Once you’ve narrowed down your selection of potential military schools to those that are best suited to your child and circumstances, it’s time to begin the application process. This article explains how to apply to a military school.
Scope of Article
Because public military schools may have a quite different process this article focuses on the application process for private military school.
Things You Can Do in Advance
In case you’re reading this article prior to the actual moment when you’re ready to set pen to paper (or start keyboarding) the actual application, there are, in fact, some things you can do to help the application process before that point. They include:
• Encouraging and supporting your child’s school efforts to ensure good grades. Military schools are college preparatory school with a military bent, and as such, expect a good to excellent academic record from its applicants.
• Work with your child’s guidance counselor to assist in the choice of appropriate courses and course load (if such choices are offered) to underpin the course of study at the military school.
• Encourage participation in extracurricular activities and/or work and keep records of accomplishments and their dates that are likely to be part of an application—awards, solos, athletic competition ribbons, newspaper articles, and membership in extracurricular organizations or participation in volunteer work. These activities can demonstrate the good character and leadership ability that military schools seek in their candidates.
• Complete your Federal taxes as soon as you can. If you are applying for military school financial aid, these will be needed, though you may be able to substitute estimates prior to actually filing, if necessary. If your child has to file, assist him or her to complete the forms.
• If you expect to be applying for financial aid in the form of loans, checking your credit rating and keeping your finances in good order are other key preparations you can make.
Elements of the Application Process
The military school application process goes beyond the application form. While some schools may consider the financial aid application separate, others consider financial aid applications as part of the overall application process. Application for outside funding, including military school scholarships and financial aid also need to be considered, as do the visit/interview/campus tour that often form part of the application process. The latter is particularly important to mention because it is a portion of the process in which the candidate, as well as the institution, gains information that can be useful in making a decision. And, of course, you need to multiply all this by the number of schools to which application is made.
To start the military school application process:
• Contact the admissions office of the school and let them know of your intent to apply. Find out about arranging for a campus visit/interview/tour.
• Read the online information presented in the ‘Admissions’ portion of the military school’s website and download and print any documents they may provide. This may require installing Adobe Acrobat Reader.
• Contact your child’s current guidance office and find out about procedures for getting transcripts and recommendations.
• Assemble all of the material mentioned in ‘Things You Can Do in Advance.’
• Read through the military school application documents to see if there is anything else you need.
• Have your child fill out the military school application on paper so you and s/he can both check it. If your child has to write an essay, make sure that you follow the school’s guidelines for what kind of assistance you give, so that it truly reflects your child’s work.
• Keep a hard copy and digital copy of everything you submit.