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US Military Academy at West Point/West Point for Black Females

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Question
Can you give an opinion as to the percentage of African American females at West Point? Our oldest is a very strong student, good leader, very athletic, etc. 2 of her teachers have recommended that she look into service academies. She has done some initial research and is looking more into West Point, the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy (ruled out Merch. Marines and Coast Guard). One teacher is a Naval Academy graduation, so you can imagine the direction in which he is pushing her!
For all academies, her concern is that she might be viewed as an 'affirmative action' case and as such people will not recognize the hard work and qualifications she brings.
Any thoughts on this?

Answer
It's good to hear from you S.T.  Thanks for your interest in West Point on behalf of your daughter.

As you know, West Point is looking for well rounded young men and women who are good students, good athletes and good leaders.  Having a balance in all three areas is important to maximize your competitive position.  From that is sounds like your daughter would fit right in, regardless of race or gender!!!

I don't have any figures readily available as to African American females at West Point.  I DO know that they don't get as many as they would like!  As to women in general, they make up approximately 15% to 18% of the Corps of Cadets, on average.  

    (see http://www.westpoint.edu/admissions/SitePages/Class%20Profiles.aspx)

For certain at West Point the least of her worries should regard being considered an "affirmative action" case.  There are no such Cadets there.  Every one admitted meets the same standards for admission.  If they need help, they may be offered admission to the Prep School, but for sure no one is offered admission unless they meet the standards.

Now for some thoughts regarding "which Academy?"  Actually, that is the wrong question!!!  The question should be "which Service?"  No candidate should pick an Academy without a clear understanding of which SERVICE they want to be commissioned in.  I strongly suggest that you encourage her to explore goarmy.com, navy.mil and airforce.mil to understand the opportunities in each service.  Then when she selects which Service is for her, the right Academy will be an obvious choice.

Good luck to your daughter in her quest, S.T.

Best Regards,

US Military Academy at West Point

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Bill Taylor

Expertise

I can answer questions about admissions to West Point; about the history of West Point; about how to travel to West Point, where to eat, where to stay, etc.; and about West Point`s alumni organization, the West Point Association of Graduates.

Experience

I am a 1970 Graduate of West Point. I served six years on active duty and another 8 years in the active reserve. I have been actively involved as a Field Admissions Representative for over 20 years and have participated on my Congressman's Academy Selection Panel for over 25 years. I am actively involved in West Point Alumni affairs, serving in roles both with the West Point Association of Graduates and the local alumni chapter in Annapolis, MD. I also have two sons who graduated from West Point in 1995 and 2001. Both are veterans of the Iraq War and Afghanistan War. The 1995 Grad continues to serve on Active Duty in the Army.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science, US Military Academy, 1970 Master of Science (Computer Science), The Johns Hopkins University, 1980

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