If you're going to compete,
give it your all.

We encourage a diverse array of applicants to compete for an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. Some may need to take specific preparation or application steps. All should prepare to be the most competitive applicant possible. Get insights for your application, here.

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All Applicants

The United States Air Force Academy is a challenging environment by design. We pursue our mission by inspiring and encouraging excellence in our applicants. Competition for an appointment to the Academy is fierce. In assessing the “whole person” we assess academic, athletic, character and leadership potential as demonstrated by the life experiences and achievements of each applicant. There are many ways you can prepare yourself to shine in our applicant pool.

How Competitive Is Academy Admissions?

To get a sense of the level of competition to get into the Academy, note that out of more than 12,000 applicants each year, we are able to admit just over 1,000 as cadets. As you can see, the best and the brightest compete for the limited number of appointments available.

Admissions Profile: Class of 2017

Applicants 9,706
Candidate Pool 6,967
Qualified Candidates 2,277
Offers of Admission 1,475
Total Admitted
New Cadets 
International Cadets 

Minorities 30.0%
Women 22.9%

Becoming A Competitive Applicant

If you are interested in pursuing an appointment to the Academy, you can take steps to ensure that your application is competitive by preparing academically, physically, through leadership activities and character. You can learn more about becoming a more competitive applicant in each of these areas:

Academic Preparation

Academic potential is assessed by reviewing your past academic performance and your test scores. Take steps to ensure you are taking a strategic approach to choosing high school courses and to college admissions testing. Get more information on Academic Preparation.

Academic Profile: Class of 2017

SAT Verbal 642
SAT Math 669
ACT English 30.0
ACT Reading 30.4
ACT Math 30.3
ACT Science Reasoning 29.8
Physical Preparation

At the Academy, cadets hit the ground running — literally. Fitness is a major part of the application process. Ensure that you understand the admissions fitness requirements and get suggested training routines and tips. Get more information on Physical Preparation.

Physical Profile: Class of 2017

EXERCISE Average for Men Average for Women
Basketball Throw 70′ 42′
Pull-Ups 12 3
Flexed Arm Hang (women) 24 sec
Shuttle Run 8.4 sec 9.5 sec
Modified Sit-Ups (crunches) 81 81
Push-Ups 63 43
One Mile Run 6:12 7:03
Character Preparation

The activities you choose demonstrate your character and your leadership potential. Remember that quality is more important than quantity. Earning leadership positions in a few selected activities is more valuable than being a member of many. Get more information on Character Preparation.

Leadership Profile: Class of 2017

Athletic Letter Award 79
National Honor Society 69
Scouting 23
Class President or VP 18
Boys/Girls State or Nation 17
Valedictorian/Salutatorian 11

What Else Should I Consider?

All those who wish to compete for appointment to the United States Air Force Academy should take care to understand the admissions requirements and application steps required.

The majority of our applicants are high school and college students who attend public or private schools in the United States. Some applicants have different backgrounds which may require specific preparation or application steps. For more details, please see the advice to applicants regarding your situation:

Note also that we are interested in applicants who have diverse backgrounds. For more details on how diversity is defined by the Academy, please see Outreach Events.

If you are a middle schooler, freshman or sophomore and would like to begin preparing to pursue admission to the Academy, please see 6th-10th Grade Students.

For any and all questions regarding the Academy, the admissions process or what it means to be an Officer in the Air Force, we encourage you to Find Your Admissions Liaison Officer.


Applying to the Academy requires dedication. Are you ready?

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