better your odds

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by dc67, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. dc67

    dc67 New Member

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    My son has got his heart set on taking Aerospace engineering and his school choices are Purdue, University of Cincinnati and Georgia Tech. He is going to apply for NROTC (Marine option) and AFROTC, with AFROTC being his first choice. My question is, would he be better off applying to lesser schools to increase his odds at a scholarship? I am pretty sure he will get accepted to all 3 schools, but with them being popular and having high "achievers" applying, the pool may be diluted. It's not that I doubt my son, he is a great kid with good grades and scores. Not a lot of leadership or extracurricular stuff though. Just dont want to waste time and money applying to the wrong schools.

    Thanks for any insight.

    Doug
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    AFROTC scholarships are tied to the cadet, not the school. In other words, he could apply to Timbucktoo State, and that would have 0% impact on the results of getting a scholarship. They do not care if one university has 100% on scholarship and another has 0%. Nor do they care if the school is private, IS or OOS.

    I know the next question is than why do they ask to list colleges?

    It is two-fold.
    1. To make sure the applicant knows that the school is eligible.
    2. ROTC units have AD members, and it allows the AF Personnel Center (MPC) to make sure that manning is correct. For example, if UC has a drop in applicants, it may mean that they will leave a position vacant, whereas GT has an increase, may mean that they need to add more personnel.

    The thing you need to understand is the award rate for AFROTC is less than 20%, approximately just a little higher than the same chances as getting into the AFA. Out of that 20% awarded, only 5% go Type 1, pays for tuition with no limit. 10-15% go Type 2, pays up to 18K and you pay the difference. 80-85% are awarded Type 7, will only pay up to IS tuition, and you CANNOT pay the difference.

    Tech always has an edge over non-tech majors, HOWEVER, you need to also understand if awarded a scholarship as a tech and decide to transfer to non-tech, you need AFROTC approval to do so on scholarship. That is becoming rarer by the second, notice I didn't say day. This is not be confused with dis-enrollment, because it is not, it is to be understood that they may say transfer, but the scholarship is revoked.

    What worries me for him is :Not a lot of leadership or extracurricular stuff though.
    Every branch wants a well rounded applicant. You should take this time to re-evaluate his EC's and make them into strengths. PFA will also be part of his WCS.


    Finally, the fine print issue for AFROTC scholarship recipients. Scholarship cadets do not get bonus points for being on scholarship when it comes to SFT (summer rising jr yr).If not selected for SFT, they can dis-enroll the cadet from AFROTC and they will lose their scholarship. It is a heavy burden on many cadets that attend the school based on the scholarship assistance. No POC = no commissioning and no scholarship.

    Hope that helps you.


    PS., I don't know if he has any schools that are an SMC on his list, but if he does, there will be another issue. SMC's give an edge from admission to ROTC students, but they also stipulate if you drop ROTC before a certain time frame, they have the right to boot you out as a student.

    Traditional colleges do not have this criteria since they are not SMC.
     
  3. dc67

    dc67 New Member

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    That helps alot actually, so thank you very much!! He played varsity soccer as a Freshman and Sophmore but didn't play last year and doesn't plan on it this year. I have always encouragend him to get involved with sports or clubs or something but he never wanted too. Now unfortunately, it may be biting him in the rear. He has been on 4 mission trip with church, so that will go on there. He is leaving for another next week and the leader of the trip is going to try to help find things my son can step up and lead on the trip to help him out. I know that will be his down fall. PFA should be cake for him. he runs everyday. His upper body strength is lacking but after talking to the AFROTC guy at Purdue Monday, he has started doing some upper body work. He told me last night, he wants to run a practice PFA at the end of July to see how he is doing, and then do his official one shortly there after. I may encourage him to do the practice a little sooner because I think I remember hearing something about he should try to have his stuff in by August. He can't submit it atleast until school is back in, he needs to get some stuff from his counselor. He does have a job also, I know they asked about that. He got a 29 on the ACT which is pretty good, but we were told it would probably take a 30 or better based on last year. He can't retake it at this point until October. Yet another thing I tried to get him to study for earlier this spring. He just retook it without studying and didn't improve, surprise.....

    Thanks again, I am glad I found this forum.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Have him take the SAT.

    AFROTC does not superscore, it is best sitting.

    AFROTC is like their sister branches, and it is best to get the application in early since there is a limited pot of money, but I agree 29 is not a comfortable position, and def. not for a Type 1 or 2.

    I say that not only from a scholarship perspective, but come SFT, it will be included in his score. The higher he scores now, the safer he will be for an SFT allotment.

    The PFA is not a max one, fail one, pass! It is fail one, fail the PFA. Upper body strength will matter, if running is not an issue, get to work on push ups and pull ups. DS had a pull-up issue, we placed a bar in his door, every time he entered or exited his room he had to do X pull-ups, and we increased them often. Within a few weeks he went from 3 to 13. It was the whole family supporting him, so he was yelled at if he tried to enter or exit without doing it. He never realized how often until that time he left his room to get snacks or go to the bathroom!
     
  5. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    To be honest I never really got the idea of study for tests like the ACT or SAT. They say the tests are supposed to grade your cumulative learning and test taking skills. Now I am sure there is plenty of evidence showing correlations between studying and better tests scores, but besides math I don't see how the other sections can be vastly improved besides simply taking practice tests in a real-life test taking environment. Don't get me wrong standardized tests like the MCAT and LSAT definitely NEED massive preparation but I always thought preparing for the SAT was a major stressor and I psyched myself out before I took it the first time. By taking it another time without the stressful preparation boosted my score over 150 points. Just saying I could see why he wouldn't want to study.

    Perhaps having him take practice tests would be a better way to prepare rather than looking over a black and white tome of information that probably won't even be on the test.

    For full disclosure I got a 1900ish on my SAT which at that time was pretty competitive (30ish ACT conversion).
     
  6. Packer

    Packer Member

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    My son wasn't too big on studying for ACT either. He did take a bunch of practice tests though and that seemed to help. He raised his ACT 2 points but I think the improvement mostly came from getting more comfortable with the format. The math is studyable but I don't think the rest is to any great extent. Try both tests also my son did significantly better on the ACT than the SAT, on the order of 250 points using the standard ACT to SAT conversion.
     
  7. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    The "study" part of SAT/ACT preparation should be minimal. If a student understands the material, they understand the material.

    As for learning about how to take the test, it can make 100 points of difference on the SAT for some.

    The basics failures that many make taking the SAT (in particular):
    1) Not knowing how to approach the answers - Typically there are 2 answers that can seem reasonable for any question. Quickly identifying those up front can help you examine your approach to the question and verify that you have selected the correct answer of the two.
    2) Not budgeting time correctly - If you are stuck on a question (i.e. you can't get to the 2 reasonable looking answers), you need to move on quickly to work on questions where those 2 answers are quickly discerned.
    3) Not guessing when appropriate - If you are truly down to 2 answers out of 4 on several questions, on the SAT test, the expected value of guessing is positive over a large number of guesses.

    Yes, there are other tips for better test taking strategies, but for purposes of improving your odds, test preparation (aside from studying) can make a difference. Your competitors are likely doing it, therefore you should be doing it to level the playing field.
     
  8. time2

    time2 Member

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    There are lots of companies who make money selling you study guides and implying you will improve your scores using their method. I think most of that is nonsense. As mentioned about, you should have a general idea of the types of questions they ask. Question format, like 'data sufficiency' questions where you have to select ALL of the answers that are applicable are certainly helpful to know prior to taking the test, if you have never had experience with that type of question.

    I agree with others that lots of studying and practice tests are NOT a particularly good use of time. For the math portion, either you know basic algebra/geometry which these tests tend to cover or you don't. You learn those things all during high school.

    This isn't like studying for an exam, since it tends to measure all sorts of things you have learned up to this point in your education.
     
  9. dc67

    dc67 New Member

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    Maybe I will just recommend he take some of the practice tests then. He id take the SAT also but didnt do as well on it as the ACT. I think his composite ws 1830 or so. Problem right now is he needs to get his package together and submitted and the next test dates aren't until Sept. I told he him he needs to think about and nail the interview.

    Thanks for the responses. Any more info would still be great. I just want to help him as much as I can. His down fall will be lack of leadership experience I think. I have encouraged him since he was a Freshman to get involved but he doesn't like school and wouldnt get involved. I thought National Junior Honor Society wasa no brainer but he said no to that also.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    dc67,

    I understand your frustration, and this is hard to read, but now is the time to cut one apron string. When our kids hit their sr. yr. we informed them, quite bluntly, that we would not be attending college with them, and now was their time to stand on their own two feet, while they still had us as a safety net.

    We did not remind them of filing/cut-off dates, be it applications, or SAT/ACT registration. We knew they needed our credit card to pay for it, but it was up to them to ask us for it so they could submit. We gave gentle reminders, "how are the essays going?", but that was it.

    I will say with all eldest we were more involved, because we were all learning the process at the same time, but AFROTC made us cut those apron strings in his sr, yr. That was a huge wake up call to us on how the post high school world would react to our involvement. Once 18, they are legal adults. AFROTC HQ contacted our home for some additional info., DS was at school and going straight to work that day, so I called, and they said, sorry Mrs. Bullet, we could not discuss this with you, your child is 18, I will annotate in his file he is at work, can you give me his personal contact number?

    This not only happened with ROTC, but also at college for him and his sister (different colleges). The most frustrating thing as a parent is the bursar's office. You need a password, you can't get the password unless your child goes into the system, but yet they are more than happy to collect a check from your account every semester for thousands of dollars.

    Welcome to college! You will look back and be thankful that you cut an apron string in HS once he is in college next yr...trust me.

    We are here to give guidance and support, but you also need to take this time and have an adult to adult conversation about the reality of what will happen this upcoming yr.

    You can drag a horse to water, but you can't make him drink!

    OBTW, he will have a wake up call, many candidates are interviewed by ALO's for AFROTC scholarships, and they will be honest.

    My only suggestion to you right now is to take him in August to college campus tours, contact the AF/NROTC units and have him meet them. Ask them if he could also talk to cadets/mids. Excuse yourself and let him do this one on one, just set a pre-determined place on campus, such as, the Student Union to meet an hr later. By doing this it helps him enter reality.

    1. Campus tours are dog and pony shows. Kids on campus know he is hs. Meeting him later allows him to imagine next yr by himself as a college student walking the campus.

    2. Meeting cadets/mids with you there will be a dog and pony show, they will behave differently, lots of best foot forward! Letting him meet them alone will allow him to get a feel of the personality within the unit from 1 peer to another peer.
    ~~ College is one aspect of their life, but ROTC is the other. He needs to feel comfortable with both.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

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