Last Updated on March 23, 2022

What is a Letter of Encouragement?

A West Point Letter of Encouragement (LOE) is a communication from the West Point admissions office to a candidate stating that they are competitive for admission.

West Points sends LOEs to highly qualified candidates to entice them to strongly consider West Point. These students have many college options to choose from and providing an early indication of admission can help sway these students to choose West Point over other highly ranked schools. It also serves as motivation to visit West Point and the admissions director’s words: “discover if West Point is the right college for you.”

West Point also offers candidates Letters of Assurance, which are different.

Before you can be offered a Letter of Encouragement, you have to apply to become a candidate! Keep on top of the application deadlines with our checklist:

Never Miss a West Point Application Deadline

Subscribe to get instant access to all the important Class of 2026 deadlines

Who Obtains a Letter of Encouragement?

To offer the LOE, West Point must have some confidence that the candidate will be the selected appointee for their Congressional district OR be competitive as a Qualified Alternate (QA)–the top 150 by Whole Candidate Score who were not selected to fill a Congressional vacancy.

When we looked at West Point candidates for one randomly selected state, we were able to find the following data points:

  • Total LOEs offered: 40
  • Total offered admission: 13/40
  • Total qualified but not offered admission: 12/40
  • Total applications withdrawn: 15/40
  • Recruited Athletes: 0
  • Diversity candidates: 0
  • Average SAT Math: 670
  • Average SAT Verbal: 670

For more information on West Point, read our guide on earning an appointment to West Point.


A letter of encouragement does not assure you of admission to West Point but indicates that you are competitive.

If you receive an LOE and fully complete your application and are considered qualified academically, physically, and medically, you have about a 50% chance of admission.

Diversity candidates or recruited athletes generally do not get LOEs.

Once you receive an LOE, an improvement in your file should increase your chances of admission over the 50% mark.


Candidates who receive LOEs have about a 50% chance of admission. If you can improve your file after receiving the LOE by increasing your SAT/ACT or improving other parts of your file, you can improve your admission chances even more. The LOE should serve as motivation to push hard through the finish line to obtain a West Point offer of admission.

Maximize your chances of appointment with our West Point Course