Withdrawal from ROTC scholarship

tothelake73

New Member
My son is a sophomore in college. He is a three-year Army ROTC scholarship winner. He began taking ROTC classes first semester of his freshman year, however, this past fall semester was the first disbursement of his scholarship money. Now that he has been taking the classes and getting involved with the program for the last three/four semesters, he has decided (after lots of soul searching) that the program is just not for him. He really wants to withdraw from the program and the scholarship, but is (as we all are) concerned about the financial and contractual implications he will face. Has anyone been through this process? How painful is it? What should we expect to happen? How soon will he be required to pay back the two semesters of scholarship money that has been disbursed? Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance.
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
At a minimum he will be required to repay. Based on past threads on this forum I would think repayment would be required before he finished college. It's possible that he may be required to enlist but I don't think it would be very likely.
 

tothelake73

New Member
At a minimum he will be required to repay. Based on past threads on this forum I would think repayment would be required before he finished college. It's possible that he may be required to enlist but I don't think it would be very likely.
Repay and enlist, or one or the other?
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
One or the other. It's normally been repay the past few years but enlistment is also a possibility. I suspect if he doesn't want to serve it will be repay, but that's just my guess.
 

AROTC Parent

10-Year Member
My son is a sophomore in college. He is a three-year Army ROTC scholarship winner. He began taking ROTC classes first semester of his freshman year, however, this past fall semester was the first disbursement of his scholarship money. Now that he has been taking the classes and getting involved with the program for the last three/four semesters, he has decided (after lots of soul searching) that the program is just not for him. He really wants to withdraw from the program and the scholarship, but is (as we all are) concerned about the financial and contractual implications he will face. Has anyone been through this process? How painful is it? What should we expect to happen? How soon will he be required to pay back the two semesters of scholarship money that has been disbursed? Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance.
https://www.dfas.mil/debtandclaims/militarydebts/educationdebt.html

It's painful but doable. With proper documentation, repayment should not be required during full time enrollment in school. You would have to file for a deferment of payment. Generally repayment can be spread over 10 years.

Interest is also owed... It's based on some 90 day short term government interest rate indicated in Title 37 (303a) of the US Code. The ROTC contract spells some of this out.

It's hard, but if they know military service is not for them it's better to find out now than after commissioning. Their PMS or MS instructor is a good place to start for information. Good luck.
 

spice3389

5-Year Member
Please correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the student had until the end of sophomore year to decide to commit. If decided then, no money had to be paid back?
 

Pima

10-Year Member
No, it is the end of your freshmen year or at least before the 1st day of your sophomore year. The OP is in a unique situation where their scholarship did not kick in until their sophomore yr., hence, they will owe just this year in repayment.

Our DS's friend (AFROTC) went to SFT (summer training) as a 3 yr scholarship recipient. He returned home and decided the AF was not his cup of tea. He disenrolled before the start of school yr., but they hit him with the bill for their sophomore yr. On top of that they had alerted the bursar that the scholarship was no longer in play, thus the school hit him with the bill that needed to be paid within 10 days of the start of the school yr. It was a lot of scrambling for him because he waited so long to make the decision, in essence he had to find @45K (scholarship + fall ) within weeks.
~ He was given the option for repaying after graduation, but he had a good paying internship since his freshmen yr in college (computer geek $25/hr) and took a personal loan for the 18K scholarship debt instead of deferring until graduation with interest.

As far as the 10 yr payback, I would not bank on that. Gojira's DS was involuntarily dis-enrolled 6 weeks before commissioning (6lbs over weight), he was hit with a 143K bill from NROTC., no enlistment option. They were given a 4 yr repayment scale, fought and got a 10 yr., a yr later got hit with the 4 yr again, and had to fight again. Just saying that although there it may be offered, it might take negotiating to get the 10.
 

Jcleppe

5-Year Member
One thing to remember in regard to a ROTC Scholarship, they pay the rack rate in tuition with no discounts, so when you pay them back you pay at the highest rate. One thing you might look into is whether your son would have been able to pay a reduced rate if he had paid the tuition himself, if he could have you might want to see if the Army can take back what they have paid for this semester since it is early in the semester. There may be a chance that they have not yet made the payment for this semester. If your son can pay a lesser amount on his own it could save him some money, something to at least look at but you'll have to do it very soon.

Pima is correct, the 10 year payback is not automatic and it's up to the Military if they allow it. They should allow him to complete school before he starts to repay as long as he remains a full time student and continues straight through with no breaks, again this is not automatic and there will be a lot of paperwork to deal with. It may not be a bad idea to touch base with a lawyer that deals in this type of thing so you have someone in your corner with experience dealing with these types of paybacks.

Don't let your son sign anything until you have had a chance to review all document and have outside counsel review them if anything does not make sense. This will be a pain to go through, just make sure you dot all your I's and cross all your T's, the process can be confusing.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Ditto the lawyer consultation, if things get fuzzy or drag out with no clear cut deal.

There are many former JAGs who specialize in Service Academy and ROTC cadet/midshipman voluntary and involuntary separations and disenrollments, and payback deals and negotiations.

Google this string:
“ROTC disenrollment lawyers military law”

The amount and length of payback can usually be negotiated, but it takes having someone who knows the system and who to deal with.
 
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