Applying to Both Service Academies and ROTC

My daughter attended the summer seminars at USNA, USAFA and USMA, enjoyed her experiences at all and wants to serve her country. She is also interested in ROTC scholarships. How does each service academy and NROTC, AFROTC and AROTC view a candidate if they apply to 3 service academies and 3 potential ROTC scholarships?
 

GoArmy22

Member
I can't pinpoint 100% what they'll think, but if I was part of Admissions I'd see someone who is interested in serving regardless of the branch and/or the 4 year path she takes which shows strong commitment. Best of luck to your DD!
 

LongAgoPlebe

5-Year Member
My daughter attended the summer seminars at USNA, USAFA and USMA, enjoyed her experiences at all and wants to serve her country. She is also interested in ROTC scholarships. How does each service academy and NROTC, AFROTC and AROTC view a candidate if they apply to 3 service academies and 3 potential ROTC scholarships?
The purpose of all of these routes is to become an officer in one of the armed services. Your DD should apply to all sources for which she's qualified, and pursue each of them unless/until she figures out that she does not want to be (let's say) an officer in the Army. Apply for everything. Then when she has choices, THEN she can start eliminating some paths. In the meantime, she has some time to do research here and elsewhere about what it's like to be an officer in each service, what different jobs are available and appeal to her, what the coursework would be like at the academies, whether they have majors that appeal to her, what the training paths and experiences are like, etc.
 

berserk87

Member
My son did the same thing. I think that from all sides it's looked on favorably because it demonstrates commitment to the service(s). He ended up being accepted at West Point and the Naval Academy, but when you are applying, you have no way of knowing beforehand if it will happen. We prepared him for the ROTC route just based on the long odds of being accepted at an academy. He made clear to the ROTC folks that if he got accepted to an academy, he would choose that route over ROTC. All ROTC branches were understanding of this in his case.
 

2020Vision

Member
Your daughter first needs to decide if all 3 service academies and all 3 ROTC programs will lead her where she wants to go. She needs to do her research into what each branch of service is like, in terms of deployments, jobs, life style, etc. She also needs to understand the difference between attending a service academy and participating in college ROTC. Beyond that, none of these entities -- academies or ROTC -- has any knowledge of what else you are applying for. In other words, USNA won't know if you've applied to USAFA. So, that should not be a factor in her decision making.
 

Cerberi

Member
If your question is: does applying to one impact your application to another - the answer is No. The SA's do not share information with other SA's or ROTC each makes their own selections with no influence from the other SAs.

It may impact how the Nomination sources view the candidate. For example if they have 12 candidates for USNA and 3 candidates for USMA and the the three USMA candidates also applied for a USNA nomination, they could potentially just evaluate those three for USMA nominations. In TN, if you apply for a nomination to more than one SA, the Senators and at least District 09 ask you to rank order your preferences.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
I strongly encourage all of my candidates to apply for NROTC . If the goal is to be a Naval Officer, the candidate demonstrates commitment to that objective by pursuing all routes to that goal. Whether or not the candidate has applied to NROTC is a "check the box" on the BGO interview write up, so USNA knows. I don't know how that information is used by USNA, but it certainly doesn't hurt the application. That being said, if there is a reason that you don't want to pursue NROTC (i.e. it is not offered at your Plan B school), don't apply to simply check the box, but tell your BGO when he/she asks.

With respect to other Service Academies /ROTC -- USNA (and your BGO) doesn't really care. I ask, as much to determine your interest and motivation, but I usually don't ask what your first choice is. I often explain the differences between the different academies and branches of the service, but never put down the other Services.

Ceberi is correct that applying to multiple Service Academies can impact your nominations. I have seen MOC think they are doing the nice thing by spreading out their nominations so that everyone gets one, but the candidate didn't get a nomination to the Service Academy they wanted to attend most. If you are applying for multiple service academies, I would recommend that you make your preference and reasoning clear.
 
My son did the same thing. I think that from all sides it's looked on favorably because it demonstrates commitment to the service(s). He ended up being accepted at West Point and the Naval Academy, but when you are applying, you have no way of knowing beforehand if it will happen. We prepared him for the ROTC route just based on the long odds of being accepted at an academy. He made clear to the ROTC folks that if he got accepted to an academy, he would choose that route over ROTC. All ROTC branches were understanding of this in his case.
Did your son receive ROTC scholarships too?
 

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
I really think that there is not a downside to applying to as many commissioning opportunities as your DS/DD is interested in, so long as time permits.

Back in 2015, my DS found the two SA applications (USMA and USNA) combined with the NROTC/MO so time consuming that he was not able to add the Army ROTC application to his tasks. He was working at an outside job, playing two varsity sports, plus a club sport. Add tutoring younger students and volunteering at the local zoo, and it was a miracle that he kept grades up, while studying for the SAT and ACT.

Ultimately he was declined by both the SA's and NROTC, but accepted to a very expensive SMC. Instead of going there he opted for a more affordable local university. While he loved the school, it only offered AROTC and not NROTC. So he joined as a walk-on AROTC cadet and found that he loved it.

By Spring of his freshman MS-I year he had earned a campus based AROTC 3.5 year scholarship and now he will be entering his MS-III year.

The bottom line is try to find time to apply for as many things as possible to have plans A thru Z covered. But it IS time consuming for busy candidates.
 

MidwestDad

Member
DS' MOC office encouraged all candidates to apply to 3 SAs plus ROTC option. You have to judge if trying for 3 different nominations is better than multiple chances for same SA nomination [you can get multiple nominations to same SA; DS did.] Also ROTC candidates can reapply next year to SAs.

Some MOCs force you to pick one [mostly senators I believe,] others allow you to seek noms to all 3. [MOC nominated DS to 2 SAs; funny thing is DS would have been assured of a 3rd (USNA) nom also since our MOC had 20 slots [ 2 slates of 10] to fill 2 seats but only 17 applicants for noms last year. I guess DS just doesn't like water . . . he didn't apply.]

But as for chances assuming you get nominations to more than one SA it won't hurt you and as stated might reflect positively that you are committed to seeking commissioning.
 

ctar17

New Member
I have been told that the service academies and ROTC love to see that someone is applying to multiple academies and ROTC. I asked this when I met with someone from the Naval Academy. I think I remember them saying that they can't check if you received an AFROTC or AROTC scholarship, but they can check for NROTC (or Marine Corps options) scholarship. They said it really shows the applicant is committed to getting commissioned and serving their country.
 

USMAROTCFamily

5-Year Member
My son did the same thing. I think that from all sides it's looked on favorably because it demonstrates commitment to the service(s). He ended up being accepted at West Point and the Naval Academy, but when you are applying, you have no way of knowing beforehand if it will happen. We prepared him for the ROTC route just based on the long odds of being accepted at an academy. He made clear to the ROTC folks that if he got accepted to an academy, he would choose that route over ROTC. All ROTC branches were understanding of this in his case.
This was exactly the same for our DS. He knew he would be happy with Navy or Army. He did not apply to Air Force. In the end, he got appointments to USMA, USNA, as well as getting the NROTC and AROTC scholarships. We were glad he had applied to all. After attending the summer program, he was fairly certain that he wanted to go Navy, but in the end, he chose USMA. Our older DD had extremely strong applications, but she ended up pulling her applications for USNA and USMA, as she made the decision that she wanted to go the civilian school route and use her NROTC scholarship. Yes, there are kids who get into service academies and actually choose ROTC over the academy! Most people think of ROTC only as a back up to an academy, but some really prefer the "normal" college experience. We were grateful they both had options and were able to choose the best fit for each of them.
 
My son did the same thing. I think that from all sides it's looked on favorably because it demonstrates commitment to the service(s). He ended up being accepted at West Point and the Naval Academy, but when you are applying, you have no way of knowing beforehand if it will happen. We prepared him for the ROTC route just based on the long odds of being accepted at an academy. He made clear to the ROTC folks that if he got accepted to an academy, he would choose that route over ROTC. All ROTC branches were understanding of this in his case.
This was exactly the same for our DS. He knew he would be happy with Navy or Army. He did not apply to Air Force. In the end, he got appointments to USMA, USNA, as well as getting the NROTC and AROTC scholarships. We were glad he had applied to all. After attending the summer program, he was fairly certain that he wanted to go Navy, but in the end, he chose USMA. Our older DD had extremely strong applications, but she ended up pulling her applications for USNA and USMA, as she made the decision that she wanted to go the civilian school route and use her NROTC scholarship. Yes, there are kids who get into service academies and actually choose ROTC over the academy! Most people think of ROTC only as a back up to an academy, but some really prefer the "normal" college experience. We were grateful they both had options and were able to choose the best fit for each of them.
Thanks.
 

USMAROTCFamily

5-Year Member
When did your children apply for the ROTC scholarships?
Mine applied for them at the same time as they did for their academy applications - August/September timeframe. They wanted to insure their ROTC applications were submitted in time for the first boards for both AROTC and NROTC.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
I have been told that the service academies and ROTC love to see that someone is applying to multiple academies and ROTC
I can't speak for the other SAs, but USNA doesn't care whether or not you apply to more than one SA and I'm not sure they even ask. They are interested in whether someone is also applying to ROTC, but I've seen no evidence to suggest that doing so provides any benefit in your application to USNA.

I suggest that candidates apply to those SAs and ROTC programs that they actually want to attend/participate in, NOT just because it might "look good." Some people are just not interested in attending ROTC (or a SA) and thus shouldn't feel the need to apply to both programs. Just be prepared to explain why you don't want to do ROTC, if asked (less likely to be asked why not doing a SA).

The same goes for SAs. There is no reason to apply to any SA if you don't have a desire to attend that SA. You won't get "bonus points" for doing so and it's a waste of your time in completing the application. I realize that kids may not be certain which SA is right for them and views may change especially after a visit. That said, most have some inkling that one or more of the SAs is not a good fit and in almost all cases, that view isn't going to change in the next few months.

The above said, MOCs like to see candidates apply to more than one SA for two reasons. First, some of them may believe that it indicates a greater desire to serve (personally, I'm not sure that's true -- being focused about your military future is also a good thing IMHO). Second, and selfishly for them, if you apply to multiple SAs (other than USCGA), it gives them more flexibility in giving you a nom to at least one. And they're about making their constituents happy. The danger in this, of course, is you get a nom to your 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th choice and no nom to your first choice. But that discussion is for another day . . .
 

Norfolk63

BGO and MidDad
5-Year Member
Totally agree with the posts above... And have one thing to add. If you really want to go to the USNA, you should...
Apply for a NROTC scholarship asap.

The hard cold truth is despite the strength of your application to USNA, it is still a gamble that may take one or even two re-applications to make it. Consequently, an NROTC scholarship is not simply a "Plan B," it offers a significant advantage to a re-app's chances of being selected and succeeding at the Academy once you get there.

My DS had a very strong app out of hs with a 33 ACT score, 3 varsity letters, Eagle scout, blah blah blah and made the Wait list. The NROTC scholarship allowed him to improve his reapp exponentially, earning 3 noms, a perfect CFA, and the leadership and Navy experience that got him an Appointment to Class of 2021 where he is having a blast at plebe summer as a write this.

Good luck!
 
Totally agree with the posts above... And have one thing to add. If you really want to go to the USNA, you should...
Apply for a NROTC scholarship asap.

The hard cold truth is despite the strength of your application to USNA, it is still a gamble that may take one or even two re-applications to make it. Consequently, an NROTC scholarship is not simply a "Plan B," it offers a significant advantage to a re-app's chances of being selected and succeeding at the Academy once you get there.

My DS had a very strong app out of hs with a 33 ACT score, 3 varsity letters, Eagle scout, blah blah blah and made the Wait list. The NROTC scholarship allowed him to improve his reapp exponentially, earning 3 noms, a perfect CFA, and the leadership and Navy experience that got him an Appointment to Class of 2021 where he is having a blast at plebe summer as a write this.

Good luck!
Wow! That is awesome and congrats to your DS! She has submitted her applications to both USNA and NROTC. She passed the USNA CFA at the Summer Seminar. Could you please tell me when she takes her fitness test for NROTC as it was not part of the initial application?
 
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