Service Academy Nominations - FAQ

Frequently asked questions for those seeking a Service Academy nomination.

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 1 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 Third Congressional District of Michigan
  • Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy

Who do I contact to request an application?

My application form and a checklist of documents that must be submitted with the form can be found on my website. Contact my District office at (616) 451-8383 if you have questions or need additional information.

When do I apply for a nomination?

My nomination application period opens June 1 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?

The deadline for submitting a nomination packet to my District Office is normally November 1. Please contact my District office at (616) 451-8383 for more specifics.

What must be included in my nomination file?

A complete nomination file consists of the following items:

  • Current photo (optional)
  • High school transcript
  • American College Testing Program (ACT) results and/or College Board Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) results
  • Completed Application Form
  • A letter from your High School guidance counselor with your class size and your class rank
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation

What happens after I have completed my nomination file?

Applicants who submit a completed nomination file will be scheduled for an interview in mid-December.

What criteria is used in selecting candidates?

Nominations are based on a "whole person" evaluation. Factors such as academic achievement, 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:

One resides within the Department of Transportation:

 One resides within the Department of Homeland Security:

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 individual academy websites for information about each academy's admissions qualifications. It is not necessary to seek a nomination to the Coast Guard Academy as the it accepts candidates based on their own testing criteria.

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 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 begin to notify candidates of their admission status typically during the month of February. All offers of appointment are generally sent out by May 1.