National Cadet Activity Application Instructions
Is there funding available to help me go to a National Cadet Special Activity (NCSA)?
There are several national-level scholarships and programs which are merit-based and some which assist cadets with financial need to attend NCSAs. Visit the CadetInvest pages of our website for details on each program to include deadline for funding submission. You must apply via the CadetInvest module in eServices to be considered for financial awards. You must also compete and be selected for a slot at the activity which is eligible for the award. This video outlines the details of how to apply for our activities and national-level financial assistance.
When and where do I apply for a National Cadet Special Activity (NCSA)?
Applications, also known as the CAPF 31 "APPLICATION FOR CAP ENCAMPMENT OR SPECIAL ACTIVITY" or CAPF 60-81, for NCSAs are submitted via e-Services Registration and Payment System, typically from 1 December until the start of the activity. To receive preferential consideration, sometimes called priority placement, the application must be submitted electronically by 15 January. (Dates are subject to change.) Use this link to see a timeline for the current NCSA cycle. Some NCSAs are region or wing activities which are nationally accredited to allow attendees the wear of the Cadet Special Activity ribbon. Those activities may use a local registration. To find out which system to use, look up the activity on NCSAS.com and read their instructions.
Can I apply for more than one activity, even if they overlap?
You may apply for as many activities as interest you, and you are qualified to attend. When we "slot" cadets, which is move you to the "Primary" list for an activity, we try to put you into your highest preference that has an opening. If this slot has a date conflict with any other activities for which you are on the alternate list, those preferences will be removed from your application. That means if your first choice has a date conflict with the activity you ARE slotted for, the system will remove you from the alternate list since you can't be in two places at the same time.
How do I get approvals for my National Cadet Special Activity (NCSA) application?
Approvals from your unit and wing are required prior to being considered for an NCSA. Approvals for those activities which use eServices registration are coordinated electronically through the e-Services Registration and Payment System. Once a cadet (or senior member applying for staff) submits his completed application, it routes to the unit commander for electronic approval. The commander is notified on his Commander’s dashboard that an approval is pending. In addition, he can access the “Unit Approval” module in Registration and Payment System to approve pending applications. The Wing does the same after unit approval. The Wing Commander may also approve on his dashboard or via the “Wing Approval” module in Registration and Payment System. When both approval are done your status will reflect "Alternate," meaning you are now a candidate for that activity.
How are cadets selected for National Cadet Special Activities (NCSAs)? How does slotting work?
Most NCSAs are slotted through an automated process based on objective point values. NHQ tabulates cadets’ scores using data directly from E-Services. Scoring is based on a date, typically within the second and third week of February. The date is different each year, because slotting is run on a week day and scoring needs to occur 1 to 2 weeks prior. (See the table following this paragraph for how points are given.) The cadets are then ranked and slotted--meaning moved from "alternate" list to "primary" list.
|18+||10 points||Spaatz||20 points||5+ years||15 points||None||15 points|
|17||8 points||Eaker||16 points||4 years||12 points||1||10 points|
|16||6 points||Earhart||14 points||3 years||9 points||2||5 points|
|15||4 points||Mitchell||12 points||2 years||5 points||3+||0 points|
|14||3 points||Wright Brothers||8 points||1 year||2 points|
|<14||0 points||None||0 points||<1 year||0 points|
|Note: Receiving a highly recommended, sometimes called "green light," from the Wing adds 100 points to total score.|
Some activities, for example CLA, COS, IACE, and NCLS, and some unique national flight academies that require a supplemental, such as an essay or a questionnaire, and/ or an interview are slotted manually. The activity staff grades the subjective items and then combines those scores with the objective scores to make final selections
Can I make changes to my application once I've submitted it?
Yes, you can edit your preferences or make changes to any part of your application at any time and simply resubmit but TAKE NOTE:
1) Once you have your commanders approve your application, any changes to the preferences in your application will reset approvals for all preferences, and your commanders will need to repeat the approval process.
2) In addition, if you make any changes--add a phone number, change an item on your medical tab, add a preference, take one off, edit a question on a supplement, add a supplemental document--between the priority placement cutoff date (on-time) and when initial slotting announcements are made on or about 1 March, your application will be marked as "late." If you need to make a change, contact email@example.com, and if the change is permitted, we will do so and remark your application as "on-time."
How Do I Know If I'm Selected?
Applicants for activities which use eServices registration are arranged in two (2) groups: Primary and Alternate. All applications are listed as "Alternate" until the initial slotting takes place in February. If you are not listed as an "Alternate," please go back and make sure all required information has been entered into the online application and that you have clicked 'submit' on the last tab of the application. If you have completed the necessary steps, it's possible your application is pending unit or wing approval. You can see your status in e-Services by clicking on "Activity Status" in the Registration and Payment System. After initial slotting, some activities do additional hand-slotting. As long as you are an "Alternate" you are being considered to fill slots in that event.
Primary are those members whose applications are complete, on-time, approved by the unit and wing, and slotted to attend an activity. An invoice will be in eservices for you to pay for the event.
Alternate means the application is complete and has been approved by the unit and wing but is not slotted for an event. Alternates may be slotted later in the process if there is an opening.
I was slotted for an activity and now some of my other preferences have disappeared from my application, is that supposed to happen?
Yes. When you're selected as a primary for an event, the other events that have date conflicts will be removed, since you can't be at two places at once. This erasure happens even if the activities overlap by one day. For example, if you are a primary for AMMA, and it occurs at the same time as PJOC-AZ, and NFA – NER Glider, these selections will be removed. If you also had NBB which did not overlap, it would not be removed, since there is no date conflict.
"What if I wasn't slotted for my first choice and it conflicts with the activity I am slotted for? Can I hold out for a chance at that activity?"
If you prefer to wait for an opening at one of the activities you were not slotted for, there is no guarantee that there will be an opening, but you may email the activity director of the event you ARE slotted for and tell them you are not going to participate. They will remove you from their primary list. OR, if you do not pay your initial deposit, you automatically will be unslotted from your activity on April 1. (The deposit deadline is 31 March, unless told otherwise by activity staff.) If the activity you want to be considered for again, overlaps with the one you are slotted for as a "primary," it will no longer be in your preference list. (The program knows you can't be in two places at the same time.) You will have to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request the preference be added back into your application.
I'm currently an "Alternate," what number am I on the waiting list?
Alternate positions are not numbered. Activity directors manage their alternate lists according to the needs of their activity based on when a slot opens up, and so it is not possible for us to estimate in what order or on what schedule a slot might become available for the activity you are interested in. However, some basic business rules are used when activity directors consider cadets for openings. Each member has an objective score that can be calculated at any time (see "How are cadets selected for National Cadet Special Activities (NCSAs)?"). The objective score is used by the computer during initial slotting for most activities, and activity directors use it to assess their wait lists after initial slotting. We ask that directors also consider whether cadets are already slotted for other activities and offer openings to cadets who have not been offered any choices to maximize the number of cadets who can attend NCSAs. Finally they also consider if a cadet has attended that type of activity in the past. For example: National Blue Beret has an exact number of beds and a limited number of female beds so the first alternate selected might not be the person with the highest objective score depending on the gender of the bed assignment that needs to be filled. A cadet who went to a powered flight academy in the past should not be offered a slot to a powered academy in a different location as the curriculum is the same year to year. A director may wish to fill an opening with a cadet who lives close by if the slot opens at the last minute.