Host ROTC schools vs. Non Hosts


10-Year Member
Aug 5, 2007
Hey guys, I think this is a pretty good question. I have been looking at a lot of schools that offer ARMY ROTC, and have found it very hard to decide whether I should choose host schools over non host schools.


I'm assuming that if you were in a college that falls within any one of the host schools, you would have to drive over to that particular university/college. Is this the case, or do the individual colleges offer a class under the leadership of the host school. I think Id better get this straightened out because I have decided to forget Pomona college because I am not interested in having to travel to a different school.. also... do a lot of these non host schools care at all for applicants interested in enrolling ROTC... or do they not care? Thanks.
Right - good question. No easy answer.

If you attend a school that does not have ROTC but is hosted then you usually have to go to that school for ROTC - especially for labs.

It all depends. Some host schools offer the classes at a school they host. The relationship is one an applicant should explore.
In some cases the cadets have to provide their own transportation and this can be a hardship.
One of my kids took ROTC for 3 semesters - her school was hosted and they had a good relationship with the host school. She did tell me that it was hard to connect with the other kids. She has several friends who did complete ROTC and did very well.

My daughter last year liked the ROTC battaltion at the school that offered her a scholarship - this school not only had their own battalion but they do not host. Perhaps makes for a more cohesive unit.

I would never go so far as to say that cross town units don't care for hosted students - sometimes the distance gets in the way and the numbers.

Good questions to ask the battalion officers and cadets as well.
I think it is an advantage to have ROTC based on the campus of the college you attend. It's just easier to get yourself to a building that's nearby than constantly having to consider transportation, time and weather.

However, Pomona is a great college and may be worth the extra effort.

My son has been able to make friends at his NROTC host school and has been treated very well by non-ROTC students as well as those who work at the host school. Most rides (not all) are arranged by the unit leadership.

Just A Mom is right that there is probably variation in the units. I think it is valid to try to find out before you select a college what your experience may be like.

I noticed when looking at a few ROTC web pages that some units post exactly what the weekly schedule requires and some don't. I'd call the unit and ask if it's not clear.
Our batallion does not host and I know that we are more cohesive than the batallion a little ways down the road that does host.

Some of the best advice I was ever given:

When looking for a ROTC school, quality not numbers. Remember, the smaller your cadre, the more personal attention.
If my oldest D had it to do again, she would NOT do a cross town program. Things may have changed in the past few years so take it for what its worth. This will at least give you some food for thought and/or questions to ask.

1) D's school did not allow freshman/sophomores to have a car (no parking pass issued = huge deterrent). Transportation was a giant issue - 2 hours each way to the ROTC unit. (Los Angeles traffic).

2) Classes were over at various times so car pools were extremely difficult. On more than one occasion her ride got sick, had car problems, forgot that they had agreed to take another or decided not to go to the unit at the last minute, leaving her unable to go too. The younger kids did not have cars so they were never able to share in the car pool, though they did pitch in cash for gas.

3) ROTC unit required attendance every Friday. Because of traffic the cross town kids were really not able to take Friday classes. This was a problem since classes were typically MWF or TTH.

4) Class schedule - Low seniority makes it difficult for freshman to get class schedules that enable the cross town trek. It would have been extremely helpful for ROTC scholarship kids to be classified like athletes in terms of the open window for registering for classes early. At her school this was not possible.

5) D's unit did several social functions during the week. D missed a lot of social/team building time with the unit because she could not participate in many of those events.

These are the down side of the cross town that come to my mind – I am sure there were benefits too – but I don’t know them! It is also somewhat old data, about 5 years, so things could have changed.

So ROTC scholarships are not offered by ROTC command, but by the department of military science within each college offering ROTC? I just learned that today... Interesting...
2011's Mom makes some excellent points.

I think, in most cases, for the traditional, contracted student - that student would be happier in a program based at their school.
Traveling cross town can be down but it is probably not ideal. I think some programs handle the cross-town relationship better than others. There certainly are more logistical problems.

The benefit of a cross town program is for a cadet who attends a school that does not have an ROTC dept. Those cadets can still participate in ROTC and work toward a commission.
The Army wants to make ROTC available to every college student that wants it - thus the plethora of programs and cross town programs.

Scholarship - This is my understanding:
Each Battalion has a budget from Cadet Command - they are guaranteed a certain number of scholarships. The budget and money comes from Cadet Command while the award is made by the Professor of Military Science in the battalion.
Cadet command - depending on their budget often has money later in the year available for more scholarships. So more scholarships often become available later in the spring.

IMO - by having the scholarship awarded by the PMS - that person will have had the opportunity to interview the cadet and also judge if the cadet will be competitive to gain admission into the university. (very important)
When my daughter had her interview the PMS also ran her through the APFT.

That is true in some respects, but if you are not cleared by Cadet Command (on all accounts, DODMERB, etc.) you can not even be considered for a ROTC scholarship from the college.
Absolutely, CAnderson.

Candidates apply to Cadet Command and they must clear you scholastically, medically and physically for you to be considered by a battalion for a scholarship.
The ROTC scholarship award is officially made by Cadet Command - the battalion is in control - however. You are essentially competing against all other candidates who are applying to that particular battalion for the scholarships available.
I'm confused. Is our application that we are sending to the colleges also given to the professor of Military Science so he can decide who to give scholarships to... or does he just use the stuff that we submit on the Army ROTC website? How does this work?
the professor of military science offers you the scholarship based on your Army ROTC application.

You can be offered a scholarship before you even apply to the school.
Is it a good idea to contact the professor of military science through his personal University/ROTC website, or should I just leave him alone until further notice. Would contacting him place a spotlight on me and show my interest?
Is it a good idea to contact the professor of military science through his personal University/ROTC website, or should I just leave him alone until further notice. Would contacting him place a spotlight on me and show my interest?

Making contact shows that you are interested.
If there is a school that really interests you and you are/will be applying to it - go ahead and contact the dept of military science.
If you want something - go get it.
Your application will be reviewed by a few people (I'm assuming you're talking about the one you fill out for CADCOM?) It'll be reviewed by the Batallion Commander (AKA Your PMS.), Your Batallion XO and you recruiting advisor. They will then decide who the want to INTERVIEW and after the interviews they will decide who they want to give scholarships to. Make sure you're keeping in touch with the recruiting officer at your schools so they know you are interested.
How do the Professors of Military Science see our Transcripts, and SAT scores? We don't have to send them to each group in addition to the ones we send to the schools do we?
You send them to Cadet command when you apply for a scholarship. They forward your package onto interested programs.