Prep School FAQs
Q: What are the completion requirements of the Prep School?
A: Each cadet candidate must demonstrate an aptitude for commissioned service and leadership, must exhibit satisfactory conduct and personal integrity, and must have successfully met all physical, academic, and military requirements.
Q: If I complete the Prep School, will I automatically receive an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy?
A: Successful completion of the 10-month Prep School program is critical but not a guarantee of admission to the Academy. Approximately 75–80 percent of cadet candidates are offered appointments annually. The Prep School Commander recommends deserving cadet candidates for appointment to the Academy Board, the final authority concerning appointments.
Q: Do cadet candidates wear uniforms and work like the active duty Air Force?
A: Cadet candidates wear Air Force uniforms and serve as either active duty airmen, or as reserve airmen on active orders for the purpose of attending the Prep School. All cadet candidates are student athletes, are expected to maintain military standards, and are subject to the provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
Q: What are the housing arrangements for cadet candidates?
A: Cadet candidates live in pairs in one of three Prep School dorms from arrival to graduation. All dorms buildings are co-ed with community bathrooms and laundry facilities, but female cadet candidates reside on the first floor.
Q: Will I be able to wear civilian clothes?
A: You will not be authorized to wear civilian clothing for the first few months at the Prep School. Later in the academic year, cadet candidates who earn privileges through performance are authorized to wear civilian clothing.
Q: How physically demanding is Basic Military Training (BMT)?
A: BMT is an intentionally challenging and stressful environment meant to promote individual and team growth. It introduces cadet candidates to the profession of arms, assimilates them into military culture, and lays the foundation for military training conducted throughout the academic year. BMT involves rigorous physical exercise and training, including calisthenics and long runs, to ensure cadet candidates are at the fitness level required to successfully complete the Prep School, and appoint to the Academy. You should arrive in the best physical shape possible as the elevation is 7,000 feet above sea level and acclimating will be easier if you have prepared yourself physically.
Q: Does the Prep School offer opportunities to compete athletically?
A: Approximately 40% of the cadet candidates attending each year are recruited athletes for any of the 27 NCAA Division I teams at USAFA. The Prep School funds four teams (football, men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling) which compete against top-level Junior Colleges and prep schools. We also organize and compete a co-ed soccer team at the Junior College and club level. Schedules and the number of competitions each season depend upon the ability to field each team. Individuals who wish to walk-on are assessed by the coaching staff and must be able to compete at the intercollegiate level. Walk-ons are not considered recruited athletes and are not guaranteed the opportunity to walk-on at USAFA.
Q: What are the Prep School athletic facilities like?
A: The Milazzo Center was renovated in 2014 and includes a Division I weight room with 24 racks; a wrestling facility, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and robust athletic training facilities which include a rehabilitation room, hydro room, and treatment room. Our 3 full-time athletic trainers provide routine medical care, strength and conditioning treatments, and post-injury/post-surgical rehabilitative care. The Community Center Fitness Facility is adjacent to the Prep School campus and include two gymnasiums, cardio rooms, an indoor swimming pool, and spaces for spin, yoga, racquet ball, and cross-fit.
Q: Can my friends and family visit me?
A: Yes! We welcome and encourage friends and family to visit you during Parents’ Weekend, which falls on Labor Day weekend every year. After Parents’ Weekend, cadet candidates earn privileges to leave base and visit with family and friends by performing academically, athletically, militarily. The scheduled pass and leave periods include Thanksgiving, winter break, and spring break.
Q: Will I be able to attend weekly religious services?
A: Religious accommodations are a high priority, but they also depend on mission requirements. Every effort will be made to accommodate your religious requests. For those faiths that are not serviced by the chapel on base, cadet candidates are normally afforded the opportunity to attend services in the local community.
Q: When will I be able to go home or take leaving during the academic year?
A: When not on official leave, cadet candidates are required to remain within a 150-mile radius of the Academy. Official leave periods, during which you can travel outside that radius, include approximately five days for Thanksgiving break, two weeks for winter break, and one week for spring break. Additional leave time that would cause you to miss academic or other military duties is only granted in exceptional circumstances.
Q: Am I allowed to leave campus other than during leave periods?
A: Cadet candidates are subject to a Phased Privileges Program. Passes for off-base travel and other privileges such as civilian clothing, vehicle privileges, and use of electronic devices (gaming, TV, music) are earned through individual and group performance.
Q: Why isn’t the Prep School program accredited?
A: We made a deliberate decision to remain unaccredited in order to maintain the flexibility necessary to customize our curriculum to achieve student success and best prepare each cadet candidate for entry to and success at USAFA. Lack of accreditation also guarantees NCAA compliance so our recruited athletes do not lost a year of eligibility.
Q: Does coursework transfer to another university or college if I decide to depart the Prep School or do not appoint to USAFA?
A: Despite our unaccredited status, we offer a world-class academic program. The awarding of transfer credit is at the discretion of the institution you choose to attend and our Dean of Faculty is the best contact to work with your school to assess transfer credit criteria.
Q: I attended the Prep School. Can I get a copy of my transcript?
A: Yes. We keep transcripts for 25 years after the graduation date, and they may be requested by former attendees at any time, and at no cost. Older transcripts may not be available. If you need a transcript, complete this form and email or fax it back to us. Requests take three to five business days to be processed.
Q: How can I find out about employment opportunities at the Prep School?
A: Please visit usajobs.gov to search for current open positions!