The U.S. Armed Forces operate five military service academies that provide a high-quality 4-year college education. Students graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree and are commissioned as officers (second lieutenant or ensign) in the corresponding branch of the U.S. military.
The costs of tuition, fees, textbooks, room and board, as well as medical and dental care are covered in full. Students also receive a small monthly stipend. In exchange, they commit to a service obligation of at least five years.
Admission to the academies is extremely competitive, and is based on high school GPA, ACT/SAT admissions test scores, leadership experience, participation in athletics, extracurricular activities and community service. In addition, a letter of recommendation from a member of Congress is required.
The service academies include:
- U.S. Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, New York (1-800-822-8762)
- U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, Maryland (1-800-638-9156)
- U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado (1-800-443-9266)
- U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) in New London, Connecticut (1-800-883-8724)
- U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point, New York (1-866-546-4778)