Ways to get into West Point?

I know that you can get in straight out of high school if your grades are good and you have plenty of extracurricular activites. But I fear I won't be able to meet these demands after 2 years of sub-average grades and no sports in high school. Seeing as I plan on going into the army one way or another (preferably as an officer), how else can I get accepted?


My grades are going up because of sheer force of pride. Would it be plausible to enlist for 2-3 years and then apply? I understand they hold slots for enlisted soldiers.

7 Answers

  • Tom
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You have two years of high school left and one semester of college to bring your PAR(prior academic record) up to the level of an applicant who had stellar grades for his first three years of high school. Since admission boards begin to meet in the late summer/early fall, only grades through Junior year are considered for high school applicants. For applicants applying from College they will look at the first semester of college grades as well as senior year grades. Most classes in freshman and sophomore year are not going to be given much weight since the grades in the highest level of a subject indicate where a student is at the time of applying. Also core math and english subjects are tested on the Sat or Act. The service academies only consider the extracurricular record from 10th grade on so there are two years of high school and a semester of college to show leadership in extracurricular activities. Make sure you understand Algebra completely because it is tested on the Sat and without a strong foundation, it will be difficult to do well in higher math and science classes. The Sat tests Alg 1, Alg 2 and Geometry. The Act also tests Trig. A program of extracurricular reading of great literature, looking up unknown words in a dictionary will help with Sat Cr scores.

    The whole person score by which selection decisions are made consists of Academic Composite(60%); Extracurricular Composite(20%); Admissions Panel(20%.)

    Academic Composite = Par + Sat/Act

    Par = Weighted Gpa + Class Rank based on weighted Gpa corrected for competitive level of school measured in percent of students continuing on to 2 year and 4 year univesities.

    Admissions Panel = CFA + Malo Interview + Letters of Recommendation from HS Math Teacher, High School English Teacher, Hs Principal or Counselor, HS Coach or PE Instructor, Writing Sample

    No, it is not plausible to enlist for 2-3 years. There are not anhy slots held for enlisted soldiers. There are a maximum of 85 Secretary of the Army nominations for active duty soldiers and maximum of 85 Secretary of the Army nominations for Reserve and National Guard Soldiers; however, the Army and West Point never intend to fill all of these position with prior enlisted. West Point did not indicate the exact number of prior enlisted in the Class of 2013 Profile but it did mention there were 25 combat veterans, so I assume this is probably close to the number of prior enlisted. The majority of these slots go to high school students recruited for athletics and other academy goals. One must understand exactly what is being stated on the Usmaps wesbite....

    "A limited number of civilian high school graduates are authorized by the Department of the Army, and selected by West Point, to enlist in the Army Reserves, specifically for the purpose of attending USMAPS. It is important to know that all candidates must apply to West Point to be considered for USMAPS and that candidates may not apply directly to the Prep School."


    It is true that the number of civilians is limited, but it is also true that 99% is a limit. Currently, prior civilians comprise the majority of the students at each Service Academy Prep School. I haven't seen the exact figures for Usmaps but Usna in the Class of 2013 Portrait did indicate the number of civilians at Usnaps who entered the Usna Class of 2013 and it was exactly 90% of the Usnaps class. [24Prior Enlisted(17 Sailors + 7 Marines) / 242 Usnaps grads in Usna Class of 2013 = 10%]


    These civilian high school students who are enlisted in the Reserves and placed on active duty at the time of entering Usmaps account for most of the Secretary of Army nominations. An Rotc commander can nominate Cadets to West Point so this is an additional source of a nomination and an additional arena of competition in the round of competition within nominating sources. See page 17 of the 2009-2010 West Point Catalog:


    My advice is to make sure you understand Algebra and Geometry, join at least one athletic and non athletic extracurricular activity, do the community service necessary to join NHS, put all effort in to senior year including the last semester when most students come down with a serious case of senioritis. Apply for the summer seminar in mid December of Junior year to establish a desire to seek an appointment to West Point. Apply for a nomination. Apply for an Army Rotc Scholarship. If not appointed as a senior for the Class of 2016 , reapply for the Class of 2017.

    Good Luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    You could do a year at a community college and see how your grades go. If you have a 4.0 and are taking hard classes like calc and psychics you might be able to reapply. In addition to applying for West Point, you could also apply for rotc. That is what I did and I was able to earn a 2 year advanced rotc scholarship. What I did was I completed two years at my community college and cross enrolled with a local university that offered rotc. I applied for a 3 year scholarship as my college gpa was a 3.5. At first, I was disappointed that I did not get a 3 year scholarship but it really worked out. Keep in mind that if you go to a community college and apply for the academy, you will have to retake all of your coursework again because you cannot transfer as a sophomore or junior.

    There is also the option of enlisting for the USMA prep school. http://www.usma.edu/USMAPS/pages/visitors/faqs/que... You can apply for the prep school while you are enlisted but be aware that it is also competitive. That is why you might want to go to a community college for a year to strengthen your gpa.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There are around 200 slots for active duty and there are about 200 slots for reserve/guard troops. From what I have heard these slots have never been completely filled. After going to basic and AIT you can ask your CO to give you a recommendation to West Point. You will then do the Fitness Test and some other stuff. Your chances of getting in are much higher this way.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Frankly I'd talk to a recruiter - there are other ways to get into OCS while working on a college degree. If what you say is true regarding the grades - you have little chance of getting in - recommend you start working on plan "B".

    While I was going to college I was activity recruited by the campus Air Force after my grades came to their attention (and a few other things like a tip off from my advanced psychology professor).

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  • 1 decade ago

    After High school spend a year out. Do lots of different sports and try to get in to leadership positions. Join Political groups. Do some courses to increase your skills. Do as much possible in that year out to be the best. Its not all about grades,

  • MSG_A
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Sandra offered a very good answer, but you you can also apply from within the ranks. Selection is even harder than from high school, but those that make it are well-regarded.

    Source(s): Academy graduate
  • 1 decade ago

    Just enlist in the Infantry!

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