naval academy prep school

Attending the Naval Academy Preparatory School

If you have your heart set on the prestigious and selective U.S. Naval Academy, you may worry that without an offer of acceptance, your dreams of becoming a Naval Officer are over.

But there are numerous routes to take that will end up with you leading Sailors in America’s Navy.

One of them is the Naval Academy Preparatory School, or NAPS.

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Getting into The Naval Academy Prep School

NAPS is meant to prepare students for the rigors of the Naval Academy and ensure their success when they transition to USNA.

“NAPS mission is to enhance midshipman candidates’ moral, mental, and physical foundations to prepare them for success at the U.S. Naval Academy,” says the school’s website.

The students, called Midshipmen Candidates, are able to apply directly to Naval Academy Prep School.

But the majority receive an offer after they are recognized as strong candidates for USNA who may benefit from an additional year to fully develop their potential.

Midshipmen Candidates in formation at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, RI. Source:

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Many NAPS students come to the institution directly from the active duty Navy enlisted ranks.

Enlisted Sailors who show leadership potential and meet other qualification standards can apply to become Midshipmen at USNA and receive a commission as an Officer before rejoining the Fleet.

Many of these students spend a year at Naval Academy Prep School to develop a strong academic foundation, as it has often been multiple years since they have been in an academic environment.

Life at The Naval Academy Prep School

The Naval Academy Preparatory School is located in Newport, Rhode Island.

It is located alongside the Naval War College, where junior and senior officers attend courses designed to enhance their leadership and naval warfare skills.

Midshipmen candidates benefit from the robust facilities and the presence of active-duty Navy personnel in their daily lives.

What does a day at Naval Academy Prep School look like? The program, which follows a traditional August-May academic calendar year, closely mirrors what Midshipmen Candidates can expect to see once they start at USNA.

Time is devoted each day to military training, physical fitness, and academics.

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One of the great benefits of attending Naval Academy Prep School is the opportunity to start at the U.S. Naval Academy with a strong academic foundation.

This can be essential for those who have been away from a classroom for years or just need additional work before beginning the rigorous academic load expected of a USNA Midshipman.

The four main disciplines studied at Naval Academy Prep School include:

  • Chemistry
  • English
  • Math
  • Physics

These courses are specifically chosen due to their essential nature in the USNA academic curriculum.

As a freshman, or plebe, at USNA, students are required to take Chemistry, English, and Math. They continue their studies the following year with more Math and Physics.

NAPS students get a head start on many of the concepts they will learn at USNA.

Recently, Naval Academy Prep School has added academic preparation in Information Technology to the curriculum.

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Physical fitness is a key component at Naval Academy Prep School, USNA, and in the U.S. Navy.

Midshipmen Candidates “are given the opportunity for individual and team physical training” every day at Naval Academy Prep School. Team sports offered include

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Lacrosse
  • Wrestling
  • Track

There are also opportunities to participate in interest-based clubs, such as SCUBA, hiking club, and the Semper Fi Society.

Building team camaraderie and school spirit is also an important part of NAPS life, which is often done on the athletic field or through a club.

Midshipman Candidate life

During their time at Naval Academy Preparatory School, and later as Midshipmen at USNA, all students are assigned sponsor families from the local Newport, Rhode Island community.

These generous individuals and families provide a restful, “home away from home” for students to enjoy during their liberty time.

A sign welcomes visitors to Newport, Rhode Island. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Many NAPS students are far from home and may not be able to travel back often. Sponsor families act as vital support networks during students’ transition into military life.

Parents of NAPS Midshipmen Candidates can also connect with other parents and families through the NAPS Parents Network social media accounts.

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Life after Naval Academy Prep School

Following graduation in May, all successful Midshipmen Candidates go on to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

With their strong academic foundation and experience with military discipline, Midshipmen who attended Naval Academy Prep School are some of the most successful at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Many take on leadership positions within their companies, classes, and teams.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does the Naval Academy Preparatory School prepare students to do?

Midshipmen Candidates at NAPS prepare academically and physically to be successful students, or Midshipmen, at the U.S. Naval Academy or the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Following four years at USNA and graduation, students are commissioned as officers into the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps. Following four years at USCGA, students are commissioned as officers into the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy welcomes a new class of Midshipmen. Source: DVIDS

How long is Navy Prep School?

Midshipmen Candidates attend NAPS for one academic calendar year, from August to May. This is ten months of development and instruction.

How much does Navy Prep School cost?

There is no tuition or room and board charged at NAPS. Midshipmen Candidates receive a monthly stipend, which varies based on their military background.

Civilians entering Naval Academy Prep School receive approximately $1,116/month (before taxes and other deductions). Those entering from active duty receive the base pay of their rank.

Students are required to pay a fee for the Battalion Activities Fund and Military Uniform Issue. These two fees are taken out of the monthly stipend or paid with scholarships.

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Will I need to reapply to USNA or USCGA at the end of NAPS?

Successful Midshipmen Candidates do not need to resubmit their applications to the Academies, provided that they continue to meet all qualifications and receive a favorable recommendation from the NAPS staff.

They will need to reapply for a nomination from their Senator, Congressperson, or the Vice President. NAPS military staff is able to help Midshipmen Candidates through that process.

How can parents contact the Naval Academy Prep School in case of emergency?

The base Command Duty Officer, or CDO, can be reached via phone.

What are the steps to become a sponsor?

The NAPS sponsor application can be completed online. It includes opportunities to request a specific Midshipman Candidate or provide information about your interests and background to ensure a good fit.

How can I visit NAPS?

Visitors with a Department of Defense identification card can visit the Naval Academy Prep School by showing their DoD ID at the gate.

Non-Department of Defense visitors are required to complete forms at least 10 days prior to their desired visit for review and approval. Forms and directions can be found on the NAPS Visitor Base Access website.


General FAQ

What GPA do you need to get into the U.S. Naval Academy?

The average GPA for a Naval Academy candidate is 4.3, which makes it hard to qualify. The Academy has an 8 to 10 percent acceptance rate, so attending the Naval Academy Prep school can help your chances.

If you don’t get into the Naval Academy, can you apply to the Naval Academy Prep School?

If you are not offered an appointment to the Academy, you may be considered for admission to the Naval Academy Prep School (NAPS). During NAPS, you’ll be an enlisted member of the U.S. Navy.

How long is the service commitment for the Naval Academy Prep School?

After attending the Naval Academy Prep School for 10 months, you’ll attend the U.S. Naval Academy. Following that, you will have a five-year service obligation after graduation.

Do you need a nomination for the Naval Academy Prep School?

No, you don’t need a nomination, although it’s a good idea to solicit one from all the sources possible, include your local congressperson.

What physical fitness levels do I need to maintain at the Naval Academy Prep School?

Midshipman Candidates will take the Naval Academy’s Physical Readiness Test four times during their time at NAPS. Those who are unable to swim will receive personal training to qualify.

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