = PAR + Sat or Act
PAR= Prior Academic Record = Weighted Gpa = Class Rank based on weighted Gpa and corrected for competitive level of the high school.
The Academic composite comprises about 60% of the whole person score.
Extracurricular composite is based on participation starting from 10th grade and comprises about 20% of the whole person score.
Selection Panel makes up the final 20%= CFA+ MALO Interview+Writing Sample+Letters of Recommendation+Summer Seminar Squad Leader's Written Evaluation.
At the service academies, the most highly valued extracurricular activities and demonstrations of leadership are athletic in nature. This harkens back to General Macarthur's tenure as Commandant:
“Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that upon other fields, on other days, will bear the fruits of victory”
If not, then two thirds of each service academy class would not have been team captains, over 80% having earned varsity letters. Scholarship is also important as well as a limited amount of community service which is represented by NHS membership, another common attribute with around 2/3 of each class having been members. Subtract out the Cadets appointed from the Prep School and NHS membership is probably more prevalent among direct admits. Anyway the bottom line is that West Point SLS only admits 1100, which is up from 800 only three years ago, and is more highly selective than the Academy itself. Also apply to Usafa Summer Seminar which opened Dec 1 and admits 1125 and Usna Summer Seminar which opens Feb 1 and admits 2250 and is your best chance to go to a summer seminar which aside from locational differences are so similar as to seem like Groundhog Day, at least according to some who have gone to all three, one after another. If you are recruit caliber in baseball, fill out a recruiting questionnaire and this may help with SLS. If not and if you do not meet one of West Point's other recruiting goals, then without 75th percentile + Sat scores or even higher Psat scores it is probably going to be tough to be admitted. Joining a lot of clubs is not going to help with admissions. West Point wants to see leadership in a few activites, at least one athletic and one non athletic. I also suggest not relying on information regarding how to be competitive from 25 years back and the suggestion to give up a sport. Athletic participation is extremely important and valued at the service academies. Keep up with sports and add one or two other activities. For sure, do the community service to apply for NHS and maybe debate, drama, yearbook, school newspaper, student govt, whatever interests you, and you will be fine.
Know that the selection process is nearly identical at West Point, Usafa and Usna, so whatever is said on one service academy website or in its catalog with regard to admissions generally holds for the others. If you carefully read the following answer and open the links it should help to explain the selection process and the path to an appointment:
Suggest considering the outstanding advice offered on the Usafa website that is offered to students prepping for a service academy, rotc scholarship or any highly selective university. Open all links to the left of the dialog box:
- magic manLv 69 years ago
This answer is from an Air Force brat, 25 year Navy commissioned service (retired), Who went to an overseas high school. The total enrollment of the school was under 175. From one group of students the senior class placed, two students in regular NROTC scholarship programs, the junior class placed two people in regular NROTC, the sophomore class placed two students at Annapolis and two others in regular NROTC (this was my class-I was not one of the four) and the freshman class sent three to the Naval Academy (I am not certain if their were any ROTC scholars in this class.) Including the Academy grads, the Regular ROTC grads and the Reserve Grads (like myself), seven of us went the career route. None rose above the rank of 0-6 (myself and two others made it and left with 25), four became 0-5 (including one Annapolis grad and left with no more than 21 years) one retired an 0-4 with 20 years he turned down several command positions to remain on flying status. Two of the Annapolis grads were 5 and out. I say this with all sincerity you need to make better grades. Unless you plan to play baseball at the Academy don't worry about whether you are captain or not, and very little even then. You might give up volleyball and do some volunteering instead. Volunteering is high on their priority list. Get in great shape and be able to do countless push-ups and sit-ups as well as a large amount of chin-ups. This is the most important factor. Get to know a Senator/Congressman NOW!!!!! Meet him face to face and tell him you want to go to West Point but will go to any of the academies where there is an opening. You may get an appointment to one of the other academies. Good luck and work hard NOW...........
- Shannon CLv 49 years ago
My husband went to West Point and we lived there for a few years while my husband taught. During that time we sponsored a number of cadets. They were all the cream of the crop- top 10% of their graduating class, great SAT scores, lots of volunteerism and extracurricular activities that they had been doing for years. One of our cadets was not accepted to West Point the first time he applied so he went to a state school for 2 years- where he was very active and made fantastic grades, then he reapplied and was accepted.
I think your grades are probably your biggest issue-you need to get them up so you are in the top 10%. You also need to really do well on the SAT and do some things to show that you are well rounded- volunteer, join some clubs and hold leadership positions.