I will tell you that the majority of cadets are not on scholarship. Historically it is @16-18% of all applicants receive a scholarship, it is around 900 cadets. That number follows through with cadets in AFROTC.
IMPO the only way you know if a cadet is on scholarship is on the 1st and the 15th of the month. Why? Because that is when the cadets are paid their stipend, thus they are now flush with money! Cadets do not really discuss if they are on scholarship.
HQ AFROTC does not care if the cadet is on scholarship when it comes to the SFT aka LEAD board meets their AS200/250/500 yr. The scholarship portion is what the military calls "masked" or "blind". In other words the board does not know at all, it is all about their record as a cadet. Like the scholarship process there will be certain things that they look at, and those things will be given a %, resulting in a number. From that point HQ AFROTC says we need 2000 cadets to attend SFT. They draw a line at 2000. Above and you go, below and you don't.
~ Notice that AFROTC only offers @900 scholarships. So assume even if not one scholarship recipient dropped out their freshmen yr., highly unlikely, it still means more than 50% of the cadets will be not contracted.
~~ Note I am saying offered, not activated. Many apply for AFROTC, NROTC and AROTC, along with the SAs. Thus, even though 900 are offered, maybe only 750 get activated in the fall
~~ Scholarship cadets have what posters call the freebie yr. Accept the scholarship, but decide that it is not for them their freshmen yr. They are allowed to leave with no payback for that year. Usually that number can be @25% of these cadets. That brings the number below 600 cadets that are on scholarship, or less than 35% that attend SFT that are on scholarship...again they are the minority.
How do you prepare yourself to be competitive for SFT/LEAD? Everything and every way.
1. What is your intended major?
~ STEM majors get an edge. In AFROTC terms they are called TECH majors. Tech majors traditionally need @ 3.0/3.1 cgpa compared to the non-tech that need @ 3.3/3.4
2. What is your intended career field?
~ In the breakdown of selected it is broken into 4 groups. Tech/rated, Tech/non-rated, Non-tech/rated, non-tech/non-rated. The lowest percentage given a slot is usually going to be the non-tech/non-rated. So, if you are going non-tech/non-rated than that 3.3/3.4 is probably not going to be the cgpa you need to be competitive.
3. Physically fit
~ This is part of your score. It will also be the 1st way to make an impression. Within the 1st week they will do a PFT. You want to max everything. I am a broken record at this point, but it does matter. My DS was a PT instructor. He would be the pacer at the back to make sure everyone got passed the finish line before the clock stopped for the min. He would scream the cadets last name that was in the back of the pack loud enough for everyone to hear as motivation to push it up. You do not want them to hear your name.
~~ Look up the forms for sit ups and push ups. Look up the PFA. There are posters here with insane numbers as a scholarship candidate, but the fact is their numbers drop once there because their form was wrong. Not only that, but they are wasting energy that will be needed later on. Do it right.
~ These scores are part of your OML score for SFT. The AFOQT is more like the ACT. It is 4 portions, all timed, just called different things. You can purchase study guides for the AFOQT. The things to know are that you can only take it 2x without getting a waiver, and you must have 180 days between the test, plus it is the same as it would be for scholarships...no superscore, best sitting
~ As a contracted cadet they would have already done their DoDMERB exam, non-contracted will not have thatin their file. To attend SFT you need to get the all clear from DoDMERB. If you have any medical issues, get your paperwork ready now. I do not have enough fingers/toes in my family, including my dogs paws when it comes down to kids going OMG I didn't realize that.... would cause a remedial or DQ.
~~ IE I played FB during HS and had 3 concussions, will this DQ me? I play soccer, but my doc when I was young prescribed me an inhaler, I never use it, but I have that on my records. I am allergic to macadamia nuts, but nothing else.
6. Get involved
~ DS's det had what was called a GMC night. Every Weds. from 6-9 they would meet in the dets lounge to "hang". This was supported by the unit. They would order in pizza or subs and sodas for the cadets. Of course there would be a member of the cadre there for supervision. Going to these functions will allow you to bond with your peers outside of LLAB and a classroom environment.
~~~ DS's det lounge had a foosball table, crud table, xbox, play station. DVD player, etc.
~ Most dets will have military fraternities, such as, Arnie Air, Honor Guard, Silver Wings, Angel Flight. This allows you to get to know more POCs outside of the classroom. It can be a way to get mentored by others in a more private situation on how to improve where they as a POC see you are lacking.
~ It is uncommon for any freshmen to get a shining star position within the unit. However, if they see you volunteering for everything and keeping up your grades, the CoC will get to know the name with a face. CoC ranking is part of the % for SFT.
Finally I will say that I think scholarship cadets have a higher % rate for SFT compared to non-scholarship. It has nothing to do with the AFROTC scholarship, but everything to do with that a high percentage also have merit scholarships from their school.
~ AFROTC requires only a 2.5 to keep the scholarship, whereas, most merit scholarships will require 3.0/3.2 Thus, their cgpa is higher because if they need the money to attend their college than they need to meet the requirements for their merit too.
Best of luck