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  • Writer's pictureLTC Brechin, USAF, Ret.

Timing is 'Everything'

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

For high school juniors interested in applying to one of the nation's service academies -- especially USMA, USNA or USAFA -- April is the month to start applying!  And timing is everything.

So what should you be doing?

First, write a' 'old fashioned' letter to each of your nomination sources. For most students, the letters will be sent to your two US Senators from your state and your local US Congressional Representative. The letter is straightforward and an outline for it can be found on the Academy admissions websites.

Second, start lining up plans to fulfill the admissions requirements for the academy (or academies) of your choice. Items to consider are the Candidate Fitness Assessment, teacher recommendations, academy 'campus' visits, 'another' SAT/ACT or two, and the on-line application process with the academy or academies you choose.

You should be well into preparing for the Candidate Finess Assessment (CFA). You should make plans to take the CFA during the summer or early in the fall. Typically, you will ask a high school coach, gym teacher, or other authority to record the scores for you. It is not too early to identify this person and meet with them now to prepare for the session in a few months.

You will be required to provide teacher recommendations. Each academy has a list of specific teachers that they desire. Typically, a math teacher, an english teacher and a science teacher are required (depending upon the particular academy). You should identify and start discussions with your choice of teachers this month. You will want to discuss the 'logistics' around reaching them via email and telephone over the summer. A formal letter of recommendation is often included for nominations so you may want to plan these with each teacher too.

As you can tell, the effort is extensive so an early and well planned start will make the process easier to address. I can help with this planning as a 'coach' pacing you (and your parents!) through the process.

Let's talk. And remember that 'timing is everything'!

[I would welcome a chance to discuss details with you. I offer coaching services to pace and prepare you (and your parents!) for the entire Academy application process. Contact me at chris@cbbrechin.com and/or 503.515.7406]

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