Home-schooled students are as competitive for appointment to the United States Air Force Academy as any other applicant, and must meet the same standards as students coming from traditional school settings. There are many ways that home schooled students can design their curriculum and choose activities to prepare for the Academy and to strengthen their application.
It is important to note that in the absence of graded coursework completed at a public or private high school, we place greater weight on standardized ACT and SAT scores. You must familiarize yourself with the scores competitive applicants to the Academy demonstrate and review all college admissions testing options. For more details, see the Academic Performance admissions factor.
To be competitive for an Academy appointment, we recommend your home school curriculum include the following courses:
- English: 4 years
- College-Prep Math: 4 years
- Social Studies: 3 years
- Science: 4 years
- Modern Foreign Language*: 2 years
- Computer Science: 1 year
*We look for modern foreign languages (any language except Latin) with an emphasis on strategic languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese and Russian.
In addition to the above curriculum items, some background in Laboratory Sciences as well as some proficiency in typing will be beneficial.
Be sure to let us know if your home school is recognized by your local school board or the State Board of Education. Home-schooled students must provide a transcript that includes, at a minimum, the following academic information:
- Course/class title
- Length of course and date completed
- Grading Scale
- Curriculum/course description
- Text/materials used
College or Junior College Courses
While not absolutely necessary, we suggest that home-schooled students consider taking some college or junior college courses. Doing so will help demonstrate your viability in a college setting. Participating in the classroom environment will enhance your chances of adapting quickly and easily to the highly structured life of an Academy cadet, should you receive an appointment.
This is the portion of the application process we use to predict leadership potential. Although many home-schooled students are able to qualify academically for admission, their overall record is often not strong enough to compete due to a significant weakness in the area of extracurricular activities. For more details, see the Extracurricular Activities admissions factor.
Remember: Athletic participation is an important part of our evaluation of your overall potential to succeed at the Academy. Take a look at these statistics:
- About 95% of accepted candidates have participated in high school sports.
- About 80% have earned varsity letters.
Without some athletic participation in an organized and sanctioned league sport, your chances of getting an appointment are greatly reduced.
Some states and local school districts allow home-schooled students to participate with public school children in interscholastic activities. If this is not the case where you live, then you must be creative. Following are some suggestions that may be helpful:
- Swimming, Tennis or Gymnastics: Join a local club and participate in competitions.
- Baseball: Play in a summer league affiliated with Babe Ruth, Little League, American Legion, etc.
- Track/Cross-Country: Run 5K and 10K races.
- Basketball: Join a team at your local YMCA or Boys/Girls Clubs.
Other Extracurricular Activities
Participation in nonathletic extracurricular activities is also an important part of our evaluation of your overall potential to succeed at the Academy. Little or no participation in this area will greatly reduce your chances of being accepted.
We’re primarily looking for demonstrated leadership in a few activities (club officer, Eagle/Gold/Billy Mitchell award, etc.) rather than simple participation in many activities. Here are some ideas:
- Church Organizations: Participate in leadership of church youth group.
- Scouting: Join and excel in a scouting organization.
- Public Speaking: Give speeches to local service clubs (Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, etc.).
- Music: Take lessons and give musical recitals in church or as a volunteer.
- Community Service: Work or perform community service through church or community organizations.
You can also check with your local school system to see if they allow home-schooled students to participate in their after-school activities.
Depending on where you live, some of these activities may not be readily available. In such cases it may be necessary to go to a neighboring community in order to participate.
NOTE: For further assistance we suggest you contact your local or state home-school organization. You may also find helpful information at your public library or in local bookstores.
It is well worthwhile for home schooled applicants to read our Advice to Home School Applicants booklet before starting their application. Because home school curriculum is often tailored to the particular student, we recommend you contact the Admissions Office to discuss your specific situation. You can request more information about the Academy by mailing a request or calling:
2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 2400
USAF Academy, CO 80840
Applying to the Academy requires dedication. Are you ready?