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Congresswoman Grace Meng

Representing the 6th District of New York

Service Academy Nominations - FAQ

Frequently asked questions for those seeking a Service Academy nomination. You may also fill out a Service Academy Nominations Form.

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
  • Both U.S. Senators from his or her state
  • Apply directly to the Vice-President of the United States

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 6th Congressional District of New York.
  • Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy.

Who do I contact to request an application?

Contact my office at 718-445-7860 to request a nomination packet.

When do I apply for a nomination?

My 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?

In year 2014, the deadline for submitting a nomination packet to my District Office is November 5th. Please contact my office at 718-445-7860 for specifics.

What must be included in my nomination file?

A complete nomination file consists of the following items:

  • Completed application form.
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended since ninth grade.  Transcripts must also include final grades from the Spring 2013 term.
  • Official SAT / ACT score reports for all exams taken. 
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation: At least one letter must be from a current or previous high school/college teacher.  Recommendation letters from family members will not be accepted.
  • Essay: In 250-500 words, please explain why you want to attend a service academy.
  • One headshot photo.
  • Résumé (optional).

What happens after I have completed my nomination file?

Applicants who submit a completed nomination file will be scheduled for an interview in late November or early December.

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.

How many academies are there?

There are five service academies.

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. A nomination is not required to compete for admissions at the Coast Guard Academy; the U.S.C.G.A. accepts candidates based on their own testing criteria.

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

Some of the people applicants typically seek recommendations from include:

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

I do not require a specific recommendation form. A letter of recommendation is sufficient.

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 decision. If selected by the academy, you will receive an offer of admission (an appointment) directly from the academy.

What if I choose more than one academy? Will I be limited to a single nomination?

No. You can be nominated to multiple academies depending on how well you have competed among this year's pool of candidates.

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 sent out by May.