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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USAFA Catalog 2013/2014

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?

As long as you stay on top of your academics, stay in good physical shape, and are doing well militarily, 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. You should also realize, however, that even those students who are performing well in all areas, often still find they need to devote significant time on the weekends to study and prepare for the coming week.

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Can I have a vehicle while at the Prep School?

Motorcycles, motorbikes and scooters are not authorized for students. Students may however, own an automobile while at the Prep School. The privileges of vehicle use will be limited at first, but additional privileges will happen as the school year progresses. The driver must have a valid driver’s license, and the vehicle must have a current registration and insurance. **Fourth-Class Cadets (freshmen) at USAFA are not authorized to have automobiles, so it will be the graduated Preppie’s responsibility to dispose of the vehicle before starting at USAFA.  

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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?

Religious accommodations are a high priority, but they also depend on mission requirements. Every effort will be made to accommodate your religious requests.

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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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When will I be able to go home or take leave during the school year?

When not on official leave students are required to remain within a 150-mile radius of the Academy. Official leave periods are usually five days off for Thanksgiving, two weeks for winter break and a week for spring break, during which time you are free to travel outside of that radius. Additional leave where you would miss school or other military duties is only granted in exceptional circumstances.

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Do students wear uniforms and work like the active duty military?

Students will wear Air Force uniforms and are under the same rules and regulations as other active-duty military. The only difference is that instead of performing a specific job in the Air Force, your job is to be a student. You will be expected to maintain standards and are subject to the provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

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Do you want to Attend the Academy?

Understanding our admissions requirements is the first step.