Scholarship suspension question

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by svincent207, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. svincent207

    svincent207 New Member

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    I am wondering if we need to consult an attorney about my son's AROTC scholarship suspension. It has been difficult getting details as the suspension is under review for a medical clearance from an injury that originated as a misdiagnosed broken ankle that occurred during a CULP trip last summer. This led to some academic issues in the spring semester although he is back on track after surgery and summer classes. My son was told that there are multiple options that could occur and he would be faced with one of these options with no decision allowed on his part. One of these possible options would be having to report immediately to active duty. I just want to make sure that he is able to finish his upcoming senior year. He could possibly be reinstated, that is what he has been working towards, we just aren't sure at this point. Any advice or does anyone know of any Boston area attorneys who are familiar with ROTC?
     
  2. platypus1618

    platypus1618 Member

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    If he is losing his scholarship due to medical disqualification for an injury from CULP, then he shouldn't have to repay the scholarship, and if he's medically disqualified he probably couldn't serve anyway. So I assume he's losing the scholarship due to the academic issues, is this the case?
     
  3. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Just a couple questions.

    What year is your son.

    Are they looking at the possibility they would classify this as a Medical Suspension. Has the medical issue been resolved to a point he would pass the physical for enlistment.

    Was your son on an AROTC Scholarship, if he is on scholarship have they given one of the options pay back of the scholarship. I realize the decision will not be his to make.

    What is the reason for the suspension, medical? grades? APFT? If grades are the issue has he been able to bring his GPA up to standards, is he close enough to where he could make the standard in this semester.

    I'm sorry that I do not have a name of an attorney with this experience. You may want to find one just to review the current information and have at the ready once a decision is passed down. An attorney may come in handy if he is required to pay back any scholarship in regard to structuring a payment plan.

    One issue that comes to mind is his past injury and surgery, your son would need to pass the physical and make it through MEPS to enlist, if he is found medically unfit to enlist then I would find it hard to see the Army requiring any pay back since he would probably not pass Dodmerb either, just something to keep in mind if you speak with an attorney and if the Army tries to make him pay back any scholarship.

    I am very sorry to hear he is going through this.
     
  4. svincent207

    svincent207 New Member

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    Thank you for responding. He has/had a 4 year AROTC scholarship. One of the options could be to pay back the scholarship.

    His ankle got progressively worse in the spring semester. He had to get a medical exclusion from LDAC, although I am probably using the wrong term. His grades were pretty bad this spring and he dropped a class which put him below 12 credits. He had surgery in May and has been working really hard to get rehabbed. The doctor gave him clearance today which is when we found out about the academic suspension that is in affect. His case also is under a medical review and he has been keeping the cadre informed about everything that has been going on. He isn't sure about when he will find out about anything. I think that he would probably be able to pass a physical at this point, he is very dedicated to trying to get back into ROTC and has been working out as much as possible. His doctor said that he should be fine in the long run.
     
  5. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    So is his scholarship being suspended because of the grades or because of the injury? It sounds like he got injured, realized it's tough recovering from a big injury and balancing a full load of classes, and his grades suffered. If that is the case, It would be hard fighting it. He knew the minimums and failed to meet them. Maybe the way he's explaining the situation to the parents have caused confusion and the fact that ROTC doesn't really talk directly to the parents.

    If he is under medical review, that wouldn't suspend his scholarship. I've been medically reviewed 3 times in my 4.5 years in ROTC (knee injuries/surgeries) and scholarship wasn't suspended. The medical determination would be the thing that could end a contract/scholarship/chance of commissioning. (Just like people don't get kicked out of the army until they are convicted of a crime, as opposed to just being charged with one.

    And if his scholarship is being suspended, why would he report directly to AD? A suspension is not the same as being dis-enrolled. A suspended scholarship can be reinstated the next semester. Don't quote me, but I believe you can have your scholarship suspended twice before facing disenrollment, depending on PMS decision. Additionally, if he was medically determined to be not fit to continue in the Army because he's broken, they most likely wouldn't send him to enlist. All cadet actions go through the PMS, I bet he/she has more details.

    It sounds like there are some crucial details missing from the story that probably paint a full picture.

    If you feel the need to consult legal counsel, feel free. But the first thing I would do is pull out that scholarship contract, read it, and get the paper trail on why exactly he is having the scholarship suspended or whatever is happening. If it doesn't all add up, then most certainly seek counsel.

    Injuries suck, I know. Hope the recovery process continues well, and the desired outcome is what you get.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  6. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Unfortunately, I don't think the loss of scholarship is a medical issue as viewed by the Army.

    It sounds like he is losing his scholarship for falling below 12 credit hours which was the direct result of the withdrawal without the permission of the cadre (I am working on the assumption that they didn't approve the withdrawal, as that would not be normal).

    I think your son probably did not get good advice on how to handle his academic affairs when he fell behind due to his medical issue (I assume he was getting good grades but could not keep up with the work due to medical treatment).

    Most academic advisers will recommend a W (withdrawal) from a course under these circumstances and if the paperwork is correct (depending upon the institution), it won't count as an F in the GPA and from the school's perspective everything is OK.

    However, from the Army's perspective, this is NOT OK.

    Perhaps an Incomplete would have been a better outcome if his grades were good on the work he completed. Most institutions will allow a full semester to convert Incomplete grades to a passing mark, and crediting that course to the original term taken. This might have kept him out of trouble with the Army (given that the term grades could be resubmitted after completion).

    I'm getting the feeling though that you do not have the complete picture on how your son handled his academic and medical affairs with his cadre.

    If he was injured last summer and it was a lingering issue - not bad enough to disqualify him fall term, but degrading to the point where further medical attention was required in the spring term, he should have provided his cadre with his medical docs from CTLT (he WAS seen by a military doc wasn't he?) when he arrived back at campus and as it degraded, it should have been addressed with the cadre.

    My guess is that he tried to hide the issue (or at least minimize it) and then not having a history, was brushed off in the spring term when it became a big problem. At that point, the cadre probably couldn't do anything for him.

    And now it appears that his cadre has left him to deal with the consequences.

    I seriously doubt he can get the W grade changed to incomplete and finish up the credits at this point in time (it would take the instructor and probably a dean to do so) to fix his academic record, as it sounds like the disenrollment train has left the station.

    If there is a small bit of good news, it would be that repayment (if that is what the Army chooses) doesn't begin until he graduates, if I remember other cases that have been discussed here.
     
  7. VMI82

    VMI82 Room 131

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    suggestion: look online at Military Times, Army Times, Marine Corps Times as they all have Military Attorney's in their classified

    http://militarytimes.sargeslist.com/category/268/Attorneys.html

    As to Bull's suggestion you may not know all the facts - with all due respect - I find that a bit insensitive at a very stressful time. I do not know "Bull" nor know if he is still a cadet or now commissioned. But it does not sound like he/she has had the seasoning of being a parent concerned about paying back $180,000+. I suspect, with a little time to reflect, he'd realize that suggesting you do not know all the facts may be castigation that, in the moment, is not warranted.

    Monday morning QB can happen later - right now your family needs good counsel and options.

    Most of the Lawyers, on mil times classifieds are, by dint of their speciality, located in Washington, DC. Thus I am not sure you will find (or need) a Boston based lawyer as you are dealing with UCMJ issues vs state law in all likelihood.

    I have heard of (never used nor needed) of Womack and know that firm has a good reputation - they are in TX.

    Best wishes.
     
  8. k2rider

    k2rider Member

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    VMI82...I usually agree with you word for word as we generally seem to think alike. However, I don't think Bull said anything even remotely inappropriate. I know exactly what he is talking about because I have one of those kids that is terrible at communicating small details. It's like pulling teeth to get info out of him and I generally have have to go over the series of events with him piece by piece to get the info I need to make an educated guess as to what *really* happened.

    Interestingly enough, my other child (daughter), had to leave ROTC for a semester her sophomore year due to a knee injury. She was absolutely devastated but the school PMS was very good about explaining the issue to me. I don't know if her scholarship was suspended or she was dis-enrolled but she had the necessary surgery and was good to go by the Fall semester. She passed the PT test on her 1st attempt and was back on scholarship.
     
  9. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I'm not here to be sensitive. I'm here to talk on an online message board. If I was concerned with gathering facts on an issue, this wouldn't be my first stop. Regardless of what any of us say, reality is reality. There are details missing. That's not uncommon coming from a parents post because cadets are adults and ROTC units don't have to talk to parents. And on top of that, medical details are extremely restrictive to who can access them.

    And based on facts, a scholarship suspension does not include repayment of a scholarship. That would be disenrollment. In addition, this would not be a UCMJ action, cadets are not subject to it unless on orders, and to an extent that is even limited.

    Me suggesting someone gather facts regarding a $180,000 issue is me being sensitive. The facts won't change based on my sensitivity or reflection.

    At the end of the day, we all hope the best for the OP's cadet. But it's clear with all the "possibly" and "probably" used in the original post, details are missing that would probably help give a better idea of the situation to the parent, for better or worse. That's not a slight at this parent, that's just how it works out when you aren't getting first hand information in it's entirety.
     
  10. svincent207

    svincent207 New Member

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    Thank you all for the advice. I don't take any offense at anyone's replies. It is true that I do not know all the facts in regards to communications with the cadre. I have not had any communication with the cadre since we brought my son on the first day. He handles this on his own and I am sure that I am missing some of the details on this end of things. I do know that the cadre is requiring a medical review for his injury and the suspension is due to the fact that he dropped below 12 credits. The next steps are what I am unsure of, along with the time frame which AROTC will follow up on everything. I just want to make sure that my son is able to finish his senior year. I will check out the Military Times, thank you.
     
  11. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    If this turns out to be all that is happening, I think you will be pleased. Suspension usually only lasts one semester and then back to normal. It is independent of the medical review, just seems that they are happening together and are intertwined. I bet it's been stressful for your son during the recovery process. I know it wasn't easy during my multiple times, especially being on crutches. Hopefully the army is supporting him with the injury and recovery.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    JMPO, but at this time I would not hire an attorney. I would wait for the decision to come down and even then only do so with the realistic view that the most likely outcome will be reworking the repayment schedule. Military attorneys are not cheap and depending on where you live there may not be one in your town. They are easier to find if there is a military installation near you.
    ~ The 3 cadets/mids that have hired attorneys did not get off the hook for the scholarship, and all were not offered the option to enlist. Mainly, due to the fact that the military is downsizing.

    As Bull stated, there is a good chance that he will not be disenrolled for his academics, maybe for medical. However, I am not sure they will reinstate the scholarship for his final semester.

    My very best wishes and hopes to you and your family.
     
  13. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Contrary to what a poster said earlier, this is not a UCMJ issue. Rather, it's a matter of contract law and requires understanding of both the AROTC scholarship contract form and AR 145-1, which governs AROTC.

    My reading of the AROTC scholarship contract tells me that not maintaining status as a full-time student is a breach of contract and therefore grounds for disenrollment. However, I couldn't find any requirement for a specific number of minimum credit hours for a single semester. Rather, the definition of a full-time student in the scholarship contract is:

    "A full-time student is defined as one enrolled in sufficient academic courses to obtain sophomore, junior and senior status at the end of each one-academic-year increment for the duration of the scholarship. This includes the required Army ROTC courses..."

    This above language is more specific than anything I found in AR 145-1. Please not that I am not attorney, nor do I play one on SAF. (But I am proud to say I am a high school graduate.)

    Did he have enough credits to meet the above definition even with the drops? Did the credits for his summer school courses factor in meeting the minimums? Is summer school considered an extension of the academic year? Did his GPA fall below the required level? Most important, did he have any communication or understanding, written or otherwise, with his PMS or MS3 adviser about these matters?

    Separate from these academic matters, there are also ongoing requirements to notify the PMS of any medical issues, such as his injury, which could result in suspension of the scholarship.

    I don't know whether he needs an attorney or not. It would be preferable if he could work this out himself. However, he needs to understand his obligations and rights under the contract and AR 145-1, some of which are gray. To complicate matters, there are a number of alternative routes, including Leave of Absence, disenrollment, and re-enrollment. So if this is above his head (and it would be for most 21 year olds) then he may need a knowledgeable adviser or other representation.

    Good luck to your son in getting back on the road toward commissioning.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think we are now getting into a grey area regarding an academic year. For ROTC purposes they do not get paid a stipend during summer, so that now begs the question where they start and end the academic year.

    I know for my DS (AFROTC) he indeed sign a paper annually that stated he knew he must maintain a 2.5 to keep his scholarship. He also was informed that at his college to be considered full time he must carry at least 12 credits.

    Sometimes the grey shades occur because the school also has a voice. For example there was NROTC mid at PSU during the Sandusky upheaval that got suspended and the school informed the unit He was promptly drummed out even though he hired an attorney and the suspension was revoked before the suspension was to occur.

    That's what I mean sometimes it comes to the school impacting them too. If the school says he dropped below 12 credits he is already in breach. If ROTC deems an academic year to end in the spring, than they would be in void even if they took summer classes.

    As I said before I don't think he will be disenrolled, but I wouldn't bet that he will get the scholarship back. I would also worry that if this can give them an opportunity to DQ and not fight for a waiver for him.
     
  15. svincent207

    svincent207 New Member

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    Thank you everyone for sending some very helpful information. It is good to know that there is still hope. I do know that he took an additional 12 credits this summer, but we will need to find out if the summer courses would apply to the academic Junior year, I certainly hope so.
     
  16. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    DS's paperwork stated he must carry a minimum of 12 hrs per semester to maintain scholarship.

    BTW, AROTC stipend is paid thruout the summer months unless they get paid thru some other training or Army progm (LDAC, CULP). DS went to air assault an since it was only 2 weeks he did not get Army training pay but continued to receive his stipend all summer until he went to LDAC.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    That's interesting regarding AROTC paying the stipend year round from MSI forward . AFROTC only pays the stipend year round for contracted POCs. It is also interesting that they do not sign gpa contracts like AFROTC where it states a 2.5 must be maintained.

    In the OPs case since their DS is a POC they would have the stipend, but my bigger point was how they view an academic year. Is it purely Fall and Spring semester? There is no LLAB during the summer, nor can a cadet receive any Moines for tuition, and books during the summer semesters.

    Which is why I was saying that we were entering into the realm of grey shades.

    The OP can only hold on tight, and get their ducks in a row. Such as, medical paperwork , finding the money to pay for schooling (including the spending money) and researching if there is a possibility that if they are disenrolled will they be required to pay back the scholarship.

    We are all here to support as much as we can, but until the CoC hears from HQ AROTC there is really nothing you can do to push it along faster.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  18. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    BTW, AROTC stipend is paid thruout the summer months unless they get paid thru some other training or Army progm (LDAC, CULP). DS went to air assault an since it was only 2 weeks he did not get Army training pay but continued to receive his stipend all summer until he went to LDAC.

    I will confirm with DS but I do not believe this is the norm. If your DS was paid his stipend over the summer I would advise him to save it as the Army may be presenting him with a bill down the road.
     
  19. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    AROTC stipend is NOT paid throughout the summer unless you are an MS3 or MS4. You get the cadet base pay rate during the summer when on ADT orders, which is $33.89/day plus ~$13/ day for incidentals (if authorized). Those MS3's and 4's that are also drawing their stipend (due to system requirements) will have their stipend deducted from their base pay. If needed, I can direct quote the sheet I got at Ft Knox earlier this year.
     
  20. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    Just confirmed with my MSII DS who is a 4 year AROTC contracted cadet. He did not get a stipend for the summer months. He did get some CLIP and CLIP-B pay and is hopeful for the CULP pay. To the best of my knowledge and understanding AROTC does not pay cadets their "normal" stipend over the summer months. Clarkson and Bama may be able to shed more light.
     

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