Understanding the steps Is Critical.

The United States Air Force Academy is a competitive environment. Just applying to the Academy requires focus and determination. Here, learn each step of the process and the requirements you must meet to compete for appointment.

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Application Steps

Applying to the United States Air Force Academy is considerably more involved than applying to a typical college or university. There are many steps and important deadlines you must meet.

Review the steps and deadlines below very carefully, and familiarize yourself with the admissions requirements pertaining to each. If you have questions about the application process or about the Academy, please contact your Admissions Liaison Officer.

Steps at a Glance

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Check Your Eligibility

To apply to the Academy, you must be of good moral character and meet these basic eligibility requirements:

  • At least 17 but not past your 23rd birthday by July 1 of the year you enter the Academy
  • A United States Citizen
  • Unmarried with no dependents

Read complete eligibility details to confirm that you meet these requirements as defined by the Academy. If you do, you may proceed to the next step.

If you are a citizen of a country other than the United States, please see Advice to Applicants: International Students.

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Find Your Admissions Liaison Officer

It is recommended that you make contact with your Admissions Liaison Officer (ALO) early in your application process. Your ALO is qualified to answer any questions you might have about admissions, the Academy, or what it means to be an officer in the Air Force.

To contact an ALO near you, see Find Your Admissions Liaison Officer.

Note that later in the process, you will complete a personal interview with your ALO. It is in your best interest to build a relationship with this Academy representative and to stay in contact throughout your application process.

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Complete Your Pre-Candidate Questionnaire

To become a candidate for appointment to the Academy, you must complete and submit a Pre-Candidate Questionnaire. You may begin as early as March 1 of your Junior year of high school. It must be completed by December 31st.

You must have the following information available to complete the Pre-Candidate Questionnaire:

  • Full Legal Name, Birth Date and Social Security Number
  • Mailing Address, Home Phone and Email Address
  • High School Name, Class size
  • Class Rank and Grade Point Average (on a weighted 4.0 scale)
  • One or More Test Scores: PSAT, PLAN, SAT, and/or ACT

Your class rank, grade point average, test scores and answers to questions regarding your situation and activities will determine whether you will be granted candidate status.

In addition to the information listed above, it is recommended that you become familiar with all Academy admissions requirements, particularly the Academic Performance and Extracurricular Activities factors, so that you understand what we are looking for in a candidate.

Once you complete your Pre-Candidate Questionnaire, our system will send you an automated email reply to verify we have received it. Those Pre-Candidates who will be granted candidate status will receive an email and Candidate Kit Instructions online.

START DATE: March 1
DEADLINE: December 31

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Seek Your Nomination

To be eligible to accept an offer of appointment to the Academy, you must be nominated by a legally authorized nominating entity. The process of securing a nomination is competitive and lengthy. It is recommended that you begin applying for a nomination at the same time that you are completing your Pre-Candidate Questionnaire.

Read more about Nominations to determine the categories for which you are eligible, then contact the appropriate nominating authority to make your request. You should request a nomination in all categories for which you are eligible, and do so as early as possible.

Most congressional offices begin accepting nomination requests on September 1 and require that requests be initiated before October 31. We recommend you make your request by September 30. Regardless of when you initiate the process, your nomination must be received by the Academy no later than January 31.

REQUEST BY: October 31

DEADLINE: January 31

HELPFUL LINKS:

Nominations

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Request Transcripts and Teacher Evaluations

In the Pre-Candidate phase, you self-reported your grade point average and class rank. Now, in the Candidate phase you will request official transcripts from your school to verify your past academic record.

You will be provided with a Request for Secondary School Transcript (USAFA Form 148) to give to your high school counselor. Ensure that your counselor completes and mails it to us, including your high school’s profile and senior class schedule. For more details, see the Academic Performance admissions factor.

To gain further insight into your academic preparation and character, we require three teacher evaluations. If you are in high school, the instructors evaluating you MUST be your:

  • 11th or 12 grade English instructor
  • Math instructor
  • One other instructor (preferably Science, but may be History, etc.)

 You will be able to print the form for them. For more details, see the Character Evaluation admissions factor.

DEADLINE: January 31

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Train for and Take the Candidate Fitness Assessment

In order to qualify for admission to any of the Service Academies, you must take the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA).  Become familiar with the six events in this fitness test and practice them to score well.

The events are administered consecutively with specified start, finish, and rest times. Although the CFA is Pass-Fail, it is imperative that you perform to the best of your ability on each of these events, failure can disqualify you in the application process:

  1. Basketball Throw
  2. Pull-Ups/Flexed Arm Hang
  3. Shuttle Run
  4. Modified Sit-Ups (Crunches)
  5. Push-Ups
  6. One-Mile run

Note that you are responsible for finding your own examiner and providing them with official instructions on how to set up and administer the test. Your Physical Education instructor or a coach are good options.

If you need help finding a qualified examiner, your Admissions Liaison Officer can help. For more on the specifics of the exam and how to prepare, see the Fitness Assessment admissions factor.

DEADLINE: January 31

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Complete Your Extracurricular Activities Record

Participation in athletic and non-athletic activities is an asset in preparing for the demanding Air Force Academy program, and is a competitive factor in your application to the Academy. Sustained participation and leadership in a few activities is desirable.

You will complete the Candidate Activities Record to receive credit for any activities you have participated in at school, in organizations outside of school or at work.

For more on extracurricular activities appropriate to a competitive application, see Advice to Applicants: All Applicants. For more on completing the Candidate Activities Record, see the Extracurricular Activities admissions factor.

DEADLINE: January 31

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Complete Your Writing Sample and Personal Interview

As part of the admissions process, you will be required to submit a writing sample and to conduct a personal interview with an Admissions representative. Both of these steps allow you to speak to the selection panel in your own words. For more on these admissions requirements, see the Character Assessment admissions factor.

If you have not done so already, make contact with your Admissions Liaison Officer (ALO) and schedule your personal interview. Treat this as a job interview, as it is an important piece of our holistic review.

As for your writing sample, you will have the choice of providing a written response to two out of three questions provided in your online application. Responses should reflect who you are using specific, concrete details. Responses should also demonstrate critical thinking, organizational and grammatical abilities.

DEADLINE: January 31

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Submit Your Personal Data Record and Drug/Alcohol Abuse Statement

The Air Force Academy wants individuals of high moral character to further develop into future leaders of the Air Force and our nation. The Personal Data Record and Drug/Alcohol Abuse Statement are two critical aspects of your admissions file. For more detail on these admissions requirements, see the Character Assessment admissions factor.

You must provide details of your personal record, including any legal issues such as arrests or citations. The Candidate Personal Data Record must be completed including details of any and all incidents. If selected as a cadet, a complete background investigation will be accomplished for purposes of granting a security clearance. 

By this time, you should already be in contact with your Admissions Liaison Officer. Note that to receive access to the Drug/Alcohol Abuse Statement portion of the online application, you must contact your ALO and receive instructions. These instructions can be received over the phone or in person.

DEADLINE: January 31

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Complete Your Medical Evaluation

All candidates admitted to the U.S. Air Force Academy must meet the medical and weight standards for a commission in the United States Air Force. The Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB) is responsible for determining your medical qualification.

Note you must complete three of the following five application steps BEFORE your name will be forwarded to DODMERB to schedule your examination. For more detail on item 1 below, see the Fitness Assessment admissions factor. For more detail on items 2 – 5 below, see the Character Assessment admissions factor.

  1. Candidate Fitness Assessment (USAFA Form 158)
  2. Candidate Personal Data Record (USAFA Form 146)
  3. Candidate Activities Record (USAFA Form 147)
  4. Teacher Evaluations (USAFA Form 145)
  5. Writing Sample (USAFA Form 0-878)

You should know that it can take up to 30 days to schedule your initial medical evaluation, 60 days for completion and possibly another 30 days for a medical waiver if required. This can result in up to a 4-month process for candidates.

Applicants should become familiar with examination requirements and medical standards to ensure a complete and competitive application to the Academy. For more detail on this admissions requirement, see the Medical Evaluation admissions factor.

DEADLINE: January 31

HELPFUL LINKS:

Medical Evaluation

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