Frequently Asked Questions
CADET CANDIDATES ARE CHALLENGED TO PURSUE GOALS IN SEVEN AREAS:
- Character: USMAPS has a simple standard: "We expect candidates to do what is right all the time." Character is the foundation for all we do and its development in each of our candidates is central to our purpose.
- Education: Cadet Candidates are introduced to education as a lifelong endeavor. They prepare themselves by developing speaking, writing and reading skills, learning to think critically and logically and learning to master fundamental mathematical principles.
- Health and Fitness: Cadet Candidates develop and learn habits of health and fitness. They learn the importance of staying fit and the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse. They begin to accept responsibility for their own well-being.
- Cultural: Cadet Candidates learn to appreciate individual and cultural differences in an environment that fosters equal opportunity for all and does not tolerate sexual harassment in any form. They interact with people who are different from themselves in the classroom, in the barracks, on the sports fields and during off duty recreational time.
- Career: Cadet Candidates prepare to take their place at West Point and in a challenging army profession by learning to understand their own strengths and weaknesses, setting academic and career goals, and developing a strong work ethic.
- Communal: Cadet Candidates learn how to live in a community by respecting their fellow candidates and the environment, serving the community and sharing pride in their school and West Point.
- Personal: Cadet Candidates begin to understand who they are by managing their emotions, internalizing the values and principles which guide West Point and the profession of arms, learning how to make decisions and solve problems, and demonstrating personal responsibility.
TUITION, PAY AND EXPENSES:
USMAPS does not charge a tuition. The government will pay for room, board, medical and dental expenses. Candidates are paid monthly. Regular Army candidates receive their normal pay and allowances according to their rank and time in service. This salary is subject to federal and state withholding taxes and social security deductions with their monthly salary. Candidates pay for their textbooks, calculator, personal services, haircuts, and laundry. Students are also required to set up an allotment (the cadet account) for $300 to defray the cost of their computer at USMA. All candidates must join the Cadet Candidate Extracurricular Fund (CCEF), which covers their yearbook, Army-Navy Game, graduation dinner dance and other school-wide activities throughout the year.
Cadet candidates receive CONUS COLA (Continental United States Cost of Living Allowance) to defray the added cost of living in New Jersey. Additionally, Cadet Candidates will be covered by a government sponsored life insurance plan known as Serviceman's Group Life Insurance (SGLl).
HOUSING AND DINING:
Cadet Candidates live two to a room in facilities that closely parallel those at West Point. The barracks are coed with separate bathroom facilities. The dining facility is located adjacent to the cadet candidates' living quarters and serves meals, according to the candidates' schedules.
HOW DIFFICULT IS THE USMAPS PROGRAM?
For most Cadet Candidates, the USMAPS program is both physically and academically demanding. Cadet Candidates have the ability to complete the program successfully if they are motivated and willing to meet the challenges with which they will be faced once admitted to the program.
Cadet Candidates may also be separated from the program if they do not meet acceptable standards of performance or if they are disqualified for admission to USMA.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME AS A CADET CANDIDATE?
Cadet Candidates are expected to maintain the highest ethical and moral standards at all times. Conduct is based upon the precept that a Cadet Candidate does not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do. Your word is your bond, and your integrity is above reproach.
Cadet Candidates are expected to devote all their efforts toward achievement of their goal: admission to the United States Military Academy. Candidates are expected to be challenged both mentally and physically. Success requires confidence in one's abilities and the motivation to succeed. Both of these attributes are expected to be inherent in each Cadet Candidate. Finally, Cadet Candidates should arrive at the Preparatory School with a willingness to learn.
WHO MAY ATTEND THE PREPARATORY SCHOOL?
The Preparatory School is open to (18 yrs. old) enlisted Soldiers currently serving in the Regular Army, Army Reserves and Army National Guard. A limited number of civilian high school graduates are authorized by the Department of the Army, and selected by West Point, to enlist in the Army Reserves, specifically for the purpose of attending USMAPS. It is important to know that all candidates must apply to West Point to be considered for USMAPS and that candidates may not apply directly to the Prep School.
HOW COMPETITIVE IS ADMISSION TO THE PREPARATORY SCHOOL?
Admission to the Preparatory School is very competitive. Due to the limited class size, selection must be made on a "Best-Qualified" basis, in competition with all applicants. Each application will be carefully evaluated and every effort will be made to select those individuals who will benefit the most from attending USMAPS and who possess the qualities and attributes necessary to complete the USMAPS Program. In order to be considered competitive for the USMAPS Program, Cadet Candidates should have achieved above-average grades at their respective high school.
HOW DO I RECEIVE ORDERS TO TRAVEL TO THE PREPARATORY SCHOOL?
Civilians accepting an appointment to attend the United States Military Academy Preparatory School will join the Army as an Invitational Reservist and be placed on active duty on the day they report to the Prep School. The Army will compensate cadet candidates for travel expenses in accordance with government travel regulations.
Soldiers will receive orders through the Department of the Army and will be reimbursed for their travel to USMAPS.
TRACKING TO SUCCESS:
USMAPS employs a system of "tracking" to fully challenge all cadet candidates. Based upon their performance on a series of initial diagnostic tests and on their performance halfway through the first quarter of classroom work, Cadet Candidates are placed into specialized English and mathematics tracks. This flexible academic approach allows candidates to improve in weak areas while continuing to enhance their strong areas. Tracks range in difficulty from Fundamental to Advanced Placement. During the academic year, candidates can move between tracks, and upward movement is encouraged whenever possible.
The academic program focuses on mathematics and English. These broad areas are the fundamental basis for academic success at West Point. Cadet candidates also receive instruction in study skills and time management through the Student Development Course. Rigorous concentration on these skills improves a student's ability to grasp and retain information as well as to think critically and communicate clearly.
The Student Development Course is designed to give candidates the tools that will help them throughout their academic and military careers. The tools include: effective reading, notebook organization, note taking (including mapping and clustering), goal-setting, time management, and memory devices. To reduce academic stress, class time is devoted to stress management and overcoming "test phobia." Students are expected to apply the techniques to their current classes.
Cadet Candidates are expected to obtain a "C" or better in each academic course for each quarter. For substandard performance, cadet candidates are given opportunities to remediate the material. To graduate, each candidate must obtain a "C" or better or remediate to a "C" for each course in each quarter. In addition, they are expected to meet the established physical, medical, and military standards.
The Prep School provides outstanding training focused on education in the U.S. Army's ethics and values. Cadet Candidates are inspired to develop a strong commitment to the seven Army values and moral-ethical environment they will face as leaders in the 21st century.
THE BATTALION TACTICAL DEPARMENT:
The Battalion Tactical Department (BTD) is responsible for the total integration of the school's developmental programs. Tactical Officers (TACs) and Non-Comissioned Officers (TAC NCO)oversee each Cadet Candidate's development in academic, physical, moral-ethical and military areas. The TAC serves as the legal commander of the Cadet Candidate Company, and is responsible for the military discipline within his or her company. The BTD concentrates on leader development.
ATHLETICS AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION:
The Prep School is committed to the development of the whole person; consequently, a great deal of emphasis is placed on Athletics and Physical Education. Competitive Athletic Teams and Physical Education provide excellent opportunities for Cadet Candidates to improve their athletic skills and enhance their level of fitness. Athletics and Physical Training are part of the daily routine at USMAPS.
Students may participate in a variety of activities and clubs, such as: Yearbook, Cadet Pep Band, "Rabble Rousers" (cheerleaders), Judo Club, Outdoor Club, Sandhurst , Glee Club, and more. The proximity of West Point Prep to the New Jersey beach resort areas, New York City and Philadel phia provides the students with opportunities for sightseeing and other activities. Class trips to New York City and various athletic events are scheduled throughout the academic year.