AFROTC or Continue school?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by jmartinezm, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. jmartinezm

    jmartinezm New Member

    Jul 25, 2012
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    I'm currently classified as a Senior (by hours, not by degree progress) at a University in South Texas, UT-Pan American, and I recently got around to considering transferring to the University of Texas - San Antonio in order to have a better chance of receiving a commission as opposed to taking my chances in OTS after graduation.

    The thing is that I missed the deadline for this upcoming Fall Semester, and won't be able to start ROTC with the 100 level course until the upcoming spring semester. This also means that I won't be able to take the 200 level course until next fall and won't be able to attend field training until the summer of 2014. This in turn means that I won't be able to complete the ROTC program until Spring of 2016. This of course is assuming that I make the right impressions, get involved, keep my gpa high enough to be competitive and get selected for a HSI scholarship and field training.

    At the end of all this, I would have been in school for 7 years, and if I do go ahead and transfer it'd be like starting brand new taking at least 3 and a half years to (hopefully) receive a commission and graduate.

    The other thing that I was worried about was financial aid. I'm currently receiving federal financial aid and paying for school with a few loans and pell grants. I know that after 6 years, the financial aid stops flowing in, and I would be relying on that to pay my room and board for at least the next two years (since I know if I do get an HSI scholarship, it only foots the bill for tuition.) I'm sure I can manage by getting a part time job and paying some rent, but the hour cap is what I'm worried about. After this semester at my university, I'll have about 115 hours attempted, with 2 classes dropped, I'll have 108 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.75. I know that the tuition rate by the hour increases after a certain number, so I was wondering if the HSI scholarship covered even that increase in dollar per credit hour? If it does, I was thinking that I could probably double major to get a second bachelor's degree since I would only need about 60 more credit hours for a Computer Science degree.

    My last question would be, would it be worth transferring to get more of a secure commission or would it be better for me to just finish off my Computer science degree in these next two academic years and apply for OTS? I'm just looking to minimize the time it takes from now to join the Air Force as an officer, and I realize that staying where I am now would take a shorter amount of time, but I'd have to play the odds with OTS (which from what I hear is extremely competitive nowadays with all the force-reduction efforts going around), or I can take a year and a half more and try and secure a commission that way?

    Thanks for any and all help that you guys can suggest.
  2. Pima

    Pima 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
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    Personally, I would say go the OTS route. You can start applying for it next spring which would be 1 yr out from your graduation. I would talk to a recruiter to see if colleges matter in the board process, or is it just the degree, cgpa and accredited college that are the factors. If the competitiveness of the college academically has no impact, or the college is masked, than OTS is a better option.

    Commissioning OTS or ROTC would not be a factor for a RIF. Your commission yr group would be the factor. Your AFSC would be a factor, but not whether you commissioned OTS or ROTC.

    Going AFROTC has the big hurdle as a 200. If you do not get SFT you can be disenrolled from ROTC. Than what? You are still going to have college debt mounting with each semester and no commissioning in the future.

    Additionally, AFROTC scholarship recipients are in the minority at most colleges. Our DS just commissioned this past May, out of the 26 grads, 3 were AFROTC scholarship.

    One more thing to put on your think about this agenda is if you want to go rated or non-rated. Take the AFROTC route, and want rated, you will not know the answer until 2015, assuming 16 is grad date. OTS you apply for either rated or non-rated or both when you apply. A close friends DS is applying for this upcoming rated OTS board. He will grad next May. He is only applying for rated. If he doesn't make this one, he will try again in Jan. and next summer, but only rated. He doesn't have to go non-rated, nor serve AD.

    Go AFROTC there is no 2nd, or 3rd shot for rated. Cadets that ask for rated, but do not get it will meet the non-rated board. They have to serve.

    Both have their pitfalls, both have their great things too. I just cannot see going deeper in debt. News flash, the military pays well, but if you are walking in with 6 yrs of student loans, than buy a car upon graduation, you are walking in with a lot of debt that will chew up a big chunk of your pay.

    I would also check into those student loans regarding the fine print. Typically they have a You Must Start Paying Date. @ 6 months after you take the last loan. If I read your post correctly, that means while you are in college, in ROTC, taking a job to pay for it, you will also need to amp up those work hours if they require you to start paying the loan back while you are still in college.

    Caveat: I don't know the regs, and you may have already looked into it, but it would make sense to me, that they aren't going to wait around 2 more yrs. Even if they do, look at the fine print of the loan again. Some accrue int. while you are in college, some start once you graduate. 7 yrs of accrued interest is not going to be a few bucks, even at a 4% rate, because they will also add in the interest in the repayment schedule for the other 10 yrs they allow you to pay it back. Basically, it will be 17 yrs of interest charged over the course of the loan.

    OBTW one last thing, you need to remember either route you will need a DoDMERB exam. If you have had any medical issues in your life it can become a DQ, and this is now all for naught. It can vary from taking accutane to a broken arm that required pins. OTS you will take it before you meet the board. AFROTC non-scholarship won't take it until the earliest of applying for HSI or SFT. This will be way after the time you already committed to transferring.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012

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