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Air Force Academy Scholarships


HORIZONS                                                                              Volume  III, September 2014

Guidelines for Counselors’ to Prepare High School Juniors for the Air Force Academy application process.

Junior year is when the Academy application process truly begins. Students will start by filling out the Pre-Candidate Questionnaire, which becomes available online March 1 every year.

Students must submit their Pre-Candidate Questionnaire online between March 1 of their junior year and December 31 of their senior year.

Between March 1 of their junior year andDecember 31 of their senior year, students must also request nominations from a designated nomination category.

If a student is interested in seeing what life at the Academy is really like, they should consider applying to our Summer Seminar program. Designed for high school juniors during the summer before their senior year, this program is highly competitive with a limited number of spaces available. 

 As a high school guidance and career counselor, we highly recommend starting your students as early in the process as possible. With competition for admission to the Academy being extremely high, your student's college application strategy should include a backup plan. We recommend students select a number of colleges in addition to the Academy and pursue their interest in the Air Force by submitting an application for an Air Force ROTC scholarship. Your school's U.S. Air Force Academy Admissions Liaison Officer (ALO) can provide information on both.  


The Nomination Process

An essential part of any student’s application to a Service Academy is the formal “nomination” process.  The number of cadets at each Academy is congressionally mandated, and the formal nomination process is designed to ensure equal representation for each congressional district.  Every U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative may have up to five cadets in attendance at each Service Academy at any given time.

 Once a student becomes a “candidate”, their essential next step is to research the nomination process in their district and state, as rules and timelines vary, and then apply for a nomination in every category in which they are eligible. 

 The three main nomination categories are as follows:

 Congressional Nominations

  • Each candidate should apply to both their state’s U.S. Senators and their individual U.S. Representative, by district.  At a minimum, every candidate has the opportunity to earn a Congressional nomination from three different offices. 

 Vice Presidential Nominations

  • Each candidate may also apply for a Vice Presidential nomination, as the Vice President may also have up to five cadets in attendance at each Service Academy at any given time.  These nominations are highly competitive as they are available to all candidates nationwide.

Presidential Nominations

  • Those candidates whose parents have served in the Active Duty military for at least 8 years, have accrued at least 2,880 Reserve points, or are retired from military service, may apply for a Presidential nomination.  These nominations are handled by the Admissions office at each Service Academy and are available to all qualifying candidates nationwide.

There are also a few additional, but less common, categories, which candidates should research in their “Candidate Kit” to see if they are eligible.

Once a student has determined the categories in which they are eligible, they should visit the website of each Congressional member to determine exact requirements and timeline.  Most offices require an official letter as well as an interview, and deadlines range from late September to early November.

The bottom line is that without a formal nomination, a candidate cannot receive an appointment to a Service Academy.  Please encourage your students to begin this process early, call their congressional offices and introduce themselves, attend congressionally sponsored “Academy Days” when possible, and contact their Admissions Liaison Officer (ALO) with any questions.


Upcoming Deadlines

Congressional Nomination Applications                  31 Oct*

Early Action Eligibility for Admission                        1 Nov

Pre-Candidate Questionnaire                                    31 Dec

Academy Application (not early eligibility)              31 Jan

Latest Test Dates for SAT/ACT                                      Feb


Click here for all the application steps and a link to a smart phone app checklist. 

*Every Congressional representative may have a different deadline.  While 31 Oct is a common deadline, please check with your local representative, as it may be sooner.


Find Your Local Academy Expert 

You have a local Admissions Liaison Officer (ALO) to answer all your questions.  Click here to find him or her.  
‚Äč www.academyadmissions.com

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