West Point for Current Soldiers
Commanders have a critical role in recommending a soldier to West Point. Commanders are
highly encouraged to view the “Information for Units and Commanders” document.
Soldiers who are currently serving in an Active Duty, Reserve or National Guard capacity are
encouraged to apply to West Point to further their education. West Point is committed to helping
qualified Soldiers reach their full potentials and secure commissions in the Regular Army.
West Point believes Soldiers enhance the Corps of Cadets, and we value the life experiences
you have earned as a Soldier. If you want to be an officer in the U.S. Army, West Point will give
you an excellent education and the training you need to lead Soldiers as you continue to serve.
If you want to apply, start by allowing enough time for the process. Classes start each July, so
it’s best to apply the preceding summer to allow enough time to complete the entire admissions
Next, consider whether you meet the basic eligibility requirements. Those who have achieved
SAT scores greater than 1000 or ACT composite score of 20 or higher, and achieved average
grades or better in high school are especially encouraged to apply. For instructions on how to
download your SAT and/or your ACT scores from the testing services‘ websites.
Second, as a Soldier you must be recommended by your company or lowest-level unit
commander (click here for a commander’s endorsement). While this endorsement constitutes a
nomination, Soldiers are also strongly encouraged to obtain additional nominations from your
congressional nomination sources.
If by chance you are academically disqualified, as a Soldier you will be automatically
considered for admission to the United States Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS).
You may later be considered for admission to West Point.
FAQ – Soldiers Interested in Becoming Cadets
How is the application process different for Soldiers? The application steps are the same for
Soldiers and civilians who apply. However, Soldiers can obtain a nomination from their
company commanders and are automatically considered for the Preparatory School if not
directly admitted to West Point.
Can I come straight to West Point? Yes. Soldiers are directly admitted to West Point each year.
One has to have a strong academic, leadership and physical background. Most Regular Army
Soldiers have been out of high school for a while which makes the Prep School a logical start.
When should I apply? You can apply at anytime. The class starts each year in July which
means admissions decisions are made usually no later than April. It is best to apply early
(Aug/Sep) to give yourself time to complete required tests and evaluations and to complete the
What happens after I complete the candidate questionnaire (CQ)? Once you complete your CQ
and the admissions office reviews it, you will receive some type of correspondence. Competitive
candidates will receive an admissions packet that must be completed by mid-March. Other
Soldiers will need to turn in more information (e.g., SAT/ACT scores, high school transcripts).
Where can I take a SAT or ACT? Can I use the ASVAB instead? West Point only accepts the
SAT or ACT. You can use your post education center for the test. They have study materials
and offer more test dates than are available for civilians. No ASVAB scores are required.
While at the Prep School do I get paid? Yes. You will receive pay at your current enlistment
grade (Regular Army Soldiers only). The time at USMAPS counts as time in service, too. At
West Point, you receive cadet pay, but your time at West Point is not counted time in service.
Is there a Service Remaining Requirement for the Prep School and/or Do I have to reenlist to
go to USMA/USMAPS? Yes, you must have enough time remaining in your enlistment that
extends 13 months past the scheduled USMAPS graduation (usually late May). If directly
admitted to West Point, you must have enough time to complete one year.
Is it hard to get accepted? You will never know unless you apply. West Point values the life
experiences Soldiers have and how they enhance the Corps of Cadets. Take your SAT/ACT
early and often if need be, and complete your packet ASAP. If you want to be an officer in the
US Army, West Point will give you a comprehensive education and training to lead Soldiers.
What must I score on the SAT/ACT? Keep in mind there is not a dedicated score as we
evaluate several areas. Academics are 60% of our evaluation while 30% is your leadership
potential (based on high school and solider experiences) and 10% is your physical aptitude.
Competitive scores for USMAPS in the past were SAT 1100 and ACT 23.
Are there any out-of-pocket expenses? Tuition at USMAPS and West Point are fully funded by
If I am eligible for G.I. Bill benefits, can I collect them while at West Point? No, but the value of
your education at West Point (over $250K) will far exceed your GI Bill benefits. Additionally, you
can use the GI Bill for graduate school after West Point.
Are there age waivers? Yes, but only for five Solider per year who had previously been unable
to apply to West Point or complete their application to West Point due to a deployment in
support of the Global War on Terror. The waiver, if approved, can allow for Soldiers to be up to
the age of 25 on July 1st of the year entering West Point. For all other Soldier candidates who
do not meet this strict waiver criteria, you cannot be older than 22 years of age on July 1st of
the year entering West Point (21 on July 1 of the year entering the Prep School).
What if I do not have a high school diploma? You can apply with a GED. Be aware your
SAT/ACT score will carry more weight in your academic evaluation.
What do I do if my unit is deploying? Every year we work with Soldiers who are forward
deployed. Many of these areas have education centers and medical facilities. You still can
complete the admissions process while deployed. It is imperative to start early and do as much
as possible while in garrison.
How long is the Prep School? It is ten months long and is located at West Point, New York.
What happens to my current service obligation? Soldiers admitted to West Point are exempted
their prior service obligations when they graduate. Those who do not graduate may be required
to serve the remainder of their commitment left when they reported to West Point.
How do I apply? Please vist https://candidate.usma.edu/guest/cq/dad_pcq_part1.cfm?
field1=BW and complete the candidate questionnaire online.