Depending upon where you are in the process, you may have done some of the items on this list. Skip them. Be
happy you’re done. Move on to the next
If you’re serious about attending the USNA or any other military academy, buy a few books (or check them out of the library) on the process. It’s worth the investment because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more of your time and money before you achieve your goal. Better to make sure this is the direction you want to go.
Here are two books to get you started:
From the perspective of a woman who was accepted and how she accomplished it. Down-to earth, personal, definitely not dry, and should give confidence to any teen, male or female, considering a military academy as their college of choice.
A general and useful overview of the USNA application and the academy in general
Seniors–Follow up on all steps of the application
Check the binder you set up over the summer to be sure everything is submitted. Check CIS–Candidate Information System–the online application site for candidates only. Be sure USNA has everything you’ve sent. If they don’t, resend and/or talk to your B&G Officer. In fact, stay in close touch with your B&G Officer at this stage in your application process. He’ll be interviewing you and passing his recommendation on to the Admittance board.
Make copies of every piece of paper you submit. Then, if (when) they disappear across the country in Annapolis, it won’t be a show stopper.
Seniors–follow up on the Letters of Recommendation from teachers
Teachers are very busy writing these for many seniors. You may have to stay on top of them to be sure they get out. Don’t worry. Your teachers won’t mind. They’re used to it.
Seniors–Check your application status often
Acceptances are out–not all of them. That’ll take through June. Check online to find out what’s missing from your application and rectify it. Check with your B&G officer, too. He’ll direct you to solutions for any shortfalls.
The B&G (Blue and Gold) Interview allows the Naval Academy one more opportunity to insure that they appoint candidates who will make it through the next nine years. It has to occur before you are accepted and shows up as complete or pending on the CIS. Prepare for it. Don’t take it for granted because you think your B&G Officer ‘likes’ you. It’s his job to be an applicant screen for USNA, not your buddy.
Seniors–Accepted? Get a Passport
You’ll need one eventually, and sometimes, they take a while to get. Don’t run out of time. Get one now.
Juniors–Apply for a Summer Seminar at the USNA, USAFA, USMA
USNA, USAFA and West Point all offer Summer Seminar (click for more details on USNA Summer Seminar)–an opportunity for juniors to spend a week on the campus seeing if it feels right. And, it gives administrators a chance to watch and evaluate prospective students. By now, you’ve made arrangements. Have fun and pay attention. The fit of a Military Academy to you is critical to your success.
Applications close in April, but it takes a bit of work to collect the information required for the application. Go to as many as you can. Even if you know you want USNA, attend the others. You’ll also want to apply for the others, so know as much as you can about each option before the deadline. They take about a week, but it’s a worthwhile commitment.
For more information on a Military Academy Summer Seminar, read this post.
Juniors–Create your list of college choices
Applications aren’t due until September (early apps) or November/December for the rest. Be prepared. This time, six months before the earliest decision, is the time to determine which colleges serve you best
Juniors–Take the SAT and ACT
If you’re over 1400, you’re doing great. If you’re not, take it as often as possible. There’s a trick to the test that you’ll figure out as you take it over and over. A lot of colleges offer a PSAT-type test for free,. Take advantage of those opportunities. That’ll keep costs down and provide feedback on what you should work on.
Frosh/Soph–Attend an Academy Night
These occur throughout the year, so keep your eyes open. They’re offered through the School District or your representative’s office. Check those websites to find out when you should go.
Tour a warship
These tours are offered through your Blue and Gold officer or any number of other avenues. Find a tour. Take it. First and foremost, you want to be sure that a Naval Academy choice is right for you. Seeing how officers work on a Naval vessel is a good idea.
Hone these critical skills
All USNA applicants and grads are leaders. If you’re a freshman, even a sophomore, not sure if you have enough of the leadership gene, check out these posts to see how to develop these traits:
- How to solve problems
- How to manage your time
- How to prioritize
- How to get along with people
- How to think
Check out the Marine Corps summer reading list
Continue Community Service
Most colleges want to know you give back to your community; Military Academies are no exception. Do as much as you can. Give as much of your time and labor as you can afford. No, it doesn’t mean you can do less in academics or sports. Figure out how to do it all. That’s the kind of person USNA, USAFA and all military academies like.
Say hi to military reps who show up on your campus
Chat with them. Pick their brains. Find out what they can tell you about life in the military. It’s a different world and any way you can assure yourself it’s for you, do it.
Focus on your unique skill
Even as school heats up and time gets short, stay in touch with whatever it is that sets you apart from others. Military academies like that side of you. They want to know you can do everything, not just academics and sports.
Be a Leader
Wherever there’s an opportunity to be a leader, take it. The Military Academies want to see you as a proactive, can-do person, not a follower. Officers are the ones who make things happen and inspire the enlisted to do their best. Be that person.
Create your resume
Check this post. List all of your activities, awards, community service. The best time to start this is as a freshman, but if you’re older than that, do it now. And keep it up to date throughout high school. It’ll remind you of all your accomplishments when you’re filling out applications and essays.
Are you a Future USNA Midshipman?
Read the qualifications of a Midshipman here. See what you think.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, will be out this summer. Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.