Education: Flourishing Academies

In a time of shrinking enrollment, half-filled classrooms and budget crises at many colleges and universities, the nation's three largest service academies—West Point, Annapolis and the Air Force Academy—are not only surviving but flourishing. This year's combined freshman classes of all three academies are the largest in their history, and applications to West Point numbered a record 11,000—or 10% higher than in 1973.

Last week, with classes already in session at the Air Force Academy and summer military training coming to an end at Annapolis and West Point, academy officials were elated—but not surprised—by the growing popularity of their institutions. They admit...

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