Special Circumstances Military Academies

Military Academies

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is a college-based program for training commissioned officers of the United States armed forces. Under ROTC, a student may receive a competitive, merit-based scholarship, covering all or part of college tuition, in return for an obligation of active military service after graduation. ROTC students attend college like other students, but also receive basic military training and officer training for their chosen branch of service, through the ROTC unit at the college or university. The students participate in regular drills during the school year, and extended training activities during the summer.

Terms of military service, scholarship applications, benefits of ROTC, participating postsecondary schools, and other details vary depending on the branch of ROTC in which a student participates.

Here are some helpful links for more information.

Prospective U.S. Military Academy candidates should be aware that the process for application to these schools is more competitive and more rigorous than other schools. Admission focuses on academic quality (GPA, class rank, and presence of honors or AP level coursework), demonstrated leadership skills, college entrance test scores (either the SAT or ACT), congressional nomination, and strict medical and fitness testing.

The five U.S. military academies are the United States Military Academy (West Point), the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Coast Guard Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Military Academy candidates should begin the application process during EARLY SPRING OF JUNIOR YEAR!

  • Meet eligibility requirements: Applicants must be citizens of the United States, at least 17 but younger than 23 by July 1 of the admission year, unmarried and without dependents, and not pregnant. Noncitizens may be eligible through a special agreement between the government of their country and the United States.
  • Submit a preliminary application (also called a Candidate Questionnaire) in the spring of your junior year: Each academy makes this application available for completion or download online, or you can request that a copy be mailed to you.
  • Apply for a nomination in the spring of your junior year: Every applicant must obtain an official nomination to qualify for admission to an academy. Those qualified to nominate candidates include the President and Vice President of the United States, U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators.
    • Check your representatives’ websites, which often contain nomination forms. You may also call the offices directly.
      • CALL EARLY to begin this process, as representatives have a finite number of nominations; if you are too late in calling, you will not be able to pursue an academy application.
    • Be sure to provide all requested information far in advance of the deadline.
    • You may be asked to participate in an interview as part of your nomination process. If so, check out the college interview section of this manual for tips.
  • Take the college admissions tests. The academies require high scores on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT).
  • Complete a thorough medical examination. All candidates must meet strict medical requirements in order to be considered for admission.
  • Take the Candidate Fitness Assessment. Due to the rigorous nature of the academy programs, candidates must be in top physical condition. This assessment consists of physical tests designed to check your stamina and movement.
  • Submit all academic documentation, letters of recommendation, and college admission test scores.
  • Wait for your status. The academy will make a decision when it has received every part of your application package.


Special Circumstances

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