Nominations to the service academies is very competitive. I’d recommend that you check the websites of the academies to review each academy's admissions requirements and to get information on the nomination process, since you may need to start the application/nomination process in your junior year, or earlier.
If your school offers JROTC, you should participate in that program to get a head start on learning about the military lifestyle and develop a better idea of what it’s like, and whether you still want to pursue that route.
The following could be helpful in applying to the academies, as well to for other ‘regular’ colleges/universities:
- Good academic grades – study hard and take the highest-level classes you can handle in math, science, and technology.
- Physical fitness is very important. Participation in your school’s athletic program can help improve your fitness, as well as help develop self-motivation, self-discipline, self-confidence, teamwork, and other positive personality skills/habits.
- Participation in civic/volunteer groups at school and/or in the community.
- You may not want to hear this one, but stay out of trouble! Avoid alcohol and drugs. Set high moral conduct standards for yourself and limit your association with those that don’t live up to those standards. This will help you avoid legal trouble and bad habits that might negatively impact every part of your life…forever. Having good moral character always pays off in the long run. Avoiding the negative consequences of drug and alcohol use and other activities that are not in keeping with good morals also means you don’t have to regret those things in the future, don’t have to hide things you’re ashamed of, etc.
Here are a few web sites to help you get up to speed on the academies:
US Naval Academy (Navy and Marine Corps) - http://www.usna.edu/admissions/
US Military Academy (Army) - http://admissions.usma.edu
Air Force Academy - http://www.academyadmissions.com/
US Coast Guard Academy - https://www.uscga.edu/
US Merchant Marine Academy - https://www.usmma.edu/
Ben recommends the following next steps:
- Get involved in athletic program, martial arts, and/or individual physical fitness.
- Join JROTC, if available.
- Check the websites of the academies to review each academy's admissions requirements and to get information on the nomination process