Based on these grades/qualifications should I enlist in the USAF or AFROTC?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Bitterguy, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Bitterguy

    Bitterguy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am 17 years old and a junior in highschool with a 3.5~3.7 GPA. I have not taken any honors courses but plan to take honors physics(college in highschool , CIH) next year along with Calculus AB(CIH). I will also be taking a CIH "Programming in Basic Projects" course as its the most helpful computer class I can take as I've already taken my schools java course and CIH html course. I am also a Cadet Senior Airman in Civil Air Patrol. This is my 3rd year in track (There is no formal "Track team leader" and I haven't been to districts). I am interest in both computer science and electrical engineering. This question is always on my mind but while I was leaning towards ROTC i was sitting in school and thinking if I really want to wait another 4 years until I'm actually doing something productive with my trade outside of just learning it. Also it dawned on me how much more expensive degrees are getting and how their value is deceasing which led me to wonder if enlisting would be a better option for the military experience at this point.
    I also received about an 80 on the asvab (it was at the beginning of the year and i lost my paper so I don't have my exact score)

    Option 1

    Option 2

    Option 3

    or as an officer

    Option 4

    Thank you in advance

    (Original post http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1cqsw2/based_on_these_gradesqualifications_should_i/)
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    Honestly, you should not place career options as your choice unless you are going enlisted.

    There will be 4 yrs of college or AFA life in front of you.

    ASVAB is not a test that the AFA or AFROTC cares about. You would take the AFOQT.

    For AFA apptmt oe AFROTC scholarship they are going to use your SAT or ACT score. Since you have not included them, we really can't give you any advice there.

    As far as the do I wait to start life, and cost of college. Well, I suggest you go to www.dfas.mil. If that is not enough to show you the disparity, look at 20 yrs. O5 which is not a fast tracker will make @8100 a month, an E9 (the big wig) makes @5300.

    An O1 with less than 2 yrs makes just in base pay @750 more a month than an E3 with 4 yrs.

    That is before you talk about non-taxable income like BAH (housing).

    As much as college is a debt, and for non-scholarship cadets, a lot of debt. They make it very quickly when they are 22 as an officer. Think about it, you can be that O1 live on the pay of an E3 with 4 yrs. and pay off about 9K a yr of the debt.

    They also give what is called a career starter loan to ROTC grads. Many cadets take it to consolidate their student loans. It is at a very low rate.

    You don't have to go to a fancy schmancy college that cost 40K a yr. You can go to your state college, live at home, if you don't get an HSSP, and re-apply the following yr for an ICSP. The debt would be at the end of the day...what maybe 45K in loans. Most colleges also offer 100% 0% int. financing through their college. I.E. School costs 15.500 fresh yr. Take a 5500 loan. That 10K can be spread across 8-10 months (depending on the school) int. free.

    There are options out there.

    OBTW, just so you know the AFROTC HSSP will only review 9-11 yrs. Nothing, except a new SAT score and the PFA will matter.

    They do not superscore. They take the best sitting.

    AFA does include 9-12, and does superscore.

    The two selection boards do not talk, and do not know the results from either board when or if selected.


    I have a ton of respect for enlisted members, but if the decision is based on college debt, and wanting to get in there now as an 18 yr old...go to college, and take the debt. I think you are buying into the website allure that the Public Affairs office created to get people to enlist. It's called MARKETING.

    Sit down with your folks and use that E2 budget of 1699 a month. Make a monthly budget, remove fed and state taxes, plus FICA, insurance, etc. Probably 1200 a month is what you will be left with. Now deduct car payments, car insurance and cell phone costs. Probably at on a good day 750 a month. Now gas money, and spending money(weekends). You are probably at 450 a mo. I have yet to address buying clothes to wear off duty or the latest X box. Let's say 100 a month. You are at 350. A new laptop...how many months do you have to save? Now you are stationed at Eilson AFB in Fairbanks, AK, and the family lives in Tampa Florida. The round trip airfare is probably @ 800. That means...3 months of saving to go home.

    Getting the picture? Life is very expensive, and it becomes very hard when you are constricted by finances. You will never be a millionaire as a military member, but it is much harder for enlisted, especially once you get married and start having kids. The difference between officer wives and enlisted wives. Officer wives that work do so because it is considered gravy or their desire. Enlisted wives usually have to work because finances are tighter.

    Think long run, not tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    First, I noticed that your first three options all require at least 15 hours of college credit. If you have those you might stand a chance to get into your desired fields as enlisted, but if not, you'll need additional college anyway. Not to disparage enlisted personnel, but if you like to follow (not strictly true) then this might be an appealing route if you obtain the additional college credits.

    However, you are on track for taking the appropriate courses in your senior year to stand a chance at getting a ROTC scholarship. You may not get one, and might also consider entering as a college programmer. It's true many degrees lack value today, but that's not true of a degree in EE or Comp Sci. BTW, for your desired fields I would recommend Comp Sci as being more broadly applicable to your desired military career interests. Additionally, if you like to lead and have broader input into designs and plans, I would definitely consider becoming an officer. Depending on where you are from and how competitive your congressional district is, you might even consider an application to the Academy.

    Hope this is helpful. My advice is worth what you paid for it. Others may have different advice. Good luck sorting this out.
     
  4. gojack

    gojack ....

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    2
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    Bitterguy,

    I think you are not giving enough credit to yourself.

    The AFA and AFROTC look at the whole package.

    They look at the school curriculum when they look at your rank, cgpa and course rigor.

    You don't need to be a student with 9 APs to get a scholarship, because if your school does not offer 9 APs, than they are not going to ding you for it.

    The AFA understands test anxiety. If you look at AFA appointments you will see some get prep because they had everything, the cgpa, the ECs, the CFA, but their SAT/ACT was low, and thus they were offered that 1 yr at prep.

    It is called the Whole Candidate Score for a reason.

    They want the well rounded cadet. Someone that is not just book smart.

    I would suggest you contact your reach school with AFOTC, and your safety (financial needs + admittance chance) NOW. You'd be shocked how showing interest can impact your life.

    Some colleges state if you apply early, you can get a better FA package than regular decision. Typically the close dates are no later than Nov/Dec.

    Some MOC districts are considered non-competitive, IOTW their stats can be lower than kids coming from states where the MOCs talk and between the 3 only offer 1 nom, and 1 nom to 1 SA, even if you listed every SA.

    Time to think in a broader perspective.

    What was your SAT/ACT? How many times have you taken them? Are you taking them again in May and June? Are you studying for them now? If they are low, use the summer and study. You have Sept., Oct and Nov., even Dec to get them up. Aim for 1280+...that is just above the avg for a type 7.
     
  6. Bitterguy

    Bitterguy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    My school does offer APs unfortunately I was never motivated enough to get to them until I was to far behind in order to bring my grade up to the 97% to advance to honors in order to take APs the next year. But my phyiscs course is harder than the AP course as the honors is more calc and heavy math based while AP phyiscs is trig based. I also forgot to mention that I have been in my highschool drumline throughout my highschool career. I didn't sign up in time for the last SAT so ill be taking mine in May. I got a 151 on the PSAT (we were told to add another 0 to Tue end of our score to get what our average score for the SAT should be) I also live in PA but want to go to Georgia tech for comp sci, how would the competitivness for those states be?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    Honestly,

    Sign up for also the ACT.

    For all 3 of my kids the PSAT score with the 0 was their 1st SAT score. Than again, they all hit 190-210 range, so I didn't have them study. If you are studying/practicing SAT tests you should be able to bump that score up.

    Sign up for the June test now. IOTW, by June you should have 2 SATs and 2 ACTs under your belt. Some kids do better on one test over the other. Come Aug. sign up for which one you are more proficient. It is BEST SITTING.

    AFROTC is not like A/NROTC. You compete nationally and the scholarship is tied to you and your major. You can take it to any college that you are accepted to that accepts AFROTC scholarships. Residency only matters for the SA in the beginning of the process.

    I.E. You live in PA apply to:
    PSU
    Drexel
    NCST
    VT
    GT

    They all accept you. You can take the scholarship to any of those colleges. Yet, there is another kicker...you get a type 7. That means unless the out of state (OOS) or private colleges will grant you in state (IS) tuition you would have to convert to Type 2 3 yr., and the 1st yr is on you.

    The other caveat is AFROTC does not take scholarship into account for SFT. Not picked up, and you banked on 4 yrs tuition, you could be in trouble financially if not selected at the end of your soph yr.

    You apply to the college for admission. Some talk to ROTC in their decision, some don't. Rule of thumb, don't bank on them talking!
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Unless you get a type 1, which is extremely competitive, going to Georgia Tech may be out of the question unless your folks have some money or GT offers in-state tuition or something to AFROTC cadets. See here for a description and restrictions on the scholarship types... the vast majority are type 7 I believe: http://afrotc.com/help-center/faqs/#q_2
     
  9. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    35
    This is the most critical element. Get yourself in a school where you can excel and be competitive with the others in your unit. Get yourself in a school you can afford with or without the scholarship. This give you the most options for going forward with a career in computers or EE.

    Outside of this term's grades and your SAT/ACT (take both - some folks do better at one than the other) your application is pretty well set in stone.

    If you get a scholarship, use it at a place where you will be the most competitive. And even if you don't get the scholarship, you will want to get some college under your belt to do these enlisted jobs and ultimately finish your 4-year degree.

    After 2 years in AFROTC (with or without the scholarship), you will know whether or not you are going to commission as an officer. That is when you will make your decision as to whether you will finish your degree and move on or enlist. It is waaaay toooooo early to know how things are going to work out. Your objective at this point is to give yourself the most flexibility (options) to get to the career closest to your dreams.
     
  10. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    37
    They do not.

    OP, check out GT's website about stats., these are 2 yrs old, but I don't think they've changed all that much from when I applied last year.

    Freshman Class of 2011 Profile:
    Applications - 14,241
    Admitted - 7,200
    Expected Freshman Class Size - 2,650
    Admit Rate - 50.58%
    Average GPA - 3.9 (weighted)
    Average SAT - 2042
    Average ACT - 30
    Female - 38%
    Male - 62%
    Minority - 41%
    Georgia - 60%
    Non-Georgia (including international) - 40%
    International - 9.85%


    It's pretty hard to get in, there are a lot of people that transfer in as sophomores b/c it's easier to get in that way due to the quality of competition strait out of hs. I know, pretty depressing to look at right? My GPA was higher than the adverage, but my SAT was 1000+ points under and I got in on early admission. Tips for getting accepted:
    - Apply for EA, the bulk of applications come in for Regular Decision so once your put in that pile, your chances plummet.
    - Study for your SATs and take them multiple times. I my hs told us the adverage amount a student improves by on the SATs was 9 pts per section, if that. My PSAT was about a 150, when I took the real one it went up to a 1700, on the retake I got a 1890. I improved by about 200 pts each time(each was sitting score not super scored). You know how? Bought an SAT prep book for math, did online practice questions, and practiced being a faster test taker. After you take it the first time, it is no longer an ability test, it is an achievement test. If you actually take the time to study and work on time management during a test, you can improve dramatically, just take it seriously.
    - Take however many college level courses you can. The SATs are just to predict how we'll you will do in college:rolleyes:. If you take classes at a college, it subsidizes lower test scores since you've already proven you can do well. Doing that really helped my application.
    - ECs! GT wants well rounded people. It's good to have sports, clubs, musical background, etc. National Honors Society is a big one. They love diversity, but not diversity in a racial sense, in more of a...life experience sense. There are so many international students here, walking on campus you'd think they made up half the student body, which they may actually. Seriously, maybe every 3rd group I pass on campus walking to classes is speaking a foreign language. We have a ton of athletes, music people(which is interesting since we don't offer a music major), any type, we have them.
    - Write a good essay. Let someone you trust to give you quality feedback read over it, don't just write and submit in one setting.

    We have a great CS program. You should definitely apply, for GT and for AFROTC HSSP. You have all the foundations needed to get accepted to both, just work hard to bring up your SAT scores and do well in those College classes. Your ECs listed are pretty similar to my main ones and i got a scholarship, except my sports were tennis and volleyball. The value of a college degree is definitely not depreciating, if anything, the bar is getting higher, you need more education to qualify for most jobs now. It's becoming so that a Masters is more the standard in some fields. Don't count yourself out just yet, you have just enough time to make all of this happen if you really want to.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    I agree.

    Just to add to goalie. If you decide in 2 yrs to go enlisted if not picked up, most likely they will bring you in at a higher enlisted rank, and that works for you regarding pay.

    I get wanting to start living your life in your career dream as soon as possible.

    I get it. HOWEVER, you are 18. Think of it this way when you were 14 was this your dream career, or as your post stated you were recently bitten by the bug? If so, can you say definetively you will want to be in it 2 or 4 yrs from now?

    Do you understand how many students change majors once in college because what they thought as a hs student is not what they are living as a college student?

    College, you can back out after a yr. because you can tweak those credits without delaying your degree. Don't assume when you enlist the same is true.

    College kids have a hard time adjusting as freshman...1st time away from home, communal living, etc. Enlist and add in pcsing to Germany when you are 19.

    I am all for enlisting, but IMPHO, I don't think you want to enlist. I think you are thinking this is a good plan B with no scholarship. Going to a CC and participating in AFROTC, paying for college with a part time job at Olive Garden is just as good of a plan if it is a fiscal issue. You can transfer to a school with the same det., 2 yrs later and your debt will be very low.

    Think outside of the box, before you commit yourself for a reason, such as I want to start living my career, or the debt. There are many viable options that will result in obtaining your dream.

    If you want to enlist, than do it. Use TA and get your degree at the same time because you don't know, 4 yrs from now you might not like the cyber world or the AF and want to leave. Your enlisted experience + the undergrad degree will make you very competitive.

    Caveat...please go back to dfas.mil., and try to figure out how you will pay 250 every 8-9 weeks for classes before books, with TA and live life. Don't get a GF, because us girls are more expensive than you think!:shake:
     
  12. Thompson

    Thompson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    43
    ....... umm, are you sure about this? Did your teacher specifically say this, or did you hear this from a peer? Because that makes no sense whatsoever. Honors is traditionally trig-based, and AP is calc-based ... 110% certain, as I am taking it right now. AP Physics is also notoriously known as the hardest course in the state of PA, which it is. I highly doubt that a teacher will deviate from the standards set by College Board. You may want to double check this.

    I do not know if this is possible, but you may be possible to take AP courses and bypass the requirements if your school has some sort of "override" policy. At my school, when a teacher recommends a student a specific course, the student can circumvent the teacher's decision by having their parent sign off on the override. Check with your guidance department if you are really interested in taking AP courses.
    Penn State is a fairly priced school (IS for that matter). Penn State also has a really solid College of Engineering across all disciplines. I do not know what all opportunities there are for co-op/internship & research for Comp Sci/EE specifically, but there are plenty of opportunities across the board if this is an interest to you. Det 720 is a strong Det as well; out of the current 200's that went up to the board, 17/18 got slots to SFT.

    Also for standardized testing, if money is an issue, the ACT does offer a No-Writing version of the exam for $15 less.
     
  13. hill82

    hill82 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Non Ducor is correct about the competitiveness of GT. The latest stats:
    2013 GT Acceptance Rate
    2013 Total Applicants -17,663
    2013 Accepted - 6,954
    2013 Denied -7,709
    2013 Wait-Listed -2,610
    2013 Early Admit Rate - 57.00%
    2013 Regular Admit Rate - 18.00%
    2013 Overall Admit Rate - 39.37%
    2013 Average SAT 2150
    2013 Average ACT 30

    In addition, I believe they just went to the common app for next year which will not necessarily raise the stats of the accepted applicants, but will definitely raise the number of applicants.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    One thing to remember also is most IS colleges also by law they will only accept X% of OOS applicants. For example VT will only accept 30% from OOS per class.

    State colleges do this because parents get mighty ticked if they are paying state taxes to fund the college and than their kid can't get in because they are taking OOS students.

    I know this is true for MD and NC too. If GT is this way, unless you have a hook, expect the stats to be even higher than posted as an OOS applicant.
     
  15. Bitterguy

    Bitterguy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    What's the differnce between the hssp and the other scholarship. What do iotw and sa stand for? And the physics teacher came up to me and said that because I didn't do to well on the AP screener. prereq for the AP is trig and the pre req for Honors is calc, it even says that ap is trig based in the course description, Idk why it seems bassackwards to me too. Psu was my choice for a backup the only thing I heard is that average sat for getting accepted to main campus as a freshman is 1800. I don't have the money right now to sign up for another sat let alone a prep book, ill search around for freebies. Although I am signed up for the SAT question of the day and haven't missed a day yet.

    I was discussing things with my dad (former enlisted in the navy, nuke tech) and he was fellng me while the pay grade would be better I would just be shufflng papers until I got out of the AF, theyll put me in whatever spot they need me in thats more than likely not related to my field and wouldn't get to use my skills until I entered the civilian world. Whilst if it is still true I would only have to pay my dues if I absolutely despised the work I get.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    Make an apptmt with your Guidance counselor this week.

    If it is a fiscal issue see if the school district has a program to pay for SAT/ACT. Discuss with them what people mean by school profile regarding transcripts. If you are unfamiliar with Naviance, ask them to show you it.

    As for what is the difference between HSSP and other scholarships, such as ICSP, I suggest spend sometime on www.afrotc.mil website so you understand the system. We are here to support and guide, but researching on your own will help you more than you know instead of us doing the work for you.

    SA= Service Academies...i.e AFA.

    Bottom of the home page is community feedback forum. There is a link/sticky for all of the most common acronyms on this forum. http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=11568
     
  17. homewith4

    homewith4 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is possible to get put in a career field that is not related to your major. Needs of the AF come first. An accounting major could end up in public affairs and media studies grad could end up in finance. But, IMO you will not be "shuffling papers". If you do well in college/ROTC you have more say in which career field you end up working in.
     
  18. MSFaygo

    MSFaygo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bottom of the home page is community feedback forum. There is a link/sticky for all of the most common acronyms on this forum.

    OMG - thanks for the link!
     
  19. SoleTrain

    SoleTrain Must be the Kicks

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    I faced the same decision after high school. Me and 7 others decided we wanted to join the military. I went ROTC, they all chose to enlist.

    I always thought it was cool they enlisted, it's a great path, and I told em all personally how much I respect them for it.

    As they all came back from their branches respective boot camps over the course of my freshmen fall semester, I didn't get that respect back. 2 of em, my closest friends, respected me for it. The other 5 talked about how stupid ROTC was and how I should've enlisted like they did.

    Over a year later 3/5 of em have told me about they wish they took the officer path (or that they intend to in the future).

    Just my experience.
     
  20. Packer

    Packer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    5
    What do you want to do? I get the impression you would like to do the ROTC or SA route. If that is true, then get after it. Give it your best shot. All they can say is no and all you will be out is time and some $ for SAT/ACT tests. The enlisted route can be your plan B. Do not sell yourself short.
     

Share This Page