According to most experts, the very top military colleges are the service academies run by the military branches themselves. These are the United States Military Academy (known as West Point), the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy and the United States Coast Guard Academy. The United States Merchant Marine academy is also sometimes included on these lists, though it is not strictly military in nature.
One advantage of the service academies is that they do not charge tuition, in exchange for a guarantee of military service after graduation. In addition to these institutions, there are other highly-regarded public and private universities that prepare students for military service, though they usually charge tuition.
Texas A&M, a large public university in Bryan, Texas, includes a smaller military college of 1900 students, consisting of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine components. The state of Virginia also has two schools with military cadet programs, the Virginia Military Institute and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (also known as Virginia Tech). The Military College of South Carolina, popularly known as The Citadel, is another top choice. Private options include Norwich University in Vermont, known for producing a large number of Army officers who specialize in the armored branch of the service.