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Forbes released their annual “Best Colleges” list and it is no surprise that all of the federal service academies have made the list. The United States Military Academy (West Point) ranked number 4 on the list, the U.S. Air Force Academy was ranked 11, while the U.S. Naval Academy came in at number 29, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy ranked number 105 and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy earned the number 165 ranking. While West Point was #1 last year, their slight slip to #4 is still impressive.
Receiving a stellar education (for free) while being able to serve one’s country are all factors that make these schools highly competitive and desired amongst college applicants.
The acceptance rates at the academies are low, which leave a lot of applicants that don’t secure a slot. While recruiting is exceeding its numbers it is interesting to think about what happens to all those individuals that don’t get into one of the academies? There are hundreds of ROTC and NROTC programs throughout the country that could be the perfect fit for those that have not obtained their dream slot. Does the military have an active program that focuses on those high level recruits that keeps their interest in the military going? Those that don’t make it into the federal academies between 80%- 90% of those that apply, are an attractive segment that shouldn’t be left out.
Most of the academies have social media outlets and are utilizing the tool to continue garnering interest and communicating with the public that finds itself spending quite a bit of time on social networks. While there is no worry that interest in the academies will ever weaken, it is important to preserve the tradition they stand for and educate those that may not have the background on what it means to attend one of them.