United States Air Force Academy
USAF Academy, CO, USA

Reviews

United States Air Force Academy
3.71 Average Rating

Kojiro from Manchester, ME

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
High quality staff and facilities, as well as extracurricular opportunities. The staff are very willing to work with cadets to help them succeed, sometimes staying, or returning to work, at late hours. Emphasis on academics ensure ample time free of military duties to study every night.
Tips for prospective students
Get used to working on less sleep than you'd like, improve your speed at everything (without sacrificing quality), be prepared to deal with high levels of stress coming from multiple sources (military duties, academics, athletic duties, social obligations, etc.)
Academic Rigor
The academics alone aren't too difficult. When combined with all the other duties you have to do it becomes tough. There is also a very high level of required core classes, making sophomore year academics challenging in that there are a good number of classes you probably have little to no interest in.
Dorm Life
Dorm life as a freshman here is tough. There is a lot of military training that apply only to freshman that make almost everything you do harder than it has to be. However, once freshman year is over many of the rules are lifted. It is still much more strict than most colleges as USAFA is training future military officers, but it is a solid life.
Food and Dining
The meals at the main dining facility aren't spectacular, but do have good variety, as well as many healthy options. Cadets with special dietary needs are also provided for. There are also several other dining facilities across the campus, including a coffee shop, two Subways and a pizza place.
What to do for fun
Like most modern colleges, there are tons of clubs and teams to join. Since the Academy is located in Colorado, the most popular club is the Ski Club. A relatively small membership fee provides buses most weekends during the winter to ski resorts, as well as a discount on ski passes and select equipment. The bustling city of Colorado Springs is located just south of the Academy, and full of activities to do. From the classics of restaurants and movie theaters to less traditional parks for mountain biking, there is always something to do.
Bang for the buck
There is no tuition or room and board. However, it takes serious work to be accepted, and even more serious work to stay in and succeed. You pay in sweat and lack of sleep, rather than dollars. However, not only do you receive a small monthly pay while a cadet, you have excellent medical benefits as well as a guaranteed job upon graduation.
Campus Safety
As a breeding ground for future military leaders, USAFA would make a significant target for any enemies seeking to cripple the United States. That said military police and civilian security contractors ensure security is not breached.
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Alisa from Grand Junction, CO

researching this school
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Will learn a lot
Just by reading the catalog they offer in the visitor center, it is quite obvious that a student accepted here will learn more than ever before. For those interested in air and space, you will definitely get what you asked for in a prestigious school such as this. If you don't enjoy taking on a big course-load all throughout your college years, then this may not be the school for you. For those that love to learn, and are willing to take on the challenge, I say go for it!
Will enjoy being here
The location of the base/campus is prime for many different vacation and fun tours that include biking, hiking, and river rafting in the summer, while skiing and snow activities in the winter. You get your four seasons in Colorado Springs. Knowing that, take into account all the training you will be doing here for the military. While there are fun activities you can do on your off time, be mindful of the different climates if you are not used to them. Otherwise, it will be definitely worth it coming to school here.
Bang for the buck
There is the Oath of Commitment that you must take, which is the only repayment to the Academy, but in other regards, earning a free education when accepted to this campus is absolutely worth it. You get hands-on training for your respected fields, and the chance to be commissioned as a military officer is one of high esteem.
Tips for prospective students
Before you consider USAF Academy, make sure you know that this is your own choice, and not someone else's. Go to the Academy's website and seek out the different information regarding the campus. Not only do you have to have stellar grades and amazing test scores, but they also look at what activities you have done in high school (music, volunteering, sports, academia, etc.), your teacher's input, your ALO (Admissions Liaison Officer) interview, your writing sample, and other miscellaneous information they may ask you. Know that, as you are entering the military, you need to be in prime shape for the different training periods. Get active in competitive sports and take the time to work out as often as you can, because it will definitely help you as you go along.
Great for these types of students
High achieving students, students who want to serve in the military, those who love different altitude conditions and seasons, students who love air/space/flying
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Ismael from U S A F Academy, CO

a current student here
61 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
seriously, USAFA has one of the toughest academic schedules anywhere, so you get one of the best educations anywhere! its supposed to be the 7th best school in the nation.
Am enjoying being here
Freshman year is not as fun as the others will be, but you get a sense of pride being at a school that only takes in about 1200 students NATIONWIDE every year.
Bang for the buck
well, anyone who gets accepted here is on a full ride, period. you only pay for books and personal stuff, but they pay you every month (you are in the military). catch is you have to serve so many years in the air force after graduation as payment.
Tips for prospective students
make sure you get in good physical shape before going, makes your life a bit easier. make sure you are prepared to handle stressful situations. be ready to study A LOT! if your not already good at time management, you will be. also, only come if YOU made the decision, don't let parents or friends decide for you.
Great for these types of students
self motivated, hard chargers. its a military school, if its not your cup of tea then think it through.
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Andrea from Usaf Academy, CO

a current student here
31 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
This school is not for everyone, however it is definitely worth it. There is a lot of commitment when it comes to joining this academy; you lose more time with friends and family than a student at a normal college, and the academics are quite tough because they are more science based. Overall, a lot of memories are made at this school and although the everyday stresses can get you down sometimes, it is a full scholarship that offers you a full time job when you get out.
Tips for prospective students
If you don't like being controlled and told what to do, this place isn't for you.
If you don't like being away from home for too long, this place isn't for you.
If you hate the snow, this place isn't for you.
If you want to party every other day, this place isn't for you.
If you want to have a fun freshman year, this place isn't for you.
If you don't have at least a 3.5 GPA and score over a 30 on your ACT and a 1900+ on your SAT, this place isn't for you(the prep school maybe!)
If you want to make new friends, start a military career, be an officer in the most elite branch in the world, travel, can deal with he snow, fly planes, jump out of planes, live for 1 week in the wilderness, go through basic, and go through recognition after a crappy freshman year, get $36,0000 as a junior to buy your own car and invest, make on average $600 per month(not freshman year), and want to push yourself to be the best person you could possibly be, then this place is for you.
Academic Rigor
Academics are rough! You have a ton of core classes you have to get through until you begin your majors class. You tend to have 5-6 classes per semester. There are scholar classes for the brainiacs. There are a bunch of math and science based classes here, and a good amount of majors to choose from.
Dorm Life
There aren't really much complaints besides you most likely have a roommate all four years here, and you cannot live off base. Besides that, you live in a squadron with 80 other people and the rooms are huge compared to other college dorms. Living in squad is pretty nice and quiet for the most part, unless people decide to have hall brawls at 10pm on a weekday. Most upperclassmen leave on weekends so its nice and quiet during the weekends as well.
Food and Dining
Food is food. Have to be fortunate to get free food here, even if most of the times its gross. The facility has to feed 4000 cadets so it is understandable. There is burger king, subway, wing zone, pizza, and a smoothie/coffee shop on base.
What to do for fun
Go to C-Springs downtown
Go to the zoo
Go snowboarding
Go white water rafting
Go to the lakes
Go hiking
Go to Denver
Go to the clubs (18+ and 21+)
Go to the museums
Go to your sponsors house
Bang for the buck
It is free tuition, although you have to serve at least 5 years after you graduate. The scholarship is roughly $400,000, so it is definitely worth it, especially because you get paid while you go here as well as receive a low interest $36,000 loan.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
A lot of squadron parties! The food is catered so it is usually pretty good.
Great for these types of students
Great for smart, well driven, athletic, and non uptight people.
Clubs and Activities
So many clubs to choose from, from rock climbing to the debate team to hula. There could be more volunteering clubs.
Greek Life
The academy is a giant fraternity with 75% male and 25% female.
Campus Safety
We are on a military installation, so it is pretty safe. You need a CAC to get in here so if you don''t have one and also have no reason to come on base, you'll get booted off unless your touring the campus.
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Isaac from U S A F Academy, CO

a current student here
14 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The Air Force Academy is a place that challenges you in all aspects of life. Everything you do here is important and has meaning. You will find who you are and what you represent after going through the four vigorous years here.
Tips for prospective students
Make sure you do your research and actually know what this place is about. Many students apply because of the prestige and actually don't know that it is a MILITARY academy first followed my academics.
Academic Rigor
Extremely difficult. We are one of the top institutions in the nation. You have class everyday mixed with your military and athletic duties.
Dorm Life
Dorm life is decent. They are two man rooms and some three man rooms for the freshman. After freshman year, fridges and TV's and posters become acceptable to have. There are many rules on how the room looks and the cleanliness of the room.
Food and Dining
Everyone eats at Mitchel Hall unless you travel somewhere else to buy food. Some meals are great, some are bad; Typical college food.
What to do for fun
There are so many things to get involved in while here at the academy. Anywhere from playing a Division 1 sport to flying gliders to jumping out of planes to debate clubs to numerous outdoor activities. The opportunities are endless.
Bang for the buck
Well considering its payed for, its the best deal you can get. No extra expenses needed.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
I would share them but it would be wrong to spoil them. They are held secret only to the people who attend the academy.
Great for these types of students
Students who are go-getters and want a purposeful life. This place will help you achieve all your goals.
Clubs and Activities
Upwards of 50+ clubs and teams you can join and be apart of.
Greek Life
No greek life, everyone is apart of the same greek house.
Campus Safety
We live on a military base, there is security 24/7
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Logan from USAFA, CO

a current student here
14 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
At USAFA, you will be given opportunities that no other college student will ever have, all the while defending the United States. However, you will be pushed far beyond your limits. Come only if you truly want to be here.
Tips for prospective students
Take hard classes in high school: the admissions panel would rather see a person apply with a 3.0 who took exclusively AP classes than a person with a 4.0 who took exclusively easy classes. Stay in good physical shape, and excel in a small number of extracurricular activities rather than be simply involved in a great many. Community service is also good to have. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the application process is long and arduous; many fewer people will not make it in on the first try than those who don't. Keep applying if you don't make it. That will show that you really are serious about attending the Academy.
Academic Rigor
Academics here are not for the faint of heart. In addition to the military training that occurs cadets usually take six or more classes a semester. Furthermore, since almost everybody here was strong, academically, in high school, instructors grade classes extremely hard. The average GPA for each graduating class dips more than a point from high school to the Academy.

However, despite the difficulty, all the instructors here are here specifically to teach and develop cadets, and are available virtually any time. No instructor has research of their own to worry about, and since the majority of instructors are active duty officers, you can learn much more than school material from them.
Dorm Life
Dorm life varies considerably depending on several factors, first and foremost being whether or not you are a fourth classman (freshman), in which case dorm life is not pleasant whatsoever. After Recognition (something you'll learn plenty about here), however, life improves markedly. All the facilities are generally good, and there's a good amount of space to neatly store those things that you are allowed to have.
Food and Dining
It may come as no surprise that the dining facility, Mitchell Hall (also known as Mitch's or Billy's), tasked with feeding over 4000 cadets, three times a day, may not be able to produce the most gourmet fare out there. However, there is plenty of food to eat, and it's always free. If Mitch's doesn't suit your fancy, you can always get a pizza or some Chinese food delivered.
What to do for fun
The weekends usually coincide with an exodus from the Academy to Colorado Springs, which is but a couple miles away from the Cadet Area. The Springs has all the amenities of a mid-size city, and is a great place to enjoy oneself. Skiing and outdoorsy stuff is also abundant in the area.

For those times when you can't get away from the hill (there will be plenty of that), there are a variety of inane things that cadets do to pass the time that simply have to be experienced. They are fun, although you wouldn't think so if I described them here.
Bang for the buck
Considering that you get paid to come here and tuition is free and you have few other expenses, and that you have more opportunities than a typical college student could dream of (such as getting your basic parachuting wings in two weeks and soloing an airplane), financial value is literally divided by zero.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There is a website called the USAFA folklore wiki that has pages and pages of all the unusual stuff that occurs here. There simply isn't enough room on this form to even begin.
Great for these types of students
Any highly motivated, high energy people do well here. If you've ever wanted to join the military, this is about as good as it gets for an entry path. Finally, as the curriculum is very heavy on math and science, people wanting to go into technical fields are at an advantage.

Oh, and anyone who doesn't want to pay for school.
Clubs and Activities
If you're interested in it, it's probably here. If it isn't, you can make it happen.
Greek Life
Doesn't exist. Instead, we have cadet squadrons, which are far tighter-knit and more valuable to your development as a human being.
Campus Safety
There are armed guards at the entrances to the academy. However, over a million tourists come here every year, and we are stationed between about four other important military installations, so it's a pretty big target if somebody really wanted to start something. Fortunately we have briefings and exercises to be prepared in the unlikely event that something does get started.
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Kathryn from USAF Academy, CO

a current student here
13 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
It's a challenge, but there is a reward for every challenge you face. It's not meant to be easy, it is meant to help you grow. Here, you discover that you can do so much more than you thought you could.
Tips for prospective students
Before you get here, make sure you are in good athletic shape. Make sure you are ready for the huge commitment as well, deciding to attend this school isn't a decision you should take lightly.
Academic Rigor
The classes are really challenging, but the professors are more than willing to spend extra time with you to make sure you understand, and there is a tutoring center open all week that you can visit to get help.
Dorm Life
For Freshman dorm life is so-so, but as the years progress it gets better and better!
Food and Dining
With every cafeteria, there are good meals, there are bad meals. Luckily we have a Godfather's Pizza, Burger King and a Subway on campus to help combat those days with bad meals.
What to do for fun
There are a ton of clubs, Intercollegiate Sports, Intramurals, and random get-togethers to choose from. If you are bored, you are TRYING to be bored.
Bang for the buck
The education is free, you have a gauranteed job after graduation, and you learn so much about yourself here.
Clubs and Activities
There is literally a club for everything. Skiing to computer gaming to rock climbing to combat shooting, there is no lack of options.
Campus Safety
We have our own military security force here.
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Sam from Ladson, SC

researching this school
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Academic Rigor
This school has an incredible academic program. U.S. News and World Report ranked the AFA's undergraduate business management a #1, the undergraduate engineering programs #5, and #3 in Public Liberal Arts College in the country.
Dorm Life
Extremely hard with the constant pressure for the military, but easily survivable with hard work in dedication.
Food and Dining
It is military food.
Bang for the buck
If you manage to get into this school, it is paid entirely for you. Although you do essentially pay it back with 5 years of required active duty, considering this has one of the best academic programs in the country, it is brilliant.
Great for these types of students
-People looking for a challenge
-People who want a career in the Air Force
-People who want to be pushed
Clubs and Activities
For clubs and activities, there is a large variety, some not available at other schools. There are over 90 active clubs ranging from military focused clubs to sports to simply recreational. They have everything from falconry to fly-fishing.
Campus Safety
You are on a guarded military base with 24/7 security.
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Future USAFA Cadet

researching this school
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Will learn a lot
You will most definitely learn a lot here! Being at one of the most rigorous colleges in the U.S., the minimum credits needed to graduate is 140; while for other colleges, it's only 120. However, this rigorous curriculum prepares the future AF officers in their profession, the future leaders of America.
Will enjoy being here
Obviously, there's pros and cons to attending a military academy. Pros - the greatest friends for a lifetime, set up for success after graduation, promised career after graduation, the best physical shape you'll probably ever be in your life, and the opportunity of serving your country. Cons - restricted free time (due to academics, rules of the campus, and physical training), limited time with family, long hours of studying, and the rigorous curriculum.
Bang for the buck
Attending USAFA is an education worth about $150,000 (could be mistaken) without a paying a penny out of your pocket. Four years of service ARE required after graduation.
Tips for prospective students
Start your 9th grade year off strong. It's better to start off with a 4.0 than a 3.0 GPA. Stay on top of your grades. Take up sports and make your way up to varsity,and hopefully, captain. Join a club or team, or even better, start a club yourself. USAFA wants to see people exceed the standard expectation. Do community service activities and projects; show USAFA you care about your country. Lastly, be per servant and stay strong. The Academy likes to see candidates who are persistent. Keep applying if you don't make it the 1st time. Keep improving your ACT/SAT scores and grades. Stay strong.
Great for these types of students
Obviously, the Academy is only for those who are serious about serving their country; it isn't a place for everyone. Cadets are seen to be tough-minded, physically fit, always showing integrity, and persistent. No one is perfect, but basically, be the example and be the best at what you do. Good luck to you as a future USAFA cadet.
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Sarah from USAFA, CO

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
One of the most challenging and rewarding colleges in America. The competition is tough, but being surrounded by the best minds in the country will only increase your skill. It provides more opportunities than you could only imagine of having at other schools.
Tips for prospective students
If you really want to come here you need to start preparing as soon as possible. Get involved in your school and your community. Take advantage of every opportunity to make yourself bettter.
Academic Rigor
The classes are hard, but they are rewarding. The class sizes are small enough that it is possible to have one on one time with your professor. If you need it the teachers are always willing to make time for you.
Dorm Life
Living in the dorms with everyone in your squad is a great experience. You are surrounded by people that you work with and you are forced to learn how to get along with everyone even if you don't like them.
Food and Dining
The food is not the best, but it is still food. You are served a variety of food every week with some consistencies like pasta night every Monday.
What to do for fun
When you have free time there is a lot for you to do. You can go hiking up in the mountains, go out to eat or go to the movies in the city, and during the winter you can take the weekend off and go skiing at some of the best ski resorts.
Bang for the buck
Your entire education is paid for, so you are definitely getting your bang for the buck. It may be hard, but coming out on the other end it is worth it to say that you made it through.
Clubs and Activities
There are numerous clubs and activities that you can partake in. If you have the desire to be a part of a club here, chances are you will either be able to find, or even start it yourself.
Campus Safety
Campus safety is first rate because you are not protected by regular cops, but you are protected by military personnel whose sole job is to protect the cadets.
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