White House Nominations: Worth Applying?


Apr 14, 2022
Good morning folks. Knowing that thousands of "straight A" students with great test scores apply to the academies each year, I wonder
what intel is out there about VP nominations... What kind of young woman or man gets these nominations? Any insights into the secret sauce?

I am trying to counsel DS on focus and doing a select group of applications well rather than shotgun approach. For sure DS will apply for MOC
nominations in home state, but curious how elite a group is the typical White House nominee? What does the typical WH nominee have beyond
leadership experience and top end grades and scores...?

Thanks in advance for your wisdom.
Firstly, I would provide official sources, as a source of counseling for your DS. BC official sources ‘apply for ALL sources you qualify for’. Including VP. USNA.edu. Also counsel him too inquire of a BGO (he can locate them on the USNA website) with questions.

Be careful of counseling ‘I heard that xxx’ kinds of things. Even things read here.

Absolutely apply for VP noms. And any other he is eligible for. It gives an SA another option to charge him to. And the VO nom is the easiest of any to apply for. It’s one of the SA’s to assign.

Good luck with to him!!
As someone who had an LOA and was almost rejected by every nomination source, I would advise your DS to apply to all nom sources that apply to him, including VP. Start the applications early and get them in as soon as you get all the required material, things start to get hectic later on in the application cycle.
@justdoit19 is spot on - apply for anything you qualify for. While not intuitive, even being rejected (initially) by a nominating authority can still change as the admissions cycle progresses. The person who "won" the nomination may not be qualified and they have to move onto candidate #2.... or #1999. They need the application on file to make it legal and it provides flexibility to the admissions team as they work to maximize the accepted appointments for the class.

Raise your hand if you didn't have a nomination until June of your admissions year ? :wave: (me!)
You have the answer -- APPLY. There is absolutely no reason not too.... just one more form/application in the whole process.
There is no "Secret Sauce" to the VP Nomination, anymore than there is a Secret Sauce to the whole application process.
Everything you really need to know is in the USNA.edu web page, and the Application itself. Candidates (and parents, perhaps more the parents) drive themselves crazy here trying to figure the ins and outs of said "secret sauce" when it doesn't exist. It's actually pretty simple -- put forth the best application, combining academic performance, leadership, athletics and comittment to service -- that's the secret sauce.
You may want to read the Sticky Post pinned to the top of the Nominations Forum. Some good browsing there. Same questions come up every year.

You’ve received good guidance here. To sum up:
- Candidate should apply for all noms for which they are eligible. At a minimum, that is 3 elected officials and VP for DoD academies. This gives the SA flexibility as to where to eventually charge an appointment.
- It only takes 1 nom plus being fully or triple-qualified (CFA, DoDMERB, academic/all other) to be eligible to be offered an appointment. As noted above, more is better - more “nom buckets” to compete in.
- The VP does not have staff who actively participate in this nom category. The SA handles the selection.
- Only a few are available. The general thinking is that the SA assigns these to a candidate they really want who, for whatever reason, has not received a nom from another source. That can happen in highly competitive districts, or where Senators and Representatives collaborate and agree to not duplicate names across their slates, or not nominate someone for more than one SA, even if they are applying for 2 or more.

Finally, all applicants, even those with eye-watering applications, should go into this knowing every year, outstanding candidates who are fully qualified with at least 1 nom and sometimes more, are not offered appointments. There are just not enough seats in the class, at any of the 5 federal academies. As a side note, USCGA is not required to participate in the nominations system, and USMMA’s nom sources differ from the 3 DoD academies.

Advanced reading:
If a candidate has completed any applications for a service academy, any other nomination source, or any other college application, then the application for the VP Nomination takes less than five minutes to complete. Otherwise it takes 30 - 60 minutes and the material will be used in completing other applications.

No reason not to apply for the VP Nom.