Academy Nominations

Academy Nominations

Senator Hickenlooper is honored to nominate a select few of Colorado’s best and brightest students to serve our country by attending one of our four service academies: the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The men and women who attend our service academies receive a top-notch education while preparing for careers in military service and beyond. To be considered, each student must receive an official nomination from either a U.S. Senator or a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Our office is working together with Senator Bennet’s office to nominate students to service academies.


The Fall 2024 Academy Nomination interview applications are now open. The application will close October 4, 2024 at 11:59pm MT.

For more information on the application process, nomination timeline, and other helpful instructions, please review this presentation from the service academies and congressional delegation.

Please contact our Academy Nominations Coordinator Nannette Byrne-Haupt if you have any questions:  

Phone: 719-632-6706 | Email:

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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).

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.

What materials are required to apply?

• Three letters of recommendation
• ACT and/or SAT scores
• Personal letter to Senator Bennet noting your reasons for seeking a nomination to an Academy
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Who should write the three letters of recommendation?

One letter of the three 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 three letters, only upload your top three to your online application. We will only consider three letters.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.