Memorial Day is an opportunity pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending this country and everything it stands for. As we reflect and pay gratitude to those who gave their lives, it is an appropriate time to consider services academies for college education. The US Military Academy (West Point), the US Naval Academy, the US Air Force Academy, and the US Coast Guard Academy offer excellent and FREE college educations to students. Students must commit to serving in that branch of the armed services for a period of time and usually enter as an officer.
Earning admission to a service academy is not easy. Often times support from a local congressman is required. This may not be on many families minds, but consider a service academy for (1) the cost, (2) the leadership, (3) opportunity for unique experiences and growth. Many top MBA programs, grad schools and employers covet the unique experience grads from service academies carry with them. Several of my TAs at Wharton were West Point grads, while many of my law school classmates pursued law degrees to become attorneys in the armed services.
Service academies are not for everyone. But for those who are interested in becoming pilots, doctors, lawyers, or gaining leadership experience, it may be an affordable and rewarding path to consider.