So you’re serious about getting into The United States Military Academy. What should you do to improve your chances? First, I recommend applying to all five military academies: the United States Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Applying to all of them gives you more chances to be accepted because they are all highly selective
The U.S. Military Academy, or West Point, is no exception. They require the absolute best of their applicants, and the process is extensive.
When and where should you start?
Visiting the campus is always a good idea when applying to a college, and it’s a particularly good idea when considering West Point. You should also contact your regional Field Force representative in sophomore or junior year to help you with the entire application process. That way you can make a game plan for when to begin and what to focus on each year of high school.
Next, think about your application.
West Point is highly selective in their academics. Roughly 70% of admitted students are in the top 20% of their graduating class. They also usually have top ACT or SAT scores, and an average of 150 cadets per incoming class are a Valedictorian or Salutatorian. Leadership qualities are something else West Point looks for in candidates. Many of those accepted are team captains or at least Varsity letter. Many are also involved with Scouts and attain the Eagle rank or Gold Award. These are the types of activities you should be involved with if you have hopes of becoming a West Point cadet.
Not only is West Point highly selective in academics, but they also require you to pass the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) and a medical exam. The CFA consists of six different exercises:
· Overhead basketball throw
· 40-yard shuttle run
· Pull-ups or a flexed arm hang
· Modified sit-ups
· Push ups
· One-mile run
You must submit your CFA between August and February of your senior year of high school. You should start this early in your senior year to have time to practice.
Candidates must also schedule and visit the Department of Defense Medical Exam Review Board (DoDMERB). Candidates receive “qualified, remedial, or disqualified” designation. This is not to see if you are medically fit to attend college, but fit enough to go to war.
In addition to the academic, physical, and medical requirements, you must also obtain a nomination to attend West Point, either a congressional or service nomination. This is the step that cuts out the most candidates. You can only get a congressional nomination from the Vice President of the U.S., one of your two state senators, or your congressional district representative. It is very hard to get these because each can only give one nomination. You should ask each person available to you to write your nomination to increase your chances.
Service nominations might be a little easier to get since they can be from JROTC instructors, and are available to children of Medal of Honor winners, to children of deceased/disabled veterans, and to children of “career military personnel.” Each will have their own application, and you should start applying by the spring of your junior year of high school.
These are just the highlights of the steps you must complete to have a chance of attending West Point. Other steps include a candidate questionnaire, an interview with your regional Field Force representative, submitting transcripts, and an official school evaluation. Applying to West Point is an arduous process, and only those determined enough to surpass all the obstacles have a shot of being admitted. Do you have what it takes? Contact your Right C3 coaches to discuss your plans today!