Academy Nominations

Academy Nomination Process

Office of U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin

The law pertaining to Senatorial appointments for each of the U.S. Service Academies stipulates that a Member of the United States Senate is allowed a maximum of five persons at each academy in any given year (except for the Merchant Marine Academy, explained below).  This quota, therefore determines the number of vacancies for each entering class.  This year it appears that I will be nominating one vacancy at the Air Force Academy, Military Academy and Naval Academy.  I will be able to nominate ten candidates for each vacancy.


Each nominating authority may nominate ten (10) candidates each year to compete for admissions to the United States Merchant Marine Academy.  State quotas are used, and in the event a given state’s quota cannot be filled from within the state, the vacancies may be filled from a national listing of alternate candidates.  Candidates compete from their state of residence first, than as national alternates for unfilled state vacancies.  Candidates can only be nominated by Congressional authorities from their state (Senators/Congressman only).


Admittance to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy is no longer gained by application to a Congressman or Senator.  Students must make direct application to the Academy.


I will require certain information from you in order to establish a file.  This documentation must be received by my office no later than October 30, 2020 in order to be considered.  Any student not providing the required information by that date will not be considered for nomination.  As a matter of fairness, there can be no exceptions to the closing date.


To begin with, each applicant must be an American citizen of good moral character, at least 17 years old and not past his/her 22nd birthday (25th for Merchant Marines) on July 1 of the year entering the academy.  You must be unmarried, not pregnant, and have no children.  You must also be a legal resident in the State of Illinois.


The information which I will require from you includes: a completed application form and official transcript of grades (including final junior year grades and listing of courses planned for your senior year).  Students should have taken all or most of the following: 4 years math, including trigonometry; 4 years English with emphasis on grammar, composition, literature and speech; 2 years of a modern language; and a year each of chemistry and physics with laboratories.


Additionally, if your school ranks, I will need to know your numerical class rank at the end of your junior year (the majority of candidates admitted come from the top 20% of their class), your current GPA on a 4.0 scale, and I must receive copies of any SAT or ACT scores you have taken.


The code assigned to me by the Education Testing Service (administrators of the SAT) is #1698 and students can have their scores sent directly to me by noting this on their registration forms for the tests.  The code assigned to me by the ACT office is #7126.   Finally, I will require three letters of recommendation, a brief statement (100 words or less) explaining why you want to attend one of the service academies, and a recent photograph (optional).


If you are interested in more than one academy, I would request that you only list your first choice.



Also, you should keep in mind that you may retake the ACT and SAT test in order to improve your scores - only the highest score will be considered by my office.  So, it is to your advantage to be aware of the test schedules and begin testing during your junior year if possible.


As far as the selection procedure is concerned, I have appointed a Selection Committee, charged with the evaluation of all candidates.  The Committee personally reviews the files of each applicant in early December.  The Committee then submits to me the names of up to ten most qualified candidates for each vacancy and I will then forward the names to the individual academies.  It is possible that more than one appointment may be made from my recommended nominees.


If you are interested in obtaining an application, we do require that you send your request in writing to my Springfield district office.  Please be sure to include your full name, date of birth and social security number.


Finally, many students request a nomination, then, for one reason or another, decide they do not wish to attend an academy.  If you are faced with this situation, I would appreciate it if you would notify my office.


Application packets must be sent to my Springfield office by close of business on Friday,

October 30, 2020


U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin

525 South 8th Street

Springfield, Illinois 62703

Attn: Kaylee Gholson




Honorable Richard J. Durbin
525 S. Eighth St.
Springfield, Illinois  62703
Attn:  Kaylee Gholson

Dear Senator Durbin:

I want to attend the (*) Academy and to serve in the United States (*). I request that I be considered as one of your nominees for the class that enters the Academy in June 20__.

My pertinent data is:

Name (print name exactly as it appears on the birth certificate, or if legally changed, attach a copy of the court order):

Social Security Number:

Permanent address (street, city, county, state, zip code):

Temporary address (if applicable):

Permanent phone number and area code:

Temporary phone number and area code (if applicable):

Email address: 

Name of father:

Name of mother:

Date and place of birth (spell out month):

Name and address of high school:

Date of graduation:

Thank you for considering me as one of your nominees to the (*) Academy.



*Air Force, Military, Naval, Merchant Marine