NROTC Scholarship Strategy - What to List

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by NROTCDAD55, Jul 9, 2009.


    NROTCDAD55 5-Year Member

    Jul 9, 2009
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    D - like most college applicants - has reach schools and safe schools. In visiting with NROTC units during college tours, it appeared that the reach schools ALWAYS had openings for transfers, whereas the safe schools wound up with wait lists for transfers. So now comes the point at which she is figuring out what schools to list for her scholarship application, and it seems that the better strategy is to pick a safe school as her #1 choice, so that if she gets into a reach school she can always transfer the scholarship. Conversely, if she lists the reach school and gets the scholarship to that school but is not accepted, she may be left "high and dry" by not finding a transfer slot in a safe school to which she has been accepted. Does that make sense?

    Additionally, would the reach school staff or the scholarship board take offense at this? And further, would it mess up any chance that the reach school would consider her a little more carefully because she was already awarded an NROTC scholarship? Lastly, if she was not the best in the pool, would it be easier for her to get a scholarship in the reach school (to which there are fewer applicants) rather than the safe school for which there are many. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. felixbed

    felixbed 5-Year Member

    Jun 2, 2008
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    First, good luck with the whole process. The best advice I can give right now is to apply early. Schools with rolling admission policies may look more favorably early on in the process than later after the typical Feb/Mar deadlines for applications. These are not early decision programs that you lock yourself into. My son had acceptances to three colleges by the beginning of Nov covering two different NROTC units. So then he adjusted his priority list so that the accepted programs were on the top of the list since they were all good schools and he did not have issues with them.
    This moved the reach schools down the list but his goal was the NROTC and a commission rather than going Ivy League. It may have helped in the end because we were able to point out to the scholarship board that he had a school spot just waiting for the scholarship to cover it. For example Villanova was an early program, several students we met got scholarships by Nov but Villanova does not decide regular admits until Feb. Some programs may be filled by then and if you do not get into Villanova now you have to look to transfer and may not know status until May/Jun.
    Recap, apply early, especially to rolling admit schools that are agreeable, get early acceptances so that you can work your NROTC unit ranking accordingly.
  3. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent 5-Year Member

    Apr 7, 2009
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    What do you call a person who just finished 4 years of ROTC from Harvard?
    What do you call a person who just finished 4 years of ROTC from Bi-directional State U?

    An officer!

    And what do employers look at when they finish their military career?

    Their military record and experiences.

    Point here is that a reach school is only worth listing high and risking scholarship if:
    1) You don't need the ROTC scholarship to make school afordable. It is just gravy.
    2) You would go there if admitted regardless of whether you got a ROTC Scholarship or not (hopefully still participating in ROTC). This is your dream school.

    By going ROTC, you are saying that serving your country is your desired start to your adult life. Uncle Sam is nice enough to pay to educate you at a school of your choice. And if you are fishing for a type-3, in a major of your choice.

    If you need the scholarship, select as #1 a school that you are likely to get both admitted and a scholarship for that you are happiest with.

    Most of us are in between. The scholarship is nice to have and makes match schools financially workable (no need for merit scholarships). Would we get an education without the ROTC scholarship - probably at some school, the choice would be more limited.

    I understand that living at sea is often important to Navy types, but if serving your country is more important than how, I might suggest an AROTC application as a backup for the NROTC scholarship. Much less competitive. Still get to serve your country and the financial help.
  4. s1732

    s1732 5-Year Member

    Feb 10, 2009
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    It's not necessarily true that the 'reach' schools (and I guess that depends on what a reach for your student is) fill up later. As a tier 3 major, my son was a late scholarship recipient (late February) and was placed in a unit at a large public university. When he learned that he was admitted to Carnegie Mellon in late March, he contacted the NROTC unit there and learned that there were already something like 20 kids on the waiting list for the unit. So...that strategy didn't work well for him.

    However, son made certain that he was happy with all of the choices he indicated on his application and in two cases, where there as a 'reach' and a 'safety' school he liked that were affliliated with the same unit, he applied to both schools.
  5. sealion

    sealion 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    In my humble opinion your NROTC strategy is sound. The units at elite universities rarely fill to capacity. We just went through this again this past year. If they do then your daughter would be able to pick up her scholarship with the help of her unit at mid -year.

    NROTC scholarships do not seem to help in admissions at super reach or reach schools very much.

    Your strategy has worked twice for my kids. NSTC knows which units fill quickly and have been helpful in transferring the scholarship.

    Tell your daughter to keep at it and really deliver on the September or October SAT's because that's important.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009