A self-prep at New Mexico Military Institute is a college freshman or sophomore who has chosen to attend NMMI with the specific goal of application to one or more of the five federal service academies. He or she may have applied to an academy previously and not been admitted, or may have just decided to apply.  Often an Academy will suggest to a student that they spend a year at NMMI to become better prepared for application. A self-prep should declare their intention to enter the self-prep program after they apply to NMMI by speaking with an NMMI Admissions Counselor.Qualifications for the Program:

  • Have an appropriate (“B” or better) GPA from high school.
  • Have ACT/SAT test scores in the general range required by an academy. (Only the USMMA publishes minimum scores: ACT – 22E/24M; SAT – 520CR/560M. Use these as a guide.)
  • Have a desire to serve the country in the military for at least 5-8 years.
  • Have a general understanding of the mission of a service academy.
  • Be pursuing a nomination to an academy through a member of the US Senate or House of Representatives.
  • Be a US citizen and meet the other NMMI and service academy entrance requirements

Program of Studies

  • Self preps take the same coursework as is taken by the sponsored preps, which varies by academy, but is generally 17-19 credits.
  • Generally, a self-prep will take (each semester ), English Composition, at least one math class, chemistry, either physics or history, military science, prep physical training, and ACT/SAT Preparatory Class, and First Year Experience/Freshman Orientation.

Degree of success

  • Historically, approximately 40%* of self-preps receive appointments from his/her academies.  This number is predicated upon the cadet being a qualified candidate for an academy.
  • Should a student find that the Academy is not a viable option, the personnel in the Prep Program will assist him/her  in finding an appropriate transfer school with either military or non -military scholarships.
  • Additionally, the NMMI ECP program and/or an AA/AS degree from NMMI are also options available to the student who is not appointed to an academy.
  • Appoints are made by the Service Academies based on the candidate’s home state/district competition, not with other preps at NMMI.  Self preps will compete for nominations in their home state/district – NOT from New Mexico (unless they were New Mexico residents when they entered NMMI)

* The 2008-2013 data shows 42 of 108 self preps appointed for a 38.89% actual rate.


CAVEAT Cadets who are on contract for our ROTC ECP Program may ONLY self prep for West Point. Contractual agreements with the US Army preclude pursuing a commission in another branch of the Service.


NMMI Appointment History

Academic Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 4 Year Total
USMA – Sponsored/Appointed 4/4 1/1 0/0 1/1 3/3 1/2 83.3%
USNA – Sponsored/Appointed 2/3 14/16 10/10 2/2 1/2 8/8 95.5%
USAFA – Sponsored/Appointed 17/17 8/11 10/10 9/9 9/9 6/6 100%
USMMA – Sponsored/Appointed* 15/29 30/36 19/21 27/32 24/30 28/33 84.5%
Total Sponsored/Appointed
86/98 67/70 63/70 37/44 43/49 210/233
Total Sponsored Appointment Rate – USMA, USNA, USAFA 95.8% 82.1% 100% 100% 92.8% 93.8% 96.65%
Total Sponsored Appointment Rate 76.92% 87.76% 95.71% 90.00% 84.09% 87.76% 90.1%
Self Preps  Sponsored/Appointed** 9/20 14/33 7/14 5/19 3/12 4/10 19/55
Self Prep Appointment Rate 45% 42.42% 50% 26.3% 25% 40% 34.54%
Total Preps 69/98 100/131 74/84 68/89 40/56 48/60 230/289
Overall Appointment Rate 70.41% 76.34% 88.1% 76.4% 71.4% 80% 78.98%
* USMMA sponsors some cadets they consider “at risk” and expects NMMI to conduct a quality assurance assessment to determine whether these cadets can handle the rigors of the Academy. This typically results in a 15-20% attrition rate for USMMA sponsored preps.
** This number includes all cadets who desire to prep for an academy, whether they qualify academically and physically prior to starting the program, or not.

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

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