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FAQ - Admission
  
Answer
What is the Tattoo Policy at West Point?
West Point's Tattoo Policy is dictated by Army Regulation 670-1.  Below is a synopsis of the Army policy, to include tattoo placement and a description of tattoos that are not authorized.
 
Unauthorized Tattoo Locations:
- On the head, neck, and face (anything above the T-shirt line to include on/inside the eyelids, mouth, and ears).
- On the hands, fingers, and wrists (below the wrist bone).
- Each visible tattoo below the elbow or below the knee must be smaller than the size of the wearer's hand (with fingers extended and joined with the thumb touching the base of the index finger).
- Soldiers may have no more than 4 total visible tattoos (smaller than the size of the wearer's hand) below the elbow or knee.
 
Categories of Unauthorized Tattoos:
- Extremist tattoos or brands are those affiliated with, depicting, or symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations, or activities.
- Indecent tattoos or brands are those that are grossly offensive to modesty, decency, propriety, or professionalism.
- Sexist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on gender, but may not meet the same definition of "indecent".
- Racist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on race, ethnicity, or national origin.
What are the admission requirements?
You must meet certain requirements specified by public law in order to be considered for admission to West Point. You will be evaluated in three areas: academic performance, demonstrated leadership potential, and physical aptitude. You must also meet strict medical qualification requirements. First of all, you must be a United States citizen, at least 17 and not yet 23 years of age on July 1 of your year of admission. You must not be married, pregnant, or have a legal obligation to support a child or children. If you are a naturalized citizen, you must provide documentation.
What are the academic requirements?
To qualify academically at West Point you should have an above average high school or college academic record. A complete transcript of your academic achievement will be evaluated to determine your qualification. You should perform well on the ACT, Inc. Assessment Program Test (ACT) or the SAT Reasoning Test. These tests demonstrate an indication of your potential for academic success during your first year in college.
What courses should I take?
To prepare yourself for the academic curriculum at West Point, you should complete four years of English with a strong emphasis on composition, grammar, literature and speech; four years of college preparatory mathematics, to include algebra, geometry, intermediate algebra, and trigonometry as a minimum; two years of a foreign language; two years of a laboratory science such as chemistry and physics, and one year of U.S. history, including courses in geography, government and economics. If your school includes a course in precalculus and calculus in its curriculum, and a basic computing course, these courses will be helpful in preparing you for your first year at West Point.
What else should I do to prepare?
A well-rounded high school background in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities is a good way to prepare to enter West Point. Participation in student government, clubs, and other community activities provides leadership experiences that also reflect favorably on developing your leadership potential as an Army officer.
What are the medical requirements?
You must be in good physical and mental health and pass a Department of Defense qualifying medical examination. Medical standards are discussed in more detail in the West Point Admissions Bulletin and the West Point catalog.
Is 20/20 eyesight required for qualification?
No, but your eyesight must be correctable to 20/20 with glasses or contact lenses.
What is the Candidate Fitness Assessment like?
The Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) consists of six events: basketball throw, pull-ups (men & women)/flexed-arm hang (women who cannot do one pull-up), shuttle run, modified sit-ups, push-ups, and one mile run. You are permitted just one examination, and you should practice the six events prior to taking the examination.
How do I apply to West Point?
You apply to West Point by requesting and completing a PreCandidate Questionnaire and by obtaining a nomination, normally from a United States Congressman or a Senator. Fill out the reply card on the back cover of this brochure to obtain a Prospectus and a PreCandidate Questionnaire. A candidate file will be started after you return the PreCandidate Questionnaire, preferably in the spring of your junior year of high school.
What happens after I fill out the Candidate Questionnaire?
Your Candidate Questionnaire will be evaluated by the Admissions Office to determine whether or not you will be competitive for admission. If you are a competitive candidate, you will receive additional forms to complete. Fill out those forms as quickly as possible. The Admissions Committee will only evaluate your application file when every requirement has been completed. 
When should I apply for a nomination?
a:  You should apply for a nomination at the same time you open a candidate file at West Point, preferably during the spring of your junior year. Write a letter to your congressional representative and request a nomination. Members of Congress determine their own application deadlines, so apply early. A candidate cannot be offered admission without a nomination.
Do you accept transfer students?
No. Students in college or with previous college credit may apply to West Point if they meet the basic requirements. However, those students still enter West Point as plebes (freshmen) and must complete the four-year program.
Do women cadets do the same things as the men?
Yes. Cadet women are required to meet the same standards as their male counterparts in academics, leadership and military development. There is one exception. Women are required to take a self-defense course rather than boxing and wrestling during their first year at West Point.
Are there admissions opportunities for minorities?
Admission to West Point is open to all students. There are no appointments, vacancies, or nominations designed exclusively for minority groups. However, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds are given appropriate consideration while evaluating all applicants. West Point makes a concerted effort to inform minorities of admissions opportunities, reaching many that might not otherwise apply for admission. Today, minorities represent about 15-20 percent of the Corps of Cadets.
If I have an alternate nomination, can I be admitted?
Yes. The majority of the Members of Congress use a competitive nomination process, whereby 10 candidates are named to compete for a single vacancy. A minority of the members of Congress names a single candidate as their primary nomination, and some choose to number, or rank order the alternates. If you have an excellent academic and extracurricular activity record, however, you have a good chance of gaining admission with an alternate nomination. Each year several hundred of the best qualified alternate Congressional and military service nominees are offered admission from the West Point waiting list.
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