While I will not say that self-prepping is the answer for all who do not receive an appointment, I will say that is is for some. If a student is highly dedicated and has a strong ACT/SAT and a good HS and College GPA, they will have a good chance of getting into an academy. On the flip side, ROTC programs are a good option for the branches that offer them. If a student really has a desire to serve, they can go to any college that offers the ROTC program of their choosing (AROTC, AFROTC, NROTC). It will simply be up to them to earn the grades and be physically sound in order to contract to commission their junior year. In this case, most credits will transfer.I'm saying good look transferring credits from what amounts to an Alabama community college to a reputable four year institution- it's a two year institution in Alabama - is what I wrote somehow not accurate? Maybe reputable wasn't the best word - how about highly selective, because most of these kids would have gone to a highly selective college if they weren't pursuing an academy appointment
There is a developing mindset on this site that self prepping is somehow the answer for those who were rejected - which is great for the institutions offering self prep programs, but not necessarily so great for the kid who enrolls in one and doesn't earn an appointment. Now what? Parents and kids need to think about that, since most self preppers are not going to earn an appointment. If a kid who is rejected does what all the academies recommend and enrolls in a regular college and takes a first year like schedule, re-applies, and is rejected again, they don't have to worry about finding a new school and whether those credits will transfer, making new friends, etc, etc, etc.
ROTC is not for everyone, especially if they have a good chance as a self-prep. If they truly desire to serve as an officer though, then this is a good option if they are willing to be dedicated to making themselves competitive and the best they can be.