AFROTC scholarship dropout

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by acdot, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. acdot

    acdot New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    I'm am currently in the second semester of my AFROTC career and not enjoying it or finding it the right path for me. I am a mechanical engineering major and would like to be able to focus on that and get a job right away, move where I want to live, just in general have some more freedom.
    There is one question that if anyone could answer that would be helpful. Out of all the seniors that go to my school there are none that got their commissioning dates that are within 1.5 years. Some will take up to 2 years before commissioning. This seems like a really long time and this is a big part of my decision to drop, is this normal?
    So my main question is this. I am 5 weeks into the spring semester and the ROTC has already paid my dues for this semester. If I drop out now, after some discussion with my cadre, will they take back what they paid for this semester?
    I don't want to abuse the free year of trial but I will stick it out longer if they would take the money back.
    I feel as if ROTC is not for me and it is always on my nerves.
     
  2. afrotc16

    afrotc16 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    37
    If you're a freshman, you can take what's called the "freshman option" and leave up until your first AS 200 class without paying anything back. I would really recommend sticking it out for the rest of the semester. You'll get some more experience and be able to think over the summer about everything before making a decision. You're not abusing anything - this is why they give you a full year.

    That being said, by law, the AF is required to put commissioned LTs from AFROTC on active duty within 1 year of commissioning. I'm a senior this year, and most of our dates are still way out as they continue to finalize what training classes we'll be in and such. They automatically put them out at the latest date, then they get closer as things are finalized. In my experience, most tend to be on AD by September/October time frame, except for AFSCs that have really backed up pipelines. I do know one LT in particular who graduated, got a professional full-time job for a year, then went on active duty. My backup plan is to get an internship over the summer where I interned last summer and ask to stay on until I went on AD.

    I'm also a Mechanical Engineering major. I won't be doing engineering in the Air Force, but I have been able to build a resume of sorts over my years in college through multiple professional internships and school projects, and I could definitely be an engineer in the future if I got out after my four years. I've been able to experience different work environments and I'm really looking forward to being on active duty. Anyhow, I hope this helps with a different perspective. Let me know if I can help with anything else - and feel free to PM me also!
     
  3. acdot

    acdot New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thank you for the advice. Do you have any idea about if I did drop now if the Air Force would take back this semesters tuition that has already been paid?
     
  4. afrotc16

    afrotc16 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    37
    No, they shouldn't take it back. According to AFROTCI 36-2011, AFROTC is already obligated to pay, and since the FSIE (Freshman Self-Initiated Elimination) is considered a non-investigative disenrollment, they won't look to collect money from you. However, you should probably talk to your cadre to fully understand the implications. An interesting point I noticed is that if you choose to disenroll, you will lose your scholarship, but because you're a freshman you can come back sophomore year if you decide to continue as a non-contract cadet.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,543
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    I'm pretty sure you'll commission when you graduate. It's the AD date that gets delayed. If that is truly your concern then there are jobs to be had between commissioning and AD. DS (NROTC Marine Option) easily got a job as a bartender at a local craft brewery to tie him over a summer.

    I agree with others who stated wait it out until the late summer. Once you do make a decision to drop there is no going back. Don't burn your bridges until you have to.
     
  6. derek44

    derek44 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    13
    You have until the first AS class of your sophomore year to exercise your FSIE. Once you attend that first AS class, you waive your right to FSIE.
     
  7. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2015
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    320
    I will be brutally honest that I think you should take these honest opinions and wait, even if they do not ask for the money back. I know you don't like what you are doing and want to just be done. Partly that is because you are probably 19. I mean no disrespect at all, however, I have been 19 about 200 years ago and understand your angst of just wanting out. However, let's be really realistic, depending on where you are going to school, you literally have 3-6 months left. Since you will probably live to be in your 80's you can handle a few months of anything! And it is much less likely that you will regret your decision later if you just wait until summer then notify your cadre before the first day of school if you truly do not want to come back. Let time be your friend. You might be right and make the same decision come Summer time, but it is much less likely that you will make the wrong decision.
     
    mgreen and AROTC-dad like this.
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,800
    Likes Received:
    932
    I maybe 1000% wrong on this, but I believe for this semester to be paid there is some fine print involved.

    Yes, you can leave with no harm, no foul, but I am reading your post as in asking if they will pay for spring semester now.

    Somewhere in the bowels of this forum there was a thread that discussed this, and basically I believe what was said was simply:
    Drop AFROTC before X week and HQ AFROTC has the right to not pay the scholarship for that semester.
    ~ I believe it is tied to the colleges drop date for classes when you get no money back.
    ~~ IE if they say that if you can drop a class until the 6th week of the semester before you get no money back, than they may say that since you dropped AFROTC after 3 weeks, they will not pay for this semester.

    I recall my DD (VT grad, with lots of Corps of Cadets friends) saying they were told as freshmen that if they dropped the Corps before mid-terms that VT had the right to revoke them as an enrolled student.
    ~ Reason being that they do give an admissions edge to HS applicants saying they will go through the Corps.

    I am not saying that this is what HQ AFROTC follows, but I am saying there can be fine print in that scholarship and they may say they will not pay for this semester because you basically dropped out too early.

    I agree with the others, stay with it for this semester. Here is my 0.019742 cents opinion, and with $2.07 more you can get a small Starbucks coffee
    1. Does your unit have GMC nights? Military fraternities, such as, Honor Guard, Arnie Air, Silver Wings, Angel Flight?
    ~ If so, have you partaken in any of them?
    ~~ Some kids just don't feel the bond as a freshmen if all they do is show up for PT and LLAB. The beauty of military fraternities, is the fact that they are like a fraternity, it is not uncommon to have cadets with sim. majors/or desired AFSCs in a specific military frat. At DSs school, Arnie Air was filled with cadets wanting rated, regardless of their major. Silver Wings were engineering majors.
    ~~~ Joining these organizations, especially if at a large det., creates bonds.
    ~ Same is true about GMC nights.
    ~~ Usually a GMC night is mid-week, anyone that is an AS100/200/250 are invited. It is just social. At DSs det. the unit would pay for pizza/wings, etc., and the cadets would hang in the lounge from @6:30-9:00 playing Xbox/PS4, watching movies, playing foosball or crud.
    2. As a scholarship recipient, you should know that they are not going to allow you to move your commission date without HQ AFROTC approval. Chances of pushing your commissioning date by 1 semester is not unrealistic, chances of pushing it over a year is!
    ~ If your major is a 5 year program as an engineer they will allow 5 years, but if it is 4 years, they will most likely cut you loose!
    3. As a freshman you probably had no position or responsibility, thus it may feel like a waste of time. As a sophomore you will have a position. You will start to see a new perspective from a broader picture.
    4. Freshmen year is not an easy year, especially if you live away from home. As much as you wanted to bolt the nest, you are now realizing that your roots are planted deeper than you ever thought. The idea that your 1st assignment might be Elmendorf AK and you are from Fl. may appear unappealing. However, with time you may change your opinion.
    5. AFROTC allows you to leave at 4 once you report to your 1st op base. The thing is nowadays to be competitive in the market, you need a Masters.
    ~ Can you afford to pay for grad school? Complete AFROTC with a high enough OML and you can ask for ED. Sure, you might not be able to leave until the 6 year marker, but the AF picked up that dime while they also paid you a salary just to be a student.
    ~~ You can also use their TA program if you don't get an ED

    THINK LONG TERM, and that means past the 1st 4 yrs post undergrad. If I said right now you are guaranteed ED, would you leave or would you stay to utilize that ED? If it is I still would leave, than there you go. You know you want out and all this is about is if AFROTC will pay for spring semester 2016. If it is I would stay, than you need to do a lot more investigation, within yourself if you don't get ED, and within AFROTC to see your ED chances.
    6. Staying with AFROTC until the end of this semester may also help in a way you have yet to think about...internship.
    ~ Think of AFROTC as an EC, and any position you have held within the unit can be a resume builder.

    My very best thoughts, wishes, and hopes that you find your happiness.
     
  9. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    37
    You're not very far into the semester so there is a small chance that they may ask for the money back. The AF may not have even paid for the semester yet. Half the time they don't pay until half way through the semester, but your school will know you're on scholarship (your det will have told them) and the bursar's office knows to put "ghost money" into your account until the AF gets around to paying them. If that is the case and they haven't actually paid the school, then you may get a big bill towards the end of the semester when your school realizes the AF is no longer financially responsible for you.

    Just be careful, try to check with your bursar's office. If the AF actually paid you may be scott free, but i'd wait it out until the end of the semester if I were you.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,800
    Likes Received:
    932
    +1 NonDucor regarding the ghost money, but I would go even further and say check with your det. too. The bursar may say yep its paid, but not realize it is ghost money. Than when time comes to register for fall semester all of the sudden you find out that your account is locked out and to register you need to come up with that money ASAP. Now, if the folks don't have thousands of dollars hanging around in their checking account or room on their credit cards, it can take days or weeks to get the money to them (i.e. processing a student loan ) As you are waiting for the money to show up in your account, other kids are registering and you can find yourself missing out on the classes you need at the preferred time you want.
     
    Non Ducor Duco likes this.
  11. acdot

    acdot New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    Just an update
    So regarding all the advice, thank you first off. I am glad to see all of the support for the ROTC program and honest opinions.

    I am, as a freshman, the GMCA for my Det. This is a role that I have stepped into with a good attitude and have enjoyed it. I play intermural sports with my wing mates, I am part of the honor guard and tryed AAS for the first few weeks. I say these things to clear up that I am involved and feel part of the wing.

    I think that I will be staying at least for this semester to see how the rest of the year goes. I love all the advice, so thank you. I will be speaking with my cadre more about dates and AD in the near future.
     
    derek44, Jcleppe, Row2020 and 7 others like this.

Share This Page