Tuition hasn't been paid/ Dropping Scholarship

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by jwestman1, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. jwestman1

    jwestman1 Member

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    Hi, I'm on a four year AROTC scholarship and after my first semester I realized I'd rather wait until after college to make a commitment to the Army because in four years a person changes a lot and I can't guarantee I'll be happy with my decision made last fall. I'm also not in the major I want and I can't switch with the scholarship so it's best for my future goals and satisfaction with work to drop it. My only problem is, my tuition hasn't been paid and I made the mistake of attending the school offered to me on scholarship, which I could never afford on my own. I have been contracted and receiving stipends along with book money for months but still no tuition payments. So my question is, will the Army still pay my tuition bill if I drop out now? I know technically I'm not supposed to be charged if I drop the scholarship in the first year, but I don't know if they'll go through with that if I drop before they've made the payment. Any insight?
     
  2. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    So you're trying to figure how to get the Army to pay for this semester right before you drop ROTC?
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Are you planning on leaving the school now? Or are you returning to complete your Spring semester there? What are your plans for next year? Have you begun applying to other colleges yet? Seems kind of late to be starting now although I'm sure you can get some in for fall classes somewhere else.

    Do you know you can't switch majors? I thought all you needed was permission and that AROTC really didn't care what your major was?
     
  4. jwestman1

    jwestman1 Member

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    I'm going to a school that I was already accepted into last fall, so I don't have much to do and I have everything lined up with admissions counselors there. I want to transfer right now because I don't want to "use" the Army to pay for another year of my schooling. I know I wouldn't continue the program after next semester so morally I can't continue with it, but I also have no idea how I would afford this bill. I know that technically they have to pay for it but I don't know if they will if I leave before the payment takes place. The other cadets in my battalion have already been payed for tuition long ago so I'm not sure why I haven't yet.
     
  5. jwestman1

    jwestman1 Member

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    And right now I'm a technical major and I want to switch to education. Education is ranked lower in the scholarship system and I'm only allowed to switch to an equal or higher major, not a lower one.
     
  6. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I don't read the OP's post to say that at all. OP finished Fall Semester as an ROTC cadet (not on suspension). I'm assuming he attended class, PT, Lab, and FTX. The fact that the Army hasn't yet paid OP's school for Fall Semester doesn't change the fact that OP fulfilled *his* requirements outlined in the AROTC Scholarship Cadet Contract. The Army hasn't.

    OP, the Army owes your school per that same contract you signed. I assume the Army hasn't yet paid your school because of delays caused by the Sequestor -- and that Fall Semester payment will occur within the next week.

    However, "contractual right" and "possession" often conflict in real life. My advice is to *not* withdraw formally from AROTC until the Army has fulfilled its Contractual obligation to pay for your Fall semester tuition and fees.

    P.S. While the Army does stipulate that your Scholarship is for a specific Academic Displine Mix, you can ask to have that changed from Tier III to Tier II or I, or Tier II to Tier I. It's up to your Cadre and their upstream Chain of Command to approve that request, or deny it. Have you gone down this road? The Army has made an investment in you, and believes you will likely make a good officer, or you wouldn't have been given a Scholarship. Give them every opportunity to make it work for you, and them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  7. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Join the crowd. Very few people can know as a Sr. in High School what they will want to be when they're graduating from college. That's one reason that AROTC gives a cadet one full year, and the USMA gives its cadets two full years, to confirm that decision without any financial or other penalty.

    I think you should reconsider dropping now from AROTC if the primary reason is that you're not sure you'll want that in four years. Surety is very rare in this world of uncertainty. At a minimum take the full year that the Army affords AROTC cadets to increase the chance that you're making a sound decision.

    Strength and Honor: The Army doesn't consider staying in ROTC with doubts or uncertainty to be a case of abusing the benefits of the Scholarship. They understand how much 17/18/19 year olds change (thought not you, you seem certain about everything) and they want the cadet to take the allotted year (AROTC), or two years (USMA) to confirm their desires if they're anything short of certain. That's why at USMA a cadet wanting to leave USMA is advised to talk it over at length with both cadre and the Chaplain's office before make the decision final.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    With the additional comments you made I have to say +1 to dunninla except perhaps the part about not withdrawing now. I agree the Army is on the hook to pay the fall tuition. You fulfilled your part of the contract. If you left now and it came to a legal fight O think you would win that one. Keep in mind I'm not a lawyer and I don't even play one on TV. My concern would be that if you continued until the tuition were paid then what is the financial obligation to the college for the spring semester an who ends up paying for that?

    I say talk to the cadre, make things happen, and get your butt to the new school. Good luck to you. Sorry things didn't work out but it should serve as an example to others about attending schools you can't afford. You might want to continue to hang out here to pass the cautionary lessons you learned along to others as appropriate.
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I assume that the second semester has just started at the school you are currently attending. Before you formally withdraw from the program you need to talk to your HR person with your ROTC battalion and find out when the tuition for last semester will be paid. Don't wait too long, there is just a short period of time before you will not be able to get a refund or not be required to pay for you second semester. Wait too long and you'll be on the hook for the tuition for the second semester.


    Cross posted with kinnem, he beat me to it.
     
  10. DeskJockey

    DeskJockey Member

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    Years ago, my son was in a very similar position. He had a 4-year NROTC scholarship as an engineering major at a large, expensive private university 3,000 miles from home. From the very start, it was a difficult experience for him, both academically and socially. NROTC was a particular burden for him, not because it was all that arduous, but because it was the one thing that he had to do that almost none of his classmates had to - and hence it became the focal point of his anxiety. I was not sure that he would even make it through the first semester, and I was prepared to take the hit for his tuition bill if he couldn't make it to Christmas break. But he persevered, passed all of his classes, and went back for semester two. Even then, I assumed that he would pull the plug on NROTC at the end of the year and go to a much less expensive school somewhere back home.

    All through the first year the battalion cadre was very supportive of him. They made it clear that the first year was meant to be a trial run, and that it was okay if he decided not to come back. They did strongly encourage him to finish out the year, and to take advantage of the Navy paying his tuition.

    At the end of the school year in the Spring, he provisionally signed his resignation papers, with the understanding that he didn't have to make a final decison until the end of his summer NROTC training (CORTRAMID). To his and our surprise, he decided to go back for his sophomore year, which committed him to the program and to a four-year service obligation. To make a long story short, although school continued to be a struggle (mechanical engineering isn't easy for anyone) he graduated with his BSE, commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer, and has been an absolutely stellar junior officer.

    I am sharing this story with you because I think that even after a full semester it can be difficult to clearly assess the situation that you are in. Simply by virtue of the fact that you received the scholarship, there is no question that you have the character and academic aptitude to finish out the year. If nothing else, the Army is willing to pick up the tab, which ought to be incentive enough. But more importantly, I think that you will find that if you do persevere with AROTC and your technical major classes until the end of the year, you will have accomplished something that you can build on even if you do decide that AROTC is not the right path for you right now.

    One more thought: It is only natural for a first year college student to be concerned about your future, and to try to make sure that you are in the right major to get the job that you see yourself in as a career. But I think you will quickly find out - and can easily verify by asking anyone who is a few years older than you are - that the world doesn't really work that way. You have forty or more years of work and family life ahead of you, and odds are that you will have a number of different jobs, some of which you cannot even imagine right now. That being the case, you just may decide that spending a few years as an army officer will be an advantage to you, and will give you the time and the resources to find out what you really want to do, and then go do it.
     
  11. Jayceguy

    Jayceguy Jayceguy

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    I wouldn't feel bad about dropping the scholarship at all, especially if you plan on going army after college. If you do OCS after college, you've accomplished the same thing as doing ROTC, and saved the army money by not having them pay for 3 1/2 more years of tuition. It looks to me like you're doing them a favor.

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  12. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    OCS after college is by no means a gimme. OCS boards for civilians have been suspended several times lately. Don't assume this option will always be available.
     

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