Harbinger of fewer scholarships?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by scoutpilot, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    http://theithacan.org/4484

    I don't pretend to be a ROTC expert, but CPT Lisa Dwyer (our S-2 years ago) sent me this link about her battalion and scholarships. Food for thought!
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Scout,

    That was a great article. I would really suggest everyone read this article. It emphasizes what many ROTC cadets and parents of ROTC cadets have been stating these past 2 yrs regarding the impact of the economic downturn.

    You need to polish those applications and highlight every aspect you can when competing for a scholarship. What you think as a no nothing aspect, can be an aspect that pushes you over the line.

    DON'T JUST SLAP IT TOGETHER. Review, edit, review again. Don't think there is A STUPID QUESTION on this site...I have been here for 3 yrs, there is no such thing when it comes to this process.

    For the AFROTC world, it has always been known to be more competitive than AROTC. AF is going through a RIF, they are not having an OTS class for 2011. You need to see that the AF is even feeling the economic downturn.

    If I had to say from an honest standpoint ranking the ease of scholarships it would be
    Army
    AF
    Navy

    This is not meant to throw in the towel, it is meant to step up to the table. The only 100% guarantee anyone can give you is you have 100% chance of not getting a scholarship if you don't apply.

    Use this site, feel free to ask people how to highlight your strengths. We are all here to assist. On the flip side, when we are negative, don't roll up into a ball, come back and work how to make it a positive.

    You can do that. You can have a crappy SAT score, but by being honest about it we can say, okay do x.y. or z.

    You can have a lower gpa but if you say, I am 1st generation American, we can assist you on how to emphasize that from recs and essays, where the board can justify why they should take the risk.

    I think overall, the biggest problem for AROTC and NROTC candidates is their system that it is tied to the college. Kids shoot for the stars in regard to colleges, and that is great, but it hurts them when they did not put matches or safeties in for their apps. All of the sudden they are faced with a scholarship to a school that rejected them or no scholarship to a school that accepted them.

    If you are doing the AROTC or NROTC program always heed the anecdotal experience of how the school selection impacted their lives.
     
  3. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    from the article...

    Not sure if I want to say that this is a harbinger of fewer scholarships quite yet. I would feel safe to say there won't be more.

    I agree with PIMA that there are a lot of good points that prospectives should be aware of in the article. And regardless of the level of competition, one quality that will make you successful in ROTC, the Army, and life for that matter is putting in the extra effort to be the best at what you do.
     
  4. educateme

    educateme Member

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    This is an amazing number. Regardless of whether this may just be an outlier or not, something like this should be a concern for not only the local battalion but also for the cadet command, that is, more applicants in economic tough times, but many of them may be applying mostly for the financial reason, and not ready ton follow through with their commitment.

    So, I guess this is the increase going into the Oct 25 board. In an environment like this, careful planning and strategy is even more important.

    In my strategic marketing/planning career, I have always emphasized "differentiated product positioning". If you don't have differentiation, you become a commodity.

    I approached my son's ROTC application the same way. Competitive market landscape. Differentiated product positioning. How about the needs of the "customer"? What are the customers (Army) looking for? A dedicated, committed candidate who is not applying just for money. What else are they looking for? Officer for the 21st century where the global military engagement is not just about firepower, but also the war of ideas. General Petraeus's counter insurgency program is all about understanding the enemy, understanding the diverse cultural and historical context of the conflict we are engaged in. A nuanced global understanding of the international conflict is necessary to win the war of 21st century.

    So...

    When my son was putting together his application, there are couple of things I brainstormed with him and advised him to emphasize. One of them is to discuss/emphasize how his passion for all things military date as far back as possible, so that the reader of his essay and the PMS who interviews him realize that this kid's interest in ROTC did not just happen as a result of economic downturn.

    My son told me that he used many Army/military lingos in his interview (e.g., sir, my goal is to try my best to reach at least the rank of O-6, and hopefully even beyond that. Sir, I can see from your insignia that you were special force qualified, can you tell me how I should prepare myself for that since that's my goal also, etc). I thought that was good - it showed that he has done a lot of thinking and researching on the Army career path.

    Another thing I advised him to consider in essays and interviews is his very cosmopolitan, international background and experience. He has been all over the world with relatives spread into 3-4 continents. I won't go into the detail since I don't want to put too much personal data/information. I advised him to emphasize how he came to realize the global geopolitical implication of American's military power on a personal level, and why that attitude embedded into his basic orientation will make him an outstanding officer in the age of counter insurgency and what not. I assume that in this competitive year, there are many more sufficiently qualified candidates that will make an outstanding officer in the future than the number of scholarships available. So, if you are not the perfect candidate, you need to be "one of those we need to complete the picture for the variety's sake". My son's international orientation is one thing not many candidates have, and he needed to emphasize and accentuate what he brings to the table from this angle.

    No false advertisement. Just sharpened marketing message that accentuates the product strength.

    If he is a SAT 1500, GPA 4.0, captain of the football team, student government president, all this and part time job, none of this would be necessary. However, he is not a perfect candidate. As such, we needed a plan to let him shine where he can, in the way the Army would like to see, and meet the institution goals and plans of the Army.

    But, I have to emphasize. None of this is to present my son as someone who he is not. He is a truly dedicated would-be military officer. At this point, he cannot possibly think of any other career path. He is 1000% dedicated to the idea of serving this country. His goal is to be deployed where the country most needs him regardless of personal danger. As a parent, this could potentially be a horror scenario. However, that's what he truly wants to do. Given that this is his life mission, I am helping him so that while the Army get the best part of him, he also gets best of what the the Army has to offer.

    Who knows, with all this, he may still not get the scholarship. In this competitive environment, nothing is for sure. However, in the process, he learned a very valuable lesson of forward looking thinking, strategic planning, leaving no stone unturned, the importance of data gathering, doing research, research, and more research...... Though it was stressful at time, it was also a bonding experience. And, he came away with a very, very , very vague notion that maybe, just maybe, his mom may not be all that clueless and useless, and there may be a reason to perhaps consider listening to her- of course only rarely and only under extreme circustance

    **** disclaimer *******

    I have no insider's knowledge of what the Army considers their institutional needs for international orientation what knot. I was basing my assumption on available data and logic. Of course, maybe I am totally off the mark.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  5. Rebel91

    Rebel91 Member

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    educateme - I have read many of your posts over the past couple of weeks and the level of research and analysis you have done is obvious and impressive. However, I do not share your assessment regarding the % of applicants who have international experience.

     
  6. educateme

    educateme Member

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    yes, I understand that especially applicants coming from military families may have extensive international exposures. But I think still being part of the 10-20% subgroup with perhaps desirable attributes provides additional boost.

    Again, this falls in the category of how to highlight what ever it is he got. He is a solid candidate, but not a perfect one. If he has a perfect S-A-L profile, none else is needed. Given that he is not a perfect candidate, there are many more with better S-A-L score. So, the question is, what else can we highlight? If he has an attribute that is not shared by everybody but only among 10-20%, well, I will take it as a raw material to work with.

    Besides, among those 10-20% with international exposure, did all of them wove a story line around it, and discuss how this experience is going to shape him as an officer dealing with the 21st century global conflict? I doubt it.

    It's not just whether his experience is so unbelievably unusual or not. It's also a matter of what kind of narrative he creates with it. He discussed why this is relevant to his devotion and commitment to the Army, then drew a line to his intended major (international relations), and explained why this fits better into the ROTC choice as opposed to the SA choice. When he showed me his essay, I thought he got it. It was a very coherent self presentation that used all his assets with maximum effect. That's what good marketing is all about. Working with the product you have and present it the best possible way in accordance with what the customer needs and values.

    Why do we have people who make $$$$$ doing a marketing job? Because, other than a very rare case of products that sell themselves, everyone else benefits from good marketing and communication. Applying for a job, applying for a scholarship, applying for anything that comes with competition is not different from selling products to consumers who can choose your competitor's offers.

    One thing I strongly believe in though, is HONEST, ETHICAL marketing. No false advertisement. No false claims. This has always been my mantra.

    My son may still not get any scholarship, but at least, he learned a lot through the process, and he has the satisfaction of knowing he gave it his best shot.
     
  7. Rebel91

    Rebel91 Member

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    PM sent
     
  8. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Harbinger of fewer scholarships

    Very nice article, tells the story.

    RGK
     
  9. DougBetsy

    DougBetsy Member

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    Good article.

    I just wish somebody would report how many total applications Cadet Command received last year. We know how many scholarships they gave out (2500). We know there was a 15% increase over prior year. We know there are 16,000 total cadets. But we still don't know how many apps went to CC in the 09-10 cycle. :confused:
     
  10. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Do we know how many apps went to CC in the 08-09 cycle? :wink:
     
  11. cjs

    cjs Member

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    As Capt. Dwyer is discussing her current class, the class of 2014, I would think that when she discusses the 15% increase she is discussing the class of 2014. They say "went to the scholarship board" and as the AROTC scholarship board hasn't met yet this year it is may be safe to say that they are discussing the boards that met for the 2010 allotment which is for the class of 2014.
     
  12. educateme

    educateme Member

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    OK. we are now all sitting here, wringing our hands, now that the online submission is closed for the Oct 25 board.

    Let me throw a little tantrum :confused:
    (pun intended).

    My pet peeve is the lack of data. I am a data driven person. I input everything into my mental statistical model and start calculating odds and what not to chart the next course of action on my part. I do this for almost everything in my life. (I know this sounds horrible to many people :shake: )

    It just drives me nuts that there is so LITTLE data available in this whole process to satisfy my perversion.
     
  13. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    I totally get it Educateme. Two days ago I called the admissions person handleing my ds's file ( at a academy). We had been waiting on an item in particular. So, I thought now was my chance to ask her about this, about thAt , and what about,,,,,,I think I ticked her off! Eegags! What could be worse,,,,,I got off the phone thinking,,"what have I done"? Everyone else at this place has been awesome. Unfortunately it is not the first time she and I have spoken and I felt exactly the same way last time. I realize how busy they all must be at this time but they have others in their office who are a little , let's say, cuddlier. You know, someone who has the ability to throw you a bone AND blow you off at the same time! Not that that's a requirement! Anyone else have a simallar "fall on your sword moment"?:eek:
     
  14. dpt135

    dpt135 Member

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    Oh yeah! I called my repesentatives office to ask a couple of simple questions. We'll the SA administrator was not there and so the temporary secretary put my representative on the phone. I fumbled my words and don't know how I made it through the conversation. Hopefully, she won't remember my name from the phone call.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The fact is there has always been little data, and if this drives you nuts, then guess what? The military is going to drive you bonkers. This system occurs over and over again throughout your military career, schools (PME), promotions, and PCS's.

    There is no golden data rule because it is about personnel, and for every board there are different people with different records to meet that board.

    Every board makes a new puzzle, and nobody knows what that puzzle will look like until they have all of the pieces. Some of these pieces also are not only the personnel, but how many they need and in what positions.

    When you put in your PCS dream sheet, you don't just say I want to go here, and VOILA you go. You put down multiple choices and many times VOILA they send you somewhere that wasn't on the list.

    This is hard, I get it, we went down this road many yrs ago, but we also understood that for our DS, in his career this would probably be the least amount of handwringing he would ever face. The fact is even as an ROTC cadet he will meet another board, and that one will be for his career position...apply for a competitive field, and this will feel like a cake walk. In the AF this occurs as jr., it is about 6 months of your life sitting on your hands waiting because they will rack and stack you in the beginning of the semester, but the board doesn't get their recs until the end of the semester. The board meets in Jan. and results are out in Feb. This occurs 1 yr after going through the same process for SFT. (The AF no longer send 100% of their candidates to field training, it is a competitive board that decides this from Maxwell AFB. ) My point is since 2007 when we started this road with our DS he is now on BOARD NUMBER 3.

    Promotion boards as an AD member start up with base level of getting a P or DP or DNP 6-9 months out from the board date, and then it takes 6 weeks to find out the results. In essence it is almost an entire yr. For PME (military education) boards it is a repeat of that, and you have 3 times to compete for it. That means 3 yrs of going through handwringing while you probably also PCS during one of these board yrs.

    If you need to live by data to calm your nerves, the military is going to drive you absolutely nuts. Yes, you can eye ball it off of previous yrs, but that is about as good as you are going to get.

    One thing I am going to STRESS is do not call the SA for your child. It really leaves them with the impression that you are the driving force in this process and not the child. If you must call, explain it is because your child will not be able to during work hours, but it would be much better even if that was the case that your child email them and wait for a response that way.

    As for fumbling for words, the MOC knows you are still a kid, and your nerves were running rampant. Don't worry they will not think any less of you, unless your question was stupid like do the SA's have Burger King or McDonald's on post because I want to know since I don't like BK fries!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  16. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    that's too funny. I thought I was the only one who thought that taking mashed potato paste and molding it into what looks like a french fry, made a mealy tasting french fry... Burger King missed the boat on that one.
     
  17. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Boy is that true. I can sympathize with the need to know dates and documentation that needs to be submitted for a scholarship board- that should be pretty clear and easily available and if it's not there's room to complain about and to the service. But to those folks who are having Knipchens because nobody will tell you exactly how many will be awarded, or the precise criteria used to determine who will be selected by board- you need to set that helicopter on the pad and keep it grounded. The Army doesn't work that way, won't work that way, and if you are expecting it to work that way in the future- you will be a perpetually frustrated soldier.
     
  18. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Thank you. Couldn't agree more.
     
  19. plmmar

    plmmar Member

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    The fact is there has always been little data, and if this drives you nuts, then guess what? The military is going to drive you bonkers. This system occurs over and over again throughout your military career, schools (PME), promotions, and PCS's.

    Ha-had to laugh. So true. :shake:
    What's that saying about being like a mushroom?

    This forum is about as good as it gets. Just hang in there-make your contacts with your school's PMS-develop that relationship and hope they have a scholarship for your son if the national doesn't pan out.
     

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