Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Panther Playlist

Seniors speak about service academy application experience 

Application process to military service academies includes extra effort.
Logos+of+the+five+service+academies.
Wikimedia Commons
Logos of the five service academies.

While many seniors aim for traditional college plans, a select few take an alternative route—service academies.

Senior Will Ernst opted to apply to West Point, the prestigious United States Military Academy. 

“I applied to a service academy partly because it’s the college I’ve had the most experience with,” Ernst said. “I’ve lived on campus at West Point for a few weeks at a time, but also because I like the feeling of being able to serve others and to serve my community and serve and help other people. I know I can continue to get that feeling in the military.” 

Ernst explained that his love for helping others came from his time serving as a volunteer firefighter.

“That’s where I kind of learned how much I loved helping others, volunteering, and working with my community,” Ernst said. “That’s kind of what led me down the path of looking at a service academy.”

The actual application process for service academies is quite different from traditional colleges.

The application process entails sending in transcripts, acquiring nomination letters from state representatives, and a physical examination.

    I’m doing it not necessarily just because I have a love for country, but I want to help other people. And I feel like this is one of the best ways I can do that.

— Will Ernst '23

“I’d say it’s like applying to multiple colleges at once,” Ernst said. “You have to fill out a bunch of information, you have to get your transcripts and so on for state representatives for Senators so you can get nomination, then you also have to send all that into your military academy.”

“And then you also have to do a fitness component, which is completely different from any other college, which is extremely difficult,” Ernst said. “But also, I found that to be my favorite part of the admissions process.”

Senior Owen Brennan will attend the Air Force Academy next year.

“It’s a lot of work just to apply because you have to do so many interviews and a lot of essays. You have to mentally and physically prepare for everything, look nice and stuff like that. It’s just a lot. It’s a tedious process.”

To the average college applicant, the service academy process can be very discouraging. 

“Basically, it really restricts a lot of people who really want to go to these schools from actually going there,” Ernst said. “Like, people who are very qualified to go, [if] they have some small medical problem, they’re not going to go.” 

Students stress that some stereotypes of service academies are not very representative of applicants. 

“I’m doing it not necessarily just because I have a love for country, but I want to help other people. And I feel like this is one of the best ways I can do that,” Ernst said.

Senior Aimar Ng is a second-generation student at Haven who applied to all four service academies, gaining admission to all of them. He also shared his thoughts on this stereotype.

“A lot of people think the stereotype I think would be that you have come from military background. You know, you’ve been military like your whole life, your parents, blah blah. But a lot of people don’t realize that it’s a very diverse group of people. A lot of people are international, first-generation Americans.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
David Hagan '23
David Hagan '23, Contributor
David Hagan is a senior at Strath Haven High School. This is his first year reporting for the Panther Press. In his free time he enjoys playing soccer and hanging out friends.
Donate to Panther Press
$415
$600
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of The Panther Press. Contributions allow us to cover our website hosting costs, continue to print new issues, fund staff training, and purchase equipment.

More to Discover
Donate to Panther Press
$415
$600
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

We encourage reader comments and opinions on the content posted on The Panther Press and its social media accounts. In order to keep the discussions aligned with the purpose of our student publications, we ask commenters to follow the following guidelines. 1) Different viewpoints and opinions are welcome, but comments must demonstrate respect. Profanity, insults, spam, personal attacks, bullying language, hate speech, and language demonstrating intolerance are unacceptable. 2) Comments will be managed by the Social Media Editor and Editors in Chief, with support from the adviser. Inappropriate comments will be removed. 3) On stories and social media, please keep comments brief. If you would like to elaborate on your opinion, we encourage you to submit a guest commentary or letter to the editor. 4) The Panther Press does not permit anonymous comments on stories posted to our website. All comment postings require a verified email address. Email addresses will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All Panther Press Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School