Last summer DS received an email asking if any incoming MS1s were interested in moving onto campus early and working out with the Ranger Challenge team. He turned down the offer due to a summer job commitment, plus he would be on the varsity swim team, so he knew he wouldn't have time for it. DS plans, God laughs. He WAS on the Ranger Challenge team as a freshman! The two major benefits were the OML points, and the bonding with the upperclassmen. It was time consuming and required flexibility with his swim team practices, but overall DS said it was worth it. He plans to do it next year as well.
Get a 300 on the APFT, or at least a very high score. This is the first thing completed that will determine your standing in your MS1 class, it can open up opportunities such as a Ranger Challenge slot, every team is required to have at least one MS1 (Freshman). After that make sure you have stellar midterm grades. Do both of those and you'll be high on that list.
Also, find additional opportunities for volunteer work/EC's through the battalion. My DS in his freshman year pulled both security and cannon duty at the college football games. Even without the OML points, this is how you bond with your fellow cadets. But don't fall behind on your academics!
I'm sure one of the ROOs here can advise, but I was told about a month ago by an ROO that MS1's maintaining a 3.0 gpa during the first semester, and getting a 270 APFT can be put in for a 3 or 3.5 year campus based scholarship (as available). He said all of his cadets that had those marks last year won the awards.
First thing...every school is different, so take all this advice with a grain of salt. This is definitely a good question to ask your new ROO or instructor. Here's what will get you ahead of the game with me at Clarkson...respond to my emails within 24 hours. Make sure I know you are coming, ask smart questions, and get your paperwork done promptly. Show up in shape and ready to work hard in the classroom. Keep in touch and be prepared to participate in our orientation. Once school starts attend all of your classes and training...and I mean All your classes.