Academy Nominations

Online applications for nominations for the 2025-2026 school year (graduating class of 2029) are now open.

Apply here: Senator Merkley’s Online Academy Nomination Application Portal


U.S. Service Academy Nominations

Every year, Senator Merkley has the great privilege of nominating some of the finest young Oregonians for possible admission to the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, the United States Military Academy, and the United States Naval Academy. Please note the U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination. The service academies provide students with a distinguished and rigorous education that produces some of the best commissioned officers to serve in the United States Armed Forces.  Cadets and midshipmen attend the service academies with a full scholarship.  The scholarship includes tuition, room and board, medical and dental insurance, and a monthly stipend.  Upon acceptance of an appointment to a service academy, a student commits to five years of active duty service after graduation.

Each Senator and Representative may have a maximum of five cadets or midshipmen at each service academy at one time. During the summer, the service academies report the number of vacancies available for the coming admissions cycle to each member of Congress. Senator Merkley’s office is notified throughout the year when additional vacancies become available because of graduations, transfers, resignations, academic failures, or other reasons. The office may nominate up to ten candidates for each vacancy.

To begin the nomination process, you should first apply directly to the service academies you would like to attend. Applicants should apply to service academies of their choice in the spring of their junior year in high school and request a nomination from the appropriate nomination source shortly thereafter. You should apply for all nominations you are eligible for, including your United States Senators, your United States Representative in Congress, and the Vice President of the United States, who can nominate applicants at large.

Eligibility Requirements

Every person applying for an academy nomination from Senator Merkley must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of the state of Oregon, and never married. The U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy require that applicants must not have reached their 23rd birthday by July 1 of the year of admission. Candidates to the Merchant Marine Academy must be at least 17 years of age and have not passed their 25th birthday on July 1 of the year of admission.

Additionally, please be aware that candidates must pass the service academy medical examination before they can receive an appointment. The examination is scheduled by the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB). Please carefully review the medical information on the academy websites and contact the academies directly if you have any questions or concerns about disqualifying medical conditions.


Each Senator can only nominate a limited number of applicants to the service academies. Please understand that the congressional nomination process is very competitive, and that if you do not receive a nomination from Senator Merkley’s office, it does not necessarily mean you do not meet service academy standards. Rather, it just reflects the highly competitive nature of the process and the large number of Oregonians seeking a nomination.

How to Apply for a Congressional Nomination

Any candidate seeking a nomination from Senator Merkley to a service academy for the 2025-2026 academic year must complete the application process by clicking HERE to access the online application. You will be prompted to create an account, which you must use to upload application documents and track your application through the nomination process. The documents you must submit include:

  • Three letters of recommendation from non-family members, one of which must be from a school counselor, teacher, or school administrator. Examples of other potential recommenders include coaches, scout leaders, employers, pastors, or other mentors who know you personally.
  • An official copy of your high school transcript
  • An official copy of your college transcript (if applicable)
  • SAT and/or ACT test scores. Please arrange for your official score reports (ACT and/or SAT) to be sent directly from ACT, Inc. or the College Board. Senator Merkley’s SAT code is 0263 and his ACT code is 7173.
  • Four short answer written responses
  • A list of your extracurricular activities, to include: school activities, athletics, work experience, community volunteer activities, honors, and awards


All documentation must be received by November 1, 2024 at 9:00 PM Pacific time. If you are unable to submit all documentation by November 1st due to circumstances beyond your control, please contact Senator Merkley’s Portland office immediately at

Senator Merkley’s office is committed to a fair assessment process of the “whole student,” including information about academics, athletics, life experiences, unique circumstances, volunteer work, and leadership ability.

Expected Timeline for the Application Process

  • May 2024: Online portal opens for applications.
  • November 1, 2024: Deadline to turn in all required application materials.
  • Late January 2025: Nominees selected and submitted to service academies.

Service Academy Admissions Websites

Additional information on how to apply to the service academies can be found at each school’s admissions website:

Academy Admissions Representatives

We strongly recommend contacting your chosen academy’s state admissions representatives. These individuals are a great resource to provide additional information on their application process, and to assist prospective cadets and families.

Academy Summer Programs

Some service academies offer summer programs to high school juniors to provide potential candidates an insight into life at their prospective academy. If you would like to gain more exposure to academy life, you may consider applying for a summer program. Attending a summer program is not necessary to secure a nomination from Senator Merkley.

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