AROTC Chances

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by sjprep13, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. sjprep13

    sjprep13 Member

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    I am under a lot of stress right now choosing where to complete my official interview. I am torn between Duke and Vanderbilt. Are my chances of receiving a scholarship better one school than the other? Do I have any shot at all or am I wasting my time? Please help. Any advice is appreciated.

    Also, when the First Board meets in October, does the PMS's at the schools I'm interested in have any say if I get the scholarship or not? Or is it all based off a point system?
     
  2. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    No, unless you have inside information about one Battalion having many more allocated slots than the other. However, see my answer to your third quesiton below... if a PMS likes you, his/her comments will be read by the scholarship board... so in that sense, if you connect better with one than the other, perhaps that is important. Beware however, not to choose a Battalion based on the quality of your interaction with the PMS. That PMS will likely be gone by the time you're a sophomore, or junior. They rotate in and out.

    Yes, you've got a very good shot. Whether you get into either school thorugh freshman admissions is a separate but important issue.

    I am not sure about this, but Clarkson and Marist will probably have some input to that question. It is certainly the case that the PMS can tell CC whom to NOT issue a scholarship to for their Battalion (bad interaction, etc.), but I think a PMS can also positively affect a file through the COMMENTS section of the PMS Interview form the PMS submits. A PMS can also positively affect the quality of your file by giving you advice on the process once you connect via email or in person.
     
  3. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    SJ - While having the PMS at your #1 school perform the interview is ideal, it certainly isn't necessary, and not worth delaying your application for. The PMS's comments form the interview influence the decision, but I don't believe it's more than that - Marist or Clarkson can shed more light on this for you.

    Not to burst your bubble at all, but what other schools are you applying to that also have AROTC? The valedictorian of my son's class, with a 4.4/33 ACT + all the overachiever ECs was rejected at both Vandy and Duke. He's attending UT as a Haslam Scholar.

    Not only is the Army is awarding fewer and fewer 4-yr scholarships to expensive private schools, but it's increasingly difficult to get accepted. Can your parents afford Duke or Vandy without the scholarship? Don't overlook your state flagship + honors program - most have good ROTC programs, and are an excellent alternative to expensive private schools.
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    These are all excellent points.

    I would add just a couple other things to keep in mind.

    Some battalions have some level of influence with admissions, others don't. The ultimate responsibility lies with the applicant to gain admission to the university. This board is filled each year with applicants that receive a scholarship but are denied admission to a school, they then start scrambling to get the scholarship transferred to a different school, not an easy thing to do. Some applicants are succesful and others are not.

    As Jcc said, scholarships are getting increasingly more difficult to get, the hardes are to the expensive and private schools, a lot of the these types of awards last year were 3 year scholarships. Plan your school list carefully, make sure you can gain admission to the schools you list.

    Another important thing to consider is the cost of the school. A wise PMS once told my son to make sure he can afford the school without the scholarship. There are a lot of things that can cause a scholarship to be pulled, if this happens you will be on the hook for everything that has been paid. The Army pays the rack rate at these schools, unless you have some merit scholarships to help off set the cost you would be required to pay back the highest rate the Army paid. This can come as a big shock and carry a big financial burden, just something to consider. The Army scholarship is unlike school and merit scholarships, if you mess up with a merit scholarship you just lose future payments, if you mees up with an Army scholarship you not only lose future payments but are required to pay back previous payment. The Army does have an option for enlistment to pay back the obligation but remember it is not your choice, the Army chooses for you. With the draw down and budget cutbacks, monetary payback is happening more these days.

    You get the first year as a trial run with no obligation, once you start your sophomore year you are on the hook, this is for scholarship cadets.

    This is in no way meant to scare or detour you in any way, just information so you can go into the process with eyes wide open.
     
  5. sjprep13

    sjprep13 Member

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    Thank you for all of the advice!!

    It gets very tricky in my situation because I plan on applying early decision to my #1 school. Since the ROTC application is due October 1, I will have to choose my #1 school before the Early Decision application is due (November 1). Nevertheless, I'll have the fear of getting a scholarship but getting rejected from the school OR getting accepted to the school without an Army ROTC scholarship which would devastate me.

    From what I'm told, my best shot would be to directly ask the PMS at my #1 school on September 30 if I will get the scholarship or not. If he says no, then I will ask my #2 school and so on. Hopefully if the answer is yes, he/she will be able to help me through admissions to the school if possible.

    I wish there was an easier way to go through this process!

    And I know Duke and Vanderbilt are reach schools but I would feel disappointed in myself if I didn't shoot for the stars. Other schools I'm looking at (still all fantastic schools) are West Point, Lehigh, and Michigan.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    ^ A few comments.
    Its ok to have reach schools, just make sure its a reasonable reach. It's OK to reach high but reaching for the stars is probably not wise.
    IMPO its not wise to apply ED to a school while applying for a ROTC scholarship. If your given a scholarship to your state's flagship and you get an ED acceptance at your favorite private, your chances of transferring that scholarship to the expensive private is virtually nil in these budgetary times. Of curse if you can afford the private on your own its not an issue and you can enter ROTC as a college programmer without the scholarship.
    Finally, make sure you can afford the school on your own. I can't emphasize it enough. Even if you don't owe money, you could decide ROTC is not for you that first year, or you may decide you just can't handle the demands of ROTC while carrying your academic load. In the case of AFROTC you might not be selected for SFT. Now your in the position of being at a school you can't afford... which is no fun no matter how you address it.
    Good luck. I hope all your dreams come true.
     
  7. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    whoever told you that isn't familiar with the procedure changes in 2009? with regard to ROTC High School Scholarsip awards. Starting in 2009, the allocation of scholarships was centralized in a National Selection Board. Each Battalion/Brigade no longer awards its own National scholarships. The PMS since 2009 (or was that 2008?) can't tell you if you will get a scholarship because it is not their decision. They don't know. It's like asking the court bailiff what your sentence will be... not his decision, it is the judge's (or jury's) decision.

    What the PMS CAN tell you is how they go about recommending scholarships to non-scholarship students enrolled in their Battalion ... but even then, they can recommend to Cadet Command, but a PMS doesn't have the authority to create the budget, or select scholarship awardees to fit that budget. Everything is centralized now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  8. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    No problem "shooting for the stars" with Duke and Vandy. However, Early Decision is a moral commitment to attend the school that admits you in mid December/early Jan. Early decision is not appropriate if:

    1) you are heavily dependent upon a Financial Aid award that is undetermined
    2) you are not completely sure of your choice
    3) your attending is contingent upon something else (ROTC award, spouse getting a job in that city, etc.)

    You can still apply, see what FA you get, but applying to those REACH schools is a separate issue from getting an ROTC scholarship.

    If your attendence at either is dependent upon you getting an ROTC scholarship, then I suppose you could apply, and hope you get both...the scholarship, and the admittance, to #1. But make sure you apply to a school you can afford without the ROTC, in case you don't get into Vandy or Duke, and you don't get the ROTC scholarship. YOu can alway join the ROTC battalion as a non-scholarship cadet, and then go from there... either go all four years without scholarship and commission as a 2LT anyway, or try to get a scholarship while you are in college.

    Also, it is impossible to know how Awards will be divided this year. When my DD applied in Dec. 2010, she was awarded two scholarship choices: 4 yrs. to our State flagship, or 3 Yrs. AD to an out of state Private college. She had already been admitted to the OOS private, so there was no uncertainty about admissions. However, she had not been admitted to the State flagship, and that was always 50/50 with her stats. In the end she was admitted to both, had ROTC offers to both, and selected the OOS private. However, out of first board in 2010, there were reports of ROTC awards that could be applied to as many as four or five schools. I've never seen that since.
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Your sure right about the choices from the current boards. My younger son applied Sept. 2010, he was one of those that received an offer from the first board, 5 schools were listed, all 4 year. There was a drastic change of direction on the following boards and last year as well. Those that receive 2 schools are now considered lucky, and they are not always the schools you think they would be either.

    Make sure you understand everything about ED, if you receive Ed at one of your dream schools but not the scholarship, a transfer chances are going to be very low and it will be hard to then accept admission to a different school once you have been selected ED. It can be a very tricky game.

    My son played it safe, he listed only schools he had a very high chance of admission and listed at least 2 schools he could afford without the scholarship, he would have been happy at any of the schools. That system relieved a lot of stress for him during the process.
     
  10. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Of the schools you have listed, only Lehigh is not a reach. All of the schools are considered higher cost schools and may very well be scholarship limited (even Michigan if you are OOS). You should have at least 1 in-state flagship type school on your list (or a low-cost OOS like Minnesota), because even though your stats may be high enough for the first board, they may not be the highest at the schools on your list which may result in your getting a scholarship offer without a school listed (it has happened the past couple of years IIRC). At that point you have to find another school with an open scholarship allotment to use the scholarship at.

    That being said, my advice as far as playing the ED lottery is to choose the school where YOU want to be given that the PMS and you seem to be on the same wavelength. You can only officially interview at 1 school, so you might talk to the PMS' now to get a gut feel as to which one you seem to click with better to select for the interview. You might also get an idea of whether they already have a long line of preferred interviewees (which could put you out of the running for the scholarship - they tend to green-light a couple for CC).

    Once you make and apply for that ED selection (by Nov 1 - shortly before you will hear about the October board if things go like last year), you can wait for the ROTC board result to see if you need to change your mind on the ED application (I am assuming here that you don't want to accept ED at a school you don't get the scholarship to). Check with the schools, but usually you can change an ED application to a RD application up to a couple days before they mail out the decisions. This give you an exit if say you apply ED to Duke and get the scholarship to Michigan or your in-state flagship.

    Last piece of advice, if you have time before school starts, visit both schools and talk to the PMS in person. Treat it like the interview, but know that if you don't hit it off with 1 PMS, it won't hurt you at the other schools on your list. Plus you should get a feel for these places before you are so far committed.
     
  11. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    My understanding is that ED schools keep an informal list published of those who apply ED, then decline their admission. It is my understanding that the (private) school the applicant picks in preferenace to the ED school will, upon learning of this, revoke the admission such a person. I don't know if this is hearsay, rumor, or whatever, but I have read it.

    What if you apply ED to Vandy, get in, then learn in February that the ROTC scholarship is awarded to Duke. Oh, but when you got into Vandy, you withdrew your application to Duke per the ED rules. So you didn't get into Duke, but you have an ROTC scholarship for use there. Now it's too late to resubmit to Duke, plus it breaks your ED agreement.

    You see, ED is something to be very careful with.
     
  12. gojack

    gojack ....

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    I just disagree with your most basic premise, ("shooting for the stars")
    I don't think just being accepted into a university where you will be going to class with students who have higher ACT scores than you is a great accomplishment. I also don't think a BA w/a 2.1 GPA from Duke gets you more respect, pay or better job offers than a BA w/a 4.0 GPA from SomestateU...Paying a huge amount is not a wise investment either. The more of a 'reach school' the higher the dropout rate. A school where you fit in is more important than the prestigious name.

    If you are actually interested in being a military officer, your actual GPA is very important, pick a good university where your ACT and GPA put you in the Honors program, study hard, graduate w/honors (or cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude)

    Army ROTC places a HUGE emphasis on GPA, but not on which University it's earned at.

    FYI: with your stats, you can get a real good academic scholarship, if you combine it with a ROTC scholarship, you could get a 'full-ride' scholarship LINK LINK2 And increase your odds of getting a ROTC scholarship as well.

    Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am with dunninla, ED is something you have to be 1000% sure you will attend without a scholarship. It is considered binding, unlike the ROTC scholarship, which is not considered binding.

    Have you visited the dets at every college? Talked to cadets at these colleges. Colleges have their own unique personal feel to each applicant, and you cannot assume that because you love the campus, you will love the unit.

    Many applicants spend more time worrying about the college with no regard to the ROTC portion than I have fingers and toes. They think ROTC is part time, 4-5 hrs a week, no biggie. They do not understand to be successful in ROTC, you will climb the ladder and with each yr spend more time with your ROTC peers than your academic peers. By your sr. yr it could be more like 20 hrs+ a week you are devoting to ROTC.

    Our DS's friends that he met in his freshman yr and hung out in the dorms with are all now acquaintances except 1. It is a slow change, but he is not the rarity, he is the norm. He made his decision on attending his college using multiple factors, some personal, some academic, but the biggest was ROTC. He felt the unit was the best fit for him.

    The best thing you can do if you can is visit the units, talk to the cadets without the folks around. Cadets are still kids, and they act differently with us parents in the room. These guys/gals will be your support system for the next few yrs to obtain your goal. The other bennie of doing this without the folks is what I say over and over again...you will walk the campus like any other college kid already there, you can imagine 1 yr from now your life. The folks with you walking the campus doesn't allow you that opportunity. Meet them at the SU or the bookstore at a pre-determined time.

    Right now you are wrapped up in the thrill of the future. You need to do everything possible to guarantee your success in the future. Trust me, 1 yr from today, be it Vandy, Lehigh or Duke, that thrill will be there. You will defend your college and your unit with every breath, BUT only if you made the right choice for yourself, and not based on the illusion that the colleges sold you with their great web pages, and campus tours.

    OBTW, I am +1 to everything gojack stated.
     
  14. NJDAD

    NJDAD Member

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    I can't add much to what has been said on the application process and there is much good advice here, but I would not dissuade the OP from striving for Vandy and Duke if they are his top choices (of course with suitable safe schools as back-up). The fact that his stats might be in the lower quarter of their admission profile does not mean that he would not perform very well at either of those schools.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I don't think anyone is dissuading him, at least for me, I am not. I am saying before you apply ED, visit the AROTC unit at each college.

    They should shoot for the stars IMPO. I just think that if they have not visited the schools and the units, but are relying on websites, it is just not a wise decision regarding ED, especially if they need AROTC scholarship to attend.

    ED is binding, like dunninla stated, they could get ED for Duke, but AROTC could give them Vandy. If they can't afford Duke, than their spring will be painful emotionally trying to figure out how to pay for Duke, and hoping in May AROTC will allow him to transfer the scholarship to Duke. That is @ 6 months.

    Now if AROTC scholarship is just gravy, and they can afford any college, go for ED to whatever college you want.
     
  16. NJDAD

    NJDAD Member

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    I agree with all you said.
     
  17. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I'm not trying to dissuade him either. Just pointing out that reaching for the unreachable is pretty foolish. I don't know the profiles for these schools, so OP needs to make a realistic assessment. Affordability is important. ED is chancy... too chancy for me, but everyone tolerated risk differently and a lot depends on how badly the scholarship is needed to attend his desired schools.
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    +1

    Don't do ED if you are banking on merit and ROTC. Be prepared to go ED with no aid except loans.

    Did I forget to say/stress +1
     
  19. hopeful2017parent

    hopeful2017parent Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    First off, let me say that these boards have been a godsend since my dd became interested in serving her junior year! Thanks to all for the helpful information and suggestions. We are not a military family, so has definitely been interesting learning about it. The military is a whole different world!

    I'm a little confused about ROTC scholarships being centralized in a National Selection board, which I'm assuming is the same as Cadet Command, as mentioned in the above quote.

    My DD just received a letter from the battalion we visited over spring break, and this is a direct quote:
    "If you applied to one of the above 9 schools (highlighted in bold) you may not receive a national scholarship offer for the future class of 2017 due to limited availability of these types of offers. Do not be discouraged, as we anticipate the majority of our scholarship offers will come in the form of campus based offers to the most qualified of applicants."

    So based on this, it sounds like there are scholarships other than national? Are they ROTC? from the school? Or am I mis-understanding the letter, which is a definite possibility. Can anyone help clarify this?

    The reason I ask is that her top choice, which is a private college, the PMS there has asked if she would be willing to do ED for that school, as he apparently "lost" 2 applicants to WP last year, and we think he would like to get her locked-in so that doesn't happen this year. Based on that, we were assuming he was the one to award the scholarship, but from what I've been reading, is not the case.

    Also, if this makes a difference, the letter we got is not from the same battalion she wants to apply to. They must have kept her name on file from when we visited.

    Thanks!
     
  20. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    There are two Scholarship types, one is the National 4 and 3 year scholarship that is awarded through Cadet Command. The other is a Campus Based Scholarship offered by the PMS and Brigade. The Campus Scholarship is school specific, it cannot be transferred to any other school.

    There have been several articles over the last year or so that has eluded to an increase in Campus Based Scholarships being offered in place of National Schaolrships. The articles cited the reason being the Battalion will have a chance to evaluate the cadets in person. Battalions may have an idea up front as to how many Campus Scholarships they have to offer, hopefully Carkson or Marist will read this and offer some insight.

    It is interesting that your daughter received such a letter, I haven't heard of any letters like this being sent out before, it could be a sign that more Campus Based Scholarships will be awarded this year.

    I would think that it is a very good sign that the PMS is communicationg their wishes regarding your daughter. From what you wrote it sounds like they would offer her the Campus Scholarship is she applies ED to the school, it is possible to get the full 4 year Campus Based Scholarship. The first thing I would do is have your daughter talk with them in more detail to find out the reality of getting one of their Campus Scholarships, she sure doesn't want to apply ED if there isn't a very high chance of getting the scholarship.

    One thing to remember, the Campus Scholarship is exactly the same as the National Scholarship, they both have the same benefits and value and have the same contract. The only difference as I said above is thet the Campus Scholarship is school specific and cannot be transferred, other then that, they are the same in every way.

    It sounds like the PMS is very interested in your daughter, make sure she keeps in contact with them and continues to convey her interest in the school and the program. Face to Face meetings if possible are always a good idea. Having 2 sons that have gone through this process we found that the continued contact was a big plus and showed the PMS a high level of interest.

    Best of luck to your daughter.
     

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