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ERIC Number: ED512027
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Diversity and the Success of Entering Classes at the U.S. Service Academies. Research Brief
Kirby, Sheila Nataraj
RAND Corporation
The United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) at Colorado Springs, and the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis provide tuition-free, four-year undergraduate education and prepare entrants to be officers of the U.S. military services. Graduates are commissioned as officers for a minimum of five years. Each of the service academies admits between 1,100 and 1,350 entrants each year. In light of concerns regarding the diversity of cadets/midshipmen selected by the service academies, Congress requested that the Secretary of Defense conduct a comprehensive assessment of the recruiting efforts, admissions policies, graduation rates, and career success rates of academy entrants and graduates. RAND was asked to assist the Office of the Secretary of Defense in analyzing the data provided by the service academies on the gender and race/ethnicity breakdown of entry cohorts, their first-year completion rates, their graduation rates and their rates of completing their initial service obligation (ISO). These data covered the period from 1992 to 2009. Findings indicate that: (1) the percentage of women and nonwhites in entering cohorts has increased in all three service academies since 1992; (2) academy graduation rates for women and minorities have increased over time and were comparable to or higher than those in very selective four-year colleges; and (3) while the percentage of USMA graduates who completed their initial service obligation increased over time, the completion rate declined among both USAFA and USNA graduates. [This research brief describes work done for the National Defense Research Institute documented in "Diversity of Service Academy Entrants and Graduates," by Sheila Nataraj Kirby, Harry J. Thie, Scott Naftel, and Marisa Adelson (ED512018).]
RAND Corporation. P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138. Tel: 877-584-8642; Tel: 310-451-7002; Fax: 412-802-4981; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: RAND National Defense Research Institute
Identifiers - Location: Colorado; Maryland; New York