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What West Point Military School Looks For In A Candidate

Aug 17, 2007
West Point is looking for well rounded young men and women who are good students, good athletes, and good leaders. The balance is very important as it demonstrates that the candidate can achieve success in multiple areas.

While that balance is important, not every candidate is equally balanced. Some are stronger in some areas than others. The point is that if you are weak in an area, to be competitive you need to make up for that weakness somewhere else, or work to reduce that weakness.

In your case I would suggest that some level of participation in sports and activities would certainly help your ability to compete. It is definitely NOT too late, but you need to act sooner than later. Find a winter sport and spring sport to participate in. Join school clubs; participate in church activities; get that job and show that you can achieve in school while holding down a part-time job.

Again, gaining a better balance in the three areas will go a long way towards making you a competitive candidate.

You should take the toughest course load you can handle. Do well and that will put you in the most competitive position. The issue of "credit" for college courses at West Point is often a point of confusion. You will certainly get "credit" in the sense that success in college level courses certainly helps your academic evaluation.

That doesn't mean, though, that your course load at West Point will be diminished. It's a 47 month program for everyone with a prescribed 32 course "core" curriculum plus 10 to 14 courses for your major. If you have taken a college level course, you won't have to repeated it, but you will have to take either a more advanced version of the course or a different course.

Holding down a job while doing well in everything else certainly helps in your leadership evaluation, so don't hesitate to proceed in that direction. In a sense that involves "making time" but the point is that you demonstrate balance in your accomplishments.

Enlisting in the Army or National Guard is certainly a viable alternative path to West Point. It is also, I will note, a path less often taken and there is much less competition in the military admissions category.
If you are concerned about athletic participation (not to be confused with your athletic capabilities) and you are SERIOUS about getting in to West Point, this is an excellent path.

If you enlisted in the National Guard, for example, and completed basic training next summer, you can apply to West Point and be treated in an entirely different category. You will have to demonstrate leadership and athletic ability to get good recommendations from your military chain of command, but this may be an excellent option for you.

The question is not what percentage of enlisted members gets in to West Point, but rather what percentage of an incoming West Point class comes from the enlisted ranks. The answer is that about 200 soldiers from the Prep School, Army and National Guard are admitted in each class. That, today, represents about 15% of the incoming class.

I certainly know of who you are talking about he is a legend in the Army. Being related to such a figure will reinforce your admission in that your motivation to attend West Point will be more clearly understood. You still need to be fully qualified academically, medically and physically, but it certainly doesn't hurt to be related to him.

Keep at it, you might get in and you might not. Check out your Army and National Guard options and consider them seriously. I would also contact your Admissions Commander at West Point and discuss all this directly with him. That way you will know ahead of time what you might be able to do if you there is something that you do not have or need.
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Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.CombatCloth.info/. CombatCloth.info carries the best selection of combat clothing, gear, and accessories on the market.
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