when should i start applying?


Jul 31, 2016
I'm not 17 years old yet, so I can't apply yet. But when does the typical high school student apply for ROTC scholarships? During junior or senior year?
Like NotCollege said - apply that summer. The benefit is that this way you get to hit as many board as possible. Plus, we all know high school students procrastinate, therefore the early submitters have less competition - another benefit of applying early. :)
I'm not 17 years old yet, so I can't apply yet. But when does the typical high school student apply for ROTC scholarships? During junior or senior year?
As long as you will be 17 before July 1 the year you are starting you can apply for Academy slots. For each service and some colleges have different times you can be contracted. Army as long as you turn 17 prior to End of first semester Navy I believe is 17 prior to Oct 1st of year start. My DS was 17 on second day of school so had he been awarded a 4 year he would have had to wait till then to contract at his school. If you are applying and are still 16 your parent/s will have to sign the parental approval when you are sent an award packet (it comes by email and mail)
The "typical" HS student probably waits too long to apply. Don't be the typical, apply early as you can. You'd be surprised what just seems to pop-up and delay getting the application done. Also, you want to be done/ready for the first board. Start collecting information and keep a portfolio with all your required items. Don't spring references upon your teachers and counselors at the last minute. They know what you are doing and they have already gone through the process several years. Don't assume every service (or SA for that matter) requires the same information. As well, each school will have different requirements, so keep that portfolio handy and up-to-date. For my Navy son, we had different binders for SAs, ROTCs and schools - we bought a school binder when visiting the bookstores, kinda neat. Our dining room table looked like a "war room" and our friends were amazed at my wife's ability to keep it all straight. You will get so much mail from all these places, not to mention the financial aid and medical. The key is to stay organized and don't lose anything! Good luck!
You start applying summer before senior year when the application starts. You can apply when you are 16 you just need to be a rising Senior.
This. I was actually just 16 when I got my scholarship contract signed (with parental consent of course), so you can apply whenever. The scholarship states that you just have to be 17 by 1 September of the year you start college. As soon as the application for 2018 (just assuming you're a junior) opens, start it. I highly recommend getting your rec letter requests in early, btw. If you're late in the cycle, your teachers will be swamped by requests and may not write as good a letter as they would have, had you asked them earlier.
If you're asking about Army ROTC, the online application opens in June, right after you finish your Junior year. I suggest opening an account, and starting the application process as soon as it opens...it will take some time to complete. Plus, the sooner you open your application, the sooner you'll fully understand the requirements.
Navy ROTC usually opens up their application on or about April 1, so you can get a lot done (especially recommendation letters) before finishing school for the year. Of course, these things are always subject to change.
Summer between Junior and Senior year. In the meantime, make up a list of everything you've done since starting high school - every award, every volunteer day, everything you participate in. We had one, and the people that wrote DS recommendations loved it - it reminded his teachers and references what he had done and allowed them to comment on those things they knew best. (For instance, his English teacher is also the faculty advisor for Quiz Bowl.) When we requested the recommendations he did it in person, but followed up with an email with the list attached. And that's all it was - a list, not a formal CV with details.

By the time the dust settled, he had filled out applications for two service academies, three ROTC programs, three nomination sources and four colleges. That's a lot of essays to write. Good luck!
Like most people have been saying, start it at the end of your junior year (when the apps open up). Try and have your finalized 9th-11th grade transcript as soon as they're made after junior year and try and take the SAT or ACT (or both) in the spring of your junior year so you can have your transcripts and SAT or ACT scores ready for submission. Also start training for the physical test for the service that you are applying for. Sometimes the training to get a good score (depending on your physical state) can take a few weeks or months. I had everything for my applications done by the time I entered my senior year with only the interview left and had everything completed for the first boards. The sooner you get it all in, the better chance you have. And another note, you can update your SAT/ACT scores on the Army and Air Force applications even after you have submitted them. Good luck!