For all you seniors applying for the Army ROTC scholarship who are searching for the best ROTC unit we were in this situation last year. While my son was applying to schools I tried to find a list of the best ROTC schools for Army. Apparently they don’t rank them anymore except for the Mac Arthur Award which awards the top unit in each brigade. Unfortunately it isn’t always the same unit that wins this award. So how do you determine which unit would be best fit for your son or daughter? A year later I still do not know but I can now tell you that my son is a happy contracted cadet. It was a long road. He was awarded a 4 year scholarship to a very expensive school in New England. He switched his list constantly and told me it didn’t help visiting schools because he liked them all! One thing that was huge was the communication and advice he received. Also a big thank you to Marist and Clarkson for sharing their knowledge and updating everybody on this forum. My son ended up transferring his scholarship to the number 7 school he had on his ROTC list. He wasn’t going to apply there because it was too far away from home and he didn’t have a chance to visit it. He continued to get calls and e-mails from this ROTC unit. He ended up visiting the unit and got to spend an overnight with them. He decided to transfer his scholarship based on the ROTC unit not the school. He was busy in high school but even busier now in college. He is not my first to go to college but when I dropped him off in August I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was reassured that he made the right decision when I received an e-mail from the cadre telling me they saw my son walking back to campus that night and that he was making friends quickly. It was nice to know that someone else cared about my son besides his parents! I’ve read here on the forum not to pick your school by the ROTC unit but all my son’s choices were good private schools so the ROTC unit and how they ran their program was the deciding factor. A couple of days ago my son told me he was really happy with the cadre at his school. He was able to go talk to the officer in charge about his busy schedule and conflicts with sport commitments. Somehow they didn’t seem so complicated after talking with the cadre. Then the MSG, who according to my son had a list of things to do, cleared his schedule to give my son his APFT test for the month. My son was impressed that he could approach the cadre and that they were willing to clear their schedules and help him out. So I guess the point of this is that the best ROTC school may not appear as one of the top units winning the Mac Arthur Award, or the school that produces the most officers. I feel it is where your son or daughter will feel comfortable and be able to grow into a confident leader. It is also important to see if they are a host school, partner school or if your child has to travel. If my son had to travel for class or lab ROTC would not have worked with his current schedule. Oh, and if you are wondering my son is at a college that is ranked 25 most connected colleges and where he can sit in the library or his dorm and have an incredible view of the Hudson River! And yes Pima there is a “needle in that hay stack”!