It could be made less frustrating
Hi, my son has been awarded an Army ROTC scholarship contingent upon his being medically qualified, but he did not medically qualify and is waiting to hear whether he will get a waiver. He returned the scholarship acceptance letter last March, and we have had anxiety about it ever since, due to delays on the Cadet Command side of things and also due to ignorance of the process.
Either the letter announcing the scholarship award should or the initial DODMERB paperwork should outline some explanation of the procedure, along with a note stating that if one is not medically qualified by the end of the first semester of school they could end up paying back the tuition. We did not find out about that little nugget of information until a few weeks before school started and my son had already lost other scholarship opportunities. It would have been nice to know that before there was no real choice in the matter. It should be written down clearly. We will have to pay back over 10k if my son does not medically qualify, because the University that the scholarship was offered at is out of state for us. Trust me I would not have taken that risk.
Also, the candidate should be told that if they meet conditions x,y or z it is grounds for a medical disqualification. The rules are pretty clear, so the candidate should be told. For example, my son had childhood asthma. The rule is that anyone with anything to do with asthma on their medical records past the age of 13 will automatically be disqualified. Yet we had to go through this whole thing where we get exams done, and wait for the results, then a request comes for us to send all of the medical records. All of that takes a lot of time. If, on the initial paperwork, there was the requirement for us to send the medical records then we would have found out much much earlier that he was going to be medically disqualified. We could have prepared him for another route. As it is the time was too late and we had no other choice.
I am not in any way upset about the fact that the ROTC scholarship process is selective. That is completely understandable. I am aware of how much medical conditions can cost the gov in lost duty time and medical retirements etc. I just think that more information should be given to candidates about the process.
It is unfortunate if there is not at least more medical testing requested for my son, as he is participating in training for the Ranger Challenge. He was one of the few who qualified, and he was one of the few that completed a six mile ruck run (in full uniform with a loaded ruck sack).