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Will Rohan Get into USNA or ROTC?

As a college admissions counselor specializing in students with big ambitions (e.g. Ivy League, Military Service Academies/ROTC, Athletic scholarships), I have seen dreams realized, shattered, and everything in between.

Case Study

In this case study, I discuss whether Rohan has what it takes to get into the United States Naval Academy or win an ROTC scholarship. These insights can be applied to similar service academies (e.g. West Point, Air Force Academy, Merchant Marine Academy).

Click these links to find out more about military service academies and ROTC scholarships.

Rohan just finished his junior year at a big public high school in MA. He hadn't thought much about applying to a service academy and didn't even know what ROTC was. No one ever introduced these two options to him. Now, as Rohan begins to prepare his college applications, he is struck by the amount of work required during the process.

Will Rohan be too late to submit a solid application?

Here are the summary findings for Rohan:

Objective Academic Metrics:
Pretty good.

  • ACT: 30
  • GPA: 4.0 (weighted)
  • SAT Subject Tests: 680, 690
  • Rigor of classes: moderate

Sports (baseball, rugby, ultimate frisbee); dog-walking; Sea Cadets

Honors & Awards:
Graduated top 10% in class

Letters of Recommendation:

Demonstration of Interest:



Will Rohan have what it takes to get in? Check out the video to hear my rationale.


  • Rohan was late to the game. He squandered several summers without doing much because he didn't know any better.
  • Although involved in activities, Rohan didn't take on any significant leadership roles.
  • Rohan had at least 5 blanks left on his extracurricular activity list.
  • Rohan didn't have much in the way of community service. The military service academies are all about "service" (that's why it's in the name). The lack of service in his background is notable.


In the end, Rohan's chances were dimmed by his late start. He would have been much more competitive if someone prompted him at the appropriate times to think about: (1) class selection, (2) study strategies for ACT, (3) leadership ideas, (4) summer activities, (5) service opportunities, (6) building relationship with teachers, etc.

Does your child aspire to attend USNA or earn a Navy ROTC scholarship? If so, please get them started early.

Enroll them in PrepWell Academy in 9th or 10th grade, where I provide them with weekly advice, recommendations, and inspiration via video lessons.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I hope to see your son or daughter inside PrepWell Academy soon.

If you want a copy of the "College Admissions Snapshot" to use with your child or students, please contact me and I'll send you one.

Enroll in PrepWell Academy


Keep Prepping,

Author: PrepWell Academy's Founder, Phil Black, has spent a lifetime cracking the code on the world's most competitive programs: Yale University, Harvard Business School, Navy SEALs, Goldman Sachs, Entrepreneurship, Shark Tank, etc.

Inside PrepWell Academy, Black teaches students everything they need to know about the college admissions process in a series of expertly-timed, 3-5-minute, weekly training videos starting in 9th grade and continuing through 12th grade [Note: this program can only be joined in 9th or 10th grade]. My specialties include military service academies, ROTC scholarships, Ivy League, and student-athletes.

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