ABOUT U.S. SERVICE ACADEMY NOMINATIONS

As a Member of Congress, Rep. Raskin has the privilege of nominating exceptional young people residing in Maryland's 8th Congressional District to our nation’s service academies. The opportunity for a fully funded education and the high honor of attending a service academy make these nominations highly competitive.

The honor of attending a service academy comes with the obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation. 

Members of Congress may nominate candidates for appointment to four of the five U.S. service academies:

  • U.S. Military Academy (USMA), West Point, NY
  • U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), Annapolis, MD
  • U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), Colorado Springs, CO
  • U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), Kings Point, NY.

The fifth service academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), New London, CT, does not require a congressional nomination for appointment. If you are interested in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, you can apply directly via the Academy's website

Nominations are based on a "whole person" evaluation. Factors such as academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, character and motivation are taken into consideration and compared with other applicants.

The number of nominations that a Member of Congress can make in a particular year depends on how many vacancies exist at the particular academy, and also depends on the yearly quota allocated to each Member's office.

Because nominations for military academies are competitive, you are urged to apply for a nomination from every available nominating source. These sources include Senator Chris Van Hollen, Senator Ben Cardin, the Vice President and the President.

The Vice President can nominate individuals to the United States Military, Naval, and Air Force Academies but cannot nominate to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy nor the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. To apply for a Vice Presidential nomination to a service academy, click here.

The President's nominations are reserved for for children ( biological or adopted) of career military personnel. This includes enlisted, warrant, and commissioned members of regular and reserve components who are on active duty (other than for training) and who have served continuously on active duty for at least eight years; and military retirees either living or deceased who have received retired or retainer pay. Children of deceased or disabled veterans or children of Medal of Honor winners may also receive nominations. Please contact the military academies to learn more and to apply for a Presidential nomination.

A nomination is required to gain admission to a service academy. However, it does not guarantee admission; the number of young people seeking admission is far greater than the number of spots available.

Admission to each academy is ultimately decided by each academy to which the candidate has applied. Please note that you must apply to each Academy to which you are seeking admission.

An application for Rep. Raskin's nomination is separate from an application for admission to each Academy you wish to attend. 

If you have any questions, please visit this Frequently Asked Questions webpage or contact my District Office by phone at 301-354-1000 or via email at Christa.Burton@mail.house.gov.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

To apply for a nomination and appointment, each candidate must meet the following eligibility requirements set out by the Academies:

  • On July 1 of the year of entry, be 17 years old but not yet 23 years old to enter all academies, except the Merchant Marine Academy, which has a maximum of 25 years of age.
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be unmarried, not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents
  • Be a legal resident of:
    • Maryland's 8th Congressional District, for nominations to the Naval Academy, Military Academy (West Point), and the Air Force Academy.
    • The State of Maryland, for nominations to the Merchant Marine Academy.
Each candidate must also meet the medical, physical and academic requirements of the Academies.

VIRTUAL INFORMATION SESSION

Each year, Rep. Raskin hosts an Information Night for interested students and parents. Given the constraints of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 information session was virtual.

Interested parents and students may watch a recording of Rep. Raskin's Virtual U.S. Service Academy Information Night by clicking here. Representatives from four of the five academies joined Rep. Raskin to make presentations. USNA Midshipman Isabelle Ross, who is currently a member of the Class of 2022 and received Rep. Raskin's nomination in 2017, discussed her experience as a Midshipman.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

1. Complete the online application. On Monday, May 3, 2021, Rep. Raskin opens the 2021-22 online application for those seeking his nomination to the Service Academy Nominations. Please click here to access the online application for a nomination.

2. Email the following documents together in one email to Raskin.nominations@mail.house.gov:

  • 3 Letters of Recommendation 
  • Transcripts 
  • Personal Essay

Applicants should use the following format as their email subject line: Applicant Name, Documents

The deadline to submit the completed online application with supplemental materials, including a high school transcript, three letters of recommendation and a personal essay, is Friday, October 1, 2021. 

A NOTE ABOUT ACT AND SAT SCORES: Given the inability of all students to access standardized tests during the coronavirus pandemic, we will not accept ACT or SAT test scores for this application cycle. You should verify with each Academy if you are required to submit standardized test scores for admission to the Academy. For Rep. Raskin's nomination, however, they are not required or accepted.

APPLICATION CHECKLIST

Nominations are based on a "whole person" evaluation. Factors such as academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, character and motivation are taken into consideration and compared with other applicants.

The following is a detailed list of the components of a complete application. Please use this list to ensure you have submitted a completed application.

  • A completed online application form
    • The online application may be found here once the application period opens on Monday, May 3, 2021. The application period closes on Friday, October 1, 2021. 
    • The online application includes basic biographical information; school information; short-answer writing prompts about your academics, athletics, extracurriculars, and other leadership activities; an order of preferences for the academies: and more.
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
    • Each applicant is required to submit 3 letters of recommendation.  
    • Applicants typically seek recommendations from teachers, counselors, employers, coaches, clergy, or others who have supervised, instructed, managed or coached the applicant.
    • Extra letters will not be considered.
    • Letters from family members will not be accepted.
  • Transcripts for high school and college courses
    • Each applicant is required to submit a high school transcript. Your transcript should include your GPA, complete junior year course work and senior year classes. Please also provide a transcript for any college course work.
  • Personal Essay
    • Each applicant is required to submit a personal essay outlining your goals in a concise and direct manner as to why you are interested in becoming a military or merchant marine officer. Concentrate your thoughts on your service following your graduation from one of the Service Academies. Your essay must be 500 words or less. 

APPLICATION GUIDELINES

  • Once we receive your application we will create a file for you. Once your file is complete (see components needed above), you will be notified. You will be notified of your interview time at least two weeks before the interview day.
  • An interview with Rep. Raskin’s Service Academy Review Board is mandatory to receive a nomination. Interviews will ONLY be held in November 2021. Candidates unable to attend interviews in person must notify the office as soon as possible.
  • Applicants will be notified of the nomination decision on their application no later than January 31, 2022, though notifications are typically made by the end of the year. It is the practice of Rep. Raskin’s office to communicate directly with the applicant themselves, when possible.
  • We appreciate the enthusiasm and pride parents have for their children and understand their desire to see their children prosper. Success at service academies requires a great deal of maturity and responsibility from those that are admitted. We expect applicants to be able to communicate directly with our office on any questions or inquiries they may have. 
  • Applicants are expected to adhere to the application to provide information for review. For example, applicants should not exceed the word limit on the personal statement, submit more than the allowed amount of letters of recommendations, or submit any supplementary materials. The review board will only consider information contained in your application packet or learned from the interview.
  • To maintain eligibility for a nomination from Rep. Raskin’s office, all information submitted to our office must to be factual and all deadlines must be met.

KEY DATES FOR THE CLASS OF 2026

  • Monday, May 3, 2021: Applications open for Rep. Raskin's nomination
  • Friday, October 1, 2021: Deadline to submit completed applications and supporting materials
  • November 2021: Mandatory interview with Rep. Raskin’s Service Academy Advisory Board 
  • January 2022: Candidates notified of Rep. Raskin's nominations decisions 
  • February to May 2022: Candidates notified by Service Academies of appointment offer(s)