Thanks all for your helpful advice. He is going to try to get his application very quickly after the new application comes out. He has already started working on his essays. Does anyone know if the topics for the essays change from year to year. I will take heed of the advice to have him address sample questions for the interview. We'll try to do some sort of mock interview for him.
For the Fall 2008 application, the essay questions were:
1. The Navy's core values are Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Please discuss a situation where you demonstrated one or more of these qualities and why that value is important to you.
2. Explain your greatest influence in applying for NROTC Scholarship Program.
3. Discuss your reasons for wanting to become a Naval Officer.
4. What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
5. How might your background and experiences enhance the U.S. Naval Service?
I guess they could change, but at least 4 of these questions were the same in 2007 too. If he writes essays to these, he'll be pretty good. Besides, even though the application instructions say you have 5000 characters to write your essay, the online form only gives you 2500 characters to enter it. So these are five short essays. (I discovered that the online form must be adding some characters because even though Microsoft Word said my essays were just about 2500, I still had to trim out about 50 characters before the essay would be submitted.)
One more thing about the essays, even though you can and should put paragraphs in your essays, I discovered that the final application form gets rid of blank lines from the essays and turns each one into a giant paragraph. So be sure that you use punctuation that makes it still readable when the essay turns into a giant paragraph.
Last thing I'll say about the online form- although it allows you to save your work and submit it later, the moment you save your work, your recruiter can see it. Because I took so much time perfecting my essays, the rest of my application was finished and saved online for weeks before I officially submitted my application. I found out that my recruiter had already contacted my teachers and guidance counselor for recommendation letters long before I officially submitted my application. This cause a bit of a problem, because I decided later to change one of the teachers I wanted to recommend me, and I found out it was too late. My teachers and guidance counselor heard from the Navy before I could even tell them I was applying for a scholarship.
So your son should save himself that headache and not enter any of the application until his essays are almost ready.
Before I officially submitted my application, I had my recruiter look it over. I think they have an incentive to make sure every application is as good as it can be and isn't missing important things. So my recruiter gave me some good feedback before I officially submitted the application. After the application was submitted, I found I left out one thing I was doing (drill team) which the application has a space for. It was already too late to make changes, but the recruiter can put things like that in his written report that they send with your application.