Frequently Asked Questions for Academy Nominations
What is a nomination?
A nomination is required to be appointed to 4 of the 5 United States Service Academies. 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
- Vice-President of the United States
- Service-affiliated nominations are also available to children of career officers and enlisted personnel of the armed forces, including active and reserve.
- Children of deceased or disabled veterans or children of Medal of Honor winners may also receive nominations.
A nomination does not guarantee an appointment. Nominees must also apply to the service academies. Admissions decisions are at the discretion of each of the individual academies.
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 4th Congressional District of Maryland.
- Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy
A completed application and interview with the service nomination board are also required.
Who do I contact to request an application?
The application is closed. Next year's application will open in May 2020.
When do I apply for a nomination?
The nomination application period opens by the end of April of each year for those candidates who are high school juniors and will be seniors the following school year, or who have already graduated. Each applicant for a nomination must also meet the eligibility requirements listed above as of July 1st of the year of admission to an academy:
What is the deadline for completing a nomination file?
The deadline for submitting complete application will be October 16, 2020.
What must be included in my nomination file?
Be sure you have read the information above regarding application components.
A complete nomination file consists of:
- A complete application form, filled out online. The application opens April 1, 2020.
- The application includes basic information, a short personal statement, a one page resume of activities and leadership, an order of preferences for the academies and other information.
- Two letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts for high school and college courses
- Official Test Scores
What happens after I have completed my nomination file?
Applicants who submit a completed nomination file will be notified their application is complete. They will be scheduled for an interview on November 16, 2019. Their interview time will be provided no less than 2 weeks before the interview date.
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 four service academies that members of Congress may nominate applicants to:
A nomination is not required for:
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. You must establish a candidate file with the service academy or academies of your choosing to be considered for a nomination.
Who should I ask to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?
The letters must be from a person who has supervised, instructed, managed or coached the applicant. This include: teachers, employers, job supervisors, and coaches. At least 1 letter should be from an academic instructor. Any extra letters will not be considered.
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 appointment decision. If selected, you will receive an offer of admission (an appointment) directly from the academy.
What if I am interested in more than one academy? Will I be limited to a single nomination?
No. It is possible to nominated to multiple academies depending on how well you have competed among this year's pool of candidates and the level of interest. It is also possible to win multiple appointments. However, due to the limited amount of nominations available please choose your order of preferences carefully.
When will I know if I have been offered a nomination?
Applicants will be notified of the nomination decision on their application no later than January 31, 2021.
When will I know if I have been offered an appointment by an academy?
Academies typically begin to notify candidates of their admission status in January. All offers of appointment are generally sent out by May. Congressman Brown's office has no impact on when appointment decisions are made.