Applying for ROTC Scholarship

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Patriot95, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. Patriot95

    Patriot95 Member

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    I'm currently a junior in high school and am positive that I want to go into the Army, I'm just not sure if I should go the enlisted route or participate in ROTC while in college. I know I can start the application process for the national ROTC scholarship now, but I'm not sure if I should because my ACT score is terrible... 20 and my overall gpa is a 3.2. Also, I'm still not positive on if I want to enlist after high school. Should I start the application now or wait?
     
  2. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    Patriot - thank you for your desire to Serve our Country.

    Here's my 2 cents for you when completing the application. You CAN start it now. BUT it really wont matter if you start it now, or closer to senior year. You don't get brownie points for turning in an application early. Actually on that point, I would not recommend finishing the application BEFORE Sr year starts. One of the differences between the Army program vs AF and Navy (+MO) is that Cadet Command looks at your grades/committments from 10-12, NOT 9-11 like the other programs. And I don't think you will know what exactly you will be doing Sr year in regards to extracurricular activities until the time comes.

    My advice to you is to really, really try to bring up your ACT score. You still have one more shot for ACT on June 8th before school's out - then your next shot is in Sept. Really, really try and study hard for the test. Go to your local library and borrow a couple study books. Try to get the best possible score by the Sept test. Best shot at a scholarship is Board 1 - which usually meets sometime around Oct.

    If you aren't in a good position to score around 300 for the PFA, start now. Pushups and situps are the easier of the 3 to accomplish. But running; that just takes time. Start now, not in August. This way, if you can't pull up your grades, at least you will have a better "overall" appearance. This was my case, but the "wholeness" of my application compensated for that.

    Over the summer start looking at what colleges/Battalions you might want to attend. If you can try to visit the college over the summer - trust me, you will be busy come fall. And if possible, try to schedule an appointment with the PMS and talk about their program. The PMS/cadre may give you some pointers/tips come interview time.

    I'd also give your local Guard recruiter a call to discuss the option of SMP. That should help you decide whether you want to enlist right after graduation.

    PM me if you have any other questions or anything.

    Best of luck!
    Thompson
     
  3. Bravo

    Bravo Member

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    I'd encourage you to take the SAT as well. Some folks do better on the SAT vs. the ACT, and vice versa. And take both as often as possible, because the higher your scores, the more options you're likely to have.

    Good luck!
     
  4. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    While your current academic statistics make you below average for AROTC scholarship applicants, there are several other factors you have not told us about that may make a difference...

    1) How are your athletics and leadership attributes? Do you work a job? Volunteer?
    2) What schools are on your list? I'm guessing here that you are not applying to highly competitive schools based upon your stated academic credentials. However, AROTC scholarships are awarded for less competitive schools as well. And the most important thing is that you are more competitive than the others applying at THAT school.

    Additionally, just because you aren't awarded a scholarship while in HS, it doesn't mean that you cannot join ROTC on campus and possibly (through hard work and contribution to your unit) achieve advanced standing (by your JR year).

    Going walk-on like this keeps possibilities open. And if you don't achieve advanced standing (they have commissioning targets, so not everyone eligible gets to commission, but it is better odds than you'd think for hard charging leaders), at least you will enlist (given that you decide that you don't want to continue your college education at that point) as an E3 with an associates degree, if my memory serves me correctly.

    Point here is that you are only at the beginning of the whole process. It may have lots of twists and turns along the way, but there are many ways to get to a satisfactory end. I would keep the options open as long as possible at this point.
     
  5. Patriot95

    Patriot95 Member

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    goaliedad,

    I have been running cross country and track since my freshman year and have received a couple varsity letters. However, I don't have any leadership experience (I could possibly be a cross country captain this coming fall).

    The schools I'm interested in are the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, and possibly other schools such as Miami (OH) or Ohio University.
     
  6. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    It would be good to nail down the captain situation before putting in your application (first board in October). Hopefully, you should know this sometime this summer?

    I'll give you some more hints about school selection and ROTC scholarship competitiveness (this applies to both 4-year and walk-on situations). Public schools tend to have more scholarships these days - particularly for in-state students.

    You should also be in the top half (top quarter is even better) of applicants to a school. I'd say that unless you pull up that ACT score quite a bit, you should broaden your school list. The great thing about Ohio is that there are a lot of schools with AROTC units. They range from the most exclusive to the ones where you have very little competition for admission.

    Another advantage of being above average for the school you attend is that keeping a high GPA (a requirement for keeping your scholarship and critical for getting Active Duty upon commissioning) is probably a bit easier considering the competition. And every ROTC graduate from every school from Harvard down to the lowliest is commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant with the same pay and benefits. The Army does not care where you get your degree. They care about your grades, your physical fitness, your leadership (in and outside of your unit).

    Another thing that you should keep in mind when investigating school is that many state schools have a large percentage of their cadets going National Guard. Many have SMP scholarships. One thing to remember is that if you take state money (as opposed to federal money), the Guard has you - AD is not an option. There is SMP money that is Federal. There is a member who frequents this site (name starts with OhioParent - I can't remember how it ends) whose son is SMP at Ohio U IIRC. Definitely a better resource than I am in that department. Hopefully will see this thread and chime in.

    Keeping National Guard in mind, once you have a set of schools on your list, you will want to talk to the recruiting operations officer (ROO) to find out what their AD commissioning targets are per year and how most of their AD commissioning cadets join the unit. It might give you a clue as to whether they get many scholarships or whether walk-ons get scholarships.

    One last thing... You might also find out (if you are still interested in continuing and are competitive) about running x-country in college. ROTC units love varsity athletes - a bonus for getting ahead of your peers competing for advanced standing - and units work with coaches to minimize conflicts. Plus it is a great way to keep in top shape.

    So many things to learn about.
     
  7. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Patriot95: I don't know specifically how AROTC judges "leadership" but I am going to assume that Varsity team captain is not the only option. Seek out leadership positions in school, church, job (trainer, shift, etc). Start a club or organization. Start your own business (lawn cutting, etc).

    I offer this advice for you and anyone reading this post. THings like the above also help in your college application. If AROTC is more narrow focused, then it may not apply directly to your situation.

    All the schools you listed are private and very pricey. Higher ACT scores could bring financial aid (merit) at schools like that.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    A curiosity question. I know with AF, there is a min ACT to be deemed academically competitive to even meet a board. Does AROTC do this?

    If AROTC does do this, keep taking the ACT and SAT because at least for AF, you are way below the min (24).

    Did you take the PSAT? If you did add a 0 to the number and that would give you a ballpark of what you would get with the SAT i.e. 189 would convert over to about 1890. That formula was on the mark for all 3 of my kids when it came to their 1st SAT scores.
     
  9. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    My DS was at a 24 on his ACT. Studied and bumped it up to a 26. Even though he was accepted to the colleges he applied to, getting over that 25 score is a real plus and earned him a scholarship.

    In addition to applying for the national scholarships, check the colleges your interested and see what other campus based or non-rotc scholarships are available.

    In addition to leadership, participation in the clubs and activities is a plus, even JV athletics. Shows you are a team player. Activities and jobs outside of school are also important.

    As I and many others stated before, figure out which college is the best fit for you.
     
  10. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    To answer your question Pima, the answer is yes. AROTC's minimum ACT score is 19. ... I don't quite remember, but for a competitive score I think you need somewhere around 24 (but this was way back from last year .. I don't remember the exact number).

    +1
    This is definitely something to look into on your college search. For example, at some schools, if you tell them you received a scholarship, they may pay for your R&B - a free ride in a sense. Various schools have different policies; I know that at Penn State ... they are not a big fan of giving out any sort of financial aid out to anyone. Another example, at ERAU the PMS of the Battalion was able to work out a deal with ERAU admissions. This deal was specifically to address 3-year scholarship winners. He was able to make a deal with ERAU, that gave freshmen $25k in financial aid to help with college expenses (ERAU tuition is just over $30k) - but just for the first year until the scholarship kicked in soph. year. And on top of that, the remaining 3 years, ERAU will pay $5k of R&B (R&B is about $10k). Pretty nice deal if you ask me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  11. Nick0726

    Nick0726 Member

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    Patriot- What schools are you thinking of listing on your scholarship? I'm a junior in the same boat as you!
     
  12. Patriot95

    Patriot95 Member

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    Nick0726,

    I'm still not sure if I want to do AROTC yet, I'm heavily considering joining right after high school. I've met with a recruiter a couple of times and have all the basic paperwork completed and turned in.

    If I decide to do AROTC the schools I would be looking at are the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Miami Ohio, Louisville and Ohio University. My top choice would probably be UC.

    If you don't mind me asking, what are your stats, school choices and sports background?
     
  13. Nick0726

    Nick0726 Member

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    Patriot- I'm a junior in high school right now, I am starting the application process immediately after this year. I will be applying to North Georgia, VMI, IU, Purdue, and VT as a Cadet.

    I have a 3.85 GPA for my career, I'm in the top 20% of my class. I take the ACT Saturday and plan to do well.

    I was recently elected Secretary of my school's National Honor Society, I have lots of community service, and over 85 hours of internship at my local fire department. I also served as a church altar boy in middle school, and I'm a district placer in BPA (Business Professionals of America).

    I have a Varsity letter for tennis, along with 2 years of football and 1 year of basketball. I'm a part of my school's Muay Thai club. I also work out regularly and run local trail runs. I also will be getting a part time job this summer.
     
  14. Nick0726

    Nick0726 Member

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    How about you?
     
  15. gojack

    gojack ....

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    You must be close by, (Cincinnati) my son looked at the same schools, he is now 2nd year AROTC at University of Alabama.
    -Miami AROTC is hosted at Xavier, long commute.
    -DS did not like that UC's campus is largely empty on weekends
    Don't forget Warrant Officer School, my uncle was a CWO, he swore it was the best of both worlds
    http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/WOCC/recruiting.asp
     
  16. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    I'm not sure if it is too late (don't know what paper work you've signed), but please don't let "the recruiter" steer your decision. They are payed to get you to enlist TODAY. Talk to a ROO at your local state U (even if you aren't going there) to get a full range of options including ROTC. Enlisted recruiters are NOT necessarily there to help you evaluate ROTC. ROOs deal with enlisted every day and know (and will explain) the differences. They don't get a bonus for their numbers, so you are less likely to get a bias.
     
  17. Nick0726

    Nick0726 Member

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    Every recruiter I've ever talked to at school has said that ROTC is a terrible option for becoming an officer. I'm assuming they just don't know much about the program or are just after my signature, but I guess the basic question is do you want to lead or be led?
     
  18. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Not all recruiters are bad or have ulterior motives. I think goaliedad makes a good point. You have to weigh the advice you are given and bounce it off other sources who are not judged by how many people they put into boot camp.
     
  19. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Nick, "do you want to lead or be led" is really an uniformed position to take. I am sure you didn't intend it, but it is quite an insult to the professional enlisted man. Leadership in the armed forces just doesn't work like that.
     
  20. Nick0726

    Nick0726 Member

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    No offense MarineGrunt! I understand NCO's and other enlisted are leaders as well.

    I think most of the people on this forum understand the role of the Officer vs. the role of the Enlisted NCO. I think USMC Captain Nathaniel Fick said it best in the book "One Bullet Away":

    "I would say our relationship is this, Gunny Wynn's top priority as NCO was to ensure the well being of his men. My mission as Platoon Leader was to ensure we completed the mission."
     

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