Are you undecided on which Service Academy is right for you? Or perhaps you already know which one you want to attend, but would like to see what life there would be like.

Each Service Academy has a summer program to give upcoming high school seniors a chance to experience cadet or midshipman life.

Learn more about the USAFA summer seminar, USNA summer seminar, and West Point Summer Leaders Experience (SLE) below. If you are in 11th grade, now is the time to apply for a summer seminar!

USAFA Summer Seminar

Cost: ~$300 + travel expenses

Length: 4 days

Dates of USAFA Summer Seminar

  • Session 1 – TBD
  • Session 2 – TBD
photo of usafa cadets for usafa summer seminar post

Total Students Accepted per Year: ~640

Application Window: December 1 – January 15, 2021

You apply through the same page that candidates apply to USAFA. You’ll find out by the first week in March if you were selected or not for the Air Force Academy summer seminar. Results are available on the application portal, and you’ll also receive an email. Make sure you fill out all the paperwork on-time, otherwise USAFA will give your slot to someone else.

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’ll need to submit to apply to the Air Force Academy Summer Seminar

  • Full legal name
  • Mailing address/home phone/email address
  • High school and junior class size
  • Social Security number
  • 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

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.

USNA Summer Seminar – This year will be virtual

Cost: $300

Length: 4 days

Dates of USNA Summer Seminar

  • Session 1 A June 6, 2021-June 9, 2021

  • Session 1 B June 9, 2021-June 12, 2021

  • Session 2 A June 13, 2021-June 16, 2021

  • Session 2 B June 16, 2021-June 19, 2021

  • Session 3 A June 20, 2021-June 23, 2021

photo of students at USNA summer seminar

Total Students Accepted per Year: ~2550

Application Window: January 4th, 2021 – March 31st, 2021

You’ll find out by April 15th if you were selected for USNA summer seminar or not via email. For students flying from out of town, USNA will arrange transportation from BWI, you just have to arrange a flight there.

What to expect

The United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar is the first step in navigating your future to becoming one of our nation’s next generation of leaders. Summer Seminar will introduce you to life at the Academy, where you will experience academic, athletic, and professional training. Your Summer Seminar application will also serve as a preliminary application to the Academy that you will complete before or during your senior year.

You will live in Bancroft Hall, experience life on The Yard, and learn from midshipmen and faculty.

Typical day:

  • 0545-0630 Physical Training – Introduction to PEP
  • 0700-0720 Breakfast
  • 0730-1215 Morning Academic Workshops
  • 1225-1300 Lunch
  • 1345-1600 Afternoon Academic Workshops
  • 1600-1800 Intramurals, Special Events
  • 1830-1900 Evening Meal
  • 2000-2245 Squad/Company Time, Special Events
  • 2300 Taps- much needed rest

What you’ll need to submit to apply to the Naval Academy Summer Seminar

Make sure you have all of these items before you start your application, as once you start your application you can’t make any changes or restart.

  • Congressional district
  • Class rank and size
  • Grade Summary
    • You will be asked to complete a checklist of classes you have taken with your grades from those classes. If you are currently enrolled in those classes, you should provide an estimated grade.
  • Personal Statement
    • A 1000-character limit essay answering “Why are you interested in attending the Naval Academy Summer Seminar?, Have you received any awards (STEM-related [science, technology, engineering, math], leadership, etc.), or been involved with any activities, groups, conferences in these mentioned areas?”

Find out more on the Naval Academy’s Summer Seminar page.

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

West Point Summer Leaders Experience (SLE)

Cost: $460 + travel expenses

Length: 7 days

Dates of West Point SLE

  • Session 1 – May 29th – June 4th, 2021
  • Session 2 – June 5th – June 11th, 2021
Photo of students at West Point SLE © 2010 Mike Strasser

Total Students Accepted per Year: ~1000

Application Window: January 15th – March 15th, 2021

You apply through the same page that candidates apply to USMA. For students flying from out of town, West Point will arrange transportation from Newark Airport, you just have to arrange a flight there.

What to expect

Get introduced to a completely different college experience by attending our SLE. This is a week-long immersion in West Point academic, military and social life. An action-packed week, it’s the best way for you to gauge the challenges you would encounter and overcome as a West Point cadet.

Typical day:

  • 5:45-6:45 AM Physical Training
  • 7:25-7:40 AM Breakfast in the Cadet Mess Hall
  • The remainder of the day: classes, military training, athletics, and social events
  • 11:00 PM Lights out

Academics Experience – You can choose from a variety of courses in different academic areas, including:

  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Modern Languages
  • Psychology

Military Experience

  • Physical Training
  • Weapons Familiarization
  • Obstacle Courses
  • Leadership Reaction Course
  • Candidate Fitness Assessment

Athletic and Social Experience

You’ll play intramural sports and social events with other SLE students and West Point cadets. You will also have the chance to ask cadets questions about the Academy and the Army. The entire week will give you a good sense of whether West Point is a good fit.

What you’ll need to submit to apply to West Point summer seminar

You’ll fill out the Part I USMA Candidate Questionnaire of the West Point application and the workshop/week preference (Part II) to apply for SLE.

West Point has provided the following averages for SLE attendees:

  • SAT 1200-1300 or
  • ACT 26-30 and is in the
  • Top 20% of their class,
  • Member of the National Honor Society
  • Participates in high school clubs
  • Participates in extracurricular leadership activities such as Student Council, Boy/Girl Scouts, Boys/Girls State,
  • Is in very good physical condition and/or a varsity letter winner and/or team captain in at least one sport.

Still apply if you don’t meet these criteria if you are dedicated to going to West Point! Find out more on the Summer Leaders Experience page.

You can also learn more about the West Point application process with our guide on getting into West Point.

Interested in ROTC programs too?

Did you know we also help students win ROTC scholarships? Check out our sister site: ROTC Consulting
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