, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 348–352 | Cite as

Admissions at the US Naval Academy: how the Military Brass Spend your Tax Dollars

  • Bruce FlemingEmail author
Symposium: Varsity Blues


The admissions process at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis is both like and unlike the admissions process at US civilian schools. It is similar in that the institution reports a low admission rate as evidence of its high quality, and dissimilar in that it inflates the number of real applicants by about a factor of four to achieve the appearance of this selectivity. It is like civilian schools in awarding slots to non-white racial minorities and recruited athletes, and unlike them in that these are categories that determine the level of academic standards applicants must meet rather than parts of a holistic decision process. It is like civilian schools in that applicants know they will take classes that are for the most part identical to classes at civilian universities and receive a bachelor's degree upon graduation, yet unlike them in that graduates are guaranteed employment for at least five years in the Navy or Marine Corps. It is unlike civilian schools in its strong "pull factor" of zero cost to students; the whole cost of about a half a million dollars per student over four years is borne by taxpayers, despite the fact that much cheaper commissioning pipelines produce 80% of new officers. Finally. admission is not by the Admissions Board, which only labels applicants "qualified" or not; it is the military brass which decide who receives this free-to-students education.


College admissions Affirmative action Athletic recruiting US Naval Academy US Navy US Marine Corps 


Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English 12BUS Naval AcademyAnnapolisUSA

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