Service Academy Nominations

Acceptance to one of our U.S. Service Academies is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a student. All five of our nation’s service academies are four-year post-secondary institutions that combine educational excellence with military officer training. Students accepted to any of these five academies will receive a four-year education in return for a service commitment to active-duty military after graduation.

To be considered for admission to any of the following academies, students must receive a Congressional nomination from either their U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator:

  • U.S. Military Academy at West Point
  • U.S. Air Force Academy
  • U.S. Naval Academy
  • U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

Note: The U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination.

In addition to being nominated by a member of Congress, students are also expected to meet the highly competitive educational, extracurricular, physical aptitude and medical standards that are set by each academy.

Click here to learn more about the application process for each Service Academy.

Are you interested in attending a service academy? We are now accepting nomination applications for the Class of 2026!

Announcement: Test-Flexible to Standardized Testing Requirement

The submission of official scores from standardized testing – either the ACT or SAT – are preferred, not mandatory.

We understand that many students’ plans for taking the ACT and SAT continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, after careful consideration and in collaboration with the U.S. Service Academies, we have maintained a Test-Flexible policy to accommodate students who are unable to provide standardized test scores before the upcoming application deadline on October 1, 2021.  Though Congresswoman DeGette continues to prefer that applicants provide their most recent official ACT and/or SAT test scores, applications that do not include standardized test scores will still be considered for a nomination to a U.S. Service Academy. 

Please contact Congresswoman DeGette’s District Office at (303) 844-4988 with any questions related to this change.


How to Apply

  • Click HERE to begin your online application.
    • A paper copy of the application can be accessed HERE.
  • Your completed application with ALL required documents MUST be received by our office no later than Friday, October 1, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Faxed or scanned copies will NOT be accepted.

What will I need to apply?

To apply, you will be required to submit your completed application with ALL of the following documents:

  1. A wallet-sized photo attached to the front page of the application;
  2. A School Recommendation Form (from a guidance counselor or principal);
  3. Your official high school transcripts bearing the school seal / stamp or the signature and title of a school official;
  4. Two letters of recommendation from a teacher, principal, school counselor, employer, coach, extracurricular faculty advisor, community leaders, church leaders, scout/CAP/JROTC leaders, or other adults who know you well. (These letters are in addition to the counselor/principal's information on the School Recommendation form noted above);
  5. A one-page essay (on a separate sheet of paper) describing why you wish to attend a service academy; and
  6. Your official SAT or ACT scores using the following codes - SAT: 4766 or ACT: 7300 (A certified copy of the high school record of these scores also will be accepted).


What happens after I submit my application?

  1. Once we have received your completed application, we will notify you electronically of your status. 
  2. Once we have reviewed your completed application, we will contact you to schedule an interview.
  3. If you are selected to receive a nomination after the interview, you will receive a "Notice of Nomination" letter no later than Friday, January 29, 2021.


Important notes about the nomination process:

  • For the Air Force, Naval, and Military Academies, each member of Congress can have no more than five constituents attending any one academy at one time. When a constituent leaves or graduates an academy, a vacancy is created. Each member of Congress can nominate up to 10 individuals for each vacancy. The academy will then evaluate those 10 nominees and select which one it will accept to attend.
  • For the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, each member of Congress can nominate up to ten individuals. The Merchant Marine Academy will then evaluate those 10 nominees and decide which ones it will accept to attend.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a Congressional nomination.
  • Helpful Tip: apply to all service academies that you are interested in, as your first choice may not guarantee admission.


For any questions about the service academy nomination process, please contact our office at 303-844-4988. Thank you!