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  • Writer's pictureLTC Brechin, USAF, Ret.

USAFA's Letter of "Interest" (LOI) -- Updated

Updated: Mar 2

USAFA Candidate Letter of Interest or Encouragement

Have you received a letter from the U.S. Air Force Academy Admissions Office stating the following?

We are asking you to satisfactorily complete all of your remaining admissions requirements by [date]. You may go to your online application or call your admissions counselor to determine which requirements still need to be completed. Once your file is complete and you have satisfactorily met all of the admission requirements, I plan to recommend you to the Admissions Group, who will make the final determination on an offer.

If you have not already done so, I urge you to apply for a nomination from all sources for which you are eligible. Information on nominating sources can be found in your “Instructions to Candidates” booklet. If you have any questions, please contact your admissions counselor team.

I wish you the best of luck in joining the Cadet Wing in the Class of 20--.

A new version in 2023 states:

". . . the Office of Admissions believes you have the potential to be a successful cadet at the United States Air Force Academy."

"Once your file is complete and you have satisfactorily met all of the Admission requirements, I plan to move your file forward in our Admissions process. You may go to your online candidate portal or call your admissions counseling team to determine which requirements still need to be completed."

If so, then you are doing well. Unlike a Letter of Assurance (LOA) from any of the service academies, or a Letter of Encouragement (LOE) from USMA, this Letter of Interest (let's call it an LOI) is a unique tool used exclusively by USAFA Admissions. But like the other letters, it provides a strong indication that you are very competitive and that the 'Academy likes you' very much. The LOI is intended to encourage you to complete the entire application process as soon as you can.

Air Force Academy Letter of Interest - LOI

So, what should you do next?

Get moving! I recommend that you take an 'inventory' of the actions that remain with your application and put a plan in place to complete them soon. Clearly, at this point, you are missing some items so here is quick list of areas to consider:

1) Is the Candidate Kit completed?

  • This step is a key component allowing the following application steps to be completed: school transcripts, DoDMERB medical and Evaluator ALO designation. None of these steps are possible until the Candidate Kit is submitted.

  • Inside the Kit, have you listed the names of your recommenders, your counselor, your CFA evaluator?

  • Have you completed and placed the essays into the application?

  • Have you completed all information components? Activities? School information? Et cetera . . .

  • Note that when you submit the Candidate Kit, the Admission Checklist will be displayed inside your AFA application portal (as pictured below).

2) Use the Admissions Checklist to determine missing items indicated with an "X" marked as noted in the screen example below.

USAFA Checklist for Candidate Kit

3) Recommenders missing -- one or more X's on Checklist.

  • Have your teachers or other recommenders completed and submitted the online evaluations?

  • Since spam filters are quite aggressive, did your teacher receive the USAFA email?

  • Note that your two Optional Recommenders (that are asked to submit letters of recommendation) are truly 'optional' and will not halt review of your records if all other items are completed. However, each one will appear in your checklist with the appropriate status indication.

  • By the way, for teachers, simply use the school phone number for their contact information -- there is no need for a personal phone number.

4) CFA missing -- an X on the Checklist.

  • Has your examiner submitted your results to USAFA?

  • Often students postpone the CFA to allow more time to prepare; however, it is likely time for you to run a CFA. You should note that you can take the CFA as often as you like, but you cannot submit more than one score. Thus, I recommend running a practice session with your examiner and then determine if you would like to submit it.

  • With an LOI in hand, you can 'afford' to submit a weaker score as long as you pass each event.

  • Students are often taking the CFA for multiple service academies so confirm each one with the examiner.

  • And be sure to thank them again for their assistance!

5) Official School Records (Transcripts) missing -- an X on the Checklist.

  • Check-in with your counselor to ensure that the email request was received. Note with the counselor that spam filters may have trapped the request. This request includes asking for a profile of your school and its student population.

  • If submitted, then you may reach out to Team Blue or Team Silver to check if they have received the transcript. Often, there is a five to ten day delay as the office must review the document (prior to marking your checklist) to confirm that it contains the necessary data and details.

  • In 2023-24, AF is asking candidates to submit an SRAR or Self-Reported Academic Record. It is optional; however, Admissions requests the record as they are testing this tool for future usage. You may complete it using the entry point located below the checklist as pictured here.

Air Force Academy application checklist

6) Academy Interview missing -- an X on the Checklist.

  • Have you contacted, scheduled and completed your interview with your Evaluator ALO?

  • If not, reach out to the ALO and arrange the interview.

  • If you have completed the interview, then the completion should be indicated in your Admissions Checklist after about two weeks. If not, reach out to the Evaluator to confirm that it has been returned to the Academy.

7) Not completed both your medical and eye exams for DoDMERB.

  • If so, then track the results through your portal on the DoDMERB website.

  • If not, refer to my blog describing the DoDMERB process.

  • Finally, are you working through a medical waiver? If so, be proactive and continue to work through the steps necessary. My blog about medical waivers may be helpful.

Receiving an LOI from the U.S. Air Force Academy is exciting. You should be pleased. However, you need to complete the entire application process as soon as you can. Get moving and good luck!

[I work with students in all stages of the U.S. service academy application process -- from 'late' seniors to freshmen. Reach out to me and we can discuss your preparations and progress toward an appointment as well as an ROTC scholarship. Contact me at 503.515.7406, chris@cbbrechin.com, or the contact form on this website. I look forward to our discussion! ]

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