If you’re interested in a career in the military and you specifically want to attend the US Naval Academy, it’s good to become familiar with the requirements first. After all, not everyone who applies to the Academy gets in because their admission requirements are rather strict. Still, you owe it to yourself to review those requirements and familiarize yourself with the Naval Academy admissions rate so you’re well-equipped to put your best foot forward, but also manage your expectations (in terms of your odds of gaining acceptance). Prospective students will be well-acquainted with the enrollment rate and application requirements for the United States Naval Academy admissions, so adhering to the below criteria will maximize your chances of admission for USNA and any other selective school to which you apply.
What Is the USNA?
The U.S. Naval Academy is a public institution that prepares graduates for service in the U.S. military. The students are called midshipmen and their tuition is free because they must agree to serve a minimum of five years after graduation in either the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. Students receive bachelor’s degrees and then move onto a career with the military. These things being said, the Naval Academy requirements to enter the navy academy are tough and their acceptance rate is low.
How low is it? On average, the Naval Academy acceptance rate is less than 10%. This makes the competition to get in rather fierce, so it’s good to start by knowing exactly what the Academy is looking for when selecting their candidates. You have to be 17-23 years old by July 1st of the academic year you enter the Academy. The USNA is a coed academy but both genders have to be unmarried, without any dependents, and females cannot be pregnant.
Naturally, you have to be a U.S. citizen and have a Social Security number. To start the admissions process, you have to take either the SAT or ACT, but your goal should be to score as high as possible because the average SAT score for applicants is 1410 and the average ACT score is 31. Besides test scores, you’ll also need a copy of your high school transcripts, college transcripts if applicable, and letters of recommendation. Finally, you need a complete medical exam, personal interview, and fitness assessment. The latter includes a 1-mile run, shuttle run, crunches, pushups, kneeling basketball throw, and either pull-ups (men) or flexed-arm hang (women). Finally, this military academy requires you to submit a detailed personal essay.
Better Than Average
Naturally, if you wish to complete the application process and increase the odds of getting in, you’ll want to aim to be in the 95th percentile or higher. Achieving the 75th percentile or even the 85th probably won’t qualify you to be one of the official Naval Academy midshipmen. This is because a lot is expected from the school’s admitted students, so they only take the very best. If you want to be a midshipman, don’t just aim for an average score on any of the standardized tests; you must do better than that.
More often than not, high school students wanting to get into the Academy have achieved certain things, from academic statistics to outsized accomplishments in their extracurricular activities. Most of them graduate with a high class rank and take advanced courses to raise their GPA. They also concentrate on certain subjects to make their high school GPA higher, including advanced math, science, and engineering courses. They round off their curriculum by taking a foreign language and classes in either social sciences or physical sciences.
Many students take advanced classes not only to raise the GPA, but also to prove to these service academies that they are excellent candidates. The USNA looks at more than just admission test scores and the other basics. They also look at your character and your goals for the future, which is what the application essay is for. Finally, many of these students take advantage of ROTC programs at their school, which looks good on their application.
What Are Your Odds of Getting Into USNA?
While all of these things sound complicated and even discouraging, you can’t let it deter you from trying to get into the Academy. Keep in mind that the university considers more than just SAT or ACT scores and other documents you need to submit in order to be considered. Of course, when you consider that most applicants have a GPA that is over 4.0, it’s easy to see that you’ll need to excel at every portion of the process to be seriously considered.
This is why taking advanced placement (AP) or international baccalaureate (IB) classes in high school automatically improves your odds of admission. You should also consider participating in extracurricular activities that align with your goal of getting into the Academy some day. This is easy to do because you can take ROTC or numerous clubs that center around science and other subjects, as well as join a sports team so that you can improve your fitness level – something else that’s important to the Academy.
Finally, the USNA recommends that you receive an official congressional nomination from the member of Congress that represents your state, either a state or federal representative in the House of Representatives or the Senate. It is not a requirement to be admitted, but it greatly improves your odds of doing so. Keep in mind that the admissions process is completely separate from the process to get into the Academy, so you’ll have to study both of them very carefully.
What Life at the USNA Is Like
During your first year at the Academy, it can be a little intimidating for you, but keep in mind that you were selected and thousands of others were not. The professors are top-notch and class size is small – the student-faculty ratio is 8:1, with roughly three-quarters of the classes having fewer than 20 students. In any average year, this Annapolis, Maryland-based school houses only 4,500 students.
Keep in mind that the USNA doesn’t charge tuition and therefore, there is no need for financial aid; nevertheless, some students take out small loans to pay for certain living expenses and leisure activities. They also have a very impressive graduation rate compared to other colleges and universities – about 90%, vs. roughly 60% for four-year state colleges in the U.S.
The student body at USNA is not like that of other college campuses. For each year of schooling, certain things are required, including being in uniform at all times and having only limited free time. As they progress through the years, they can take on certain leadership roles, but the first two years are dedicated to the basics of Navy life. Successful applicants can look forward to a disciplined but very rewarding educational experience, and when they graduate, they become ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. They must sign up for five years of active duty, but if you’re interested in military life, taking the Academy into consideration is a smart idea. Other academies exist for the other military branches, most notably the Air Force Academy in Colorado and the United States Military Academy (Army) in West Point, New York.
The US Naval Academy admissions rate is notably low, with a sub-10% acceptance reflecting the fact that the school is among the most prestigious and selective of universities that you can attend for free, provided you have the qualifications to get in and you commit to a minimum of five years’ active duty in either the Navy or the Marine Corps after graduation. While it takes more than just good ACT or SAT scores to get in, it is well worth it in the end. Though naval service is a significant commitment, it can be a very valuable and rewarding experience that significantly complements and enhances the impressive academic program provided.