Why Applications Are Up at the Air Force Academy

June 18 2009, 11:17 AM

Less than a month ago, Vice President Joe Biden was at the U.S. Air Force Academy to honor 1,046 graduates. Now the Colorado Springs-based academy, along with the nation's two other military academies, is reporting a significant rise in the number of applications, thanks to aggressive marketing, the winding down of the war in Iraq, and the economic downturn, according to The New York Times. Nearly 9,900 people applied for 1,350 spots at the Air Force Academy, a rise of about 10 percent, roughly the same percentage increase as at the Military Academy at West Point. Meanwhile, applications to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, are up by 40 percent. The new Air Force Academy generation will be far-removed from the scandals of the past, including the one in 2003 that involved Douglas Meester, who was charged with rape (via Westword). Was Meester a pawn in a military ploy to discredit the sex scandal? 5280 explored that question in "Conduct Unbecoming."