Freshman and Sophomore Years of High School

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by ajwilliams96, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. ajwilliams96

    ajwilliams96 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    With my first two years of high school, would it be possible to gain an ROTC Scholarship if I either remained as I was or continued to improve? Here are a list of things during my freshman and sophomore years of high school:


    Freshman Year

    Academics

    Two Honors Courses (Honors Chemistry and Honors Geometry)
    Two Electives (Multimedia Design and Concert Band)
    Maximum Number of Credits
    Honors Community Service (50 Community Service Hours)
    GPA - 2.95


    School Sports

    None


    Student Government

    Elected Ninth Grade Class Council Officer


    Extracurricular

    Volunteer at the Children’s Section of the Local Library
    Judge in the Lower School Science Fair
    Performed in the School Spring Drama Production
    Member of Church Youth Group
    Participated in the Day of Silence
    Host at an School Information Session
    Wrote and Acted for the School Drama Festival


    Sophomore Year (so far)

    Academics

    Two Honors Courses (Honors Biology and Honors Algebra II)
    One AP Course (AP World History)
    Two Electives (Introduction to Computer Science and Concert Band)
    Maximum Number of Credits
    Honors Community Service (50 Community Service Hours)
    GPA - 3.2 (as of the end of last quarter)


    School Sports

    Junior Varsity Cross Country
    Junior Varsity Swimming
    Junior Varsity Tennis


    Student Government

    Elected Tenth Grade Class Council Officer
    Elected Student Council Secretary (Highest Student Council Position Available to a Sophomore)


    Extracurricular

    Volunteering at the Children’s Section of the Local Library
    Performed in the Fall and Spring Drama Productions
    Member of the Technical Crews for the School Drama Productions
    Member of Church Youth Group
    Active Junior State of America Member
    Model United Nations Delegate
    Participated in the Day of Silence
    Wrote and Acted for the School Drama Festival
    Staff Writer for the School Newspaper
    Member of the Community Service Board
     
  2. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    6
    Looking pretty good to me.

    For the rest of this year and into your junior year actively pursue positions as a leader (officer in clubs, organize community service events, etc).

    Being able to balance all of those things, especially with leadership positions, while constantly improving your GPA and staying in shape will definitely help your chances.

    For the physical fitness assessment, start training now to beat the maximums:
    67 Pushups (1 min), 58 Situps (1 min), 1.5 mile run in 9 minutes, 12 seconds

    Thinking about and preparing for this as a sophomore is a great move as many don't think about the process until midway through their junior year. Keep doing what you can developing that "whole person" concept, and don't do anything stupid like drink, do drugs, or drive like an idiot and get a ticket or worse. Those core values - "Integrity First, Service Before Self, Excellence in All We Do" - start living them now if you haven't already because they will guide you to where you need to go.

    Edit: By the way - those PT scores assume you're going for AFROTC.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  3. educateme

    educateme Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0
    you really need to improve your GPA. Your current average is slightly above 3.0, and though it's above the min "required", getting a scholarship in an increasingly more competitive environment requires that you do far better than the min required.

    Furthermore, in your junior year, make sure you take at least one AP course: it's a check mark item on the "scoring sheet" to give you more points. Make sure that your SAT scores are also better than the min required.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,545
    Likes Received:
    1,005
    Also, shoot for president of student council, president of a club, or captain of a sports team. Nothing says 'leadership' like those positions. Take PSAT Oct of junior year. Take SAT once or even twice in spring of Junior year and again in the fall of Senior year. Take the ACT a couple times. One tends to do better on a subsequent taking of these tests.

    You are on the right track. Keep it up! :thumb:
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Which ROTC program are you interested in, A/N/AFROTC?

    As others have stated your gpa is low for at least N/AFROTC, others will chime in and tell you if you are on target for AROTC.

    The gpa they use will only include up through your jr. yr.

    I am assuming somewhere there is a foreign language in your schedule.

    The boards look at not only your gpa, but the rigor of your course load and the school profile, this is why you will see sometimes a person with a lower gpa receive a scholarship over another candidate.

    For example, what is your class rank, #1 out of 500, or number 151 out of 500? That gives more insight than a gpa. Remember every school in the nation may have a different grading scale and weight assigned to different classes. You may be on a 7 pt scale with Honors carrying no weight, and someone else may be on a 10 pt scale with Honors carrying a 4.5 weight.

    They also look to see how many Honors and APs are offered at your school. Did you take the most rigorous course load compared to others, or did you take the easy path. Nobody here can answer that because nobody here knows how it works at your school. All we can say is take the most rigorous that is available to you.

    Next they will look at the school itself. This is where they ask the school the % of graduates that go to Ivy, 4 Private/Public OOS, Public IS, 2 yr CC, Technical school or straight to work.

    If you are top 15%, and 35% go Ivy, it tells them the school is a rigorous program (magnet, or top 100 type), if you are top 25%; 0% go Ivy, and 25% go 4 yr than the school is not seen as competitive as the first example.

    Finally bringing it back to ROTC itself, and which branch that will matter when applying. A/NROTC candidates are tied to the schools for the scholarship. In other words you inform them which schools you want and the scholarship we be awarded to one of those schools. AFROTC allows you to take it to any college that accepts AFROTC, and you are awarded a type which may impact where you go from a personal fiscal decision.

    AF/NROTC do also have in common the fact that @80%+ are awarded to STEM (technical) majors, which makes the reason why some will say your gpa is low.

    Start taking your SATs this spring. Also take your ACTs.

    AFROTC does not superscore, instead they take the best sitting, which with practice you would still be able to increase the scores. SAT and ACT are different and some kids do better on one type over another.

    You are a head of the game. I would this spring sit down with your GC and discuss the fact that you want to apply for a ROTC scholarship for college. The reason why is I am sure you are not going to be the 1st student at your school to apply and they can be able to give you insight from this yrs graduating class of what kids had and didn't have regarding to who received and didn't receive a scholarship. Doing this will allow them to sit up your jr. yr class selection in the most positive way.

    Personally, I don't know how your school works, but I see concert band as an elective, which makes me believe you might be doing something musical outside of class i.e. Marching Band, but I don't see it on your resume. Being 1st chair also illustrates positive aspects, such as proficiency, dedication and leadership, plus time management. All things they like to see.

    Good luck.

    PS. Next fall you will take the PSAT, study for it because if you get 95%+ you are eligible for National Merit Semi-Finalist. That right off the bat tells them you are the top 5% according to College Board nationwide.

    It only occurs for the PSAT. Plus, these scores are sent to colleges, and many colleges use this to recruit future students, plus it ups your chance for merit scholarships from the schools itself.
     
  6. educateme

    educateme Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0
    my input above was for AROTC.

    Note that senior year AP does not count on the "check mark" scoring sheet. You need to take a junior year AP class: it's the completed AP class they are looking at.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    AFROTC is the same educateme.

    The issue goes back to the school profile.

    For example:
    In NC where our DS graduated from you could not take APBio/Chem/Physics until you took Std or Honors Bio/Chem/Physics. That requirement made it impossible to have all AP Science classes. The same was true for Math.

    In VA where our DD and DS2 attend/ed you were allowed the option to take Std., Honors or AP. That meant you could graduate with APs in all 3.

    The candidate from a school like NC would not be dinged for taking all honors with few APs because that is their system, the candidate from VA would because they could have taken all APs, but opted Honors.

    This is why IMPO, posters need to place less emphasis on gpa, and more on informing others of the rigors regarding their course curriculum.

    The other issue I would say to the OP goes back to concert band as a class.

    In VA, if you want to be in Marching, Jazz, orchestra, string, etc you MUST take a band class. In NC that is not true.

    If you must take it, take it because it means you have an EC which you have yet to highlight.

    If you don't have to, don't, because it means you are taking a less demanding class (in the academic world) than someone who is taking an AP as their elective...APPsych, APEcon, APGovt, etc.

    Again it is called Whole Candidate Score for a reason. You need to balance academics and extra curriculars.
     
  8. educateme

    educateme Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0
    pima,

    when it comes to college admissions, I am sure that you are right: the rigor of the classes and the rigor of the school do matter: after all, that's why they request school profile. The school profile gives enough information to the college adcoms how to interpret B+ from a top notch HS where 30% goes to top 30 USNWR colleges/Universities vs. A+ from another school where 30% of the students go to some form of higher education instituions.

    However, I do NOT recall any school profile that was involved in the AROTC scholarship application. In fact, all that was requested and sent was the transcript. I remember this since my son requested a copy of everything the school sent as a proof and keep sake.

    I don't know maybe AFROTC or NROTC do it differently, but AROTC did not request any information that will put a different weight on GPAs depending on which HS the applicant went to. AND, I HIGHLY DOUBT that they have such detailed knowledge on each HS that they can weigh GPA's differently without something like a school profile sheet provided by the school.

    My impression was, they were using brute force number without weighing any subtleties, if you know what I mean - after all, isn't this how they use the GPA from colleges when they do the branch assignment? 3.5 from easy universities trump 3.2 from MIT - the formula does NOT allow any differential weighing based on the difficulties of courses and schools, other than more global "major" based extra point.

    The OP's GPA definitely has to go up significantly in the Junior year: the competition is getting more and more fierce. In order to have something like 3.2 AVERAGE, s/he will have to get 3.6 in his/her junior year. To be brutally honest, GPA 3.2 is a min a viable candidate should have in a highly competitive scholarship selection process. Sorry to be blunt: I don't think we will be doing the OP any favor by lulling him into thinking that the current trajectory is just fine. Granted, I am not saying that all applicants with GPA lower than 3.0 will fail to get scholarship. I am sure there are a few who manage very well with a low GPA. I am talking about odds here. The landscape is very competitive: you want to have a good margin of error, not cutting it so close.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  9. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    35
    educateme,

    Your son's HS did him no favor by sending only the transript without the school profile to explain. When I asked my daughter's school what they send, they replied that they always send the school profile, matriculation list, etc. with any transcript request whether asked for or not. And although her school did not rank other than for Val and Sal, when asked (including her case), they provide approximate rank (percentile) and class size.

    As to a 3.2 being low, it depends upon the institution. IIRC, a 3.2 (unweighted) in the right classes at my daughter's school put a student at the edge of the top 10% of a class where all graduates go onto attend 4-year institutions. A-level grades were not given out like candy.

    I cannot speak to the grading policies or the profile of the OP's school, but like you all I can suggest is that s/he tries as hard as possible to get the best grade in every class taken going forward.

    As to the advice you gave, I am in total agreement. Don't skirt the edges if you can do better. You'll feel better about things if you come up short giving it all than if you have the "could have, should have" situation.

    What many applicants fail to recognize is the number of highly qualified applicants who apply from schools all over the country who are just as wanting and deserving of a chance like this. Try to leave as little to chance as possible.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    educateme,

    Most schools send in their "sealed" transcripts a school profile, or at least the 3 my kids attended in 2 different states did this procedure.

    I found this out with our eldest (2008) because at that school when you order the transcripts they handed them to you unless the recipient waned them sent directly. I purchased an extra one to see what is in a sealed transcript. In it was the traditional transcript of all classes ever taken, rank and gpa, but also were:

    1. ALL SAT/ACT scores and dates, including PSAT
    2. AP test scores
    3. School grading system (scale and weighting)
    4. School requirements for graduation ---min Math, Sci, Eng, Hist etc
    5. Number of AP classes and Honors offered
    6. School Clubs and sports they were members of and yrs
    7. % that attend 4 yr and 2 yr
    8. All of the HS he ever attended and their addresses (he attended 2)
    9. Shot records

    When our middle went through the process in a different state I asked what they included in their seal. It was the exact same items plus for that school they include the GC recommendation.

    Due to the fact that we have only 1 child out of 3 that attended just 1 hs, the other 2 both attended 2 HS in 2 different states. I have had to hand carry their records many times. I have read through them before, but never had seen the majority of the info I just listed. I always only saw the gpa, classes taken and shot records in their files. The GC explained to me that the rest of the items can only be sent to the incoming school when it is requested by them from the outgoing school.

    This may be why you your DS only had that portion. I know that sounds insane because it was his record, but that is how at least the system has worked for me between NC and KS, KS and VA, VA and NC, and back to VA again. Not one school would place our kids permanently in any classes until they received the school profile from the previous school. They placed them tentatively, but they would tell us that they had the right to change if the classes didn't match up to their schools and that did happen. One school in NC refused to accept his 8th grade Foreign Language and Science, even though it was their 9th grade course. He had to take 5 yrs of foreign language because of that since it would only have counted as 3. He also had to take physical science again because it was a requirement in their hs curriculum...they did not have a TAG program like VA, so no 9th grader ever took these classes in 8th grade.

    We had the same issue when we came back to VA a few yrs later. In that case it worked for our DD because the school system was a college type with semesters and 4 classes each semester. DD in 11th grade was placed in AICE because she had already finished out her curriculum for 12th grade. We knew we were moving so we had her load up on all of her mandated classes and she took only 1 elective per yr. The comical part was in NC you only take 1 PE in HS, in VA you must take 3 yrs. She was the only junior taking both 10th and 11th grade PE at the same time so she could graduate.

    This is why at least for AFA, AFROTC, and colleges they need to see the school profile. Think about it as I stated to the OP, if he is from our old county in NC, at this point he would not be required to take PE or band, even if he was in band and this is why I suggested he should drop these classes and take different electives. In VA he would be required to take both. It makes a big difference in how to award the PAR, which is 60% of the WCS.

    Even if it wasn't about ROTC chances, it would still be wise because as we all agree, that profile may come into play when it comes to college acceptances. He has to be not only competitive for the scholarship, but admittance to a college. That scholarship will be worth only the paper it is written on if he gets only "at this time, we are unable..." letters.

    The scholarship should be a goal, but he needs to also take time during this spring to visit colleges he is interested in for their open houses. It will allow him to get a handle on what he needs to do academically to get accepted, spring jr. yr may be too late if his top 5 schools are all reaches.

    Again, I may be incorrect, but I believe they want NROTC, which means those schools will be a big factor in his future. Too often we see candidates get the scholarship, but no admittance, or admittance, but no scholarship. He has a lot of time to find the right balance.

    The other factor is for NROTC at least 1 has to be IS. In VA, the good IS colleges are highly competitive. UVA is ranked as the number 2 college in the nation behind Berkeley according to USNWR. UNCCH is number 5. Or at least they use to be. The selection rate is not high even for IS. VT and JMU are also very competitive IS. It has become even more competitive these days for strong IS colleges because of our economy. Many kids who intended to go to private cannot afford 40K+ a yr. even with tuition being paid for it still leaves them 20K in debt each yr. Whereas, the IS will leave them 10K in debt on a bad day, which is doable.

    None of us know where the economy will be in 13 or 14, but currently for 12 this is a factor.

    The OP needs to IMPO to talk to their GC this spring and decide his educational path to be competitive when he is a sr.
     
  11. educateme

    educateme Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0
    the whole board evaluation process is a mystery to most of us.

    I can only speak of AROTC. However, did any of you notice that the scholarship application documents are handled in a much more informal way than the college admission process would require? For instance, no OFFICIAL SAT score reporting by collegeboard is required. Instead, you could fax or scan the score copy you got. You could even do screen capture of your score on the collegeboard website and send it as an email attachment. They would take it. College adcoms would NEVER accept this type of reporting!!!!! They also accept fax or scan of transcript. NO official sealed document directly sent from the HS is required, though they will certainly accept it.

    Based on the interactions/conversations both/either between me & my son and various people involved in the board evaluation process i seems like thus. (again, speculation on my part: I do not claim that I have any hard evidence. You should only take my input as a data point).

    You send all the applications to your cadet command address. For each applicant, an application packet/dosier is created by a clerk. It's her/his job to enter all the data supplied including electronically submitted application forms, essays, and what not. It's his/her responsibility to VERIFY that the information is correct:s/he receives the transcript, SAT score etc, and makes sure what's included in the "packet" is accurate and up to date.

    My son did call the clerk handling his application package, and she was the only who told him what's missing, and read back to him the scores and what not so that he could verify that there is no clerical mistake on their part. Frequently, when he asked "can I send XXX additionally (meaning, not on the required item list, like a recommendation letter from YYY), her answer was "you could, but it's not going into your packet anyway"(as in what's the point!).

    He asked her about the school profile, the answer was the same.

    My overall impression was, the whole process is operating on the honor basis. Did you notice that nobody has a way of verifying all the check marks the applicants check on the "activity" part of the application?

    He did get the impression that the whole copy of transcript is included in the packet.

    My son met with the PMS of his first choice school he ended up getting the 4 year scholarship and attending now. The PMS enthusiastically invited me to be in the meeting, so I sat silents through the session. I was surprised to hear him say "in many cases, the board members may not read personal essays: no time - it's a very time compressed process".

    Think about it: their all have their "day jobs", each board consists of different members who do not do this for a living over and over again with all the expert practice of "deciphering" application materials, and each board evaluation period lasts less than a week, and they have to sift through thousands of applications during that time. I highly doubt that they would have the time to thoroughly examine each applicant's paperwork beyond what were the required items to the point that they look at the candidate's GPA vis-a-vis school profile (which was not likely included on the packet anyway). This is VERY different from the college admission process, where trained professionals who have done it for years immediately know how to "decipher" candidate's application packages and can smell the BS in the essays in nano seconds.

    Regarding GPA, my impression was, they just look at the number, look at the class ranking (required item on the application) as a way to sort of "weighing" the number informally. And, they may briefly scan the transcript to make sure the candidate did not fill his/her entire curriculum with electives like "modern ROCK music".

    It's a long winded post. The moral of the story I would like to bring to the attention of the applicants is this: think about elevator speech. Think of it as a speed dating. Think you have 5-10 minutes to shine through and through in the board evaluation process because that may be all the time allocated to you.

    You need to look at it from THEIR perspective and THEIR attention span. Do you stand out or not? One of the easiest way to stand out is the numbers (like GPA, SAT, etc), and a couple of key words like "varsity team captain".

    I have done research on jury verdict decision making processes while I was in grad school. People's impressions are highly malleable and highly influenced by the first few salient pieces of information to the point that sometimes it's very difficult to undo that. AND, this was the case when 12 people were locked up for DAYS with nothing else to do but to spend 100% of their attention to the case presented to them.

    What do you think happens when the board members have 10 minutes to spend on each candidate? There is nothing like brutally simple numbers that get etched on their mental scape to color the rest of their "perception building" process about YOU.

    Anyway, this is just my personal two cents, and I have no scientifically verifiable data to back my impression. Nevertheless, this is how I advised my son: I advised him to put together his applications package with a key goal of having 2-3 aspects of himself that will make an impression during his 5 minutes of the board members attention span - key 2-3 attributes that will make the board members think "we want one of those".

    The Achilles heel of the OP's application packet will be the academic aspect. S/he will need to really improve the GPA and do whatever is humanly possible to get a great score on SAT. In fact, SAT is much easier to improve than GPA. After all, cumulative GPA is very hard to improve significantly in one year. SAT can go up tremendously with a right kind of practice and tutoring. If I have to choose one area of financial investment for the entire scholarship and college admission process, it is a few hundred $$$ for SAT tutoring. It pays back in multiple numbers. (on the academic front: my son's GPA was not where it should have been - a long story. His SAT scores were very high -top 1-2% range, and I believe it made up for the GPA issue)
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  12. ajwilliams96

    ajwilliams96 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    In addition to the list above, in my freshman year, I was a member of the Chess Team and the Ultimate Frisbee club. Also, in the summer between my freshman and sophomore years, I volunteered in a hospital's messenger department. This year, I am also a member of the Chess Club, a member of the Future Business Leaders of America chapter, a host at multiple school open houses, and I also helped in the School Toy Drive. Over the summer, I intend on attending the Navy Sports Camp for swimming and go to Nicaragua for a mission trip. Also, I received a 184 on the PSAT.
     
  13. educateme

    educateme Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0
    Definitely for college admission and probably also for scholarship application, it is MUCH BETTER to focus on a few ECs and dig deeper and emerge as a significant player than dabble in a lot of activities as a member. Truthfully, I don't think anybody cares whether one joined a freesbie club or a chess club as a member: for all they care, the student may have gone to one meeting and was considered a "member". They want to see passion, dedication, and discipline to be a leader in something that really matters a great deal to the person, rather than dilettantism in a lot of scattered activities.

    I advised my son not to bother listing all sorts of little things that participated here and there. They are just noises and detract from the main message he wants to convey. For EC, he had only one very meaningful one, but this is what he was totally dedicated to. That's what he discussed. For sports, he focused on one or two. The EC was civil air patrol (military style EC sponsored by Air Force, and is very well recognized by the ROTC board). He emerged as a leader in his local division. He spent a lot time on a weekly basis throughout year year and in various summer activities all under this umbrella, wound up being chosen as the best cadet in an annual national air search and rescue wilderness training camp in PA. All of his volunteer hours were also accumulated in this capacity: Civil Air Patrol has tons of cadet volunteer activities such as being part of the welcome home team for returning troops, etc. All of his EC activities outside his school revolved around this single theme, and he was able to show that he had a focus, discipline, dedication to be an acknowledged leader that took four years in the making.

    Remember what I said in the previous post. If you have 5 minutes to tell somebody about yourself, should you list all of your membership in a myriad of unrelated, seemingly scattered activities? Or, should you talk about how you became the commander of the local unit of civil air patrol?

    If you were my kid, I would advise you to cut down on all sorts of unrelated activities, focus on one or two that really fire you up, and use the remaining time to REALLY work hard to improve your GPA and ace SAT. This will help you tremendously for both college admission and ROTC scholarship application
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Educateme.

    You maybe correct it could be an AFROTC and NROTC thing for the boards. One thing to remember, is that it is a mathematical equation. 60% is PAR.

    As for the AFA and AFROTC, the board does not do the re-weighting of the school profile, just like the college admissions board don't do it. There are people behind the scenes that do it. That is their job to input the candidates stats and chug it out to equal their program.

    A candidate that took only the ACT will need their scores converted to the SAT equivalent. The board doesn't do that, the person at a desk does.

    A candidate that attends a magnet school like TJJHS in VA, which is number1 in the nation, will have a much different profile than the candidate from Mt. Home ID. It would be unfair to the TJ kid to give them the same points for the gpa, esp. if the Mt Home student took all APs with a weight of 5.0 and the TJ took all APs with a 4.5 weight.

    The same is true for the kid from a uwgpa. It would be unfair to say they have a better gpa when they took 4 APs, got C's in them and took 4 easier classes like weight lifting, Teen life, and keyboarding where they got all A's compared to the kid that took 8 APs and pulled a 3.0 too.

    That is why they have these people behind the scenes doing the conversions so every kid is being reviewed not by the stds of their schools, but by the HQ for national selection.

    This is also why they announce that the cut off date to met X board is by Y date, which can be weeks in advance of the board meeting. This is where they also assign points to the CFA/PFA, because it is just a mathematical formula, and those points will than be placed into the equation

    From there the board will see their transcripts, the CFA/PFA, but most importantly this is where the board will read the recs and essays, this is where they score them. This is also why they don't want additional essays, or recs because they are only going to read those submitted which are required.

    Points are awarded for each part. AFROTC is like the AFA.
    60% PAR
    20 % ECs, includes PFA/CFA
    20% Recs./Essays

    They tabulate the points, award a WCS, and hand it back to the people working the desks. Get X points above the line and you get a scholarship get below the line and you don't.

    The one caveat is from what people have told me who have sat on the AFROTC board is the Recs/essays. Not every member will read every essay, it is broken into groups assigned certain piles. Every member in that group will read every essay in that pile. All will score the essay, but if there is a large differentiation in the score, the packet is placed aside to be reviewed again. Honestly, I can't recall if they said the packet is sent to another group to review for a fresh set of eyes, or if they talk it out to come to a consensus.

    Again, you are correct AROTC can be totally different, and I would assume it is because AROTC has many more applicants than AFROTC to get through the selection process.

    Back to the OP.

    I agree with educateme, you really should drop a lot of things you are doing because honestly, ultimate frisbee may be fun to do, but the fact is it may be the reason why your grades are on the low end to be competitive.

    The boards care more about quality than quantity, and when it comes to ECs they are not only looking for athleticism which you have with your 3 school sports, but leadership and dedication in those areas. BSA/GSA will get you points in the EC world because it shows dedication and leadership. Ultimate frisbee is just not going to cut it.

    They also want the sports or BSA or whatever to illustrate your time management abilities.

    1000 clubs and you sacrifice your grades is not what they want to see. The biggest reason kids traditionally have an issue transitioning into college is that there are so many options they never had before, and for some they believe they should be in all of them. By doing so they sacrifice their grades and that hurts them in the long run. The kids that take on only a few in HS, but stick with them for yrs. shows to them that you understand how to juggle both your academic life, but also your personal life without a sacrifice to either.

    It is also important to say, no clubs or sports scare them, even if you are the valedictorian with the most AP's ever in school history. What that tells them all work and no play means Johnny might not be able to transition to college from a socialization perspective. Book smart is good, but it is not the golden ticket to college or scholarships.

    The OP has the balance of athletics, and academics at this point, without chess and frisbee.

    FBLA is a good EC, and I would suggest you run for a leadership position next yr. Drop the other things.

    I would also def. attend Navy Sports for Swimming because again it highlights to them at a younger yr your dedication to the Navy, plus, it is athletic, and although I do not know if you have to compete for attendance or pay a check it still is NAVY sponsored. If it is a competition to attend, start working out now because you never know there might be USNA swim coaches there who can be an asset for recruiting.

    The 184 PSAT equals 1840 SAT as a rule of thumb. In today's competition for AF/NROTC with your gpa that is going to be on the cusp or low. You really want to be in the 2000 ball park to start to feel comfortable. The avg type 1 for AFROTC is over 1350, and remember that is not superscored, it is the best 1 sitting. Make sure you investigate if A/NROTC superscore or take the 1 best sitting.

    Also if you feel you are stronger in Math and Science, the ACT may be a better fit for you. You can submit both scores and they will select which is higher. DS1 and 2 submitted both, and for both they took the ACT. DD submitted both, but they took her SAT (she is an English major). The tests are different. Take them this spring. The more often you do it, the more any test anxiety you have will disappear and the more you will start to understand what they are truly looking for.

    ACT Science is a lot of looking at graphs and interpreting what is being asked, so it is a combo of math and science, just like Chemistry and Physics are both.

    You will also do better as the yr goes on because the academics you are learning will now be in your wheel house, whereas, when you are a soph., you have yet to take Trig, but as a jr. you have the foundation.

    Good luck.
     
  15. ajwilliams96

    ajwilliams96 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you all for the advice. Also, I didn't state which ROTC scholarship I wanted to apply for, to keep the advice general, but the scholarship I want is the NROTC scholarship.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    NROTC out of the 3 IMPO (AFROTC Mom) is the absolute most competitive scholarship out there...sorry!

    The next question is what do you intend to major in? 85% of NROTC scholarships are STEM.

    What colleges are your intended top 5, because that plays into the selection process.

    You are very lucky to find this site now as a soph. so you can plot out your path, and that is why I said earlier start looking into the colleges because I had seen early on you wanted NROTC.

    School selection will be a factor, just as much as your major and your hs PAR.

    You now have to figure out how to balance all 3 in the best way to guarantee a scholarship.

    Goes back to if you apply to UDel and get accepted for admittance, but not for scholarship what will you do?

    You have the time to do this right and get your ideal dream.

    OBTW for posters and lurkers, I would never suggest just stating ROTC if you have a specific branch, because out of the 2 pages, 75% was filled with educating on how each branch is different(i.e. educate and me); and risked the chance of the thread being diverted. If you know the branch you want, place it in the thread title. If you are open to all 3 than leave it general. JMPO. Not trying to offend, but aj has no desire to be in the air or on land, it would have been faster for him to receive guidance if he just said NROTC scholarship chances. It would have put us on this track now.

    AGAIN:

    MAJOR?
    SCHOOLS?

    If you want to be truly chanced or guided from an NROTC perspective as a Soph. HS student you need to supply those answers.

    They are the real questions.

    Georgetown will be different than NCST. Mainly due to the factor that GTU is on a different academic tier than NCST. ERAU will be different than Notre Dame.

    If you want true guidance, you need to give more info., otherwise any reply given on what you should or shouldn't do is worth squat since the factors that apply for scholarships in NROTC are not known.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  17. educateme

    educateme Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0
    Unless there is a very specific reason for your preference for NROTC, you might also want to consider other branches like AROTC.

    My son was initially very much more interested in the Marine option of NROTC. But, he changed his mind: Army provides a lot more diversified portfolio of career choices (within Army that is) than Marine. As an added bonus, it's easier to get AROTC scholarship - just a lot more available, and more universities and school in the mix also.

    My limited understanding is, NROTC scholarship is much harder to get than AROTC scholarship.

    Of course, you should not switch to AROTC solely because it's easier to get scholarship. You have to be where you love to be. However, if your preference is rather "soft", you might want to consider applying to both: you can do that and make your choice later depending on the outcome of the scholarship award decisions.

    Now, go and study hard. NROTC bar, I believe, is higher than AROTC bar for scholarship. Your GPA should REALLY improve. Next few years, the competition should be really fierce due to double whammy: wars are winding down meaning less man power projected for several years as a human requirement on the part of the military and the budget cut that will affect the $$$ available to dole out scholarships. Granted, you will the class of 2017 so a lot can change, but unless USA enters a few wars between now and then (which is highly unlikely), budget issues suddenly improve drastically (not very likely), and/or the civilian economy really picks up so that officers start to leave in droves (this could happen), the military won't be handing out scholarships like candies.

    You should also make a plan B: the possibility that you may have to join ROTC as a non-scholarship candidate and finance your education without the scholarship through other means. You may already want to have this discussion with your parents and see what your family's financial situation will be like in a couple of years.
     
  18. dunninla

    dunninla Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    5
    OK, with that GPA, NROTC - Navy option is about a 1% chance. You should still apply, but you'd have much better odds if you also apply AROTC and NROTC - Marine Option. Oh, wait, I think you have to pick between Navy Option and Marine Option.. well, just weight those odds and proceed accordingly. You didn't say why you want NROTC as opposed to AROTC or AFROTC, Your best hope is either Army ROTC or NROTC - Marine Option.

    I agree with the above posts that even for AROTC or NROTC Marine Option, with that GPA, you need to get a really solid SAT or ACT -- 1300+ or 28+. These are not generic officer training programs... they are COLLEGE officer training programs and you need to be able to excel in college while spending 10-14 hours per week in ROTC. So I agree, spend some $$ on SAT or ACT prep and take it at least three times.

    Member/Pariicipate, etc. mean absolutley nothing. You could be a member of 500 clubs/organizations and it means nothing other than you are a good follower and very busy. Following isn't what officership is about.

    Captain
    Founded
    Varsity Captain
    Student Council/Class President (possibly VP is OK)
    Newpaper Editor (possibly asst. editor)

    So, get high SAT/ACT, become a Varsity Captain, and pick up at least one add'l leadership position, get a higher GPA junior year than sophomore, and you'll competitive for Army ROTC or NROTC - Marine Option, and a long-shot for NROTC - Navy Option and AFROTC.

    Remember Navy ROTC and to an extent Air Force ROTC are about Engineering/Science degrees, and not Business/History/Psych/etc. With NROTC - Navy Option you MUST take a full year of Calculus, and a full year of Calculus-based Physics in college no matter what your academic major is... that's how serious they are about mids who can think scientifically. 85% of NROTC - Navy Option scholarships must be Type 1 (Engineering) or Type 2 (Science/Math), with only 15% left for Type III (every other major).
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  19. ajwilliams96

    ajwilliams96 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    I may be just in an introduction class right now, but I really enjoy the subject of Computer Science, and I plan on taking AP Computer Science next year. As for schools, I have no idea so far.
     
  20. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    AJ, I think it's fantastic that you are already so proactive in researching NROTC as a high school sophomore. Good on you! Three of my kids have received NROTC scholarships in the last 3 years so here's my NROTC advice for you;
    1. Get in touch with your local Navy Officer recruiter. You can find them from the NROTC website. Go over all your information with them and they can let you know what you can do to improve your chances far better than any of us here can. You can also contact your school counselor and ask if anyone from your school has received a NROTC scholarship in the last year or two and get their perspective as well (not instead of the officer recruiter, though).
    2. Sign up to take the SAT & ACT tests in January (2013!), March, April, June to give yourself time to improve if you need to. 184 as a sophomore is a pretty good score so that could be a strength for you.
    3. Start your application in April of your Junior year as soon as it opens. Work with your officer recruiter to refine your application. Plan to spend some time on it. In April of your Junior year ask for teacher recommendations so that they can be submitted in May. Also ask your school to send official transcripts (request in April/May and they'll send them as soon as your transcript is ready at the end of Junior year).
    4. Seriously consider pursuing a Tier 1 major (Engineering). Your chances will improve greatly of receiving a NROTC scholarship.
    5. Finish your application completely by mid June. Even though the first NROTC Board doesn't meet until Aug/Sept of your Senior year, in the past years they have reviewed the first few hundred applications received. You want to be in that first batch of applications received! If you finish your application in late July or early August you may still be not reviewed until the second board. Competition gets tougher as the year progresses. It's important to get before the first board so line yourself up so that you can have a strong application early.
    6. School choice listing is not as easy as it looks. Your local recruiter will likely not spend much time with you on this since they don't have much visibility on this part of the process (it occurs after scholarship is awarded). Call every college NROTC Unit that you are interested in and go over your stats with them. Often they will have admission stats for their NROTC students. Find out how early their Unit fills and if they take off the waiting list. Line up your choices with schools that you'd like to attend, that you are also likely to get into. Don't put a super competitive school as #1 if it never fills up, even if it's your first choice, unless you are certain of getting in or you don't mind giving up your scholarship. Transferring your scholarship from an in-state school to a private will be very difficult after the fact so keep that in mind.
    Good Luck!
     

Share This Page