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Military Academy Nominations - FAQ

Frequently asked questions for those seeking a Military Academy nomination. You may also fill out a Military Academy Nominations Form.

How many Academies are there?

There are five Service Academies:

  • U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
  • U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland
  • U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York
  • U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut

What is a nomination?

Members of Congress may nominate applicants who meet the eligibility requirements established by law (10 C.F.R. § 4346). 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
  • Each U.S. Senator from his/her state
  • Apply directly to the Vice-President of the United States

What is a Presidential nomination?

Presidential, or Service-connected nominations are reserved for children of career military personnel. To qualify, the parent of the applicant must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be on active duty and have served continuously on active duty for at least eight years
  • Passed away while on active duty
  • Be retired with pay or have been granted retired or retainer pay, had they not died before reaching the age of 60
  • Be a reservist or National Guard member with at least eight years of uninterrupted Service
  • Passed away after being retired with pay or being granted retired or retainer pay
  • Has begun adoption proceedings before the child’s 15th birthday

What are the basic eligibility requirements?

Each applicant 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
  • Must be unmarried
  • Cannot be pregnant, and must be without legal obligation to support children or other dependents
  • Residence: Must reside within the boundaries of the 8th Congressional District of Illinois
  • Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy

How can I request an application?

Prospective applicants can find and fill out an online application on Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s website under Services > Military Academy Nominations.

When do I apply for a nomination?

The nomination application period opens May 15th of each year for current high school juniors and above. 

Can I apply for a nomination if I am active duty in the armed Services or reserves?

Yes. Active duty Service members meeting the basic eligibility criteria are eligible for the four congressional nominations, in addition to a nomination through their branch of the armed Services. For more details, contact your commanding officer.

What is the deadline for completing a nomination file?

The deadline for submitting a nomination application to the District Office is October 31st. Please contact the office for any additional information.

What must be included in my nomination file?

A complete nomination file consists of the following items:

  • High school transcript
  • American College Testing Program (ACT) results and/or College Board Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) results
  • Resume of extracurricular activities
  • An essay stating why you want to attend a Service Academy (500 words or less)
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation

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

Applicants typically seek recommendations from individuals such as:

  • Teachers
  • Counselors
  • Employers
  • Coaches
  • Faith-based leaders
  • Scout Leaders

A specific recommendation form is not required. A letter of recommendation is sufficient.

What happens after I have completed my nomination file?

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

What criteria is used in selecting candidates?

Nominations are based on a “whole person” evaluation. Factors such as academic achievements, extracurricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, character and motivation are taken into consideration and compared with other applicants.

How many nominations may a member of Congress make?

Five at a Time Rule: Each U.S. Senator and Representative may have a maximum of five charged cadets or midshipmen at each Service Academy over a four year period, or about one cadet per Academy per year.

How will I know if I am nominated?

Nominations are determined by mid-December, and all candidates will be notified via letter.

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.

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 each Academy’s website for more information on specific admission 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.

What if I choose more than one Academy? Will I be limited to a single nomination?

You can be nominated to multiple Academies depending on your degree of excellence among this year’s pool of candidates. It is also possible to be awarded 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 for an ROTC scholarship?

Because the nomination and appointment process is competitive, not all candidates will receive a nomination or an appointment. The applicant may want to consider earning a military commission via the Reserve Officer Training Corps. (ROTC). Additional information is available at:

If I do not receive a nomination or an appointment, can I apply again?

Yes. Candidates may apply up until the age of 23, as long as they still meet the eligibility criteria.