Your path to the Academy
may start here.

Located on the grounds of the United States Air Force Academy, 6 miles south of the cadet area, this ten-month school is designed to academically, physically, and militarily prepare selected young men and women to enter and succeed at the Academy.

Prep School Admissions

Every year, more candidates seek admission to the United States Air Force Academy than there are available appointments. Many applicants with promising potential will not be offered appointment to the Academy. From this pool, Academy admissions will select some applicants who will be offered appointment to the Prep School.

Successful completion of the Prep School improves your chances of being offered appointment to the Academy, but does not guarantee it. Students of the Prep School are addressed as “cadet candidates.”

There is no prep school application process. If you apply to the Academy and are not accepted, you may receive an appointment to the Prep School. Admission is limited to enlisted members of the Air Force Regular and Reserve components and to selected civilian students.

Note that cadet candidates do not need a nomination in order to attend the prep school. They will, however, need nominations in order to gain an appointment to the Academy the following year.

Admissions Requirements

All Cadet Candidates

Prospective cadet candidates must meet these eligibility requirements:

  • Be at least seventeen and not have passed their twenty-second birthday by 1 July of the year they enter the Prep School
  • Be eligible to be a U.S. citizen
  • Be unmarried and have no dependents, and
  • Meet specific medical standards for a commission in the United States Air Force

Only Air Force enlisted members may apply directly to the Prep School via Air Force Form 1786, submitted through the unit commander and Military Personnel Flight. Consult Air Force Instruction 36-2021 for details.

If not selected for Academy appointment, Regular Air Force airmen are made available for assignment to other duties.

Civilian Students

Civilian students applying for, but not receiving, an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy need not reapply to the Preparatory School. They will automatically be considered for a Prep School appointment.

Civilian selectees are placed on active-duty as Air Force Reserve airmen while attending the Prep School.

If not selected for an Academy appointment, Reserve Air Force candidates are discharged from the Reserves with no further obligation to the Air Force.

Other Military Enlisted

Enlisted members from the Army, Navy and Marine Corps are not eligible for a nomination in the airman category but are considered as civilians.

Do you want to Attend the Academy?

Understanding our admissions requirements is the first step.