New Member
May 14, 2017
I've looked at a number of forums already regarding choosing between rotc and an academy. But I was wondering if anyone might be able to help me out with this decision. I've been offered (and have currently accepted) an offer from USMA. However, I recently received an offer with AROTC from USC. I am having a difficult time deciding between the two. On the one hand, there are many things that I like about USMA: the challenges, the very active always-pushing-yourself lifestyle, the many military opportunities especially over the summer, the camaraderie, and just the type of students that are there. I went to the USNA summer program last year and absolutely loved it. It was really that experience that made me want one of the academies.
On the other hand, at USC I feel that I would have more academic freedom- lots of electives, opportunities for double majors, minors, etc. I also am not sure if I want to go full army career. I really am looking forward to the opportunity to serve but I don't know if I see myself continuing it for twenty plus years. Also, this isn't as important and I don't want it to affect my choice too much but my high school experience hasn't exactly been fun. I've moved alot and have had very little personal freedom. I'm not sure if I want the next four years to be not enjoyable. Finally, I am very interested in getting a higher degree after my bachelor's.
With all this in mind (I know it's a lot!), would anyone have any suggestions to help me with my decision?
Thank you,
Here are a couple things to know. About 50% of West Point grads don't serve past their minimum obligation, so don't think because you attend USMA that you will serve 20.
Wether you serve full or part time after college there will be opportunities for advanced schooling.

That all being said your post makes it sound like AROTC might be a better fit, and will give you more options, since you don't sound like you are "all in".
Having a son at West Point, I would conclude after reading your post that ROTC is probably the better fit for you. In order to tolerate WP I think you almost need to be gung ho about it going in. Freedom is in very limited quantities; particularly your first year. My son loves WP, but he is very drained right now, and so are the others. Most cadets will tell you the best thing about being at WP is the camaraderie of the Corps. The people and cadets are, according to my kid, amazing. But it is a very restrictive environment.

Both ROTC and any of the Academies are incredible opportunities, and result in the same commission. My son had to make choices too, but his was pretty easy, because he was in love with WP, and the lifestyle didn't bother him (that was then. Lol).

One caveat: when my son was applying to Academies and for ROTC scholarships I looked into both scenarios too. I noticed some statistics indicating that a high number of ROTC scholarship winners don't end up staying with the program. Although there is certainly attrition at WP, I think it is a fraction of what it is with ROTC. Others here are likely better to speak to that issue, but I think it is worthy of consideration.

Lastly, although USC is a fine school, you will be hard pressed to find a more valuable undergraduate degree that one you could earn for West Point.
What environment do you think you will thrive in? A highly structured, directive environment with little freedom or one that is not, and requires a lot of self discipline and control to succeed? If you can answer that question, the choice is easy.