The essay and other factors

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by TacKLed, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. TacKLed

    TacKLed Member

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    I see a lot of people on here fretting over their child not being able to get a scholarship even though they have above average grades, extracurricular, and so on.

    What I want to know is how much does the essay play in the determining factor and do they take into the account the economic factors, race, how many kids from the school have gotten or applied for the scholarship, if they want to strategically get a foothold in that area to get more recruits, the population of the school that is likely to enlist from the exposure of one person getting a scholarship, GPA in relation to class rank, etc?
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    TacKLed,

    ROTC scholarship is merit based. That means they will not place your financial ability to pay into the process. Your folks could make 10K or 10 million a yr., it has no impact on their decision. Your PAR, PFA, EC and recs will matter.

    Regarding the school and how many apply, how many enlist, etc., etc. etc, again, absolutely no impact. You are as an A/NROTC candidate competing against every candidate that has a match to your 5 schools on your list that you submitted to them.

    The impact of your selection, is your school profile:

    Attend a magnet school, best of the best, 1 teacher to 10 kids, every AP, every sport and club you can imagine.

    It can hurt you against the kid from the wrong side of the tracks.

    The student who attends a school where 50% do not graduate, they have 5 sports, 8 clubs, and only offer 5 APs.

    They look at the profile of the school.

    The magnet candidate has a 3.2, ranked in the bottom 85%, took 2 APs out of 16, played 1 sport, no clubs, and no ECS. 25% go Ivy, 50% Private, 25% ISS Public

    The wrong side candidate has a 3.5, valedictorian, 2% go Ivy. took every AP offered, played spring and fall sports, Class President, NMSF candidate, works at Target 20 hrs a week for the last 2 yrs.

    The board will see that the magnet candidate was skirting by and not pushing himself. The wrong side candidate took advantage of every opportunity.

    The wrong side would get the scholarship, not based on financial need, based on also looking at their school profile.

    They will not ding a candidate because they had less academic opportunities, they ding them for not taking the opportunities when offered.

    The essay will matter, but in the end it will be minimal points and like the PFA something that can make or break you. It is awarded a percentage of the entire WCS. PAR is 60% for WCS, essay if I recall correctly is a % of the 20% of the the WCS. Even if it 50% of the 20%, it is still only 5%.

    I believe you are looking at A/NROTC. In both cases you will also have a liaison that will have an impact with the board. The members that interviewed you will submit a rec. That too will be scored points.

    I think that is where you are having confusion. The majority here are not fretting over an essay they wrote. They are fretting over the interview because they know that matters for their WCS.

    Race will always play into the equation, but I doubt anyone here, even the posters that are BGO's can tell you or would tell you how big of a game changer it is when it comes to the WCS. I would never say because someone is a minority they have a better shot of getting anything. Right now some colleges have URMs and will give an edge, but another school may decide for them that URM is an ORM, and it can hurt.
     
  3. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Of all the factors you listed, in order of importance:

    Academic performance = class rank + GPA. (your forgot SAT which is equally important
    Race: There are highly prioritized targets for Af. Am, Asian, Hispanic
    Essay: to determine your motivations and goals

    All the other stuff doesn't matter much.

    You didn't say which ROTC. Air Force and Navy are more focused on SAT (particularly the Math portion) and GPA than Army and Marines.
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I believe Athletics and Leadership will be of more importance then the Essay, Race would probably follow.
     
  5. TacKLed

    TacKLed Member

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    Thanks for the info. I am doing AROTC, NROTC Marine Option, and West Point so this info is of great help understanding the process even though I know it is probably secretive.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Athletics and leadership does matter.

    However, race does too.

    The problem is everybody is missing some factors when it comes to the OP.

    1. A/NROTC award scholarships to the cadet AND the school.
    In other words it is not AFROTC where they can take it any college. The scholarship can only be utilized at the school A/NROTC selected.
    Many schools believe that for some URMs they are ORMS.

    TacKLed has not informed anyone of his school list to my knowledge.

    You can't openly state that because of their race they have a higher or lower chance.

    2. AROTC is not like N/AFROTC since the latter place weight on STEM.

    3. MO cares about the PFT more than AFROTC, and NROTC for the boards.
    There are so many factors here it becomes insane. Best advice IMPO:
    Submit your app.

    Be a HS kid, go to the movies, play X-Box with friends, make memories, because when life stinks next yr at college you will need those memories to pull you through.

    Nobody, and I mean nobody here sits on the boards. Our info is anecdotal at best.

    Anyone who says you are in or out for a scholarship really doesn't know anything.

    You want an answer, everyone gets that. Everyone else wants an answer or some way to calm their fears. I will say what I always say, ask, vent, complain or question, but it is a roller coaster ride and be prepared to be on this ride until May. If you can't or won't accept that, maybe you should decide to ask to get off for yourself.

    You will do fine no matter what the result is.

    Xposted with TacKLed.

    Nothing here is secretive it can be found anywhere on the WWW.

    USMA has the same WCS as USNA and AFA.

    AROTC, NROTC and AFROTC have different selection processes, but it is not secretive. It is a formula for %.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  7. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    I am a relatively new poster. This forum has been extremely stressful, making me relive #1 son's experience. He is now an AROTC MSI 4yr scholarship, majoring in Chem Eng at a big state school. It Has been extremely helpful as #2 son begins the process of applying to USNA. I really appreciate the time that many of you folks put into helping kids like my own get through this process.

    Two issues in the decision making that have not been addressed are:

    1)What is is the relationship and history that the particular ROTC program (A, N, AF) has with the individual departments of the university? Engineering is so demanding a major by itself that is may be better to let the kid try it out and decide if it works. My son is in the honors program and his advisor told me in no uncertain terms that it would be almost unworkable to meet the demands of both school and ROTC. That, or course meant nothing to my son.

    2) As with the Academies, the military is constantly trying to figure out what kind of manpower they will need 3, 4, 5, years down the road. Those needs constantly change. It is even more critical for officers. On 9/10/2001, the defense department was in the process of developing a smarter, lighter, more adaptable defense, focusing on developing military relationships. One year later, we were in a major land war and about to get in another. The needs changed overnight.

    I think that in the end, they are keen to identify resourcefulness, adaptibility and an ability to handle stress. #1 son spent his junior year of high school in Brazil. His family and school spoke zero English. He spent a year after HS doing the exact same thing in Taiwan. No English anywhere. He had never studied Portuguese or Chinese. His attitude which seeps from his pores is, "What do you mean I can't do that?" Then he walks away thinking,"What did I just say I could do? I better make good on it." Then he does it. Scary as heck for a parent.

    #2 son has none of #1's "sexiness", but he is plodder and a plugger. He is probably among the weakest member of his sports teams, but he works as hard as anyone. He also helps the star player with his Calculus. He has adapted to and made the most of his opportunity.

    In summary, some of the process is too difficult to try and manage, if you can convey those characteristics underlined above, I think it will help.

    Best of luck and go get a book called "Imperial Grunts". It really charged #1's batteries.
     
  8. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Race still plays a factor? Affirmative Action is a slippery slope of reverse racism and I feel as though the best candidate regardless of race or ethnicity should get the scholarship. That has to be the most inane factor to be considered with applicants.
     
  9. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Whatever the slope is, it is now a matter of published Public Policy.

    I can't find any Army specific instructions, but the NROTC is pretty clear on this. Here is a scholarship application targets by ethnicity publication from NETC in 2010:

    http://www.cnrc.navy.mil/Publications/Directives/1131 NROTC GOALS FY10.pdf

    Notice pages 5 and 6. Now, working logically backward from this, there would be no reason to have % targets of Applications by race/ethnicity unless these mirrored in a meaningful way the end result, which is Scholarship awards that ultimately lead to commissioning.

    Understand that this Diversity initiative/target is upstream of the Academies, ROTC, etc. The Law giving rise to the urgency of this intitiative is described here: http://mldc.whs.mil/ The Department of Defense was essentially instructed to see to it that the Officer ranks in all services becomes, over time, an approximate % reflection of the ethnic/racial makeup of the enlisted ranks. That MANDATES targets for officers in (at the time, and still two years later) under-represented race/ethnicities of African American, Asian, Hispanic.

    Neither the Academies, ROTC, or any othe Accession program would be advised to ignore the directives from the Secretary of Defense. They're just following orders.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  10. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    AROTC

    Oh believe me I know DoD word is pretty much gold but I find it silly that they push this race crtiteria. I wonder if there is a study or survey indicating enlisted members feel slighted because their officer leadership does not represent their racial demographic.

    I remember reading a weighted point system applied to races when I was applying for schools back in 2007.

    The push for diversity is nothing new (in health care, civilian employment etc.) but using race as a criteria for future officers in the US military seems laughable as well as scary at best.

    I know my comment was off-topic, but I was just surprised that race is an actual weighted factor (as opposed to an arbitrary demographic)...
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Sorry to comment on the off topic.

    While the document that was linked states that points are given for diversity it does not say how many points and to what degree it is weighted. My guess would be that while weighted it is not enough to allow sub standard cadets to receive scholarships.

    We are from a fairly diverse area, my son's however attend a school that is...well... not very diverse, the location of the school being the main reason. Their AROTC Battalion is diverse to the degree that it matches the diversity percentage of the enlisted ranks. The cadets that fit this category and recieved scholarships were all top applicants, far above many of the other scholarship applicants so there was never an issue whether they received a scholarship based on race.

    When I visited the school a couple months ago I got into a discussion with an African American cadet about diversity, at one point he laughed and said, "Of all the diverse groups in the battalion the largest group is the Gay cadet". My son's battalion has 4 openly gay cadets, he said he felt proud to be in such a diverse battalion. In the end I really don't think the goal of diversity will have all that much impact on the quality of cadets, off all those that have dropped the program at my son's battalion over the past 4 years, none were minorities, I think that speaks volumes.
     
  12. goldenlion

    goldenlion Member

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  13. TacKLed

    TacKLed Member

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    My main schools are University of Houston, Sam Houston State University, and Texas A&M. I would think that A&M would be pretty filled but the two seem kinda low populated.
     
  14. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    While I agree Pima's overall point, I just wanted to clarify some specifics for NROTC.

    The NROTC scholarships are awarded on a national basis. The school placement process is separate and comes only after the scholarship has been awarded by the board. The NROTC candidate is not competing against other candidates who choose the same list of 5 schools.

    Also, the person at your local recruiting office who is helping the candidate put together his/her package often has very helpful advice but doesn't have any connections to the board who reviews the package. The local recruiter has very limited information once the package has been submitted. There could easily be a problem with your package once submitted that the local recruiter will have no visibility of. Pensacola is your best bet for information once your application has been submitted and before it's awarded. The recommendation is an important and necessary part of the application but keep in mind that interviewers are unknown to the members of the board and likely vary widely. Some interviewers gush regardless of how strong the candidate while others are more naturally reserved even with the best of candidates. The members of the board are aware of that tendency. The essays by the candidates are not filtered by another voice. Both are important but don't underestimate the essay in the NROTC process.

    While I agree that diversity plays a part, it's only on a national basis, and is unrelated to the specific schools or Units.

    Don't underestimate applying early (as in June!) and your choice of Tier.
     
  15. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    You can call the NROTC Units at the schools directly and they will know if their Units are already filled. They can also tell you how many they usually take off the waiting list if it's applicable. They can't give any guarantees, of course, but just give a general idea based on past years.
     
  16. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    ^^^ Thanks basilrathbone. Good posts.
     
  17. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Since you seem to be interested in either Army ROTC or NROTC - Marine Option,

    you should know that the NROTC does operate on a type of quota system per Unit in the Navy Option part, but I don't know how the Marine Option works.

    I agree that you should start conversations with the PMS/PNS at your target schools, as well as the Recruiting Officer for Army and the Freshman Advisor (generally an O-3) for Marine Option NROTC. They will be able to give you guidance on the odds you'll be competitive for their schools. Remember there are not many, but a few Army ROTC scholarships that are awarded at the Unit or Brigade level, even if an award doesn't come out of the National Selection Board.
     

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