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Military Academies - Application Process

Note: After reviewing the following information, if you have any questions contact Mr. Nelson in the Counseling Department. Interested Seniors should contact me, now.


U.S. Military Service Academies PowerPoint

Military Academies –

Seniors Begin the Process Immediately;

Juniors Begin in March.


United States Military Academies give full-ride scholarships in exchange for years of military service after you graduate. Seniors, if you’re interested in applying to Military Academies, start the application process now. The Academies include:


The United States Military Academies are very challenging to get accepted to. Student applicants are evaluated in the areas of academics, leadership potential, physical abilities, and medical qualification standards. In addition, some Academies (Army) prohibit tattoos and brands on student neck, face, and head areas.


Student Eligibility and Qualifications


To be considered for admission to a Military Academy, you must:


  1. Meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
    • Be a U.S. citizen,
    • Be 17 to 23 years of age (maximum age for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is 25 years of age),
    • Not be married, pregnant, or legally obligated to support a child or dependent.
  2. Obtain a nomination from your U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, the Vice President of the United States, or the President of the United States.
  3.  Qualify academically by taking a challenging high school course curriculum, earning excellent grades, receiving strong SAT or ACT scores, and demonstrating leadership. Competing in athletics and being involved in extracurricular activities are also considered. The minimum SAT scores for the academies are 500 verbal and 500 math. The average SAT scores at the academies are 540-620 verbal and 630-710 math. The minimum ACT scores for the academies are 21 English, 19 Social Studies, 24 Mathematics, and 24 Natural Science. The average ACT scores are 23-27 English; 24-29 Social Studies; 27-32 Mathematics; 28-32 Natural Science (minimum and average scores are slightly
  4. Qualify medically (pass a thorough medical examination).

  5. Qualify physically (pass the Physical Aptitude Examination (PAE ) that tests your coordination, speed, strength, and agility).

  6. Conduct an interview with a military academy representative. All of the above must be completed by March 1 of the year you plan to enter an Academy. 

Application Process - Preliminary Steps


  1. Go to the military academy websites listed above and complete the first step in the application process – complete the online “Candidate Questionnaire”, “Preliminary Application”, “PreCandidate Questionnaire” or “Application”:
  2. Based on your completed Candidate Questionnaire or Application, your information will be evaluated and if you’re considered “competitive” (worthy of consideration for admission), you’ll be mailed a complete application package.
  3. Within days of completing the online Questionnaire, start the process to obtain a nomination from U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator, the Vice President, or the President. Requesting a nomination is a complete process within itself; you need letters of recommendation, grade transcript copies, etc. Interested seniors see Mr. Nelson immediately; Juniors see Mr. Nelson in the Spring before the year you wish to attend.
  4. To apply for a nomination from the Vice President or President see Mr. Nelson. However. Presidential nominations are reserved for sons and daughters of career military personnel.

Additionally, there are military service-connected nominations for sons and daughters of

  • Deceased and disabled veterans
  • Persons awarded the Medal of Honor


Application Process - Final Steps


If you are named an official candidate for admission (the qualifications on your Questionnaire or Application are deemed competitive (or acceptable) by a Military Academy admission officer) you must complete all the parts of the application package that will be mailed to you. Don’t delay completing all parts of the application. Student applicants are offered admission as their records become complete – so don’t wait.


The required application steps include:

  • Completing the full application form, including 3 letters of recommendation, writing an essay, submitting official transcripts, etc.
  • Completing a medical examination directly from the Department of Defense Medical Examination Board (DoDMERB),
  • Completing the Physical Aptitude Examination ( PAE ) given by a recognized official of a Military Academy,
  • Conducting an interview with an Academy representative.

Don’t hesitate to contact your local Liaison Officer for each Academy for help. Liaison Officers are Military Academy representatives assigned to a district or area. They can help you through the entire application process and also serve as one of your evaluators. Their evaluation is very important to your success of getting admitted to a military academy so be courteous and respectful.


WARNING! Have a backup plan even if you are accepted to one of the military academies. You should (must?) apply to colleges in addition to the military academies. Why? Because of academy medical qualifications—something could happen that prevents you from meeting the medical qualifications between your acceptance and entrance.


Military ROTC

(Reserve Officer Training Corps)

Scholarship Information














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