Army ROTC vs. Air Force ROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by brandons, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. brandons

    brandons Member

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    Hi - my son is very interested in both Army and Air Force - his career goal is Mechanical Engineering. He is a rising senior and will begin completing the scholarship application online next week. He has a 28 ACT (34 Math), 3.8 GPA, Eagle Scout, track team athlete, Mission work trips, and is Section Leader of his Marching Band. We are working on trying to get his ACT up to 30 the next time he takes it.

    A couple of questions:

    1) The perception I have is that Air Force ROTC scholarships are more difficult to get if for no other reason than there are fewer spots. Is that accurate?

    2) It seems like all Army ROTC scholarships are full, but it seems like more than 50% of the Air Force scholarships are not full scholarships. Is that right?

    3) Based on his scores, etc, I believe his best chance to possibly qualify for a scholarship (recognizing that nothing is guaranteed) is the Army scholarship. Would you agree with that? When we met with an Air Force ROTC officer, he seemed like they are mostly selecting from valedictorians who are also football captain, etc.

    4) We are from Missouri - he will list Mizzou as one choice. For the rest of his choices, is he better off selecting schools close to Missouri or does that really matter? In other words, is there a strategy involved in which schools to select? (We are not looking at ones which academically are out of reach). We are looking at Oklahoma State, Alabama, and others and recognize a "safety school" or two may be needed.

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Hi Brandon,

    As for the AFROTC scholarships...

    It's in fact more than 50% that are not full rides. I believe they publish that something like 85% are "Type 7" that pay in-state tuition rates only (plus book stipend).

    And I do believe the average AFROTC recepient has some pretty impressive academic achievements (ie tougher than Army). That being said, my DS who only had mid 600 SATs was awarded a Type 7 this year due to the other parts of his package. So don't rule it out.

    And I believe some folks are saying that KEEPING the AFROTC sholarship can be hard too with fewer slots for the summer training required between Soph and Jr year.

    On the bright side... It's Air Force rather than Army he would commission into. :wink: Seriously, one of the nice advantages of AFROTC is that it is school agnostic. In other words, he can go where he wants; it's not awarded to a school slot.

    More info here http://www.afrotc.com/help-center/faqs/students/scholarships

    Good luck!
     
  3. brandons

    brandons Member

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    Thank you very much! If anyone else has an additional perspective, I would appreciate it! Thank you again. Just trying to achieve the combination of helping my son achieve what he wants and also maximize the prospects of qualifying for a scholarship.
     
  4. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    PIMA is the resident expert on AFROTC. Hopefully she will offer her insight to your questions soon. Good luck and strap in... your in for a fun ride either way.:thumb:
     
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    It is true the AFROTC scholarship can be taken to any school but be aware of one thing. If the scholarship is a Type 7, it is for in state, if they want to take that scholarship to an out of state or private, they will need to switch it to a type 2 that covers 3 years I believe. Make sure you research all the in's and out's of the AFROTC process.

    The biggest thing is what does your son want to do. The difference between the AF and the Army is pretty big, in both mission and lifestyle, which does he prefer.
     
  6. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    As for the question of whether 50% of AFROTC scholarships are not "full-ride", that depends entirely on where the recipients of type 7 scholarships decide to apply their scholarship. Many type-7 recipients stay in state, I did, in which case it does constitute a full ride. So in reality the percentage full ride AFROTC scholarships is much higher. If your DS is interested in going to a school where he qualifies for IS tuition, any AFROTC scholarship would be a "full ride".

    That being said he should still apply for AFROTC. The AF likes well rounded individuals, my SAT scores were average, but I had a lot of other qualities that made me a competitive, well rounded candidate. I'd say your DS has a good chance at a scholarship from either Army or AF.
     
  7. brandons

    brandons Member

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    I believe he would most likely like to have an Engineering job in the service (Mechanical/Aerospace/Electrical) although if not selected for that would likely be happy with a different job. He is color blind so we have been told he would not be able to be a pilot. He also would strongly prefer to go to a school outside of our home state, Missouri, to see a different part of the country. Does Air Force tend to have more potential Engineering jobs available, if selected, than Army does?
     
  8. brandons

    brandons Member

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    Thank you very much!
     
  9. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I can't figure out where this "50% not full ride" is coming from. AFROTC scholarships pay all tuition and fees but not R&B.
    Type 7 = Full Ride to any school that will charge you in-state tuition.
    Type 2 = Pays Tuition and fees up to $18,000 at any school. So may or may not be a full ride depending on your school choice. Also may be offered for only 3 years.
    Type 1 = Full ride anywhere

    Full ride being defined as full tuition and fees only.

    Great Math ACT score helps a bunch.
     
  10. brandons

    brandons Member

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    OK - thank you - that is very helpful. Yes, he has taken the ACT 3 times - he got a 34 on Math once and a 34 on Science once - however, his best composite so far is 28. Should we send all scores to Air Force or Army ROTC or just the ACT with the best composite score?
     
  11. Packer

    Packer Member

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    For a junior officer their are more potential Engineering jobs in the AF. In the Army, it seems most engineering jobs for Officers don't become available until one is at O3 and above. Also most engineering jobs in AF and Army are going to be more on the project management and Maintenance and Operations side of engineering and less on the design/development number crunching side of things.
     
  12. brandons

    brandons Member

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    Thank you. This information is very helpful!
     
  13. Packer

    Packer Member

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    AFROTC does not super score but I believe Army ROTC does. I would send them all as even though AFROTC does not superscore they will take the test that gives you the most points. I do not believe all sections of the ACT are equally weighted and since we don't know the weightings it can be difficult to know which ACT score is actually the best. I am lead to belive that the math portion of the ACT receives the most weighting.
     
  14. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    AFROTC is best sitting score, not superscore. So AFROTC will take the best composite you've gotten in one sitting, but I believe Army, like Navy, will pick the best score you've every gotten in each section and put it together.

    Edit: X-posted with Packer.
     
  15. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The Army does superscore the SAT and ACT for their scholarships. For the Army, send in all the test scores and they will take the best from each section to arrive at a composite score.

    The Army is now holding a certain number of Engineering and Signal Corps Branch slots for those that major in certain engineering fields. AROTC also give up to 1 point extra to the cadets OMS for certain engineering majors.

    One thing to consider is that it is possible to get either a 4 year or a 3 year Scholarship for AROTC.
     
  16. brandons

    brandons Member

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    Great - we would be thrilled if he qualifies for either the 3 or 4 year. Good to know the additional information with the Army, too. Thank you very much!
     
  17. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    One other thing to note between AF and Army. If you do commission AF, you commission into active duty. Whereas in the Army, you have the option to commission into the National Guard/Reserve should he not want active duty.

    As others have said, AFROTC - the scholarship is not school dependent. Whereas the Army's is - this means that when he considers school choices, he should make sure he applies to schools that are within his reach. Cadet Command's scholarship awarding process is not dependent on whether you get accepted to the school - that is up to your son to ensure.

    I would recommend, over the summer, visiting some schools he is interested in and visiting the programs there. This way, he has a feel for what each program is like, and also that school's specific program as well.

    There are pros and cons to both AF and Army programs. It is up to your son to decide which of these pros and cons matter to him.

    I was a lot like your DS too back in the winter, deciding between Army and AF, for engineering. I was on the lower end of ACT scores like your son; but I ultimately decided on Army. If you have any questions, feel free to post here - or PM if you want.

    Also, check out this link, you and your DS may find this helpful: AROTC/AFROTC interview tips
     
  18. brandons

    brandons Member

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    Awesome - thanks.
     
  19. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I assume that your son will be applying to both AFROTC and AROTC. Remember, if he receives one of the scholarships early on, make sure he accepts the scholarship while he waits to see if he is awarded the other, then he can make his decision and at that time decline the scholarship he decides not to use.

    One of the biggest differences between AFROTC and AROTC is in how the program works.

    In AROTC once he signs his contract he just needs to meet the requirements of his contract and he will keep the scholarship and commission. Every cadet in good standing will go to LDAC, there is no board or selection process.

    In AFROTC he will have to go before another board to be selected to go to SFT the summer after his sophomore year, if he is not selected he will most likely lose the scholarship and be dropped from the program, there are options but I'll let others explain those.

    Thompson brought up a great point.

    If your son completes AFROTC and commissions he will be guaranteed Active Duty with no option to go reserves.

    AROTC does not guarantee Active Duty, it will depend on where your son is on the National OML after LDAC. It will also depend on how many officers they need in Active Duty that year. If your son falls below the number needed for Active Duty he will be forced Reserve/NG. In AROTC the cadet also has the option to choose the Reserves or National Guard if they want, AFROTC does not have this option.

    Just a couple more things to consider.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  20. Packer

    Packer Member

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    All great and important distinctions.:thumb:
     

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