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 in time and money because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more before achieving 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 their first choice college.
A general and useful overview of the USNA application and the academy in general
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.
Seniors–Check your application status often
Acceptances are out–not all of them. The final notification date is this month–April 15th, but I’ve heard of students being notified in June, right up until time to report for Pleb e Summer. Don’t despair if you haven’t heard. 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.
Juniors–Preliminary USNA Application Available
As of April 1st, the Preliminary Application to USNA (and probably the other military academies) is available on USNA website. It is quick, brief, nothing like the final document. If you’re considering attending USNA, fill it out. At that point, you’ll be in the system and you and the Naval Academy can determine if this is a good fit.
Juniors–In NASS? Arrange Time Off School
By April, most of the military academy Summer Seminar programs are closed (West Point is still open). If you have an application in or are accepted and want more information, click for NASS, AFASS. Don’t worry if the Summer Seminar ends up in the middle of finals or other big academic events. The Military wants to know you can get everything done in not enough time. Figure out how to make it work. Talk to teachers, guidance counselors, parents. Reschedule finals or big tests. Do whatever it takes to make it work. This is a good opportunity to show you are a leader with a take-charge attitude.
For more information on USNA Summer Seminar, read this post
Juniors–Prepare for CFA
For information on the Candidate Fitness Assessment, click here and then here. This will be given during Summer Seminar. It’ll feel good in July to have that out of the way if you pass it. If you don’t, you have until you submit an application to retake it. Check out what’s required (crunches, shuttle run, mile run, etc.) and make sure you’re prepared.
Juniors–request a Congressional Nomination Package
If you are an official candidate, get a Congressional Nomination Package from your Congressperson and both Senators (check here for more information). Fill them out. Double check to see that everything is accurate. Mail the packages to the Senators. Often, they do all of their selections via mail–no personal interviews. For the Congressperson, hand carry it to them. When you drop it off, try to meet the aide responsible for this activity. Say hi, chat for a moment. S/he may remember you from the Academy Night, and will definitely remember you when you come in for the interview in November/December.
Juniors/Soph/Frosh–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.
Juniors/Soph/Frosh–Create your resume
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.
Soph-Frosh–Create your list of college choices
This time, when you have lots of time and energy, is the time to determine which colleges serve you best. Don’t wait until it’s time to apply. Go on tours. Chat with other students. Consider your options. Repeat as necessary.
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.
Take SAT and ACT
If your SAT score is over 1400, you’re doing great. If 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.
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 if 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.
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.
Are you a Future USNA Midshipman?
- Read the qualifications of a Midshipman here. See what you think.
- Read this post on Why We Serve
- Read this Qualifications of a Naval Officer from Reef Points
- Read about the USNA Honor Concept
- Read what you might not know about USNA
- Read Six reasons why you might be a midshipman…
- Read 9 Secrets for Getting in USNA
- ReadLife the USNA Way
Follow USNA or Bust on Twitter
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.