West Point Admissions Deadline
No matter where you are in your high school career (or before for that matter) understanding the admissions timeline is vital! For the class of 2027, the West Point application deadline is January 31st, 2023.
If you’re a procrastinator, now is the time to change! Since many of West Point’s application items involve other people, start the process as early as possible. If all of your application requirements are not complete as of January 31st, your application file with West Point will be automatically closed.
Here is a brief overview of the admissions timeline. We recommend starting the official process during the second semester of your junior year of high school.
Junior Year – get the process started
- Prepare for the SAT/ACT
- Apply for the Summer Leaders Experience
- Take the SAT/ACT for the first time
- Get in contact with your regional Field Force Representative
- Start a file with West Point – the Candidate Questionnaire – you’ll need SAT/ACT scores
- Apply for a Congressional Nomination
The Candidate Questionnaire (CQ)
The West Point Candidate Questionnaire becomes available to high school juniors every January. If you make the cut you’ll receive a second step kit, which gives you access to the Candidate Portal. To complete the Candidate Questionnaire, you’ll need:
- SAT and/or ACT scores
- High School address and ETS code
Notification of qualification usually takes 24-48 hours.
Attend Summer Leaders Experience
This is completely optional, but we highly recommend you experience West Point so you’ll have a better idea if it’s a good fit! SLE is a week-long immersion in academic, military, and social life for those considering the United States Military Academy.
SLE takes place at the beginning of summer between your junior and senior years on the West Point campus. 500 students are chosen, and the application deadline is usually the end of March of your junior year. The program does cost several hundreds of dollars, so factor that into your decision. A small price to pay to help you make a life-altering decision.
You can find information for the current year in our post on Service Academy summer programs.
Your Field Force Representative
West Point values your character, resilience, and desire to serve. The best way they have to measure these is to interview you! The West Point admissions team cannot feasibly interview all applicants so they use Field Force Representatives, who are volunteers who help you navigate the admissions process and personally conduct the interview. Maintaining a positive and respectful relationship with your Field Force Rep is highly recommended.
We recommend establishing contact as early as possible. You can find your local Field Force Rep here (even before you open an application)
Most of the interviews occur from July through December of your senior year. Most of the time this interview happens in your home, their office, or a neutral location and lasts anywhere from 30-45 minutes. We offer interview prep as part of our consulting services and generally see large improvements in 2-3 one-hour sessions.
Senior Year – finish up application items
- Attend the Summer Leaders Experience
- Start the second/main portion of the West Point application
- Teacher recommendations
- Letters of recommendation
- Counselor/school profile
- Schedule your Field Force Representative interview
- Take the physical fitness test (Candidate Fitness Assessment)
- Start the DoDMERB medical qualification process
- Continue taking the SAT/ACT until your score is as high as it can be
- Complete all USMA forms
- Complete your Congressional nomination interviews
- The West Point Application Deadline for the Class of 2027 is January 31st, 2023. All application items must be completed by this date in order to be considered for admission.
- Continue to get good grades
- Get medically qualified by April
You don’t want to be rushing along with interviews and Letters of Recommendation by starting your application during your senior year. The whole process is already confusing and lengthy, don’t put added stress on yourself! Give yourself plenty of time to complete all items in the West Point application timeline.
Get to Know Your Teachers
You’ll need 4 letters of recommendation from teachers for your School Official Evaluation, to include the PE teacher administering your Candidate Fitness Test. Having good relationships with teachers will communicate character and potential to the West Point Admissions team.
Take the Candidate Fitness Assessment
It’s a great idea to prepare for the fitness assessment early. If you are an athlete, keep in mind you could get injured and be unable to complete the CFA in time. We recommend taking the CFA no later than the summer before your senior year.
Tips for success: prepare for the CFA by practicing the six test areas. Running, general conditioning exercises and competitive sports will also strengthen your abilities.
Get Medically Qualified
West Point requires you to be physically fit to commission upon admission and requires you to complete a physical examination. The Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DoDMERB) physical is scheduled by West Point. Start the entire application process early, in order to get your physical scheduled as early as possible. You’ll receive an email with instructions on how to schedule your physical. We recommend completing your medical exams as soon as possible in order to allow time for processing waivers should the need arise.
Once all your appointments are finished, DoDMERB will receive the results and usually make a decision within 2 weeks. Get back quickly with your follow-up appointments to make sure you are following along with West Point’s application timeline!
Second Semester Senior Year Grades Matter!
Your high school will send in your transcripts. These transcripts will include your grades up to the first semester of your senior year. Keep in mind that West Point Admissions looks at your final grades. The second semester of your senior year is not the time to get senioritis! We’ve seen candidates who had accepted admission have their admission revoked after the submission of final grades due to sub-par grades.
Letter of Assurance from West Point – Receive “Pre-Approval”
A Letter of Assurance is a reservation of an appointment to a Service Academy contingent upon medical qualification, physical qualification, Height/Weight, continued excellent work in school, and file Completion.
Letters of Assurance are conditional and subject to review throughout the entire application process. Candidates receive Letters of Assurance based upon excellent scholar, athlete, leader credentials as noted in our post on How to Earn a Letter of Assurance.
When does West Point make admissions decisions?
The Admissions Committee meets from early October of your senior year through early May.
Official Offers of Admission are sent out from January through Early May, giving you time to prepare for your Reception Day.
How to Get a Nomination for West Point
If you are seeking a Congressional Nomination, the process is similar across the four of the service academies (except for the Coast Guard Academy). The nomination process can be confusing when learning how to get into West Point. Understanding how the nominations process works will help you plan accordingly.
First, do you know the difference between a nomination and an appointment?
When applying to a Service Academy, you become a “candidate”. When West Point offers admission to candidates, this is also called being offered an appointment. You become an “appointee”.
In order for West Point to offer you appointment, you must have some type of nomination. West Point will not make you an offer of appointment unless you have a nomination. A nomination gives the Service Academy admission teams the legal authority to consider a candidate for an appointment.
Most cadets receive their nominations through Congress – either a State Senator or their local Congressional Representative.
There is also a Vice Presidential Nomination, although this is incredibly competitive. If you have a parent who was active duty or retired, you are also eligible to receive a Presidential Nomination.
Who are you eligible to receive a nomination from?
Typically you are eligible for at least your U.S. Congressional Representative, your 2 U.S. Senators, and the Vice Presidential nomination. These usually increase in competition as you increase from the local to national level.
Each Member of Congress is authorized to have 5 candidates at any one-time. Typically Senators and House Representatives will have 4 candidates and 1 open slot. They will usually use one open slot per year. Each slot can be filled by up to 10 nominations from the Senator/House Representative.
This chart depicts the nomination slots that each Senator/Representative has:
Although the class years have different designators at each Service Academy, we simplified them to make the chart easy to understand.
The most important part of the nomination process
Your best bet of receiving a Congressional nomination is usually from your local district Congressional Representative. Less people (compared to the entire state) are eligible to apply for a nomination from your local Rep compared to your Senators.
This piece is extremely important: Members of Congress can choose how they wish to nominate candidates.
Most nominating authorities (Members of Congress) send West Point a list of names and let the West Point admissions team decide who is most qualified. Other Members decide who they want to be appointed and send that person to West Point, along with backups. For this second method, West Point must consider the candidate to be fully qualified in order for them to be offered an appointment.
If you can determine what type of process your Member of Congress uses, this will be extremely helpful in your application. If you find out that your district’s Representative chooses who to appoint, focus extra attention on your congressional nomination process. Excelling during the interview could mean the difference between getting into West Point or not.
We go into more detail on each method that Members of Congress can be used in our post on Service Academy Congressional Nominations.
You should apply to every nomination source you are qualified for in order to increase your chances of selection for nomination.
Additional Nominating Sources:
- Presidential: children of military personnel
- Regular Army & Reserve Components
- ROTC & JROTC schools
- Children of deceased and 100% disabled Veterans
- Children of Medal of Honor Winners
Find your Senator or Representative here.
Remember, just because you are offered a Congressional nomination does not mean you will automatically get into West Point. Once you have your nomination you are potentially competing against 9 other candidates.
What happens when a Congressional Representative sends those (up to) 10 names to West Point?
Assuming the Member of Congress is letting West Point decide who is most qualified, West Point computes a raw score (the Whole Candidate Score) for each candidate, based on:
- SAT/ACT scores
- High school class rank
- Athletic activities
- Extracurricular activities
- Faculty appraisal
- Fitness test score (CFA)
Based on the score that you receive as a candidate, you’ll be ranked against the other West Point nominees from your district. In reality, you are competing against the other (up to) 9 candidates in your district. SAT and ACT scores make up the largest percentage of your ranking, so keep testing! Only 1 of the 10 candidates nominated will be offered a definite appointment.
If you are competing against 9 other candidates, the best thing you can do is to get your SAT or ACT scores as high as possible.