Senator Smith has the honor and privilege to recommend some of Minnesota’s most brilliant and skilled individuals to attend the United States Service Academies. These academies allow young people to serve our country while receiving a full four-year scholarship from some of our finest institutions of higher learning. Upon acceptance of an appointment into an Academy, a student commits to five years of service after graduation or work in the Maritime Industry, if they attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The Nomination Process

To be considered for an appointment to a service academy, an applicant must meet the eligibility requirements established by law and be nominated from an authorized person including a member of the United States Senate or the United States House of Representatives.

Each member of Congress is allowed just five individuals enrolled in a particular Academy at any given time. Sen. Smith will nominate ten individuals per open slot at each Academy. Each Academy then appoints the nominees who fulfill their admission requirements.

Sen. Smith highly recommends that you apply to all nominating sources and academies available to you as a candidate.  This includes: The Office of the Vice PresidentSenator Klobuchar’s office, Sen. Smith’s office, and your U.S. Representative’s office.  This allows you the greatest chance of receiving a nomination, as our Minnesota Delegation works together to ensure that as many bright Minnesotans have the opportunity to be appointed to one of the academies. 

Timeline for Sen. Smith’s Application Process

  • June 2021: Online application and information packet available via the Senator's web page
  • Friday, October 29th, 2021: (5:00 pm Central): Application Deadline
  • Saturday, November 20th, 2021: Academy Interview Day (Virtually using WebEx)
  • December 2021 to January 2022: Academy Coordinator finalizes Sen. Smith’s nominations by working in conjunction with other Minnesota Congressional offices.
  • Late January to mid-February 2022: Nomination notification letters (both affirmative and negative) are sent to applicants

Each applicant for a nomination must meet the following eligibility requirements as of July 1 of the year of admission to a service academy:

  • Must be at least 17 years old, but not have passed the 23rd birthday.  Exception: The Merchant Marine Academy applicant must be at least 17 years old, but not have passed the 25th birthday.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen. You must submit proof of citizenship if you were foreign born or naturalized.
  • Must be unmarried, not pregnant, and have no legal obligation to support children or other dependents.
  • Must be a resident of Minnesota.
  • Must be of good character, academic, leadership, physical, and medical fitness.

Required Materials

  • Application Form with Checklist - Please ensure that the form is neatly filled out and completed in ink or type and include the completed checklist.
  • Current Resume - Current Professional Style Resume.
  • Picture - Picture should show applicant's face and be no smaller than 1" by 1".
  • 1-2 Page Essay - In a clear and concise manner, explain why you want to attend a service academy and what this has to do with your future goals and the goals of the United States Military.
  • Transcripts - Please send all high school and (if available) college transcripts.
  • Appropriate Test Scores (SAT or ACT) - When taking these tests, applicants can request that results be sent directly to my office by using ACT code 7146 and SAT code 6179. We accept super scoring within the application.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation - Ask your guidance counselor, high school principal, or a teacher to write a letter of recommendation letter on your behalf. Your other two letters may be written by an acquaintance, but not by a family member. It is highly recommended that your guidance counselor/principal/ teacher letter focus on academics while your remaining two letters focus on character and leadership, respectively. Please no more than three letters of recommendation.

To apply for a nomination, send your completed application and the other materials listed above to Senator Tina SmithAttn. Nominations Coordinator, 60 Plato Boulevard East, Suite 220, St. Paul, MN 55107 or by email to On June 1, 2021, Sen. Smith will be accepting applications for the academy classes entering in the summer of 2022 and graduating in 2026. Please note that students are required to begin the application process with the academies themselves before being considered for a nomination to that academy.

Interview Information

The final step of the Congressional Nomination process is an in-person interview at or near the St. Paul office. All interviews will be conducted in person on a Saturday in November in conjunction with Senator Klobuchar’s office. Our offices academy nominations coordinators will coordinate the timing of the interviews so they do not overlap. 

All applicants who complete their applications by the deadline will be invited for an interview; service academy alumni and/or official Senate staff will interview the candidates. Sen. Smith and her selection committee will make final selections and notify nominees in late-January to mid-February.

Applicants will be subjected to a “whole-person” approach during their interview session. Applicants are expected to speak fluently about their character, scholarship, motivation, physical fitness, extra-curricular activity, and leadership abilities.

If you have any questions about the academy nominations process, please do not hesitate to call the St. Paul office at (651) 221-1016 and ask to speak to the academy nominations coordinator.

Service Academy Links