The United States Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS), sometimes referred to as West Point Prep, is a preparatory school for the United States Military Academy (USMA) currently located at Fort Monmouth, in Eatontown, New Jersey. Formally established in 1946, its official mission is "to provide academic, military and physical instruction in a moral-ethical military environment to prepare and motivate candidates for success at the United States Military Academy. Admission to USMAPs is seen as alternate route to get acceptance to attend West Point and ensure that Cadets are better qualified for the academic, and military training there. Indeed, post Prep students at West Point comprise "11% of the Corps of Cadets, yet the have held 25% of the senior leadership positions of the [West Point] Corps."
In 1916, the rules for admission to the US Service Academies changed to include a formal admission process to ensure that appointees success and excellence.
As with the other United States military academies prep schools
, there is no separate application for USMAPS, only the West Point application. Admission officers will offer USMPS to potential West Point cadets who have received their Congressional appointments yet may lack the grades or skills necessary for West Point. During the middle of the Prep school year, Cadet Candidates must submit new applications to West Point, including the Congressional nomination. By June, Cadet Candidates will receive word of their application status and West Point acceptance. Most of those who attend the Prep School will go on to West Point contingent on their application, academics and grades, physical traiing, and military instruction. Some Candidates may transfer to other service academies
, or be sent back to United States Army
as a regular enlisted soldier.
(For more information on the admissions process, see West Point's Appointment Process.)
Cadet Candidates and USMAPs Instruction
Students at USMAPS are known as Cadet Candidates (often abbreviated to "CCs"); board and tuition are free and they are paid a small stipend as they are active members of the U.S.Army. The course extends over a ten-month scholastic year and aims at training the "CCs” to cope with the academic and military rigors of an army education before attending West Point the following academic year.
Cadet Candidates arrive at the Prep school in mid-July for Cadet Candidate Basic Training or CCBT, an intensive three week program to put them in shape and provide the foundation for army and military instruction.
Immediately following CCBT, academic classes start in August and ending in mid-May. USMAPS provides instruction in English, physics, calculus, military history, physical and military training among other courses. All CCs must play a sport, which is considered a course.(see Athletics
USMAPS has an extensive athletic program including "football, women's volleyball, cross-country, track, men and women's basketball, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, and wrestling."
Known as the Golden Knights (where as West Point is the Black Knights), with black and gold colors, USMAPS primarily participates with the other United States military academy prep schools, especially their rival the Naval Academy Preparatory School
. Potential athletes are the most notable group of those sent to USMAPS to upgrade their scholastic abilities.
Fort Monmouth was not USMAPS' first location, since it was founded in June 1946 at Stewart Army Air Field
, Newburgh, New York
(a few miles from West Point), and moved to Fort Belvoir, Virginia
in 1957, only moving to Fort Monmouth in 1975. Now in turn, due to the Base Realignment and Closure, 2005
, Fort Monmouth is currently in the process of being shut down. USMAPS will continue, however, to operate at the Fort Monmouth campus till 2011 when the school will move to West Point, NY.