AROTC vs. West Point


Hello all, just thought I'd look for some opinions. I'm currently a senior in high school who has been awarded an AROTC 4-year scholarship. I've accepted it to the University of Tampa. I love the University and I am going to have many unique opportunities there(music minor, honors college, possibly run track, will possibly be the only 4 year scholarship cadet in my class, and free room and board so full ride) However, I have had my heart set on West Point for a really long time and I am still awaiting an admissions decision(I have my nomination and I'm medically qualified). My goal is to be an infantry officer(preferably light infantry for my PL assignment)and eventually go on to Special Forces. I can currently easily get a 300 on the APFT. I just want to know if going one way or the other would effect my ability to succeed in what I want to do and also if I will end up getting more opportunities one way or the other. Thanks for all of the advice in advance. You all have been invaluable throughout this process.


5-Year Member
The Higher your score is on the OML = better odds of obtaining your branch selection.

Focus on attending the school that you will likely thrive in the most. THAT will get you the most success on the OML points.

For some, WP will instill the discipline needed to succeed and shine. For others WP will crush their spirit and they will flounder.
For AROTC, the undisciplined will be distracted and spend more time partying than studying.....for others, the balance of "normal" life and military is just what they needed to buoy their spirit.

Ask yourself why you are focused on WP. If it is the challenge and the discipline, then it may be perfect for you. If it is just for prestige and resume building, maybe not so much.

"Where you go is not who you'll be." Frank Bruni

U of Tampa is offering things that WP cannot. But Tampa also cannot offer you the "long grey line"

Visit both and go with your inner voice.


"Forever One Team"
10-Year Member
First, congratulations on your scholarship. AROTC-dad has it right! I enjoyed my time at West Point and I miss being there and I miss my friends. There are others who hated it while they were there and continue to hate it after they graduate. If you think you'll be "missing out" on regular civilian stuff by going to West Point, I'd go with Tampa. Its really different for everyone and only you can make that decision for yourself. Butter bar is the same goal for all of us. I will say, however, West Point allows for more opportunities to get schools. Slots for things like pathfinder, combat diver, RSLC, and even airborne are readily available to qualifying cadets at WP. Definitely won't get opportunities like that in ROTC, even at the bigger programs. This can't be a key factor in your decision-making but if you are interested in going the IN/SF route, this might be another reason to go to WP (cant help but be biased for my school). You may have the opportunity to get ahead of your peers professionally speaking even before you commission.


its a fact that the school you come from has significant impact on a career. Academy grads always get promoted faster, get preference for prestigious assignments and have a better chance of making flag rank. Next closest thing is either VMI or The Citadel which produce the most officers aside from the FSAs.