I’m on the road this week, and my week of college fairs corresponds with the deadline for the first board this year. What I thought I would do is repurpose some old blog posts and revisit some old advice that is still relevant for scholarship applicants. so here we go.
This post is not that old, and was first posted here. I’m still getting monthly letters telling me what I’m still missing in my application.
I did something a couple of weeks back I’ve been meaning to do for many years now. At the last Brigade Conference we were told that it is OK for us to get on the website and work through the application, so I did. In the past it was always a little frustrating to have to ask applicants what they saw, because until you’ve logged on and filled out the application there is no way of knowing what is involved.
So here is what I learned. It’s not that bad. The application is pretty straight forward. You need to be prepared to put your personal statement in, but it is simple to cut and paste into the fields. There is also an extensive inventory of extra curricular activities, so be prepared to work through that part and document all your accomplishments and activities. Also be prepared to add anything not covered in the inventory in the additional SAL achievement field. It appears that it is fairly easy to get back in and change things. My assumption is once you have been boarded changing things won’t help any, so the lesson learned is to make sure you have all the information you want to be seen in the system well before the board.
My recommendation is to get into the application early, fill it out as best you can, and then tighten it up in the late Summer or early Fall to make sure you get seen by the first board. you will have to make sure your list of schools is set by then, otherwise you may be getting an offer to a school you don’t intend to apply to or attend.
The other thing I was interested in seeing, and I was able to work through was the Civilian Background Experience Form (CBEF).
Here is what was sent to us about a month ago.
The CBEF was introduced this year into the online high school scholarship application. We have received queries from schools seeking more information about the CBEF.
- Civilian Background Experience Form – a 92 question form designed to determine a high school applicant’s aptitude to complete ROTC and commission as an officer.
- The CBEF is located at the end of the online 4-year high school scholarship application.
- The applicant completes the CBEF once. If the applicant logs out of the application without taking the CBEF or without completing it, when the applicant logs back into their application, the link for the CBEF is still available. However, upon completion of the CBEF, the link will be gone the next time the applicant logs into their application.
- Board Whole Person Score – 1400 total points possible. The CBEF counts for 250 points or 17.8% of the WPS.
- The CBEF is not required for an applicant to go before the board. If an applicant does not take the CBEF or does not complete it, the applicant receives zero points out of a possible 250.
More to follow on this part of the application and the Whole Person Score. Being the conspiracy theorist that I am, I have to wonder how this is scored, and who decided this would be part of how we chose our Officer Candidates. The CBEF requires your sworn secrecy. There is a statement you read at the beginning that tells you not to reveal the contents to anyone, so I won’t violate that oath. I will just say that it is a typical behavioral survey. If you are an applicant who goes in and takes this survey, your comments would definitely be appreciated.