About the Academy

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There's a lot to learn about what makes the United States Air Force Academy unique. From general questions to specifics about an aspect of the Academy experience, you may find an answer here.

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Prep School FAQ


Can I apply directly to the Prep School?

No, those that apply directly to the Academy are considered for a Prep School appointment.
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What are the completion requirements of the Prep School?

To complete the Preparatory School successfully, each Cadet Candidate must have demonstrated an aptitude for commissioned service and leadership, been satisfactory in conduct and personal integrity, and have successfully met the physical, academic and military requirements.
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If I complete the Prep School will I automatically receive an appointment to the US Air Force Academy?

Successful completion of the Prep School usually, but not always, results in an appointment to the US Air Force Academy.  The Prep School commander will provide a recommendation to the Academy Board who is the final authority concerning appointments to the US Air Force Academy.
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What are the living arrangements like?

You will live in the Prep School dorms from arrival to graduation at no cost.  This lodging is available to only you, not to friends and family.  All dorms are co-ed; however females will reside on the first floor within each dorm.
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Will I be able to wear civilian clothes?

You will not be authorized to wear civilian clothing for the few months at the Prep School.  Later in the school year you will be authorized to wear civilian clothes on the weekends.
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How physically demanding is Basic Military Training (BMT)?

BMT requires physical exercise and training to get cadet candidates into the shape they need to be as a military member.  This includes calisthenics and long runs.  You should arrive in the best shape possible and not wait until you get here to get in shape.  You will be at 7,000 feet above sea level and your life will be easier throughout your BMT experience if you are already in shape.
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What is there to do on weekends?

It depends on how well you are doing academically. As long as you stay on top of your academics and in good physical shape, you can enjoy the wonderful surroundings of Colorado. Denver is only a short one-hour drive and downtown Colorado Springs is just outside the south gate. Both are cities filled with culture, restaurants and attractions. You can also enjoy Colorado’s world class ski resorts, which are only a couple hours distance. Many “preppies” also enjoy the great hiking and biking on the academy grounds and elsewhere in Colorado.
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Can I have a vehicle while at the Prep School?

Students may not own, maintain or possess an automobile, motorcycles, motorbike, or motor scooter at the Prep School or within 150-mile radius of the Academy grounds in accordance with the Preparatory School Instruction 36-1.
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Can my friends and family visit me?

Yes, absolutely. Although family and friends are not allowed during Basic Military Training (BMT) they will be allowed to visit on Parent’s Weekend which corresponds to Labor Day weekend every year.  After parents weekend students will begin earning privileges to leave base and visit with family and friends.  Students are also allowed to take leave during Thanksgiving, winter and spring break.
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Will I be able to attend Religious Services weekly?

Yes, you will coordinate a religious pass through your commander or other permanent party members of your squadron.

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If I decide the military is not for me am I allowed to quit on my own free will?

Yes, if you are a civilian when you entered the Prep School, you will be discharged from the Air Force with no further obligation.  If you were on active duty when you were assigned to the Prep School, you will be removed from “Cadet Candidate” status and returned to your current Air Force rank.  The Prep School will work with Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) to coordinate your next Permanent Change of Station (PCS) in your career field as soon as possible.

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How do holiday break and vacation work?

Each student will accrue 25 days of leave (vacation) each year.  Three periods during the year are set aside for leave: Thanksgiving, winter and spring break.
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Do students wear uniforms and work like the active duty military?

Students will wear Air Force uniforms and be subordinate to the cadet candidate rank system of the Preparatory School.  In addition, students may be given Letters of Counseling, Admonishment or Reprimand, and/or an appropriate probation due to substandard performance.  Any of these may result in extra duties and/or loss of privileges.  Additionally, students are subject to discipline and punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for infractions of military laws.  Students are also expected to maintain physical fitness and personal appearance standards (for example, students hair will be in regulation just like active duty).
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