U.S. Service Academy Nominations
Thank you for your interest in the U.S. Service Academies. As your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, each year I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of students to four of the five service academies. The honor of attending a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation. Best wishes to you as you pursue your goal of attending one of the U.S. Service Academies and serving our country.
Seeking a Nomination: Frequently Asked Questions
What is a nomination?
Members of Congress may nominate applicants who meet the eligibility requirements established by law. A candidate may seek a nomination from the following:
- A member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents the congressional district in which the candidate resides
- Both U.S. Senators from his or her state
- Apply directly to the Vice-President of the United States
What are the basic eligibility requirements?
Each applicant for a nomination must meet the following eligibility requirements as of July 1st of the year of admission to an academy:
- Age: Be at least 17 years old, but not have passed the 23rd birthday
- Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen
- Marital Status: Must be unmarried, not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents
- Residence: Must reside within the boundaries of the 6th Congressional District of Virginia.
- Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy.
Who do I contact regarding questions?
Contact Aaron Van Allen in my Lynchburg office at (434) 845-8306 if you have questions about this process.
When do I apply for a nomination?
My nomination application period opens May 15th of each year for those candidates who are high school juniors and will be seniors the following school year, or who have already graduated.
What is the deadline for completing a nomination file?
ALL applications and required materials MUST be postmarked by October 15.
What must be included in my nomination file?
A complete nomination file consists of the following items:
- Official High School transcript to include: grades through the end of your junior year; current GPA; SAT/ACT scores; and class rank (if provided by your high school). The official transcript should be sent to my Lynchburg office in a sealed envelope with a signature across the seal.
- If your most recent SAT/ACT scores are not included in your official school transcript, request that a copy be sent to my office SAT CODE 5522/ACT CODE 7729.
- Statement of extracurricular activities, leadership positions held, and academic and athletic awards received.
- The names, addresses and phone numbers of three (3) references
- A recent color photo with a solid background.
What happens after I have completed my nomination file?
I conduct personal interviews with the applicants in December and announce my nominations in January.
What criteria is used in selecting candidates?
Nominations are based on a "whole person" evaluation. Factors such as academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, character and motivation are taken into consideration and compared with other applicants.
How many academies are there?
There are five service academies.
Three reside within the Department of Defense:
- U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
- U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland
- U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs
Two reside within the Department of Transportation:
- U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York
- U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut - This Academy does not currently require a congressional nomination.
Are the requirements the same for all of the service academies?
No. Although many of the qualifications are similar, each academy operates under its own admissions guidelines. Visit the academy of your choice via the web sites noted for each academy's particular admissions qualifications. It is not necessary to seek a nomination to the Coast Guard Academy, as the U.S.C.G.A. accepts candidates based on their own testing criteria.
Will I automatically be selected by the academy after I receive a nomination?
No. You will be placed among a select group of nominees, and the academy of your choice will make the final decision. If selected, you will receive an offer of admission (an appointment) directly from the academy.
What if I choose more than one academy? Will I be limited to a single nomination?
No. You can be nominated to multiple academies depending on how well you have competed among this year's pool of candidates. It is also possible to win multiple appointments.
When will I know if I have been offered an appointment by an academy?
Academies will begin to notify candidates of their admission status in February. All offers of appointment are generally sent out by May.
Should I apply to all four service academies?
If you are interested in attending any of the four academies that require a congressional nomination, applying to all of these academies increases your chances of being nominated for your second, third, or fourth choice academy if I cannot nominate you for your primary choice.