If you receive the scholarship, it means you're pretty high in the ranking of applicants, but not high enough.
Correct, not everyone who doesn't get an appointment, but those who are deemed qualified and not appointed (about 800 every year). At least that is what he told me.
Isotoner7 -- Congrats! Take a lot of pride in getting the nomination to West Point and getting so close to the final cut . . . don't assume you are somehow a "lesser" candidate than all those that did receive an appointment . . . the offer of the 3 year ROTC scholarship proves you have a stellar record . . . getting an AROTC national scholarship typically takes a "SA quality" record now a days.
In recent years, AROTC has awarded around 2500 national scholarships annually with about 600 being 4 year scholarships and the remaining 1900 being 3 year. As you know USMA Admissions is separate from AROTC Cadet Command, and they each have separate selection processes, that have some similarities, but also have some distinct differences. For instance, USMA Admissions has the "geographic diversity factor" that is driven by the Congressional Nomination process. Some Congressional districts are really competitive to gain a nomination . . . others not so much. From the "competitive" districts, those candidates may have records better than the principle noms from the not so competitive congressional districts. The principle nom from the not so competitive district will get the appointment, but the candidate from the competitive district may not, even though they have a better record than the other district's principle nom. Just a quirk of the SA admissions process as they try to compile a representative entering class from across the country. AROTC, however, does not
have a "geographic diversity factor" . . . they review the AROTC applications and try to create an Order of Merit List (OML), and then award the scholarships on that OML basis down to the number of scholarships they can afford to fund. As was explained to me by a knowledgeable poster, "' . . . the recipients call all be blue from Georgia and AROTC does not care . . . they award based on the merit list and they tally up the statistics after that.
" (This is why every year there are SA candidates that receive a SA appointment, but are notified by ROTC they did not qualify for a ROTC scholarship. And it is also the reason why there are SA candidates every year the do receive a ROTC national scholarship, but don't receive an SA appointment. It's not that ROTC is "lesser", it is that the selection processes are different and have different drivers for selection.)
While USMA Admissions and AROTC Cadet Command are separate, they do talk. The Army does not like to lose high quality candidates and you have obviously been identified as one.
I'm going to assume you are coming from a fairly competitive congressional district. My guess is you have a great record but you might not have been high up on your MOC's slate. The rough numbers for appointments to the "Big 3" SAs typically work out like this: About 10,000-12,000 complete their SA application, about 4,000 of those gain a Congressional Nomination, about 2,400 are deemed "qualified academically and in physical aptitude
" by the SA . . . in other words, USMA (and the Army) would like to have most of the 2400 . . . but USMA only has slots for 1200. So the 1200 appointments (again rough numbers) tend to be 500 for principle noms; 200 for prep schoolers/recruited athletes/LOAs; leaving about 500 slots that the remaining 1700 are competing for. Those 500 selected from the remaining 1700 are selected by Admissions to meet the needs of West Point to create an entering class that best represents the make up of our military and our society. All 500 selected are "qualified", but it doesn't mean that all of those 500 selected to get that appointment have a better record than you . . . they brought something that Admissions needed to help with the class make up (ethnic, gender, geography, experience, etc.)
So . . . the Army doesn't want to lose you . . . USMA can't offer you an appointment (MOC's allotment is full, Admissions needed other candidates, etc.), . . . all of the Army 4 yr national scholarships have already been awarded on the first 2 AROTC scholarship boards this year . . . but they still have 3 year AROTC scholarships available since they haven't yet held the 3rd AROTC scholarship board.
Again, well done on making it into the "Final 2400" for West Point selection, and congrats on being offered the 3 year AROTC scholarship. You have attained some very rarified air . . . and thank you for your willingness to serve. Best wishes to you.