Rep. Howard C. Nielson, R-Utah, is accepting applications from young men and women interested in attending one of the five service academies.

Nielson said he will accept applications through Dec. 31 for the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.Congressional nomination is required for admittance to all but the Coast Guard Academy, Nielson said.

Those interested can apply as early as the summer before their senior year in high school. They must be under 22 at the time of acceptance to the academies; those who apply now will enter the academies next July.

Candidates should have a strong grade-point average, good national test scores in math and English and extracurricular involvement that indicates leadership skills.

For an application form or further information, call Nielson staff member Emily Wiscombe at 1-800-245-1426 or 377-1776. All applicants will be interviewed by Nielson in January. He will then make his nominations based on application information and interview results.