Academy Endeavors provides guidance on every Service Academy essay question.

Let’s take a look at USCGA essays.


Question: Explain why you are interested in attending the Coast Guard Academy, how you have prepared yourself to be successful as a Cadet, and any leadership experiences that will help you develop into a leader of character in the Coast Guard. (Limit 500 words on a single page)

Answer: This is the WHY question. WHY do you want us, and WHY are you a good fit?

Begin by explaining how your desire first began, and the steps you’ve taken to confirm that desire (AIM, base visit, campus visit, etc).

Make your examples specific to the Coast Guard specifically. Coasties are used to feeling like they are the last option after the other big Academies, and they can sniff the BS.

Research careers in the Coast Guard, and state your career preferences with reasons why.

Lastly, as the prompt suggests, tell a STAR (Situation-Task-Action-Result) Story, and explain how the lessons learned will prepare you for life in the Coast Guard.

This is the longest essay question, so it should be filled with personal examples that are specific to USCGA.



Question: The Coast Guard Academy is focused on diversity, inclusion and equity-mindedness across campus. What about your background, or what perspective, belief, or experience, will help you contribute to the education of your future classmates and enrich our community? (Limit 250 words on a single page)

Answer: USCGA is probably the most progressive of the Academies, so you must pass the culture test that you are a leader who builds bridges with people different from you.

Share 1-2 sentences on why DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) matters to you and the mission of the Coast Guard.

Next, share a STAR (situation-task-action-result) story where you embodied your own definition.

Lastly, share how you plan to contribute to an inclusive environment at USCGA.



Question: Explain why you are interested in the academic program you selected and how your previous studies, coursework, and experiences in or outside the classroom have helped prepare you to be successful as a college student. (Limit 250 words on a single page)

Answer: You only have 250 words, so you must be concise.

State your intended major at USCGA and give reasons why:
-background on what sparked this academic interest (glance at your resume/transcript for a 1-2 concrete examples)
-a specific class at USCGA that you look forward to taking
-a specific academic club of interest at USCGA.
-how you believe this academic program will help you become a successful USCG officer



Question: Provide any additional information that you would like the Cadet Candidate Evaluation Board to consider and that you have not provided elsewhere in your application. (Limit 250 words on a single page)

Answer: Ahhhh, the dreaded open-ended question. We actually LOVE this question, because it allows you to address two things:
First, this is a great opportunity to feature 1-2 examples of strengths about yourself that hasn’t already been mentioned in your essays or resume.

Second, you may also use this essay to directly address weaknesses in your application. (i.e. C+ in Chemistry, gap in extracurriculars, etc.). If you have a glaring weakness, address it directly and explain the context.

These are optional essays, but we recommend that you NEVER pass up on an opportunity to bolster your application!