Choosing a major for NROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by JMiller9, Jan 3, 2018.

Tags:
  1. JMiller9

    JMiller9 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have already submitted my NROTC application, but I am in the process of re-ranking my schools and selecting a different major.

    However, I am having a lot of trouble deciding on a major. Math is not my strength, but I am still relatively good. I am afraid choose an engineering, because of all the horror stories I hear from people who fail out of engineering their freshman year. I am particularly interested in foreign studies (the LREC tier) but I know not many scholarships are awarded there.

    Any advice I deciding on a major?
     
  2. eljay60

    eljay60 AFROTC parent, former ANC in USAR

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    205
    Do what you love. Your passion for the material will do you far better than picking something you are adequate at, and will result in far less stress and a much higher GPA, not to mention actually enjoying your work when you are done with college. DS started thinking of his ROTC applications as job applications rather than scholarship applications - and he's now in Computer Science rather than engineering. If you love foreign studies and languages, pick one that is useful and you enjoy and don't look back.
     
    AROTC-dad and Ex.BT.USN like this.
  3. Ex.BT.USN

    Ex.BT.USN 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    345
    I think Eljay said it well. Your application should really support the strength of your HS transcript. If STEM was not your strength and you’re applying engineering the board will pick righ up on it. You can be a perfect 800 on the SAT in math but remember your application tells your story. It’s one reason why the application is so deep. They need to know all.

    Im not saying you shouldn’t apply engineering; I’m just trying to point out how they will look at your application. If LREC supports your strength it will show that you are going with what you enjoy and supportive of your HS record. Is LREC tougher to get you bet it is. My DD knows the odds; however, she has applied tier 3 based on her strengths.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  4. Patriot4Life

    Patriot4Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2017
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    50
    Here’s my suggestion.

    If you don’t have strong test scores Tier 3 Non Science Full Scholarship is not recommended. To have more certainty you should compete with at least SAT Math 700+ and Verbal 750 or ACT E32, M30 for T3 Award. T1 and T2 are STEM and T2 is partial.

    If you must have Scholarship I suggest
    Army ROTC which takes all majors for full scholarship. Navy Air Force are technically strong careers. If you are not tech friendly you will not perform well in these services. You will be tested throughout your career and
    must pass tests after tests to get the job you want throughout your career. Otherwise you will end up being in Security Force which is guarding facilities. If so you mind as well join the Army or the Marine Corp. and take a full ride ROTC Scholarship.

    So either take a year off and prep your weaker STEM at community college and apply when you’re ready if your passion is to serve in the Navy or apply to Army or the Marine Corp ROTC.

    This is more realistic if you want to have a full ride and not be limited to career opportunities in the Navy and Air Force.
     
  5. JMiller9

    JMiller9 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    My composite ACT score was a 28, with a 32 in English and a 23 in Math. I know that the math score is on the lower end, which is why I am a bit concerned. I've had As and Bs in my math and engineering classes, but as I mentioned before it is not my strongest subject. (My strongest subject is typically social studies and sciences)

    I'm not really sure which major would be the strongest fit for my application.
     
  6. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Messages:
    2,535
    Likes Received:
    1,563
    That is absolutely untrue and a ridiculous statement. There are many careers in the AF which are not tech related, and even the ones that are never require "test after test" to get or keep a particular AFSC. Son was not a tech major and has been a DG in all three of the schools that he has attended since commissioning and is now a fighter pilot.

    If I remember correctly you are just a candidate yourself, so where are you getting this information?

    Stealth_81
     
    USNAismyplace, NavyLady64 and Capt MJ like this.
  7. Mnoopk

    Mnoopk Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    40
    Hi, JMiller9, I'm just a dad waiting to hear whether my son got the AROTC scholarships. I'm not very knowledgeable about ROTC. But your post caught my eye. You got a 32 in English on the ACT; that's high. You are interested in foreign studies. So, I'd say take a look at the list of languages and regions that we need more strength in. See which interest you. If you already have a start on a language, consider that one. Then, think about going all out to become fluent in that language by the time you graduate. This means multiple summers abroad in immersion, for example with Project GO. You might consider a double major in (1.) that language and (2.) poli sci, economics, or history or such. My son is looking at econ/Chinese double major. He's had four years of high school Chinese and is looking at eight weeks of an immersion course in China/Taiwan this summer if we can afford it. Good luck!
     
  8. Patriot4Life

    Patriot4Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2017
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    50
    JMiller9. I think Mnoopk said it more eloquently here with his advise. You should really follow your heart and not the forum advise to fit your formula. We can only advise you based on what we know from our own experience. And some of us can be wrongly advising you to pursue something you are not prepared to pursue yet. You need to pursue your aspiration that is aligned with certain reality preparation and expectations that comes with your decision.

    You are obviously better in language arts than math. So you should pursue a major that you will enjoy first and learn from. For any T1-T3 NROTC Scholarship you do have to pass Cal 1-2 and Physics 1-2 by Junior Year in college. And you don’t want to barely pass with C but want to at least get Bs in STEM. Even if you are fortunate to get T3 Scholarship which is reserved for non STEM majors and 10-15% of total NROTC grant, you still have to pass Calculus and Engineering Physics. And they are difficult for even talented math students.

    Based on your self reporting of 23 ACT Math you seemed to struggle with Algebra and maybe other areas of math like Trig. To do well in Cal you have to have strong foundations in Algebra and Trig. Practice that with much diligence. You will absolutely need to do well in Cal 1 and 2 to do well in Engineering Physics. Physics Mechanics is all Calculus 1.

    I suggested Army ROTC Scholarship because it does not require such STEM foundation. I suspect you are not seeking to be a pilot. It is very difficult to be a pilot out of AFROTC and probably as difficult from NROTC if you didn’t rank highly in overall class rank. If graduating from the USAFA almost the entire class can apply to be a pilot regardless of class rank and major as long as they can medically qualify. But then everyone passed Cal 1-2 and Physics 1-2 Plus Biology and 2 Chem classes as a minimum. Now I heard this from the horses mouth from USAFA Admissions office few months ago. And not from this forum so you can interpret this anyway you wish.

    I just hope you don’t end up with no scholarship few months from now. You seem to really want to enroll in ROTC or go to SA and serve our country. So pick the service and pick the scholarship that is right for you now. If you’re not ready than take your time prep and apply to your dream service and program when you are. You are young, no need to rush, “be prepare.” Good luck!
     
  9. Patriot4Life

    Patriot4Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2017
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    50
    Furthermore, T2 Navy Scholarship is partial Tuition to private schools and T2, T7 Air Force Scholarships are also partial scholarship to private schools. So you will need to find in State college to enroll to match your full tuition. Even Army Scholarship is similar. Your scholarship award amount is correlated with your overall package and the type of schools you apply to. Good luck.
     
  10. Ex.BT.USN

    Ex.BT.USN 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    345
    There is some inaccurate information given.

    All,
    If applying or interested in NROTC go to the web site and read all the information provided.

    If awarded a 4 year scholarship NROTC will cover full tuition, book and some other items. This is good for T1 through T3; there is no partial. This hold true for the 2 & 3 years scholarships as well. The entire process does not hinge on your SAT or ACT alone. Important you bet but the application, interview, and recommendations also play a roll with the board when they review everything.

    Private or public the scholarship is awarded in the same fashion. In fact there are a few schools ( mostly private) that will add to the scholarship by offering room and board. Search the board for that information I know of two that my DD applied to.

    There is a lot more to be said about NROTC. I cannot talk to any of the others. I’m a former Navy vet so respectful to all other I need to stay true to my branch.

    Look for any corrections and additional information from some of the other SME’s that have been at this longer than I have.

    What should be important is understanding each of the ROTC plans you’re thinking about. Go to that web site and if you have questions from there post them here. I have gone through this 3 times and I still don’t have all the right answers; however, I have learned a great deal from many of the Sr members.

    Good luck to all...
     
  11. ProudDad17

    ProudDad17 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2016
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    296
    @Ex.BT.USN hits the nail on the head, for the most accurate information, go to the source. Carefully read all the info on the website. It is true that the Navy shows a preference for tech majors and awards something like 85% of their 4 year scholarships to those tier 1 and tier 2 majors, but they do award a number of scholarships to tier 3 LREC majors as well. It's been said many times on this forum and elsewhere, don't select a major just based on the possibility of winning a scholarship because of it. You will be much happier and more successful studying something that interests you and fits your skill set. Even it you do not earn a four year scholarship, you can join NROTC as a College Programmer and compete for a scholarship or Advanced Standing when you get there.
     
    Ex.BT.USN likes this.
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    11,720
    Likes Received:
    5,330
    This is misguided advice.
    85% of scholarship awardees in NROTC (with similar numbers for AFROTC) are tech majors. Nevertheless, 15% are non-tech majors and go in to excell in careers in the Navy and Air Force. Also, one is not repeatedly tested for the job they want throughout their careers. I believe enlisted naval folks have to test for their next position, at least some of them. The part about ending up in Security Forces is total hogwash.
    It IS correct that Army and Marine Corps do not really care about your major.

    Apply to the ROTC programs you want to participate in. If yo do not win a scholarship then attend a college that has a ROTC program and participate without the scholarship. If a regular college is out of reach without a scholarship then attend a community college while enrolling in a rigorous curriculum and apply again the next year. se that year at CC to show them what you're really capable of.
     
  13. Patriot4Life

    Patriot4Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2017
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    50
    https://www.afrotc.com/scholarships/types

    You can see AFROTC Type 2 only pays $18,000 Scholarship. That is partial tuition to most top private schools that costs $50,000 per year on tuition alone. It is only and fraction of what is needed to pay full tuition. However, depending on detachments they can provide more scholarship to supplement the tuition when the funds are available. This is directly from detachments spoken to. We have too many experts on this forum. Instead of asking the forum, candidates should go directly to the AFROTC and NROTC websites. Most of the answers are there. Only thing you cannot find is that each units seem to have different funding capability and maybe able to give you more support if the needs are there by the candidates and requested.
     
  14. FastFood44

    FastFood44 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2017
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    77
    I'm a freshman in college as a Tier 3 Major, awarded a full NROTC scholarship last year. I was in the same boat, deciding whether I should apply for a different major because it was "easier" to get awarded a scholarship that way.

    THE BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE was to apply as tier 3. Because I am not good at STEM classes, I would have struggled as a tier 1 or tier 2 major, and may have had to drop my scholarship entirely if I couldn't keep up with the classes. Do what you love, even if it's a "harder" tier 3 major scholarship to get. It is possible to get a scholarship as tier 3!! Choose what you love; you are equally respected in your unit regardless of what major you choose.
     
    ProudDad17 and Ex.BT.USN like this.
  15. Ex.BT.USN

    Ex.BT.USN 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    345
    Excellent feedback.....

    Stay away from the fastfood you have P.T. to pass.

    Cheers
     
  16. DeskJockey

    DeskJockey 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    21
    It is all well and good to say "follow your heart" or "do what you love"; but if you want to get an NROTC scholarship and a sure path to a commission, it is important to understand that the selection board cares much more about its own needs - to fill its quota of tech majors - than your personal desires. It is possible to get a Tier 3 NROTC scholarship, but it isn't very likely even for the most qualified candidates; and if you get one, you will still need to take a year of Calculus and a year of Physics.

    The horror stories about failing out of engineering are misleading. Any student who is competitive for an NROTC scholarship has the ability to successfully complete an engineering degree - but they will almost certainly have to work harder and manage their time better than students who are majoring in history or political science. Most students "fail" engineering because they don't want to put in the work, and their egos are too fragile to accept the fact that they will routinely get B's and C's instead of A's. The Navy has made it quite clear in its scholarship selection criteria that it strongly favors candidates who are willing to take the more demanding path.

    As to the choice between majoring in Engineering on the one hand, and Math or Physics on the other hand, there is no question that Engineering is the most practical choice - and certainly the one that will open the most doors for you, in or out of the Navy. It is well worth the extra effort.

    Whether or not you ever commission as an officer, anyone who graduates from college and is employed by any sort of organization soon learns that work is different from school, and that you have to perform all sorts of tasks on a day-to-day basis that are difficult, unfamiliar, and not "what you love". But mature people understand that there is a bigger picture, and that we must accept sacrifices and compromises in order to accomplish our larger goals. In my opinion, it is to the advantage of NROTC scholarship candidates to adopt that perspective now, and to choose to pursue a technical major.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  17. Mnoopk

    Mnoopk Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    40
    Might an applicant with low math ACT score and high verbal ACT score have an increased chance of getting the scholarship by declaring an intended major in a critical language, rather than in engineering? I wonder whether the scholarship selection board would look upon such an applicant more favorably given the need for the critical language and the high verbal score, while the board might look upon that applicant less favorably if he declared an engineering intended major, given that the low math score indicates a markedly increased likelihood of failure.

    If we take an applicant we don't know anything about, then engineering increases, and a critical language major decreases, his likelihood of getting the scholarship. But when he tells us he has a low math score and a high verbal score, then maybe the odds switch. I don't know.

    Of course, other factors count, such as a record of success against the odds, and such. But leave those aside.
     
  18. afrotc16

    afrotc16 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    84
    The cool thing about ROTC is you don’t need a scholarship to join and ANY major will be accepted. Tech majors are typically more likely to get scholarships, but if you get to your school and knock it out of the park, you could get an in-college scholarship in whatever major you’re doing. My advice would be to do whatever you love. The AF frankly doesn’t care about your major, and there are VERY few career fields that require a technical background. And being in one of those few career fields, I was surprised at the number of people that still didn’t have a tech degree and did very well in the mission area. Anyhow, whatever branch you go into, they’ll teach you how to do your job and your major will not matter much at all.
     
    eljay60 likes this.