Military Academy Nominations - FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions for those seeking a military academy nomination. You may also fill out a Military Academy Nominations Form.

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
  • 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 3rd Congressional District of South Carolina 
  • Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the academy

When do I apply for a nomination?

My nomination application period opens upon completion of a candidate's Junior Year of high school, or upon completion of the Spring Sememster for those enrolled in higher education.

What must be included in my nomination file? 

A complete nomination file consists of the following items:

  • The academy nomination application for my office
  • An essay stating why you want to attend a service academy (500 words or less)
  • A signed and notarized affidavit of legal permanent residence
  • Resume of extracurricular activities
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Current color photo
  • Counselor form, counseor letter, and high school transcript
  • ACT and/or SAT test scores

What happens after I have completed my nomination file?

Applicants who submit a completed nomination file will be scheduled for an interview and notified in November.

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. It is an extremely competitive process.

How many academies are there?

There are five service academies:

Three reside within the Department of Defense:

Two reside within the Department of Transportation:

*It is not necessary to receive a nomination to the Coast Guard Academy, as the U.S.C.G.A. accepts candidates based on their own testing criteria*

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 websites noted for each academy's particular admissions qualifications.

Who should I ask to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?

Some of the people applicants typically seek recommendations from include:

  • Teachers
  • Counselors
  • Employers
  • Coaches
  • Clergy
  • Scout Leaders

I do not require a specific recommendation form. A letter of recommendation on letterhead is sufficient.

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.