I am planning to study meteorology in college and would like to become a weather officer in the Air Force. My 5 top schools right now (I am a Junior) are Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, Penn State, Oklahoma, and the Air Force Academy. First two are SMC's, Next two would be ROTC-only, and AFA is of course a service academy. I think I can be competitive for an ROTC scholarship or to get into the AFA Pros for AFA: No cost. Guaranteed commission Likely best preparation for a successful military career as an officer Cons for AFA: Most difficult academically Very strict schedule and uniform requirements I did not think I wanted to go to the academy so I did not apply for summer seminar Very far from home (I live near DC) Pros for SMC: Better preparation for military career/leadership VT is the only place I can get in-state tuition Cons for SMC: Strict schedule and uniform requirements No guarantee of commission Cons for AFA and SMC: I am curious about the level of freedom I will have. I am not sure if a regimented schedule fits me as a student. I have developed a great work ethic over the years, as shown by my grades and course load, and I do not think I NEED a strict schedule to help me be successful in school. I don't really party so that is not an issue, but I may want a more traditional college experience. Pros for ROTC only: More freedom, more traditional college experience No strict schedule or uniform requirements Cons for ROTC only: Not as many leadership opportunities No schools where I can get in-state tuition No guarantee of commission A Few Questions: What is the biggest difference between the AFA and a SMC such as Virginia Tech? Does a SMC offer any better chance of a commission than only doing ROTC? For those who went to an SMC or Academy, what did you like most and least about the strict schedule? I hear a lot of people saying if I can get into the AFA, I should go. Would you agree or disagree with this statement? What is the chance of receiving a commission from ROTC, and if I do not, are there any options after college which can lead me to becoming an officer? Also please let me know if I am misled about any of the information in this post. Thanks!