Posted by: Jacqui Murray | April 1, 2016

April To Do List for USNA Applicants

usnaDepending upon where you are in the process, you may have done some of the items on this list. Skip them. Be happy you’re done. Move on to the next

First Steps:

If you’re serious about attending the USNA or any other military academy, buy a few books (or check them out of the library) on the process. It’s worth the investment because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more of your time and money before you achieve your goal. Better to make sure this is the direction you want to go.

Here are two books to get you started:

From the perspective of a woman who was accepted and how she accomplished it. Down-to earth, personal, definitely not dry, and should give confidence to any teen, male or female, considering a military academy their first choice college.

A general and useful overview of the USNA application and the academy in general

Seniors–Follow up on all steps of the application

Check the binder you set up over the summer to be sure everything is submitted. Check CIS–Candidate Information System–the online application site for candidates only. Be sure USNA has everything you’ve sent. If they don’t, resend and/or talk to your B&G Officer. In fact, stay in close touch with your B&G Officer at this stage in your application process. He’ll be interviewing you and passing his recommendation on to the Admittance board.

Make copies of every piece of paper you submit. Then, if (when) they disappear across the country in Annapolis, it won’t be a show stopper.

Seniors–follow up on the Letters of Recommendation from teachers

Teachers are very busy writing these for many seniors. You may have to stay on top of them to be sure they get out. Don’t worry. Your teachers won’t mind. They’re used to it.

Seniors–Blue-and-Gold Interview

The B&G (Blue and Gold) Interview allows the Naval Academy one more opportunity to insure that they appoint candidates who will make it through the next nine years. It has to occur before you are accepted and shows up as complete or pending on the CIS. Prepare for it. Don’t take it for granted because you think your B&G Officer ‘likes’ you. It’s his job to be an applicant screen for USNA, not your buddy.

Seniors–Accepted? Get a Passport

You’ll need one eventually, and sometimes, they take a while to get. Don’t run out of time. Get one now.

More ideas? Read this post on what to do when you’ve been accepted to one of the finest higher education establishments in the nation.

Juniors–In NASS? Arrange Time Off School

By April, most of the military academy Summer Seminar programs are closed (West Point is still open). If you have an application in or are accepted and want more information, click for NASS, AFASS. Don’t worry if the Summer Seminar ends up in the middle of finals or other big academic events. The Military wants to know you can get everything done in not enough time. Figure out how to make it work. Talk to teachers, guidance counselors, parents. Reschedule finals or big tests. Do whatever it takes to make it work. This is a good opportunity to show you are a leader with a take-charge attitude.

For more information on USNA Summer Seminar, read this post.

Juniors–Preliminary USNA Application Available

As of April 1st, the Preliminary Application to USNA (and probably the other military academies) is available on USNA website. It is quick, brief, nothing like the final document. If you’re considering attending USNA, fill it out. At that point, you’ll be in the system and you and the Naval Academy can determine if this is a good fit.

Juniors–request a Congressional Nomination Package

If you are an official candidate, get a Congressional Nomination Package from your Congressperson and both Senators. Fill them out. Double check to see that everything is accurate. Mail the packages to the Senators. Often, they do all of their selections via mail–no personal interviews. For the Congressperson, hand carry it to them. When you drop it off, try to meet the aide responsible for this activity. Say hi, chat for a moment. S/he may remember you from the Academy Night, and will definitely remember you when you come in for the interview in November/December.

Juniors–Create your list of college choices

Applications aren’t due until September (early apps) or November/December for the rest. Be prepared. This time, six months before the earliest decision, is the time to determine which colleges serve you best

Juniors–Take the SAT and ACT

If you’re over 1400, you’re doing great. If you’re not, take it as often as possible. There’s a trick to the test that you’ll figure out as you take it over and over. A lot of colleges offer a PSAT-type test for free,. Take advantage of those opportunities. That’ll keep costs down and provide feedback on what you should work on.

Soph/Frosh–Attend an Academy Night

These occur throughout the year, so keep your eyes open. They’re offered through the School District or your representative’s office. Check those websites to find out when you should go.

Soph/Frosh–Go to a USNA Forum

Check USNA Admissions Facebook page for regional forums.

Soph/Frosh–Get your Social Security Number

You must have one to apply to the Naval Academy. If you don’t have the card, get it.

Tour the Yard

Tour the Yard if you’re in Annapolis, according to the following schedule:

Leahy Hall Briefing Times

Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.

*- These days exclude Federal holidays

**Note: Admissions briefs are held in Leahy Hall, which is about a 10-15 minute walk from Gate 1.**

General Admissions Questions

Contact USNA Admissions using the address and phone number below:

Candidate Guidance Office
United States Naval Academy
117 Decatur Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5018

Tour a warship

These tours are offered through your Blue and Gold officer or any number of other avenues. Find a tour. Take it. First and foremost, you want to be sure that a Naval Academy choice is right for you. Seeing how officers work on a Naval vessel is a good idea.

Create your list of college choices

Applications aren’t due until September (early apps) or November/December for the rest. Be prepared. This time, six months before the earliest decision, is the time to determine which colleges serve you best

Create your resume

List all of your activities, awards, community service. The best time to start this is as a freshman. Keep it up to date throughout high school. It’ll remind you of all your accomplishments when you’re filling out applications and essays.

Here’s a sample (truncated to protect the applicant info), set up in Google Spreadsheet with a simple organization with columns and rows:

college app resume

Hone these critical skills

All USNA applicants and grads are leaders. If you’re a freshman, even a sophomore, not sure if you have enough of the leadership gene, check out these posts to see how to develop these traits:

Read Books

Check out the Marine Corps summer reading list

Take SAT and ACT

If you’re over 1400, you’re doing great. If not, take it as often as possible. There’s a trick to the test that you’ll figure out as you take it over and over. A lot of colleges offer a PSAT-type test for free. Take advantage of those opportunities. That’ll keep costs down and provide feedback on what you should work on.

Say hi to military reps who show up on your campus

Chat with them. Pick their brains. Find out what they can tell you about life in the military. It’s a different world and any way you can assure yourself it’s for you, do it.

Focus on your unique skill

Even as school heats up and time gets short, stay in touch with whatever it is that sets you apart from others. Military academies like that side of you. They want to know you can do everything, not just academics and sports.

Be a Leader

Wherever there’s an opportunity to be a leader, take it. The Military Academies want to see you as a proactive, can-do person, not a follower. Officers are the ones who make things happen and inspire the enlisted to do their best. Be that person.

Continue Community Service

Most colleges want to know you give back to your community; Military Academies are no exception. Do as much as you can. Give as much of your time and labor as you can afford. No, it doesn’t mean you can do less in academics or sports. Figure out how to do it all. That’s the kind of person USNA, USAFA and all military academies like.

Are you a Future USNA Midshipman?

Follow USNA or Bust on Twitter



Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for TeachHUB and Examiner.comEditorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, and freelance journalist on tech ed topicsCurrently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office with questions.

 

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Responses

  1. Can we send our candidates and readers to this post on your site? Great information that should really be shared!

    • Absolutely. Our goals are quite similar.

      BTW, love the picture of Chesty Puller with his hands in his pockets.

      • Thanks!

        Haha, aren’t those priceless?

      • Getting into USNA is as much a test of tenacity as brilliance and patriotism. Lots of applicants can’t quite wrap their heads around that so I post this monthly update.

        Love your site, BTW


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