AF Nursing Express Scholarship - Options?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by aloha4131, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. aloha4131

    aloha4131 New Member

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    I am very grateful for this forum. I have read as much as I can find on AF in-college scholarships (much to my dismay). Before I break my D's hopes and dreams, I would like to know what other options she may have if she does not get the in-college scholarship for nursing.

    History: My D has her heart set on being an Air Force nurse...loves the idea of serving her country. Friends & family convinced her to go the AF route. She did not get the high school scholarship. She is enrolled in a nursing school and participated in the ROTC program as a non-cadet because of class schedule conflict. She loved the one ROTC 100 class and is looking forward to being an official 200 cadet. From the beginning of her freshman year, she completed all the in-college scholarship applications/requirements, the det submitted her application but told her that there are a lot of uncertainties and will update her if they hear anything. The latest guidance the det has given her is that the nursing scholarship is still up in the air and that they are hoping for a board to meet in the fall '11 for spring activiation ...or the board to meet in the spring for fall 2010 activation.

    After reading some of the threads here and the current condition of our economy, I'm feeling very discouraged and not sure how to approach my D. Should I be realistic and tell her the worse case scenario or should I let her continue what she is doing. Unlike her parents, she is not too concerned about the scholarship as much as getting selected for field training.

    If anyone can give some guidance, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You mean 2012 right?

    PM Agagles

    He is your resource.
     
  3. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Seem as though you have three questions:

    1. What are the chances of your daughter getting a scholarship?
    Nobody knows. The AF did not give any in-college scholarships this past year (as you know) and nobody knows yet whether there will be any given out next fiscal year (begins in October). God knows there are a lot of people (similar to your daughter) praying that there will be some in-college scholarships awarded this year.

    2. What are the chances of your daughter getting Field Training?
    Can't answer that either. My daughter will be an AFROTC sophomore nursing student (HSSP scholarship) and is also concerned (as is almost everybody that is being reviewed for FT this year). The bad news: last year many (40-50%) cadets did NOT get Field Training. Being a scholarship cadet supposedly did NOT improve a cadets chances. It came down to Detachment recommendation, major, GPA and PFT scores. Many scholarship cadets did not get selected for FT and some non-scholarship cadets were chosen. The good news: supposedly 90%+ of the nursing applicants were selected. Hopefully that number is accurate, continues this year, and our daughters are selected.

    3. Even if your daughter doesn't receive a scholarship or FT can she still become an AF nurse?
    I would say that if that is her goal/dream then the answer is absolutely yes. The AF will continue to need nurses despite their current fiscal issues and when the AFROTC program starts graduating fewer of them (due to lack of scholarships and FT slots) then they will be delighted to commission our daughters as 2nd LT nurses after they receive their BSNs and RNs.

    Like your daughter, mine is determined to become an AF nurse and has every intention of continuing to pursue that goal even if she doesn't get FT. It may cost her mother and I a few more bucks, but we will consider ourselves fortunate that the AF picked up the first two years of tuition/books/stipend....if in the (hopefully unlikely) event that our daughter doesn't get FT

    Good luck to you and your daughter!
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I wouldn't be surprised about 90% being selected for SFT in the Nursing majors.

    It is a field that is highly demanded, and one pre-req as an AFROTC cadet is you must go to SFT to become a POC. Thus, they will want them to go...supply and demand for AF personnel manning.

    This is also why you usually see more tech than non-tech majors selected. Scholarship is not even placed into the boards decision. There is no spot on the packet that acknowledges scholarship. However, that doesn't mean some CC's don't give weight to that when doling out positions within the det.; those positions do play into the boards decision.

    To posters DO NOT convince yourself that because you have a scholarship you are safe compared to those that don't have a scholarship. You can not and should not rest on your laurels because you have convinced yourself that you have proven your worth be receiving one. That is the past. Once in ROTC you all start with a clean slate.
     
  5. aloha4131

    aloha4131 New Member

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    Thanks Pima and Aglages!! (Pima - yes, 2012 :redface:)
    The nursing selection percentage for field training sounds promising, given she keeps up her grades and impresses the cadre. I guess we will have to see how this year pans out. It's definitely challenging times for EVERYONE. Good luck to your daughter, Aglages!

    On a different note, my D is taking some student loans. If she does end up going through ROTC and gets commissioned, are there any student loan "benefits" for active military. I heard something about capping the interest rate at 6% for active military. Do you all have any knowlege about this? Thanks again!
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Yes, there are bennies for AD with student loans. One of the biggies is that they are allowed, or at least use to be, the ability to defer it to 6 months after they go AD.

    This is important since many ROTC cadets will not go AD immediately upon commissioning. (It is a school/training timing issue). They are not like SA grads that collect a paycheck upon commissioning, they get their paycheck when they report AD. Some may have to wait 6-9 months. Meanwhile during that time the student loan note will become due and they must start paying it back. All they have to do is show military orders of their AD date, and the banks will push the date back 6 months from that AD date.

    I am not sure if interest still accrues during the period, but 6 months should not be a huge issue.

    You should also look into the types of loans she has, many will consolidate them together.

    She will also be able to join USAA, and USAA has the best int. rates out there for many things, including every type of loan. I believe, not 100% positive, but they have a new officer program where they can take a lump sum loan at a very low int. rate. Bullet (my DH) knows what it is called, and if I am correct it is @3-4%.

    One last thing that is a HUGE bennie as an AD member. Upon PCSing (after her training) to her 1st Operational base they allow them to take a 0% int loan. It is 1 month's basic pay and will be re-paid in 12 months (they take it out of their paycheck). Normally, this is to assist in paying deposits for rent, utilities, etc. However, if your D doesn't need it to pay those things, she can use it to re-pay her student loan.

    Again many use a mixture of both USAA and this loan. The incredibly savvy ones will also continue to pay what the original payment was to begin with from their bank. For many they are able to knock out 20-30K of loans within a few yrs. instead of the 10 that is planned by the banks.
     
  7. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Very true! Of course the vast majority of HSSP Scholarship students are technical majors (excluding your son of course:smile:). I just noticed the following when looking for something on the AFROTC site:

    "We encourage HSSP applicant's to apply and pursue technical and foreign language majors as they are critical to the AF mission. Moreover High School Scholarships technical offers are awarded at approximately 80% rate followed by foreign languages majors. Very few scholarships are awarded for other than foreign language non-technical scholarships. Again, Technical and Foreign Language are the majority of majors that the Air Force is looking for."
    http://afrotc.com/scholarships/high-school/schools-and-majors/

    I think the AF is being fairly clear on what they are looking for and what your chances of a scholarship or SFT are if you are a non-tech major.
     
  8. aloha4131

    aloha4131 New Member

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    Thanks Pima for that info! Especially the one about the 0% interest loan. Very interesting.

    Aglages - that is good info. I kind of gave up looking at the HSSP section of the website since my D is in college now. You would think that aside from Technical and Non-Technical, they would have a Medical field category...or am I missing something. Also, it's been awhile since I've been on the AFROTC website. Did they all together take out the In-College Scholarship information? I would have preferred a footnote saying that it is "currently not available, please check back" kind of notation...but to not even have it there makes me think that they really have done away with it. Do you think the AF is banking on current RN's signing up for the military? I also heard through the grapevine (military friends) that there are more & more enlisted RNs going through Officers Training. I remember reading here that OTS (I think that's the right acronym) was not available this past year. Looks like they are making an exception for nurses...or maybe that is a completely different OTS program. Who knows! :confused:

    Nothing worse than worrying about something I have no control over. The military sounds like a very complicated creature (as far as careers) that can change in a heartbeat!:frown:
     
  9. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    No - you are not missing another category. Nursing used to (3-4 years ago) be considered a "technical" major but is now considered non-tech. That said, I think that nursing candidates compete among themselves for FT and possibly HSSP scholarships. The AF knows/projects how many nurses they are going to need in four years commissioned from AFROTC and adjusts the HSSP Scholarships and SFT slots accordingly. It is important to realize that historically (although for the AF - not recently) recruiting nursing students and experienced nurses has not been easy for any of the military branches.
    I had not noticed that. Although last year (when they were NOT offering In-College Scholarships) the information for the program was still on the site. Perhaps when/if the new fiscal year provides some more In-College Scholarships it will be back
    With the state of the economy, and the difficulty of newly graduating nurses to get experience....I would think they have many applicants. Enough? I don't know. I will say that it seems to me that the military likes to spread out their commissioning sources so all their officers don't come from the same program. Some from ROTC and some from other sources such as graduated nurses.

    It is interesting to note that NO nurses come directly from USAFA. USAFA does not offer nursing as a major. The Academy does send a small number (2-3?) of graduates to the Vanderbilt School of Nursing each year to complete a master's program in nursing.
    COT is the Air Force's version for nurses - Commissioned Officer Training.
    You might want to peruse the following site for military nursing information.
    http://allnurses.com/government-military-nursing/

    I'm not sure what to think about the rumor concerning enlisted RNs. In order to be commissioned an officer in the AF you need to have a BA/BS degree. In order to be a nurse in the AF you must have a BSN and be a RN. If an enlisted person has both then of course they might be eligible to receive a commission. Providing of course all other eligibility requirements are met. The question is how many enlisted personnel are accomplishing both while on active duty? I would suspect far too few to make much of a difference in the AF's needs. But then of course....like most of my "insight"... it is only a guess.
    Welcome to parenthood in the military!:wink:
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Aloha,

    OTS and OCS are basically the same. Graduate from college and apply to go OTS/OCS (Officer Training School/Officer Candidate School).

    What needs to be understood about these programs is that OCS was cancelled for non-rated (1 board), but OCS for rated slots were not. Rated means flying. As a nurse they do not go up against non-rated or rated regarding promotion, they go up against medical. They are like Chaplains and JAGS, their own board.

    I am not sure if that is true for OCS selection, but it is true for AD promotion boards. The AF tries to keep apples with apples. It would be unfair for a Chaplain to go up against a pilot or an attorney or a nurse, purely based on the fact that their resume is not going to be filled with the same amount of mission oriented success. The same would be true for the person working Public Affairs or Mission Support compared to the nurse.

    You can take a Nurse and put them into Public Affairs, but you can't take a PA officer and put them in as a Nurse. The AF recognizes that fact. Same is true for Linguistics, or fliers. This is why IMPO the view of the "golden child" exists in the military. If the military has to cut back, they will and the ones that cost them less to invest in will be easier to cut. The ones that cost more can be transferred into a different field, it would be the AD members choice to leave. Again, a cost issue. Cut and they owe you money, force you to go into a new career field and you say no, and they owe you squat!

    People need to realize that the military is not that much different than the corporate world. It comes down to manpower and budgets.
     
  11. aloha4131

    aloha4131 New Member

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    Again...all good info! Thanks! It helps to get my head around the whole process and easier to present to my D.

    So just to summarize in regards to my D's situation:
    - if my D is awarded an AFROTC nursing scholarship (and is selected for field training), then she is good with tuition and good to pursue her career as an AF nurse
    - if my D is not awareded a scholarship (whether bc the board meets and denies her or they continue to hold back on scholarships) but my D is selected for FT, then she gets stipends for her last 2 years (no tuition help) and gets to pursue her career as an AF nurse
    - if she does not get a scholarship and does not get selected for FT, she continues with her BSN and can try for COT to pursue her career as an AF nurse

    Hope I didn't sound too confusing. I just want to be clear on all her options before I sit down and discuss this with her before she leaves for college.

    THANKS AGAIN!
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Yes, that is how it works.

    I am not sure what COT means, but I am assuming you meant Officer Training/Candidate School.

    The one caveat which is not a biggie, but still needs to be out there, she must complete SFT to get the stipend. It will not start until the Fall of her JR yr when she "contracts".

    Here's the easiest way to wrap yourself around this.
    Remove the scholarship issue
    Get SFT
    Graduate from SFT
    Graduate College with a respectable GPA

    EQUALS Commissioned

    Now that doesn't mean they will say she gets her dream career field as a Nurse, I.E. flight med, OB/GYN, Peds.

    Also notice I said with a respectable GPA. If she pulls a 2.4 gpa they can say to her, Thanks, but no Thanks.

    At DS's college back in 2010, they actually went to cadets with career assignments 90 days from graduation, and said Thanks, but no Thanks. One was 4 yr scholarship.

    It comes down to manpower needs. Right now and for the past several yrs there has been a shortage for nurses. However, you are looking 3 yrs down the pipeline. The economy is in the tanks and nobody knows how the DOD will cut their budget. They may decide to contract Nurses as a method to cutting.

    I have to say as a Mom of a DD, and a wife who spent 20 yrs following an AD/DH around the world. I would start saving for a wedding. I don't have enough fingers and toes on my body plus Bullet's to count the amount of AF Officers who married AF nurses. When DD was born, the 4 labor and delivery nurses that were with me, all met and married their DH's at their 1st base. I don't think I was ever at a base where at least a couple wives were AD nurses.

    OBTW, almost all of the ones I know are still married, and still AD. That is the beauty for nurses. They can go anywhere. Same with JAG! The ones that left did so for Mommy time... in other words going to the town hospital PT allowing them the ability to work more flexible hours, less time for their kids in daycare. It also reduced the risk of deployments.

    Honestly, if our DD was at all interested in nursing, I would be praying that she pursue this path, because of the opportunities that exist. Want to go to Germany, Hawaii, England, Asia or California, this career field allows it because they are not encumbered by their career field compared to traditional military officers. For a 22/23 yo nurse in the military the world is at their feet.

    I would be saying GO GIRL GO!

    OBTW no offense to guys, there are a lot of male nurses in the military, it is just Aloha's is a DD.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  13. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    As Pima has already said....your summary is accurate. That said, your daughter REALLY needs to become involved with AFROTC as a fully participating cadet. Supposedly 50% of the evaluation of who gets FT is the Commanders recommendation. S/He needs to see your daughter committed and involved. IMHO....your daughter's immediate focus should be doing what is necessary to get into FT...including getting involved in Detachment activities/jobs and improving her GPA as much as she can during the next semester. The scholarship at this point is a paperwork / military budget issue that she has little influence over other than what she will already be doing to get FT.

    As far as time conflicts, all the Detachments that I am aware of will work with the cadet/nursing school to adjust the cadet's schedules in order to make sure they can attend both their AFROTC and their academic classes. This is something she can do before school starts.

    Good Luck to you and your daughter!:thumb:
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Schedule conflictions occur not only for Nursing, but traditional students.

    They typically will allow them to schedule classes, understanding that they may need "intern" hours, and work it with them.

    ROTC units are not as rigid as people may believe. It is in their best interest to be flexible, because if they aren't flexible, than the cadet will have issues academically regarding regs for their degree. That messes with their man power needs.

    Agagles is correct, she needs to get involved in ROTC. Many of these cadets have a yr under their belt and they are no longer just a name. They now have a face to that name. Some have had positions and even awards to be put on that SFT application.

    It is not too late, but it is now time to buckle down and get involved.
     
  15. aloha4131

    aloha4131 New Member

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    Thanks again Pima and Ag!!

    Thanks to you both, my D has a pretty good understanding of what she is up against and is more determined then ever.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Good Luck.

    AIM HIGH!
     
  17. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    You're welcome. Best wishes to you and your daughter and hopefully next Summer our daughters will be attending SFT together.:thumb:
     

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