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Naval Academy Summer Seminar

#1
I've been looking into the Academy a lot, but feel like I don't have much of a chance at all (I have no background in varsity sports and only a little volunteer work). I'm wondering if attending it will give me a better chance at getting accepted into the Academy. (I know that it's competitive too, but I'm sure it's not as competitive as becoming a midshipman).

Thank you for your answers.
 

RHINOWSO

"Yeah, we are going to need to see that one again"
None
#2
I didn't do seminar, in fact none of my company mates did.

Honestly, I don't think it can really help much - you are either going to have what it takes academically, physically, etc or not - the hardest thing to get is going to be a nomination from an appropriate source (which will depend a lot on your background - aka, prior service or not, etc, etc). Usually your Representative is going to be your best bet with the least competition.

All I can say is if you want to attend, don't give up and don't take no for an answer if you hit a road block with something (aka, medical or some other road block).
 

ReconJos

Female Penguin Emeritus
None
#3
Clements, NASS is a great experience if you have no idea what to expect at USNA. It's a week-long mini "Plebe Summer" with some exposure to academic majors, drill, etc. sprinkled in. That being said, not getting in has absolutely no bearing on whether or not you'll get into the academy proper. Plenty of students who get into NASS do not get into USNA, and an equal number of students who don't get into NASS (or don't even know about it in time to apply) get into USNA.

Another thing to remember is that in many cases, USNA uses NASS as an outreach / recruiting tool. In other words, if one candidate applies from a state where USNA traditionally gets a ton of applicants - WA, TX, PA - and a similarly competitive candidate applies from a state where USNA does not get a lot of applicants, the latter candidate will probably get in over the former.

If you do go to NASS, two things to remember. 1) You will get a FitRep from your squad leader at the end of your week. It becomes a part of your application package and carries a good bit of weight, so work for a strong evaluation. 2) While at NASS, you will take the CFA. Your scores will count as your CFA for your application, so look at the 6 different skills you'll be tested on, practice them, and do well on the CFA at NASS. If you do poorly, you can always retake it later - but better to knock it out of the park the first time around and get it done with.

If you have any other questions regarding applying to USNA, feel free to PM me or post them here. There are several other Blue and Gold Officers (USNA admissions reps) besides me around these parts and all of them have sound advice to offer you.
 

PhrogLoop

Adulting is hard
pilot
#4
I'm a '98 grad and I have 3 younger cousins who went to NASS. The first one loved it, applied, got the nomination, and is now a Youngster. The second hated NASS, realized Academy life was not for her, and made a smart decision to focus on a different education/career path. The third went to NASS, loved it, and is now in the application/nomination process to hopefully join his older brother at USNA. He does not have the "perfect" direct admissions profile, but is probably a great candidate for NAPS/Foundation Prep School year to get him ready for the rigors ahead. If you are very interested, follow the advice above and go into NASS with an open mind and give it your best effort. Good luck!
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
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Super Moderator
Contributor
#5
I did NASS, and I agree with what the others said. Good experience/exposure, and if you go, do your best, but it's not make-or-break either way. It was clearly an eye-opener for a lot of the kids who went with me (said one: "You have to wear a uniform all the time here?!")

As for the weakness of your application, it depends on how far along you are. Are you a HS freshman? Senior? What? If you're still young, there's time to beef things up. You don't have to be an Olympic god physically - they just want to see that you're not a total schlub who couldn't hack a physical program. I did a couple years' JV wrestling and that was good enough for Admissions. Never did any volunteer work, really, except for stuff with the Scouts (though I was an Eagle Scout and apparently they like that). Talk to a Blue and Gold Officer for your area - they're there to inform and assist, not recruit (the Academy gets plenty of applicants), and they'll give you an honest idea of what to expect and what to do if you want to be competitive.
 
#6
I'm a high school junior. I ran JV cross country for one season (I plan on running next year too). I have volunteered at a weekend camp ground for parents to take their kids to bond together (I volunteered 3 times, all weekend each time). I'm 5'10", 135lbs. I can do around 50 pushups (working on pushup push by Stew Smith), probably over 100 sit-ups, and around a 6:30 mile (was better during cross country season). I am also joining Civil Air Patrol, but I'll only have been an official member for a week or two before I send my application.

I'm not asking if you can calculate my odds of getting in or asking if I'm a good candidate or not, I'm just giving some background information. I'm applying to NASS within the next few weeks so there's not much time to get extra volunteer work in.

I want to thank you all for your answers, you really are all helping.
 
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Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
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Contributor
#7
I'm a high school junior. I ran JV cross country for one season (I plan on running next year too). I have volunteered at a weekend camp ground for parents to take their kids to bond together (I volunteered 3 times, all weekend each time). I'm 5'10", 135lbs. I can do around 50 pushups (working on pushup push by Stew Smith), probably over 100 sit-ups, and around a 6:30 mile (was better during cross country season). I am also joining Civil Air Patrol, but I'll only have been an official member for a week or two before I send my application.

I'm not asking if you can calculate my odds of getting in or asking if I'm a good candidate or not, I'm just giving some background information. I'm applying to NASS within the next few weeks so there's not much time to get extra volunteer work in.

I want to thank you all for your answers, you really are all helping.
Not otherwise knowing your grades or class levels (A+ in basketweaving vs B- in AP Textile Container Engineering), you sound at least competitive to me. You're sweating NASS a bit too much, though. Not being accepted doesn't mean they don't think you're Middie material; as Recon mentioned, they also use it as a tool to pull in candidates from under-represented areas. Someone once told me we had more mids in my class from Anne Arundel County, Maryland (i.e., where USNA is located) than all of Montana. No idea if that was true, but it's believable. So they could take a candidate for NASS who's otherwise less qualified for admission but comes from Montana, in an attempt to get the word out.

CAP's fine if you just want to join, but don't do it just to beef up your candidate packet. They're more interested in someone who sticks with one or two things and pursues leadership and responsibilities within the activity, than a "joiner" with a long list of clubs they just belong to.

Stew Smith was a company officer in my Batt when I was a mid. Cool guy.
 
#8
Not otherwise knowing your grades or class levels (A+ in basketweaving vs B- in AP Textile Container Engineering), you sound at least competitive to me. You're sweating NASS a bit too much, though. Not being accepted doesn't mean they don't think you're Middie material; as Recon mentioned, they also use it as a tool to pull in candidates from under-represented areas. Someone once told me we had more mids in my class from Anne Arundel County, Maryland (i.e., where USNA is located) than all of Montana. No idea if that was true, but it's believable. So they could take a candidate for NASS who's otherwise less qualified for admission but comes from Montana, in an attempt to get the word out.

CAP's fine if you just want to join, but don't do it just to beef up your candidate packet. They're more interested in someone who sticks with one or two things and pursues leadership and responsibilities within the activity, than a "joiner" with a long list of clubs they just belong to.

Stew Smith was a company officer in my Batt when I was a mid. Cool guy.
I understand that NASS doesn't have much affect on whether the want me in the academy or not, I just really want to get into NASS. I am interested in CAP. I'm not just doing it to beef up my application. CAP is teaching me a bit about basic drill movements and aeronautics, but I'm sure it doesn't quite compare to life at the academy which is why I'm so interested in NASS. I'm sure NASS is specifically Navy life, instead of just basic drill movements.
 
#9
And just because I left this out earlier, I have around a 3.6GPA (rough estimate) and just finished the ACT for the first time and got a 24 (I definitely am going to take it a few more times)
 
#10
It certainly won't hurt your chances. I attended summer seminar in 2007 and I had a great time. Your MIDN leader will write a recommendation about you at the end. It is a great way to see the Academy and what it is like being a MIDN. It also weeds people out. Lots of people get pushed into USNA by their guidance counselor or parents . They get their asses kicked. I didn't personally think it was too terribly strenuous, there was daily PT, and you take a PFT for your package. When we took the PFT they gave us a large turkey lunch before hand. I'm dead serious. I think it was a tactic. You also get to do a mini sea-trials. Come to think of it, it was a pretty fun experience :). One night, they take you on an 'underground tour.' Won't tell you anymore because it was actually my favorite part of the week. Think the most we ran was about 2 or 3 miles. There was a lot of drilling as well. Sadly, we didn't get to shoot any firearms. There is one night towards the end where they yell profusely at you for about an hour. It seriously rattled some people, but just remember it is just a game, and keep your 1000 yard stare, don't crack a smile, and you'll be alright.

You are certainly going to need to boost your ACT score. I had a 26 or 27, with a 3.9 gpa with heavy AP courses, and tons of EC's (eagle scout, black belt, varsity sports, debate team, etc) and I didn't get into USNA. This was in 2007. It has only gotten harder. If you are a minority, that can help. Also, get rec's from former/present military. It is unfortunate, but I think the biggest thing that matters with them is test scores. I have seen some great leaders get turned away, and instead they pick some idiot who lucked out on the ACT. Boost the ACT, take as many AP/IB courses as you can, extracurriculars , PT, and stay out of trouble. A B in AP Chem certainly is better than an A in Pottery or Drama.

Civil Air Patrol won't hurt. I did it briefly. Be sure to get leadership experience. It is all about leadership for USNA! CAP was a lot of drilling in a parking lot. Also, the Air Force has an entirely different culture than the Navy. If you like the USAF, consider the academy in CO Springs.

Also, I really wished I had applied to the USCGA. It is a great school, and you can fly. It is also not as hard to get in. Consider the USMMA academy as well. I visited the campus, and I really did not like it. However, you might like it.

If you are set on becoming a Naval Officer, APPLY FOR NROTC! I cannot emphasize this enough. Be sure you pick schools you are competitive at getting into. If you get a ROTC scholarship, and the school won't take you, you are SOL.

But yeah, just keep on trying to boost your stats and have backup plan(s). ROTC and USNA guys ultimately end up in the same place after 4 years.
 
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#11
I will be attending the summer seminar program this summer, and I am skeptical on the fitness test passing requirements. I am a very athletic person and so I think I may be on track to pass it, but I wanted to ask you if you knew of the minimum requirements for each part of the test. Online, I am unable to find what the lowest scores possible can be. I am not a minimalist, I just want to be more than ready and prepared for the CFA when I am at NASS in June. The test consists of:
Maximum Performance Scores by Event and Gender:
B-Ball Throw
Pull-Ups
Shuttle Run
Crunches
Push-Ups
1-Mile

Male: 102, 18, 7.8, 95, 75, 5:20
Female: 66, 7, 8.6, 95, 50, 6:00

Sorry if the chart is confusing, copied it from
http://www.usna.edu/Admissions/Candidate-Fitness-Assessment.php
 

RUFiO181

Making Recruiting Great Again
#13
When in doubt contact a blue and gold officer to help field your questions. Also a couple of folks mentioned it before but also apply for NROTC as a back up plan to the Academy.
 

ReconJos

Female Penguin Emeritus
None
#14
The minimum scores are not published and are not known to anyone other than staff in the Candidate Guidance Office (and they aren't telling). When you complete the CFA, they'll let you know if you passed or failed - you'll be able to surmise how well you did based on how close you came to the max scores. Do your best, retake it if you need to (if you don't do well at NASS you can work with your Blue and Gold Officer during your senior year to arrange a re-test).
 
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