3 year scholarship lost...please help!

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by JB10, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. JB10

    JB10 New Member

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    So I was given a 3 year scholarship with the army last year. I am a freshman in college right now and the only way I can afford to attend my school was because I thought I would have my other 3 years paid for. I have a possession of marijuana charge that I got as a minor and I disclosed this and everything to cadet command when I was applying, I went through the waiver process and they granted me the 3 year AD scholarship. This past Thursday I was called down to the ROTC department and when I went in one of the sergeants there said he had some bad news that they were taking my scholarship away because cadet command didnt approve my waiver. Not only that but they said I couldn't commission either, regardless if on scholarship or not. How can they do this? I have worked so hard to get to where I am and this totally destroys all my life goals. I haven't told my parents either because I am so ashamed. I know they can't pay for my college so I am trying to find out what to do. The sergeant said for me to improve my grades and PT score and try again at the end of the semester but is he just bullshitting me or what? I just need some advice right now.
     
  2. paradoxer

    paradoxer Member

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    Another conversation is needed

    Unless I am missing something here you need to go back to those with the power and ask them specifically what benchmarks do you need to reach in order to keep your scholarship.
     
  3. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    You said the Sergeant told you to improve your grades and PT score. What was your GPA at the end of the semester and what is your last PT score. With more information there may be some who can give you advice.

    Do you have a copy of the waiver you received, was it for the specific marijuana charge. Did they tell you why the waiver was being denied after it had been approved prior to receiving the scholarship. Have you had any problems or charges since you received the waiver. Un fortunatly there is a clause in the Scholarship Offer that states that CC has the right to recind the offer, it seems odd that they have waited this long to notify you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  4. cjs

    cjs Member

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    Are they taking away your scholarship because of the denial of the waiver or the PT scores and GPA? Have you passed the AFPT test?

    Was the waiver granted? I was under the impression that if they granted the waiver, then it was granted.
     
  5. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Here's what I think you should do:

    Step 1: You need to talk to your parents about this as soon as possible. It may be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but bad news doesn't get better with time. You have a TON of issues to contemplate and decisions to make very soon (e.g., financial aid, etc.) that will materially affect the rest of your life going forward. You cannot do this alone. I am confident that your parents will love you and stand by you in this situation. Sure, they will be mad, but that will wear off over time. Do NOT delay telling them. They can provide MUCH better advice than anyone here. Regrettably, not telling your parents immediately after the incident may have been your biggest mistake because they might have been in a position to do something about it (such as asking the judge to dismiss the charges if you agreed to perform community service, etc.). You seem to have handled this matter on your own at that time. Do NOT make that mistake again. I think you know this already.

    Step 2: Continue to remain totally candid and honest with your cadre and listen to them. Second-guessing their motives is not helpful. There are times when you simply have to blindly trust people who care about you. This is one of those times. Also know that you are no longer in high school and you have to live with the consequences of your actions.

    Step 3: Ask your PMS whether the decision is final or whether there is an appeal process for adverse CC decisions of this sort and whether this is an outright bar to commissioning (contact ClarksonArmy or Marist College ROTC, who might know this). Although I really have no idea about the procedures here, inform yourself about them before you speak with the PMS so you can speak about the issues intelligently and have a little bit of knowledge to ask the right questions. Above all, make sure that you have exhausted all appeals through Cadet Command before you give up (personally, I would find it hard to believe that there isn't an opportunity to be heard on this matter). There may be a time limit of 30 days within which to appeal -- do NOT miss that deadline. Again, ClarksonArmy or Marist College ROTC can advise MUCH better that I can on this subject.

    Step 4: After you have fully disclosed everything to your parents and cadre, you should also contact a lawyer (call the local bar association for a referral -- many lawyers will do this for free to help you out). Since you were a minor, you should ask your lawyer to help you have your juvenile record expunged. The law recognizes that minors make mistakes and provides paths for them to set things right again (your lawyer can advise you on this). Expungement will mean that you will have to appear before a local judge and explain that you are not a bad person. He or she will likely find it persuasive that you have sought to serve your country and have truly learned from this incident. Actually, if you have a good judge, he or she will bend over backwards to help you set things right again.

    Step 5: Whatever decision CC ultimately makes, live with it and move on with your life. Dwell on the future, not the past.

    Step 6: Keep reminding yourself that things happen for a reason. This will get you through some very difficult situations.

    Step 7: Learn from your mistake. You seem to have already accomplished this step.

    Step 8: Never put yourself in this position again.
     
  6. jdalv2

    jdalv2 Member

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    Once you have gathered all of the facts, I would recommend contacting your local member of congress. Explain the situation to him/her, ask if there is any way they can help, etc... You never know
     
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Of all the advice given to you on this board, The above is what you should listen to the most, every word.

    Hang in there, As you get older you will realize that we are the total of our experiences, the good and bad ones. There is no straight road in life, there are a lot of twists and turns.

    As a wise person once said "Life is what happens while we're busy making plans"
     
  8. FloridaDad

    FloridaDad Member

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    I have some really bad news for him: You are not eligable for federal aid with a drug conviction.
     
  9. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    It most likely wasn't. A good number of cadets get waivers for drug use, alcohol, and that sort after they get to the unit and go through their Form 104R's.

    I'm not sure why the SGT would tell you to try again at the end of the semester if you're not going to be able to commission. Have you looked into the Guard? I would explore your options there, if you are still interested in serving.
     
  10. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    Patentesq best advice was get that lawyer ASAP and get the record expunged...then it "didn't happen" and aid still can be granted. Friends child had to do this, best investment of time and money to get her kid into college.
     
  11. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    JB10, have you talked to your parents yet? Do it now, please.

    A lot of us here on SAF are concerned about you right now. You can't go through this alone. Hopefully, if you read this post you will accept our heart-felt advice. We then look forward to reading about your happy ending some day.
     
  12. mariner116

    mariner116 Member

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    I find it hard to believe the CC has rescinded a waiver. So, either there never was a waiver (the OP does not say he got a waiver, only that he went into the waiver process) or the sergeant is spinning a bit of a story about the waiver.

    Assuming the OP did get a waiver then I think it is likely that the PMS may have decided not to proceed with the 3-year AD award. I just looked over the instruction form sent out last year for this year's freshman class (which the OP is in). In the 3-year AD list of eligibility criteria item d. is "Be recommended by the PMS".

    It sounds like a combination of factors including the arrest, PT score and grades may have caused the PMS to withdraw his recommendation of the OP. That may explain why the sergeant indicated that better grades and PT might still turn the situation around (if the waiver was withdrawn that would not make a difference).

    For others reading this forum I think it is important to be aware that a 3-year AD has this recommendation requirement. A 3-year AD winner can meet all the other academic, physical and medical requirements and still not get their scholarship if the PMS decides not to recommend them. I'm not sure how often that happens but the agreement allows for it.

    For the OP, it is key you get to the bottom of the situation and know where you stand.
     
  13. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    mariner116 - good post, this seems very plausible.


    Nope, not any longer. Only if you were convicted WHILE receiving Federal Student Aid.
     
  14. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    OK...I reread the initial email, and I think I know what happened. You didn't say that you were originally granted a waiver, just that you went through the waiver process and you were granted a three year AD offer. Part of that offer was that you meet all the requirements for that offer to kick in. One of the requirements was probably that you be granted a waiver. It may be that Cadet Command finally got around to considering your waiver request, and decided to decline it. Since we don't know the details of your incident I won't speculate on your chances of appealing the waiver request. If you are a strong cadet, with good GPA and PT scores your chain of command might support another request. They may also support your continued enrollment, without the scholarship. Need to talk to the cadre about what your other options are regarding ROTC, and start exploring other options for paying for school.
     
  15. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    so glad to hear this changed. stupid kids do the stupid thing once and it could change their whole future. once you're old enough to draw financial aid (17-18+) you should be held more accountable than a 14-16 yr old.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Just curious, but could this also be a sign of the fact that the AROTC is tightening their belts?

    If I am correct, the AROTC is offering less scholarships this yr, which would infer the fiscal situation is impacting who they give waivers to and why they give them.

    I may have mis-interpreted the post, but what struck me was "get your grades up and your PFT, than try again".

    That to me is saying the real issue is not the drug issue, but he is not cutting it in other aspects.

    Again, I may be 1000% off the mark. It just appears to me that if the drug issue is the issue, they would have stated that outright, and not say try again once you have a higher gpa and PFT.
     
  17. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I suspect the sergeant who suggested this may not have been the correct person to talk to for definitive answers.
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am not so sure about that Patent. Dets/BNs are not huge, even for larger dets., maybe they have 5-10 AD members. The SGTs are the go to people for cadets when the issue 1st arises.

    I should caveat that with at least for our DS's det., that is the fact. They are the ones in the know from both sides of the fence re: the cadet.

    I highly doubt that the SGT was not briefed very thoroughly regarding this cadet and the issues surrounding him.

    I would also suspect there was a lot of work going on behind the scenes prior to the sit down.

    Maybe he was trying to sugar coat it, by saying get these things up, maybe he wasn't.

    I don't recall the title of the thread, but last summer/early fall there were many posters discussing how AFROTC cadets under contract were being let go because of their gpa (3.0+). At our DS's school one was let go 90 days prior to commissioning due to his gpa.

    AROTC has announced a steep cut in scholarships for 11/12, that fact sounded eerily familiar to the AFROTC situation for 2010. Shortly after that you started to read about cadets under contract losing their scholarships.

    I am one of those people who believe history can be a predictor for the future.

    Like I stated I may be reading into this WAY TOO MUCH...just curious.

    We all know the DOD budget will be impacted, the question is how it will impact ROTC cadets. Is this the 1st sign?

    If you start to place pieces together, the picture of the military future in regards to cost analysis as being a motivating factor for the decision making process becomes clearer on why there are cadets in this position.


    Again, my mea culpa if I am wrong or off the mark. My intention is not to scare anyone. It is to address the whole picture of the military from a strategic planning POV.

    The economy, our debt, and the winding down of conflicts will impact every branch.
     
  19. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I'm actually glad to hear this (I actually haven't researched the interplay between drugs and FAFSA, because it isn't an issue for me).

    This may be off-topic, but I think our nation's drug problem is disproportionately felt in our inner-cities and among our nation's poor. Denying a kid from that environment any possibility of obtaining a quality education for something they may have done years ago condemns them to a cycle of poverty. It's not right.

    I am totally NOT a liberal, especially when it comes to drugs. But I recall many years ago putting a single-mother with five children in jail for SIX TO TEN YEARS for possessing a small container of crack. It was hard time, and the woman's children were taken from her and placed into the foster care system, basically dooming them to yet another cycle of poverty. Very, very tough case.

    Sometimes, our legislators get carried away with our drug laws and few have the guts to actually suggest a reduction in penalties in the drug arena because they fear being viewed as "soft on crime". So the penalties keep racheting up and up and up over time. I don't know who sponsored the FAFSA legislation to allow for prior drug convictions, but whoever it was, should be commended for standing up for what is right.

    That said, I agree that it is okay to say "Okay, we'll help you with an education and understand that you've made a mistake. But the condition going forward is that you don't use drugs while we are trying to help you."
     

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