How to Apply to the US Military Academies

There a several steps that must be taken when applying to a United States Military Academy. There are four academies, Coast Guard, Naval (which includes Marines), United States Military Academy – West Point (Army), and Air Force. Admission requirements are basically the same for each but have slight differences. First and foremost to even be considered, a student must be a U.S. Citizen with good moral character, unmarried with no dependents, between 17 and 22 years of age, and have a High School diploma or GED. It is also important to be in good physical condition.

Another vital step is to apply for a congressional nomination. Early in the student’s senior year, the student must apply for congressional nomination. A nomination is needed from a Congressperson and Senator in their district, and the Vice President and/or President. Normally they will have an application available that must be filled out and returned to them. There may also be an interview involved. It is smart for the nominee to apply to every available source as there is a better chance of being nominated. If not nominated, one may re-apply each year until the 23rd birthday.

United States Coast Guard Academy


The Coast Guard Academy is the only of the four that does not require a congressional nomination. An application must be submitted before February first of the year of attendance. It should include:

• High School Transcript
• Math Evaluation
• English Evaluation
• Coach or PE Instructor Evaluation
• Commanding Officer Evaluation (If currently enlisted)
• College Transcripts (If applicable)
• Official SAT/ACT Scores

As part of the application process, prospects will be subject to a physical evaluation which should be completed before April 15th. There is an optional interview which gives the possible cadet a chance to learn more about the academy, and vice versa.

United States Naval Academy

The United States Naval Academy suggests applicants begin the process between April of the Junior year of High School and January of the Senior year. There is a preliminary application where the applicant must provide class ranking, congressional state and district, zip code, and ACT/SAT scores. Next, the applicant needs a nomination from a U.S. Representative, two U.S. Senators, and the Vice President of the United States. Once accepted, there are online forms that need to be filled out as soon as possible.

United States Military Academy

West Point is considered a world-class institution. Competition is fierce to gain admission. There are several tips to consider that can help a future cadet be considered more strongly.

• Get all A’s and B’s in difficult courses
• Calculus, Trigonometry, and Physics are great courses to excel in
• Be an excellent athlete
• Become a leader in clubs and organizations

The application process for West Point also has an initial application much like the Naval Academy with ranking, zip code, and ACT/SAT scores. They must also have a congressional nomination, and it is suggested prospects apply for every nomination that they can. Once these steps are completed, candidates will have access to the online application that must be completed. Finally, they must complete the medical exam and physical fitness assessment. It includes a basketball throw, crunches, push-ups, shuttle runs, and a one mile run.

United States Air Force Academy

When it comes to the Air Force Academy there are things prospective students can do to prepare. They should push themselves to achieve great grades and excel in sports during their High School Career. Also it is a good idea to participate in a club as well.

Like the other academies it is imperative to meet all deadlines on applications and tests. Apply early for the congressional nomination to ensure it is received before January of the year of attendance. Next the pre-candidate questionnaire should be submitted, most likely in the Junior year. After that the candidate kit will be mailed with detailed instructions on application. Like the other academies ACT/SAT scores should be high, and a medical exam and physical fitness test will be administered.

Students considering any of the academies should research each one in depth before applying to be sure they offer the type of career they are looking for. Once a cadet graduates they are required to actively serve in that branch of service for 5 years. The benefits of choosing an academy are plentiful. A full education will be paid for in full, as well as room and board, uniforms, school supplies, food and an additional salary throughout their academic career. Not to mention guaranteed employment upon completion. The first year or two at an academy may be much stricter that a typical college, but it can provide for discipline and success. Many college students lack discipline and it leads to failure. Attending a military academy also ensures the student will not have a huge debt to pay upon graduation in the form of student loans. While serving, they can receive tuition assistance to continue their education, and be prepared to start their professional lives debt free.

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