How competitive am I for ROTC?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Thresherbiker, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. Thresherbiker

    Thresherbiker New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I want to compete for a scholarship in either AFROTC (preferred) or AROTC. I do not come from a military family at all, so any advice or insight is greatly appreciated.

    I am a 17-year-old female going into my senior year of high school this fall. I am an IB Diploma Candidate (college preparatory high school course) so I have all IB classes. At the end of my high school career I will have four years of science (Biology, Physics, Chemistry I & II), six years of math (Algebra I and higher) and four years of Spanish. My current GPA is 3.928 unweighted. On the SAT I got 580 on CR and 570 on math (definitely retaking that in October). I will take the ACT in September.
    I excel in math and foreign languages (even though my SAT score doesn't really reflect that).

    I played on my junior varsity school soccer team my freshmen and junior year and will play my senior year as well. I also played on the school tennis team my sophomore and junior year. Sophomore year I played on JV/V swing and junior year I received a varsity letter. I will play again for my senior year. I am an active member in the Red Cross and Intenational Rotary clubs at my school and was a member of the National Honor Society my sophomore year. Currently I have over 100 hours of community service.

    I am in decent physical condition but there is room for improvement.

    I want to be a civil engineer or intelligence officer for the Air Force but I am also considering the Army. My choices for universities are the University of Washington, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UCLA, the University of Michigan, and the Ohio State University.

    How competitive do you think I am for a scholarship and what else can I do to improve? I know that I need to improve my SAT score by 100 or so points. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    First off welcome to the forum and thank you for your interest in serving our great nation. I will let others here address AFROTC. You look competitive for AROTC. I would concentrate on your test scores and try to get as many varsity sports under your belt as possible. Also look for some leadership roles within your school clubs. In this budget sensitive enviorment in-state versus out of state schools will be a consideration to the board as well. Make sure you get your packet in for consideration for the first board. Lastly, look here on the forum as there are many places where people have put their stats, that will help you self evaluate. Best of luck.:thumb:
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    AFROTC is the red-headed cousin compared to AROTC.

    1. Your academic and ECs portion include up to the end of your JR. yr. What you take/do as a SR. will not be a factor.
    2. SAT/ACT are best sitting. They do not superscore
    3. Tech majors are the majority of scholarships. Engineering/STEM majors account for 85%+
    4. The scholarship is tied to the cadet, not the school. If you get a scholarship, and the school accepts AFROTC scholarship you can go to it. AFROTC dets do not have a limitation on how many cadets can be on scholarship.
    5. AFROTC even as a scholarship cadet must attend SFT. You compete for that slot as a sophomore. No SFT = disenrollment, revocation of the scholarship.
    ~~~ Do not go this route to attend the dream college if finance is an issue.
    6. AFROTC does not offer Guard/Reserve option. You will serve ADAF.

    As far as AFROTC goes, IMMPO your cgpa is strong, along with ECs, but that SAT will absolutely kill you! The avg Type 7 SAT score is close to 100 points higher (again...best sitting, not superscore). Type 1 and your are probably off 200 points.

    I don't know what state you are from, but UMich IMPO is a very big reach with those SAT stats if you are OOS. I would think UCLA, and maybe OSU too. Again, this is not a factor for AFROTC regarding school selection, because if you are awarded a Type 7 you can convert it to a 3 yr Type 2.
     
  4. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    OP, remember almost all AFROTC scholarships are partials. In-state 4 year, or $18,000 per year cap for 3 years are at least 90% (maybe 95%) of the awarded scholarships.

    Army only comes in two flavors: 4 year full tuition, or 3 year Advance Designee full tuition for 3 years. There is no "in-state tuition only" , or $18,000 per year cap like with AFROTC. Each Scholarship award is specified for use at one of the colleges on your Application list. That college can be private (which is typically from about $34,00 to $44,000 annual tuition), Out of State Public, where tuition ranges from about $25,000 to $35,000, or in-state Public, where tuition ranges from about $8,000 to $15,000. The Army pays whatever the full tuition+fees are ... there are no cutoffs or dollar limits to the tuition payments. They just decide on the college, and if it is for all four years, or just years 2-4.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  5. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    On the flipside, this does matter in AROTC. As Pima mentioned, one of the perks of an AFROTC scholarship would be the fact that if you get one, you can take it to any school that has a Detachment.

    In the Army world, you apply for a scholarship AND you state your top ... 7 schools, I believe. If/when you get awarded a scholarship, the schools that Cadet Command selected may not be the entire list, it may not be your top 3, it may not even be any of the schools you listed. So, just like Pima said - for the schools you are thinking about attending, be sure that you can be admitted to those schools. (You can request to transfer your scholarship to another school, but you can worry about that later down the road)

    Regarding your ACT/SAT retakes - take them ASAP. For the Army, the first board traditionally meets in October. What some people don't realize is that those scores take time to process; take one of those tests a week before the ROTC board meets, and chances are - your scores will not make it to Cadet Command in time. AF isn't as big of an issue, first board meets in either November or Decemeber.

    BUT - kudos to you achieving unweighted 3.928. You are definitely in a good place for an AROTC scholarship - just need to work on leadership positions, and also improving standardized test scores for AF.

    Last piece of advice, over the course of the summer - really take a look at both Army and AF ROTC and see how both are similar and different; take a look at pros and cons. And if you get the chance to do some college visits over the summer (highly recommend it); try to fit in some time to additionally visit the Battalion/Detachment respectively and talk to the cadre about the program - and ask any questions you may have. One other thing worth noting - all Battalions and Detachments are different and unique, just like how colleges are different and unique in their own way (as Pima would put it). So, when you do get a chance to talk with the cadre - also discuss how things are unique to that school's particular program.

    I was actually a lot like you at first; leaning towards AF for Aerospace engineering. But after I did some digging (and soul searching), I found that the Army was for me.

    Best wishes, and good luck!
     
  6. Thresherbiker

    Thresherbiker New Member

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    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but do I need to wait on my application if I'm taking the ACT and SAT in September and October this year? Or can I use my current SAT scores and then send them my retake scores and ACT score later? I realize that my SAT is quite low. I need to get my math up to the 700s and my CR to about 680.
     
  7. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    Well, I wouldn't finalize anything yet (don't send in the application yet) - especially for Army. The Army application has a spot to list all of your senior year extracurriculars. I'd advise you to wait until senior year begins so you truly know what things you will be doing this coming year. Then after that point, take the SAT/ACT tests - send scores to Maxwell AFB and Cadet Command - then finalize and send the applications.

    But to answer your question, I'd say that's up to you. Some people will say wait, and only send in your highest score. But I sent in all of my scores - I get paranoid sometimes, and especially a process like this. So for me, I would send in that score set + future score sets.

    But don't hang on to every word I say, or anyone else here. At the end of the day, you are in control - and you must ultimately make the decisions. We are here to help and advise.
     
  8. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    Do you list 5 or 7 preferred schools on the AROTC application? I've heard both!
     
  9. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    You are aware of course that your application will include a physical fitness assessment. This includes (1) a 1 mile run (2) 1 minute of pushups and (3) one minute of curl-ups. Here's a link to the form (not guaranteed to be current).

    http://www.cadetcommand.army.mil/files/ROTCFitScore.pdf

    Have you taken this test, either formally or on your own? If so, how did you perform?

    Also, 100 point increases in SATs are ambitious. What are you doing to improve your scores?
     
  10. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    I can't remember. It may be that you need to list 5 minimum - and 7 maximum.
     
  11. Thresherbiker

    Thresherbiker New Member

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    On my own I did 33 push ups, 45 curl-ups (like I said, there's room for improvement) and I haven't done the run yet.

    I've greatly learned from my mistakes in taking the SAT. I know what I did wrong and I know how to correct my errors (mainly studying for the test). I just realized that my scores don't even reach the minimum requirements for an AFROTC scholarship. It's somewhat humiliating and I have to do better.
     
  12. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    ^ not humiliating at all. Lots and lots of very successful people in the world had mediocer SAT scores. But those successful people are not typically Navy or Air Force officers, doctors or lawyers, or Ph.D. students, by and large. The good news is that not every officer needs to be a testing whiz. Army and Marines are less demanding about the SAT scoring of their officers.

    If I were you, I would start thinking more about Army or Marines, and less about Air Force. Your SAT scores are used AGAIN in Air Force to determine who gets pilot rated, and also who gets to stay in the program after sophomore year. With low SATs, even if you bring them up, you might want to think about avoiding any service that is hyper attentive to SAT scores. Like it or not the SAT score is just about the single most important thing about you until you are well into college (including admissions to college), and even there, the Air Force revisits them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    TIME OUT.

    The SAT is used for SFT selection, but it is definitely not used for their career boards, be rated or non-rated.

    AFSC boards use AFOQT. Rated use TBAS. SAT is not a player. Non-rated use AFOQT.

    Also, cadets can take the SAT/ACT or AFOQT in college to replace their HS scores for SFT.
     
  14. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    ^ right, sorry about that fuzziness.

    OP, SFT selection is basically the point at which AFROTC decides if a cadet gets to stay the final two years of AFROTC. Not all cadets get to continue. Maybe 10%, maybe 40%, do not get to continue, depending on year and on how you count the weeding out process. The SAT is one of the measures used to grade you for continuing in the program, and therefore getting to go to SFT (Summer Field Training)
     
  15. Thresherbiker

    Thresherbiker New Member

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    My heart is set on the Air Force. I took a practice test yesterday and scored 680 math and 630 CR. I'm sure that will vary on actual test day, but I also have until October 5 to prepare for the test and have the ACT to take in September, so we'll see how that goes.

    I still have time to explore my options, but as it stands, I just don't feel like the Army is right for me. I want to compete for a spot in SFT. Still, I'm not closing any doors yet. My ultimate goal is to receive a commission. I see getting a scholarship as more of a bonus. I want my decision to be based on which branch is best for me, rather than which branch will give me money.
     
  16. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I understand, but it's not about money. If a low SAT keeps you from getting to go to SFT, then you don't commission either!

    However, the scores you just posted are not "low". When you wrote that your SAT scores wouldn't even qualify for a scholarship, I thought you were talking around 500 each section. I guess I should have asked for specifics. Those are very good SAT scores. I'll bet half of AFROTC cadets have above that score, and half below. If you are able to produce those scores on the actual test, that would be great.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  17. Thresherbiker

    Thresherbiker New Member

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    My current plan is to join AFROTC no matter what. I look forward to competing for an SFT spot. If I don't go to SFT, I will look to receive a commission elsewhere. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that I can join AROTC with two years left?
     
  18. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    It is getting tougher to switch from AFROTC to AROTC these days. The competition for AROTC Contracts is stiff among the cadets, there are fewer contracts. If the AROTC battalion at your school has enough qualified cadets to contract their junior year, they will take them first.

    Don't count on being able to make the switch, do your best in AFROTC.
     
  19. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    Clarification, please

    Pima, you said you can use EITHER SAT or ACT scores for SFT? DS did better with the ACT (33 for one sitting vs. one sitting SAT 750 math and 600 CR)?
     
  20. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    This is the path that a lot of folks took when I was in ROTC. We had quite a few cadets get denied slots to FT in AFROTC. Some of them were truly good kids who deserved a shot but just didn't luck out...they're Army officers now, and couldn't be happier. Some of them were s**tbags who, thankfully, didn't receive a commission in any service.

    Point is: if you're set on being an Air Force officer...go for it. After a year, if it looks like there are greener pastures in AROTC, then you can make another decision. If you get solid grades and perform well in AFROTC during your freshman year, then I can't imagine any AFROTC Det/CC who wouldn't give you a good recommendation to his AROTC counterpart.
     

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