To be considered for an appointment to a service academy, an applicant must have a nomination from an authorized nominating source. The law pertaining to Congressional appointments for each of the U.S. Service Academies stipulates that a Member of Congress is allowed a maximum of five persons at each Academy in any given year (except for the Merchant Marine Academy and the Coast Guard Academy, explained below). This quota determines the number of vacancies for each entering class.
Regulations governing the Academies stipulate that the prospective nominee must reside in the Congressional District of the nominating Congressman. Senators are also given nominating authority. While a Congressperson nominates within their Congressional District, a Senator nominates applicants from the entire state.
Members of Congress may nominate applicants who meet the eligibility requirements established by law. The following requirements must be met by the applicant as of July 1 of the year of admission to an academy:
- Applicant must be at least 17 years old, but not have passed the 23rd birthday
- Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen
- Applicant cannot be married, pregnant, or have any legal obligation to support children or other dependents
The Merchant Marine Academy allows applicants to seek Congressional Nominations from any House and Senate office in their state. However, they can only apply to one House District and the Senators' offices. They cannot compete for a Congressional Nomination in multiple House districts. Each year the State of Connecticut has five vacancies at the Academy, and each Congressperson is entitled to submit the names of ten prospective candidates. Nominees then compete with the nominees of the rest of the Connecticut delegation for admittance.
The Coast Guard Academy does not require a Congressional Nomination. Candidates are appointed on a competitive basis. To be eligible, you must contact the Coast Guard Academy directly for an application.
The Academies require that applicants be both mentally and physically strong. In addition to a high school transcript, SAT and ACT scores are reviewed. Typically, Academy nominees have been in the top 40% of their high school class. Each candidate is also required to take a Physical Aptitude Test (PAT) to determine his/her readiness to participate in the rigorous sports and physical education programs at the Service Academies. Although each Academy has its own test requirements, all are designed to measure such qualities of strength, endurance, agility, and coordination.
If you have any questions concerning the application process or for more information, please feel free to call my Hartford Office at (860)278-8888.