Clueless and worried

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by tempotoo, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. tempotoo

    tempotoo Member

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    After briefly reading some other threads, I am afraid we are way behind the power curve....

    DS is a senior this year......in JROTC (Army,) on the Raider Team (is co-captain,) and plans on doing soccer in the spring. ACT composite was 21 and his unweighted GPA is 89.9 (he's not a test taker, unfortunately.) He is a great student, self motivated, in shape, and pretty straight edge as kids go. (Like most all of you on here!) He recently visited UNG and wants to attend the cadet program.

    He is planning on applying for the Army ROTC scholarship, but I am decently sure he won't even come close to getting one. He just doesn't look as good on paper as so many others who are worried about this. I am a single mom and his father isn't helpful. He's had to follow me through so many moves since my divorce..... He has ALWAYS wanted to join the Army, and up until the divorce he was a military brat. His father is a retired E7.

    I'm also afraid we've waited too long to apply. He's just now applying to the school, pending getting the duel enrollment class credits figured out.

    I desperately want him to attend this school and do this program because that's what he wants for himself.....to join the Active Army as an Officer. But I am worried about how to pay for it all....I don't think he would qualify for Pell, but FAFSA doesn't open until January so I don't know. Also don't think pell covers room and board, but not sure. Any tips?
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Just my opinion here: regardless of whether he would qualify for Pell and when FAFSA opens he should apply for the scholarship. He should also do his best to improve his ACT score. He might try the SAT instead as some do better on one over the other. You should also seek out other scholarships he can apply for that might cover room and board. Or, if he receives significant aid that is only applicable to tuition, you might consider applying the AROTC scholarship to the room and board (you can pick room and board, or tuition). These are all independent tracks you should work in parallel. It might all be for nought but you never know until you try. You might also consider different but similar schools to UNG. For example, I think Texas A&M gives scholarships to ROTC cadets to cover room and board. CHeck the stickies at the top of the forum.

    I wish you both luck. Swinging college isn't easy. It's definitely not too late to apply for the AROTC scholarship.
     
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  3. tempotoo

    tempotoo Member

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    Thank you for the response. I suppose there are worse things than student loans. And I do have a teeny little college fund for him. And we do live in GA so he will get Hope. I think it's mostly my guilt eating at me. He has endured so much in his short lifetime and will now have to bear the financial burden to get what he wants. (Due to no fault of his own.) But I suppose that's just life, isn't it?
     
  4. tempotoo

    tempotoo Member

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    And yes, we are already looking into several other scholarships as well! LOL!
     
  5. tempotoo

    tempotoo Member

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    If he applies for the scholarship and then retakes the ACT, can he update his application?
     
  6. k2rider

    k2rider Member

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    YES
     
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  7. Wilco

    Wilco Member

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    Remember not all Army Officers come from WP or Army ROTC Scholarship National winners. There are also campus based scholarships, and many scholarship winners decide ROTC is not for them or are dis-enrolled. Many paths to commissioning! Including junior military commissioning after 2 years. Good luck.

    AROTC deadlines for 2015-2016 (from ClarksonArmy)(1st Board recipients are usually 4 year winners, the most qualified, and are the fewest offered of three Boards).

    4-year High School Application Opens for SY 16-17 12-Jun-15
    1st High School Selection Board Deadline for Documents 2-Oct-15
    1st High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 16-Oct-15
    1st High School Selection Board 19-Oct-15

    2nd High School Selection Board Deadline for Documents 5-Jan-16
    2nd High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 22-Jan-16
    2nd High School Selection Board 25-Jan-16
    4-Year High School Application Deadline for SY 15-16 10-Jan-16

    Final (3rd) HS Selection Board Deadline for Docs — Missing Items 29-Feb-16
    3rd High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 4-Mar-16
    Final (3rd) High School Selection Board 7-Mar-16


    Another option is simultaneous membership program (SMP) allows Soldiers to serve in the Army Reserve or National Guard and participate in ROTC while in college. This program allows Soldiers the opportunity to gain additional experience and training. They receive their regular National Guard or Reserve benefits while also receiving ROTC stipends. Non-scholarship Cadets wanting to take advantage of the many benefits can join the National Guard or Reserve before or during their freshman and sophomore years.

    This is some basic information, make sure you get the most up to date, and talk to officers with knowledge of ROTC and SMP. Programs change regularly.

    (From Vanderbilt Univ. site)
    SMP- "Simultaneous" means students who are at the same time:
    •full-time college students (sophomore, junior, senior, or grad students)
    •currently serving (or willing to enlist) in the USAR or ARNG
    •enrolled in Army ROTC

    In the SMP you participate in unit training with your USAR or ARNG unit one weekend a month, while earning your commission through ROTC. Upon college graduation, you will be commissioned as an officer in the Army, and have the option of either serving full-time on Active Duty, or part-time in the Army Reserves or Army National Guard.

    If You Are Already Serving in the USAR or ARNG
    If you're already enlisted, your benefits already include tuition assistance (up to $4500 per year), 100% tuition waiver (ARNG only), GI Bill ($309 per month, if MOS qualified), and drill pay. Joining ROTC adds a few things to that:
    •Drill pay increase to SGT (E-5) rate ($274.84 per month)
    •ROTC stipend ($350-$500 per month)
    •GI Bill Kicker ($350 per month) for being in ROTC
    •Non-deployable status—your college education won't be interrupted by deployment
    •Officer training in your unit

    If you are (or will be) a freshman and are currently enlisted, you are eligible for SMP at the beginning of your sophomore year. For your first year you can still enroll in ROTC classes, and drill with your unit, but are not formally in the SMP. If you are a sophomore or higher and currently enlisted, you must enroll in the SMP to enroll in ROTC.

    If You Are Not in the USAR or ARNG
    To get into the SMP, students with no prior military service will attend Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) during the summer and will be assigned to a local National Guard or Reserve unit upon completion of training. (Prospective cadets with prior military experience may simply be assigned to a unit.)
    •It is possible to join the ARNG and enroll in ROTC without going to Basic Training, but without Basic Training and AIT you are only eligible for a fraction of the tuition benefits available.
    •In most cases, completing BCT and AIT will take longer than the summer break and cause you to skip a semester, or half semester of classes. However, many students see this as a good bargain for the amount of financial aid it makes you eligible for.

    Simultaneous Membership Program Benefits:
    •Up to 100% tuition and fees paid
    •Cash enlistment bonus, depending on MOS
    •$300-$500 monthly ROTC stipend
    •$274.84 monthly drill pay
    •$309/month GI Bill (requires completion of BCT and AIT)
    •$350/month GI Bill Kicker (requires completion of BCT and AIT)
    •Basic soldier skills (BCT) and job skills (AIT)
    •Hands-on military experience by participating in your unit training

    After Graduation
    When you enlist in the USAR or ARNG you may choose an enlistment period of up to 6 years. However, as soon as you graduate college and get commissioned through ROTC (usually on the same day as graduation), your enlistment contract is terminated—no matter how much time is left on your enlistment.

    Upon commissioning, you start a brand new career as an Army officer. That means that even though you were enlisted in the USAR or ARNG while going to school, you have the option of serving as an officer either full-time on Active Duty, or staying part-time as an officer in the USAR or ARNG.

    Also, the job specialty (MOS) you had while enlisted has no bearing on your career options as an officer. If you like the field you were in as an enlisted soldier, you can choose that field as an officer. If not, you can pick any of the other 16 basic branches.

    SMP does not lock you into--or out of--any commissioning options. You can still go on Active Duty, or switch from having been enlisted in the USAR to an officer in the ARNG (or vice versa). You can stay in your enlisted career field, or switch to something totally different.

    Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (GRFD)

    Cadets who know that when they graduate they only want to serve in a reserve component (USAR or ARNG) can request a GRFD contract. A GRFD contract means that you will not—either voluntarily or involuntarily—be given an Active Duty assignment after commissioning. By signing a GRFD contract, you agree to pick either a USAR or ARNG assignment upon commissioning.
    It is not necessary to sign a GRFD contract in order to get a USAR or ARNG commission; you can request USAR or ARNG at the same time (the end of your junior year) as you request your career branch and other commissioning options. SMP participation is not required for GRFD contracting.
     
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  8. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    You might want to go on the UNG website and calculate your son's Freshman Index Score. I believe he falls a little short with his current GPA and ACT. Hopefully he'll be motivated to retake and improve his ACT. In the event he is unable to raise his score, there are several other schools in GA with AROTC programs where he'd be able to take advantage of the Hope. Best of luck to him!
     
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  9. tempotoo

    tempotoo Member

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    His individual ACT scores do fall within the acceptance range, albeit barely. He did take the SAT as well, same thing. He definitely wants to go active, and they do offer a NG program, but he is worried that he will be "stuck" there and not be able to go active.....that happened with a family member who went to the same school. Might have been due to grades or whatnot, we didn't have all the details.
     
  10. tempotoo

    tempotoo Member

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    Thank you all for the information! We are continuing to look into options. It's all very overwhelming, but we will work something out. Always do. LOL!
     
  11. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    Also run the "net price calculator" at UNG's website. This will have you enter in information about your son and your income and assets and should give you a very good idea of what it would cost for your son to attend.
     
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    One thing fencersmother notices in our OP is a sense that she feels sorry for her son because of the circumstances regarding divorce, moving, etc. STOP!!!! You son must find his own way through life and your feeling sorry for him will definitely not help. Yes, acknowledge "Gee, son, I wish Dad and I could have made it work out" and then in the very next breath: "Son, this is your situation. Now let's get moving. 95% of it will be on you, so make sure of what you want."

    All of us give our children the benefits and burdens our our successes and failures as parents and spouses and just people. But never feel sorry for him! He'll be stronger for it.
     
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  13. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Well, there is no guarantee that your DS will go active even if he doesn't participate in a NG program. The only guarantee way to go active is either enlisting or West Point. It is what is as your DS to needs to determine what he "want" is realistic and what he needs to give up or sacrifice to what he wants or what are alternatives to what he wants.
     
  14. tempotoo

    tempotoo Member

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    Fencersmother, very good advice, and yes, that is how I handle my children. I don't let them see these emotions. These are the emotions reserved for anonymous message boards and very close friends. Haha! We are NOT a family of victims or expect ANY handouts. But if the programs ARE there, we will try to utilize them! :)

    And MemberLG, UNG is a senior military college, one of only 6 in the country (West Point being one, Citadel is another.) He absolutely can contract starting his sophomore year. With it being in state, and offering him everything he wants, it was pretty much a given that this is where he wants to go. (Edited to add, if I am wrong about this, please let me know......because this is what I was told at the school.)

    He just took the initiative to sign himself up for another round at the ACT in school today. Paid for it himself and everything. I'm a proud mama right now. We are gonna make this work somehow.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  15. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Two things -
    1) West Point is not an SMC, but a Federal Service Academy.
    The SMCs are UNG, The Citadel, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, VMI and Norwich.
    2) Technically speaking he's not supposed to contract until his MSIII (junior) year unless he's an SMP cadet or on scholarship. I have known of some cadets at SMCs contracting slightly earlier, but I'm not sure how the schools circumvent the regulation. Maybe someone else can speak to that.
     
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  16. tempotoo

    tempotoo Member

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    Oops, ok, my assumption about West Point was incorrect. Not exactly knowledgeable on the subject yet, just going off what my memory says about what we learned at the school. Learning.

    What is a SMC and a SMP?

    The Cadet program with ROTC is what my son wants to do, and graduate with a commission. They said that most contract in their sophomore years, but some even do it as a freshman. I'm assuming after learning this new bit of information from Jcc that they were talking about Scholarship recipients? (3 and 4 year.) I totally understand that they aren't going to take just any Tom, Dick, or Harry who shows up beating their chests and singing, "pick me!" to be a commissioned officer, but my kid is a very good candidate. (Most parents think so, I'm sure. LOL!) He does have a stellar recommendation from his JROTC instructor (recently retired Major,) for whatever that is worth. But granted, most of our personal military experience has only been from the enlisted side.
     
  17. soccmomer

    soccmomer Member

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    SMC=Senior Military College. You pay like you would at a regular college, but have the Military Lifestyle (Corps of Cadets). Participate in ROTC and you may or may not receive an ROTC scholarship, either at the National level (the ones available to High School Seniors) or the Battalion level.
    SMP is Simultaneous Membership Program. I don't know enough about that to talk about it.
     
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  18. soccmomer

    soccmomer Member

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    Also, with any ROTC program, Commissioning does not have anything to do with how you did on your SAT/ACT or pretty much anything that happened in High School. If they are accepted to the college, they can participate in ROTC. Then they have to keep passing the APFT, keep their grades above a certain level (which may or may not be harder than it sounds), participate in certain summer trainings, take some standardized tests after their Jr year.....etc, etc. So Commissioning is based on performance at college.
     
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  19. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    Tempotoo, only stress the things you/DS can control which at this point in time is...
    Retake the ACT and try for a better score.
    DS needs to stay focused on school, staying out of trouble and staying healthy.
    If has not already done so he needs to get going on his application.

    Nobody here can give you a perfect answer. Honestly his ECs look ok but his GPA and test scores will likely need to improve to get a 4 year offer. My understanding is that Cadet Command is offering fewer and fewer 4 yr scholarships. My advice is to find a school where he will be successful and one that your family can afford W/O an AROTC scholarship. In the event your DS does not get an offer on the national level he needs to show up at college and enroll in MS classes and participate in AROTC, show the cadre what he has to offer and hope he gets offered some sort of scholarship. Lastly, you may want to have him look into Junior Military Colleges. I will not go into detail about them because I do not know much about them. Best of luck!

    The deadline to initiate NEW applications for the 2016-2017 School Year is 10 January 2016 @ 1159pm EST.

    To appear before a Selection Board to be considered for a scholarship, applicants must submit a completed application, including the PMS Interview by 1159 EST on one of the below “Document Submission Deadlines”.

    Document Submission Deadlines:
    1st High School Board – 2 October 2015
    2nd High School Board – 5 January 2016
    3rd High School Board – 29 February 2016

    Selection Board Convene Dates:
    1st High School Board – 19-23 October 2015
    2nd High School Board – 25-29 January 2016
    3rd High School Board – 7-11 February 2016

    NOTE: Applicants who were previously boarded but not selected to receive a scholarship, can continue to submit updated documents to increase their chance for selection. However, all application updates must be SUBMITTED no later than 29 February @ 1159pm to be considered for a scholarship during the final board that convenes 7-11 March 2016.

    Watch the Official ROTC YouTube video on how to fill out the 4 Year High School Scholarship Application: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV_kgAj98HE
     
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  20. tempotoo

    tempotoo Member

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    Thank you for that information! We would be ok with a 3 year scholarship if he could get it! I do have a small 529 plan for him. And he does plan on applying to other scholarships. If he has to take a loan, he has to take a loan. Just trying to keep it as low as possible. Applying to the school is coming as soon as we can get the duel enrollment credits figured out.
     

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