AFROTC scholarship dropped after 2 years?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by slacker, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. slacker

    slacker Member

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    A question to those who can answer this.

    My son has a friend who has recieved a 4 year Air Force ROTC scholarship. He has completed two years at SUNY ****** (I'm not going to say which college - and IT IS NOT MY SON that I'm asking about).

    He told our son last week that he was "dropped" from the program, due to Air Force cutbacks and discharged. He plans to continue his education at the same SUNY college, according to what he told our son; but not in AFROTC.

    Our son is heading out to college with a 4 year AROTC and it concerned that his AROTC mission may be terminated after two years. He is also applying to the USMA after his 1st year at ROTC. He has respect for this person. This person says it was - because of cutbacks and no other reason.

    I kinda said that that does not make sense and that there may be other factors in the equation that may have led to this.

    I am not sure and ask for advice and answers to my post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
  2. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    The Air Force is experiencing a RIF (Reduction In Force) and is reducing both the numbers of officers on active duty (certain ranks) and those in the "pipeline" to become officers (OCS, AFROTC). Sounds as though your son's friend may have been one of those that the Air Force has "reduced".

    If you are interested there are a few threads on this site about the RIF. The following thread is more recent and contains some insight:
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=13890

    As for your son's concern regarding his AROTC scholarship; I haven't heard of the Army reducing it's forces YET. However it is IMHO always a smart idea to remember that you are competing with your fellow AROTC cadets and to keep your GPA, PT scores and battalion evaluations as high as possible so you are to valuable to be removed from the ROTC program....just in case. :wink:
     
  3. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    With regards to your son's Army ROTC scholarship...

    Considering that the number of scholarships awarded last year was down almost 50% (this was from a conversation with CC), I would suggest that the Army is taking aggressive steps in throttling back the pipeline well before all of their overseas committments are completed (I don't think anyone has put a terminal date on Afghanistan). I would hope that this would indicate that they won't need to prune from this year's entering ROTC class going forward. I think I would be more concerned with the 2012 and 2013 classes that were very large and will eventually need more attrition to keep proportional to the other classes around them.

    That being said, make sure DS understands that everything in the Army is competitive and to always work his hardest.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Your son's friend is not the only one that this happened to this yr. There were many cadets that got released, even dome only 3 months before commissioning into the AF. The number 1 reason why is due to academics. Yrs ago when the AF was not going through a RIF they looked the other way if it dropped below the AFROTC scholarship requirement, they don't do that now. Now, you fall below and they say goodby. I must say I don't recall the min, but I think it is 3.0 or 3.2. Obviously the student would not be on academic probation at the school with that gpa, but for the AFROTC they see it as not cutting it.

    This is why I say to people, do not apply for engineering just because you think it gives you the highest chance of getting a scholarship. It is a demanding and difficult field, and if you can't pull the grades you can not only lose your scholarship, but the chance to serve within the branch.

    Nobody here is psychic and cannot predict if the Army will have a RIF before your DS graduates from college. The logic is that the Army needs these officers currently because of the wars, but once we withdraw the troops, AND IF, the economy remains as bad as it is the Army may be faced with a RIF too. Remember when the economy is bad retention rate within the military rises. If the economy gets better many of the officers will resign their commission for civilian jobs.

    Typically it is easy to see a yr or two down the road from various standpoints if they are going to be looking at the possibility of a RIF.

    1. They start giving out less scholarships. 3 yrs ago when our DS started the AFROTC process it seemed like everyone on this board got a scholarship, and nobody was given the didn't make it this board, so we will look at you next board. This past yr the forums was littered with posters getting the thin envelope.

    2. In the AD world, they speed up promotion boards. The reason why is after being passed over for the 2nd time, the AF can separate you from the military, without retirement pay.

    3. They hold SERB (Selective Early Retirement Boards), in other words forced retirement.

    If none of that gets their numbers in alignment they do a RIF. The AF needs to cut the numbers so hard for company grade that they are no longer doing OCS for this yr. They also resorted to cutting back ROTC cadets on top of that.

    Now traditionally, the good news is the AF is bulimic, and they force themselves to starve and realize it so they then binge. For classes of 11 -14 at least, their numbers will be off kilter for field grade, and thus their promotion rate will be extremely high.

    Also, the last time the AF did such a large cut like this was after Gulf 1. It occurred in 91-92 time frame. The Navy soon followed, and then the Army had theirs @93. The scenario is similar to now. The Army needs more troops currently because they have to keep their combat status not only at the posts stateside, but of course in the sandbox too, which includes not only Iraq, Afghanistan, but their forward staging areas. Once the troops withdraw, they may be facing the fact they have too many troops and not enough jobs for them. This is what occurred in 93.

    Truthfully, I think even with 5 yr strategic planning the AF could not have predicted this because they could not have predicted @10% unemployment. Had we had a 5% unemployment the situation probably would have played out differently and there would be no RIF or SERB.
     
  5. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Actually the GPA minimum is only 2.5. However, if AFROTC has too many cadets they can (and obviously will) release people whose GPA is higher but their OML scores are below a threshold determined by the Air Force's projected staffing needs. It still comes down to cadets/mids in all ROTC programs needing to compete and finish as high as possible within their detachments/battalions/units.

    "* All cadets must complete Aerospace Studies classes with nothing lower than a C- and pass all Leadership Laboratories.
    * Cadets on scholarship must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and be enrolled as a full-time student."
    http://www.afrotc.com/admissions/requirements-standards/academic/
     
  6. USA

    USA Member

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    The cadets at the university I'm attending told me that if I keep my GPA over a 3.0, I have nothing to worry about. The minimum is 2.5 but with RIF that is not competitive enough.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    A 3.0 at MIT is different than a 3.0 at ERAU. A 3.0 and ranked top 10% in the det. will be viewed differently by the boards than a 3.0 ranked bottom 10% in the det.

    The gpa should not be viewed as a blanket statement nation wide, it varies from det to det and college to college. College ranking from a national standpoint will be taken into consideration when you meet boards.

    Come your spring semester as a cadet 200, you will meet a board for selection of summer training to Alabama. I can tell you that a 3.0 at UMDCP would not get you summer training this yr from personal experience. Why does summer training matter? Because this is the first time as a cadet that you go up against everyone in your yr group nationally. If you don't make the cut for summer training, that is a big warning sign of how you stack and rack nationally. Additionally as a Cadet 300 your packet will go up in the fall for your career assignment. The board has limited slots for positions, they will have to choose between you and someone else, who gets the slot? The cadet who went to Summer training or the cadet who didn't? I think we all know the answer to my rhetorical question. The cadet who went to training already proved themselves as a Cadet 200 in the eyes of the AF regarding how competitive they are from a national standpoint.

    Too many new cadets think since they won a scholarship they are at the top, but just like hs., once you get to college the slate is wiped clean and you have to prove yourself all over again. Don't enter ROTC as a cadet 100 thinking you are all that, because you will learn quickly YOU AREN'T! College is not easy, now add on the additional pressure of ROTC and you can quickly see how difficult it can be for many cadets. You will not only have classwork and tests for your regular classes, but you will have them for ROTC. You will be expected to be on the parade field at O dark thirty regardless of rain or snow. You will be expected to have a pressed uniform and depending on you they will know how much it means to you. I.E. it is raining and muddy, do you leave early to make sure you can clean your shoes for inspection after walking across campus or do you say they'll understand because it is raining.

    Face time matters. You may not volunteer for all of the community events supported by the det., but I can guarantee you some other cadet will, and it will be noticed by the command. The command is an integral part in writing your recs for summer training and career field paths.

    You may be the best cadet, but if your grades are suffering it is going to bite you because it shows you can't handle both school and ROTC.

    There is alot that goes into the equation, as you progress you will see that. It just is important to me that you understand it is the whole package they look at, it isn't just one part.

    Finally, getting back to the gpa. I can also tell you that at our DS's det. 3.2 is the min for UPT chances as an AFROTC cadet. UMDCP is nationally ranked in the top 20 public universities in the nation, so it is not a slacker college. Their engineering dept is even ranked higher by USNWR than their overall ranking.

    The min might be 2.5, and 3.0 may be a safety marker, but you need to strive higher than that if you are looking at a competitive career field.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  8. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    I was a 200 last year and we were told that nationally, around 2,900 packages were sent in for field training slots and 2,100 were awarded. Of those 800 or so who didn't get selected, many of them met standards and a bunch had scholarships.

    It doesn't seem fair, but from the beginning they told us that you ARE NOT guaranteed a commission, even if you meet standards and complete ROTC. Most of the people who got dropped will be allowed to continue in AFROTC and compete for field training slots next summer. But most people I know said no thanks and are just switching to Army.

    Could it possibly happen? Yes. Is it probable? No. The cuts that AFROTC saw this year are very rare in general. They may be similar next year but in a few years, they'll consider themselves undermanned and be handing out scholarships like candy. As far as your son goes, just get good grades, stay in shape, and take ROTC comittments seriously. If the cadre sees that in a cadet, they will not drop him/her.
     
  9. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I just don't see this happening. The Army is a much bigger organization than the AF. There is a constant need for junior officers and when they reduce the AD force typically they increase the Guard/Reserves.
    What is more likely to happen - if the Army has more commissioned officers than they need in a given year is to commission more in the Guard/Reserves.
    In lean times, this is the advantage of West Point and the SMC's - you are guaranteed a commission to Active Duty. One could (it happens now) complete 4 years of AROTC and end up with a commission in the Guard or Reserves.
     
  10. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    Wow, I just heard that students at UTSA will be dropped from the AFROTC program if their gpa is below a 3.5 at the start of the spring semester next year---from the horses mouth.:eek:
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It wouldn't shock me Lee if this is true.

    Now for class of 15 don't start going insane, because as it has been stated multiple times, it is more likely that they will have reduced the ranks and will not be as insane as it is now for current cadets. (classes of 11, 12 and 13). Even 14 should be safe.

    HOWEVER, what it says to you is that your college gpa matters, and never forget that. You cannot rest on your laurels.

    It also is a forewarning sign that they MAY, I say MAY be giving less scholarships to reduce the numbers. This should be a hint to make your application as strong as you can get it to be.

    I truly cannot stress enough, that although ROTC is your PLAN A route, there will be candidates that have it as their PLAN B. PLAN A for them is the AFA. You need to be competitive against them too. I don't know any AFA cadet who was not offered a AFROTC scholarship if they applied. Many of the scholarships are given before the AFA mass mailing. That means, the AFROTC is waiting on their acceptance or rejection before they hand out more scholarships and that could mean AFA candidates who are still waiting. The AFROTC has limited funds, it is not like college admission where they can make room if more people accept than they thought they would based on historical data.

    This is also why people say get the AFROTC application as early as possible because you want to be reviewed while there still is money in the pot to dole out.

    All of this talk creates fear. HOWEVER, the true fear that exists is being a 35 yr old who says "I wonder what if I applied, where would I be now?" If the fear of what is occurring within the AF currently regarding raising the gpa standard is creating apprehension, than you must ask yourself are you ready for the next 9 yrs (4 college, 5 AD)? Are you ready to fight for that Summer training spot, or your career path? Are you ready to fight for your ranking at the career school? This part is the easiest part (applying), the hard part comes later on.

    Best of luck class of 15. Welcome class of 14!
    Remember the only guarantee of failure is if you never try!
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  12. mom2fiv

    mom2fiv Member

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    Just curious if you have heard anything about the express scholarships being reduced or not available. Daughter is going to school for meteorology and is hoping to be able to apply for an express scholarship. Thanks for any info you have
    mom2fiv
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Not saying it doesn't exist, but I never heard of an AFROTC express scholarship. I have heard through this site that it does exist for NROTC.

    Meteorology is a difficult career field within the AF. Actually, a few yrs ago that was a career field hit on the target list for reduction before the RIF, many bases are contracting out this position. Good news is it is a science field so it will give her an edge in competition regarding scholarship chances.
     
  14. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    All I've heard about this In-College scholarship is that you cannot depend on the same majors being selected each year. It is completely dependent on what the Air Force decides it's needs are in the late Fall after students begin school. Usually they update this list sometime around October/November if they are going to change it.

    http://afrotc.com/scholarships/in-college/express-scholarships/
    "The Express Scholarship is designed to meet Air Force ROTC officer production requirements in specific fields and year groups. Contact the detachment nearest you for the most up-to-date information on this program.

    This program awards Type 1 scholarships. In many cases, these scholarships can activate during the same term as nomination.

    The Express Scholarship program is operated on a fully qualified basis – those who meet the qualifications are awarded the scholarship and do not meet a scholarship selection board. The processing of the scholarship award is completed at the local detachment.

    Be sure to read our foreign language page or nursing page for additional information.?

    Eligible Majors

    Contact the detachment nearest you for the most up-to-date information on this program.

    * Computer Engineering
    * Electrical Engineering
    * Environmental Engineering
    * Meteorology
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Aglages,

    This is why I say the military, or at least the AF would be considered bulimic if they were a person.

    Although they are going through a RIF currently, and not one as bad as 92-93, where 95% of Reserve AD commissioned officers for the yr groups of 85/86 were released, but it is apparent that they are cutting back hard. There have been targeted career fields that had mini-RIFs between then and now. Nursing and Meteorology both had their own mini RIFS in this case. However, because they had a mini-RIF, they are now in the place where they must eat, eat, eat again because of their purge.

    It is amazing if you watch you can see that this is their cycle. For example, they purged so hard in 92/93 a young age group and everyone regardless of your career field (including fliers), that 5 yrs later they had to increase bonuses to keep them. To the point that they not only doubled the flight bonus incentive, they offered it to WSO's and started the 2nd bonus program at the 15 yr marker to stay until at least 20.

    It seems they have repeated this now with certain career fields. The swami in me says watch, in 5-10 yrs from now foreign language career fields will be on the purge list, especially if we do leave Iraq and Afghanistan.
     

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