It has come to my attention that a lot of people are interested in prep school (the Scholars program). If the Academy didn’t give you an appointment (accepted you) there is a slight chance you may be given the opportunity to attend one of the two prep schools either at Marion or Georgia.
Should you not get a scholarship for the scholars program, you always have the option to be a “self-prep”. Self-preps are a rare breed of individuals that enroll themselves in a prep school and pay the tuition out of pocket with the hopes of getting good grades, reapplying to the Academy and earning their appointment. My roommate at prep school, who is now one of my best friends, was a self-prep. The reality is that it could be financially demanding and full of uncertainty because you don’t know if you will get an appointment. What self-preps usually do is apply to different academies with the hopes of one accepting them. For example, my buddy applied to the Naval Academy, Merchant Marine Academy and CGA. He got into MMA and CGA and ultimately chose CGA. Self-preps will usually take the same courses as the other preps and will also do the same extracurriculars and physical training. If I had to guess, I would say at least four self-preps are accepted every year.
You don’t always have to attend a military prep school after high school to earn your appointment. I’ve seen people take all different routes. Some decide to attend a community college or state school for a year or two and find out if college is not for them and then apply to the Academy. You just have to make sure that you take challenging courses and perform well. Another route you could take is to go enlisted and then apply for the Academy after serving a few years. OCS (Officer Candidate School) is also always an option.
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