Okay let's leave alone your RAND study, instead go back for a second and look at the picture for your family.
All I'm trying to do here is create a sound factual basis for evaluating his HSSP odds. Without a scholarship, at least one safety school, a "match" school and every one of the "reach" schools will need to fall off the list.
I do not know where these schools are, or if they are private, but jmpo that is where I would be concerned.
As I stated earlier, 80% of all scholarships go Type 7. If any of those schools charge you OOS, than you cannot use that Type 7, it will have to be converted to a 3 yr Type 2. Thus, the question is how will you pay for that 1st yr.
Secondly, even if he gets a Type 2, they cap the tuition out at 18K. That means the school might still not be a financial ability.
Most colleges will increase their costs by 5-10% annually, so even if it is 17K this yr for tuition, next year it will probably be at 18+, and by the end you will be scrambling for several thousand.
Our DS did go AFROTC scholarship, but I would say that every college he was admitted to gave him nice merit. A couple gave him a full ride without using the ROTC scholarship, the rest of the colleges gave enough merit that when combined with ROTC made it a full ride also...or so we thought.
~ See above % increases annually.
It is not uncommon for ROTC scholarship recipients to get merit so if he is competitive for his colleges than chances are the financial aspect will not be a player.
Finally, regarding the RAND study. Here is the problem I see with it, granted I don't know when the study was done, but it still stays the same.
RAND can take the numbers for over a several year period, but what needs to be understood is that three things are unknown variables every yr which will impact the % that are awarded a scholarship. Nobody here can predict anything because of those variables. They are:
1. The pot of money HQ AFROTC is limited. They may decide to increase, decrease or remain the same this yr against last yr. FY Budgets are released Oct 1st.
2. The number of candidates that apply for the scholarship. LY maybe 6000 applied and the pot of money may have been higher, whereas this yr 6500 may apply and the money was reduced, thus the % will change.
3. The quality of the candidate pool. LY a type 1 (top 5%) may have avg 1380 best sitting, but this year they may avg 1420, thus LY's type 1 recipient may be in this years pool be a type 2 candidate, and the type 2 moves down to a type 7, and some type 7s may be out of luck (see #1 and 2).
There is one more variable. Intended major. Yrs and yrs ago the AF needed nurses, but within 2 yrs, they didn't. There was a poster here that his DD was AFROTC nursing (scholarship), by the time she went to SFT and showed up ADAF for her 1st day of training they informed them that the AF would be cutting a majority of nursing assignments because the AF was going to go the contracting route for them in the future. I put that out there because they can do the same for many fields, ie you stated foreign language.
~ Trust me, walk around the Pentagon and you will see just as many in suits as Contractors/GSs as you do in uniform.
The reasons are simple for both of these scenarios...money and continuity. PCSing someone every 3 yrs costs a lot of money, contractors can make it a career at 1 base if they want. From a continuity aspect if you have people that are there for a career than they can be there to train or fill in for the officer when PCSing does occur.
Again, I am not trying to debate you at all. I am just saying that after so many years here, plus being a retired ADAF spouse, and Mom of an ADAF officer, a total of almost 30 yrs of watching how the AF has changed yr by yr. The RAND study is not something I would place any weight into when it comes from a stat perspective. 4 yrs ago SFT selection was 55% with nontech/nonrated selection being under 20%, now it is 93% overall. Next yr it could be 75% because the AF has announced that they are increasing the percentage for OCS. Has the RAND study taken into account how that increase might impact AFROTC?
In the end all you can do is apply to the schools he desires with the hope that between merit and AFROTC he will be covered financially. Good luck.
PS I do know how emotional/stressful this yr will be. It will be a lot of waiting. However, in 4 yrs from now, you will look back and say that was the easiest yr. The SFT yr (sophomore) will be more stressful waiting to see if he gets picked up, because if not he will most likely be disenrolled. His jr yr if he wants rated will make waiting for SFT results like a cake walk, same thing for his senior yr if he goes non-rated. After that it is all about waiting for their 1st base assignment and reporting date, which can be the fun or not so fun stress...Shaw AFB and the family lives in NC, cool! Canon not so much.