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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

Places in Washington DC

Service Academy Nominations - FAQ

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

Service Academy Nominations -FAQ

Frequently asked questions for those seeking a Service Academy nomination. You may also download the 2018 Service Academy Fact Sheet in PDF format.

What Is an Academy Nomination?

A nomination is the opportunity for a tuition-free college education from one of four world-class schools while receiving full room and board, medical and dental coverage, and a monthly stipend.  Service Academy graduates become commissioned officers with jump starts on rewarding careers and a five-year service obligation.

What Is the Difference Between a Nomination and an Appointment?

I 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 for the most qualified to whom 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 servicemen missing in action

What Are the Basic Eligibility Requirements?

  • Nominees must be 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 15th 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.) 1 November 2017.

What Must Be Included 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.

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

People who know you and your abilities well.  Such as:

  1. Neighbors,
  2. Family Friends,
  3. Teachers,
  4. Counselors,
  5. Employers,
  6. Coach
  7. Clergy; and
  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 16 December 2017.

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 take into account 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 for Math and/or ACT scores above 26 for English, Math and Science Reasoning.  I urge applicants to retake the SAT and/or 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

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

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

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

No. While the Academies have similar requirements, each academy uses its own 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 slate of nominees, the Academies select among them for the most qualified to whom to offer an appointment. If selected, you will receive an offer of appointment (an offer of admission) from the Academy.

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

No.  I encourage candidates to apply all the Academies as it shows a commitment to service and increases your opportunity for an appointment.  A candidate may be nominated several academies. A nominee may receive several offers of appointment.

When do the Academies Make Their Offers of Appointment?

The Academies make their Offers of Appointment between February and May.