If you like a good challenge,
you'll love the Academy.

Applying to college can be a challenging time. Applying to the United States Air Force Academy requires more focus and dedication than applying to a typical college or university. Starting early and getting prepared can help.

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Before You Apply

The United States Air Force Academy is one of the most selective colleges in the country. If you are considering the Academy, you’ll need to start preparing well in advance to meet our admissions requirements, to face the intense competition for appointment, and handle the demands of Academy life.

In Junior High

If you enjoy responsibility, welcome new experiences and opportunities and like to excel and lead others, you have the attributes to become a successful cadet and Air Force officer. Attending the Academy may be a great choice for you. If your aspirations include the Academy,  you’ll find out how you can register to keep in touch with us through by visiting our 6th-10th Grade Students page.

Preparing early for our admissions requirements may put you a step or two ahead of other applicants. For example, you can plan for your high school courses, get involved in extracurricular activities and begin physical fitness training. We offer advice to applicants to help you gain insights for your eventual application. You can find out more about academic, physical and leadership preparation steps you can take, now.

That said, the decision to attend the Academy should be your own. Don’t let anyone pressure you, and don’t let parents or friends make your decision for you. If you choose the Academy experience, you will be the one facing the challenges.

During High School

As you grow and develop during your high school years, it is important to keep your college dreams in perspective. We very strongly recommend that you pick classes and extracurricular activities that interest you — but don’t take on more than you can handle. Push yourself a bit to excel in academics, sports and activities, but don’t burn yourself out.

If you want to apply to the Academy, academics are very important. Prioritize your studies and make sure you do well in the core subjects of English, math and science. In addition, participate in at least one sport and at least one nonathletic after-school activity. Pick what you enjoy doing and don’t worry about whether or not a particular school would rather you do something else. Getting involved and having fun are the rules to follow.

By Your Junior Year of High School

You can apply to the Academy as early as March 1 of your junior year of high school. Starting your application early and working hard to meet or exceed our requirements is the best advice we can give you. To increase your chances of success, familiarize yourself with our admissions process, application steps and selection criteria to fully understand what we are looking for.

While preparing for the Academy, we also recommend that you select an additional top three to five college or university choices and get all the detailed information you can about their admissions requirements. Make a list of all requirements and decide what are the most important things to do to become competitive for admission.

Planning to apply to too many schools may lead to burn out. You will have too much to do and not enough time to give any application your best effort. Applying to too few schools and you may not have any options if you’re not accepted for admission/appointment. By concentrating on your top choices, you’ll have the best chance of getting into one or more of them. 

One way to keep your application list under control is to visit before you apply. Once you’ve seen what each school is really like, apply to your top choices. Potential applicants to the Academy may request a cadet-escorted tour or briefing, or apply to attend our Summer Seminar. Note that Summer Seminar is a competitive program; spaces are limited.

Make your final decision about which school to attend after all offers are available. Talk to graduates or other representatives from the schools you are considering. In the case of the Academy, your Admissions Liaison Officer (ALO) is a great source of detailed information on what the Academy is like as well as what it means to be an officer in the Air Force.

Remember to weigh your options against what you know of yourself and your goals for the future. No one else can make your college decision for you.

Bottom Line

Know yourself, your goals and your limits. Research a select number of school’s requirements. Work hard to meet or exceed those requirements. Have fun doing it.


Do you want to Attend the Academy?

Understanding our admissions requirements is the first step.

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