I've been seeing a lot of threads started about choosing between the service academies and rotc at a regular university. As my first year of college winds down, I feel I can give some insight that can hopefully help you guys figure out what's best for you. I am currently an Army Cadet in his first year at MIT. I did have the choice between my current school and USMA/ USNA. And I know that had I not gotten in to MIT, I would have went the service academy route instead of ROTC at my second choice (umich). But looking back, I do not feel that would've been the best route for me if I was in that situation. There are many more things to consider than X school is better than Y school, especially considering the vast differences in lifestyle between a regular university and a service academy. Also, there have been one argument particularly for the service academies that I feel is skewed, which is that you can always attend a regular university for grad school. The undergraduate and graduate experiences are completely different, at least here, and there is definitely more to college than just the degree at the end. Here is what I would personally consider if I had to choose between ROTC and a service academy now: For most universities, you will still need to pay room and board if you go with the ROTC scholarship. Is money an issue for you? Are either of your choices particularly known for what you want to study? And do you see the military as a long term career? At the end of both paths, you will still end up as a 2nd LT/Ensign. But from what I understand, service academy cadets/mids have a better shot at what they want in accessions. And I'm sure there are also many other small perks of the SAs to consider when looking at the big picture outside of college. And probably most importantly: Do you want the life of a service academy cadet or a regular college student? ROTC does have a commitment but it is not enough to consider yourself completely different from a normal college student. There is a lot of freedom you will be giving up. College is supposed to be the best four years of your life. Where do you believe you will find that? There is still some time to decide. If I recall correctly, decision date is May 1st. Talk to people, service academy cadets and grads, ROTC cadets and grads at your first non SA choice. Don't make a rash decision that decides the next four years of your life. If you guys have any questions, feel free to PM or post on this thread.