need crash course in nrotc

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by eliza, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. eliza

    eliza Member

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    I just got overwhelmed looking at the site and need a quick answer.

    S has decided late in the process that he wants to apply to nrotc to begin college fall 2012. most of the colleges he has applied to or (wiill apply in next couple weeks) have nrotc units. he just needs to add an in-state school to be one of the five.

    I gather the app deadline is Jan 31 but that he may already be disadvantaged in competing for scholarships if early candidates have already been reviewed. does this initial review date vary by school/unit?

    Question 1:
    His colleges are all highly selective. his grades and test scores make him a qualified candidate for admission to these schools, but the admission rates are so low that he can't count on anything. Plus if much of the nrotc scholarship $ has already been awarded... and he is very like many other high-powered highly qualified pool at these schools....should there be any strategy to listing his top nrotc unit choices? Does it make sense to list a school or schools where he is more certain to get in/be a standout candidate in his top three choices?

    Question 2:
    What is the approx timing of his noticfication if he applies within the next week? If he is selected for scholarship,l how could he accept if he wont' hear about college admission until april 1? and how long does he have to reply to NROTC.
     
  2. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    First your son needs to contact his local recruiter ASAP. That info can be found on the NROTC website. He needs to fill out an application and get an interview very quickly. The interview is important since we're running into the holidays soon. The interview has to be conducted, written up and sent in before the holiday break. That is the first and most important thing to check off your list.

    (Scholarships are awarded on a national basis, but are assigned to a particular school.)

    Next you call every NROTC Unit on his list of colleges (I'm assuming your son in school during the day and has activities in the afternoon/evenings--time is important, ignore the naysayers and make the calls yourself). Ask each Unit if they are filled up and if not, when they usually fill up. If the Unit is already filled ask how long their waiting list already is and how many they generally take off the wait list each year. Use this information to help advise your son to make his list. If a Unit never fills, don't put it first-- you can always switch later. Try to be smart about this, it's a bit of a gamble. If you put an in state school as #3 and don't really want to go there but put two schools #1 & #2 that are already filled, that's not a good plan. If he is aiming for Harvard but would be happy at Fordham, put Fordham as #1. He can always switch to Harvard if he gets in in April.

    Don't underestimate the importance of Tier choice. Chances are way higher if your son wants to try for Engineering (Tier 1). Chances are low with Tier 3.

    If he finishes his application tomorrow, has an interview on Monday then MAYBE he would be considered for the January board. Doubtful, but possible. Plan for later in the Spring.

    Yes, it's a little late to begin, but if you're smart about how you do it, it is still possible. Best of luck to you and your son!
     
  3. Blacklab

    Blacklab Member

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    Don't Crash

    Try to review some of Pima's posts...very very helpful.
     
  4. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    If he is selected for NROTC scholarship, say yes. It's not binding. His acceptance paperwork will say how long he has to reply-- usually a 3-4 weeks (ish). He will not be committed until he shows up for training in the Fall.
     
  5. eliza

    eliza Member

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    Thankyou BasilRathbone -- couple questions below:
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVICE. IT WILL EXPEDITE OUR LEARNING.
     
  6. eliza

    eliza Member

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    He applied early action to one school, but if admitted next week he doesn't need to commit until may 1 deadline. if (BIG if) if he were offered NROTC at this school, it sounds like he would then need to accept scholarship within a few weeks. But because it is not binding, he could wait and see where else he is admitted, then could explore switching if those schools' units have space?

    I assume it is not a problem to accept NROTC if offered before he hears from USNA, where he is also a candidate? I assume this must be a standard problem for people who apply to both, that their timing is not necessarily the same.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Eliza, I think you mean Early Decision, not action, because typically action is binding and candidates for any SA usually do not apply for binding.

    What most people will do is pay the deposit because many schools allow this to be refundable if they do not attend. However, what it does do is hold a space for housing purposes. Some colleges have a 1st come 1st serve policy regarding dorms, so if you wait until May, he may find himself in a triple or a quad in the last choice dorm, whereas if you pay the deposit early he may have the choice
    of the best dorms.

    They may also have a deadline date where it becomes non-refundable and that may be before NROTC gets around to switching the colleges.

    The reason sometimes the lists open up is due to candidates like your DS. Candidates that are selected for an SA, and have a ROTC scholarship in hand, typically will hold onto that scholarship until they go to I-Day, which is July. There may be a child that goes to an SA, holds onto it and it could be the school your child is attending, but not offered a scholarship, so that is why the shifting around also occurs later on.
     
  8. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    HE IS ALSO A USNA CANDIDATE AND HAS HAD HIS BGO INTERVIEW (AND DoDMERB and CFA) SHOULD HE ASK THE RECRUITER IF THEY CAN USE THE BGO INTERVIEW OR IS THIS COMMON PROCEDURE THAT THEY WOULD DO ANYWAY.

    It is two separate processes. The NROTC Interview is done at the local Navy recruiting office. Our 3 kids who have received NROTC were interviewed by a Navy LT and it was their only interaction with that person during the whole process. A BGO isn't active duty and sometimes has never been in the military. Their role is different than anything that you have in NROTC.

    I UNDERSTAND YOUR STRATEGY...BUT DONT UNDERSTAND HOW HE CAN SWITCH LATER. YOU MEAN IF SPACE IS AVAIL BECAUSE EITHER THE UNIT DID NOT FILL, OR THE UNIT TAKES HIM OFF THEIR WAITLIST?

    He can ask to switch either during the process just by updating the application or after he is awarded a scholarship by sending an email to NETC. He either is transferred if the Unit is open, or put on a waiting list. Not all waiting lists are equal, though. Some just about always open up, some rarely to never. That's why it's important to talk to each Unit at each school. My kids have switched several times during their senior year.

    Some Units open up because their spots are held by students who will never get into the school. That's the case with Notre Dame every year.


    HE WOULD NOT BE A TIER 3. AS AN APPLICANT TO THE COLLEGES, HE IS LISTING ENGINEERING AS HIS LIKELY MAJOR, ALTHOUGH PHYSICS IS ALSO POSSIBLE.

    If he is strongly leaning Engineering, he should apply Tier 1. If after a year of Engineering at his school of choice he decides it is a terrible fit and Physics is his true calling then the switch to Tier 2 can be done at the Unit level. A switch to Tier 3 cannot be done at the Unit later on.
     
  9. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    Early Decision is binding and Early Action is not. You can still apply to a SA if you apply Early Decision, you just have to take it off the table if you get in to your Early Decision school. For Early Action you can just wait until May 1 and weigh all of your options.
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Some additional comments

    Eliza,

    To add a few more specifics and alternatives.

    Another reason to move quickly (besides those already listed) is that high school transcripts and letters of recommendation will be required. You'll want to get these completed prior to the holiday break. You'll also need to get SAT/ACT scores sent but you can do this online and is probably not so urgent and can probably be done over the holiday break.

    USNA appears to be plan A and NROTC scholarship is probably plan B. Let me suggest a Plan C which is NROTC College Programmer. There is another recent thread on this forum which should appear on the first thread page which explains it. I suggest you take a peek.

    My DS did not get a NROTC scholarship, but because he did get an academic scholarship at his #1 choice out-of-state school, he is now an NROTC College Programmer there. We could not have swung this without the scholarship from the school which brought tuition down close to in-state rates.

    Finally, when speaking with the units, check on what other financial benefits might be available to NROTC participants. Son's NROTC unit offers the equivalent of the academic scholarship he received to all NROTC College Programmers. Some schools reduce tuition to in-state rates for out-of-state students. Other schools pick up room and board. This all varies by the school and unit.

    There is more than one way to skin this cat! I wish you and your son luck through this stressful period. :thumb:
     
  11. eliza

    eliza Member

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    Early Decision is binding--you must withdraw your apps from other places if admitted.
    He did not do this precisely because of USNA.
    His application was definitely early action admission which is non binding--he can wait and compare options when he has heard from other schools and accept by may 1. I was just trying to clarify that based on the replies to may question, the fact that one of the schools is EA doesn't seem that it would change the timing of his commitment to ROTC. Based on normal movement in the waitlists after all candidates hear from all their schools and usna, he should accept whatever is offered. Then he can consider USNA if appointed, and.or a spot could open up at one of his other schools, assuming he is accepted there.

    If he is not appointed or doesn't choose USNA, I can't imagine how he could change plans if an ROTC spot opens as late as july. He could accept offer of admission with no rotc scholarship and hope a scholarship spot becomes available there before school starts, but I don't know how he would switch to a different college to get rotc scholarship there, wouldn't he have had to accept an offer of admission at two schools? My understanding is for the selective schools this is not allowed. it is more than losing your housing deposit, it is unethical because you are supposed to only accept one offer.

    Do freshman ever join ROTC without any scholarship and then once there, apply to get scholarship for their remaining years of college? Is that common or is it a huge gamble? It seems like it would be possible if spots become available each year because kids who got a four year schol. decide they are not cut out for rotc or are disqualified because they change their major or whatever.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    That is the point. You need to also place how will we pay if there is no scholarship into the equation.

    Does he attend his number 2 school with NROTC scholarship in hand, or does he attend his number 1 with no scholarship, but hoping he can get it later on.

    Is the scholarship the only way that it is plausible to attend the college. As you pointed out mids will leave for various reasons. What if your DS leaves the program, but wants to stay at the college, is that an option?

    If so move forward and be happy if he gets one, but fine if he doesn't.

    You should not enter and say "we can afford 1st yr, but not the 2nd", because you do not know if a scholarship will come down for the 2nd.

    Additionally the majority of cadets that do receive scholarships from ROTC also receive merit from the college itself.
     
  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    There is a chance to get a three year scholarship as a College Programmer but the number of slots for that is diminishing alongside the diminishing number of scholarships due to budget cuts.

    A 3 year scholarship is what my DS is hoping for. However, it's more a matter of validation and of his wanting to be as responsible as possible for his own education at this point.

    I'm sure you're already planning for this, but get that FAFSA filled out as early as possible in January.
     

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