AROTC Picking A School

Hello, I recently recieved a 3 year scholarship after this past board and am having trouble deciding which school to accept it at. I got offers from three schools: #1, 2, and 5 on my list, but I am struggling to pick between #1 and #2. They are both very similar in a lot of ways and I would be happy at both (in fact they're tied for first, but were simply listed as 1 and 2 on my application).

I am fully aware that the choice is ultimately up to me, but I was hoping someone could help provide guidance on how to better nitpick details to help me decide. As I stated before, they are very similar in a number of ways, but I will be contacting the ROOs and maybe other faculty members at both (coaches and deparment heads) to help me decide. What kind of questions should I ask to really help me choose?
 

doireann

Member
Hello, I recently recieved a 3 year scholarship after this past board and am having trouble deciding which school to accept it at. I got offers from three schools: #1, 2, and 5 on my list, but I am struggling to pick between #1 and #2. They are both very similar in a lot of ways and I would be happy at both (in fact they're tied for first, but were simply listed as 1 and 2 on my application).

I am fully aware that the choice is ultimately up to me, but I was hoping someone could help provide guidance on how to better nitpick details to help me decide. As I stated before, they are very similar in a number of ways, but I will be contacting the ROOs and maybe other faculty members at both (coaches and deparment heads) to help me decide. What kind of questions should I ask to really help me choose?
We have a similar situation. My son has a choice of three schools. We are visiting both again ; one tomorrow and one on Monday and hope to meet with both rotc officers both times. He decided definitely not to take one school in his choice. Basically both have great reputations, one is in the city he lives in, the other is about 300 miles away but in the same state. The one 300 miles away offers a huge discount on housing with the scholarship so basically he would go for free. The other has a discount for housing, but not as great. Both are in major cities.
Good luck with the decision. I am sorry I cannot answer the questions, but just wanted to let you know you are not alone.
 

Walman888

Member
We are dealing with the same situation. One stands above all others from a financial standpoint. All are prestigious. But, we don't want to leave anything on the table. Stressful...
 

jakesam

Member
what i have asked rotc programs i was accepted to is how they treat their non-scholarship cadets vs scholarship cadets, how many times they pt per week and ftx per semester, what additional rotc programs they have (things like ranger challenge and color guard) and how big their rotc program is
 

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
+1 @doireann
It is important to visit the school.

The decision is not necessarily purely financial even though one may be significantly less expensive. You ultimately want to choose a school where your DS will thrive.

After sending my fourth kid to College, and doing college planning for my clients, here are my suggestions for consideration if the tuition is close between two schools.
  • Focus on the school, not the ROTC cadre. PMS's do rotate out periodically. The school should have a good solid reputation but for many majors prestige is not as important for Undergraduate as it is for grad school. (watch this WSJ video) https://www.wsj.com/articles/do-elite-colleges-lead-to-higher-salaries-only-for-some-professions-1454295674
  • Visit the department of his major and meet with a few faculty members. Speak to upper class students in the same major and get a sense of the vibe in that major. Remember AROTC generally does not care what your major is. (although STEM is apparently getting a little more focus of late.)
  • Is the ROTC program on campus? Cross town arrangements are not a deal-breaker, but they need time management.
  • Does the area surrounding the college have internship opportunities? A college near a major industrial area may offer better possibilities than a university in an out of the way area.
  • Do speak with the coaches if sports is a factor. See which school is more friendly with balancing ROTC and sports.
  • Big school vs small school. Size of the classes does matter. Some students need access to the professor, others don't.
  • Travel is a big consideration. My DS is about 190 miles away and can drive home on a weekend, but far enough to prevent mom and dad from being "pests." Airfare to and from school is a definite factor in the math.
  • Will he have a car? If not, how "walkable" and public transport friendly is the college? How will he attend off-campus ROTC events such as field exercises? (My DS did not have a car his freshman year and did just fine with a skateboard).
  • Visit the dorms. This is where he will live and study. Talk to other residents. Eat at the cafeteria. Which campus has better food?
  • How is the recreation in the area? If he loves to ski/snowboard how far are the resorts?
  • What are the opportunities for PT jobs? My DS is a snowboarding instructor at a local resort during winter and buses tables for a restaurant during off-season.
 

doireann

Member
Many of these questions are the same for both colleges. One is right downtown Pittsburgh, the other downtown Philly. It will come down to one factor ; weather he can get into the main campus in Pittsburgh.
 

Mnoopk

Member
Visit the department of his major and meet with a few faculty members
It might be worthwhile to spend several hours on the Web, visiting individual professor's Web pages, and looking at what the professors in the department of the cadet's major teach and research, as well as other professors whose classes the cadet will be required to take (for instance the English or history courses the cadet will have to take as part of general ed requirements.) See if you can find syllabuses of the profs' classes, their CVs, and lists of their published articles and books. Try to determine the extent to which the professors are truly quality educators and researchers. Are the textbooks in the syllabuses mere fluff? Are the professors' articles and books gobbldygook that really doesn't matter? Or are these quality materials? It's not easy to determine but it is sometimes possible. And you might stumble over some real duds on one campus, which is a bad sign that might indicate that you ought to select the other college.
 

Walman888

Member
+1 @doireann
It is important to visit the school.

The decision is not necessarily purely financial even though one may be significantly less expensive. You ultimately want to choose a school where your DS will thrive.

After sending my fourth kid to College, and doing college planning for my clients, here are my suggestions for consideration if the tuition is close between two schools.
  • Focus on the school, not the ROTC cadre. PMS's do rotate out periodically. The school should have a good solid reputation but for many majors prestige is not as important for Undergraduate as it is for grad school. (watch this WSJ video) https://www.wsj.com/articles/do-elite-colleges-lead-to-higher-salaries-only-for-some-professions-1454295674
  • Visit the department of his major and meet with a few faculty members. Speak to upper class students in the same major and get a sense of the vibe in that major. Remember AROTC generally does not care what your major is. (although STEM is apparently getting a little more focus of late.)
  • Is the ROTC program on campus? Cross town arrangements are not a deal-breaker, but they need time management.
  • Does the area surrounding the college have internship opportunities? A college near a major industrial area may offer better possibilities than a university in an out of the way area.
  • Do speak with the coaches if sports is a factor. See which school is more friendly with balancing ROTC and sports.
  • Big school vs small school. Size of the classes does matter. Some students need access to the professor, others don't.
  • Travel is a big consideration. My DS is about 190 miles away and can drive home on a weekend, but far enough to prevent mom and dad from being "pests." Airfare to and from school is a definite factor in the math.
  • Will he have a car? If not, how "walkable" and public transport friendly is the college? How will he attend off-campus ROTC events such as field exercises? (My DS did not have a car his freshman year and did just fine with a skateboard).
  • Visit the dorms. This is where he will live and study. Talk to other residents. Eat at the cafeteria. Which campus has better food?
  • How is the recreation in the area? If he loves to ski/snowboard how far are the resorts?
  • What are the opportunities for PT jobs? My DS is a snowboarding instructor at a local resort during winter and buses tables for a restaurant during off-season.
Agreed, our likely choice leads the field in the chosen field of major, in addition to being more financially attractive. All three choices will be visited under your listed guidelines. Thanks.
 

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
Agree with jakesam.
It is recommended by @MohawkArmyROTC, an Army ROO that you accept it within the 30 day time frame. If you are seeking an SA appointment, or other branch ROTC, you can decline the Army ROTC scholarship later without penalty.

However if you don't accept it within the 30 day time frame in your letter, the scholarship will be given to someone else.

Don't wait until the last minute!
 

Walman888

Member
Agree with jakesam.
It is recommended by @MohawkArmyROTC, an Army ROO that you accept it within the 30 day time frame. If you are seeking an SA appointment, or other branch ROTC, you can decline the Army ROTC scholarship later without penalty.

However if you don't accept it within the 30 day time frame in your letter, the scholarship will be given to someone else.

Don't wait until the last minute!
 
Hello, I received a 4 year to my top 3 universities, but I have not received a winner's letter (via email or mail.) How do I accept my scholarships??
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
Did you close your browser since you last visited the portal? If not, try that.
 
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