Are you interested in attending the Air Force Academy Summer Seminar? We wrote this for high school juniors and their parents interested in attending Summer Seminar or learning more about the Air Force Academy. However, underclassmen should find out about the requirements early as well.

It’s that time again, and applications for summer seminar open in December! You have until January 22, 2024 to complete the Air Force Academy summer seminar application. Since essays are included in this application, we recommend knocking this out early before your student heads back to class in January.

What is Air Force Academy summer seminar?

The Air Force Academy Summer Seminar is a four-day program that gives rising high school seniors a taste of what it’s like to be a cadet at the Air Force Academy. It is held every summer at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Students who attend the seminar will experience many of the same things that actual Air Force Academy cadets do. This includes attending classes, participating in sports and other extracurricular activities, and living in the dorms.

When is summer seminar?

The Air Force Academy Summer Seminar program runs during June. The exact dates vary from year to year, so be sure to check back for updates.

Cost: ~$300 + travel expenses

Length: 4 days

Dates of 2024 USAFA Summer Seminar

  • Session A – 4-7 June, 2024 (in-person)
  • Session B – 11-14 June, 2024 (in-person)
  • Session C– 17-19 June, 2024 (virtual)

Total Students Accepted per Year: ~640

Application Window: December 1, 2023 – January 22, 2024

Why should you apply to summer seminar?

For high school students who are considering attending the Air Force Academy, summer seminar is the perfect way to get a feel for what life is like at the Academy. USAFA summer seminar gives students the opportunity to experience the rigorous academic and military training that Air Force cadets go through on a daily basis. We highly recommend summer seminar for students who have little to no military exposure so that they can get a better understanding of what they are signing up for.

In addition to attending classes and getting a taste of military life, students will also have the chance to meet with Air Force officers and learn more about the admissions process. If you’re thinking about applying to the Air Force Academy, summer seminar is a great way to get started.

What to expect

During Air Force Academy Summer Seminar, you will be assigned to an “element” or group, with an upper-class cadet as your Element Leader. Your Element Leader will be with you almost 24 hours a day as your mentor and guide.

Along with your element, you will:

  • Live in cadet dormitories and eat at the cadet dining facility.
  • Explore academic facilities and research labs.
  • Participate in a variety of workshops, including some to assist with your application.

What you submit on the application

  • Full legal name
  • Mailing address/home phone/email address
  • High school and junior class size
  • Social Security number and card
  • Current high school GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Grades for English and math
  • English (ninth grade–first semester of 11th grade) and math (algebra I and II, geometry, trigonometry, physics, chemistry)
  • One or more test scores: PSAT, PreACT, ACT or SAT

If you’re admitted into summer seminar, this has no impact on whether or not you’ll receive an appointment to attend the Air Force Academy. The Air Force Academy summer seminar program is much smaller than both the Naval Academy and West Point summer programs. If you don’t get accepted, don’t get discouraged about your chances of receiving an appointment.

We recommend that you also apply to the summer programs at either of the other Service Academies so you can get a taste of Service Academy life, in case you aren’t admitted into USAFA summer seminar.

Air Force Academy Summer Seminar Essays

You’ll complete two essays for the summer seminar application:

  1. Please discuss any personal life experience where you have overcome adversity or challenges that have shaped you into the person you are today.? (3000 characters max)
  2. What makes you a unique candidate for the summer seminar program? (1500 characters max)

This is your opportunity to speak directly to the “admissions” panel (for summer seminar), but it’s also excellent practice for writing the essays required when you become an official candidate.

For tips and guidance on these essays, we suggest reading our post on writing successful Air Force Academy essays.

Summer Seminar Cost

The cost varies from year to year, but generally is around $300 plus travel expenses. You will also be asked to submit a deposit to reserve your spot in the program.

When does the USAFA summer seminar application open?

The Air Force Academy Summer Seminar application for the class of 2029 will open on December 1st and closes on January 15th, 2024. There is no advantage to submitting your summer seminar application earlier in the application window. Make sure your application is complete before submitting it.

To apply, you will need to create an account on the Air Force Academy website. Once you have created an account, you will be able to access the online application.

When will I find out if I’ve been accepted into the Air Force Academy summer seminar?

Once you have submitted your application, you’ll find out if you were selected by visiting the application portal during the first week of April. You should also receive an email. Make sure you fill out all the paperwork on time, otherwise USAFA will give your slot to someone else.

Forms are typically due within a week of finding out if you were selected or not.

How many students are accepted?

Only about 300 students are accepted to each summer seminar session. For 2022, this means only 300 students were selected to attend in-person (compared to 1,000-2,000 for West Point and Annapolis each!) We can’t stress enough the importance of still pursuing an appointment even if you weren’t selected for summer seminar.

What if I’m waitlisted?

Many students are waitlisted. Waitlisted students can find out as late as 2 weeks before session start dates that they’ve been accepted.

If you are accepted, congratulations! You will then need to verify medical information and provide your insurance information.

Be sure to check out the Summer Seminar FAQ to learn more.

You can also learn more about the Air Force Academy application process with our guide on getting into the Air Force Academy.

Do you need help crafting a compelling essay for Service Academy admissions?