As the season is full on for AROTC scholarship applicants, I would like to share some experience watching my son going through this whole thing last year. If you are aiming at top tier universities or colleges, please understand that the hoop you jump through to get the Army ROTC scholarship may be much easier one than the on you need to jump through to get into your choice of the college or university. You need to be very careful about the school choice list and if you are lucky enough to get a scholarship, which school you pick within 30 days before the college admissions decisions come out. Case point 1: My son was told by the UVA ROO that a couple of years back, a top ROTC scholarship winner at his battalion failed to get admitted to UVA in spite of several meetings between the battalion officers and the school admission officers. Oh, by the way, she was also later accepted into West Point. So, we are not talking about a slacker here. Case point 2: My son's friend (three years older than he) had academic stats that are smack in the middle of Duke's enrolled stuents' score/number distribution. He got the scholarship offer to Duke all right, but in spite of numerous "interventions" by the battalions officers, the school admissions officer refused to grant him the admission. Note that if you get the scholarship from the Army, you got your EC part down pat. So, it came down to the academics stats. The middle of the road academic qualification was not good enough for him - white, NJ/NY/CT area, both parents college graduates, not on an athletic admission track, etc. In short, as a non "under represented minority", his ROTC scholarship winner status was not able to let him overcome his "middle of the road academic stats" in that school. Case point 3: My son's case. Well, he got the 4 year scholarship in the first round to one of the most expensive schools in the nation. So, I assume he was a strong candidate. However, he had one problem in his college application package. He had some hiccups with GPA. Pretty good, and definitely well past any huddle from the AROTC scholarship perspective but not a safe number for the top tier schools he was gunning for. He applied to ED to the #1 school on the list that he was offered the scholarship for (last year, the first board decision came out just in time to apply to ED based on the scholarship decision). He got admitted all right. However, I have to tell you, it was a nail biting experience. Though his SAT was probably well within top 5-10% of their enrolled students stats, his GPA became a major problem, even though ED admission is supposed to be a little softer than the regular admission. In his battalion, the officers have a close relationship with the admissions officers, and I know they advocated for him big time. The admissions officer assigned to his case called my son a couple of times, asked my son to give him a coherent and plausible explanation for some hiccups in his transcript and asked him how he is not going to repeat it at college (this school takes its academic mission DARN seriously!). In the process, it became very clear that the admission officer had numerous interactions with the recruiting officer at the battalion. Truthfully, I don't think my son would have gotten in without the advocacy from the battalion. Later we learned that several other students who got the scholarship offer to the school failed to get admitted to the school. The school won't budge. So, this is the case where the battalion officers work very closely with the admissions officers and they DO have influence (e.g., my son's case). Even so, apparently, this is not sufficient. Also, don't forget, when the PMS get the list of scholarship applicants to his battalion, they do preliminary screening to see whether the student at least has a chance to get admitted to that school. If not, PMS will say "Nay" when Cadet Command sends the initial list down to the battalion. This preliminary screening may be just looking the overall stats, or in battalions that work closely with the school, may even involve some preliminary input from the admissions office. However, even if the admissions office initially say "Um..... not a definite no. Perhaps this candidate has a chance", it's not a guarantee that later the school will admit him/her. So, moral of this whole story? If you are gunning for a top tier, highly selective/competitive school, don't assume that securing a scholarship to that school will get you past the admissions hurdle. Also, don't assume that you can transfer your scholarship to other school later when all the college admissions decision are out. It'a hit or miss. Case point: at my son's school, they did not backfill the scholarship slots left empty due to the scholarship winner failing to get admitted to the school (changing budgetary condition). So, my advice: if your family's financial situation is such that worst comes worst, your family can pay for the college expenses with or without scholarship, go with your heart and what you want. However, if you REALLY need scholarship for the financial reason, be very careful. You may need to aim just a little lower when it comes to the college selection. So, instead of picking a scholarship school that is a reach, you might consider a match or even a safety. Last year, I saw a post by a parent who was elated that CC awarded scholarship to his son for Princeton (and nowhere else). She seems to have taken it for granted now her son will attend Princeton on a scholarship. I don't know what happened to her son, I hope he made it, but when I read the post, I felt like saying "Oh..... be careful. You are talking about a school that admits only ~8% of the applicants. If you are not legacy, not on an athletic scholarship, not a URM, etc, it's a very tough row to hoe" Sorry if I sound like a party pooper, but as sobering as it is, applicants who are gunning for really selective schools must realize that getting an AROTC scholarship, as competitive as it is getting now, may not be the toughest part of the whole equation. epilogue: happy ending. at high school, my son used to "experiment" how little he can invest and still get a good grade. Needless to say, this "efficient strategy" fell apart in a few course, and hence a spotty transcript. my son is now taking his academic work so seriously, he spends his time either in the library studying or training for ROTC. He made it to Ranger Alpha team, so it's a lot more time commitment. I think he really is into studying because he wants to commission into a branch that is very competitive, and he know that GPA is 40% of the OMS. In a school known for academic rigor, he knows he needs to give it his best to get a top tier GPA. This school also has a rather robust reputation for partying, and he is missing out on all this. He has no time to goof around. I told him that I won't tarnish his well earned reputation at high school by sharing any of this with his friends back home.