Congressman Leonard Lance

Representing the 7th District of New Jersey

Academy Nominations

Academy Nominations

Congressman Lance’s 2018 Service Academy Information Fair

Raritan Valley Community College (Conference Center)

118 Lamington Road in Branchburg

10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 16

Representatives from the U.S. Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy and the Coast Guard Academy are expected to participate. Additionally, representatives from Lance’s congressional staff will be available to answer questions from students about the nominating process.  

Lance’s service academy fair is free and open to all Seventh District high school students.  Students should register in advance at

Contact John Malone at or at 908-518-7733 if you have any questions. 

Applying To My Office For A Nomination

The privilege of nominating some of the best and brightest students in the Seventh Congressional District to our nation's Service Academies is one of my most important and meaningful aspects of being a Member of Congress.

U.S. Service Academy graduates receive a first-rate undergraduate education, equivalent to that provided by a top-tier, Ivy League school, with options to pursue advanced degrees; spend a minimum of 5 years serving their country on active duty as an Officer in the Armed Forces; and are provided with an education and experience that will provide a world of career opportunities. The full four-year scholarship is valued at more than $350,000 which includes tuition, room and board, medical and dental care and a monthly salary. Students learn military strategy, discipline, moral ethics and teamwork in a structured environment that fosters leadership and character development.

If you are highly motivated, looking for a challenge in your life and have a strong desire to serve your country in the Armed Forces, I hope you will consider attending a United States Service Academy.

Download The 2018 application packet.

Frequently Asked Questions: Service Academy Nominations:

What is a service academy?

A service academy is a federal educational institution that prepares officers for our Nation's Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Merchant Marines and Coast Guard.

How many service academies are in the U.S. and where are they located?

There are five:

The U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, NY
The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA)at Annapolis, MD
The U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) at Colorado Springs, CO
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, NY
The U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) at New London, CT

*Nominations are required for all but the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, to which appointments are made on the basis of an annual nationwide competition.

How do I attend an academy?

Admission to an academy is a competitive two-step process. The first step is to obtain a nomination from an authorized source. The second step is to receive an appointment from the academy. The nomination allows you to compete for the appointment but does not guarantee an appointment.

What is a nomination?

A nomination is the selection made by an authorized source. Title 10 of the U.S. Code establishes two types of nominations: 1) congressional and 2) presidential/military service connected.

Congressional nominations include selections made by 1) the Vice-President, who nominates candidates from any part of the nation, 2) U.S. Senators, who nominate candidates from their entire state, and 3) U.S. Representatives, who nominate candidates that reside within their Congressional District.

What is an appointment?

An appointment is a selection made by the individual academies after you have received a nomination. You will be competing with other nominees in the areas of academics, leadership potential and physical aptitude. An appointment gives you admission to an academy.

What are the basic eligibility requirements for a nomination?

To be eligible for nomination, you must meet the requirements as of July 1st of the year of admission to an academy:

  • You must be at least 17 years old, but not past your 23rd birthday.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must be unmarried, not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents.
  • You must reside within the legal boundaries of the Seventh Congressional District of New Jersey if you are applying for a nomination from Congressman Lance.

Can I apply for a nomination from more than one source?

Yes. Because the nomination and appointment process is very competitive you should seek all the nominations for which you are eligible. Every candidate is eligible for the four congressional nominations – one from the Vice-President Mike Pence, one from U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, one from U.S. Senator Cory Booker and one from Congressman Lance.

Can I also apply for a presidential nomination?

Yes, if you are eligible. Presidential nominations are reserved for children of career military personnel. To qualify, the parent must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be on active duty and have served continuously on active duty for at least eight years, or
  • Be retired with pay or been granted retired or retainer pay, or
  • Be a reservist or National Guard member (see Section 12733 Title 10 USC for details), or
  • Have died after being retired with pay or being granted retired or retainer pay;
  • Have begun adoption proceedings before the child's 15th birthday

Who can apply for the military service nominations?

Children of a deceased or disabled member of the Armed Forces may apply for nomination if the parent was killed or is 100% disabled by wounds or injuries received or diseases contracted while in active service.

Children of armed services members or civilian employees in active government service who are in an officially determined status of missing in action may apply for a nomination.

Children of Medal of Honor recipients from any branch of the armed services may apply for nomination.

How do I apply for a presidential or military service nomination?

Contact the academies for specific instructions.

When should I apply for a nomination?

You may apply anytime starting spring of your junior year of high school until fall of your senior year. The deadline is always a date in October. Typically, people apply their senior year, but you may also apply after you graduate from high school, as long as you meet the basic eligibility requirements.

What if I miss the deadline?

The nomination process is competitive so to be fair to all applicants, if you fail to submit information by the deadline, you will not be considered for an academy nomination.

Should I apply for an ROTC scholarship?

Because the nomination and appointment process is competitive, not all candidates will receive a nomination or an appointment so it is also a good idea to apply for an ROTC scholarship.

What are the basic qualifications for a nomination?

Candidates are evaluated in five areas: moral character, academic record, leadership potential, physical and medical fitness and commitment to the military. The information you provide through your personal letter/essay and references should reflect these basic qualifications:

  • Moral character - All candidates are considered of good moral character, unless evidence suggests otherwise.
  • A strong academic record - Your high school/college transcripts, class rank and SAT/ACT scores will be evaluated.
  • Demonstrated leadership potential - List all of your extra-curricular activities, such as participation in sports, school government, clubs, church activities and employment. Also, your references will be asked to provide information about your leadership qualities.
  • Physical and medical fitness - The individual academies will make this determination through a physical aptitude and medical examination.
  • A commitment to live a military lifestyle – Attending a service academy is not like a normal college. When you accept an appointment to a service academy, you become a member of the U.S. Armed Services, so you must have a strong desire to serve in the military while obtaining your education.

Who is eligible to attend the prep school at the USMA, USNA, USAFA, and USCGA?

Prep school candidates are students who receive a nomination, but do not meet the academic standards to attend an academy. These students have been deemed to have the ability to benefit from a year at prep school with the goal of admission to an academy. Attendance at a prep school does not guarantee an appointment but prep school graduates are very successful in obtaining a future appointment.

How will I know if I am nominated?

Nominations will be made by mid-December. You will be notified by mail.

Does a nomination guarantee an appointment?

No. A nomination is the selection made by an authorized source and allows a candidate to compete for an appointment.

When will I know if I am appointed?

The Academies will begin making appointments in late January. All appointment offers are generally completed by May.

If I do not receive a nomination or an appointment, can I apply again?


How can I improve my chances of qualifying academically for a nomination and an appointment?

Your high school preparation should include:

  • Four years of mathematics courses – including geometry, algebra, and trigonometry.
  • Pre-calculus and calculus course are also encouraged.
  • One year of chemistry, with lab if possible.
  • Four years of English – with special attention on the study and practice of effective writing.
  • English and American literature courses are also helpful
  • Two years of a foreign language.
  • One year of physics, with lab if possible.
  • One year of U.S. history.
  • Computer skills.
  • Courses in geography, government, and economics will be helpful as well.

Why should I participate in extracurricular activities?

Your participation in athletic and non-athletic extracurricular activities will help to demonstrate your ability to meet the physical, time management and leadership demands of four years at an Academy. It's also a good idea to get in excellent physical condition while still in high school. Physical exercise is part of everyday life at an Academy. Your first year at an Academy is not the time to whip yourself into shape. Your participation in these activities, as well as a record of part-time employment, will help to show your versatility and your ability to accept responsibility.

Participate in leadership:

  • Participate in Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts
  • Participate in Varsity sports
  • Work towards a Congressional Award
  • Participate in Boys/Girls State
  • Join a local band, orchestra or theatrical production

Is it possible to visit the academies?

Yes. Each academy hosts tours for prospective candidates and their parents. These tours are highly advisable, as this will help you decide if academy life is right for you and which academy you would like to attend. For more information about the tours – contact the academies individually.