Torn between a few Civilian Colleges that offer Nrotc


Oct 22, 2015
Right now my DS is torn between Auburn (all ready accepted in engineer school), University of South Carolina (also accepted into engineering program), and Virginia Tech (accepted into University Studies). The benefit of Tech is that we are moving to Virginia this summer and he would have in state tuition. He's gone to 9 schools so far as a Navy kiddo and would like to go to a school where there is comaraderie i.e. not everyone goes home on the weekend. He will be going in as a College Programmer so the number of 2-3 year scholarships available is definitely important. Any insight would be gratefully appreciated!!!
Well first, the NROTC scholarships (unlike Army battalion based scholarships) are a national competition, so number of scholarships available is not germane to the decision. All the applicants are competing for the same pool of scholarships.

If he goes to Virginia Tech, he may or may not get into engineering at a future date. Assuming he wants Navy option and not Marine option, then pursuing a tech major will be important (not determinant) to obtaining a scholarship and perhaps even getting advanced standing. If he is after Marine Option then they don't care what he majors in. Of course at Virginia Tech he would be in the Corps of Cadets and he must be accepted to the Corps of Cadets. I assume this has happened?

My son attended South Carolina. He loved both the school and the NROTC unit. He seldom came home on weekends other than holiday weekends and seemed to have fun activities to do on the weekends. I was like you in that I wanted him to go in-state so I could afford it. However he won a Woodrow Scholarship that the school offers and is limited to out of state students. He found out about it on, or shortly after, April 1. (I mention this in case news on or about April 1 might impact your decision). It brought tuition down to near in-state rates and it would only cost me a couple thousand more per semester to send him there. Since it was his first choice that's what he did. The deal I cut was he had to borrow the difference between the tuitions which was about 2500.00 a semester. Fortunately he won a scholarship in the middle of his sophomore year so the total wasn't too bad for him. One thing to know about S. Carolina is that there is extremely limited dorm space for upperclassman so after freshman year your DS will almost certainly be living in an apartment.

I cannot speak to Auburn other than to note they generally have a pretty good football team.

If you have any more detailed questions about South Carolina feel free to post here or PM me.
I graduated from South Carolina NROTC in 2009 and it's a great school and program. I'd do it again 100 times out of 100. The SC and Auburn units are going to be quite a bit different than VA Tech and their Corps of Cadets program when it comes to demands on time, schedule, lifestyle, etc.

Regarding scholarships, the first one he'll apply for is the 4-year National during his freshman fall semester. Being a College Program mid will definitely bolster the application, but it's primarily focused on high school performance. He won't apply for a 3-year until May after freshman year, and at that point HS doesn't matter and all they really consider is freshman year performance and how he did in the NROTC unit. As was mentioned above, 2 and 3-year scholarships are national competitions each year, so where you go to school doesn't limit your ability to compete for one- in other words, they don't have a set number reserved for each unit.