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Application Part II

Candidate Phase

Applicants who have achieved candidate status will receive notification by email and their online application. They’ll also gain access to the full online application which contains valuable information and instructions on how to complete their official application to the United States Air Force Academy. For the current Admissions cycle, candidate kits will open July 15, 2023.

Application deadlines are based on when you entered the candidate phase. Your specific deadline to complete your file is posted on your portal. You must complete the required items by the deadline posted. During this phase, previously self-reported information will be verified and expanded upon. There are many steps to the process, some of which—such as nominations and medical evaluations—may take four to six months to complete.

We advise you to take the application process and timeline seriously. Work with your family to reserve time to complete it and use our checklist to help ensure all materials are completed in a timely manner.

Transcripts and Teacher Evaluations

Now is the time to 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 uploads it to us. School documents should include your high school’s profile and senior class schedule. For more details, see the Academic Requirements 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 12th-grade English instructor
  • 11th- or 12th-grade math instructor
  • One other instructor 

You will be able to print the form from your portal to give to them. For more details, see the Character Requirements.

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.

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.

Instructions and forms will be available in your candidate portal.

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:

  • Basketball Throw
  • Pull-ups/Flexed Arm Hang
  • Shuttle Run
  • Modified Sit-ups (crunches)
  • Push-ups
  • One-mile Run

Complete Your Extracurricular Activities Record

Participation in athletic and nonathletic activities isn’t just vital in preparing you for the demanding Academy program, it also gives your application a competitive edge. Sustained participation and leadership in a few activities is desirable.

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 How Can I Prepare. For more on the Extracurricular Composite Score, see Academic Requirements.

Complete Your Writing Sample and Personal Interview

As part of the admissions process, you are required to submit a writing sample and 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 Character Requirements.

If you have not done so already, connect with your Admissions Liaison Officer (ALO) and schedule your personal interview. Treat this like you would a job interview, as it is an important factor in our overall 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 while demonstrating critical thinking, organizational and grammatical abilities.

Candidate Personal Data Record and Drug/Alcohol Abuse Statement

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

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.

Complete Your Medical Evaluation

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

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 four-month process for candidates.

Become familiar with examination requirements and medical standards to ensure a complete and competitive application to the Academy. For more details on this admissions requirement, see the Medical Examinations admissions factor.

You must complete three of the following five application steps BEFORE your name will be forwarded to the DoDMERB to schedule your examination:

  • Candidate Fitness Assessment (USAFA Form 158)
  • Candidate Personal Data Record (USAFA Form 146)
  • Candidate Activities Record (USAFA Form 147)
  • Teacher Evaluations (USAFA Form 145)
  • Writing Sample (USAFA Form 0-878)

For more details, see Physical Requirements and Character Requirements.