The United States Military Academy at West Point offers an excellent experience for prospective students and their families.  You will need to enter the Academy at the Thayer Gate where each person aged 16 or older must present a photo ID in order to enter the campus.  From there, you can either park at Buffalo Soldier Field and take a shuttle bus to the Admissions Office (Bldg 606) or drive up Thayer Road, park in one of the many of the available parking spaces and walk up Thayer Road to the Admissions Office.  (Parking spaces may be scarce later in the day, but there should be plenty available before 8am which is when the admissions programs begins.)  

      The visit starts with check-in at the Admissions Office between 7:45 am and 8:15 am.  The prospective student will fill out a form, pay for lunch (which he/she has with the cadets in the dining facility), and receive a visitor's pass.  The program begins at 8:15 with a short film about the Academy.  After the film, the director of admissions or one of the regional directors (each an Army officer) presents an hour-long program about gaining admission to the Academy and answers questions.  During this time, the prospective students are called out of the room to meet the cadet that will escort them around the Academy until about 1pm.  After the director of admissions' program is over, a cadet presents a program and answers questions about life as a cadet (about 45 minutes).  There is a short break after this presentation and then there is a cadet-led tour of the campus (about 1 hour).  This tour goes to places of the cadet's choosing and includes many places not on the regular visitor's tour (e.g. classrooms, the dining hall, the gym) but which would be of interest to parents of a prospective cadet.  After the tour, family members may buy their lunch at Grant Hall, located next to the Admissions Office, and wait for their son/daughter to return from their cadet-led morning.

        The prospective student spends about 3 - 3.5 hours with a cadet going where this cadet would normally be going during the day and doing what this cadet would normally be doing during the day.  So, the student will go to class with the cadet, accompany the cadet to his/her dorm room, and eat lunch with the cadets in the dining hall.  During this time, the cadet offers his insights into being a cadet and answers any questions the prospective student may have.  Students who are high school juniors may opt for the full-day experience and spend the night with a cadet in the dorm in addition to spending over 24 hours with the cadet.