AFROTC vs NROTC scholarship

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by vareporter, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. vareporter

    vareporter Member

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    DS was awarded the AFROTC scholarship and the NROTC scholarship. My question is:
    I hear all this talk of SFT after one's sophomore year and losing one's scholarship if one is not selected to attend. Can someone please point me to a source that gives a good explanation of what SFT is, how one is selected to attend, etc. I need a source that either doesn't use all the acronyms or has a legend to tell me what the acronyms are.

    Second question is: Does the Navy have something similar?

    He is trying to make the best decisions regarding which branch to commit to, which scholarship to take, which school to attend. I feel as if the possibility of losing his AFROTC scholarship midway through his education might be a very important part of the equation.

    Thanks in advance for everyone's help. This has been a wild ride so far.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Is your son Navy option or Marine option? So far as I know Navy option has nothing that is equivalent. The nearest thing I can think of for Marine option is OCS the summer of rising senior year. There is no selection, per se, but attendees (in my son's unit at least) are being told they need to achieve certain PFT and run time bench marks in order to be able to attend. Of course one could also fail to complete OCS. Usually a minimum of 10% of OCS attendees fail to complete it, often due to injury... which is why they appear to be instituting these new bench marks.
     
  3. vareporter

    vareporter Member

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    He is NO. Thanks for the information. Trying to make the most informed decision is more difficult when the specifics of each scholarship aren't spelled out anywhere. We can't even find current information on what the NROTC scholarship will cover. The website is a little ambiguous. And the only thing I can find about the SFT is on this site. And, unfortunately, the way everyone throws acronyms around, I can't quite decipher what the full story is.
     
  4. Winner

    Winner Member

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    I'm going to be brief here, as I'm sure someone else will have something more specific. This is coming from an AFROTC cadet on scholarship.

    SFT is known as field training. This occurs in the summer between sophomore and junior year. It's a four week program at Maxwell Air Force Base. It's pretty much like Officer Candidate School or Boot Camp, but for future Air Force Officers.

    Sophomore year in AFROTC is a tough year for cadets. It's labeled as FTP, or Field Training Preparation. It's by far the most strenuous year as a cadet (in order to properly prepare for SFT). Before you go to Field Training you must get a slot to go to Field Training. Not all cadets get this slot. I know in my detachment roughly 85% of FTP cadets got a slot last year. Two years ago however it was only 50%. So that number fluctuates based on the needs of the Air Force. In order to get this slot, the board looks at you based on your college major, college GPA, commanders ranking, physical fitness exam score and test scores. They're not all weighted the same, but I don't have the exact numbers on me right now.

    Personally, I'm not very worried about not getting a field training slot and losing my scholarship. I keep my GPA above a 3.0, have a good commanders ranking, a valued major, and great physical fitness scores.

    Basically, if your son is a good kid who can keep a solid GPA, will be active in volunteering in the detachment, and is physically fit, I wouldn't be worried. I have never met a cadet who was on scholarship that did not make it to field training, because in order to get a scholarship you must already show that you can do well in all of the things the board looks at.
     
  5. vareporter

    vareporter Member

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    Winner, I can't thank you enough. That is exactly the kind of information I needed. I truly appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to give me this information. It helps more than you can know.
     
  6. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    There are some things that we all need to acknowledge are out of our control. I would not stress out about Field Training slots at this point. Some years, there are more slots given out than others. That is true. But your DS has shown he's capable of earning an ROTC scholarship. There's no reason he shouldn't be capable of earning a commission in either the AF or Navy, assuming he does well in school and stays out of trouble.

    I strongly recommend that your son doesn't choose a service solely due to the fact that NROTC doesn't have a Field Training selection and AFROTC does. If he gets good grades, stays out of trouble, and shows his cadre that he can be a good officer, then he will have no problem earning a commission in either service.

    In my opinion, he should choose which scholarship to accept based SOLELY on whether he wants to be an Air Force officer or a Navy officer. They can be very different lifestyles and he owes it to himself to pursue the one he really wants.

    Good luck!
     
  7. FutureOfficerMom

    FutureOfficerMom Member

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    ++ to Nick's message, vareporter. My DS also received both AFROTC & NROTC scholarships. He originally thought he was Navy all the way, but did what Nick suggested and investigated both options thoroughly, talking with cadets & cadre at both detachments. He came to the realization that the Air Force was exactly what he wanted--which surprised him, but excited him, as well. Yes, the SFT is a stresser & something for which he is working very hard to ensure that he is selected. But once he knew his direction, the fact that SFT was part of the package wasn't a deal breaker--just another challenge to meet along the way. It's a wild ride and the decisions can seem daunting and overwhelming. You are doing the right thing by trying to understand the options. Once you have the information, he should determine what his true goals are and follow that path, or he won't be happy down the road, which will make success very difficult or impossible. :)
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Got to agree with Nick. Pick the service for what it offers post commission and not for SFT selection vs no SFT selection, etc. Besides, stress can be a good thing and drive one to excel.

    The NROTC scholarship will cover tuition and fees and he'll get a stipend for books (I think it's $370 as that appears to be what my son just received for this semester). He'll also get the monthly stipend. Of course none of the money starts to flow until he passes the PFA and contracts. I paid for only room, board, and insurance this semester. Oh yeah, I covered books up front as the stipend arrives later. Now that the pot is seeded its on the kid from now on.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    + Nick's post.

    I also agree with winner regarding scholarship recipient chances, but for a different reason.

    AFROTC only requires a 2.5 cgpa, but many of them also have merit scholarships at their schools too. The merit scholarships typically will require a 3.0-3.2 cgpa, thus they already will be in the range for selection due not to the AFROTC scholarship, but the merit.

    Additionally, for selection their SAT scores will matter, and that is part of the AFROTC selection, when the avg is high to start with, it gives them an edge there too,

    However in the end, as it is being said, choose because for at least 4 yrs., you will serve 24/7/365 days a yr. wherever they send you. College is what? 20 hrs a week, 5 days a week, 30 weeks at a place you decided to go to.

    The price being repaid is more than the actual cost of the scholarship.
     
  10. vareporter

    vareporter Member

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    We understand the 24/7 commitment of AD military service. We are a military family (Father-in-law 27 years, husband 10 years, son currently serving). He would never have made a decision based on one branch having the SFT and one not. He's not afraid of a challenge. I, as a mother who wants to see him succeed, wanted to compile the most accurate information possible to help him in his decision making, and I was just looking for a source that spelled things out for both branches. Thanks for everyone's input.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    FWIW, on this site under the community feedback is a list of all acronyms. http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?p=292080#post292080

    I get the AFROTC scholarship fear, but I am also from VA. UVA is considered a public Ivy, typically only 2nd to Berkeley. The students admitted as you know being a UVA parent are highly self-motivated. The scholarship is probably just gravy to him.

    Just a quick question.

    Has he visited both dets.? Talked to POC cadet/mids?

    What is his 1st career choice for both? Leave SFT aside, assume he will make POC.

    Let's assume, he wants to fly...what is the selection rate for NROTC compared to AFROTC?

    What if he wants to go Intel? What is the chances there when you compare the 2.

    I get FIL served 27 yrs., and DH served 10 yrs., but as I am frequently reminded by some posters, and our DS, the AF Bullet (my DH) retired from 4 yrs ago is not the current AF. The AFROTC our DS entered in 08 (class of 12) is not the same AFROTC that 17 will be part of as a cadet.

    Just saying it is constantly changing; faster than some might believe. The only thing that IMPO remains constant is the gut check regarding the military member and what they want.

    I would think the idea of being landlocked as an AF officer stationed at Minot ND compared to Navy would be a gut check.
     
  12. vareporter

    vareporter Member

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    I totally agree that the Navy my husband served in, his father served in, and even the Navy other son is serving in (as he is enlisted) is not the Navy my son in question will serve in. I only mentioned that to say we have a pretty good idea what he's getting into with the Navy. With the AF....totally clueless. We have been a Navy family, so we have no knowledge with how things work with the Navy.

    You hit the nail on the head with the pilot thing. But doesn't a majority of these young guys (and probably a lot of gals) want to be pilots? So, yes, that is a huge part of the decision-making process. But I am trying to get him to look at the bigger picture. Well, you want to be a pilot. Great. I support you 100%. But what do you want to do if you're not one of the lucky few that gets selected to fly? Back-up plan, please, sir.

    I guess my original post was more asking for sources from which to garner all this information, ie the number of people picked up for flight school, the career path of a junior officer for each branch, etc. I don't want someone to have to spoon feed me info. But in my diligent searching, I cannot find any web source that kind of lays it on the line in a clear manner. Maybe it doesn't exist. If so, so be it.

    But, as I stated, this line of discussion has been tremendously helpful to at least put the SFT into perspective. I guess I felt kind of doom and gloom when people were discussing it before. Now I realize if he performs up to the standards he expects of himself and we expect of him, he should be just fine.

    On a side note, I don't know what you mean by the scholarship is gravy. UVa is notoriously stingy with money. They certainly aren't handing out cash to anyone but the Jefferson Scholars. And even though my daughter (the UVA engineering student) and my youngest were high performers, they didn't have a snow ball's chance in you know where to get THAT scholarship.
     
  13. HerksRule

    HerksRule Member

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    Hello. DS just recently received NROTC & AFROTC scholarship offers (technical) and he will definitely accept one of them. They both require "intent" answers and NROTC letter says the NROTC scholarship is forfeited if DS "enrolls" in another commissioning program. So, he will make calls this week to try and figure out if there is a difference between "intent" and "enroll."

    Since his top college choices haven't released admission results yet he'd like to keep both ROTC options open...the school he was matched to for NROTC is among the top public schools (opinion :) ) so admission is not guaranteed. He is accepted to another school which has AFROTC on campus but not NROTC (thank you for the other thread on value of having ROTC host on campus).

    My first post, I have learned a lot for reading about others!
    DS stats: 31 ACT, 95.7 GPA, max AP/Honors classes, varsity sport & lots of volunteer work, CAP, solid PFT
     

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