contracted freshman flunked out

ROTCmom63

New Member
I know our story isn't unique, but it's a pretty emotional time at our house right now. Our "golden boy" who earned a 4 year AROTC national scholarship to an expensive school on the other side of the country has flunked/almost flunked out after his freshman year. As I understand it, if he doesn't start his sophomore year, he will not have to repay the scholarship for the freshman year. For that reason, I'm encouraging him not to go back for this year hoping he raises his GPA (I feel like this would be a long shot), and instead do some community college here and then transfer to a local school for junior year, where he can complete ROTC and get his commission. Our local CC students can attend ROTC classes at a nearby university. He is concerned that if he does that he will be breaking his contract and will not be eligible to contract again at another school. Does anyone have any input about this issue? I told him to look at his contract and talk to the cadre at his school, but I was hoping I could get some information while I'm waiting for him to do that. Thanks, everyone.
 

MidCakePa

Member
If DS does decide to go back, he should have a very clear understanding of what went wrong and how he can fix it. There’s a big difference in how he should react, depending on whether the issue was academics or time management or social life or personal discipline. Going back without having diagnosed the issue and built a plan would likely result in a similar ending. And that could just about kiss off his chances of commissioning. However, should he rise above the difficulties, he’d probably be a better officer for having learned valuable lessons and overcome adversity (even if self-induced).
 

Impulsive

Member
I know our story isn't unique, but it's a pretty emotional time at our house right now. Our "golden boy" who earned a 4 year AROTC national scholarship to an expensive school on the other side of the country has flunked/almost flunked out after his freshman year. As I understand it, if he doesn't start his sophomore year, he will not have to repay the scholarship for the freshman year. For that reason, I'm encouraging him not to go back for this year hoping he raises his GPA (I feel like this would be a long shot), and instead do some community college here and then transfer to a local school for junior year, where he can complete ROTC and get his commission. Our local CC students can attend ROTC classes at a nearby university. He is concerned that if he does that he will be breaking his contract and will not be eligible to contract again at another school. Does anyone have any input about this issue? I told him to look at his contract and talk to the cadre at his school, but I was hoping I could get some information while I'm waiting for him to do that. Thanks, everyone.
I am NOT an expert in these matters. There are some folks on here who have much more ROTC experience, who hopefully will chime in and clarify what I think is possible. That being said, search the threads here for what you are looking for, BUT make sure your son contacts his cadre at AROTC BEFORE he drops out. There may likely be some sort of caveat where if you break your scholarship contract, you may not be eligible for another. That being said, most ROTC programs have a "non-scholarship" track to Commissioning. But again, talk to his cadre and someone who knows much more about this than I do. JMO, but I think he has grounds for concern, I would not think that he would eligible for another scholarship contract, BUT should be able to take the non-scholarship path, contract at the beginning of his junior year as a non-scholarship (the different ROTC programs have different names for the programs) cadet, and if his ROTC scores and fitness reports are good he should stand a good shot at being accepted and upon completion of college and ROTC, Commission.
 

ROTCmom63

New Member
If DS does decide to go back, he should have a very clear understanding of what went wrong and how he can fix it. There’s a big difference in how he should react, depending on whether the issue was academics or time management or social life or personal discipline. Going back without having diagnosed the issue and built a plan would likely result in a similar ending. And that could just about kiss off his chances of commissioning. However, should he rise above the difficulties, he’d probably be a better officer for having learned valuable lessons and overcome adversity (even if self-induced).
Thank you. I hope this is a learning and strengthening situation for him. He doesn't seem to have an answer for what is going wrong, and now he's all in his own head and says he chokes on his finals. I think going back is not really an option because his GPA is so low he likely wouldn't be able to get his scholarship back and it's so expensive there without the scholarship, if the university would even let him return. I'm hoping some time at CC would let him gain some confidence back and bring his GPA up so he can start fresh somewhere else.
 
Speaking specifically to his contract... he has until his first day of classes to change his mind. Once the first day of classes start his 4 year scholarship is locked in.
 

justdoit19

Member
As a mom, sending hugs. Hang in there, it’ll work out as it’s supposed to!! My oldest boy is a thorn in my side. Never listens. Everything was easy for him. Super smart. Never really had to try. He couldnt do SA or ROTC Bc of knee issues, but just this weekend had his first drill weekend with ANG. Took him 2 years to figure out and settle into his “adult” skin.

He went to regular college. Caused me great angst as he enjoyed the social scene too much. Didn’t study enough. Blah blah blah. BUT the ONLY way my firstborn son will/could/does learn is through his own experiences. Lost his academic scholarship to State U. HE had to figure “it “ out. But I’m so proud he has, just took him a little longer. He’s an amazing young man I am so proud of. He “gets it “, learned lessons and is ready to be the man he was meant to be. Just took a minute.

There are many different paths. And the ones we think they are in aren’t necessarily right. It’s all a wash though in the end. Someday this all won’t even matter, will only be a small little story about where he ended up in life.

Hang in there, it’ll be ok!! Easy to say, tough to do. These kids have to flounder a bit at some point. And my personal opinion is that it’s sometimes hardest for the ones who have always succeeded. Had it ‘relatively’ easy. They have to fail too.

Not saying this is what his story is...
 

Pima

10-Year Member
I am a little confused. Our DS was AFROTC scholarship, every semester he would have a sit down with the cadre, regarding his performance within the unit and his academic progression. AFROTC it is a min 2.5 cgpa, but let's say it is 2.0 for AROTC, and he has flunked or almost flunked out I would believe his unit would have already placed him on academic probation for at least a semester due to the gpa.

If that is the case I believe even if he did return, they would not contract him. This semester would be out of pocket for you guys.
 

ROTCmom63

New Member
I am a little confused. Our DS was AFROTC scholarship, every semester he would have a sit down with the cadre, regarding his performance within the unit and his academic progression. AFROTC it is a min 2.5 cgpa, but let's say it is 2.0 for AROTC, and he has flunked or almost flunked out I would believe his unit would have already placed him on academic probation for at least a semester due to the gpa.

If that is the case I believe even if he did return, they would not contract him. This semester would be out of pocket for you guys.
Yes, his scholarship would be on probation (they wouldn’t pay for the semester) to see if he could get his GPA up. He's been taking some online summer courses so they were waiting to see how those went, but he has not done well there, either.
 

justdoit19

Member
Yes, his scholarship would be on probation (they wouldn’t pay for the semester) to see if he could get his GPA up. He's been taking some online summer courses so they were waiting to see how those went, but he has not done well there, either.
He may be self-sabotaging, either knowingly or not. Maybe his heart isn’t in serving and he is afraid to face that? Throwing ideas there. My post is the same, though...y’all will get through it.
 

clarksonarmy

Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army
5-Year Member
If he is disenrolled and subsequently re-enrolls in Army ROTC he will be required to pay back any previous benefits he received before he will be eligible to return. So, he either walks and doesn’t pay a dime until he returns, or he pays for this semester and tries to get back on track if he wants to be an Army Officer. If he does try to re enroll he will be asked if he has ever participated in an officer producing program, and there should be a DD785 prepared that indicates whether the disenrolling program recommends him for future service.
 

ROTCmom63

New Member
If he is disenrolled and subsequently re-enrolls in Army ROTC he will be required to pay back any previous benefits he received before he will be eligible to return. So, he either walks and doesn’t pay a dime until he returns, or he pays for this semester and tries to get back on track if he wants to be an Army Officer. If he does try to re enroll he will be asked if he has ever participated in an officer producing program, and there should be a DD785 prepared that indicates whether the disenrolling program recommends him for future service.
Thank you, clarksonarmy. That's the information I was looking for, not that I like it. He's made the decision to withdraw because it's very unlikely that he could get off of academic probation in just one semester, or maybe even 2 (he'd have to take a full load and get all As and Bs which seems pretty unlikely considering his past performance). I don't think they could hold his scholarship that long even if the university would let him stay. He has done well in ROTC. He's now talking about starting the WOFT process. Do you know if the same rule applies there about payback? I would assume so.
 

Tbpxece

Member
Thank you, clarksonarmy. That's the information I was looking for, not that I like it. He's made the decision to withdraw because it's very unlikely that he could get off of academic probation in just one semester, or maybe even 2 (he'd have to take a full load and get all As and Bs which seems pretty unlikely considering his past performance). I don't think they could hold his scholarship that long even if the university would let him stay. He has done well in ROTC. He's now talking about starting the WOFT process. Do you know if the same rule applies there about payback? I would assume so.
And on that note-- he should take particular care to ensure his DD785 is not completed in a way that does NOT recommend him for future commission. If he excelled in ROTC, he should be fighting for at least a "2" on that form.

WOFT is very competitive and they do look at previous commissioning attempts and take GPA of completed classes into consideration. I would caution him about putting eggs in that basket. Without significant logged flight hours or some other compelling reason, I don't see him bumping an enlisted applicant for a seat (and there are plenty of those that are turned down every year).

He may want to look at enlisting for a few years-- officer accession rejections and dis-enrollments make future attempts much harder. Enlistment will also help balance an unfavorable or lukewarm DD785 much faster than civilian life.
 

Tbpxece

Member
Plus, he can just as easily go to college using TA while AD, and then just commission via OCS (or apply for WOCS) after a few years. Plenty of folks do that, and the end result would be a delay of just a few years.
 

ROTCmom63

New Member
Plus, he can just as easily go to college using TA while AD, and then just commission via OCS (or apply for WOCS) after a few years. Plenty of folks do that, and the end result would be a delay of just a few years.
Thank you, Tbpxece. I appreciate the reality check. His main goal is to serve, and enlisting may be the way to go at this time. As I said, he's done well in ROTC and his cadre seems to like him, so hopefully the DD785 won't be a problem.
 

Jcleppe

5-Year Member
A couple things about WOFT.

Tbpxece is correct in that it is a competitive process. The acceptance rate changes all the time based on the Army's need for pilots. As far as civilian applicants, there are boards where the acceptance rate is nearly 100%, and then rates more in the 50%, again it all depends on need. The enlisted applicants have about the same, and even lower sometimes, acceptance rates.

The WOFT process is a long one with many moving parts, it is not uncommon for it to take months, if not selected they are rolled over to the next board.

For civilians, having a degree is not a requirement although it does help, even some college will help but as mentioned above they will look at the GPA of those college years. Having flight time isn't as big a plus as one would think, most with flight time are with fixed wing so it doesn't really translate that much. Having a good SIFT score, great APFT, and solid LOR's will be worth much more then flight time.

I would agree with Tbpxece that looking at WOFT right now is probably not the best idea, getting squared away with school for a couple years would be the best bet and then looking at options once he has a solid track record.
 
I'm so sorry. I don't have any information just wanted to give you my support. I hope it has been a learning experience for you son. Good luck to whatever he decides.
 

QA1517

5-Year Member
Just another note, college is not for everyone. I've known some very intelligent kids that were 4.0 students in high school that just could not make it in college.

My DS had a very hard time his last couple of years.

Make sure your DS understands this and that failing does not make him a personal failure if he learns from it.
You make adjustments, maybe shift your sites and move forward.

Best of luck to him.
 

ROTCmom63

New Member
Well, he talked to the enrollment officer at his cadre and was told all he has to do is not come back and that’s it. That doesn’t seem right to me? Considering he’s contracted and they’ve already paid for a year. No paperwork? No mention of the DD785?
 
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