Best Chance for Flight Assignment: ROTC at Embry Riddle or VA Tech

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by hockeypals, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. hockeypals

    hockeypals Member

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    Hi,
    My son is a rising high school senior and is planning on applying for AFROTC and NROTC scholarships. He is a student pilot and will be ready to take his check ride in August when he turns 17. He wants to fly for the military. He is interested in VA Tech Corps of Cadets and is very interested in Embry Riddle ROTC. He wants to major in aerospace engineering.

    Does anyone have any information about which school would have the best chance to get a flying slot after graduation, assuming he does well at either school? Is either school considered to have a better aerospace engineering program?
     
  2. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 Member

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    http://det157.com/
    "Detatchment 157 (Embry Riddle, Daytona Beach) is the largest source of pilots for the Air Force with the exception of the Air Force Academy."

    Since it's such a big decision, I'd encourage your son to deeply look into both schools and programs and also be prepared for not gaining a pilot slot.

    I'm heading down to the Daytona campus this fall as a Freshman, and I plan on being a pilot as well. In recent years I've started to consider flying a chopper for combat search and rescue (CSAR) but my main focus and hope is on being a fighter pilot right now. CSAR has been a growing interest of mine though.

    Embry Riddle has a great aerospace engineering program, but I honestly don't know how it compares with VT. I'm doing meteorology.
     
  3. hockeypals

    hockeypals Member

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    Thanks!
     
  4. Big Red

    Big Red Member

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    I was accepted to both schools on an AFROTC scholarship for the class of 2014, also majoring in aerospace engineering. The latest statistic I have heard is that ERAU is ranked 1st in the nation among aerospace engineering programs that grant undergraduate degrees, while VT is ranked 10th.
    I traveled to both schools before accepting an offer of admission to find out more about the universities' academic programs and ROTC detachments, and can honestly say that this played the single most important role in my choosing a college. I was very impressed with VT, their engineering program, and the Corps of Cadets/ROTC, although left Virginia still believing that I would attend ERAU (mostly due to that #1 ranking). While ERAU showed off their program on accepted students day, I left feeling somewhat disappointed in the feel of the school, especially after visiting VT. I also realized that I did not want to go to a school with all students so focused on one area of study (although, this could be seen as a positive quality). Both ERAU and VT are great schools, and choosing either would be a great decision. I do not wish to sway your mind in either way, I am just letting you know the impressions each school made on me and my eventual decision to attend VT and join the Corps of Cadets for the class of 2014 .
    In 2009, ERAU's pilot selection rate out of AFROTC was 68% (http://det157.com/pdf/brochure.pdf) while VT's was 80% for rated slots, which includes pilots, CSO's, and ABM's (http://www.af.vt.edu/DVD/Handouts/1_VTAF_Handout.pdf). Over the past six years, VT has had an 85% selection rate, compared to the national average of 67%.
     
  5. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Good! Any idiot can fly an airplane.:thumb:
     
  6. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    What happened to the second part which is even more true? "An airplane flies itself".

    Didn't recognize the term CSAR even though I have done it actual so your initial post went right over my head. I was about ready to post the obvious when the light bulb went off.
     
  7. CronusMom

    CronusMom Member

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    I agree with Big Red. Our son was accepted at both VT and ERAU (NROTC scholarship to study aerospace eng -- possibly wants to fly, not sure yet). VT and ERAU were his first and second choice universities (also applied USNA). We visited each, and he liked them both for a variety of reasons. Each has a GREAT aero program, but ultimately, the Corps of Cadets is the only way to go for our son.

    Hockeypals, your son will have his chance for flight with either school depending on how well he does over the course of his 4 years in the program, but the slots are limited. VT and ERAU are very different, and after visiting both, I think he will know which is a better overall fit. That best-overall-fit school will be the right choice to help him reach his goal.

    See you in 2 weeks Big Red!
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Big Red, I am glad you pulled the stats up because that is an important factor.

    ERAU likes to tout that it gives out the most pilot slots after the AFA. However, what they didn't say was that they have the highest statistical chance of receiving a slot after the AFA. The size of the det needs to be taken into consideration, large dets can hurt as much as they can help.

    I agree that you need to visit the campus, talk to the det., feel it out. I am typically not a visit the campus parent, but these are night and day campuses and locations. Tech is out there, the town exists because of Tech. ERAU is not that situation at all.

    If snow bothers you, just imagine marching in it at O'dark thirty! You will hate Tech by the time tulips start blooming. If you hate the heat and humidity than you won't be a happy cadet at ERAU.

    College is more than just the det., there are many cadets that leave their college because they did not look at the big picture, they only looked at the det. They will not be living, eating and breathing the corps 24/7. They will also be a traditional college student, only difference is when they enter as a freshman they know they will be employed as soon as they graduate.

    Look at the campus, walk around and then approach which one you want.

    My pet peeve is when people ask where do I have a better chance for flight school. The question should be which one will make me a better officer.
    Unless you are psychic you can't know that you will get a pilot slot at either of these schools. Allow me to give some scenarios, and some real AFROTC facts right now.

    1. Your child goes off to college. One weekend he is playing ultimate frisbee and breaks his leg that requires pins. This will cause him to get re-evaluated by DODMERB, and if the break is severe, they can say he is Pilot Qualified, but not ejection seat qual. That means fighters are out of the picture, and when the selection board meets they may say why give him a pilot slot, we already know he is limited in the planes he can fly.

    2. He enters either school, but the engineering program is harder than he thought, add on his ROTC duty and Corp duties, his gpa is at 2.95 overall as he enters his spring semester soph yr. This yr., our DS is going to summer training, approximately 1/3 of the cadets at his det did not get it, his det is relatively large as seen from the national level. Everyone of those cadets had a gpa under 3.4. This might seem like nothing because it is only summer training. NOW realize that when they go to the selection board a 3.3 gpa is great, but the lack of summer training is sending a blaring signal to the board. It says the earlier board already decided that they didn't make the cut when compared to the others because he did not go to Summer Training.

    3. AF is going through a RIF (Reduction In Forces), they have even announced that there will be no OTS for the immediate future. The way UPT works is the first people to get slots are the AFA cadets, then ROTC, then OTS. Currently, AFA cadets are waiting up to 9 mos for their school slot. That means the pipeline is slowing down.

    I know I sound like Janie Raincloud, but I think it is important to not only weigh the universities, the det, and the overall program, but to understand you should never go this route with the only intention of becoming a pilot. The intention should be to become an Officer and serve in whatever capacity that the USAF needs me to serve in.

    We were in your shoes 3 yrs ago. As parents we want to help them obtain their dream, but we were AD military and Bullet was flying the Strike Eagle as a ROTC commissioned officer, so we also knew the difficulty of getting there. We really impressed upon our DS that he needed to be realistic about his chances for UPT AND GETTING FIGHTERS. We wanted him to have an AF back-up plan if it didn't occur, because whether he got UPT or not he would be serving 5 yrs AD (active duty).

    One last piece of advice, meet with the det. leadership, ask him/her to give their stats about UPT slots for the past several yrs. and what is his opinion of why the others didn't get a slot. Ten will get you twenty, it will be their EC's, gpas or need for a waiver. In our DS's det., they have a 95% acceptance rate for the past 5 yrs. IF the cadet carries a 3.2, went to summer training, had leadership positions within the det and also belonged to an Air Force fraternity, they got UPT. Your son can't go in thinking that all he has to do is maintain his gpa for the scholarship and show up at ROTC to get a slot. He needs to also be involved with ROTC.

    Best of luck and wishes...GO AIR FORCE!

    OBTW, if you can't visit Tech, just watch a Harry Potter movie, the campus looks like Hogwarts:shake:
     
  9. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Best Chance

    Eagle I is correct. Embry Riddle is a great school.


    RGK
     
  10. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    IMHO there is a very good chance that by the time the class of 2015 finishes their sophomore year (and goes to Summer training) this particular Air Force RIF will have run its course and adjusted the projected manpower levels. Many of the current rising college juniors entered the AFROTC when the selection process was easier and there were more scholarships than what is available today. I wouldn't expect the Air Force to reject anywhere near a third of the 2015 class for Summer training as they will have already reduced their numbers by limiting scholarships and entry into the AFROTC program.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree, but at the same time disagree.

    Yes, I think that 12 had alot more scholarship recipients than they needed and this is how they will weed through. Months ago there were threads about "I didn't get a summer training slot what does this mean?" DS's commander stated in his 4 yrs as a Det commander he never saw an acceptance rate this low nationally as he did this year.

    Not one cadet that accepted in 08 thought that the AF was going to reorganize. I highly doubt that a 15 recipient believes they will walk in thinking that either.

    There have been RIFS for yrs., and always targeted towards specific yr groups and fields. Without muddying the waters, that is due to mandated Flag/Field/Company ratios and the position.

    I disagree, unless you can tell me you are on the CSAF strategic manpower planning that it will be back to pre-RIF levels. Neither, you or I can say that it will be. We CAN guesstimate, but that's it. We have no internal knowledge that the AF expects to open up the pipeline by 15. I am a HOPE FOR THE BEST, BUT EXPECT THE WORST. 3 yrs ago, nobody imagine that their child would have to fight for summer training, but they did. 5 yrs ago nobody envisioned that 3 mos prior to graduation as a ROTC scholarship recipient that the AF would say Buh-bye, you will not be commissioned because your gpa was 2.8, but they did. I believe that we need every cadet, and every parent to understand the road may twist or turn, just because you got the scholarship, doesn't mean you will get your dream career in the service.

    This goes back to me saying, you need to have a direct, honest and open conversation with your child about What IF?

    What IF you don't get a scholarship...do you still want to go military?
    What IF you get injured and lose your chance to compete for a pilot slot?
    What IF they don't give you a wavier?
    What IF you can't keep the gpa for the scholarship?
    What IF they don't give you UPT, do you still want to serve on a boat, tank, or air strip for at least the next 5 yrs?

    My personal story we asked DS if money was not an issue, what would you do? He stated he would go to the college he is at in ROTC. At that point we called the ball and placed a deposit at the Bursars before any of the other schools responded.

    We may not want to acknowledge this, but kids are aware of the cost, and it does play into their decisions. We lose sight of this as parents. Many of us had opened mutual funds, or bought bonds to pay for college and this is a perk if they get one, yet to them they may think that it is needed for them to go. Some of us need the scholarship to help pay, and this seems like a good deal. It isn't if that is not the life they want for themselves.

    The best cadet IMHO, has answered all of these questions, and as parents we should remember that a 17 yr old is more idealistic than their 40-50 something parent, who is realistic about the fact that this is going to be 9 yrs of their life, or in other words, 1/2 of what they have already lived.

    Aglages, If I am correct you are in a very unique situation, you are on child #2 in as many yrs. By the time you are done...you will be the GO TO MAN, because you will be the most current on both AFROTC and AFA.

    My goal has always been directed to the fact that candidates understand, we want you to get your dream, we will do everything to assist you in obtaining it, BUT, as a candidate you need to understand the path is long, it will twist and turn, and not everyone gets their dream...what will you do if you aren't one of them? Do you have that back up plan?

    BTW back on topic Tech or ERAU you will have a great ROTC experience.

    One thing I would like to stress and I am sure Aglages will agree, AFROTC scholarships are very competitive. You should not think it is a given. In 07/08 the majority of posters got a Type 7, last yr was the first I ever heard about getting only 2K a yr. and many candidates if they were born earlier would have gotten more. A lot has to do with the economic downturn AND the AF downsizing. It is also important to understand that AFROTC scholarships are PLAN B for many AFA candidates. (SAME is true for ANY SA candidate). You should not rack and stack yourself just against ROTC applicants, but also against SA applicants. PAY close attention to submitting the best application that is possible. This is not the time to omit anything from your hs resume, because you are competing NATIONALLY.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  12. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Pima: As (almost) always I am in agreement with your opinions and sage advice. My family and I will always be grateful for the suggestions and insight you provided for our daughter last year.
    Perhaps I didn't express my opinion clearly. I have no knowledge or expectation that the Air Force will ever resume manpower levels at the pre-RIF level. My opinion is that they (AFROTC) have lowered the number of personnel entering the AFROTC program to a number that is consistent with their CURRENT RIF projections. Therefore, in 2/3 years when this fewer in number cadets reach the end of their sophomore year in college (and are eligible for Summer training) there will not be the over abundance of applicants that the 2012/2013 class is experiencing.
    Absolutely. Although my knowledge is second hand while you and your husband have lived it. As you have said many times, your first priority should be to want to become an Air Force Officer and career choice is secondary.
    By the time I am done, I may not have the funds to continue my internet service. :wink: Considering how much changes from year to year in the ROTC and SA application process, unless I had a third child (which thankfully I don't) going through the process next year, my information will probably be outdated.
    I couldn't agree more. Last year was my first experience and I will definitely say it was traumatizing. I am in awe of some of the academic credentials of students that did NOT receive an AFROTC scholarship. Clearly the Air Force has the luxury of selecting those with great academic records and OTHER assets.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Aglages,

    I think we both agree what is the most important factor is that as posters(parents) who have walked the path we hold the next class's hand and let them know we get it. Sometimes, our posts may seem harsh, but it is done with pure intentions. We want everyone to know WE REMEMBER every fear, every concern, every what if, and that they may not believe it, but they too will survive!

    Start telling yourself over and over again...this is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Some of you will meet boards and be deferred to the next board, and the next. The first results, will not come out until Oct. and the last come out in April/May. In other words we are saying 10 months from now!

    Buckle down, and just know if you want to ask questions, vent, complain, etc. many of us have walked that road and did the exact same thing on this site. The military is a unique community, that is why no matter the branch we all create a circle around you to be your landing spot.

    Best wishes, thoughts and hopes to the class of 2015!
     
  14. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 Member

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    I just wanted to expand on this sentence for those who will soon be submitting applications.

    My scores throughout high school were about average, with some things better and some worse (particularly math - that class definitely didn't do me any favors other than teaching me to never stop working hard - at least I passed. If I ever slacked off I certainly wouldn't have...).

    The point I'm making is that it's just not grades that'll do it for you - as I'm sure you're all already aware, but I want to stress it even more. It is important that you do your very best and seek help the second you start falling behind in academics, but out of school activities are also a big plus.

    For me personally I think 5+ years as a member of the Civil Air Patrol was a major factor on my resume. I put the positions I've held, the ground team quals I hold, major events (particularly related to leadership and search and rescue), radio operator authorization through NTIA (for CAP members, if you have an ROA card, be sure to fill in that bubble on the form) - I really milked it for all it was worth and sent an updated resume when I made C/Capt just prior to the board meeting.

    Those things and similar events were what did it in my opinion. I didn't really do sports, I didn't have a job, and there wasn't all that much to put on the counselor sheet with all of those bubbles. My grades weren't Harvard class, but I did make sure to use what I had and worked hard at making the full package professional and worth reviewing by the board. The interview was also a significant portion of the process, and I'm sure his recommendation was the true make or break moment.

    Alright, so what did that all just say? Basically don't stress too much if your grades aren't the best, and don't skip even the minor details of your life. All of your experiences and everything behind why you want to be an officer in the military is what you have to bring to the table.

    About the CAP stuff, that was a for reference thing about a major part of my life. It is a great organization to be a part of, but I do not recommend joining up just for the perks it may bring - especially since it won't have much impact, if any, for those purposes at this stage. I joined up because I really wanted to serve and everything I've ever done was for that purpose alone. I never thought about using it for college until time came to put some things down, and I figured "well, now that I have it, I might as well..."

    A lot of you though don't have CAP or JROTC to put on a resume, but why should that stop you? If you're the type of person who wants to serve an an officer and leader in our military, I'm sure you've got some impressive background - you just need to remember it all. Ask for help whenever you need it or are ever in doubt, and certainly don't forget about this great website - it is a truly amazing thing to have a community out there supporting you, going through or have gone through the very same things that you are now. Resources and experience through the roof, and the only official source on all DoDMERB matters.

    So, how'd it end up for me? With about average grades and a major focus on CAP and related activities, I got a Type 7 which I converted to a 3-yr Type II Air Force ROTC scholarship. Personally I believe had this been a few years ago, or had I had better grades and more school activities, it would've been a 4-yr Type II.

    Yeah, there is a RIF going on, and during a recession is certainly no help either, but that should not deter you, and if anything it should motivate you. Come on, leaders love challenges, right? Go at it with everything you have and at the end of this marathon you'll either get the long sought after reward, or at the very least know that you did what most students in this entire COUNTRY could not. You may not have the scholarship, but you've been exposed to the process and understand just a small amount of what life in the future will require of you. You stuck through a very hard process to the very end, and while the lack of scholarship may not allow you to go to your first choice school, you're still a better person for making it through, and there is certainly nothing stopping you from still doing ROTC and possibly getting an in-college scholarship.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  15. hockeypals

    hockeypals Member

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    Wow, you all really are great at providing information about this topic, and for that I thank you. It is great to hear all the different opinions and experiences. All of this information really helps. My DS did the "spend the night" program with the Corps of Cadets at Tech last spring and loved it. He was very impressed and would be happy going there. He likes the ERAU website and wants to go visit.

    He has been working on his private pilot's license and is close to getting his license within the next month. His flight instructor, who has been wonderful, is a retired AF colonel, so that is what inspired him to pursue this as a career. He would love to fly for the AF, but he knows there are no guarantees, but he still wants to go into the military.

    We also know that the ROTC scholarship is not a sure thing, but we encouraged him to apply for it if he was serious about doing ROTC. So far, I think that just going through the application process is a good experience, and will help him in learning to present himself.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would suggest everyone who is interested in doing the ROTC route to apply for the scholarship...no harm, no foul.

    The only 100% guarantee anyone can give is there is a 0% chance of getting a scholarship if you don't throw your name in!

    I am curious to how he will feel about ERAU, their campuses are so night and day, I don't think it could be anymore extreme if you tried.
     
  17. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    I know im a little late here...just got back from Max 4.

    Im a rising junior at VT this year and if you have any questions about the Corps or ROTC there just PM me and Id be glad to help.

    Good luck
     

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