One of the highest honors Michael has as a Senator is to nominate Coloradans to a U.S. Service Academy. Attending a Service Academy is a pledge to build upon the legacy of service, character, and integrity of those who have come before you. We have no doubt that if selected, you will make Colorado proud.

In order to attend a Service Academy, you must receive a congressional nomination. Please note: Applying to our office for a nomination is only one part of the process. You also must apply directly to the Academies. 

The application opens on April 23, 2024, and the current deadline is October 4, 2024. You can access the 2023 Service Academy event presentation HERE. Please contact our Colorado Springs Office for more information. All letters of recommendation must be received by October 11, 2024.

Many Coloradans are knowledgeable about the U.S. Air Force Academy located in Colorado Springs. However, there are four other service academies that each offer a unique experience. You may apply to the following Academies:

  • U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
  • U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY
  • U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD
  • U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY
  • U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT*
  • *The U.S. Coast Guard does not utilize congressional nominations.

Application Information

  • Do applicants need to apply to the Service Academies in addition to their members of Congress?

    Yes, absolutely. In order to accept a congressional nomination to any Academy, you must have a completed application on file with the corresponding Academy. You may receive a nomination to an Academy other than your first choice. If you are interested in the opportunity, a completed application to that Academy enhances your chance of being offered an appointment.

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  • What commitments come with attending a Service Academy?
    An appointment to a Service Academy includes four years at an Academy followed with five years of active duty service. Return to Top
  • What are the eligibility requirements for a congressional nomination?

    To be eligible, you must be:

    • An American citizen;
    • A legal resident of Colorado (or a dependent of military members who are Colorado residents);
    • Unmarried;
    • Not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents;
    • And at least 17 years of age and not yet 23 years old on July 1 of the year you would enter an academy (25 years old for USMMA).
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  • If an applicant is actively serving in the United States Military, is he or she still eligible to apply for a service academy nomination?

    Yes. As long as you meet the guidelines listed above, you are eligible to apply.

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  • What materials are required to apply?
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • ACT and/or SAT scores
    • Personal letter to Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper noting your reasons for seeking a nomination to an Academy
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  • Who should write the two letters of recommendation?

    One letter of the two must come from a teacher, counselor, or principal. It does not have to be a teacher, counselor, or principal you have right now – it can be someone from a previous school year.

    Your letters of recommendation MUST have signatures of the recommender, not their typed name. Please have your writer put the recommendation on the letterhead of their organization. Note: There may be some individuals, such as retired teachers or coaches, who are sending letters on personal letterhead. That is fine.

    Our application includes a place to provide the name and relationship of each of your letter writers. If you receive more than two letters, only upload your top two to your online application. We will only consider two letters.

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  • What do you look for in an application?

    Our office takes a whole-person approach when selecting applicants to receive a nomination. We are looking for individuals with the following attributes:

    • Diverse leadership qualities
    • Competitive ACT and/or SAT scores
    • Efforts at self-improvement
    • Commitment to community and country
    • Patriotism
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  • What happens after the application is submitted?

    The application window is open from April to October. If you missed this year’s deadline, please contact our Colorado Springs office for more information.

    After you submit your application, if selected, you will be notified by Senator Bennet’s or Senator Hickenlooper’s office for an interview. Interviews are scheduled and completed by mid-December.

    Applicants are notified of a nomination by early January.

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  • Is the application process for Academies and congressional offices identical?

    No, you should visit each academy website, as well as each congressional office website, to determine their application requirements. The only exception to this are the offices of Senator Bennet and Senator Hickenlooper, who have a joint nominations process.

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  • What is Senator Bennet and Senator Hickenlooper’s joint nominations process?
    One application can be submitted to either Senator for full consideration by both. The Senators combined efforts better serve Coloradans in the service nominations process. Return to Top
  • Does applying to both United States Senators and members in the House of Representatives enhance an applicant’s chance of receiving a nomination?
    Yes, we recommend applying to your congressman in the House of Representatives, as well.  Return to Top
  • Are members of Congress the only nominating sources?

    You may also qualify for a nomination through the following offices:

    • President Biden, who nominates children of career military personnel, deceased or disabled veterans, military, or civilian personnel in missing status, or Medal of Honor recipients;
    • Vice President Harris, who nominates five individuals to each academy from across the United States per year;
    • The Secretaries of the Army, Navy, or Air Force, who nominate members of regular military, reserve components, and participants in the ROTC.
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  • Will an applicant automatically be selected by the Academy if he or she receives a nomination?

    No. The Academies will receive a list of nominees from each Senator and congressional office. The Academy to which you were nominated will select nominees from those lists and offer appointments. If selected, you will receive an offer of admission (an appointment) directly from the Academy.

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  • Do applicants need a nomination for the United States Coast Guard Academy?
    No. Admission to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a Congressional nomination. You can apply through their website here. Return to Top

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