What Background Is Needed To Be Accepted To A Service Academy?

Military Academy There are a few specific stipulations regarding the background needed to be accepted to a service academy. In addition, there are unstated requirements that will be determined by the admissions committee of each academy as they make decisions on every aspiring student’s application. According to the U.S. Air Force Academy, admission to the service academies in the United States is highly selective, with around 12 percent of applicants being accepted.

Service Academies in the United States

Service academies in the United States include the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT, the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, and the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Admissions requirements do differ somewhat between academies. For example, the Military Academy, Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy all require applicants to begin their applications via an online system that will include a pre-candidate qualification before the actual application is available. Also, the United States Coast Guard Academy does not require applicants to get a congressional nomination like the other service academies.

Academic requirements

Although the service academies typically have a holistic admissions system that doesn’t strictly enforce minimums in terms of G.P.A. or SAT scores, applicants will typically need to have strong academic records to be admitted. Transcripts and standardized test scores will have to be submitted to the service academy’s admissions board, and applicants also typically have to submit a writing sample.

Physical Requirements

There are certain age requirements that must be met for admission to the service academies. For example, applicants must be between 17 and 25 years old to apply to the Merchant Marine Academy. The Air Force Academy requires that applicants be between the ages of 17 and 23. Applicants must also meet certain height and weight requirements, and they are given a physical examination to determine if they have any disqualifying medical conditions such as anemia, diabetes mellitus, ADD, and more. In addition, applicants are required to go through a fitness assessment that will typically involve a one-mile run, a push-up test, a modified sit-up test, and more.

Congressional Nomination

Those who apply to the Military Academy, the Naval Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy, and the Air Force Academy must obtain a nomination by either a congressional representative or senator. In addition, an applicant’s congressional nomination could possibly come from the vice president or the president.

Related Resource: Army Knowledge Online

While the process of applying to a service academy is very involved and requires applicants to meet quite a few different requirements, being accepted to a service academy is a huge accomplishment that offers many rewards. Enrolling at a service academy includes not only professional rewards like a free education and a guaranteed job as an officer upon graduation, but it also offers many rewards in terms of personal growth and having a unique educational experience that applicants will receive during their academic career at the service academy they attend. The background needed to be accepted in a service academy might require an applicant to be highly competitive among other college-bound high school graduates, but service academies tend to offer much more in terms of prestige and professional opportunity than enrollment at a typical university.