USMMA Nominations


Apr 16, 2017
Today I was looking around on my congressman's website and saw the 2016 SA nominees that he had announced in February. USNA, USAFA, and USMA all had 8-10 nominees but the Merchant Marine Academy had zero. Does this mean that it's likely that no one applied for a nomination there and/or is this typical for most districts? I've never heard of anyone in my area go to KP, whereas I have for the other academies. Is this to my advantage since USMMA is one of my top choices?
There are many questions here. so, as I read your post, I see 1. what does no nominations mean?; 2. what is normal for a congressman with regards nominations?; 3. is no past nominations a positive?; 4. are lower numbers of nominations beneficial because USMMA is one of the top choices?

1. No nominations in 2016 could mean a variety of things. First, it could mean that no one met the congressman's standards for a nomination; could mean no one applied for a nomination, or, third, it could mean the congressman does not give nominations to USMMA. (there are some that apparently do). To determine which it is, look into the history of the congressman's nomination history. Almost all of the post a press release every year. go back 5-10 years and see. Also, call the local office nearest you and ask. They may be able to assist or will give you the number to the office that handles the nominations. But, always good to go local if you can since with a congressman the nomination process is much more "local" than a senators.

2. Of all the 4 academies which require nominations, I think you will find that nominations to USMMA are never to the level, numbers wise, as the DOD schools. There is no "standard" or "normal" for USMMA nominations. I think you will see that there are congressman that do not give nominations to USMMA. I want to think this is because of a lack of interest in certain areas for what USMMA provides. And, remember, if your congressman, for some reason does not give nominations to USMMA (you should be able to determine that from the congressman's website) any congressman in your state can give one to you.

3. No nominations is not really positive or negative. Assuming your congressman gives USMMA nominations, as long as you meet his criteria to receive a nomination, you should receive one. but, even if you are the only one to receive a nomination from that congressman, you are not guaranteed an appointment. Appointments are not awarded by congressional district. They are awarded by state, so, all nominations from the state are ranked and from that the appointments are awarded.

4. I guess this depends on what the other choices are. If USMMA is the only academy choice, then, yes, les competition for a nomination is "beneficial". However, if your choices include other academies, then you decision as to how to rank your request for a nomination is difficult. This depends on how the congressman awards nominations. Does he award only one per student, or does he award more than one per student. If he awards just one per student, then, before you put USMMA on top as your number one choice, you need to be sure it is your number one choice, because if you meet requirements, and the past shows he dos not fill up his slate, you are likely to receive it, but in this scenario, that nomination would be to the exclusion of any others. On the other hand, if you list a DOD school first, and then you are not awarded a nomination to the DOD school, there is no guarantee that they would fall back to your second choice. My best thought on this is to go with your instincts. This entire process is designed for the school to find you and you to find the school that is the best fit for you and them. While it is a very difficult concept to agree with or understand while you are in the midst of trying to get an appointment, I think you will find the overwhelming majority of people who have experience with the academies, to say that after all is said and done, the right fit between student and academy was reached, even if there are bumps along the way, or a different academy ends up being the one in the end.
any congressman in your state can give one to you.

I didn't realize this. I assumed it was like DoD academies. So does this mean I should apply for a nomination from every congressman in my state?
You can apply to every congressman. That is a choice for you to make. It may be worth calling the congressman's office and see if they will accept an application from out of their district. Just because a congressman can give a nomination does not mean they will. I would bet many don't even know they can give a nomination outside of their district.
I would agree that many MOC's do not realize that anyone in their state can request a nomination. My DS contacted a local MOC in the district next to us, and they wouldn't even let him have an application packet.