The Ace Loan at USNA is mandatory. It is an interest free loan that is paid back over almost 3 years. It starts being paid off in November of 4/C year and finishes at the end of May of Mids 2/C year. Scholarships - if the issuing organization allows can be applied as can Educational savings accounts. The thing to remember even if you use Scholarship etc towards the Ace Loan your Midshipman's pay will not be any different than any of his classmates. It will be seen in the payback of held pay.
Starting with this past class there is no longer an initial enterance fee - it has been rolled into a larger ACE Loan. I would imaging the ACE loan for the class of 2012 was somewhere just over 9000.00. What everyone should keep in mind is that this is the only time we all will have use of the governments "free" money since this carries no interest, and is automatically accounted for in the way Midshipmen are paid. The big thing they have to keep in check is Midstore charging. Other than books - My Mid does not use it and pays for everything else on a debit card. He has gotten some held pay back every year.
There is no "application" for the ACE Loan. They will sign some documents on I Day acknowledging that they have been issued this money into their pay account. If they do leave the academy prior to paying it off they are responsible to reimburse the Navy for outstanding balances that they have already spent.
That example of Total Pay was for the Month of July of Plebe summer only. It includes your regular pay rate plus Ace Load and Fee (no longer collected on IDay)
Your total pay over 4 years will be more like $10,000+ your Plebe Year, 10,000+ your Third Class year, $10,000+ your Second Class year and 10,000+ your First Class year. So over the course of the 46 months at USNA you will be paid over $40,000, That does not include the ACE Loan or for the Classes of 2010 and 2011 their Initial Entrance fee.
Pay rate is about 850.00 per month every year. Out of that pay and your held pay is how you pay for all of your expenses. Even if you do your own laundry, girls never get a hair cut at Brigade Beauty Shop you are charged for those services which is why they fall in the Fixed Deductions.
Plebe Summer every Plebe will receive $50.00 at the End of July and End of August. Starting in September it goes up to $100.00 per month. This is all that is "left" after all of your deductions from your ~850 per month pay. Starting in July of 3/c year your cash pay (no not in cash but deposited to your Navy Federal Account) is $200.00 per month, and then in 2/c year it goes up to $300.00 per month. Starting your first class year it looks more like a real paycheck as the loan is paid off it but there are still some fees that will be subtracted at different times of the year so some months will be above $500 and others more like $350 (you pay for your Alumni membership,2 months and Books)
I would imagine the pay is similar at USAFA and USMA but will defer any details as I really only have ever seen the Budget book that the Midshipmen use.
If you can find a copy of Brief Points
This budget stuff is also explained in that book.
Katie - get used to it, it just cost more to be a girl! Uniforms are more expensive. You have items like Trousers and skirts, Heels and flats; - yet to see a male Mid in a skirt and heels! - I am sure you get the picture!