U.S. Senator Russ Feingold

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Office of Senator Russ Feingold | 202/224-5323

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Application Instructions
Application Form

Get more information from the Academy Nominations Guidelines.

Academy Day

Each September Senator Kohl, Congressman Petri, Congressman Kagen, and I hold an Academy Information Day. Next year's event is Saturday, September 26, 2009, from 10:00am-12:30pm at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Aviation Center in Oshkosh. The Aviation Center is located at 3000 Poberezny Road. Academy representatives are on hand to answer questions, and congressional representatives will explain the nomination process. In the fall, watch for announcements in your local media outlets, contact your guidance counselor, or call any of my offices. If you are interested in applying to a military academy, I think you may find Academy Day helpful.

General Information
U.S. Senators and Representatives can make nominations toward one vacancy per year at each of the three Service Academies: U.S. Military Academy (West Point), U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis), and U.S. Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs). The Vice President of the United States can also nominate candidates to the academies from across the country.

The Merchant Marine Academy's nomination process is a little different. The Academy picks four applicants from each state based on the nominations of the state's congressional delegation. All of Wisconsin's applicants compete for these four vacancies.

If you are interested in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, you need to apply directly to the Academy by writing to: U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Admissions Office, New London, Connecticut, 06320-4195. You can also apply on the website. There is no congressional nomination required.

In order to qualify for entrance into a United States Service Academy, you must be a United States Citizen and at least 17 years old and not past your 23rd birthday on 1 July of the year you would enter the academy. You must also be a resident of the State of Wisconsin to be considered by my office. Full scholarships are available to students interested in attending one of our nation's premier military academies. These schools offer a quality college education in exchange for a commitment to serve our country as an officer in the United States military.

You are encouraged to seek a nomination from your two U.S. Senators, your Congressional Representative and the Vice President of the United States beginning in the spring of your junior year in high school. You can obtain more information about the Vice President’s process at http://www.whitehouse.gov/vicepresident/2009_Academies_Application.pdf.

Nomination Process

Application materials are available from my office beginning the spring of your junior year in high school. You should contact my Middleton office at (608) 828-1200 to receive the application form or access them through the links on this page.

In addition to completing the nomination application, it is also necessary for you to open a pre-candidate file with each of the academies you are interested in. You can open a file by filling out the form on the academy websites, and a list of those web addresses is at the bottom of this page.

In order to be eligible for a nomination, your completed application, which includes the application form, short essay, high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and letters of recommendation, must be received by Friday, October 17th. Please only send applications to my Middleton office as listed on the application form. Incomplete applications, or those submitted after the deadline, will not be considered. Candidates should be aware that each Congressional office has their own deadline and interview dates. It is extremely important that you know these deadlines and track them closely.

Nomination File

Your application file must be completed and received by my office on or before Friday, October 17, 2008. A complete application includes all of the following items:

Application Form
Be thorough and complete. Be sure to indicate your first choice of an academy. Be sure to numerically rank your academy preferences. All information on the application is required for you to be considered for a nomination.

In 200 words or less, state why you want to attend a service academy. Please attach this statement to the application.

List of Activities
Please provide a brief listing of the following:
a). All school activities in which you have participated. Include clubs, athletics, school organizations, etc. Indicate any leadership roles within those activities.
b). All scholastic honors, awards, and scholarships received.
c). All extracurricular honors, achievements and awards received.
d). All non-school related activities in which you have participated (community groups, church groups, scouting, etc).
e). If you are currently employed or have worked previously (i.e. summer, part-time, after school) please list your employer’s name, your responsibilities, dates of employment and number of hours worked.
f). Any other activities you would like to include (hobbies, special interests, recreational activities).

High School Transcripts
Include an official transcript of your high school records. It must show your final grades through your junior year, your current grade point average, and your numerical class rank. If your high school does not rank students, please indicate "Does Not Rank" in this field. If you have graduated from high school and are currently attending a college or preparatory school, please provide my office with transcripts from these institutions as well as a complete high school transcript.

College Board Test Scores
The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT) are essentially the entrance exams for the service academies. A set of scores must be received by the application deadline of October 17th. No one is considered for admission unless they have taken one of these tests. It is recommended that you take one of the exams prior to September in order to provide the results to this office for your nomination file. It takes approximately six weeks to receive test results. If you wish to retake one of the tests, please forward a copy of those results to my office.

My office will accept the scores directly from the test providers or on a certified copy of the high school transcript. You can have the results sent directly to my office by listing my code for the SAT (1383) or ACT (7197) tests in the space on the exam where it asks you to list colleges you want to receive your results. Please check with your school guidance counselor for more information about scheduling yourself for these college boards.

Letters of Recommendation
You are required to submit three letters of recommendation. They should come from people in the community who know you personally. No letters from relatives will be accepted.

All of the military academies are very competitive. It is difficult to receive a nomination and be awarded an offer of appointment. Each of the academies recommend a strong preparatory education during high school to prepare you for the rigorous curriculum provided by the academy. For the U.S. Air Force Academy, students must rank in the top 25% of their high school class, but most successful candidates rank in the upper 10% of their class. For the U.S. Military Academy, students should rank in the top 20% of their high school class. For the U.S. Naval Academy, students should rank in the top two fifths of their high school class.

All of the academies strongly recommend these classes for a candidate to be competitive:

Math: four years with a strong foundation in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus and calculus (if possible)

Science: two to four years of chemistry and/or physics class(es) with a lab

English: four years of course work with emphasis on composition, grammar and speech as well as classes in English and American literature

Foreign language: two to four years of a foreign language focusing both on the spoken language and grammar

History: one to three years of U.S. History and, if possible, a class on World or European History

Computer: knowledge on the use of a personal computer, operating systems and spreadsheets will be very helpful

Classes in geography, government and economics will also be helpful as well as athletic and non-athletic extracurricular activities

In addition to the academics, you need to be highly motivated to go through the application and nomination process and then the difficult schedule at the academy. You should make sure this is something you are really motivated to do, rather than being influenced by a relative, teacher, coach or anyone else. To be the most competitive candidate, you should be well balanced in academics, community service, outside activities and athletics.

One option the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Naval and U.S. Military Academies offer are summer seminar programs to high school seniors. It provides them with the opportunity to visit the Academy for one week during the summer and these programs are very competitive. There are no Congressional nominations required for any of these programs. Here are the links to the Academies' web pages on their summer seminar programs:

U.S. Air Force Academy Center
U.S. Naval Academy
U.S. Military Academy



U.S. Air Force Academy
Summer Seminar


U.S. Coast Guard Academy** www.cga.edu
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy www.usmma.edu

U.S. Naval Academy
Summer Seminar  


U.S. Military Academy at West Point Summer Seminar 


Wisconsin Congressional Delegation
Senator Herb Kohl Senator Kohl
Senator Russ Feingold Senator Feingold
1st CD - Congressman Paul Ryan Congressman Ryan
2nd CD - Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin Congresswoman Baldwin
3rd CD - Congressman Ron Kind Congressman Kind
4th CD - Congresswoman Gwen Moore Congresswoman Moore
5th CD - Congressman James Sensenbrenner Congressman Sensenbrenner
6th CD - Congressman Tom Petri Congressman Petri
7th CD - Congressman David Obey Congressman Obey
8th CD - Congressman Steve Kagen Congressman Kagen

Other Web Pages
Vice President's Website Vice President Cheney
ACT ACT Entrance Exam
SAT SAT Entrance Exam
**There is no Congressional nomination to the Coast Guard Academy and you apply directly to them.