Candidates for admission to West Point must be U.S. citizens, single, not pregnant, not responsible for children, and between the ages of 17 and 22 on July 1 of the year they begin the program. They must be above average academically, pass a medical examination and obtain an official nomination.
The West Point Military Academy evaluates a candidate's high school and college academic records to determine above average performance. Additionally, candidates must perform well in either the ACT Plus Writing or the SAT exams. The Department of Defense conducts a qualifying medical exam to assess their mental and physical health. Their eyesight must be 20/20 either naturally or when they wear contact lenses or glasses. They must also pass the Candidate Fitness Assessment, which includes pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, a basketball throw and a mile run.
All candidates to West Point must receive an official nomination from a Congressional representative, U.S. senator or the U.S. vice president. West Point encourages candidates to apply for nominations when they first open a pre-admission file, preferably as high school juniors. Unless candidates already have official nominations, West Point cannot offer them admission. West Point judges all applicants by the same standards and does not give special preference to any candidates on the basis of gender, race or cultural background.