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Getting in to USNA with a GED?

tonystro93

Member
I'm 20 right now, I have a GED and no college credit. How ever I am starting at the local community college soon. I'm planning to take similar courses to what a freshman at the academy would take. And crushing them.

High school was a total bust for me. I didn't get a sense of direction until I found myself working at Burger King with a bunch of losers, and I was one of them. Now I'm busting ass to make something of myself by becoming a marine officer. I've looked into plc, and it seems like a great program. But the academy looks amazing and I've been obsessing about the place for some time now.

Currently I've been volunteering at a boys and girls club mentoring little kids and playing sports with them. Also I'm working out 5 days a week to get a perfect PFT. The remainder of my time is spent studying this Arco Military Flight Aptitude Test Guide book I've got. As for the SAT I've never taken it. But when I do I plan on crushing it.

I guess what I'm asking is will they bother looking at my high school grades if they see perfect college grades? Will the GED hold me back? Either way I'm applying. At worst I just get told no. For now I'm just spending everyday trying to make myself a better candidate.

-thanks for the response guys
 

speedroller

Rangers
Have you talked to a recruiter? Someone from a USMC recruiting office could guide you in the right direction. I don't want to steer you wrong, but from my understanding, USNA is an elite establishment that only takes high school graduates that are above and beyond, both motivated and academically successful. Your GED might not suffice in this case.
But like I mentioned before, I would consult with a recruiter or even someone on AW can chime in.

Good luck.
 

Steve Wilkins

Teaching pigs to dance, one pig at a time.
None
Site Admin
Contributor
Search out a Blue and Gold officer in your area. They should be able to give you some good info and steer you in the right direction.
 

BackOrdered

Well-Known Member
Contributor
All good advice but I would caution you to keep your options open to other commissioning sources as well.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Hey! I'm on that list!

Tonystro: You will have to have a compelling story to get beyond a GED. It looks too much like quitting something hard and long term. It isn't the GED so much as the fact you didn't have a complete documented high school experience. That means sports, extra curricular activity, and clubs, not just academics. It also means you won't have a good recent referral from a guidance counselor or coach. It does sound like you can tell a compelling story and are off to a good start to back up your story and redemption, so to speak. You are doing the right things so far. Keep taking classes like a plebe would. Try to get into sports or a routine conditioning program. Hopefully you WILL rock the SAT. Take the ACT as well. They are different types of tests and some guys do better on one over the other. USNA will take the best score you cut. Try to get some documented leadership or management experience. It can be at work, in clubs, volunteer groups or youth organizations. Lastly, as suggested above, don't be discouraged if USNA doesn't work out. It sounds like you might be a good fit for the USMC and there are other ways to become an officer. Have a back up plan. Stay motivated. We have a guy on this board that had to apply 3 times to USNA before he was accepted. And he is now a Marine pilot. Good luck.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
It's not impossible. But as others alluded to, Admissions is going to look at your record and think, this guy didn't stick out high school, why would he stick out the Academy? It's not a matter of your current motivation or desire, but of proven performance. Now, in general, the Navy loves the story of someone being born again hard, but it requires a pretty good resume as proof. Crushing community college and getting in shape probably won't be enough. Normally no one would advise enlisting if your real goal is to become an officer (there several threads on that subject), but it is one way to overcome a lackluster start in life. "I blew off high school, decided to get my life in order, became a shit-hot sailor/Marine and got my degree, and now I'd like to be an officer please."
There are lots of routes to a commission and flit school, and USNA is just one of them. If that's your goal, time is not on your side (the age requirements are firm). But you've got a good attitude and you're on the right path...keep it up for the uphill climb you've got in front of you. You can get there from here.
You can probably put aside the flight aptitude test study book for now, though. That's a ways off and you've got quite a few things to tackle first.
 

WEGL12

VT-28
All good advice but I would caution you to keep your options open to other commissioning sources as well.
This. I know two people currently in flight school that have GEDs. One went to a university, joined NROTC and ended up with a scholarship. The other went to OCS after finishing college. Not answering your question about the academy but does show you can become an officer with a GED through other sources.
 

tonystro93

Member
Thanks for the answers guys. I'm thinking the academy may be a little out of my reach. But I'll give it a go anyways. I definitely have my ear open to other commissioning programs as well. Particularly PLC. The academy is just a crazy dream of mine (saw the movie annopolis too many times...)
 

A7Dave

Well-Known Member
pilot
Thanks for the answers guys. I'm thinking the academy may be a little out of my reach. But I'll give it a go anyways. I definitely have my ear open to other commissioning programs as well. Particularly PLC. The academy is just a crazy dream of mine (saw the movie annopolis too many times...)
I asked someone this question recently, but where do you live? There are places in this country that have Academy nominations which go unclaimed. If you live in one of those areas, you could win the lottery just by applying. You do need to figure out where you want to go and start running - the older you are, the tougher it is to get into the programs.

Wink, as a Blue and Gold officer, what kind of SAT/ACT scores does he need to be competitive?
 

ReconJos

Female Penguin Emeritus
None
I asked someone this question recently, but where do you live? There are places in this country that have Academy nominations which go unclaimed. If you live in one of those areas, you could win the lottery just by applying.
Not 100% true. Yes, he may be able to get an unclaimed nomination...but that is entirely separate from meeting the admissions requirements set by USNA. Getting in is a two-part process - USNA Admissions has to deem you qualified and you have to earn a nomination. Without both - no appointment.

Not to say it can't be done, just that your statement could be misunderstood by tonystro93 or other candidates reading this thread.

As for the standardized test scores, SAT = 600 / ACT = 26 is considered the minimum. USNA only considers the verbal and math scores on each test (but candidates still have to take the entire test).

Fully concur with wink's recommendation to take both tests at least once; see what kind of scores you get AND which one you feel more comfortable with, and then repeat that test to improve scores (as needed).
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Recently, the middle 50th percentile for verbal sat was 570-690, math 600-710. I know that seems very general, but that is about all they put out these days. There isn't a published minimum but if you have much less then a 600, better take it again. I have seen kids in the high 500s get selected, but they also had super strong grades in a H.S. honors or AP program from a high quality college prep school. You can't lose taking the test over. They will only use your highest score regardless of which test it came from. In other words, first time taking sat was your highest verbal and you bombed it the second time. And second time taking act was you highest math. Those are the sores they use.
 

tonystro93

Member
I asked someone this question recently, but where do you live? There are places in this country that have Academy nominations which go unclaimed. If you live in one of those areas, you could win the lottery just by applying. You do need to figure out where you want to go and start running - the older you are, the tougher it is to get into the programs.

Wink, as a Blue and Gold officer, what kind of SAT/ACT scores does he need to be competitive?
I live in Washington state. But I think recon has a point. Honestly, if I could just get a recommendation from a congressman, or senator to go to the naval academy that'd be a victory it's self. Even if the academy doesn't accept me I'd try and get that same congressman/senator to recommend me for plc, or nrotc.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
The congressional nomination is probably the most misunderstood part of the academy admissions process. All it really boils down to is your congressperson submitting your name to Admissions for consideration. They can nominate a primary and alternates, or just send them a pool of names That's it. Admissions then looks at your record and decides whether to offer you an appointment. It's a holdover from the days when they were trying to avoid West Point appointments becoming a political patronage tool, and get officers from all over the US instead of just whoever happened to be friends with the Secretary of War (this was a real problem in the early days of the Republic - one of Meriwether Lewis' first jobs for Jefferson as his military aide was evaluating the political reliability of all the officers in the Army). USNA adopted the same system when it was founded.

You're right that getting a nomination is an accomplishment in itself, and there's no reason not to apply if you meet all the other basic requirements. If nothing else, you'll gain a better understanding of how the process works.

The only 'automatic' way in is to be the child of a Medal of Honor recipient, and I assume that's not your case.
 

tonystro93

Member
That was some enlightening information.

And no, I'm not the child of a Medal of Honor recipient unfortunately. Close though! My dad is a janitor. Still trying to figure out a way to use his accomplishments to benefit myself though.

^joke
 
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