In-College Scholarship?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by tm4068, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. tm4068

    tm4068 New Member

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    Hi,

    I've been accepted into Texas A&M, but unfortunately, I didn't secure any 4-year scholarships, so right now I'm trying to plan my next move. With the Army, is it common for cadets to get 3-year scholarships while in college? My understanding with the Navy was that recent reductions to NROTC scholarship budgets has made it nearly impossible to obtain a side-load scholarship. Is the same true of the Army?

    Thanks!
     
  2. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    If you look through the ROTC threads active this week, you will find a thread exactly about a NROTC sideload scholarship. Not impossible, but very tough to get because you are competing against a lot of folks in your battalion.

    As to whether AROTC is any easier than NROTC, one thing we can say is around here is "every year is different".

    The same can be said for every campus for each branch. Some have more campus scholarships to award than others. The best source for this information is the cadre at the various campuses. They won't know what the situation will be in 2 or 3 years, but they do know how the last 2 or 3 years have been. If there hasn't been many given in recent years, odds are not as good as for a campus that has awarded scholarships in the recent past. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future returns, but most cadre will give you an idea of the type of cadet who has earned a campus scholarship (college GPA, ECs, athletics, etc.).

    One last note - SMCs tend to have the stiffest competition for campus scholarships as they have the most cadets and perhaps the most competitive nature (due to their programs). If you will need the scholarship to be able to complete 4 years at A&M, I would strongly suggest you try another school where you may be at the top of your academic class (hint - GPA is critical and they don't hand out A's like they do in HS). Yeah, it won't be the 24x7 lifestyle but the reality is that first you must pay the bills and don't count on student loans to carry the day until Uncle Sam comes through.

    Sorry to sound harsh, but there are no shortcuts to the scholarship and no guarantees that they will be available when you need them. There are better odds and lesser odds. Choose a school where you can pay with or without scholarship and look at anything you get as gravy.

    Best of luck with your decision.
     
  3. tm4068

    tm4068 New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I've always gravitated towards the Navy, (I only applied for the NROTC scholarship) but after getting a rejection letter from Pensacola this spring, I wanted to make sure I had investigated all possible options that might keep me or my family from going too far into debt. It sounds like my first bet is still my best bet: holding off on the college program for a year, and reapplying for the NROTC scholarship for 2013.
     
  4. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    There's a reason you didn't get a scholarship this year...what makes you think it will be different next year. I would suggest that taking a year off from school will do anything but help your chances. Your first bet was a bet you lost...time to look for a new bet if you are in a gambling mood. There are no sure bets in this business. I'm with goaliedad...sorry to sound harsh, but you can only kick the can so far down the road.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I'm with goaliedad and clarksonarmy. Keep in mind that even if you don't get a scholarship but can contract your rising junior year you will still receive the stipend.
     
  6. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Yes NROTC allows college freshmen who have not participated in NROTC to apply for a 4-year scholarship, but I agree with Clarkson about your outcome being no different next year than this year as the only additional information they will have on your at your application time is your Senior year in HS. Unless you've had a Senior dream 1000% better than the other 3 years, I don't see a different outcome with this strategy.

    Additionally, this puts all your eggs in the NROTC basket, as if this fails you will be a bit late to compete for AROTC (probably the better odds for a campus scholarship - somewhere other than A&M) as a new sophomore starting ROTC has a very limited time to impress the cadre competing for a 2-year scholarship (or even commissioning) especially compared with the sophomore who showed up day 1 freshman year and excelled.

    If your strategy is NROTC, I think your best strategy is to show up day 1 freshman year at a non-SMC (particularly one where you will be able to be above your peers academically) and plan on working your rear off.

    If your strategy is commissioning (regardless of scholarship or branch), unless you are already admitted to the CoC at A&M, I think your best odds are showing up for AROTC day-1 freshman year at a non-SMC campus where academically you are going to get top grades and plan on working your rear off. Not only have there been more campus scholarships, but commissioning even without a scholarship is more likely.

    I stress the campus where you will get top grades because that is typically the #1 thing that separates cadets who are competing for advanced standing at any school. Plus any study time beyond that which is necessary for A's can be put to use in ROTC activities and maxing out your PT scores.
     
  7. tm4068

    tm4068 New Member

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    I think you misunderstood my post. My plan is not to take a year off of school: my plan is to postpone starting NROTC until my sophmore year. As a student at Texas A&M, that wouldn't mean postponing my military education: I can start right away with the Corps of Cadets, be housed with the other NROTC Mids, begin building status in the Corps, and take Naval Science classes without sacrificing my chance at reapplying for scholarship, something I couldn't do at a non-military college.

    I'll have to respectfully disagree with the notion that I have no better chance for the next year of scholarships. My grade point average has already improved by a point, and by the end of the year, my hope is that I'll be in the top 10% of my graduating class. I'm also retaking the SAT, and fortunately I only have to improve one of my scores (I got an 800 in my CR, so I just have to focus on math).

    I do appreciate the dose of realism that you're bringing to the table though, and I am fully aware that it's a very real possibiliity that I won't get the scholarship. If thats the case, then I'll be perfectly happy to continue on at A&M as a college programmer. Like I said in an earlier post, I simply wanted to make sure that I had explored all of the other options that might be avalible to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I can't imagine your scholarship application as a member of the CoC who didn't participate un NROTC leaving a positive impression. Just 2 cents from a parent.
     
  9. tm4068

    tm4068 New Member

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    My scholarship app would be submitted in June, long before I even started with the Corps of Cadets. In fact, it would probably go before the first review board at about the same time I would be starting Fish orientation. I believe that in order to be eligible to re-apply, I cannot start NROTC until my second year.

    Maybe there's something fundamental that I'm missing here. When I was contacted by my local NROTC recruiter about reaplying, I got the impression that it was a fairly common course of action. Judging from the response I'm getting here, it almost seems like not only is it uncommon, but doing so would harm my chances of eventually contracting.

    If that's the case, then has anyone here ever heard of someone having success with a re-application for the 4-year Navy option?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  10. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    What is the advantage of starting NROTC sophomore year. Are you not able to enroll in NROTC if you aren't on scholarship. If you complete your first year of school I don't believe NROTC is going to give you a 4 year scholarship if you only have three years of school left.

    This wouldn't work on the Army side...I'd be advising you to come to school and enroll in ROTC. If you want to be a naval officer come to school and start getting at it, it's going to be very competitive. If you want someone to pay you for four years of school, good luck. If you think you will only be contracted if you are on scholarship I don't think that is the case. Certainly not with the Army.
     
  11. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Of course, the best resource you have to test your plans would be the cadre at A&M. Clarkson has given you the best of advice from his perspective with AROTC at his battallion. You are dealing with an SMC and NROTC where the playing field may be a bit different.

    You should have a straight forward conversation about your future prospects with those who will be making many of the decisions regarding your options. Be prepared to discuss your priorities, your challenges and be ready to listen to your options and what you need to be doing to get you there.

    You should not make a strategic decision about this on your own or only with the guidance of us anonymous internet folks. Trust your cadre, their job is to make as many successful cadets as possible.
     
  12. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    One thing I would discuss with your NROTC contacts is how your application will look for next year if you decide to re-apply for the National Scholarship. From what you have posted you seemed to have pretty good academics. Everyone will tell you that good academics alone will not get you the scholarship. See if you can find out where your application was lacking the first time around. What were your Athletics, and Leadership states the first time through. Have you added new things like President of a club or organization, Captain of a sport team, an extra year on one or two varsity sport teams. All of these things will improve your application. If all you do is raise your GPA and possibly your SAT score without an increase in the other areas the results could very well be the same as this year.

    Make sure you can afford the school you are looking at without a scholarship before you commit. If you re-apply for the national scholarship and do not get it you will then need to start NROTC a year late, make sure you talk with the command and see how that will effect your chance of getting advance standing. Even though you would be at a SMC you can't participate in NROTC if you are applying for the national scholarship, make sure you are allowed to take the military science classes before you sign up for them, it could jepordize the scholarship application.

    A lot of people go this route tore-apply for the national scholarship, just make sure you application is stronger in every area, not just academics. You may find you have a better shot at starting NROTC your freshman year and competing for a 3 year or 2 year sideload scholarship. Make sure you look closely at all the options and be very honest with yourself about your odds of getting the national scholarship with a re-application.
     
  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You're correct that in order to be eligible for the "high school" NROTC scholarship you cannot enroll in NROTC your freshman year. Your also correct that many recruiters recommend this course of action, from what I gather on these forums. They say your odds are better. I'm not sure that's true but I have no numbers to back me up. There ARE more high school scholarships, but there is also a larger pool of competitors. I'm sure in my case, and perhaps others, there is probably a bias towards enrolling as a college programmer and perhaps that is coming through. But consider the following:
    1. What if you are awarded a scholarship to somewhere other than TAMU. Would you take it? In school scholarships don't face that issue.
    2. High school scholarships are a recruiting tool. Certainly a large percentage go to students with other options who may not do ROTC without the scholarship to attract them. Not so with in school scholarships. They go to those who merit them (not that the other scholarships don't but their purpose is slightly different.
    3. I think most people on the forum would tell you if your primary purpose is to pay for college then you should stick with your plan. (some might say commisioning is not for you). If your primary purpose is commissioning, most would say to enroll as a college programmer. Neither is right or wrong I suppose. Just different points of view. Perhaps we let our biases show thru because college programmers feel called to commission and serve and may not receive anything other than the stipend as a reward. And there are those who would do it without the stipend. I don't mean this to be accusatory or disrespectful, but which are you? NROTC is not an easy path to follow especially as a college programmer. You need to be committed to it to make it.

    Anyway, enough of my rambling. Just trying to address your question from my perspective. Hope this was helpful. I'm not sure there is a right or wrong path here.
     

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