NMMI Service Academy Preparatory Program Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why attend NMMI as a Service Academy Prep school? A. The main reasons to choose NMMI are because of the university-level academic program and military atmosphere, which closely mirrors the academy environment,plus, the high-intensity, high altitude physical conditioning program, great facilities, and an honor Code that similar to those of the academies. Another reason is for the academy quality education at a state college cost.

Q. I struggle with academics.  What help is available to me?  A.  NMMI provides instruction at the beginning of the year to all new students to help them learn to better manage their time, set goals, study more efficiently, and form study groups.  This is part of the College First Year Experience (CFYE) class you see on the example schedule.  NMMI also holds "Night Study Hall" (NSH) from 7pm-9:30pm every Sunday through Thursday evening.  Cadets are required to be in their rooms studying, in the library, or in one of the academic buildings to work on their assignments.  The library hosts a writing lab every NSH to help cadets with their papers and essays.  Each academic department provides instructors to help tutor during this time, and there are many paid and peer tutors available to help with every subject.  Every instructor is also in their office weekday mornings from 7:15-7:55am to provide extra help or instruction. 

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. 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 costs low. The actual value of an education at NMMI is more than double what the cadet pays, but this is significantly reduced by annual funds from the land grant and other sources.

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 on the web page will be valuable. Although NMMI’s 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 the Admissions and JROTC pages for more information. Courses should focus on getting to a pre-Calculus level in math, Physics, Chemistry, English Composition, and History.  You may also want to consider taking an ACT/SAT preparatory course.

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 the service academies and military provide. However, understand that the decision to come to NMMI or attend a service academy MUST be theirs. Assist them in filling out the paper work and applications, but let them be the ones that do it.  Encourage them to call NMMI or the academies on their own for most questions. One of the biggest reasons cadets leave NMMI early is because they came for someone else.  The academy environment is extremely challenging, more so if the student is there for someone else, and not because they want to be there.

Q. How do I become a sponsored Service Academy Prep? A. Each Service Academy will select preparatory cadets and offer them scholarships 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 to the academy. 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 academies 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 apply for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), at 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. You will also be asked several questions on the NMMI online application that have to do with scholarship requirements. Be sure to answer all the questions as they help the scholarship committee identify qualified applicants.

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. Yes and No. Transfer credits are applicable if the student is able to pass a validation test for the class at the academy. Regardless of how much time you spend at another college,  you will still have to complete four years at the academy 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 as a freshly-graduated high-school student. Even the service academies own prep school students (USAFA, USNA, USMA) do not get time credit.

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. A little over half-way through 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, Physical Education, and Military Science.  In addition, most preps take an ACT/SAT prep 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 preparatory 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 under 8:00 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 may be too late to begin the nomination process when you get here. Remember to ask for a nomination from all available sources, to include the Vice President.

Q. Will I need a computer at NMMI? A. Yes and no. There is no need to bring your own because you will receive a leased computer as part of your enrollment package. This computer has all the software preloaded that you will need for your classes at NMMI.  The same computer and software would cost about $1600 to purchase off-the-shelf. You can still bring your own, if you desire.

-If you have questions about the NMMI Service Academy Preparatory Program, please contact SCPO Charles Scott, 575-624-8480 or e-mail

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