Any information or advice?


New Member
Jan 17, 2017
I'm currently a sophomore in high school, and I have been planning on attending USAFA for a few years now. I'm curious as to whether or not anybody that has/is currently attending the Academy could give me their opinion about it? Recommendations and advice for preparing to apply would be much appreciated as well. Thanks!


5-Year Member
Sep 17, 2014
There are plenty of threads for you to search on advice for prospective applicants. You can find advice on how to prepare, what academies look for in applicants and a ton of questions asking for chances and giving numbers for you to compare yourself to including many who were appointed.

However, there is no magic number or set of criteria other than what is listed to become a qualified candidate. You are on track to be a qualified candidate.

The simple answer is work on becoming a well rounded candidate and strive to hit at least the median in all areas for the applicant pool of your senior year.

Start with school and take a challenging schedule and work to improve your GPA. This year's class median was around 3.7 unweighted. Take the ACT and/or the SAT until you get a score you are comfortable with. This year's class median for the ACT was 30.

In athletics continue to work and take on leadership where you can. Show how you contribute to making the team better. It is not as much about being a star as understanding the concept of team and working to be a good team member.

In leadership, show how you lead and make a difference. It is more than signing up and obtaining a position. It is what you do and why you do it. For example if you are in CAP strive for the Billy Mitchell Award. If you are a Boy Scout work to become an Eagle Scout. If you can go to Boy's or Girl's State for your school.

What videos about BCT and learn about what it means to be in the U.S. Military. Be prepared to explain why you want to serve. Make sure it is the end goal before you decide the Academy life is for you. Reach out to your ALO and let them know of your interest and ask them the question you posed to this board. Call your MOC and find out their nomination application process. Find out if they do any military information days and go to them if they do. These relationships are important to seeking a nomination and appointment.

Although you are a sophomore the time will go by fast and there is a lot to do between now the end of your junior year. I also recommend considering applying for Summer Seminar next year. It is a great way to test drive the application process and see what life is like for a week at USAFA.

Capt MJ

Formerly Known As Attila The Hunnette
10-Year Member
Sep 27, 2008
Read everything on the USAFA website, every link, every draw down. Take notes.

Search "chance me" and "stats" threads on all SA forums here to get a feel for what others are doing/have done, and the scope.

Read up on nominations, sources, Academy Information sessions, on primary sources. Read the Nominations thread here on SAF.

Read the Acronyms Sticky here on SAF.

Build out timelines, identify action items. Develop a plan that addresses every aspect of your future application. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Research your Plans B, C, etc.

Be sure you want to be an Air Force officer, research the career fields available to officers, and work backwards from there to find the path that best fits you.

Read the DODMERB forum and threads related to medical DQs. Get smart on any conditions that could be a problem or medications you might have to be off of for a specific period of time.

Explore the other SAs, to develop clarity on your decision, and to be able to confidently answer the question "why didn't you apply to X?"

Look up the CFA and assess where you stand with regard to the averages. Much easier to ramp that up a few years out than 3 months prior. A good resource:

Think carefully about your rising senior summer, and the scheduling challenges of trying to attend the USAFA summer program, Boys State, Girls State, etc.

Don't do anything foolish! Exercise impulse control and stay focused on the long game here. Keep your social media respectable.

Visit USAFA!