11 Best Military Schools in the US-Tuition & Requirements

Military education initially was for the preparation of officers professionally, to lead forces of armed officers effectively. Formal education has been merged closely with the growth of the military in the United States. Its initial concept was to develop a body of specialized knowledge into mastery. 

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Military education has always focused on leadership, strategy, tactics, national security policy, and personal analytical and communication skills. 

With a unique approach to a broader, abstract and more complex curriculum of their formal military education, aimed at building excellent officers. 

As times changed and universal development brought changes, it impacted practically everything and military education was not just transformed but also reformed professionally in very concise and particular ways. 

In as much as both civilians and the military agree on the Importance of military education, there had been a reasonable level of controversy on how achieving that goal would be possible. 

Some argued that formal education wouldn’t guarantee professional competence as a real-life experience in active service would. 

Thus prompting the reluctance of some prospective officers to attend formal education and gain knowledge on matters of general and national interest other than war. 

The U.S. military stands as the largest in the world and ensures that many of its service members both prospective and active in their millions are built in life skills, leadership skills, proficiency, and top knowledge in a world driven Swiftly and vastly by an ever-changing technological environment remains its key focus. 

With the change in time and age and the present attention to security. modifications were made. 

The graduation rates of military schools drew more scholars and its vast curriculum gave students who wanted to take on other career paths the opportunity to experience the unique teaching approach of military schools.

In this article, we’ll be listing some elite military schools in the U.S. not according to hierarchy or special considerations but factors like graduation rates, alumni positions, public rating, and many very outstanding features.

The List of Best Military Schools in the US

Military schools help build the quality of character that is often missing in a student. There are so many other benefits to attending a military school such as elimination of distractions, development of teamwork skills, and a structured environment. Now, let us look at the best military schools in the US.

The United States Military Academy (West Point)  

The United States military academy is located in West Point New York and was founded in 1802. West Point long has been considered and known to be one of the best military schools in the United States. 

The United States military academy is the oldest of the United States’ five federal service academies, with a total of 4,536 undergraduate enrollment. 

A prestigious institution, offering more than 45 different majors with an attached bachelor of science degree for students who successfully complete their respective active duties. 

With an admission rate of slightly over 8.6 and approximately 9%, West point stages a rather competitive environment, and getting into the academy proves to be rather challenging as it would for any top-notch school. 

With half of its students scoring between and above 1210 and 1440 or an ACT  score of 28 and 33, a quarter of students admitted achieved scores above those ranges, and another quarter scored below that same range.  

Getting admitted to west point puts a student’s GPA as a top consideration.  High school ranks, letters of recommendation from schoolteachers or school heads, health records, and leadership/excellence awards. Anything that sets a prospective student as exceptional.

United States Military Academy Admission overview  

  • Deadline for submission of admissions: Application: Jan.31st 
  • Application Fee: N/A 
  • Acceptance Rate: 9% 
  • Required interview for Admission: Recommended 
  • Required Standardized Tests: Either SAT or ACT 
  • SAT/ACT Scores Must Be Submitted by: February.28 
  • Outstanding Rankings (present) 
  • Ranked Top Public School: Ranked 2nd 
  • Ranked Undergraduate Engineering Program: Ranked 4th (tied with USNA) 
  • Undergraduate Civil Engineering Rankings: Ranked 5th (tied with Harvey miss College)
  • Website Westpoint.edu

The United States Naval Academy 

The United States Naval Academy is a four-year co-educational institute located in  Annapolis, Maryland. This academy happens to be seconding the US military academy as the oldest of the United States federal service institute. 

Founded in 1845, the academy has held a long record of producing top students known for their national contribution with a long list with the likes of The former president of the United States: Jimmy Carter, Former NASA administrator: major 

general Charles Bolden, Notable astronauts: Wendy B. Lawrence, Christopher J.  Loria, Robert L. Curbeam Jr, etc. 

The academy is a most selective one with an admission rate of less than 9%, a very competitive atmosphere in academics, sports, and a host of both curricular and extracurricular campus activities.

The US naval academy has a clear mission statement to “develop midshipmen morally, mentally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor, and loyalty in order to graduate leaders who a dedicated to a career of naval service and have the potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command citizenship and government”.

As an undergraduate college, the academy encourages young minds of men and women for professionalism in office and enables them to grow in discipline,  compassion, leadership competence, and moral stability for active duty as midshipmen in the US Navy and marine corps.

The United States Naval academy offers a fours year program with a bachelor of science degree after which the students are commissioned as officers to the US Navy and marine corps by a received nomination of a Congress member.

The United States Naval Academy admission overview  

  • Deadline for submission of an admission application: Jan.31st 
  • Application Fee: N/A 
  • Admissions rate: Less than 9% 
  • Required interview for Admission: Recommended 
  • Required Standardized Tests: Either SAT or ACT 
  • SAT/ACT Scores Must Be Received By: Jan.31st 

Outstanding Rankings (past and present):  

  • Ranked Top Public School: Ranked 1st 
  • Ranked Highest Earning Graduates: Ranked 2nd 
  • Ranked Stem College: Ranked 5th 
  • Ranked Undergraduate Engineering Program: Ranked 4th (tied with West point) 
  • Website: usna.edu 

The United States Air Force 

The USAFA, founded in 1954, sits beautifully on the pretty campus located in  Colorado Springs, Colorado. Of the five federal service academies, USAFA is the youngest. 

The “Falcons” as its cadets are called have an estimate of over 4,307 undergraduate enrollment and an 18,500-acre land mass which is the golden stage for students who are aspiring to Make the most out of a well-structured academic setting and experience-based tutoring.

At the academy, their energy is channeled to building leaders for diverse spheres and cultures. Young men with basic life skills, team leaders with exceptional team-building spirit, and tough wingmen ready to serve the world’s air and space forces.

The students are known for their constant lead and remarkable commitment to both community development and personal upgrade in becoming the best version of themselves.

USAFA runs a four-year program that awards cadets and aspiring wingmen with a bachelor of science degree while also being commissioned based on their qualification as the second lieutenant in the USAF or USF.

Sited in Colorado, the academy is a beautiful place with the best aesthetics and learning experience that is second to none in the country.

Offers excellent educational programs reaching a total of 30 majors and 13 minors, ranging into a variety of other interests from social sciences, law, management, behavioral sciences,  humanities, and engineering.

The USAFA has its admissions rate at 11.4% and a required GPA of 3.87 making it extremely selective.

Most times, more than half of applicants are rejected and those that are accepted are expected to attain an SAT score between 1220 and  1430 and an ACT score between 29 and 33. 

The United States Air Force Academy admission overview:

  • Admissions selectivity: Extremely selective 
  • Admissions rate: 11.4% 

Deadline for submission of an admission application: Dec.31st  

  • Application Fee: N/A 
  • Required interview for Admission: Recommended 
  • Required Standardized Tests: Either SAT or ACT 
  • Deadline for SAT/ACT submission: Jan.31st 

Outstanding Rankings (past and present):  

  • Ranked to Public schools: Ranked  
  • Ranked top undergraduate engineering programs: Ranked  
  • undergraduate civil engineering ranking: Ranked 12th 
  • Undergraduate computer engineering ranking: Ranked 5th (tied with US. Naval Academy) 
  • Undergraduate electrical/electronic/communications engineering ranking: Ranked 8th (tied with West point) 
  • Undergraduate mechanical engineering ranking: Ranked 6th (tied with West point/bucknell University ) 
  • Website usafa.edu 

Virginia military institute  

The Virginia military institute is a public school founded in 1839, located in Lexington, Virginia and the oldest state-supported college in the United States with a unique acceptance rule of only cadets .these corps of cadets are exposed to a wide range of baccalaureate degrees, and the finest facilities to help develop underlying talents and grow outstanding skills.

VMI offers a Total of 14 disciplines covering business, economics, arts, sciences, etc. The institute has a careful selection process with over 1,200 undergraduate enrollment., Therefore the campus is Keen on selecting the best and building them into better students whose moral standing, influence, and relational skill sets the pace for others to follow.

At the Virginia military institute, all cadets are required to be part of a compulsory all-college program as a degree completion program. Therefore making the ROTC program compulsory at the VMI. After the degree completion, over half of the graduating students are commissioned each year 

VMI has produced outstanding world leaders and individuals known for their well-tailored behavior, decorum, hard work, and application of basic life skills in their different spheres of leadership and participation. 

VMI students are of separate races and breeds, backgrounds, and cultures and this enhances a mutual influence of culture, race, and tradition, which In turn will help suffocate racial discrimination, nepotism, and very unfair and partial act among the cadets.

Your stay at Virginia military institute will brew you on discipline, grit, leadership, team spirit, accountability, military conduct, and most importantly self-service embodiment.

The first year is sure going to be tough at the VMI, but you are going to be taking a decision that will have a lasting and positive result.

Tuition 

  • Virginians: $9,782, Non-Virginians: 33,590, International: 39,590

  • Room: Virginians: $3,196, Non-Virginians: $3,196, International: $3,196

  • Board: Virginians: $7,478, Non-Virginians: $4,478, International: $7,478

  • Medical: Virginians $560, Non-Virginians: $560, International: $560

  • Sports: Virginians: $3,834, Non-Virginians: $3,834, International: $3,834

  • Student facilities: Virginians $2,442, Non-Virginians: $2,442, International: $2,442

  • Total tuition/fees: Virginians: $22,292, Non-Virginians: $57,100, International: $57,100 For more information on Tuition.

Check out their tuition details.

The Virginia military institute admission overview:  

  • Deadline for submission of the admissions application: February 1st
  • Application Fee: $40 
  • Admissions rate: 60% 
  • Required interview for Admission: Recommended 
  • Required Standardized Tests: SAT/ACT 
  • SAT/ACT Score submission deadline May 1st 

Outstanding Rankings (past and present):

  • Ranked top public schools: Ranked 4th 

Undergraduate engineering programs: ranking 29th out of 239. Tied with: 

  • Seattle University 
  • Ohio Northern University 
  • California State University—Fullerton
  • Website vmi.edu

U S. Coast Guard Academy  

The United States Coast Guard Academy is one of the five Service academies of the US coast guard, New London, Connecticut. Providing excellent education in one of the major fields of study.

The United States CGA was founded in 1876 and has since then been improving in diverse aspects. Unlike other service academies, the United States CGA isn’t tied to a compulsory congressional nomination for admission.

The United States CGA offers a bachelor of science degree upon graduation with an obligatory five-year active duty service. 

The United States CGA has a wide range of training for its students as it cuts across, sports and physical development, intellectual task completion and accuracy tests, and academic programs in organized sets for better understanding and learning comfort and convenience. 

The staff are committed and have a very unique approach to training and mentorship of the officers in training. 

The academy encourages the development of the mind, body, and character.  Be it on shore, sea, or air, coast guards cadets are built professionally from the toughest challenges and tests to evaluate their leadership skills, teamwork abilities, accuracy level, discipline, drive, and service towards self.

The United States Coast Guard Academy admission overview:  

  • Tuition: Tuition-Free.
  • Admissions selectivity: Extremely selective 
  • Admissions rate: 14.2% 

Deadline for submission of the admission application 

  • Online: Jan.15th
  • Regular: Jan.29th 
  • Application Fee: N/A 
  • Required interview for Admission: Recommended 
  • Required Standardized Tests: Either SAT or ACT 
  • Deadline for SAT/ACT submission: Jan.29th 

Outstanding Rankings (past and present):  

  • Ranked Too Public schools: Ranked 1st 
  • Ranked most innovative schools: Ranked 4th 
  • Ranked regional colleges north: Ranked 1st 

Website uscga.edu 

The United States Merchant Marine Academy 

Founded in 1943, the United States merchant marine academy is a federal service academy educating, training, and graduating cadets to be leaders of unique character and charisma, and has its place among the best military schools in the U.S.

Located in Kings Point, New York City, The academy whose motto is ‘in deeds not words” has gone a step further in making sure that they follow this ideology and set a pace for other schools in the city and the whole of the United States. 

Graduates from the United States merchant marine academy are awarded a bachelor of science degree, a limitless merchant marine license as an officer in the U.S Coast Guard, and commissioned into the U.S Navy reserve strategic sealift program. 

USMMA has 5 core programs, a 13:1 student-To-Faculty Ratio, with over  40 Registered Student organizations, a 134 Member Faculty, and an average class size of 24. 

The U.S MMA is focused on training cadets in areas of national security,  economics, and marine transportation to become licensed and commissioned officers in the United States armed Force. 

With a rigorous academic curriculum, the U.S MMA stands out among other service academies and Requires more credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. 

This makes the USMMA graduates highly eligible as officers in the United States military and merchant marine. 

  • United States Merchant Marine Academy Admission overview Selectivity: Highly Selective 
  • Deadline for submission of admissions Application: February. 1st 
  • Application Fee: N/A 
  • Acceptance Rate: 16% 
  • Required interview for Admission: Recommended
  • Required Standardized Tests: Either SAT or ACT 
  • SAT/ACT Scores Must Be Submitted by: March. 1st  

Outstanding Rankings:

Ranked Top Public School: Ranked 2nd 

Ranked Regional Colleges North: Ranked 3rd 

Ranked Most innovative schools: Ranked 4th (tied with bard college at Simon’s Rock, United States Coast  Guard Academy).

Ranked Best Undergraduate Teaching: Ranked 5th(tied with bard college at Simon’s Rock, Dean College, Farmingdale state college, Castleton University) 

Ranked Undergraduate Engineering Program: Ranked 22nd (tied with Swarthmore College, Union College, Loyola  Marymount University, James Madison University) 

Tuition 

Tuition is generally free and most costs associated with enrollment in the United States merchant marine academy are managed by the federal government of the United States. 

For additional information on fees, Tuition and expenses visit their website.

Get more information on Admissions aid and scholarships.

Fork Union Military Academy 

Founded in 1898 and located in the serene environment of fork union, Virginia. the fork union military academy is an all-boys military school in the U.S and among the leading college prep boarding schools in the country. 

The academy which is accredited by the Virginia Association Of  Independent Schools (VAIS) is Keen on building students known for their self-discipline, resourcefulness, leadership skills, athletic prowess, and descent Christian values. 

Since the 90s, Fork Union Military Academy has made provision of unique educational Experiences in a well-structured environment, designed to promote focus, Foster academic excellence and personal growth. 

Students at the fork union military academy is an institution fully equipped to express themselves to their full potential. A place is known for building students that Excel both in academics and sports. 

The academy is accustomed to a system in which honesty is celebrated,  achievements are respected and a thriving positive peer pressure force is promoted. 

FUMA has scholarship programs that sponsor cadets based on qualifications with particular emphasis on character, academic excellence and financial evaluation. 

Tuition: 

  • Day Student: $19,150
  • Domestic USA Boarding Student: $37,900 
  • International Boarding Student: $46,150 
  • Postgraduate Football Boarding Student: $23,120 
  • Postgraduate Basketball Boarding Student: $30,510 

Total Tuition & Fees cover tuition, general meals, fees, uniform costs, and boarding costs. 

Full information on tuition, fees, payment plans, and tuition protection plan: Visit their website.   

New York Military Academy 

The New York Military Academy is an all-boys private school founded in the year 1889 and located in Hudson, New York City. 

The academy later became a co-educational Institute in 1957 and has ever since been maintaining fluctuating but rather growing statistics, With a minority enrollment of 56.7%, a student population of 60, and a student-teacher ratio of 4:1. 

The academy is grounded in solid discipline and a mission to “develop the cadet’s mind, body, character; to prepare them for further education and to be effective leaders and responsible citizens”. 

Admissions Process 

  • Request institute information and schedule a visit 
  • Check eligibility criteria and determine your status 
  • Get in contact with your admissions officer and schedule an interview.

Tuition 

Registration fee: $1000 

Day school Fee: $33,00(covers tuition, lunch, technology usage, uniform alteration, cadet activities and dry-cleaning) 

 

Activity fee: $250 

Registration fee: $2,000 

Boarding fee:

(Covers dry-cleaning, uniform alteration, technology, cadet activities, health  care, room and board) 

Activity fee: $250 

Total: $46,250

For more information, additional costs, and international students information check out the payment policies and additional costs information.  

Army Navy Academy 

Army Navy Academy, founded in 1910 and located in San Diego county  (Carlsbad) is a private military school in the U.S solely for grades 7-12  boys.

It’s a boarding and day school that has students from both the nearby districts and all over the United States in attendance. 

Army Navy Academy uses a curriculum evaluated by the University of California standards, California interscholastic federation (CIF) Athletics, and West-Point Leadership Training with an aim to use this developed educational access to strengthen the boys academically, Mentally, and intellectually.  

They also belong to the California Association Of Independent Schools  (CAIS), National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS) and other top-tier organizations as core members and hence their accreditation from the Western Association of schools and colleges. 

The academy is intentional in seeing its students emerge as the world’s best students and big names in whatever life path they decide to choose as some are admitted into leading public Universities, ROTC Universities or military service academies. 

In the serene environment of the city, the academy engages its student in resourceful activities, engaging them in summer camps aimed at developing their team spirit, leadership skills, and character.

Making it a  mission “to build young men of high intellect, help them develop exceptional virtues and charisma, and create a platform that helps to grow cadet potentials”. 

Criteria for the admission and acceptance of new students:  

  • Academic transcripts and records 
  • Personal and educational references 
  • Commitment to attend 
  • Disciplinary record 
  • Student questionnaire and Interview 
  • Attendance records 

Tuition for Academic Year 2022-2023:  

  • Boarding: $48,000 
  • Day: $28,000 

The boarding tuition fee covers the room and board while the Day tuition fee covers daily lunch.  

Uniforms, laundry, and incidentals, as well as special courses such as English for Speakers of Other Languages and Learning Strategies, have additional charges attached to them. Check out the Full Tuition Information

There is an evaluation of requests for need-based financial assistance with a focus on applicants’ academic performance, behavioral ratings, and commitment. 

Requests for need-based financial assistance are reviewed only after a  prospective Cadet together with his family has completed their enrollment contract.

There is also a guaranteed tuition discount for active duty military families, children of alumni, and siblings of current cadets made available at the academy. 

The academy encourages all families to take due action and decide carefully how to see every cadet through the entirety of their academic years and make suitable budgets. Visit their official website.

St John’s Northwestern Academy 

St. John’s Northwestern Academy is a private college preparatory boarding school founded in the year 1884 and noted for its never stalling history of student success. 

Structured to suit both boarding and day students, the academy builds students into outstanding leaders through a four-pillar institute structure of leadership, Athletics, character development, and academics. 

St. John’s Northwestern Academy is beautifully seated in the fine city of  Delafield, Wisconsin, and has a student population of 175, a minority enrollment of 48.6%, and a student-teacher ratio of 5:1. 

This military academy, both grades 6-12, challenge cadets to stand out and excel among their peers and in their respective communities. 

St John’s Northwestern Academy educates and build students to be responsible and resourceful citizens, as well as leaders with the ability and resolve to uphold good morals and preserve the ethics of the society. 

Among other lists, St John’s Northwestern Academy belongs to a host of associations and has been accredited. 

Accredited/memberships 

  • Independent schools association of the Central States 
  • National Association Of Independent Schools
  • Association Of Military Schools 
  • Association of military schools and colleges of the United States
  • Wisconsin independent schools association 
  • Midwest boarding schools 
  • The association of boarding y 
  • The college board 

Application Process 

  • Make a request for admissions Information 
  • Apply Online 
  • Apply using the standard application online (SAO) 
  • Plan a visit and personal interview 
  • Submit a financial aid application if necessary 

Tuition and Fees  

  • Boarding (5-day) – $45,000 
  • Boarding (7-day)- $44,000 
  • Day -$20,500 
  • International-$51,500 

For additional information on tuition, expenses and additional fees, Visit their website.   

Southwestern Academy 

Southwestern Academy San Marino, was founded in the year 1924. And is a non-profit college prep school for students in grades 6-12. 

Southwestern Academy has a fine-crafted curriculum that helps improve a communicative Student Life. Southwestern Academy offers its students access and availability to a super sound environment to aid their learning process. 

At the academy, there are variants of learning Interests which has been made available to promote passion finding and realization and exploration of new topics. 

The students are encouraged to take up challenging tasks through a  unique approach to college prep curriculums designed to thrive even outside comfort zones. 

At Southwestern Academy, skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and other essential life skills are being developed intentionally through their curriculum. 

At Southwestern Academy, the general life and wellness of students are taken into consideration by inspiring a balanced and healthy lifestyle choice.  

The students are also brought together to Foster a good sense of belonging, community, and well-being through activities, events, and clubs. 

Admissions overview  

Southwestern Academy admissions office accepts students all year round whenever there are open slots for students. 

All applications are to be reviewed and completed by downloading the school year application for printing out, completion and submission through the academy’s official email.

Other requirements:   

  • A $100 application fee 
  • Three recommendation letters from current teachers or school  officials 
  • A three-year transcript of student’s school records  
  • An interview in person or virtually through Skype or zoom. 

For International students, a full ESL immersion program is offered and English proficiency is not required for most grades, though grades 11 and  12 are to demonstrate high proficiency during application. 

Visa: The I-20 application form for a student visa to enter the United States is sent by Southwestern on acceptance. 

Tuition: Payments should be made in advance before students’ arrival on campus for the resumption of classes. Payments would be refunded on visa denial but not on student withdrawal.  

Application, terms and payments are outlined in the international student application and contract and all payment plans should be arranged through the academy’s business office.  

Financial aid:

The southwestern Academy is committed to being affordable to applicants regardless of their financial status and because of this, the academy has employed compatible payment plans and financial aids after careful evaluation of candidates and submission of financial aid applications which should be submitted after application of admission. 

Steps to accessing the financial aid program 

  • Completion and submission of financial statements 
  • Completion and submission of parent-student comment
  • Completion and submission of business/farm Statement (for self-employed parents only) 
  • Submission of tax returns to school 
  • Completion of IRS form 4506 to directly to the southwestern official website.

Let’s look at some of the questions people ask about the best military schools in the US.

FAQs  

What are the 5 U.S military service academies?: 

The United States service academy, otherwise known as the United States military academy are federal academy specifically for undergraduate training and education of commissioned officers for the armed forces of the United States of America. 

They are : 

  • The United States Military Academy 
  • The United States Air Force Academy 
  • The United States Navy Academy 
  • The United States Merchant Marine Academy 
  • The United States Coast Guard Academy 

Are Military Schools Worth Enrollment? 

Military Schools are known to be key factors in the development of the potential of many top leaders being celebrated for their excellence, and contributions to national growth. 

Graduates from military schools are forever grateful to their Alma-Mater for contributing massively to their growth and development and their countless testimonies and active participation in their various old boys/old girls associations are evidence that military schools make great impacts on their students and are worth enrolling into. 

What are my chances of getting into a military school in the U.S

The chances of getting into military schools depend wholly on the institution’s acceptance rate. However, the National Center For Education Statistics has stated that 42,989 people have applied for a 4,100 annual slot in the 2023 intake, putting the overall acceptance rate at 9.8%. 

Will I be forced into the military after completing my program at a military academy ?: 

This is a fallacy but also not a lie because some military academies are exclusively for cadets to be commissioned while some are for general enrollment. Candidates and parents are advised to pick the right college and prep schools while making wise decisions and conducting sensible research.  

How Many Military Schools Are In The U.S

The United States Of America has over 60 military schools including the federal service military academies, senior military academies, military Junior Colleges, state-supported maritime colleges and universities, private college-prep military schools, and public and private schools. 

Conclusion:  

The choice of the perfect military School is usually determined by preference and many things are to be considered. Some of these factors can be the environment, tuition, acceptance rates, career paths, alumni association and many individual preferences.  

The United States tops the list in educational standards and has the largest military in the world, with a top alumnus in stakeholding positions, making sure a rewarding environment on every campus for all candidates who get accepted remains guaranteed. Do you have suggestions on these best military schools in the US? please comment below.

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References:  

  • rand.org -United States Service Academy  

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