Good evening! I just stumbled across this forum tonight, and I am so glad that I did... There is a wealth of information archived here, and I will be the first to admit that I have hardly scratched the surface. However, if you have a moment, I would very much appreciate some insight on the ROTC scholarship application process (and the program on the whole). Until very recently, ROTC was not on my radar. To give you some quick background on my prospects: I am on good terms with the head of our JROTC group on campus, though I myself have never been a member of it. Through him, I have been very much encouraged in the college admissions process. As I am currently in my junior year, I have taken the SAT (800 Critical Reading, 690 Math, 800 Writing) and the PSAT (225), and am set to earn National Merit Scholarship. I have been a lettered varsity athlete since my freshman year, and have ranked in the top 8 of my 5A district for my event in track and field both years. I was one of ten students in America to spend the summer of 2010 on a government-funded foreign exchange, and gained some proficiency in Japanese in that time. I have been the editor-in-chief of a nationally recognized online newspaper for two years, and have gone to state for literary criticism. I have served as class representative and class president. My writing has appeared in our largest metropolitan newspaper (I am one of a group of selected student freelancers; paid for every byline) and has been exhibited in a local museum. When I had laid this out for our JROTC instructor, he exhorted me to apply for a scholarship. I first considered ROTC when speaking with the father of a teammate, who had served as a foreign area officer and had his entire education (at Johns Hopkins- one of my target schools) funded by the military. His description of the work FAOs are engaged it was an epiphany to me. I really believe this is what I want to do. Regardless, I am certain that military experience would be indispensable to me were I to follow my initial dreams of a career in the Foreign Service. I hope to continue my study of Japanese and begin Korean in college. My intended major, if possible, would be international studies or (in the case of Georgetown) foreign service. With that said, I have a few questions: + First: How necessary are these majors? From what I can discern, FAOs are within the Army only, though the Navy and Air Force have equivalent positions on a smaller scale. I would assume that my chances are best through the army, since the subject I intend to study will impact whether or not I am awarded a scholarship. Are North Asian languages in demand? + What is the general timeline of application? I have seen that AFROTC begins in May (I do intend to apply in May, as I have heard that earlier is better in almost any case), but at what point are students notified if they have been accepted? Do NROTC and AROTC application cycles also begin on May 1? + Do all branches require the student to rank colleges by preference? If so; would it be better to place a less-desired but financially secure option atop one where whatever cost left over might not be covered? + In light of Harvard's readmission of NROTC- and the likelihood of other Ivies following suit- would it be foolish to place a Harvard or Stanford at the first slot? I have already submitted my SATs to both, and intend to apply in the regular decision round regardless, but I do not know what strategy to take when ranking the colleges in the scholarship application. + How relevant is post-graduate assignment to subject matter studied? I am concerned that, having spent four years laboring in a foreign language, I will be unable to apply my skills for some time (I've read that FAO is a mid-career designation; some eight years of service into an Army career). Will my specific knowledge base relate to the work I do after commission? + While my parents are quite confident that I would be accepted at Georgetown or Hopkins, I am very uncertain. In a scenario where I have listed one of the two as my 'first choice' and am not admitted, is the scholarship invalidated? Or does it move to the second slot, pending an empty space in that campus' ROTC unit? + Any other advice you could impart would be very much appreciated.