Filling Up

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Navyman, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Navyman

    Navyman Member

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    My son is a junior and will be applying for the NROTC scholarship soon. He has a list of his five top schools (all of which we would be tremendously proud to have him attend). I have discussed with him keeping an open mind during the process as his favorites could change as decisions come in. In the event he gets into a reach, he may decide it's too much to pass up. But does anyone know which schools have ROTC units that tend to fill up very fast. I don't want him to end up without a school because of an attempted switch so we want to be careful through the process. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

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    The only one I know of is Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since a lot of people want to learn to fly and then become Naval Aviators I guess. I'm already accepted to ERAU but there isn't yet a decision on my NROTC scholarship application. If I do get a scholarship, it may be that ERAU will be already filled for scholarships even though I was accepted to the school already, and that I will have to go elsewhere to actually use the NROTC scholarship.

    I've been told by my recruiter that they just go down the list of schools from 1st choice to 5th until they have a school which is not filled. They they give you a scholarship to that school. Then if you want to change it, you have to make a special application for a change, which the Navy will approve if the school you want to change to is not filled up.

    The one advice my recruiter gave me (too late) is that it is important to apply for the NROTC scholarship as soon as the website starts taking new applications. That is because the earlier selection boards award a higher percentage of scholarships to applicants than the later selection boards. The difference might be as much as 20-30% more scholarships are give in earlier boards than later on.

    Also, it absolutely is not necessary to apply to any of the colleges before you apply for the NROTC scholarship. Just pick 5 schools and put them down. He can apply to the schools after he gets the scholarship application in.

    I've been told that the 5 essays are soooooo important. They are only allowed to be 2500 characters each including spaces. I worked on mine for about 3 weeks. I spent more time on them than I do for school essays. I think it really made a difference. They'll make your son sign a paper saying that he didn't get any help on his application though.

    Also, I suggest that your son practice for the officer interview with sample questions, including some really hard and open ended questions. I did, and it had amazing results!

    Hope this helps...
     
  3. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    Learning to fly before getting to Pensacola is overrated and can actually be harmful to your Naval Aviation career goals. I would recommend that you ignore flying and concentrate on your academics.
     
  4. inthenavy2008

    inthenavy2008 Member

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    My son was nominated in December for his NROTC scholarship and assigned to the #1 school on his list.

    His recruiter was really pushing him to get the scholarship done in July; but, my son's schedule just didn't allow it. In August, the recruiter said "your interview is Aug 20 or Aug 22. Have your application complete." Although we knew that it really didn't have to be done then, he followed his advice and he completed it and did his interview. The recruiter's theory was to get the application in as soon as possible so that it will get looked at early and often in the selection process. I believe he said that the first selection board meets in October or November. So, I don't know whether he was selected on the first or second round.

    At the time my son completed his application, he had only visited three schools. He put the one he was impressed by the most (with good chances of getting in) as #1 choice. He put his "safe" school as #2. He didn't end up applying for his #3 choice. In November, we visited his #4 choice, RPI, and thought he liked that best. The recruiter at RPI suggested that he didn't change his list to put RPI as his #1 choice, as it was a "reach" school for him. He told him that students who applied to RPI also apply to MIT and other high scoring SAT schools. So, he said, his unit doesn't tend to fill up as quickly.

    So, when you visit schools, ask the ROTC recruiter (or whoever you meet in the ROTC office) how quickly the unit fills up. Put as #1 school on your list the school that yuu like best and have the best chance getting into. Sometimes, if you bring a transcript, an admissions officer might give you an idea of whether or not you can get in. He might have a good chance to switch units in March if he gets accepted. (Maybe he will; maybe he won't. We will make another visit to the #1 school soon.)

    Personally, I think the essays can make or break a candidate. I have met kids in ROTC who got into a tough school like Villanova who didn't get an ROTC scholarship. Be sincere in your essays. Work hard on them. Run your essays by a couple of people and ask them what they think. But, make sure they are YOUR essays. The interviewer may very well point out some things in your essays as basis of questions.

    Doing five essays was quite a chore. But they also were useful, in whole or in part, for other college essays. They want to know WHO you are.

    In any interview, be prepared for a question like "tell me something about yourself." Know your strengths and weaknesses (and how you can overcome your weaknesses.) Be prepared to answer exactly why you want to be a military officer. What are some of your leadership positions and what you have learned from them. Practice with someone else. Practice in the mirror. Dress sharp. Look the interviewer straight in the eyes. A good handshake is important.

    I'm no expert, for sure. But, this was the advice I gave my son, and he was nominated for a scholarship early in the process. He did early action (not early decision) applications on his top two schools. It's a great feeling to know where you are going by December or January.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2008
  5. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

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    The NROTC Commander at ERAU recommended "Aerospace Engineering" instead of "Aeronautical Sciences with Military Pilot Specialty" (flying) if you wanted to go for SNA later. The only problem is that I don't know how to get that degree and NROTC course (19 semester-hours worth) all fit into 4 years. It seems impossible.

    The "Aeronautical Sciences with Military Pilot Specialty" is only 120 semester-hours total, with the NROTC classes already fit in. But the Aerospace Engineering degree is 129 semester-hours without a single elective! With the 19 semester-hours of NROTC, that makes 148 semester-hours in 8 semesters or about 19 semester-hours a semester for 4 years. I'm not sure I can take that sort of schedule! "Aeronautical Sciences with Military Pilot Specialty" would definitely be a lot easier...
     
  6. Navyman

    Navyman Member

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    Thanks all for your helpful advice. He is going to try to get his application very quickly after the new application comes out. He has already started working on his essays. Does anyone know if the topics for the essays change from year to year. I will take heed of the advice to have him address sample questions for the interview. We'll try to do some sort of mock interview for him.
     
  7. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

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    For the Fall 2008 application, the essay questions were:
    1. The Navy's core values are Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Please discuss a situation where you demonstrated one or more of these qualities and why that value is important to you.
    2. Explain your greatest influence in applying for NROTC Scholarship Program.
    3. Discuss your reasons for wanting to become a Naval Officer.
    4. What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
    5. How might your background and experiences enhance the U.S. Naval Service?

    I guess they could change, but at least 4 of these questions were the same in 2007 too. If he writes essays to these, he'll be pretty good. Besides, even though the application instructions say you have 5000 characters to write your essay, the online form only gives you 2500 characters to enter it. So these are five short essays. (I discovered that the online form must be adding some characters because even though Microsoft Word said my essays were just about 2500, I still had to trim out about 50 characters before the essay would be submitted.)

    One more thing about the essays, even though you can and should put paragraphs in your essays, I discovered that the final application form gets rid of blank lines from the essays and turns each one into a giant paragraph. So be sure that you use punctuation that makes it still readable when the essay turns into a giant paragraph.

    Last thing I'll say about the online form- although it allows you to save your work and submit it later, the moment you save your work, your recruiter can see it. Because I took so much time perfecting my essays, the rest of my application was finished and saved online for weeks before I officially submitted my application. I found out that my recruiter had already contacted my teachers and guidance counselor for recommendation letters long before I officially submitted my application. This cause a bit of a problem, because I decided later to change one of the teachers I wanted to recommend me, and I found out it was too late. My teachers and guidance counselor heard from the Navy before I could even tell them I was applying for a scholarship.

    So your son should save himself that headache and not enter any of the application until his essays are almost ready.

    Before I officially submitted my application, I had my recruiter look it over. I think they have an incentive to make sure every application is as good as it can be and isn't missing important things. So my recruiter gave me some good feedback before I officially submitted the application. After the application was submitted, I found I left out one thing I was doing (drill team) which the application has a space for. It was already too late to make changes, but the recruiter can put things like that in his written report that they send with your application.

    (whew!)
     
  8. sealion

    sealion Member

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    ^^^ Very helpful posts, inthenavy2008 and VMINROTChopeful.

    Thanks for taking the time.
     
  9. inthenavy2008

    inthenavy2008 Member

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    Here's a hint about the number of characters in Microsoft Word: Microsoft word, when you do the spelling and grammar check, tells you the number of TYPED characters. It doesn't count the space between words. BUT, once you have typed it in Word and saved it, go to file/properties/statistics, and it tells you the number of characters, with and without spaces!

    As for the interview, I just found the list of questions I prepared for my son, based on job interviewing techniques I used to teach in my business classes:
    1.Tell me something about yourself
    2.Strengths
    3.Weaknesses (but, support with strength)
    4.What do you know about the NROTC scholarship and how did you learn about it?
    5.What are your aspirations?
    6.You no longer list (sport) as a sport you played. Why not?
    7.How have your demonstrated the Navy’s core values in your everyday life?
    8.Why should you be selected to receive an NROTC scholarship?
     
  10. JobInnerView

    JobInnerView Cultivating Your Career

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    If you really don’t know the answer to a question, say it. I’d much rather hear someone say, “I’m sorry, I don’t know the answer to that,” than make something up. Be honest and genuine in your answers. :thumb:
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    JobInnerview,

    Why did you pull up a 5 yr old thread? Those candidates if they went into ROTC are now an O1 in the Navy. I have assumptions of why you grabbed this thread, and I doubt it is you want to assist candidates.

    Have you ever gone through this process? Because I have to say the guidance given was spot on.

    Your blue links on your post makes me think you are not here for the candidates, but for ulterior business purposes.

    If I am wrong, and you are just starting the process than I apologize, but if it is for cold calling on websites...please leave this site off your list because the mods will ban you.
     

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