Posted on March 22, 2021

Minorities Underrepresented in Service Academy Nominations

Pat Eaton-Robb, Associated Press, March 17, 2021

Minority students are significantly underrepresented when it comes to getting nominations from members of Congress to attend the nation’s military service academies, according to an analysis released Wednesday.


Members of Congress have awarded 6% of their total nominations to Black students and 8% to Hispanic students, according to the report. White students received 74% of the nominations. Currently, about 15% of students in public schools nationwide are Black and 27% are Hispanic.

To be considered for admission, all service academy applicants must receive a nomination from a member of Congress, the president, the vice president, a secretary of a military service, or an academy superintendent.


U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the disparity in nominations is why Congress has been working to standardize and streamline the application process.

Recently enacted legislation requires the military to standardize race and ethnicity classifications and demographic categories across all service academies and to publish an annual report regarding the demographics of applicants and nominations made by each congressional district for the most recent application year.


“Right now, very bluntly, we do not ask about an applicant’s race, ethnicity or religion,” Blumenthal said. {snip}