Service Academy Nominations - FAQ

Frequently asked questions for those seeking a Military Academy nomination. You may also fill out a Request for Service Academy Application.

What Is an Academy Nomination?

A nomination is an opportunity to be considered by a Service Academy for admission for a tuition-free college education and more from one of four world-class institutions at no expense to you or your family.  Cadets or Midshipmen become commissioned officers with jump start on rewarding careers and a five-year service obligation.

What Is the Difference Between a Nomination and an Appointment?

Nominate. The Academies Appoint. I submit an unranked slate of ten nominees for each vacancy I have at the U.S. Service Academies. The Academies select from my nominees the most qualified to offer an appointment to fill the vacancy.

Who Makes Academy Nominations?

U.S. Senators, Representatives, Delegates, the President, the Vice President, the Military (active and reserve), and Reserve Officers Training Corps units. The Academies have special provisions for the children of: Medal of Honor recipients and the children of deceased or disabled veterans, prisoners of war, and service members missing in action.

What Are the Basic Eligibility Requirements?

  • Nominees must be at least 17 years old but not yet 23 years old (The age requirements vary slightly among the Academies), a citizen of the United States, unmarried, not pregnant, and have no legal obligation to support a child or a dependent. My nominees must also be a legal resident of the District of Columbia.
  • A Nominee must meet these requirements by July 1st of his or her year of admission to an Academy.
  • The Academies also have medical, physical, and academic requirements.

How Do I Request a Nomination Application?

When Do I Apply for A Nomination?

Potential nominees may request applications after June 15thth of the year before they seek admission to an Academy.

What Is the Deadline for Completing Your Academy Nomination Packet?

  • Completed packets are due in my Main District Office at 17:00 (5:00 p.m.) November 1, 2021.

What Must I Include in My Nomination File?

  1. A completed Candidate Information Sheet
  2. A completed and signed Candidate Check List
  3. A current photo
  4. A completed Candidate Questionnaire
  5. A completed Essay stating your reasons for attending an Academy
  6. Official school(s) transcripts
  7. ACT and/or SAT test results; and
  8. Three letters of recommendation.

Whom Should I Ask to Write a Letter of Recommendation On My Behalf?

People who know you and your abilities well. Examples:

  1. Neighbors
  2. Family Friends
  3. Teachers
  4. Counselors
  5. Employers
  6. Coach
  7. Clergy
  8. Scout Leaders

I do not require a specific recommendation form. A letter of recommendation is sufficient.

What Happens After I Have Completed My Nomination File?

  • My Service Academy Selection Board will interview you on December 4, 2021.

What Criteria Do You Use to Select Nominees?

  1. I base nominations on the “whole person.” I consider the applicant’s academic record, extra-curricular activities, SAT and ACT scores, letters of recommendation, and his or her interview with my Service Academy Selection Board.
  2. I consider an applicant’s grade point average and class rank. A competitive candidate is usually in the upper fifth of his or her class.
  3. I  consider an applicant’s participation in work, athletics, community service, and clubs or organizations.
  4. Competitive applicants generally have: SAT scores above 600 for Critical Reading and Math and ACT scores above 26 for English, Math, and Science Reasoning. I urge applicants to retake the SAT and the ACT until you reach or exceed these scores.
  5. I consider a candidate’s motivation to attend an Academy. The diligence with which an applicant completes his or her application reflects that candidate’s desire and motivation to attend an Academy.

How Many Academies Are There?

There are five service academies:

U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York

U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland

U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado

U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York

How can I learn more about the Academies?

All academies have opportunities for tours, as well as the chance to connect with admissions counselors. Please see the individual school websites for details. Additionally, many Academies offer summer progams to get a chance to experience life at a U.S. Service Academy:

U.S. Military Academy Summer Leadership Experience

U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar

U.S. Air Force Academy Summer Seminar

U.S. Coast Guard Academy AIM Summer Program

Do All Five Academies Have the Same Requirements for an Appointment?

No. While the Academies have similar requirements, each Academy uses its admission guidelines. Pay close attention to deadlines and age limits. Visit the Academies’ websites for each Academies admission deadlines, qualifications, and requirements.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a Congressional nomination.

Will I Automatically Be Selected by The Academy to Which I Receive a Nomination?

No. Once I submit my nominees, the Academies select among them for the most qualified to whom to offer an appointment. If  chosen you will receive an offer of appointment (an offer of admission) from the Academy.

What Are the Reasons to Apply to More than One Academy

Interest remains high in appointments to the service academies, both nationally and locally.  In practical terms, this has meant that I receive many more applications for nominations than I have open slots at the Academies.  Applications for nomination to USNA typically exceed the number of applications for all of the other service academies combined, likely because of the proximity of Annapolis and the familiarity that you may have from visits to the nearby institution.  There are several consequences of this imbalance in applications which you may wish to consider as you think about your future. 

First, if you apply to only one Academy, you will be competing with all other District applicants for the limited number of slots at that Academy which I may have available in that year. 

Second, if you want to serve your country and desire an Academy education, you would maximize your chances of a nomination and an eventual appointment, if you submitted applications to more than a single Academy.  The applications to the Academies are very similar and the small additional effort could increase your chances for an appointment. 

Third, if your intention is truly to receive an officer’s commission in the armed forces, you should also investigate the opportunities offered by ROTC scholarships offered at many colleges and universities.  My Service Academy Selection Board will be interested to learn if you have applied to the ROTC programs at the other colleges and universities to which you have applied.

Finally, I want you to consider carefully your college preferences prior to applying for my nomination and appearing at the interview   I expect that your application to an Academy means that you will accept an appointment if offered.  If an Academy education is not your first choice for college, be prepared to indicate that fact during the interview.

If I Choose More Than One Academy, Will I Be Limited to a Single Nomination?

No. I encourage candidates to apply to more than one of the Academies as it shows a commitment to service and increases your opportunity for an appointment. I may nominate a candidate to several Academies. A nominee may receive more than one  offer of appointment.

When do the Academies Make Their Offers of Appointment?

The Academies make Offers of Appointment between February and May.