The application process for 2020 academy nominations closed on October 30, 2020. Information for the 2021 process is forthcoming. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Congressman Tonko's Albany District office at (518) 465-0700.
Thank you for your interest in the U.S. Service Academies. As your Congressional Representative, each year I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of people to four of the five service academies. Each member of Congress, either in the House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate, is allowed a total of five appointees in each service academy. For each vacancy, I am able to nominate ten individuals. 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. Learn more about the Service Academy Nomination process below.
Best wishes to you as you pursue your goal of attending one of the U.S. Service Academies 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:
What are the basic eligibility requirements?
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
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 20th Congressional District of New York.
Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy.
What is the deadline for completing a nomination file?
The deadline for submitting a nomination packet this year is October 30, 2020. Please submit completed packets only. If a candidate wants to replace a document with an updated one, please send my office the new version and ask us to dispose of the previous version.
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. Please include Congressional Office Codes with your results (ACT Congressional Office Code: 7563, SAT Congressional Office Code: 0253)
- 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
What happens after I have completed my nomination file?
Applicants who submit a completed nomination file will be contacted by my office and scheduled for an interview in late November or early December.
What criteria is used in selecting candidates?
Nominations are based on a "whole person" evaluation. Factors such as academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, character and motivation are taken into consideration and compared with other applicants.
How many academies are there?
There are five service academies.
Three reside within the Department of Defense:
Two reside within the Department of Transportation:
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, as the 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:
I do 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.
When will I know if I have been offered an appointment by an academy?
Academies will begin to notify candidates of their admission status in February. All offers of appointment are generally sent out by May.
Is there an advantage to applying early?
There is no advantage for applying early. Timing does not impact your chances of being accepted into your chosen academy.
How do I submit my SAT/ACT scores?
You may have your SAT and/or ACT test results sent directly to my office by the testing agency. The direct reporting code for SAT is 0253 and ACT is 7563.