Military Academy Nominations - FAQ
The application period for qualified students in Pennsylvania’s 17th District who seek a nomination to one of the United States Service Academies from Congressman Conor Lamb (PA-17) closed on Saturday, October 31, 2020.
We encourage all students seeking a Military Academy nomination in 2021 to check back to this page next spring, and we encourage you to review the frequently asked questions below regarding the application process.
What is a nomination?
Members of Congress may nominate applicants who meet the eligibility requirements established by law. Applicants are encouraged to consider applying to multiple military academies. In addition, applicants are also encouraged to apply for all of the nominations for which they may be eligible including, but not limited to:
- A member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents the congressional district in which the candidate resides;
- Both U.S. Senators for Pennsylvania: Bob Casey and Pat Toomey;
- 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 17th Congressional District of Pennsylvania;
- Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy.
When do I apply for a nomination?
The nomination application period for Congressman Lamb will open again in the Summer of 2021 for those students who will be seniors the following school year, or who have already graduated. Check back here for updates in Spring 2021.
How do I apply and what must be included in my nomination file?
To be considered for a nomination, applicants must submit a completed application which will be available in the Summer of 2021. A completed application includes the online questionnaire along with the following materials formatted as one document (acceptable document formats listed on application):
- One-page personal statement (500 words or less);
- A recent photo;
- A resume that outlines work experience and extracurricular activities;
- Up to 3 letters of recommendation;
- An official transcript for all high schools, junior colleges, and colleges attended (Note: all high school transcripts must include final junior year grades);
- Official SAT I or ACT scores.
What happens after I have completed my nomination file?
Qualified applicants selected for an interview will be notified by e-mail of the date and time.
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.
- U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
- U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland
- U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs
- U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York
- U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut
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. 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.
Who should I ask to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?
Some of the people applicants typically seek recommendations from include:
- Scout Leaders
A specific recommendation form is not required. 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 will begin to notify candidates of their admission status in February. All offers of appointment are generally sent out by May.