Military Service Academy & ROTC Information
The process of applying to Military Service Academies and ROTC programs takes concentration, attention to detail and strict adherence to the prescribed timeline.
If you are interested in applying to a Military Academy, set up a meeting with your counselor in the Spring of Junior year, to prepare necessary materials and apply for nominations to multiple elected officials, ROTC programs and Summer Programs. Request teacher recommendations second semester Junior Year from two teachers, one in mathematics and one in science.
Before you can apply to Service Academies, you need to receive a nomination from an elected official during the Spring/Summer of Junior Year.
Apply to the two New Jersey Senators, your Congressional Representative and/or the Vice President of the United States. If you are NOT nominated through any of these competitive processes, you could still be placed on a national waitlist.
Nominators evaluate candidates during the summer and make decisions in early fall. Applicants need to visit each official’s website for specific nomination instructions & timelines.
Once you have submitted your nomination applications, apply to each Service Academy application through its website. Links to Service Academy Websites can be found on the right side of this webpage.
It is also possible to receive a nomination from someone who is serving or who has served in the US military. Learn more here.
Service Academy & ROTC Application Timeline
Start early. Applying to the Service Academies takes more time than applying to other colleges. Although the application opens in January of your Junior year, we recommend beginning your application process in late May or early June of sophomore year. You will continuously update your application over the course of the following year. For a good guideline, use the Application Timeline used by the United States Military Academy. Here are recommendations for a four-year plan to follow throughout high school:
Military Prep Schools (USMAPS, NAPS, USAFA):
Prep school candidates are students who receive a nomination to a Military Academy, but who do not meet the academic standards to attend an academy. These students may benefit from a year at prep school, with the goal of eventual admission to an academy. Attendance at a prep school does not guarantee an appointment; however, prep school graduates are often very successful in obtaining a future appointment.
Reserve Officer Training Corps Programs (ROTC):
ROTC is a program offered at more than 1,000 colleges and universities across the United States that prepares young adults to become officers in the U.S. Military. In exchange for a paid college education and a guaranteed post-college career, cadets commit to serve in the Military after graduation. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about ROTC programs:
- What is ROTC?
- What is different between the Service Academies and ROTC?
- How do I apply?
- Do I need a nomination for ROTC?
- If I'm applying to the Service Academies, should I also apply to ROTC programs?
- Can I apply to multiple ROTC programs?
- What is my time commitment?
- If I do not earn a national scholarship, can I earn additional scholarships at each college?
- Do I need to do an interview?