Service Academy Admissions
Michael Dobson is the author of How to Get Into a Military Service Academy, a comprehensive step-by-step guide to negotiating the complex admissions process.
This page contains some general information about the admissions process and a link to a downloadable PDF with up-to-date information about any recent changes. To get information about the book itself, click the cover below.
The five United States military service academies are some of the most elite schools in the nation, taking the finest high school students and turning them into commissioned officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine. Over 60,000 students a year begin the arduous process of applying, and about 4,000 get in. At West Point alone, over 15,000 candidates start the applications process. Less than a third of them finish it. Some figure out that they aren’t going to be competitive, some get derailed with specific problems, and some get lost and drop out even though they might have gotten in.
From applications to Congressional nominations, from athletics to medical qualifications, the process is unlike any other for getting into college. After going through the process with his son James (at this writing a cadet at West Point), Michael Dobson realized there was little in the way of authoritative and complete advice on how to navigate the process — so he wrote a book to lead students and their families through the process step by step, offering the tools needed for the very best chance of success.
Covering special issues and concerns like LGBTQ, women and minorities, criminal records, and more, the author also discusses whether attending a service academy is RIGHT for the prospective student, and what he or she can expect upon acceptance, admission, and attendance.
At the present time, Michael doesn't offer consulting or coaching services for prospective cadets, but he's happy to answer questions. On this page you'll find the PDF mentioned in the book, with some updates to information. The process doesn't change very fast, so there isn't much new to add, but when we learn of changes, this will be updated.
In addition, Michael recently did a webinar for school counselors covering the admissions process. Below you'll find a PDF file of the slides.