Prep Program Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why attend NMMI as a Service Academy Prep school?
A. The main reasons to chose NMMI is because of our university-level academic program, military atmosphere, high-impact physical conditioning program, great facilities, and an honor Code that "mirrors" those of the academies. The number two reason NMMI is selected is the quality education for the low costs for tuition, room and board.

Q. I've looked at your on-line costs and I'm skeptical that you can provide all you say for so little. Is there a "catch" or hidden cost that you aren't publishing?
A. The answer to this is that NMMI is a "State School" and a land-grant school. Unlike other private colleges who only have their tuition and fees as a source of revenue, or rely on the support of alumni, NMMI receives funding through various sources to keep our costs low. The actual "value" of an education at NMMI is more than double what the cadet pays. This is one reason we show costs for both NM resident and non-resident cadets.

Q. I'd like to get an early start on this program. What should I do?
A. The answer to this depends on you, and where you are in school at the moment. No matter what stage you are at in your journey to a service academy, the information contained in Open Letter to All Self Preps will be valuable. Although the "Prep Program" is viewed as a one-year program, a high-school graduate may come here in January to begin a three-semester program that will provide additional academic preparation. If you are a high-school junior or senior you need to be speaking with your guidance counselor about an academy appointment and the courses you need to be enrolled in. Students in the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades may want to come to NMMI for a high school diploma and begin preparing at that level. See our Admissions and Jr ROTC pages for more information.

Q. As a parent (or other family member) what can I do to help my son/daughter/grandchild etc. do to help prepare for NMMI or a Federal Service Academy?
A. You can encourage, motivate, provide financial assistance, and talk to your loved one about the benefits and opportunities that the service academies and military provide. However, you should understand that the decision to come to NMMI or attend a service academy MUST be theirs. Assist with the "paper work" that needs to be filled out but let them be the ones that do it. Call us (or the academies) to satisfy your own needs but have them call on their own for most questions. One of the biggest reasons cadets do not stay at NMMI is because, "I only came here (or applied to a service academy) because of my parents - it wasn't my idea." Please let this be their decision, their goal; not yours.

Q. How do I become a sponsored Service Academy Prep?
A. Each Service Academy will select preparatory cadets to attend various prep schools nationally. A candidate must be a United States citizen, at least 17 and not yet 23 years old on July 1st of the admission year. High school students must have applied to the service specific academies. Prep school selections begin in the Spring of the candidate's senior year and continue until the scholarships are filled. The academy will contact the candidate - the candidate does not initiate the process.

Q: May I be part of the Prep Program even if I am not sponsored by an academy?
A: Yes, the program is open to sponsored and non-sponsored students. You will be assigned a Liaison Officer at NMMI and apply to the academy using the regular application and nomination process. Guidelines for this program can be found on the main Prep page by clicking on "About our Prep Program."

Q. May I use scholarships and grants that I’ve been awarded as a Service Academy Prep?
A. Yes! Although scholarships are awarded by respective academies Association of Graduates and NMMI, all costs will not be met. Be sure to use the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), see This is user-friendly and excellent financial aid starting point. Sponsored Preps will receive scholarships from there sponsoring agency.
Sponsored preps should go to Costs and Scholarships for more information.

Q. What happens if I change my mind and elect another academic path rather than a service academy?
A. Although NMMI has about a 95% acceptance rate to service academies for sponsored Preps, on rare occasions a candidate may have a change of heart. Most service academy scholarships are extended as contractual agreements. In most cases, you would simply pay back the amount of the scholarship. However, many opportunities remain open to you as a NMMI cadet such as the ROTC Early Commissioning Program, you may complete the junior college experience as a non-contract ROTC cadet, or transfer all earned credits to a college of choice. (Most credits will transfer contingent to specific degree plans and local requirements of your college choice.)

Q. Will taking classes at NMMI be transferable to the Academy? Does any time spent at NMMI "count" for credit at the Academy?
A. No. Transfer credits are only applicable to colleges other than the Service Academies. When you begin at the Academy your will start a four-year journey independent of what you did before, or where you went. A "4.0" third-year student at Harvard will still start at the same place you do as well as a freshly-graduated high-school student. Even the service academies own prep school students (USAFA, USNA, USMA) do not get time credit.
However, many academies allow a cadet to "validate" a specific course to bypass it and go on to the next level- if they are academically qualified.

Q. Can I be a Self Prep and be enrolled in the ROTC Early Commissioning Program ?
A. Only if you are trying to get an appointment to West Point. Due to contractual agreements with the US Army, it is very difficult to be in the Army's ECP and try for one of the other service academies.

Q. Are requirements for admission the same for all service academies?
A. No, the Academy Prep Program staff will assist you with the application for your particular academy as well as your nomination, if applicable.

Q. Do you set up the initial DoDMERB exam for me? A. No. At some point in the academy application process you will be contacted via mail by DoDMERB and directed to their web site (if pre-qualified by the service academy). We will help set up the appointment and may provide transportation for you.  We will also help you with your "Statement of Present Health" form if you have had the DoDMERB pyhsical in the past year.

Q. If I have additional medical requirements directed by DODMERB is it possible to coordinate from NMMI with the area military facilities?
A. Yes, NMMI has DoDMERB approved local contractors who will provide appropriate exams and testing.

Q. What courses will I take as a preparatory cadet?
A. Each service academy recommends English, Pre-Calculus or Calculus, Chemistry, Physics or History and Physical Education and Military Science. Additionally, most preps take an ACT/SAT pre Class and an orientation Class (First Year College Experience). See the ‘Sample Prep Schedule’ for a typical class schedule.

Q. I noticed in the sample schedule that "Military Science" is a required course. What does this mean?
A. All cadets at NMMI are enrolled in an Army ROTC course. These classes (MS 101/102) teach leadership and other qualities that are desirable of military officers. They do not obligate you to the US Army or require you to sign any contracts. Only cadets enrolled in the Military Science 300 and 400 level courses have a contractual obligation.

Q. What can I do during the summer before coming to NMMI to help myself?
A. First off, you can get in good physical shape. Males should be able to run a mile in 8:45 without stopping. For females the time is 10:00. The second thing is to have most of your paperwork done for your nomination request. It maybe too late to begin the nomination process when you get here. Remember to ask for a "nom" from all available sources.

Q. Will I need a computer at NMMI?
A. Yes and no.  No need to bring your own because you will receive a leased computer as part of your enrollment package.