Full-Ride Guaranteed Scholarships from US Military Academies
Students looking for full-ride guaranteed scholarships and the opportunity to serve their country through a military career will find U.S. armed forces academies offer a wealth of opportunities to complete a quality education and embark upon a rewarding career. In addition to a full-ride scholarship, all students accepted into U.S. military academies will also receive a monthly stipend in exchange for service. While each program differs, most military academies require applicants to procure a Congressional nomination from their state Congressional delegate. In addition, all applicants must also pass a physical fitness test, as well as meet other requirements. Academies offering a full-ride scholarship include the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
The United States Military Academy at West Point is known as one of the preeminent leader development institutions in the world. The mission of this academy is to train, educate and inspire Cadets to graduate as a commissioned leader. The student body at West Point, known as the Corps of Cadets, is expected to adhere to values of Duty, Honor and Country. Approximately 1,000 cadets graduate from West Point each year as commissioned second lieutenants in the United States Army.
The U.S. Air Force Academy is unique among other academies in that it functions as a university as well as an Air Force installation. The 10th Air Base Wing provides medical, logistical, security, fire response, civil engineering, medical support and family care throughout the entire 18,000 acre community. The USAFA is situated slightly north of Colorado Springs, in the Rocky Mountains. Students are able to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in 32 majors while earning a commission as a Second Lieutenant.
Attendance at the Academy starts with a 6-week, rigorous Basic Cadet Training. During this time, students receive an introduction to military life, including courtesies and customs, wearing of the uniform, marching and military history. During the final three weeks of Basic Training, cadets receive physical military training and challenges. Throughout their four years at the Academy, Cadets will participate and several military training events, including the Commandant’s challenge. More than 1,000 students graduate the United States Air Force Academy each year.
The United States Naval Academy also offers full-ride guaranteed scholarships to all accepted applicants. Originally founded by the Secretary of the Navy, George Bancroft, in 1845, the Naval Academy is located in Annapolis, Maryland and has a stated goal of developing midshipmen ‘morally, mentally, and physically.’ The four-year Office Development program at the Academy focuses on helping midshipmen prepare for careers as officers in the Marine Corps or Navy.
The U.S. Coast Guard Academy is situated on the Thames River in New London, Connecticut and provides a four-year Bachelor of Science degree program. As is the case with all of the United States military academies, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy provides a full, automatic scholarship for each individual accepted. Approximately 200 junior officers, or ensigns, are commission during the May graduation exercise each year. Upon graduation, the newly commissioned ensigns will report for duty at sector offices and aboard cutters around the world. Each graduate of the Academy is obligated to serve a minimum of five years in the U.S. Coast Guard. Many graduates of the U.S. Coast Academy also make the decision to remain in the Coast Guard and make a career of maritime military service.
The goal of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is to ensure individuals are prepared to serve the nation as transportation field leaders and shipboard officers. Originally dedicated in 1943, the Merchant Marine Academy is the realization of the passing of the 1936 Merchant Marine Act, which established the U.S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps two years later. Situated in Kings Point, N.Y., the Academy trains students who will pursue careers in the maritime industry and the armed services upon graduation.
Collectively, the academies are referred to as service academies. Applicants to each of the service academies, with the exception of the United States Coast Guard Academy, are required to obtain a congressional nomination. Those nominations may be made by Representatives, Senators, the President and the Vice-President. Coast Guard Academy applicants are allowed to compete in a nationwide competitive process in an effort to obtain one of the much sought-after guaranteed full-ride scholarships.