ROTC Scholarship as a college admissions "hook"

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by FlyingIrish1992, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. FlyingIrish1992

    FlyingIrish1992 Member

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    I was assigned to the NROTC unit at a selective school, and if I'm not admitted (and if I can't transfer my scholarship) then my scholarship may become unusable.
    *I know for sure that at least 2 people on the admissions committee know about my predicament, because I corresponded with them about it.

    So: Is there any truth to the claim that a full-tuition ROTC scholarship (in my case, NROTC) can act as a "hook" for admission to a selective university??? (provided the applicant is already fairly competitive)
    I mean, financially speaking, it's in their best interest to accept these scholarship recipients, right?

    *sorry if this topic was already covered in another thread. I haven't had time to search around, so if there is another thread, feel free to post the link :)
     
  2. bjc

    bjc Member

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    From what I understand some universities will take into account an ROTC scholarship, or the recommendation/request from the ROTC unit at the school, when they go through the admission selection process. However, I do know for sure that UNC-Chapel Hill does not care whether you have a scholarship and will not take into consideration whether the UNC ROTC unit would like to have the applicant admitted. This is from when my DS and I met with LT Meeks when we were looking at colleges. So I guess your best option would be to contact the ROTC unit at the university you would like to be admitted to and see if they have any pull with admissions. Good luck!
     
  3. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    The highly selective schools are not motivated by money. Otherwise, anyone could write the following letter and get a "bump" in admissions:

    Dear Admissions:

    I have a rich uncle. He has offered to pay cash for my education. Please admit me.

    Respectfully,

    Applicant

    I think what the highly selective schools really care about is whether you will do great things for the world as an alumnus of the school many years down the road. So, if you are going to update them, you should say something like, "This is a merit-based scholarship, reflecting confidence in my future abilities, yada, yada, yada."

    The other thing that may come into play is that the university will want to ensure the viability of its resident ROTC program. Having a scholarship students adds to that resident ROTC program. You don't need to point this out, though.

    Less-selective schools seem to be more motivated by money than the highly selective ones.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I concur with what previous posters have stated. ROTC is a hook to colleges only from the perspective of the needs for the college to market that college. For example, if the college wants to show diversity and use ROTC as a marketing tool, they may talk to the ROTC det/bn to get high quality students in. If they don't need ROTC than they won't talk.

    In this economy there are some schools that are now "talking" to ROTC because of the guaranteed money, but than there are some that use to "talk" who no longer do. In 08 our DS never applied to UNCCH, but in Feb., he received a letter stating "although you have passed the admissions deadline we are pleased to offer you admittance for the class of 2012". Came to find out the AFROTC det "talked" to admissions, and due to the fact he was a scholarship recipient, plus and NMF finalist, UNCCH made an exception on the advice of AFROTC. No, he is not there, IMPO, it was a waste of time even for the det to try this route.

    I would assume since bjc stated in didn't happen for them at this time it is 1 of 2 things:
    1. The economy being in the tanks makes state colleges more competitive over private or OOS, thus no need to talk to ROTC.
    2. The school does not need ROTC for a recruitment tool, think of those glossy brochures and websites where they boast what the campus has to offer.

    Not every campus will talk. Honestly, since the mass mailings are coming out now it can become even that much harder to get them to talk. VA Tech is only 1 of 7 colleges in the nation that have a Cadet Corp, so they look highly on every military branch. However, for the last 3 yrs., not 1 person (scholarship/non-scholarship) was taken off of their waitlist. LY the waitlist was 800 kids. VT is a state funded school, and this goes back to the economy creating a situation where students yrs ago may have opted to go a different route, can't afford to now.

    It is best to talk to command at the school and admissions because it is best to hope for the best, but expect the worst. The worst is they say no.

    Good luck
    1.
     
  5. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Some schools are "need-aware" in their admissions processes. If in your application, you checked a box that says "I am applying for Financial Aid", your school may be need-aware. Pretty much all public universities are need-blind in their admissions decisions. Ivy and NESCAC (elite) schools that are well-endowed enough to offer generous FA are generally need-blind (but still a crapshoot). It is when you get into private schools that are competing for status by raising the "admissions statistics" you find need-aware admissions decisions.

    At these schools, full-pay students with stats that improve the "average" are automatic admits. FA students who bring down the average significantly who don't have hooks (URM, athletics, donor-child, etc.) are generally denied. Those are the easy decisions.

    The full-pay with statistics that don't help (lower than average) are balanced off against the FA students who significantly improve the school average. This is where most of your "chances" is determined.

    That being said, if you can update your application to uncheck the "I am applying for FA" due to your ROTC scholarship (don't know if you can do that now), and you are above the statistical target for full-pay admissions, you may fall into the easy admit pile. Even if you are not clearly above the target, your "chances" improve when weighing off full-pay applicants versus FA applicants, everything else on your application being the same.

    How much that moves the meter is a closely guarded secret at all schools.

    If FA now is not a concern (i.e. your folks can cover R&B, etc.) it won't hurt to uncheck that box because the school probably won't be giving you institutional FA with a ROTC scholarship (unless it is merit based regardless of need).
     
  6. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    And having an ROTC scholarship can actually HURT you at some schools. This is largely a result of the US News rankings. One of the statistics that schools try to achieve is a high enrollment rate (meaning a high percentage of matriculation by those offered admission). If a school appears like they hand out offers like candy but can't get anyone to accept those offers, then the school looks bad in the US News rankings.

    If the school gets the sense that they are your "safety" school, and they know you have stats to get into higher-standard schools, then they will have to decide whether it is wise to extend an offer of admission only to have you later decline that offer of admission (which hurts their "enrollment stats"). Usually, the way these schools handle this is to "wait list" you at the safety school. Having a scholarship in hand that can be used at other schools just makes it more likely that you will decline the offer of admission and, hence, increases the chance of being "wait-listed."

    Again, there are so many things that happen behind-the-scenes that have NOTHING to do with credentials. And you have little control over them. In the end, things are what they are.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  7. FloridaDad

    FloridaDad Member

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    There are other possible benefits of being accepted for a ROTC scholarship when it comes to college applications:

    1 - Most college application processes are fairly light when it comes to references and interviews etc. ROTC applications are far more in-depth and more competitive than most college application processes. IF you get through the ROTC process the college could take account of the process and additional steps and offer a place. Its kind of like the essays, some kids need them others don't. The ROTC process is just another part of the screening for the colleges.

    2 - ROTC cadets have a higher pass percentage than the general population. That helps the college by improving their pass statistics and retention rates.

    Then of course there is the benefit of guaranteed money from the scholarship.
     
  8. grtkidmom

    grtkidmom Member

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    concur based on last years NROTC process. Bottom line, it is a matter of supply and demand for top competitive universities. Competitive universities have a long lines of highly qualified rejected applicants.
     
  9. cooper1234

    cooper1234 Member

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    Before reading my story, keep in mind, I doubt this happens often:

    My first choice for school was a large state university in the center of Pennsylvania known for its football and ice cream (I wonder what school it could be :/ ) and it was also one of my reach schools. In November, I was contacted by the PMS, and he asked if I wanted to come out for a visit to the school. So I did, and I fell in even deeper love with the school (if that makes sense). I spent 3 days, 2 nights htere, and got to go to an Army 101 class, Lab, Ranger Challenege Club PT (yeah, not fun), and spend the night in a dorm with 2 cadets. Probably the best experience of my life.

    After I left the school, I found out three days later, that I was rejected, and admittied into one of the satellite schools. I submitted for a re-review for undecided, and 2 1/2 months later.... got rejected again. So I went and committed to a large state school in NW Indiana, known for its Basketball, makers of boilers, and team named after a drink.

    About a month and a half later, I found out, I got accepted into that central PA school. So I cancelled my enrollment at the Boilermaking school, and enrolled in Mountain Lion school.

    Heres the important part. After calling the office of admissions to figure out what happened, I learned that the PMS pulled for my acceptance at the school.

    So yeah, depending on the school, the PMS/Head ot ROTC canhelp you out and hook you in.
     
  10. grtkidmom

    grtkidmom Member

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    awesome...good story and congrats. Another chapter in the "mystery, myths and secrets of college admissions".
     
  11. FlyingIrish1992

    FlyingIrish1992 Member

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    Thanks for the posts; you’ve all been very helpful. And thanks for sharing your story cooper1234. That’s amazing!

    A few things I should mention:
    I would cover R&B with local-scholarship $$ so I did not apply for financial aid, but I’m pretty sure the selective university I applied to (University X) is need-blind anyway.

    Also, University X allowed me to apply for admission 2 months after the app deadline! Could this be a good sign? Maybe this was just to get my application fee money?

    Making an "exception" like this^ seems very uncharacteristic of major, selective universities, which makes me think University X must really want to fill their ROTC quotas. Any thoughts on this?
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    That sounds like a positive sign. As I stated our DS got an admissions invite from UNCCH the same way. Look at the letter, usually there is tell tale in the opening paragraph. I.E. We know you didn't, but would like to extend this opportunity to you..

    Our DS also didn't apply to NYU (OOS) and they sent him Congrats you are in.:eek:

    For AFROTC at least back in 08, they actually sent out a list of candidates to regionals showing who got what. At least that is what we were told. The regionals can chose to filter the info down to the dets in their area. From there a det may see a compatible candidate and "talk" to admissions.

    Again that was before the AF started the force shape restructuring.
     
  13. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    NYU is one of those need-aware schools in more than one sense of the term. With their tuition :eek: and reputation for being less than generous with FA :eek::eek: , I suspect they needed your DS as a full-pay and must be aware of your ability to pay. :yllol:

    I have a nephew who was admitted (and he will attend) NYU this fall with a resume that is not anything to write home about (modest GPA and test scores, nothing special in the EC department but enough to show that he has the ablity to succeed), but they checked the "not applying for FA") box (college fund was well stocked) and made it plenty clear that it was his #1 choice. Admission was quick, so he didn't even have to submit any other applications.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Our DS goes to a school with a lot of NY/NJ OOS students. One night they were talking about where they got accepted to and he stated both UNCCH and NYU Stern with the caveat of "I didn't even apply". Another kid was so upset because NYU was his number 1 choice and he got rejected. The child asked how did you get in and not even apply? Our DS explained he is AFROTC scholarship and to the best of his knowledge ROTC and admissions talked.

    I am sure you are correct it was the fact he had in hand a scholarship that didn't cost them a dime, plus it was guaranteed money for a student who met their academic criteria. In their view I think they saw it as it is 1 more kid what's the big deal when we already have thousands of accepted.

    Off topic, but what bothers me the most about schools like NYU, UNCCH and even VT their endowments are close to 1/2 of a BILLION. VT has an endowment fund of 550 million. That is just insane. Yet, yr after yr they increase tuition at a much higher rate than COLA.

    I read a report that Yale or Harvard's endowment is so large, that they could pay for every students college education (4 yrs) plus all graduate students education too, AND still it would only be off the interest of the endowment.

    That is my pet peeve with 2 kids in college and 1 going to be a rising hs sr. Our federal govt needs to re-visit Pell grants and FAFSA. They should force colleges with these huge endowments to ante up instead of using tax payer dollars. If these schools truly want the best and the brightest than be like a corporation and pay for the best and brightest.

    Done with my rant, back on topic.

    ROTC can be a hook if admissions talks to ROTC, but it is a case by case scenario. Not only for the applicant, but the branch and yr they apply too. Like I said back in 08 our DS was offered a spot at UNCCH without ever applying, 2/3 yrs later it appears that UNCCH has had a bumper crop and feel that they do not need ROTC to make their diversity goal.

    The word DIVERSITY is key. USNWR, Forbes, Money, Time, etc all rank them from various aspects. One is academic, another is what the school offers. Think about it do you think that these schools state they have X% of NMF's for fun? No, it is a recruiting tool. In this day and age ROTC candidates are no academic slouches, thus they also add into that picture...many are valedictorians, Capts of sports, and hold leadership positions in programs like NHS and student council. Again, something the school reports in those glossy brochures...i.e. X were Class Presidents, X % were NHS, X % were athletes, etc. The higher the % the more selective they appear.
     
  15. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Pima, you and I are totally on the same page about the cost of education and the adverse impact it will ultimately have on our nation (in terms of the widening gap between "haves" and "have nots").

    In any event, the one thing that this process has taught me is how beneficial it is to get your AROTC application done early. I used to think that it was detrimental to get a decision from the October board, because the student hasn't even applied to colleges yet. It would be better to be in front of the March board, so you can adjust your college choices to conform with admissions decisions.

    The reason I think the October AROTC board is important and having an AROTC scholarship in hand is because it really allows you to participate in the Early Decision cycle if money is tight (assuming that the board promptly renders a decision on scholarships before the ED deadline). As you know, in ED, the student promises that s/he (1) will withdraw all other applications if accepted, and (2) will not seek financial aid from the school to pay for college (which doesn't include ROTC). Besides letting the college know that it is the No. 1 choice for the student, college admissions give the student an edge because they won't be a financial drain on the college if admitted. Unfortunately, this system really benefits only the rich. Princeton eliminated the ED cycle a few years ago (stating that it only benefits the rich), but as of this upcoming year, it has succumbed to market pressure and will offer ED for Class of 2016 (Princeton was losing too many applicants to their rivals).

    The huge downside to ED, though, is if the student harbors a desire to attend an SA and, morally, would have to withdraw the SA application if accepted to the ED school. If my DD decides she wants to explore the SA route, she likely won't try the ED route at civilian schools.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    AHHH and the circle is complete!

    If you go back to June of 10 you will see that posters who went through this in 09 said get it done for the 1st board.

    We all come on here thinking what is rationale in life would be true re: the military only to realize 6-9 months later that the military is not the same as "real life"

    I understand the ED route. This also is why you find candidates who really are ED qualified will do EA instead if they are trying the SA route.

    It takes time to learn how to negotiate the system. Honestly, by the time you get it down pat, you are not competing anymore and than it becomes negotiating the next system (SFT/LDAC, FSC etc boards).
     
  17. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    #2 is not correct. The agreement is that you have to accept the FA package offered (which may not be generous enough in the applicant's eyes). For the top NESCAC and Ivies, this has never been a problem for the poorest of student, as they guarantee (although some with loans) to meet the (institutional method) EFC. Those with full Pell Grants and a $0 EFC (no assets to speak of), generally get the full boat less the government grant and loan maximums. And while having that much debt is not necessarily a good thing, an Ivy or NESCAC sheepskin should go a long way to help in getting employment to pay them back.

    I'll agree that ED favors the rich. But it also favors the poorest as well for those schools that guarantee match to EFC. Who it messes with is those of us in the middle who have assets but not necessarily the cash flow to support the inflated EFC based upon things like home equity (which is included in the institutional method).
     
  18. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Your statement is more accurate than mine, goaliedad. I was going from recollection and was a bit loose with my description (my recollection was a bit jaded because of personal circumstances; I recall DS analyzing the schools ED terms to conclude "this means that I'm agreeing to pay full-freight!!"). The other thing about the Financial Aid agreement for ED was that every school would always give the student an "out" if s/he wasn't able to afford the cost of tuition.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    JMPO, be it anyway you want to play it most top tier colleges have boatloads of money in their endowments. To me it is criminal that they get to shove off the cost to the American taxpayer.

    09 Endowments

    Brown University has 2.1 BILLION, yes, Billion. Tell me that there is not one kid on a Pell or FAFSA or Work study. Billion.

    Columbia has 6.57 BILLION.

    Dartmouth, Duke, UMich, Notre Dame, UP, UChicago all have between 4-6 BILLION.

    University of Texas system wide has 14 BILLION.

    If that doesn't make a parent's stomach turn I don't know what will.
     

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