College Spotlight: The United States Naval Academy
Situated in Annapolis, Maryland, the quaint capital of the state, The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) is home to 4,500 midshipmen who represent some of the best and the brightest students in the country; 72 percent are male, and 28 percent are female. In addition to outstanding academic records, these students need to demonstrate excellence in their physical and mental conditioning to maintain their place in the school that trains officers for the U.S. Navy, while giving them a cost-free education at one of the finest colleges in the country.
Like the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, The U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, there are unique entrance requirements that need to be started much sooner than the rest of the college admissions cycle, so it is important to know what needs to be done and when to get your foot in the door of this process.
The USNA seeks candidates who have a strong foundation in math and science. They want well-rounded students with demonstrated leadership qualities and participation in both athletic and non-athletic activities. AP and Honors classes are strongly encouraged.
What does a candidate for Annapolis need to do? The first step is to complete a preliminary application. Upon completion of your preliminary application, Admissions will review it to determine your competitiveness for receiving a candidate number.
Receipt of a candidate number will then indicate your designation as an Official Candidate for admission. Within your candidate letter, there will be important instructions on how to proceed with completing your official application.
The next step is to obtain a nomination from either your U.S. Senator or U.S. Congressional Representative. You can apply for nomination from more than one source (and are encouraged to do so).
The USNA requires applicants to take the SAT or ACT for admission for the 2022 admission year. PSAT scores can be submitted with the preliminary application, but they will not be used for admission. Official academic transcripts also need to be sent.
Because the program is physically challenging, all candidates are required to undergo a thorough medical examination. The exam is scheduled and evaluated by the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DoDMERB). Candidates are informed directly by DoDMERB of the results of the physical exam and subsequent qualification.
Next will be the Candidate Fitness Assessment. The assessment consists of six different elements designed to determine a candidate’s ability to keep up with the rigorous physical standards required of midshipmen, and especially the initial “plebe” summer before beginning the academic school year.
An assessment can be conducted by a coach or PE instructor, but there are very specific guidelines that need to be followed in the execution of the elements.
An official interview with a Blue and Gold Officer is the final step in completing your application. Blue and Gold Officers are volunteers comprised of Naval Academy graduates, parents of midshipmen or graduates, and civilians. Located in every state, they are qualified to guide and support you toward your final decision and through your midshipmen experience.
Admissions decisions are sent out by April 15. Of the approximately 3,000 applicants who fully qualify as candidates, 1,400 will be selected with around 1,200 ending up attending. It is extremely important to follow the application process carefully with special attention to all the deadlines.
If you are a current junior in high school and thinking about applying, you should be starting the process now by looking at the application timeline on the USNA website.
In addition to 26 academic majors, the USNA fields 33 NCAA D-I teams (18 for men and 11 for women). Midshipmen are not only afforded a 100 percent academic scholarship, but they are also given monthly stipends to cover expenses.
In exchange for the scholarship, candidates are required to remain in the Navy or Marines as an active duty officer for five years upon graduation.
If you believe that you can be one of the “good leaders of character” that they are seeking, then get started on your journey now.
Maryanne Hogan is an Independent College Admissions Consultant working with students on Maui. Visit her website, thecollegeauntie.com, for more information or to make an appointment.