Choosing right college was big for Viera High student


Viera High grad Aniya Cosby will attend the United States Air Force Preparatory School after a long, two-year process. In addition to joining the JROTC Raiders at Viera High, she also was a two-time Miss Space Coast Teen winner.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy of Charlotte Cosby

Picking the right college is one of the biggest decisions any high school student can make.

After all, it’s not just about you wanting the college. The college has to want you, too.

For Viera’s Aniya Cosby, whose father went through the United States Air Force Academy, the choice was simple. But she also knew she had to have other options, just in case.

“When I was younger, I always thought about (the U.S. Air Force Academy) because my dad has this gigantic plaque in the living room,” Cosby said. “It’s just like, ‘This is what you get when you join the Long Blue Line,’ and I was like, ‘Hey, I want my own plaque.’

“But hey, if it doesn’t work out — it’s only a 10 percent acceptance rate — I’ll go other places because I like them, too.’”

Cosby would eventually land a spot at the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs after a process that was two years in the making.

Along the way, she also applied to — and was accepted by — Stetson and Colorado Christian. She even thought about John Cabot University in Rome, where an older sister studied.

The process of getting accepted to the Air Force Academy Prep School was arduous, but one Cosby is glad she followed through to the end.

It included trying to find a sponsor, taking a physical, doing physical fitness tests and paperwork.

Lots and lots of paperwork.

“I actually started my nomination process before I ever applied to a school,” Cosby said.

The paperwork issues were difficult in that it was done online and sometimes something didn’t upload properly, or the computer system was down.

She continued to work on her physical fitness, dropping her time in the mile by an impressive 2 minutes, while also improving in other fitness categories.

As a former Junior Miss Antelope Valley and a two-time Miss Space Coast Teen (she was the second runner-up in the 2018 Miss Florida Teen America), Cosby accrued countless community service hours.

She also was a part of the Viera High JROTC Raiders program and ran track at the school.

After qualifying for the candidate stage, she eventually received a Presidential nomination to the Academy.

The waiting was tough, but after visiting the U.S. Air Force Academy last October as part of her father’s Class of 1977 reunion, she knew that’s where she wanted to be. That only made her more determined to get there.

“I think when you finally see your goal, you really want to push for it,” Cosby said. “When we visited the Air Force Academy and I finally looked at what it actually was — the campus and everything — I was like, ‘This is really nice. I can picture myself here.’ ”

She found out she was accepted at Stetson in early February but was still holding out hope. Finally, in April, she found out that while she had not been accepted to the Air Force Academy right away, she could go to the Academy Preparatory School with a chance to move on to the Academy after one year.

Now that she’s been through it, Cosby has spent time helping others get through the process and offered advice for students trying to choose a college.

“I think the earlier you start, and just stick with it … yes, it’s going to be hard, but just find the bright side in everything,” she said. “I know it’s cliché, but that’s literally the only way you can get through it.”

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