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 because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more of your time and money before you achieve 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–Follow up on all steps of the application
Check the binder you set up over the summer to be sure everything is submitted. Check CIS–Candidate Information System–the online application site for candidates only. Be sure USNA has everything you sent. If they don’t, resend and/or talk to your B&G Officer. In fact, stay in close touch with your B&G Officer at this stage in your application process. He’ll be interviewing you and passing his recommendation on to the Admittance board.
Make copies of every piece of paper you submit. Then, if (when) they disappear across the country in Annapolis, it won’t be a show stopper.
March 1st–Candidate Section of the application is due!
Seniors–follow up on the Letters of Recommendation from teachers
Teachers are very busy writing these for many seniors. You may have to stay on top of them to be sure they get out. Don’t worry. Your teachers won’t mind. They’re used to it.
The B&G (Blue and Gold) Interview allows the Naval Academy one more opportunity to insure that they appoint candidates who will make it through the next nine years. It has to occur before you are accepted and shows up as complete or pending on the CIS. Prepare for it. Don’t take it for granted because you think your B&G Officer ‘likes’ you. It’s his job to be an applicant screen for USNA, not your buddy.
Frosh/Soph: To find your Blue and Gold Officer Area Coordinator, please click here.
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.
More ideas? Read this post on what to do when you’ve been accepted to one of the finest higher education establishments in the nation.
Seniors–Check your application status often
Acceptances are out–not all of them. That’ll take through May, in some cases June. 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–Apply for a Summer Seminar at the USNA, USAFA, USMA
USNA, USAFA and West Point all offer Summer Seminar, an opportunity for seniors to spend a week on the campus seeing if it feels right. And, it gives administrators a chance to watch and evaluate prospective students.
At USNA it’s called Naval Academy Summer Seminar (NASS). Here’s the blurb on USNA’s website:
The United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar is a fast-paced, six-day experience for high achievers who have completed their junior year in high school. Summer Seminar teaches you about life at the Naval Academy, where academics, athletics, and professional training play equally important roles in developing our nation’s leaders. If you think that you may be interested in pursuing an appointment to one of the nation’s service academies and serving your country as an officer, you should seriously consider attending the Naval Academy’s Summer Seminar.
NASS applications close March 31, 2015.
Click for information on West Point’s Summer Leadership Program.
If you’re applying for USAFA, their Summer Seminar applications close end of January.
Juniors–Create your list of college choices
Applications aren’t due until September (early apps) or November/December for the rest. Be prepared. This time, six months before the earliest decision, is the time to determine which colleges serve you best
Juniors–Take the SAT and ACT
If you’re over 1400, you’re doing great. If you’re 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.
Freshmen/Sophomores–Get your Social Security Number
You must have one to apply to the Naval Academy. If you don’t have the card, get it.
Freshmen/Sophomores–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.
Soph/Frosh–Go to a USNA Forum
Check USNA Admissions Facebook page for regional forums.
Tour the Yard
Check USNA Admissions Facebook page for regional forums (image credit: USNA Admissions Facebook page).
Tour the Yard if you’re in Annapolis, according to the following schedule:
Leahy Hall Briefing Times
Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
*- These days exclude Federal holidays
**Note: Admissions briefs are held in Leahy Hall, which is about a 10-15 minute walk from Gate 1.**
General Admissions Questions
Contact USNA Admissions using the address and phone number below:
Candidate Guidance Office
United States Naval Academy
117 Decatur Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5018
Create your resume
List all of your activities, awards, community service. The best time to start this is as a freshman. Keep it up to date throughout high school. It’ll remind you of all your accomplishments when you’re filling out applications and essays.
Here’s a sample (truncated to protect the applicant info), set up in Google Spreadsheet with a simple organization with columns and rows:
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.
Hone these critical skills
All USNA applicants and grads are leaders. If you’re a freshman, even a sophomore, not sure if you have enough of the leadership gene, check out these posts to see how to develop these traits:
- How to solve problems
- How to manage your time
- How to prioritize
- How to get along with people
- How to think
Check out the Marine Corps summer reading list.
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 as 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 Six reasons why you might be a midshipman…
- Read 9 Secrets for Getting in USNA
- Read Life the USNA Way
–taken from Building a Midshipman: How to Crack the United States Naval Academy Application. If you would like to buy this book from Amazon, click here:
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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 To Hunt a Sub, her debut thriller. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for TeachHUB, a program reviewer for CAEP ISTE, and freelance journalist on tech ed topics. She is the parent of a Naval Officer and an Army Sergeant. Twenty-four Days–the sequel to To Hunt a Sub should be out this summer.