Academy Nominations

Academy Nominations

Thank you for your interest in serving our country through an appointment to a U.S. service academy.

Members of Congress may nominate candidates for appointment to four of the five U.S. service academies: the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY; the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD; the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. (The U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT, does not require a Congressional nomination for appointment.)

To request a nomination from Senator Welch’s office, please review the Academy Nomination Instructions and submit a completed Academy Nomination Application online.

The application for the class of 2023 is now closed. Check back for the next application period.

Remember: You MUST also contact an Academy directly to initiate the admissions process. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our Vermont office at 802-863-2525.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a nomination?

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.
  • One of the U.S. Senators from their state.

You may also qualify for nomination through other sources, including:

  • The President of the United States, who nominates children of career military personnel, deceased or disabled veterans, military or civilian personnel in missing status, and Medal of Honor recipients.
  • The Vice President of the United States, who nominates five individuals from across the United States per year.

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:

  • Must be at least 17 years old, but not have passed the 23rd birthday.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must be unmarried, not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents.
  • Must be a permanent resident of Vermont.
  • Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy.

When do I apply for a nomination?

The nomination application period opens May 15th of each year for those candidates who are high school juniors and will be seniors the following school year, or who have already graduated.

What is the deadline for completing a nomination file?

The deadline for submitting a complete nomination application to Senator Welch’s Vermont office is November 15th. If November 15th falls on a weekend, materials are due the preceding Friday.

What must be included in my nomination application?

A complete nomination application consists of the following items*:

  • Application
  • Resume of extracurricular activities
  • A cover letter stating why you want to attend a service academy (500 words or less)
  • High school transcript
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation

*You can learn more about these application materials by reviewing the Academy Instructions

Which application materials can be submitted online?

  • Application
  • Resume of extracurricular activities
  • A cover letter stating why you want to attend a service academy (500 words or less)

Which application materials must be emailed separately?

  • High school transcript (must be sent by your high school).
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation.

What are the five service academies and where are the located?

Are the requirements the same for all academies?

No. Although many of the qualifications are similar, each academy operates under its own admissions guidelines. Visit the website of academy of your choice for detailed admissions qualifications. (A nomination to the Coast Guard Academy is not necessary, as it accepts candidates based on its own testing criteria.)

Who should I ask to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?

Applicants typically seek recommendations from the following:

  • Teachers
  • Counselors
  • Employers
  • Coaches
  • Clergy
  • Scout Leaders

A specific recommendation form is not required. A letter of recommendation is sufficient.

Will I automatically be admitted to the academy after I receive a nomination?

No. A Congressional nomination does not guarantee admission; it represents only one component of a complete application. You will still need to meet the rigorous admission standards for the academy.

Can I choose more than one academy or am I limited to a single nomination?

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 receive 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 communicated by May. Both notifications of admission status and appointment are for the year of admission.