Using ROTC scholarship vs. Transferred GI Bill benefits

MilFam

Member
We are in a very fortunate position because my spouse transferred his GI Bill benefits to our 2 sons. However, DS#1 has a 4 yr. ROTC scholarship and did not use his transferred benefits. DS#2 who is graduating hs also received a 4 yr. NROTC scholarship. We were thinking they could use the transferred GI Bill benefits for future grad school; however, dependent benefits must be used by age 26-- they will be over 26 when they finish AD military obligation for scholarship.

Option #1: DS#2 could use scholarship and GI Bill both. Downside is Scholarship is 1st payer so if for some reason DS#2 gets kicked out of ROTC we are potentially on the hook for the tuition that scholarship paid for (and that GI Bill would have covered but for the scholarship).
Option #2: Use GI bill only and do ROTC w/o scholarship. Some tuition won't be covered by GI Bill but we are in a position that we could cover it w/o loans. The main advantage is that it seems that he would become eligible in his own right for GI Bill during the 3 yr. AD that comes with College Programmer option. Is this correct? If so, he could then use for grad school.
Also, DS#2 thinks he would not have the calc and physics requirements as a college programmer. Since he will have a non-tech major, this will let him take more classes related to his major. Is this correct?
Are there any downsides to ROTC as a college programmer instead of scholarship student that it looks like we're not realizing?

I know this is a lot of info, but any insights anyone has on this would be greatly appreciated.
 

bman

Member
You are indeed in a very fortunate position. DD was in a similar position. She turned down an appointment to the Naval Academy and chose to do NROTC as a college programmer as she had a full scholarship to college. She opted not to apply for an NROTC scholarship as it was not needed, and as she would then be eligible for GI Bill benefits and yellow ribbon benefits after only three years. She chose a service selection with a 5-6 year commitment so she won't be using any benefits after three years, but it leaves her some options at the end of her initial commitment. She was a Middle East / Philosophy major, so didn't have the calc and physics requirements, but took them anyway (her philosophy logic class had a prerequisite of an A in advanced calculus before you could enroll, so don't assume that "non-tech" majors are necessarily exempt from calculus requirements) and choose to go into the nuke community. If your DS is a non-tech major, good grades in calc and physics even though they are not required will help with getting advanced standing.
The only difference between being on scholarship and a college programmer for my daughter was that she didn't go on cruise after her first two years, the navy paid for her to do study abroad instead. If DS qualified for a 4 year scholarship, I would think he should qualify for Advanced Standing without a problem and would have more options when it came to grad school if he used the current GI Bill benefits. Of course, if he chooses to make a career in the Navy then I would think he is better off with the ROTC scholarship.
 

MilFam

Member
Thanks for the info; it is really appreciated! Agreed that he may end up in calc/physics regardless, but it's nice to have the flexibility of not being required to do so for a full year each as he is contemplating a double major and will have a lot of other classes to fit in and still graduate in 4 yrs. Was the study abroad through Project GO or a separate Navy program? DS was also looking at the fact that he would not have to do cruise after yrs 1/2 as another benefit to the non-scholarship option precisely because it would allow more flexibility for study abroad as the second major he is interested in is East Asian Studies and is planning to study Mandarin.[/QUOTE]
 
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kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
If DS #2 is a Navy Option college programmer or on scholarship, he will be required to take a year of Calc and a year of Calc based Physics regardless of his major. He can count on it.

Option 2 looks good if you're really concerned DS might drop NROTC. It does have drawbacks. If on scholarship, he is contracted and is able to attend summer training. Also, if not on scholarship he would need to contract by beginning of his junior year to remain in the program. The Navy decides if he contracts or not. I have seen folks who didn't make it. would expect manpower needs to continue to grow over the next two years, so if he's not a total slug he should be fine in this regard.
 

MilFam

Member
Thanks for the input! Spouse did a career in the Marines so we are very familiar with the fact that nothing is guaranteed in the military so realize any decision will be based on assumptions that might not work out. DS got 4 yr. on the 1st board in non-tech major cat so he is well-situated to be a good candidate for Adv. Standing so not too worried about that aspect of the plan. I also think it highly unlikely that he would be dropped from NROTC but the school he will be attending is expensive ($50,000+ tuition per year) so the possibility (even if it's very remote) of having to pay back scholarship benefits if something goes wrong with NROTC is very significant. Just trying to take all the possibilities into account and make the best overall guesstimate of what we should do financially. Because of Yellow Ribbon benefits, the GI Bill dependent benefits would cover most of the tuition, so we're not giving up too much financially if DS declines scholarship and we pay the difference between GI Bill/YR and actual tuition. Either way, scholarship or not, he intends to do NROTC.
 

bman

Member
·
Thanks for the info; it is really appreciated! Agreed that he may end up in calc/physics regardless, but it's nice to have the flexibility of not being required to do so for a full year each as he is contemplating a double major and will have a lot of other classes to fit in and still graduate in 4 yrs. Was the study abroad through Project GO or a separate Navy program? DS was also looking at the fact that he would not have to do cruise after yrs 1/2 as another benefit to the non-scholarship option precisely because it would allow more flexibility for study abroad as the second major he is interested in is East Asian Studies and is planning to study Mandarin.
[/QUOTE]

While Calc and Physics are not required for college programmers/advanced standing, it is highly recommended - primarily because the navy has a hard time getting enough volunteers for subs. While many see a disadvantage of the college program as not being able to go on summer cruise until after junior year, DD saw this as an advantage as it allowed her to study overseas during the summers - she went through Project GO. In addition to two summers she also picked up a non-navy grant and spent a spring semester abroad working on language skills.
 
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