Top 10 Most Important Steps When Applying to the Air Force Academy

Welcome to the Air Force officer. I’m Joseph Finnerty and today we’re going to be talking about the top ten most important steps to take when applying to the Air Force academy. If you haven’t already subscribed to the channel, go ahead and subscribe. For future content about OTS, ROTC, the Air Force Academy information, or just general lifestyle questions and topics about being an officer in the United States Air Force. Also, please like this video if you do enjoy the content, and if you have any questions that I’m not covering in this video, just drop a comment below.

I answer every question and like I said before, if I don’t know it, I will make sure I find the answer for you and get back to you as soon as I can. Without further ado, let’s get straight into the video so applying to the academy, it’s pretty competitive. The acceptance rate in 2017 was 15.2%. You’re getting in the League of Ivy League school competitiveness here. So my suggestion right off the rip, make sure you’re getting your GPA up as high as possible.

Make sure that if you don’t get a solid SAT ACT score right away, retake it. Keep retaking it. Don’t believe there’s a limit on how many times you can take the SAT. So keep doing it. Keep getting better at it.

Also, get involved in the community. The board puts a lot of stock in volunteer hours. Beta club athletic participation, huge in varsity letters. Pro tip. If you’re trying to get a varsity letter, make sure you get that.

That’ll definitely help your package. But getting into the ten steps, the first step is to determine if you even qualify. There’s three main qualifications. You have to be us citizen. Prove it.

You have to be between the ages of 17 and 23. They’re really trying to target graduate and high school seniors here. So 24 and above. I don’t think they think you should get into the academy if you’re that old and a senior. I don’t know.

You also have to be unmarried with no dependence. That’s probably something not a lot of people know, and I’m actually not 100% sure why that is. I’m going to assume it’s because they want you to concentrate fully 180% on your academics and just being a cadet at the academy. So if you are married or you have dependence, you’re going to have to go the ROTC route, maybe the OTS route, because the academy will not accept you if you have dependence. The second step is to get in contact with your ALo which your ALO stands for your admissions liaison officer.

And everyone has one. It’s based off geographic. So if you’re not close in proximity to one, like whoever’s your ALo, you can definitely get contact with them via email, phone. You could probably even skype them nowadays. But there’s a page on the air Force Academy’s website where you just type in your zip code and they will tell you who your AlO is with all their contract information.

So I will link that down below for you guys if you’re trying to figure out who your AlO is. And please make sure you build a good relationship with this ALo because this admissions liaison officer is going to be your bridge and your help into getting to the academy. They’re going to either make or break it for you because if you got a good one and they like you, they’ll go the extra mile for you. So make sure you build a good rapport with them. All right, step number three, there’s a pre candidate questionnaire that they’ll send you.

You need to send that back ASAP. It’s basically just asking your GPA, class, rank, SAT, act score, volunteer stuff, what I mentioned earlier in this video, just to get a solid, broad picture of who you are and what you’re involved with from this, they will send you an email saying whether they want to proceed. If they do, you’re deemed a candidate and they’ll send you a candidate instruction kit. That’s good. Basically, you got 1ft in the door.

You got to keep pushing it forward. And that moves to step four, which is where you actually seek a nomination. This is kind of where it gets a little bit tougher because now it starts starting to get really competitive because you need to keep in mind that you’re not just being accepted into the academy, you’re being appointed by the US government and you’re either going to be appointed one of five ways. The most common is congressional, or you can be appointed via vice presidential, military affiliated, international, or as a us territory appointment. Like I said, the majority is through congressional nominations.

Each member of Congress can nominate, I believe it’s five candidates per year. So you need to make sure that you have the contact information for your member of Congress and you need to get in contact with them about them nominating you. And typically they’re good about it because this is looked upon them as one of their duties as member of Congress. And if they’re shooting down people coming to them, trying to better themselves, going to the academy, it’s not going to look good for reelection. I guarantee that will come up at some point.

There’ll be some oppo research into that. So they’re usually pretty good about it. Just get in contact with their staff and they should be able to hook you up with that. You’d also get a vice presidential nomination. The vice president can also nominate up to five.

It’s a little bit more difficult to attain. That’s why there’s less of them. There’s only one vice president. So if you want to go that route, you can. But it’s the same as a congressional appointment nomination.

So don’t think just because he’s the vice president that it’s going to hold more weight. It doesn’t. And then the other ones are military affiliated nominations. Us territory if you live in a us territory, or international if you’re international, trying to go to the academy and all that fantastic stuff. All right, so moving to step five, they’re going to request your official transcripts and teacher evaluations.

So make sure that you are in good written, good rapport. Good. I don’t know what the word is, just that you’re good with your teachers, or at least three of them, because it’s going to be required that you get, basically, letters of recommendation from your teachers. Your teachers are going to evaluate you and you want them on your side. You’re also going to have to make sure that you are well rounded academically, because what the academy wants you to have is four years of English.

They want you to have four years of math, four years of sciences, three years of social studies, and one has to be us history. By the way, if you think us history is boring, doesn’t matter. Make sure you take us history. You have to have it to be admitted into the academy. They also want you to have at least two years of a modern foreign language.

Don’t think you can get away with taking just Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Latin, Russian. You take a pick. Also one year of computer study. They don’t specify what kind of computer class. So let’s talk about your class rank, right.

Most of the candidates rank in the top 40% of their high school class, but the last five years, most of the candidates accepted have been ranked in the top 3%. Okay, three. My graduating class had about 600. So in my class, I would have to be ranked in the top 18 to be competitive. So, like I said, make sure you get your GPA up.

Take those honor classes, take AP courses, pass the AP test. That’ll also help. That’ll come on later. But, yeah, top 3%. That’s what you need to be shooting for.

Okay. Because the academy will accept AP scores of four or five, and that will exempt you from those classes your freshman year. They’re probably going to be course, but still, that’ll be clutch that you don’t have to take those at the academy, that you’ve got them over with in high school. So moving on, as far as the SAT is concerned, you’re going to need to score above 600 in each category to be competitive, mainly because, let me give you the means, okay? So for the SAT, the mean critical reading score is 642 and the mean math score is 672.

That’s pretty high. That’s pretty good. That’ll get you into some Ivy league school. Okay. So make sure you’re prepping hard for the SATs and for the act.

Just remember, 30, every category. To be competitive, you have to score at least a 30. I briefly mentioned teacher evaluations earlier, but mainly what that is, is it’s a character assessment. They want to make sure that you’re easy to work with, you’re teachable, and that you’re willing to learn, and they’re going to get through those teacher evaluations that I mentioned. So, keeping good with your teachers.

Okay. All right. So moving on to step number six. You’re going to have to take a fitness test. Go ahead and start training for it.

You’re going to have six main categories. Right. The first one is a basketball throw. I don’t know why you need to do a basketball throw. I don’t know how that tests your athletic ability.

So if you played baseball or you’re a quarterback, that’s going to help. So just pick up a medicine ball and start throwing it around. Second one is pull ups. Makes a little more sense. A shuttle run test your acceleration, some sit ups, push ups, and a 1 mile run.

Not a mile and a half, just a 1 mile run. Step seven, you’re going to have to complete your extracurricular activities record. And this is what I alluded to at the very beginning of the video, where your athletic participation, but even non athletic participation, mainly they want to see that you’re involved, that you’re not just coming home from school playing xbox. I used to go skating. Do they still skate nowadays?

I don’t know. Basically making sure that you’re wanting to do more with your life, that you take your time seriously, whether that’s volunteering, school athletics, something productive. Okay. So make sure that you’re working on all of your outside extracurricular activities. Step number eight is you’re going to have to submit a writing sample in a personal interview.

So get with your english teacher just to proofread and edit your writing sample. I’m sure they’ll be more than willing to do that, especially tell them that you need it because you’re applying to the air force academy. Most english teachers will gladly proofread and edit your writing sample. And if they’re not, just go on a website like fiver or something and you can pay someone around the world $5 to edit your paper. They’re professionals.

They’re really good at it. So that would be my suggestion. Or, hell, if you really want it to be awesome, do both. It won’t hurt. And then the interview, it’s probably going to be a phone interview.

Now, if you’re already up to step eight and you’re still going, you’ve got momentum. So do not mess this up. I’m not trying to put pressure on you, but just be yourself. What I mean by don’t mess up is a lot of people will freeze up and they’ll go blank in these interviews, and that’s the worst thing that you could do. They want to make sure that you’re confident and that this is something you really, really want.

Because like I said, only 15% of all applicants get accepted. And so why would they accept somebody who doesn’t really want it as much as someone else? Motivation is a big factor in this. So just be confident. Tell the truth.

Because when you tell the truth, you’ll be confident. You don’t have to be nervous. Good luck in the interview. Step nine, you’re going to have to submit your personal data record and a drug alcohol abuse statement. Basically, this is to make sure that you don’t have a criminal record and that you’re signing, saying that you won’t do drugs, you won’t abuse alcohol, all that good stuff, air force integrity.

And then the final step is you’re going to have to take a medical evaluation. And this is just essentially to make sure that you’re healthy, that there’s nothing underlying that you’re going to have to be disqualified for. Or once you get to the academy, you’re going to fall out because that’s a spot that someone else could have had just because something medically happened that already was predisposed. So if you made it through all tenny steps, there’s a solid chance that you’re going to be accepted. Okay.

Because a lot of people, they fall off as these steps go on. So good luck with these ten steps. Make sure that you follow each step. Like I said, I’m going to link some web pages below that I’ve referenced in this video for you guys. If you have any questions that I did not cover, comment below.

Below. And until next time I’m out.

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