Can I get into the Air Force Academy?

I am currently I high school student wondering if I have a chance of getting into the Air Force Academy with my current situation.

I am an offered athlete from this academy, meaning I could commit to the school today and they would be able to get me in. When they offered me, though, I had not yet received the 1-day suspension I ended up receiving. I did not tell the coach, as I was almost positive the suspension was going to be taken off my record, as what I did was not that serious of an offense, and was my only disciplinary encounter at the school. Things didn’t end up working out for reasons I am not at liberty to say, though, and it will now remain on my record. I was suspended for “stealing” 2 items of food from the cafeteria, even though I went back and paid for the items at the end of the day. The way it works at my school is that you have a card you scan and that how you buy your food, but if you don’t have your card, you don’t eat. At the end of the day, though, you pay for your food by writing your name on a list, as the employees have left by this time. I did that, but I got caught for steeling, and since I go to a very elite private school, I was in violation of our honor council. I know what I did was wrong and it was me just making a dumb decision, but me, as well as our honor council thought that detentions would work just fine as punishment. Unfortunately, our head of school thought otherwise and went against the recommendation and suspended me.

I still have a 34 on my ACT and have a 3.8 GPA while attending one of the most elite schools in the country as well as being the captain of 2 varsity sports. I have also founded a club and done multiple hours of community service. Air Force is where I want to go and I was looking for some insight to if this suspension will affect my chances, even with having the recommendation of the coaching staff.

With Academy admissions, there are several places where you could get tripped up. Not only do you have to qualify academically, but you will need a nomination - most come from your congressional representatives, though there are others available. Talk to the coach, and to your guidance counselor. The coach can tell you how he thinks this might play out, and the counselor is in a position to mitigate the damage, based on how the school report is written. I don’t really see this being a huge issue, but it does depend on the qualify of the other applicants in your congressional district. You could be denied a nomination within your district, but there are other options available - and depending how badly the coach wants you, he might be able to help you secure one of those other nominations.

@JhonnyL No one here can say for certain how admissions will view your suspension, but the incident will call into question your integrity. Under no circumstance should you hide or lie about what happened. In the Instructions to Candidates, it says it is your responsibility to inform USAFA of any updates to your admissions file, including misconduct. Failure to do so may result in a withdrawal of an offer or subsequent dismissal from the Academy.

Be prepared to explain what you have learned from this. The Air Force Academy honor code is “We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.” You may have great stats, athletics, and extracurriculars…but USAFA is looking for more than that. They are looking to develop officers of character. Do some soul searching and ask yourself if you will be a cadet of integrity.