Any chance I could get an AFROTC scholarship?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by airforcehopeful, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. airforcehopeful

    airforcehopeful New Member

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    I know I'm late, but I wanted to know if I still have a chance to get an AFROTC scholarship. I don't do sports (though I started working out on my own this summer) and my ECs aren't the most relevant, but I'm extremely passionate about my country. I intend to do ROTC with or without a scholarship but why not apply if I have a chance?

    Here's a bit about me:
    8 AP classes, 5 honors classes
    independent study in Russian language
    1380/2150 SAT score
    3.8 UW, 4.0 W GPA
    piano student of 10 years, the pianist for every school musical
    guitar student of 4 years
    orchestra all 4 years, teaching myself double bass
    250+ hospital volunteering hours
    I tutor math, English, APUSH, and Latin
    I started up a GSA at my school and have been very active with it
    92 PFT (self-scored, taped myself to make sure I had proper push-up form)

    My top 3 major choices would be Russian, Soviet Union (Area of Studies), and Psychology. (I know Psychology isn't on this list http://afrotc.com/scholarships/high-school/schools-and-majors/.) Would it be better to also put down computer science? It interests me, but I'm not sure I'd be good at it -- and I don't want to fail my country

    Is there any chance I could get a scholarship?
     
  2. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    I don't normally respond to chance threads (fortunately for those asking) but I will give you my opinion. Your chances of being offered an AFROTC scholarship are 100% better if you apply than if you don't. Considering you are going to join AFROTC in college whether you receive a scholarship or not.....what do you have to lose by applying. BTW - I think you have a reasonable shot as a Russian major. If you search this site for the last year or two you will find many threads about the competitiveness of AFROTC scholarships....you may want to peruse those. Keep in mind: getting the scholarship is only the first hurdle....getting Summer Field Training after you Sophomore year is also required to keep your scholarship and eventually become commissioned. Good Luck!
     
  3. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Clearly the Air Force is in a position to Cherry Pick to whom the scholarships are awarded at this time.

    Russian isn't nearly as important in these past few years as Arabic, Mandarin, or Korean.

    Your stats are really solid. Apply. Understand the AF is primarily interested in Engineers (Type 1 scholarship, 5% of total), then the STM from STEM, then if not STEM, certainly Arabic, Manadrin, Korean would be an asset.

    If you are self studying Russian at this time, no reason you cannot self-study one of the more strategic languages in addition to, or in replacement of, Russian.

    If you aren't good at Computer Science, to answer your question, then NO, do not list CS as your intended major. For a major to be ultimately be successful over a four year period in college, you must (most importantly) have a natural ability for it, and you must have a natural interest in it. You can force yourself for four years to complete a major you're good at, but not that interested in, but the reverse is impossible.
     
  4. educateme

    educateme Member

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    I am concerned that you have no sports listed here. Sports is very important, and in what appears to be, by consensus, to be very competitive scene, you need as much competitive edge as possible. In Army ROTC system, you will already automatically lose something like 40 points in the PMS interview scoring sheet, let alone the overall scoring system that included the PMS interview score. Remember they judge you on three criteria: scholarship, athletics, and leadership. I have the feeling that AFROTC may not be that different. Of course, I may be wrong: I am very familiar with the AROTC scholarship process, not so for AFROTC. Though it may be too late, you may still be able to join sports team this year, and at least mention something to that effect. One PMS my son met last year shared some really candid feedback on this issue. He said, even if the candidate join a team only lately, it's still better than nothing.

    Also, GSA involvement is not sufficient. It has to be a leadership position. So, if you held such a position, you need to spell it out.

    By the way, ROTC boards take SAT math and reading only. 1380 is a good score, but if you can improve by taking another test or so, that might help. I know that by the scoring system, you may have maxed out already, but somehow I get the feeling that it may still help you if you do stellar there. Since you are a non tech major, and if indeed you don't have any sports to list, you really need to be near perfect in other ways to make your case.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  5. airforcehopeful

    airforcehopeful New Member

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    educateme -- I put in my post that I started it, sorry for not being clearer. I started it in sophomore year and have been singlehandedly running it for the past 3 years. It's now one of the most active organizations on campus.

    I'll see if I can still join XC, if that'll help. Would obtaining a high PFT help me, or only in the post-consideration part?
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    PFT score is part of the evaluation... at least for NROTC and I would assume also for AFROTC. DS got a 275 out of 300 on NROTC Marine Option PFT and still did not get a scholarship. You should always be working on pulling your PFT score up. DS is now a non-scholarship participant in NROTC MO. His ast PFT was 294 of 300... and he's working on improving it. PF is a significant part of the miliary although less demanding in some branches.

    Apply... you'll learn a lot about yourself just going thru the process and you've nothing to lose. Good Luck! :thumb:
     
  7. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    I just want to chime in about the sports, or lack of, in your stats. My DS was passed over for AROTC primarily due to no varsity letters - he had rec league sports and passed the APFT/PFT with good scores but ultimately, it was not enough. He had maxed the Scholar and leadership measures but the scholarships are so competitive that I am warning all applicants without a strong sports (ie varsity) background to have a back up plan.

    DS is participating in ROTC and joined the National Guard to put himself into what is known as SMP/simultaneous membership program/catagory where he will serve our state guard and contract ROTC together. IF your state offers guard benefits, this can help with tuition and drill pay for a weekend each month, plus basic pay and AIT training and additional pay after that. I'm not familiar with the AFROTC programs, but I do remember seeing something about Air guard while we were at his swearing in this summer. Perhaps this could be an additional plan worth looking into for yourself.

    You lose nothing but a little time by applying and time spent researching schools and backup plans is well worth the investment of your time:thumb:

    Good luck.
     
  8. educateme

    educateme Member

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    Please don't get me wrong. We are not here to find fault with your application. We are giving you honest assessment and what the competition looks like, and trying to help you get a realistic sense for where you stand and how you can improve your package.

    My honest opinion is, it will be very hard for you to get a scholarship due to the complete lack of any demonstrated membership in any sports related activities. That said, of course, apply. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And in the process of applying, you will lean a thing or two, especially if you start visiting battalions, campus, and PMS and hear what they have to say. So, even if you don't get a scholarship, you will learn much about the kind of program and what it takes to succeed.

    Since you are interested in joining ROTC, you could start looking at the kind of schools you would be interested in, and AFROTC programs you are attracted to, and find the best combination and TRY TO get admitted to the school. Once you are there, you can wiggle your way into the ROTC program and do you best to stand out as a non scholarship student, and excel in everything.

    If you are willing to execute this plan, the thing now is to see whether you have good stats to get into the schools you are interested. in.

    Sorry to give you feedback you probably don't want to hear, but it's my honest assessment. Competition this year is will be extraordinary, and my sentiment is, 4 year ROTC scholarship winners may have to be almost as strong a candidate as a strong service academy candidate, if not better.

    At least this is what I would expect for AROTC (especially if you are looking at a private school that cost a lot of $$$). But I know that AFROTC does not care about school..... Again, AFROTC is not my specialty so I could be grossly misguided. I defer to other experts opinions year. But I do think I am not so off mark here. Based on everything I saw, AFROTC scholarship (4 year for instance) is much harder to get than AROTC scholarship.

    PS. Is there any reason why you are only interested in AFROTC? To fly? You could fly in Navy and even Army...... Just a thought.....
     
  9. airforcehopeful

    airforcehopeful New Member

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    Oh, I haven't taken your feedback negatively. My apologies if I have come across that way. I understand that no sports involvement hurts quite a bit, and I wasn't even planning to apply for a scholarship. However, a military friend of mine suggested I try for one anyway, so I have begun asking around on forums such as these to see if I even have a chance.

    My college list is centered around schools with good AFROTC programs/cross-town programs. I haven't deeply considered applying for an AROTC scholarship because I think the lack of sports involvement would hurt me even more for Army.

    That indeed was my plan. Ultimately, I'm hoping for a commission and then a 20 year service career in military intel. As a non-scholarship student, I'd attend pretty much every event and try my best to be a well-rounded, supportive cadet -- this is my dream, and I will put my heart and soul into ROTC training. Will this be enough to gain a commission? Would being off-scholarship severely hurt my chances? And are there 3 year scholarship opportunities for dedicated cadets, or have these been almost entirely slashed due to the Air Force's downsizing?

    Thanks to everyone who has answered.
     
  10. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    Hopeful -

    You have a really good attitude about ROTC, I'm not involved with AFROTC, but having read that their program requires acceptance in Summer Field Training(end of 2nd year) or removal from the program, the application for this training is also considered VERY competitive.

    AROTC will not ding you more or less for the sports background and may be more open to your possible majoring in Internation Affairs/Russian programs since there is not as strong a focus on STEM applicants, in fact, this year is the first time AROTC is beginning to focus at all on STEM in their application process.

    The decision to pursue more than one branch is pretty normal around the forum. Keep an open mind and even talk to ROTC programs for both branches at your schools.

    DS chose to do the SMP program, mentioned in previous post, because it will allow him to contract with ROTC early in his 2nd year(as opposed to his 3rd year if he simply participated as a non-scholarship cadet). The contract and ultimately commission are the true goal. Many posters have been reminding everyone that now that the war budgets are over, historically most cadets were not scholarship. Financial incentives are very helpful(DS will have no loans:smile:) but are not the be all end all of service.

    I hope you will continue to read thru previous post, look for Pima who posts regularly on AF topics and keep asking questions:thumb:
     
  11. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    Not sure where you got this information but I can attest that the AF looks at Russian as very important. I've been receiving a semesterly language bonus from them for the past 3 years in AFROTC for studying Russian. They also just paid for my two month language immersion in Russia. And they recently sent out an ARMS message to all detachments encouraging cadets with Russian language skills to apply for the active duty LEAP program which is meant to develop/maintain CRITICAL language skills.

    Granted they are doing the same for people studying Pashto, Dari, Farsi, Arabic and Mandarin. But I would strongly discourage someone from stopping their study of Russian in order to start from scratch with another language.
     
  12. educateme

    educateme Member

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    This is NOT inconsistent with the input from dunnia. It's one thing for them to empathize critical language. It's totally another to base scholarship selection on that. Based on everything I read here, AFROTC has a HARD quota for non-STEM majors for scholarship, and it's much smaller pool than the STEM majors. They want their ENGINEERING majors to study critical languages with extra incentive.

    I think this is starting to happen in AROTC also.
     
  13. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    It is consistent with AFROTC's web 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/
     
  14. educateme

    educateme Member

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    aglages,

    but that's precisely the point, isn't it? Allocation for foreign language majors is less than 20% of the whole lot, while STEM allocation is 80%. This is precisely what dunnia and I were talking about. They do value foreign language values, but apparently at a vastly reduced rate.

    Whichever way you look at it, the competition is much stiffer for non STEM majors, even though foreign language majors are still better off than, say, English Lit and history.

    AROTC so far has been much more lenient, but I hear that they are starting in this direction also.
     
  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Apply apply apply!!! Given your career arspirations I'd consider each branch of the service. NROTC (MO) doesn't care about your major and they need the languages as well. If you don't get a scholarship participate as a college programmer. That was DS's backup plan which we had to execute. He wouldn't even be at the college he is at if we weren't looking at ROTC schools. We visited and he fell in love with it. Turned out to be his first choice of school and it wasn't even on the radar before pursuing ROTC.

    All cadets, scholarship and non-scholarship are treated the same and have the same opportunities.

    GO FOR IT!!!:thumb:
     
  16. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I would imagine there are fewer forleign language majors competing for the smaller number of slots. I don't generally know many foreign language majors who think of the military as a career option. Just my opinion stated without any fact to back it up! :biggrin:
     
  17. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    Simply not the case. I've been in AFROTC for a long time and I've never met an engineer who's taken more than one semester of an intro foreign language class. They simply don't have the room in their Form 48 to add language classes. We get a handful of freshmen at my det every year who plan to pursue foreign language majors and the AF has never encouraged them to go in a different direction.

    Youre right that more scholarships go to tech majors. No one's arguing with that. However, my first post was in response to the poster who claimed that the OP should pursue a language OTHER than Russian because the Air Force doesn't see it as important as they used to. That also is simply not the case.

    I think everyone on this board is taking the tech vs. non-tech dilemma a little too seriously. The AF does not want a force of engineering officers and nothing else. Call any detachment in the country and ask them.

    Edit - Please DO NOT choose a tech major/have your son or daughter choose a tech major simply because the AFROTC website says tech majors are more competitive. Its true that they are, but trust me a high GPA in a non-tech major is still more competitive than a low GPA in a tech major. You may be at a disadvantage when competing for a high school scholarship, but at the same time you wont be setting yourself up for failure come time for enrollment allocations or AFSC selection. We had a lot of engineers who were on scholarship get denied EAs because of low GPAs in the past two years. Anyways, thats just my personal take. Take it for what its worth and good luck to everyone interested in AFROTC!
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  18. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    One of you was talking about whether the OP should take a "more""strategic language than Russian. If you follow the link on my post you'll see Russian is still a strategic language that the AF is interested in. Also, Russian is considered by the USAFA as a strategic language. Please read post #13 of the following link:
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?p=179765&highlight=strategic+language#post179765
    I think this is a math problem. How "stiff" the competition is would be dependent on how many are competing for how few language HSSP scholarships. While we may know that fewer language scholarships are awarded than STEM scholarships; we do not know how many apply for each. Without that knowledge who is to say which scholarship is more competitive?

    One thing I think we can all agree on: Competition for ANY military ROTC scholarship is very tough....and getting more so each year.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Listen to Nick. He is in the system now and as many of you know he is at a Corp school. He is very intimate with the system.

    The only thing I would say is he is incorrect about engineers only taking 1 semester. Scholarship recipients for AFROTC must take 12 credits in foreign language. It is an AFROTC requirement.

    Going back on the chance me.

    1. Nobody here sits on any scholarship board. The only answer we can tell you is that you have 0% of getting a scholarship if you don't apply.

    2. Nick is correct, yes, the AF gives more scholarships to tech majors, but as a non-tech AFROTC scholarship Mom, I can tell you they give them there too. Applying for a tech major to "game the system" is not wise at all. Anyone who would suggest this does not understand the AFROTC system.

    As it has been stated AFROTC is different than A/NROTC. Not everyone goes to SFT. Selection is based on many things, but the big one is the GPA. Traditionally only @50% nationally are accepted, and the avg gpa for tech has hovered @ 3.0, 3.2 for non-tech. No SFT and the command may revoke your scholarship...and yes, you will not be commissioned into the AF from ROTC. It is a make or break point.

    Scholarship cadets live with that on their backs until spring sophomore yr, because if they took the scholarship to meet fiscal needs, they will find themselves as a jr. and short 18K.

    3. Tech majors do not lull yourself into the misconception that because you have great grades and you are applying as an engineer major you will get a scholarship. Believe it or not they also look at the type of engineering major you place as your intended major.

    LY there were kids with great stats, but because they had specified a specific engineering major, they didn't get it. Reason why was they don't want 100% of engineering majors to be in 1 specific field...i.e. Computers, Aero, Electrical, etc.

    Again, don't game the system. Follow what you want to do.

    4. If you game the system and expect to change your major once there...GOOD LUCK! Scholarships are not being handed out willy nilly these days. You can change, but expect to loose the scholarship since you broke the contract with them.

    5. Specialty languages

    Understand the AF needs linguists. Nick is correct, just because we as a society believes Russia is no longer a threat does not mean the DOD doesn't see them as a threat.

    The issue with majoring in a language is to understand SERVICE BEFORE SELF. That major can take you out of the running for certain career fields. This is why there is that need from a demand perspective, because many students know there is a high chance to be pulled into a field.

    I.E. You want to fly, chances are they will not select you because they paid you to go to college for language, and putting you in a cockpit means your job is not touching your asset.

    I don't know about Russian, but in the AD world they would tell you Chinese, or Arabic you are going Intel.

    As a Wife of a retired AF flier and a Mom of a child that was selected for UPT, that's the thing people don't get about fliers. Most of them have in their mind what they want to fly (fixed or rotor). If they want rotor they go Army or Navy since the AF really has no rotor inventory. If they want fixed they go AF or Navy. If they place flying as their 1st priority, they usually go AF, because AF has the largest inventory, hence best chances for selection.

    All cadets know that they only have a chance to get a slot and a chance of being winged, so they take into account what is their back up plan. Not everybody wants to be on a boat or in a tank as back up, and that is why they select the AF.

    Do not select a service for just that 1 career path if it is flying, because I will tell you the cliche CHAIR FORCE exists because you will step out of the cockpit. They will do everything to insure you meet your 1st gate for flight pay, but after that all bets are off.

    Bullet spent 6 of his 20 yrs out of the cockpit. 2 as an O3, 1 as an O4, 3 as an O5.

    Finally, I am going to agree with others, you will be dinged for no sports, not even as an EC. DS did not have HS sports, BUT he did have sports in his ECs. TKD State Champion, Jr Olympic medalist. Job was Lifeguard, where he could place 23 saves on his resume on top of being pool manager for the guards. His job illustrated athleticism and leadership at the exact same time, compared to the kid who worked at Target. Hence, he was dinged for no HS sports, but was able to show he did compete athletically, and was athletic via his job.

    You have no leadership in your resume...review your resume and make sure even if it is orchestra that you illustrate it.
    Now see it this way
    Lead pianist
    X chair (1st or 2nd) Orchestra
    Lead Guitarist for Church Band

    Honestly, no offense, but 10 yrs playing piano, or 4 yrs guitar, makes no difference to me, nor self taught double bass. I understand you are showing dedication, but I would prefer to see WHAT YOU DID with that, otherwise, all I think about as someone who took 6 yrs of piano, and drove kids for 7 yrs to guitar lessons is so you attended 1 hr a week in lessons for 10 yrs. Illustrate that it lead to leadership and other activities. Think of it as an equation...cause (action) and effect (result). Don't BS it.

    Lead volunteer for X hospital ward responsible for Y....cause and effect, where you are an instrument in the success.

    250 hours great, but what did you do? Did you just show up for 8 hours a month for the last 3 yrs? Or due to your volunteerism, you actually impacted the hospital in a positive way.

    No offense, but you have no sports, no job, great PAR, and it leaves me with wondering if your PAR is as high as it is because you placed everything on academics, and would it be that high if you had a job + sports.

    The scholarship boards are like college boards, they want the WHOLE CANDIDATE, not just the jock or the brainiac. They understand that many kids at college who did not have a balance of academics and "real" world traditionally cannot manage time and fold under pressure as a freshman. The kid who had outside interests besides academics traditionally has an easier transition due to the fact that they were able to juggle multiple balls.

    Good luck, APPLY! Worst thing that can happen is you get a "At this time..." letter. A few hours of work is worth the chance of 72K (type 2).

    PS...don't fill the resume with FODDER. They will see it as just that FODDER...in other words a way to fill up the application with BS.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  20. airforcehopeful

    airforcehopeful New Member

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    My intention is not to become a pilot. What type of job do you guess I would be placed in with Russian, if not MI?

    Pima -- Thanks to everyone who has responded, but thanks particularly to you for all of your information/insight. I don't know how much any of this qualifies/what I should include on my resume, so I'll expand a bit on the points you touched upon.

    I go to an extremely small school - 52 people in the grade. As such, our orchestra is very tiny and only had 8 people in it for the past 3 years. Now, we have a slightly bigger orchestra but lost our double bassist, so I've taken it on out of necessity. With only 8 people, we've never had x chair for x instrument -- I was either the only pianist, or the only guitarist, or the only drummer. Initiative steps I've taken are spending dozens of hours re-writing pieces in arrangements that could fit an orchestra of our odd distribution. We don't have any titles in the orchestra, but all of the "club leader duties" (the forms, the scheduling, etc) have been given to me.

    I was also a part of a much bigger orchestra for a year or two, but held no leadership position/had no leadership duties. Nothing to see there.

    I've taken 10 years of piano lessons, but am also pretty much the pianist of the school. I play piano for 80% of the school events. I play for the school musicals, including one year where I had to write my own music (student-run) and volunteer teaching music or playing at hospitals, rest homes, etc. With guitar, I've had two bands as the lead guitarist.

    My biggest leadership commitment is GSA. I'm the only openly non-heterosexual girl at my school (all-girls school) but there are a lot of closeted people. It's not a place people feel safe being out, so I started a GSA sophomore year. I've been running it singlehandedly since then, holding events, meetings, etc at least once a week. I was very soft-spoken in freshman year, but through starting and maintaining a GSA in an unsupportive environment, and connecting it with local GSAs, I feel I have learned a lot about leadership.

    I have very little job experience except for the odds and ends of 1 month long jobs, but I had an internship over the summer. I don't know if that counts as job experience. I was a writer and marketer for a fairly successful youthologist's organization. I've also been pretty involved with my school's publications.

    I go to a small private school that tries to make everyone into leaders (yeah, I know, I groan too) but because of that, we don't really have position titles. I've singlehandedly got the school to not cut orchestra and am the designated orchestra leader, but I've not been given a title for that, and don't feel comfortable giving myself one.

    ^^I know all of that does not belong on a resume, but I'd appreciate any thought into if that holds any worth for leadership experience. One of the reasons I never got involved with sports is because it just wouldn't provide a challenge. Like I said, the school is incredibly small, so even our varsity teams don't cut players! It would be easy for me to join a JV or V XC team this year, but I'd rather spend those hours working towards making this campus a safe environment for non-heterosexual people as well. I don't want to do anything just for the title.

    Thanks for the info! I will not force a tech major but will continue to pursue a language major, maybe with a double major in something else.

    So as a non-scholarship cadet, I would not be at a disadvantage for SFT slots? I intend to be extremely involved in ROTC, scholarship or not.

    Is there any consensus on what the class of 2016's SFT percentages are looking like? Is it expected to go down from 50%?
     

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