Drews Mitchell, LEAP Counselor, had the privilege of attending the Center of Influence Conference at the US Naval Academy. You can focus your search with his tips.

The United States Naval Academy has a reputation of excellence that is truly well deserved.  My experiences at the Centers of Influence Conference solidified my positive opinions of the institution but also enlightened me to a few “hidden gems” that may not be available through a study of their website.  These are seven of the items that stood out in learning about the admissions process at the USNA:

Complete the process!  There were approximately 3,300 students who actually fulfilled each step of the application last year.  There are 1,191 students in the class of 2018.  The odds of obtaining acceptance will increase dramatically by meeting the application requirements.  The primary stumbling block is often securing the congressional nomination.  Be sure to get to know your representatives well.

Consider the Whole Person Score (WPS).  The USNA is interested in developing students morally, mentally, and physically.  Each candidate is given a score that will measure academics, athletics, and leadership. While the WPS typically weighs academics highly, leadership and physical fitness are also valued.  Don’t give up on the process if one of these areas may seem to be weaker than the norm.

Don’t give up!  Many students who did not make it reapply after one year of college.  Demonstrated interest can help. The Naval Academic Prep School in Newport, RI is another great option for some students who may not quite be ready for the academic rigors as a true 4th class student.  The admissions board will determine who is offered a position in the preparatory program.

Be STEM ready.  Two-thirds of USNA students have a STEM major.  Taking Chemistry and Physics in high school is required.  Don’t forget to explore the STEM camps offered in Annapolis each summer.

Consider the future.  Vice Admiral Carter (Superintendent) stated the new Cyber Operations major will help to prepare midshipmen for the future of naval warfare.  Tech-savvy high school students who desire a Naval commission should give strong consideration to this potential career option.  Plans are underway for a 206,000 square foot cyber operation building to be started in 2016.

Be on a team.  All sports are helpful in getting into the Naval Academy, but team sports are particularly attractive.

Seek out the Blue and Gold Officer.  The Naval Academy does a great job of utilizing many people to help with the admissions process.  The Blue and Gold officer for your region can be found on the USNA website.  This person will not only help to guide you through the process but will also interview you for the office of admissions.  Be thorough, responsible, and professional when working with the Blue and Gold Officer.

Like most things of value, it takes tremendous work to complete a Naval Academy application.  While challenging, the rewards are incredible.  LEAP is happy to help with this exciting journey!