Army ROTC question

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by olddave, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. olddave

    olddave 5-Year Member

    Jul 14, 2010
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    My son will be a Senior in HS this coming year and is very interested in an
    Army ROTC scholarship

    His profile:
    GPA:4.3 weighted / 3.8 non weighted
    -ACT: 31 (34 English /33 reading / 28 math-science
    -SAT:2190 (660 math, 740 reading, 690 writing)
    -Class rank: 20 of 800
    -No sports but won outstanding achievement award in Physical Education
    He is 6'3" 155lb and is an average athlete
    -Club president of the year at his high school
    (President of Young Republicans club)
    -won an award from the Princeton Alumni Society as a student that
    shows intellectual promise and academic excellence
    -plays cello in advanced orchestra
    -Spending 2 weeks volunteering this summer as Junior counselor at camp for
    abused children.

    He is considering:
    Washington University in St Louis
    Princeton- (because of the award from the Princeton alumni)

    We are going to visit Clemson, St. Louis and Vanderbilt in couple of weeks.

    My questions are:

    1. Best route to get an Army ROTC scholarship
    2. Can anyone comment on the ROTC programs at these schools?
    3. Any other thoughts/suggestions
  2. riroka

    riroka 5-Year Member

    Sep 3, 2009
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    He looks great, but I think he needs a sport. Anything where he is a member of an organized sport - even a club sport. My son is a hockey player but joined a co-ed soccer team to add another sport to his application. Good Luck!!!!
  3. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent 5-Year Member

    Apr 7, 2009
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    Welcome aboard!

    Looking at your son's bio, my first thought is that 3 of the 4 schools are highly competitive type schools where his chances at admissions is far from certain (Clemson should be a gimme with his stats).

    That being said, the biggest flaw in the AROTC process for highly competitve schools is that the highly competitive candidates who apply for the scholarships to those schools tend to get them awarded in the fall semester boards - before many admissions decisions are made. This puts them in the position where they have to accept a scholarship to a school where they may not gain admission - a calculated risk that they sometimes have to trade in late in the process (early May) in hopes of switching it to a less competitive school where they were actually admitted.

    My best advice in managing this situation is to talk to the cadre at the 3 highly competitive units and find out what the stats of this year's recipients were and what board they were awarded the scholarship. Last year was brutal in the cutbacks in scholarships, so I would guess that it will be the same this year. This should give you an idea of what your son's chances are (are his stats similar to last year's recipients?) and if so, when he might expect to see an offer (hopefully to answer the question of when a decision of which school to accept must be made).

    One other thing about the 3 highly competitive schools - they are all "high cost schools", which typically means 4-year scholarships are very few and you may see a 3-year Advanced Directive scholarship (years 2,3 & 4) offer from Cadet Command. Looking at the basic info provided on the school locater site it looks like these institutions have special arrangements to take some of the sting out of the first year costs. Check with the unit/school to make sure that these programs are still in place.

    The last question you will have to address when looking at the scholarship decision before admission decision quandry is whether the financial part of the scholarship is critical to attending these schools or not? He can be in ROTC without the scholarship at any school, but if your family finances require FA for any school, you might consider taking the bird in hand (Clemson) if you don't have the admission decision for the others (don't know the EA dates for any of these) when awarded a scholarship, as it may be easier to trade up in May (when the recipients who didn't get in have to abandon their scholarships at the highly competitive schools) than to traded down.

    The most important piece of advice I can give is to keep in contact with the Cadre at your top choices. They will have the best knowledge of where you stand (do they still have scholarships left?) as things go during the year. Your level of interest does have a small impact on your chances for a scholarship as a unit can accept or decline a CC selection - they tend to accept the applicants who show more interest and are likely to show up in the fall.
  4. waterisbest

    waterisbest 5-Year Member

    Feb 13, 2010
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    Like Riroka said, your son seems to have most of what they are looking for, except a sport. When school starts up again in the fall, it won't be too late to join a team. Cross country and football run during the fall, which is the time that applications are usually sent out and interviews are conducted, so I would highly encourage your son to join one of these teams!

    During my interview last fall, the Major I was talking to outlined what the Army looks for: a SAL. S is for student, so someone with good academics and test scores, which your son has. A is for athlete, because physical training is obviously a large part of ROTC training. L is for leader, because ROTC is looking for future officers who will lead soldiers. His experience as a couselor and club president will serve him well here.

    As for how to apply, the application is available online here: There is a section where the applicant selects clubs he/she was involved in, sports he played, and awards he received. There are also two short essays you must write. I forget the prompts, but I think one was about why you wanted to do ROTC, and the other was about what experience you had that would make you a good candidate. Anyone, please correct me if I'm wrong! I really should be able to remember this from less than a year ago... There is also a reccomendation required from your high school counselor and a PT test to be administered by a PE teacher. It's the Presidental Fitness Test, which includes a 1 mile run, 1 minute of push ups, and 1 minute of sit ups. After all of this is submited, you will be scheduled for an interview at a school with ROTC near your home.

    The application also has room for you to list 7 schools you would like to be considered at for ROTC, and you rank them in order of preference. Since you have listed several schools your son is interested in applying to, I would get in contact with the recruting officers and PMSs at all of those schools. Personal contact is incredibly important when it comes time to divy out scholarships! They will be able to give you a better sense of the atmosphere at their battalion, and may be able to put you in contact with some of their cadets who can give an even better "inside look."

    Other than that, my advice is to get your application in as soon as possible. As more selection boards go on, scholarships can still be given out, but schools don't always have the ability to host those students any more. You can always turn a scholarship down if you decide you don't want it, but it is much more difficult to decide that you want one at the last minute. I hope this helps!
  5. gojack

    gojack .... 5-Year Member

    Jul 1, 2010
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    As the others have said, the Army is looking for 'Balanced Candidates'...

    Scholar-Athlete-Leaders (SAL)

    His Scholarship is great.

    His Leadership good, any other elected office, or leadership examples?

    Athlete...points are primary for Varsity Letters, One is good and two is great.

    Looks like:
    Clemson is a safety (probably too safe IMHO)

    Realistic is:
    Washington University in St Louis

    Long Shot:

    He is allowed 7 choices on his ROTC app, and he should probably find 3 more he likes
    (College prowler and College confidential are good starting points)

    He need to create an account at:
    and start an application... they walk you through it.

    Make appointments, visit the ROTC units, tour the schools.
    If he has a favorite, he can ask to do an over-night shadow of a cadet,
    this was an eye opener for my son, he loved it, came back with a crew cut.
    Will also show that he is serious about that specific program.

    Seems to me to be an odd mix of schools, does he have an unusual major?

    For a student that good I would pick by ranking of schools, keeping it graduated:
    1) A+ School = Princeton
    2) A School = Vanderbilt
    3) A School =Washington St Louis
    4) A School = ??? Duke/Rice/Brown etc.,
    5) A- School = ??? Notre Dame/Georgetown/DePaul etc.,
    6) A- School = ??? choice #2
    7) B+ School = ??? Northwestern/Penn State etc.,

    Clemson comes in as a B- School
    (nothing against 'C' my sister was a prof there)
  6. buff81

    buff81 Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 31, 2008
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    olddave - has your son considered Furman? When you visit Clemson you should drive over and visit (it's not too far from Clemson). It is a great school! Considered selective. Your son's profile would definitely be in the running for admission to Furman.
    I don't know about now, but 2 years ago it had one of the top AROTC units in the country.
    A big perk to AROTC scholarship winners is that Furman will throw in room and board! Virtually a free ride to a great school with a top AROTC program!
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot 5-Year Member

    Apr 29, 2010
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    No offense, your ranking is based on what exactly? Northwestern is outstanding and was ranked 12th in the US News rankings. Vandy was 17th, Notre Dame was 20th and DePaul didn't crack into the top 25.

    You may not rely solely on US News, but you're way off by listing Northwestern as a "B" school. That's laughable.
  8. gojack

    gojack .... 5-Year Member

    Jul 1, 2010
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    just an example,
    (based on college prowler for expediency)

    NO offense intended

    everyone should see which college(s) fit them best
    and tier their choices accordingly

    College Prowler is student review based and its rankings
    are on academics, drug usage, social aspects etc.,etc.,
    I like the site because I can put in SAT/GPA etc., and
    select schools and it shows relative chance of admission
    allowing for a quick way to tier large numbers of choices.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  9. The OC Josh

    The OC Josh 5-Year Member

    Oct 22, 2009
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    I would have to disagree. While he should find schools that are a good fit, make sure he would love to go to any school he lists. Contrary to popular opinion, you do not have to list schools for all the slots. Generally, if you receive a scholarship you have less choices, but they're from his list so he would be happy at all of them.
  10. gojack

    gojack .... 5-Year Member

    Jul 1, 2010
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    "Vanderbilt Army ROTC ranked 2nd in the nation"


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