Congressman MacArthur Accepting Service Academy Applications

November 1 Deadline
Oct 05, 2016

Congressman Tom MacArthur, whose New Jersey 3rd District includes Barnegat Township and the western part of Stafford Township, has announced he is accepting applications for the country’s service academies that require a congressional appointment. Those academies include the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. The final service academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., does not require a congressional nomination.

Applicants must be 17 to 23 years old and reside in MacArthur’s district. Applications must be submitted to MacArthur's Burlington County office by Nov. 1. For more information and an application form, visit

“One of the highest honors I have as a representative in Congress is annually nominating exceptional candidates from our community to the service academies,” said MacArthur. “I am grateful to represent such bright and determined young men and women and proud to see so many of our young students choosing the noble path of service in the United States military. If offered appointments, these young men and women will receive both a world-class education and the skills they will need to become tomorrow’s military leaders.”

The price of college keeps going up. The Wall Street Journal reported last spring that the average college debt of 2016 graduates was $37,172.

On the other hand, the service academies are free. Also, students receive a monthly stipend that starts at over $900 a month in their first year, part of which is given in the form of a check while some is automatically used for services such as laundry, dry cleaning and barber services.

Of course, there’s that old adage that says nothing in life is free. There is a catch for attending a service academy – graduates owe the country five years of service. But you serve as a commissioned officer or, in the case of the Merchant Marine, a mate, and, should you decide to make the military a career, you have a foot up on officers who earned their commissions via ROTC or Officers Candidate School when it comes to promotion into the higher ranks.

One thing is certain, students receive a top-rank education attending a service academy. U.S. News and World Report ranks the U.S. Naval Academy as the 12th best national liberal arts college in the country out of 239 schools ranked in that category. West Point checks in tied for 19th in that same category while the United States Air Force Academy is ranked 32nd. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is ranked 3rd in the 62-school “regional college north” category.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy, by the way, is the second-ranked regional college in the north. For information about applying to the Coast Guard Academy visit its website,

— Rick Mellerup

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