Given an offer! Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by XCJarbo, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. XCJarbo

    XCJarbo New Member

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    Hello all!
    I interviewed for an Air Force ROTC scholarship yesterday and they offered me a full tuition scholarship on the spot, but only if I attend their school (it is the University of Cincinnati). I have until Monday to decide. Ideally, I would never choose to attend University of Cincinnati, but my parents want me to graduate college with very little debt.
    I need help deciding if I should accept this offer or wait and see how my application does in the board. My stats are as followed:

    ACT: 33 (34 in Reading and English and a 32 in Math and Science)

    GPA:
    Unweighted: 3.86
    Weighted: 4.16

    Class Load not including senior year:
    3 AP Classes and 11 Honors Classes

    PFA Scores:
    1.5 Mile: 10:33
    Pushups: 49
    Situps: 48

    Jobs:
    Head Swim Coach over the summer
    Head Swim Lessons Instructor over the summer
    Lifeguard over the summer
    Had a newspaper route from eighth grade to senior year
    Held a dog boarding job from eighth grade to junior year

    School Activities:
    Co-Captain of the Mock Trial Team Junior and Senior Year, member since Sophomore year
    Co-Captain of the Cross Country team Senior Year, member all four years
    Member of a leadership team for three years
    Varsity swimmer my Freshman year
    Member of the orchestra all four years and held a section leader role my junior year
    Member of National Honors Society
    Worked on School Newspaper and Yearbook my Sophomore Year

    Volunteer Work:
    Violin teacher 4 and 1/2 hours a week
    Helped lead a running club at the elementary school
    Helped with various school activities
    Member of Help Increase the Peace

    Special Activities:
    Went to Girls State
    Attended Anthony Munoz Leadership Seminar
    Attended West Point Leadership and Ethics Seminar

    I want to major in Computer Science and minor in Arabic. (I am also a girl if that helps any)

    Please Please help me. I'm in a very difficult decision and I need as much guidance and help as I can get. Please let me know what my chances are for any type of scholarship or if I should take this offer. Please help.
     
  2. k2rider

    k2rider Member

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    With your stats, I'd say you're safe to wait it out....you also want to attend the right school for the right reasons.
     
  3. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    No debt is a wise and wonderful thing, but not necessarily at the expense of attending a school you may hate. What schools are on your "wish" list? Why do you dislike U of Cincy?

    It may help to understand what you are looking for in your top college choice.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  4. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Congratulations on the offer. What a tough decision.

    Your post says you would never choose to go to UC. On the surface, I would say that if that is true, you should not accept the scholarship no matter how inviting that seems.

    But my real challenge would be to work through the reason that UC is not for you. This needs to be a real and honest thought process along with a serious discussion with others. If you go through this discernment and still feel the only reason you would go there is for the scholarship, then I would decline the offer.

    Just so you know, lots of people settle for something less than their dream school and end up loving the place they go. In fact, I would argue that most people end up feeling that they would never change the decision if they could do it all over again.

    Good luck.
     
  5. XCJarbo

    XCJarbo New Member

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    The main reason I don't want to attend U.C. is because it is so close to my house. It is twenty minutes away and I really just don't like Cincinnati. The area the university is in is fairly dangerous and the program is not as strong as at a couple of my other choice.Right now, my wish list is
    1. Purdue University
    2. The Ohio State University
    3. Louisiana State University
    4. Kent State University
     
  6. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    UC is in our backyard too and my DS also was not interested in attending. He is currently 4th year (MSIV) AROTC cadet at OU.

    My questions would be: 1) Have you visited and/or met with AFROTC at any of these "dream" schools? 2) If so, how were you received?, at UC your stats may be "big fish,little pond" and at least at Purdue and OSU you will be "average".

    As mentioned I'm an AROTC mom, so AFROTC isn't my area, but I will also agree with the above posters - the school does matter. DS also walked away from a full ride academic scholarship(r&b and books included) to a roll of the dice in the scholarships back in 2011. He did not receive a AROTC scholarship and pieced together a financial package from academic school based and National Guard membership to afford his dream school with little debt. I think he's pleased with his choice and wouldn't change it.

    Keep talking to mom and dad - UC isn't a bad school in any way(yes, the surrounding area is an issue for crime, but the new police chief is on the ball!) I understand their fears for the financial future, but you have to live there for 4 years....

    Look for Pima on here - she's very good with AFROTC issues!!
     
  7. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Are you dead set on the Air Force? Are you dead set on flying?

    If not, you may want to consider one of the other services, given your academic intentions...CS and Arabic. One can't turn on the news without hearing about the Arab world and cyber security.

    Does it help that you are a young woman? I will do the un-PC thing and say "hell yes!" But, with your stats and life experience, it wouldn't matter. You have prepared yourself to be able to think big, so you should do so.

    There are many folks on this forum who can answer the questions you may have before making those decisions.

    Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  8. enskaisin

    enskaisin Member

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    Care to elaborate? The Air Force has a robust and rapidly growing cyber section and the mission that every good little cadet must memorize even specifically mentions it (fly, fight, and win, in air, space, and cyberspace). There are also numerous opportunities for officers to engage and maintain their language skills like LEAP, other AFCLC programming, and scholarships. Not everyone in the Air Force flies planes ;)

    From the perspective of an AS400 not remotely from the area, I have a lot of friends at that det through Arnold Air Society/Silver Wings/Field Training/Project GO and I have a high opinion of it. The cadets I've met have all been good cadets and fun people who spoke highly of their program. Their cadre work hard to ensure cadets are able to participate in the school's coop program, which is a good sign.

    Second perspective: I went OOS on an AFROTC tech scholarship to a school with strong tech programs and meh everything else, totally convinced that I was a perfect fit for my tech major, and ended up hating it and transferring to a university 35 minutes from my house. I love my school and am happily looking forward to graduating and commissioning, but sometimes I wish I had gone straight to the bigger school with more academic options in the first place and saved myself the drama of transferring with a typical freshman tech major GPA. I certainly can't speak to your life or family situation, but a lot of my desire to go OOS involved things like wanting to get away from people I went to HS with and thinking my parents would be hovering too closely-on a campus of 20k+ you never see those people, and my parents turned out to be more awesome than expected (who knew?). I also appreciate now that I can be home quickly because it means I can celebrate the good news like EAs and AFSCs in person with my family, which is great. I ended up having to take summer courses and I saved a lot of money being able to commute from home, too.

    Finally, debt is no joke in the Air Force. You'll undoubtedly need a high clearance working in cyber and financial problems are one of the easiest ways to mess that up. I in no way mean to imply that you or anyone else with student loans will automatically have financial problems, but removing that potential issue entirely is a blessing.

    I'll leave the "well with x stats you're likely to get y scholarship and accepted to this and that school" bit to the stat savvy folks here, but your situation reminded me a lot of my experiences.
     
  9. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Can't elaborate on much other than to say that if OP is not deadset on flying that she should widen her net beyond AF and use this forum to gain insight from posters, like yourself, who can share personal experience from the AF or any of the other services.
     
  10. enskaisin

    enskaisin Member

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    Very true- I got it in my head that I only wanted the Air Force in HS but got on a campus with all three branches and quickly realized that I probably would be happy and challenged in any branch. Though we all have our strengths and personalities, I love working with my AROTC and NROTC friends and sometimes wish I had applied to all branches, just to see what would have happened. A dear friend was dead-set on Air Force but her parents talked her into applying for an NROTC scholarship; four years later, she's happily looking forward to her Navy commissioning.

    However, the Air Force has 62,000 officers and only 13,000 pilots (AFPC). There are many, many, many opportunities for Air Force officers beyond flying and many of us aren't/weren't ever interested in becoming pilots.
     
  11. vamom

    vamom Member

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    I may be way behind the times here, but my understanding is that an AFROTC scholarship is portable and can be used at any qualified college/university (those that have ROTC / Crosstown). So I'm wondering, are you saying that Cincinnatti offered you a supplemental scholarship to the AFROTC scholarship? Meaning, did they offer to pay your room and board? I ask because the AFROTC scholarship covers everything BUT room and board. Just clarifying the OP's situation!
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Vamom

    The scholarship they were offered is not the HSSP, but a variation. Many dets have their own funds to offer In College. It works the same as an HSSP, but it is not portable. If the candidate accepts this scholarship they MUST remove their name from the national board. Thus, it is a risk especially if you don't know if you will be accepted or in the posters case what appears to be their back up school.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    XC,

    IMPO it would be wrong for anyone to chance you. Yes, your stats look strong and at least a type 7 as a tech major.

    I understand your folks wanting for you not to have debt. However, most or a very large majority of scholarship recipients will also get merit.
    ~ My DS received scholarships from every college he applied to, on top of his AFROTC scholarship.

    Secondly, understand AFROTC when it comes to college scholarships. IT IS NOT a guaranteed 4 year scholarship. It is really 2+ 2. As a sophomore you must be selected for summer field training. Last year @55% were selected. If not selected you will most likely be disenrolled, thus the scholarship will be revoked.
    ~ This is where it comes to how much DONT you want to be there?
    ~~ There is a correlation between hating where you are attending school and lower grades.

    Just like the idea that it is guaranteed for 4 years, the idea that you only need to maintain a 2.5 is true, but not realistic. Historically to be selected for field training as a tech major you will need to be at 3.0/3.1 cgpa. I don't really really anyone to be selected for SFT with anything lower than a 2.8, and even than they were insanely rare because the avg is 3.0/3.1.
    ~ You will only have 3 semesters to get that cgpa. If your first semester is 2.6, than you are going to need to carry a 3.1 for the next two semesters.
    ~ Yes, you have the grades in HS, but many times that does not translate into carrying a high cgpa in college.

    Now as for it being only twenty minutes away. My youngest attends college only thirty minutes away. Want to know how many times I have been up to see him? 1x....the day we moved him in. How many times has he come home? About 1x a month for a night and he is the one that says he is coming home.
    ~ Usually it is to pick up something and raid the pantry. He is coming home tonight because tomorrow he and his friends are going to the college pool and he needs his swim trunks!

    Just saying if you placing it low on the totem pole because you don't want the folks showing up all the time, trust me, we too have lives!

    Good luck.
     
  14. vamom

    vamom Member

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    Thank you Pima! Just when I thought I had this whole thing down pat! LOL!
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    That type of scholarship is very rare. Maybe one or two posters on this site are offered one every year. It becomes even more confusing because some posters confuse it with the national HSSP.

    For example if in this case the OP was offered it to Purdue it would be considered a type 1, but because it is for U Cincy it would be considered a type 7.

    On top of it some schools don't offer it, they instead than basically offer a 3 year type 2 to cadets within the unit. Or will upgrade a cadet that already converted a 7 to a 3 year 2 and give them the money for spring semester. This way they get to spread the wealth more.
     
  16. FlyingWildcatDad

    FlyingWildcatDad Member

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    The scholarship OP is referring to is called a Commander's Leadership Scholarship (CLS). Every Det Commander gets one to hand out every year that can be used at the host university or one of it's cross towns. Like Pima said, accepting this scholarship removes your name from competing for the HSSP scholarship. My DS was offered one when he interviewed in 2011 but declined to compete on the national board to go to the university of his choice. Luckily it worked out and he received a HSSP scholarship on the first board. I do understand OP's parents on this one though because I was there, it is a gamble!
     

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