Skip Navigation

High School Student

From High School to Higher Learning

In addition to balancing your high school responsibilities, it’s important to start looking ahead toward your future after graduation. The United States Air Force Academy is extremely selective and comes with its own unique set of requirements. Below are some insights to help you prepare.

Junior Year
Start Your Application

Junior year is when your application process for the Academy truly begins. You will start by filling out the Pre-candidate Questionnaire, which becomes available online March 1.

Between March 1 of your junior year and December 31 of your senior year, you must:

  • Submit a completed Pre-candidate Questionnaire. If you are ready to begin your application, the Pre-candidate Questionnaire is available online.
  • Request nominations from your state’s congressional representative(s) or other designated nominator.

Live the Academy Experience

Specially designed for high school juniors heading into their senior year, Summer Seminar is a recruiting program that allows participants to see themselves as a U.S. Air Force Academy cadet. This program is highly competitive, and there are a limited number of spaces available. While we encourage everyone to apply for Summer Seminar, attendance has no impact on application to the Academy.

Summer Seminar

Senior Year
Candidate Phase

Starting in July between your junior and senior years, instructions are emailed to candidates who have submitted an approved Pre-candidate Questionnaire. These candidates have met initial criteria to enter into the candidate phase of the application process.

If you haven’t already done so during your junior year, you must submit the Pre-candidate Questionnaire no later than December 31.

Those applicants whose Pre-candidate Questionnaires are not competitive for appointment will not receive notification of candidate status. If you have not moved to the candidate phase, you may wish to contact your U.S. Air Force Academy counselor to gain insight into your admissions record and whether you can do anything to improve your application.

Once you have entered the candidate phase, you must take the Candidate Fitness Assessment by the deadline posted on your portal. Also, follow the instructions to be eligible for your Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DoDMERB) medical exam. Once your name has been submitted to DoDMERB, schedule and complete your medical exam as quickly as possible. Delaying the exam will delay an appointment decision.

Note: The preparation for and review of these exams is a lengthy process, so it is very important you complete these requirements as soon as possible. Or better yet, start early!

  • Experience the Birthplace of Leaders

    How does it feel to trace the footsteps of some of our nation’s most revered leaders? Come see the United States Air Force Academy for yourself and find out.

  • If You Have Questions, Get Answers

    Our outreach programs can help you determine whether the U.S. Air Force Academy is right for you as well as help you make your application as complete and competitive as possible.

  • How Can You Learn More?

    The majority of our events are held in the fall and spring, with fewer events in the summer months. To learn more about the U.S. Air Force Academy, check for an event that may be convenient for you.

Your Second Home Awaits

There are many ways homeschooled students can design their curriculums and choose activities to prepare for the U.S. Air Force Academy and to strengthen their applications.


Backup Plan
Top University, Top Competition

As with any top university, competition for admission to the Academy is extremely high. That’s why we recommend you also submit an application for Air Force ROTC at another college or university. You’ll not only receive the leadership training necessary to become an officer, you’ll also have the opportunity to enter the U.S. Air Force after graduation.


Follow us on Instagram @usafaadmissions to learn more about day-to-day life at the Academy and to get real cadets’ insights.

Check Out Our Instagram (opens in new window)