Top Schools?


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Feb 16, 2007
What are the top NROTC schools? I am obviously interested in VMI , Citadel, and Norwich but which are the best? Thanks guys!
This is sort of a loaded question. The schools you named are military schools whereas some of the finest universities in the country have NROTC, such as MIT, Cal Berkeley, University of Michigan, UVA, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, etc. What is it you're looking for in a college? If you want an entirely military eduction, then those you named are fine choices assuming you are not interested in one of the academies. If you are interested in exploring colleges other than the military schools, then I would suggest you contemplate your intended major and look to schools that are strong in that given program. Obviously, you should check each school's web site to determine if you are competitive for admission by looking at their average GPAs and SAT/ACT scores.

To fully advise you, anyone would need a great deal more information than what you have provided.

Good luck!
Thanks. I am applying to USNA but I need some back up schools so I am trying to decide which backup schools to apply to for NROTC. So far I have VMI, Duke, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, and U of Michigan (I used to live 1 mile from the school). How is A&M with academics? I heard it is one of the top ROTC schools in the country so I am really thinking about that.
My only advice is to include at least one "safety" school. You need one school that you are sure will admit you. Alot of NROTC schools are very selective - no matter how good a student you are you may be left out.
You don't want to be in a position that you earned an NROTC scholarship but failed to gain admission.
It is difficult to give advice on specific schools without knowing what exactly what you are looking for or what you want to study. Do you want a Corps of Cadets? A&M is an excellent choice. Does geography matter? Do you want a large school or smaller school?
I have heard that Villanova (outside Philadelphia) has an excellent NROTC program.
"So far I have VMI, Duke, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, and U of Michigan (I used to live 1 mile from the school). How is A&M with academics?"

Backup schools? I wouldn't consider Duke, Purdue, and Vanderbilt safety schools for anyone. At Max, they can be a reach or match, but not a safety.
My point exactly. With college admissions so competitive it sometimes can seem arbitrary and capricious. One definitely does not want to be in the position of a scholarship in hand and no where to go with it - most of these selective schools won't decide until April 1st unless you apply EA/ED.
Top Five

This does raise an interesting question though. My son is looking at very competitive schools to get into for engineering. His top six right now are Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, University of Florida, Purdue and Georgia Tech. Is it critical that somewhere in the top five you list for your scholarship application, you include at least one school that would be perceived as a safety so that you are not left as one with a scholarship and no school? Everything I have read suggests that you should put your top school, even if it is a reach, as your number one, but they don't say anything beyond that. Of course, each school tells you that you should put their school number one, but you get little guidance as to how you should proceed beyond your top choice. Anyone have any advice here?
It is critical to include a safety school, IMO. It is possible to be left out if you are not accepted by the school - I am not real familiar with how NROTC works -I think it is possible for an NROTC unit to give you a scholarhip and for admissions to reject your application.

ROTC does not have any bearing on admissions!!!! This is NOT athletic recruiting.

With Army - the Battalion offers the scholarship directly so you definitely want to make sure you can gain admissions.

With Engineering - keep in mind also, there are many "not-so-competitive" school with excellent engineering programs. Go with a school that has the program that you want and is accredited. (Also, IMO!) In other words - look beyond the name, you might be surprised.
Here is a difference with the AFROTC, you meet a board they offer you scholarship. You take that to any school you want. Just wanted folks know there is a different process for each of the services.

As to engineering schools-Illinios Institue of Technology is a good safety, they offer to pay for room and board if you have a ROTC scholarship. The school is in Chicago, small class sizes and is the cross town det. for Northwestern too.
The University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana is a Top 5 Engineering school with very strong ROTC programs. Admissions is highly competitive. Try to connect with taffy who is extremely happy with both the university and the AFROTC program. He may be able to give you some first-hand info. He posts only occasionally now both here and on cc.
Thanks Justawife - I was hoping you would jump in here.

Army, Air Force and Navy all run differently - I think Air Force is most confusing! :wink:
Read everything carefully and ask questions!
Last edited:
Since we're in Virginia, I was thinking more of VMI as a safety.
Yeah, I knew that Duke, Purdue, Vanderbilt are all stretches, I am just saying they are backup to the academy. I will probably narrow them down to 1, most likely Duke, and then VMI, and probably Texas A&M. My plan is to major in Mechanical Engineering so I am going to start searching for a backup school that is a given but also has a great engineering program.
Thanks Justawife - I was hoping you would jump in here.

Army, Air Force and Navy all run differently - I think Air Force is most confusing! :wink:
Read everything carefully and ask questions!

I think it is the easiest, mail everything to one address. They arrange for your interview. The board meets tells you have a scholarship! It is one of 3 different types and it is portable. You get into UT, GT and IIT but not MIT you have choices. This is not take it now or lose, you have until May 15th to accept. You don't like your first choice school you can transfer to another and take it with you. The only thing hang-up about a transfer is if tuition at #1 is $9000 and tuition at#2 $11000, they only play $9000.

Now the big hang up with AFROTC, the AF is cutting back people. (I know it is stupid in a time of war). So they are cutting back on scholarships, an LOA told me they gave out 75 go any where 4 yr full tuition, 150 up to $15000 for 4 yrs and the rest were 3yr and 4yr $9000 awards. My son's HS had 3 out of 225 and one 3 year scholarship too.

The good thing is they are offering a lot of in college scholarships. UF's typical freshman class has 8 or 9 scholarship kids walk in the door and U of AZ only get 4 or 5.