Frequently Asked Questions
- What organizations are located at the Academy?
In addition to the permanent party staff that educates and trains cadets, the Academy is home to numerous entities including the 10th Air Base Wing, Association of Graduates, Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation, and AF CyberWorx to name a few. For more information about these and other organizations visit the facilities site.
- Who can apply to USAFA? And how?
To be eligible to apply to the Academy, applicants must be:
At least 17 but not past their 23rd birthday by July 1 of the year they enter the Academy;
A U.S. Citizen (international students are eligible under different requirements);
Unmarried with no dependents. For additional information regarding the application process, visit application steps.
- Can non-US students get into the Academy?
Yes, authorized international students are allowed to apply to attend the Academy. If you are a citizen of a country other than the U.S States, visit international students.
- Who can visit the AFA?
The Academy is open to visitors almost everyday from 9am to 5pm. We are home to the Cadet Chapel, a U.S. National Historic Landmark and the most popular man-made attraction in Colorado. Due to security regulations, non-DoD cardholders must present one form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license and vehicles may be subject to search. For more information visit the visitor site.
- What is the AF commitment after graduation?
Although the length of commitment depends on a cadet’s career and other opportunities, including graduate or medical school, all graduates must serve at least five years on active duty and three as inactive reserve after graduation. Graduates who complete pilot training have a longer service commitment. The Air Force policy in effect when newly-graduated second lieutenants enter flight training determines the length of their commitment, which is currently 10 years after completion of training.
- What is a typical day for a cadet?
A cadet’s day starts early, by 0630, with academic classes in the morning and afternoon, noon-meal formation and marching to lunch at Mitchell Hall with their squadrons. Athletic practices, clubs, military training, and intramurals fill the afternoon until dinner. The day ends with taps, the final bugle call of the day at 2300, after many hours of studying and preparing for the next day. For a more in depth look at a cadet’s day, visit cadet life.
- How can I support USAFA?
The USAFA Endowment and the Association of Graduates play a vital role in raising private funds to support and develop programs for the Air Force Academy that would not otherwise be fully funded by the government. Donations amplify these organizations ability to help fund strategic and important Academy programs. Recent donations have supported cadet competitive academic teams, international immersion trips, character & leadership programs, cadet clubs, summer internships, cadet research and many others. For more information, or if you wish to donate, visit the endowment site.
- How does AFA differ from a traditional college?
We provide a world class education, while also developing cadets through military, athletic, and character outcomes in a deliberate 47 month plan. An Academy education is valued at more than $416,000, yet it’s offered no financial cost to our cadets or their families. In return a cadet commits to serve as an officer in the Air Force. From the moment they arrive, cadets are challenged academically, militarily, physically, and their character is deliberately developed. For more information, visit the admissions site.
- Do all graduates go on to be pilots?
No, cadets must volunteer and be medically qualified to try and become an Air Force pilot. The majority of each class chooses to go to pilot training after graduation, but roughly half of our graduates are selected for a variety of other careers. For more information on what career options are available to our graduates, visit careers in the Air Force.
- What academic majors are available at the Academy?
The Academy offers 27 majors and 4 minors ranging from astronautical engineering to history to military strategic studies. For a complete list of majors and minors available, visit the majors and minors site.
- What airmanship programs do we have?
Flying is a large part of the Air Force Academy experience. Some of the most enjoyable training cadets say they get at the Academy is the aviation and airmanship courses offered throughout their four years at the Academy. Airmanship opportunities range from flying solo in a sailplane to parachuting out of an aircraft. For more information about all of our airmanship programs, visit airmanship.
- Where do Academy planes fly?
The majority of the Academy’s flying operations are conducted at our airfield on base, under the command of the 306th Flying Training Group. They operate propeller-driven aircraft and sailplanes.
For more detailed information regarding current flying areas, visit flight operations.
- What is the prep school?
The U.S. Air Force Academy’s Preparatory School prepares a diverse group of cadet candidates in academics, athletics, character development, and military training to succeed and lead at the Academy. Cadet candidates are not guaranteed an appointment to the Academy, but may earn a recommendation to the Academy from the Prep School Commander based on their performance during the Prep School’s rigorous 10-month program. For more information about the Academy’s Preparatory School, visit the prep school.
- How does the AFA ensure the cadet population reflects the U.S. population?
Before a young man or woman can be considered for appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy, they must obtain a nomination from their Congressional representative, senator, or the Vice President. Each Member of Congress is allowed to recommend no-more-than five cadets to attend the Academy at one time. This allows for a diverse cadet population. For a more detailed look at how the nomination process effects appointments to the Academy, visit nominations.
- What is the most challenging aspect of the total cadet experience?
Every individual has different challenges at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The academic, military and athletic programs at USAFA are rigorous and provide different challenges for each cadet. Their success at the Academy depend on their attitude, willingness to be challenged and how they perform under stress.. Many Academy graduates agree that time management is crucial to any cadet’s success. We encourage cadets to manage their work load and ask for help when needed. If you are looking for a challenge, the Air Force Academy is the place for you. To hear stories from recent graduates visit what to expect.
- What is the Summer Seminar?
The Summer Seminar is a program that allows high school students to see the Academy and get a first-hand account of cadet life. It’s specifically designed for high school juniors heading into their senior year and offers a unique opportunity to get the Academy experience by living in cadet dormitories, eating at the cadet dining facility, and exploring academic facilities and research labs. For more information, or to apply to attend Summer Seminar, visit the Summer Seminar site.