United States Air Force Academy

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Frequently Asked Questions

What organizations are located at the U.S. Air Force 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 Air Force CyberWorx to name a few.


Who can apply to U.S. Air Force Academy?

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) and unmarried with no dependents. For additional information regarding the application process, click here.


Can non-US students apply to the U.S. Air Force Academy?

Yes, authorized international students are allowed to apply to attend the Academy. If you are a citizen of a country other than the United States, click here.


What is the Air and Space Forces 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 Department of 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.


How can I support the U.S. Air Force Academy?
Air Force Academy Foundation and the Association of Graduates play a vital role in raising private funds to support and develop programs for the U.S. Air Force Academy that would not otherwise be fully funded by the government. Donations amplify these organizations ability to help fund strategic and important 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 website.


How does U.S. Air Force Academy 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 and Space Forces. From the moment they arrive, cadets are challenged academically, militarily, physically, and their character is deliberately developed. For more information, click here.

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, click here.

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, click here.

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, click here.

How does the U.S. Air Force Academy 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.