Academy Eligiblity


New Member
Dec 5, 2017
Hey guys I'm enlisting into the Air force at 21 , but will be turning 22 February 21 , I ship January 23rd and with the job I received After basic I'll have 41 days of tech school , when I get to my first duty it will be about the middle of May, with my age and the time It could take to submit and complete my application will I be still eligible to apply for the Prep School or do I miss the cutoff ? I've also heard about age waivers and was wondering if that's actually a thing ?
"You can't be past your 23rd birthday before July 1 of the year you enter the Academy." If you apply next year, you'll be 22 and your entering year would be 2019. In 2019 you turn 23 in February, i.e. you miss the cutoff. The prep school's age requirement is 22. Moreover, "the age requirement is public law and cannot be waived." All this information is available at You can always apply to other commissioning programs like enlisted specific ROTC programs or OTS.
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From my understanding you can't apply to the Prep School, USAFA would assign you there if you didn't receive a DA and they thought enough of you to offer you an opportunity to strengthen your candidacy for the following year.
One exception to the prep school. GENERALLY, ALL enlisted military who apply to the academy WILL ATTEND the Prep School first. Usually, the only time the academy lets enlisted go straight to the academy and bypass the prep school, is if A) The are on the LAST ADMISSION Cycle and they will be too old to attend the academy if they wait a year by going to the prep school; or B) If the individual has been involved heavily in college courses WHILE ENLISTED and is in the "Academic Mode" in the academy's opinion. But normally; all enlisted applicants to the academy WILL attend the prep school first. Not much of a choice. Matter of fact; that is one of the PRIME REASONS the prep school was started. Was FOR Enlisted applicants wanting to go to the academy and become commissioned officers.

As for the original poster; I normally don't reply to a poster with only 1 post. "Don't know if it's a legit question, troll, etc". But in this case, the bottom line is you will be too old to apply to the academy. Unless you are applying NOW, TODAY, with nominations, etc. and received an appointment this spring, you will be too old. Your only other course for commissioning is to apply to ROTC; you can do this while enlisted; or finish your degree on your own, and apply for commissioning through OTS/OCS. But for you, the academy is NOT an option.