Getting into the Air Force Academy is not easy. The standards are high, space is limited, the appointments are few. Candidates must compete to get in. But we are also competing. We're competing with other colleges, universities, and service academies, all who are out there aggressively chasing the best and brightest. We need to make sure we're not missing out on a future pilot, a future general officer, or future American hero.
That's why we've assembled a comprehensive team to help students each step of the way. We begin with regional teams whose responsibility it is to attract, recruit, mentor, and evaluate potential cadets all over the world. They reach out to every congressional district, state, and territory in search for the right recruits to create a diverse and well represented student body. We have counselors on campus that applicants can contact at any time with any questions. And special admissions tours are conducted to give students a glimpse at what a typical day is like at the Academy.
Once a student applies, an in-depth analysis of their application is conducted utilizing cognitive variables like GPA, standardized test scores, and education theories, as well as non-cognitive variables that are not always so obvious, like grit and resiliency, traits that may prove instrumental in having a successful career at the Academy.
After the application file is complete, the gloves come off. An admissions committee conducts a holistic review of each candidate's file and makes its recommendation. Then it's up to the admissions group to approve which candidates will be submitted to the Academy board, who will ultimately make the final decision. If a student has made it this far, they've proven themselves exceptional.
But our mission is not done. Throughout each application cycle, we look for opportunities to improve and validate our process so that we're better able to attract and guide future cadets through this demanding process. Ultimately, our job is not to make it easier to get into the Academy, but to make it easier for the Academy to attract and select the right cadets. Because our Air Force and our nation depend on it.