Service Academy Application Handbook
Below is information that will be helpful as you do your research about each of the five service academies. The College Counseling Office is always willing to help guide you through the admissions process, but you as a candidate should really take ownership of this experience and do your own research.
The Mission Statement of the U.S. Service Academies
The mission of the U.S. service academies is to provide instruction and experience to all cadets so that they graduate with the knowledge and character essential to leadership and the motivation to become career officers in the U.S. military.
Five Service Academies:
The United States Military Academy (West Point, N.Y.) https://www.westpoint.edu/admissions
The United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.) https://www.usna.edu/Admissions/
The United States Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, Colo.) https://www.academyadmissions.com/
The Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point, N.Y.) https://www.usmma.edu/admissions
The Coast Guard Academy (New London, Conn.) https://www.uscga.edu/admissions/
General Common Requirements:
Army: Candidates must meet the following basic eligibility requirements to apply to West Point:
- Be at least 17, but not 23 or older, on July 1 of the year you enter West Point.
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Obtain a Congressional nomination to the Academy; submit a completed application; and qualify scholastically. https://www.westpoint.edu/admissions/prospective-cadets/nomination-information
- Cannot be married.
- Cannot be pregnant.
- Cannot be legally responsible for child support.
Navy: You are eligible to apply for the United States Naval Academy if you meet the following criteria:
- A U.S. citizen by 1 July of the year of entry.
- At least 17 years of age and must not have passed 23rd birthday on 1 July of the year of entry.
- Obtain a Congressional nomination to the Academy; submit a completed application; and qualify scholastically. https://www.usna.edu/Admissions/Apply/Nomination-Sources.php
- Not pregnant and no dependents.
- Have a valid Social Security Number.
Air Force: Every cadet is different, but to earn an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy, you must meet certain basic requirements.
- Be at least 17 but not past your 23rd birthday by July 1 of the year you enter the Academy.
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Obtain a Congressional nomination to the Academy; submit a completed application; and qualify scholastically. https://www.academyadmissions.com/apply/nomination/
- Be unmarried with no dependents.
- Be of good moral character.
Merchant Marines: To be eligible to enter the Academy, you must:
- Be at least 17 years of age and must not have passed your 25th birthday before July 1 in the year of entrance.
- Be a citizen of the United States either by birth or naturalization, except for a limited number of international midshipmen specially authorized by Congress.
- Meet the physical, security, suitability, and character requirements necessary for commission in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
- Obtain a Congressional nomination to the Academy; submit a completed application; and qualify scholastically. https://www.usmma.edu/admissions/apply-nomination
- Be of good moral character.
Coast Guard: You are eligible to apply for the Coast Guard Academy if you are:
- U.S. citizen of sound moral character.
- Unmarried with no dependents or financial debt.
- 17-22 years of age on July 1 of the year of entry.
- A high school graduate or GED recipient (or will be prior to entry).
- If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may want to consider applying to be an International Cadet.
Air Force: https://www.academyadmissions.com/requirements/
Merchant Marines: https://www.usmma.edu/admissions/1-confirm-eligibility
Coast Guard: https://www.uscga.edu/admission-requirements/
Leadership Roles: Find leadership roles in your local community and while at Hill. Student government, prefects, captains of teams/clubs, and other avenues that give you the ability to lead others are great application builders and will provide you with great experiences to address during your candidacy.
ROTC: Reserve Officers Training Corps. If you are interested in the academies, please investigate ROTC programs at “civilian” schools. There is more than one way to become an officer and again by doing this, you show that you are serious about serving in the military. A major RED FLAG for an academy is if you are applying to other “civilian” schools but not looking into ROTC.
Boys/Girls State: Programs set up by local American Legion organizations that allow young people to get involved in leadership and government. These are great ways to show your interest in service and stand out on your application.
Boys State: https://www.legion.org/boysnation/about
Girls State: https://www.legion-aux.org/ala-girls-state
NCAA Athletics: Army, Navy and Air Force compete at the Division I level and adhere to most NCAA Division I rules and regulations. They do have some additional rules and regulations specific to service academies-that may vary by sport. Coast Guard and Merchant Marines compete at the Division III level and adhere to NCAA Division 3 rules and regulations.
The best resource to an academy’s athletics program is the specific sport coach at a particular academy.
*Being an athletics recruit will drastically change your admissions cycle. All questions and concerns should be directed to your specific coaching contact at the academy recruiting you. Coach Murphy and the College Counseling team will assist you as needed.