ROTC worth it?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by atreen, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. atreen

    atreen Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    In this situation would pursuing a commission through rotc be worth it?

    I'm looking to do the Army 2 year program. At this point, I am planning for worse case scenario: No Army scholarship. Since ROTC classes don't count in full time calculations at my school, I would have to take 6 extra classes (4 to cover the ROTC classes (1 each semester), as well as another 2, since I am ahead in credits, but ROTC requires me to be full time). At my school, this would add up to ~20,000 USD, which I would have to take out in loans, since my academic scholarship is based on # of credit.

    I don't mind doing that if I get active duty, since I would be able to take advantage of the public service loan forgiveness program. However, AD is not guaranteed. If I get reserve, I get stuck with paying the extra ~20k, since reserves can't use the public service program.

    I originally wanted to go ROTC because it would give me more time to learn.
    But in this case would it be best to finish school with less loans and apply for OCS?
    Any Advice?
     
  2. mbitr

    mbitr Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    11
    I'm not familiar with PSLR. Whether or not you'll go active duty depends on a lot of variables. For starters, what's you GPA right now?

    OCS has become rather competitive lately. You could end up walking away empty handed.
     
  3. atreen

    atreen Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mech. Engineering. ~3.1 gpa

    My top branches (in order) I would like to branch Engineering, Signals, Intel.

    The PSLF essentially allows you to have federal loans forgiven after 10 years of timely payments, if you are working full time for gov., ngo, etc. there is a list.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  4. dunninla

    dunninla Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    5
    If I understand the recent threads about ROTC Branching correctly, your mechanical Engineering degree with a GPA of 2.75 or higher, and compliance with standards at LDAC and PFT, will guarantee you an Engineering Active Duty slot.

    With your current 3.1 GPA (and that is likely to go up as Engineering grades tend to be higher for upper division Engineering classes than for lower division Engineering classes), you'd get 32/100 OMS points, since CC adds .1 to the GPA of Tier 1=Engineering majors. At 3.2 GPA, assuming S at LDAC and passing Land Nav and APFT, you'd probably get AD in most of the another Branches also (except for MI, Aviation, MS, and Infantry, which require higher OML placement), if past years' OMS points and the AD cutoff don't change a lot for this year or next. That's a big IF though. It is possible AD approved slots for ROTC commissioning cadets will reduce from the approx 3,000 of the past two years to... 2,500? 2,700? which puts the % on the OML a lot higher than before.

    As to whether the risk of not getting AD is worth the $20,000 extra debt... that's not something I can answer. Only you can.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    842
    Do not count on Loan re-payment. The SLRP has been suspended. Other programs through military service have been suspended as well.
     
  6. mbitr

    mbitr Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    11
    Agreed, but things are changing at a fast pace in ROTC. I intended to use GRADSO only to find out the semester I graduate and commission that it and SLRP were cut for this cohort. There's nothing saying they won't cut AD numbers by the time you commission. It's been unpredictable and the truth of the matter is that no one can give you a firm answer on what the future will be like. If it were my decision, I'd try the ROTC route if I were dead set on commissioning. I don't know enough about what OCS boards are taking to guess at what they'd tell you. Talk to an OCS recruiter, but keep in mind that they're salesmen.
     
  7. paradoxer

    paradoxer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    5
    Public Service Loan Forgiveness

    With only $20,000 in loans you probably wouldn't have any benefit under PSLF because your loan would be paid off in 10 years. You can run the numbers at www.finaid.org where they have calculators.
     
  8. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    35
    Correct answer!

    Additionally, even if you have significantly more than that, and you look at the ability to pay option, your rapidly rising salary as an officer will have you paying off the bulk of the loan in the later part of the 10 years.

    Now getting back to your specific situation, to give you better advice, besides your major and GPA which you have given:
    1) How many more years until you complete your degree under a normal (15 hour) load?
    2) Are you currently in the ROTC program and how much MS have you completed?

    I understand that you are planning for the worst (a good thing). However, there are a lot more variables that go into this (both good and bad).
    1) The last 2 years are not guaranteed in the program regardless of scholarship status. First, to get to advanced standing (MS3), you need to have a solid track record with the PMS - i.e. prove yourself as a capable cadet. If you currently have 2 years left on your degree, you are pretty much SOL with regards to ROTC. Nobody walks on and does the program in 2 years on campus (LTC is the exception to this IIRC) - even if you are "doubling up" on your MS classes.
    2) Units have commissioning targets that change every year. Your school could need another cadet. Your may also just be providing competition for another cadet who has been there for a while. Cadets get cut going into their Jr year when there are more than needed.
    3) Now the good news - it seems that most campuses end up with all their Jr and Sr cadets on scholarship. And if nothing else, the stipend and book allowance does add up.

    Finally, the most important piece of advice - if you haven't talked to the cadre about your situation, do so ASAP. You bring plenty to the table is you are in good shape. A 3.1 in a STEM major is nothing to sneeze at. You probably need permission and guidance to make up the lost time (MS1/MS2) courses. Every unit is a little different. The cadre will provide you the options for this.

    Best of luck.
     
  9. fxrocks8

    fxrocks8 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm glad to here that you are thinking about AROTC. As the budget cuts continue to get worst, it will be tought to get. However since you are a STEM major, there is some good news. First you get a 1.0 OML bump for being STEM. Second, if you select a certain branch and agree to ADSO for that branch and make it your number 1 choice(essentially serve three extra years on top of what you owe to the Army) you will be guranteed AD provded your degree is demanded for that Branch. This deal is brand new this year, however with the Army always changing, I cannot honestly say this program is here to stay. If I was you I would talk to the AROTC Cadre at your school to learn about this. Plus the sooner you talk to them, the quicker you may be able to get an LTC slot. Best of luck
     
  10. atreen

    atreen Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the responses. Is there an official website link to where I can read more about this guaranteed branching ADSO for stem majors?

    Also, this was also mentioned:
    Does this ^ also require additional years of obligation?
     
  11. dunninla

    dunninla Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    5
    nothing official available to the public. Within the next month or so I'm sure the new slide deck explaining accessions and branching will hit some Battalion websites.
     
  12. fxrocks8

    fxrocks8 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    To answer your question about how may years you owe, it depends on what type of cadet you are. If you are a scholarship cadet you owe 4 years to the Army which is the minimum. If you are a non scholarship cadet you owe the Army three years. Now lets suppose you decide to ADSO/make engineering your number 1 choice in order to be guaranteed active duty. When you ADSO, you owe the Army three additional years. So now you owe either 7 years (if a scholarship recipient) or 6 years of service (if a non scholarship cadet).
     

Share This Page