All ROTC related nominations are treated equally by law at any SA. It is competitive to get an appointment with this nom because as it also includes college students, and the USAFA is not obligated to use all 20 spots. In fact Getting an appointment with only this nomination is a miracle from heaven, I have friends that were rejected because they were only able to secure this nomination and all of them were well qualified. The bad thing with ROTC/JROTC nominations is that you are not eligible for the NWL for some reason, someone can bit into this more. As for notification of this award, you can apply for it anytime during application process and once it has been processed it will appear on your portal. You will not receive any formal email or mail telling you of your status. Lastly, you won't be notified notification before others except you received an LOA, another thing is if you finished your application early with a nomination, by law the SA has to review your file.