September 9, 2012

September To Do List for USNA Applicants

image partial credit: Nemo

Get into USNA

Depending 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 high school student who was accepted. Down-to earth, personal, definitely not dry, and should give confidence to any teen, male or female, considering a military academy as their college of choice.

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

Seniors–Check for Letter of Assurance

These start coming out in the Fall. Few get them. Most successful candidates are accepted without a LOA. Don’t think too much about it, but if you get one, cheer.


Get DodMETS done. Immediately. If you’re healthy now, who knows what happens later. When you’re done, you’ll receive notification (eventually) that you passed, failed, or they have questions. If you failed because of something you can get a medical waiver for, do it.

A good rule is to do everything you can, until the ball is in someone else’s court so to speak, and then follow up until you have your next job. Don’t expect a waiver to happen without lots of personal attention.

Click here for background on DodMETS

Seniors–get the CFA done

Get it out of the way. If you didn’t pass CFA during Summer Seminar, or didn’t attend that event, arrange for your high school gym coach or someone else you trust to administer the full exam. If you pass it, you’re done. If you don’t, you have until you submit your application to pass it. Check out what’s required (crunches, shuttle run, mile run, etc.) and make sure you’re prepared. It’ll feel good to have that out of the way.

For information on the Candidate Fitness Assessment, click here and then here.

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 the online application site to 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 two teachers

Teachers are very busy writing these for many seniors. 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–take calculus if it’s offered.

You’ll have to take it at USNA, so show the Academy you’re capable.

Seniors–If you haven’t already, start the Preliminary Application

…on the USNA website. You’re almost out of time.

Seniors–request a Congressional Nomination Package

These are due in Fall, with interviews in November/December. Get one from your Congressperson and both Senators. Fill them out. Double check to see that everything is accurate. Hand carry it to your Congressperson’s office. 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.

To prepare for the Congressional Interview, read:

Seniors–Get LofR from Senators

They are issued during the same timeframe as the Congressional Interviews. Most Senators don’t require an interview, but find out what requirements are unique to your senator by going to their website. Mail the packages to the Senators.

Seniors–Attend a Candidate Weekend Visit

Candidate Visit Weekend (CVW) is a program conducted aboard USNA during the Fall and Spring academic semesters to expose candidates to all facets of life as a Midshipmen. CVW is an opportunity to sample university-level academics at USNA, to discover whether the Naval Academy will help you achieve your goals, and to offer valuable insight into the admissions process.

CVW is offered by invitation only throughout the academic year. Invitations are largely based on the level of completion of your application. Even if you’ve already received your offer, attend this exciting weekend if the invite arrives. You’ll get to see the Yard, visit with current Mids, ask more questions, see how the academics work. It’ll help you decide if you’re not sure, or clinch your decision to attend.

Juniors–Register for PSAT/NMSQT test

This is done through your high school counselor. Register now for the October test. It is the gateway to many college scholarships and opportunities.

Go to 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.

Click here for more information on Academy Nights.

Go to a USNA Forum

Here are the dates and tentative dates. If you’re in one of these areas, don’t miss a chance to meet with USNA Admissions reps:

  • 10/13/2012 Lansing, MI Admissions Forum tentative
  • 10/20/2012 New York, NY Admissions Forum tentative
  • 10/27/2012 Greenville, NC Admissions Forum tentative
  • 11/03/2012 Phoenix, AZ Admissions Forum tentative
  • 11/10/2012 Troy, AL Admissions Forum tentative
  • 12/01/2012 New Orleans, LA Admissions Forum tentative

Tour the Yard

That can be done if you’re in Annapolis, according to the following schedule:

Leahy Hall Briefing Times

Monday – Friday * 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
Saturday * 9 a.m. and 11 a.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.**

Take SAT and ACT

Seniors–September is the last chance to improve your score. Sophs and Juniors–take one and see how you do. 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 tests for free. Take advantage of those opportunities. That’ll keep costs down and provide feedback on what you should work on.

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

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 ship is a good idea.

Visit Other Colleges You Might Like to Attend

Applications aren’t due until September (early apps) or November/December for the rest. Be prepared. This time, before the earliest decision, is the time to determine which colleges serve you best. A word of advice: Have back-up schools to USNA. Even if you’re accepted, you want to know it’s the best choice for you, so investigate the competition. Make an informed decision.

Focus on your unique skill

With summer comes less academic work. A good time to get back 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.

Create your resume

Check how to create your resume. List all of your activities, awards, community service. The best time to start this is as a freshman, but if you’re older than that, do it now. And keep it up to date throughout high school. It’ll remind you of all your accomplishments when you’re filling out applications and essays.

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 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?

–taken from Building a Midshipman: How to Crack the United States Naval Academy Application

Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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