Thank you for your interest in the U.S. Service Academies. As your 9th District Representative in the U.S. House, each year I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of people to four of the five service academies. The honor of attending a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation. Best wishes to you as you pursue your goal of attending a U.S. Service Academy and serving our country.
Seeking a Nomination
Frequently Asked Questions
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 9th Congressional District of Pennsylvania.
- Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy.
Who do I contact to request an application?
Contact my office to request a nomination packet.
What must be included in my nomination file?
A complete nomination file consists of the following items:
- Current photo
- High school transcript
- American College Testing Program (ACT) results and/or College Board Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) results
- Resume of extracurricular activities
- An essay stating why you want to attend a service academy (500 words or less)
- Minimum of three letters of recommendation
How many academies are there?
There are five service academies.
Three reside within the Department of Defense:
- U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
- U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland
- U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs
Two reside within the Department of Transportation:
- U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York
- U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut
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 web sites noted for each academy's particular admissions qualifications.
It is not necessary to seek a nomination to the Coast Guard Academy. 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:
- Scout Leaders
Representative Shuster does 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, 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. It is also possible to win multiple appointments.