How ROTC Process Works Without Scholarship

ecarr750

New Member
I am starting my senior year in high school which means college application/life after high school planning process starts. My plan is to join my community college, join ROTC, then after ROTC and my degree join the Air Force. So my questions relating to this are:
•How does the application process take place? I can only find information about how to apply with a scholarship.
•Do I still need an SAT score of 1240 or higher?
•Do I need to enroll in the community college before I apply to the ROTC program?
 

seacadetmum

Member
I was a "walk-on" for Army ROTC at Canisius College back in '93. Basically I saw them drilling in the quad one day and started talking to one of the instructors. He had me sign up for Military Science and I was told if I did well my first year (out of pocket) I could apply for a 3 year scholarship.
I don't know about SAT scores but yes, you have to register for school first and put military science (or whatever the 1st class is) on your schedule. You probably have to contact whoever is charge, my way of doing it was probably not normal.
 
Schedule an appointment with the ROTC Enrollment Officer. It's his job to enroll qualified cadets and he will tell you everything you need to know. I would advise enrolling in a four year university if you want to be in ROTC.
 

ecarr750

New Member
Schedule an appointment with the ROTC Enrollment Officer. It's his job to enroll qualified cadets and he will tell you everything you need to know. I would advise enrolling in a four year university if you want to be in ROTC.
Yes, I have an appointment set. I just wanted to go into the meeting with a little bit of insight. Why would you advise that?
 
ROTC is typically a 4 year program, and cadre want you to be committed to their institution before they will in turn commit with a campus based scholarship. Commissioning requires a bachelor's degree - not an associate's. If you do end up transferring route it may just be better to go the OCS route. Try not to overthink it. Just make a list of questions for the recruiter that you can't answer through google and he will take care of you.
 

brob

Member
Why not try to win a national ROTC scholarship? My DD didn't even know about ROTC until beginning of senior year, but once she learned enough about it, became excited and decided to give it a try - she had her application ready for 2nd board and won a four-year scholarship to her first choice school. In addition to tuition, monthly stipend, and book allowance provided by Army ROTC- the university offered her free room and board. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain by trying!
 

ecarr750

New Member
Why not try to win a national ROTC scholarship? My DD didn't even know about ROTC until beginning of senior year, but once she learned enough about it, became excited and decided to give it a try - she had her application ready for 2nd board and won a four-year scholarship to her first choice school. In addition to tuition, monthly stipend, and book allowance provided by Army ROTC- the university offered her free room and board. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain by trying!
I know, the benefits of it are amazing! I'm curious about ROTC without a scholarship as a back up plan if I cannot get a scholarship or I decided not to accept it.
 

blueandgold19

Prospective
I'm a non-scholarship junior in AFROTC. It has been said in other threads that the scholarship does not get you special treatment - it simply means that you've met requirements prior to AFROTC and the AF is willing to invest money in you. Scholarship or not doesn't affect selection for LEAD (summer training program) or anything else at your Detachment, and not having a scholarship really only means figuring out ways to pay for college.
 

brob

Member
It is true that some students who don't win a scholarship can often earn one on campus, if they work hard to prove themselves. And, sometimes when schools end up with fewer winners enrolling than they planned for, scholarship applicants who did not win may be offered a three-year advance designee scholarship. So it is always to your advantage to apply if you can meet the minimum scores. Best wishes! Even if you don't win a scholarship, the training you receive will be excellent and will look great on your resume.
My thoughts on community college, even though you didn't ask - it can be a great stepping stone for some students, but there will also be many students attending who are not terribly motivated. At most four year schools, you will be surrounded by higher achievers and you may find that atmosphere more positive and inspiring.
 

ecarr750

New Member
I'm a non-scholarship junior in AFROTC. It has been said in other threads that the scholarship does not get you special treatment - it simply means that you've met requirements prior to AFROTC and the AF is willing to invest money in you. Scholarship or not doesn't affect selection for LEAD (summer training program) or anything else at your Detachment, and not having a scholarship really only means figuring out ways to pay for college.
Is applying to ROTC somewhat as competitive as applying for a scholarship? If so, do you have any tips that may set my application apart from others. Everyone I seem to talk to (besides the captain of the local detachment because my appointment is next week) has so many achievements and extracurricular activities they could probably apply to any Ivy League and get in. Do not having all those AP classes (etc) heavily hurt my chances of getting in?
 

ecarr750

New Member
It is true that some students who don't win a scholarship can often earn one on campus, if they work hard to prove themselves. And, sometimes when schools end up with fewer winners enrolling than they planned for, scholarship applicants who did not win may be offered a three-year advance designee scholarship. So it is always to your advantage to apply if you can meet the minimum scores. Best wishes! Even if you don't win a scholarship, the training you receive will be excellent and will look great on your resume.
My thoughts on community college, even though you didn't ask - it can be a great stepping stone for some students, but there will also be many students attending who are not terribly motivated. At most four year schools, you will be surrounded by higher achievers and you may find that atmosphere more positive and inspiring.
Thank you for the feedbak! I agree with you about your opinion on the different college types. Im only choosing community if I don't get the scholarship. That way I have a few more years to save up for when I transfer (not trying to have a large amount of student loans).
 
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brob

Member
I'm a non-scholarship junior in AFROTC. It has been said in other threads that the scholarship does not get you special treatment - it simply means that you've met requirements prior to AFROTC and the AF is willing to invest money in you. Scholarship or not doesn't affect selection for LEAD (summer training program) or anything else at your Detachment, and not having a scholarship really only means figuring out ways to pay for college.
Is applying to ROTC somewhat as competitive as applying for a scholarship? If so, do you have any tips that may set my application apart from others. Everyone I seem to talk to (besides the captain of the local detachment because my appointment is next week) has so many achievements and extracurricular activities they could probably apply to any Ivy League and get in.
Do not having all those AP classes (etc) heavily hurt my chances of getting in?
Just to clarify: any student can join and participate in ROTC at any college that offers it. You just have to contact the unit and sign up for the classes when you do your schedule. There is no cost to participate.
In order to apply for a national ROTC scholarship, there are certain minimum criteria of GPA and test scores required. There is a fairly lengthy application process which includes essay questions. You also must have guidance counselor recommendation, a physical fitness test, and a personal interview. Winners are selected who are excellent scholars, athletes, leaders.

My DD's test scores/grades were very good, but would not have admitted her to an ivy league school. She only had one AP class junior year and one AP class senior year. The rest of her schedule was honors level classes, however, including two classes senior year for which she earned college credit (but not AP). She did have involvement in service and extracurricular activities, many of which demonstrated leadership, even though she was never captain of a team or president of her class. She is athletic, but only had one varsity sport, which she chose not to participate in senior year, due to pressure of college/scholarship apps/increasing role in a service project. We thought that might hurt her chances, but it did not. We came up with a list of possible interview questions and she wrote out her answers in bullet form, in order to organize her thoughts. Then, we role-played to give her practice. She knocked the interview out of the park, spending one hour with the Col., instead of the scheduled 30 minutes.
In the end, DD won AROTC four-year scholarship during second round. This is an excellent opportunity for the motivated and above average student and in my opinion, not enough students realize how attainable it is for them!
 

brob

Member
If you're open to other branches, Army ROTC scholarships are a lot easier to get than Air Force ones. Also, the what are you planning on majoring in? Certain majors make it easier to get scholarships.
I agree - definitely look at the average stats of winners for the various branch's scholarships, not the minimum requirements. Just meeting the minimum requirements, in most cases, will not earn a scholarship.
We focused on Army for several reasons: my DD's scores were at the top end compared to other winners, Army scholarships pay full tuition (from my understanding, AF has different types of scholarships and not all pay full tuition), she already knew that Army ROTC was available at several schools she had visited and liked, and Army guaranteed she would work in her field of her major after graduation - nursing.
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
Wanted to emphasize a few points that I don't think came through on previous posts.

1. Yes, you can enroll in a ROTC program without a scholarship. The enrollment process varies by the unit, so you would need to cotact the unit to make that happen. If possible, I would do that before the start of freshman year since there is often a ROTC orientation that starts prior to the start of the academic year. Again, that varies by unit.

2. You can only enroll in a ROTC program at a college that has a ROTC unit. Each service has an online list of the colleges that have a unit for their respective service. Some colleges only have one ROTC program, some have all three. I'm pretty sure that you will find ROTC is only available at a 4 year college, although they may have an affiliate relationship with a nearby community college. If I'm wrong on that point, I'm quite certain the the number of community colleges with a ROTC program is extremely low.

3. Each ROTC program has a 2 year "screen" in it's process for people who are enrolled without the scholarship and some even for those with a scholarship. For example, AFROTC has Summer Field Training between sophomore and junior years. Participants must be selected to attend SFT, regardless of scholarship status. If you are not selected or do not complete SFT successfully, then you are out of the program. The percentage who are NOT selected varies from year to year depending on the needs of the service. Army and Navy have their own process so determine who, without a scholarship, can move to the advanced program during their junior year and senior years.

4. Anyone in ROTC with a scholarship can participate during their freshman year without service obligation. Even though they are on scholarship, they can drop from the program during their freshman year without repayment of the monies, or serving on active duty. Students without the scholarship will "contract" between their sophomore and junior years and have no service "obligation" until they do so. Even if they drop the program afterwards, there is nothing to repay, since they received no tuition money.

5. I see no advantage to winning a scholarship but not accepting it. You have freshman year as a freebee to decide if the military life is for you. One ought to be able to make that decision in the time allotted.

6. There is no advantage to NOT applying for a scholarship. You cannot win a scholarship if you don't apply.

Hope this is helpful as a 30,000 foot view of the programs. You can certainly learn more by reviewing the online web sites for each ROTC program. Good luck!
 

sandnnw

5-Year Member
ecarr, keep in mind, if you do attend the CC, you'll still have to take the first two years of any ROTC program. As mentioned above, it's a preview, likely PE or elective credit and you get to meet like-minded folks in your class. We had students in my freshman class who just wanted the credit for PE and to "test the military waters" so to speak. You literally can just sign up for the college credit and its a ton of fun, or at least AROTC was.

In my state, our Gov passed legislation to ensure if students chose our now FREE CC program, they would matriculate into our four-year programs with ease. Sounds great for students who have little funding (like me at 18), but it can be tricky depending on your intended major and if you plan to join the upper-level ROTC programs. Keep us informed after your meeting, exciting times!
 

brob

Member
If you're open to other branches, Army ROTC scholarships are a lot easier to get than Air Force ones. Also, the what are you planning on majoring in? Certain majors make it easier to get scholarships.
I'm dead set on the Air Force!
That was my daughter's preference, at first, also. Her Dad is retired AF and he initially said he wouldn't approve of her applying for any other branch. As we learned more, though, it became clear that AF scholarships are more difficult to get and AF also prefers technical majors. Army has a specialized Nurse Corps - DD is very excited to start next week!
 

gill0610

Member
DS also was thinking AF initially. Even as a STEM major he was not awarded an AFROTC scholarship but was fortunate enough to be awarded an AROTC scholarship. The more he looked into Army, the more he realized that there were advantages beyond the scholarship. Much larger branch so more career opportunities. He also felt it would in some ways be more challenging. Keep an open mind!
 
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