ROTC scholarship is a college scholarship offer open to college students who are committed to serve in the military.
Students who are interested in pursuing a career in the military or searching for a well-structured career path after college, may consider and pursue ROTC scholarship.
This post contains all you need to know about ROTC scholarship.
What is the Meaning of ROTC?
ROTC scholarship is an acronym for Reserved Officers’ Training Corps Scholarship (ROTC scholarship). ROTC scholarship covers a majority of your college expenses in return for your participation in military training while in college and service after college graduation.
In other words, The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is an officer training program for college students who commit to serve in the U.S. military after college. There are over 1,700 colleges (civilian, military, and junior military colleges) that host and participate in the ROTC scholarship program. The Army, Navy and Air Force each has its own ROTC scholarship. The Marine Corps does not have its own ROTC scholarship. However, there is a Marine option of the Navy ROTC. You can find information about ROTC scholarship programs (including host schools, tuition assistance, eligibility requirements, post-graduation benefits and more) on their websites.
Remember that ROTC scholarships are among several forms of aid offered by the military. Another form of aid is offered by the Coast Guard through the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI). If accepted into the ROTC scholarship program, you will be enlisted in the Coast Guard, complete basic training during the summer, and receive full funding for up to two years of college.
How Can ROTC Scholarship Help Pay For College?
High school students who apply for an ROTC program are eligible for the ROTC scholarship. The ROTC scholarship takes care of the full cost of tuition fees and textbooks for four years. Also covered in the ROTC scholarship is the benefit of a monthly stipend for personal expenses. Students who have financial need beyond what is covered by an ROTC scholarship may seek supplemental aid from the federal government or other sources.
When you accept an ROTC scholarship, you are legally bound to serve in the military for a certain number of years. If you fail to fulfil the academic or military service requirements of an ROTC scholarship, you could face dis-enrolment. In addition to dis-enrolment from the ROTC scholarship program, you will also be held to execute additional active duty. Ultimately, you will be requested to repay the money or ROTC financial assistance given.
What are the Eligibility Requirements for ROTC Scholarship?
The eligibility requirements for applying for an ROTC scholarship are as follows;
In addition to the usual courses you will take in college, you are expected to take ROTC courses too. In other words, candidates applying for an ROTC program, but take ROTC courses.
The usual ROTC courses are the history of the US military, structure and function of the military branches and bases. Branches of the military may also offer branch specific courses.
Candidates for the ROTC program must also receive military training during their academic session in college. These trainings include theories, field operations and tactics, health and physical fitness exercises.
This is one of the most effective way of instilling military life and service in the student during their college experience.
It is advised that student who do not desire to be exposed a lot to military training may participate in an ROTC program instead of attending a military college.
ROTC Summer Programs.
As part of their professional and leadership development training, ROTC cadets must participate in summer training at various locations each year.
Specific Qualification Requirements For the Various ROTC Programs
- Students in Army ROTC attend Basic Camp in Fort Knox, KY, which covers classroom and field training in an accelerated time frame of four weeks. The camp qualifies freshmen and sophomores for enrollment directly into the Advanced Course, which consists of elective courses taken in the last two years of college, and a five-week advanced summer program also conducted at Fort Knox. The Advanced Course also requires a commitment to serve as an officer in the Army after graduation.
- As part of the Air Force ROTC program requirements, cadets must complete an Air Force ROTC General Military Course their freshmen and sophomore years, a Professional Officer Course their junior and senior years, and a 13-day summer field training between their sophomore and junior years at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
- Navy ROTC midshipmen are required to participate in various training programs during the summer. This also include the NROTC Indoctrination Program and the CONTRAMID.
The NROTC indoctrination program is the basic militarization and training required for all midshipmen the summer before freshman year. On the other hand, CONTRAMID is surface, submarine, aviation, and Marine Corps Orientation training for NAVY ROTC second and third class scholarship midshipmen.
ROTC SERVICE COMMITMENT AFTER GRADUATION.
Each branch of the military that offers an ROTC scholarship has its own specific ROTC service commitments and requirements. These service commitments and requirements are:
- The Army ROTC scholarship requires eight years of active service after graduation – four years of active duty and four years in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard.
- The Navy ROTC scholarship requires five years of active duty service after graduation, while the Marine Corps and Navy Nurse Corps scholarship require four years of active duty service.
- While the Air Force ROTC scholarship requires four years of active duty service for those entering non-flight career fields, six years for those entering the air battle management/combat systems officer/navigator career field and 10 years for those entering the pilot career field.
ROTC SCHOLARSHIP QUALIFICATIONS.
ROTC scholarship application requirements vary somewhat among the branches that offer the scholarship but the following eligibility criteria must at a minimum be satisfied in all cases:
- Candidate must be a U.S. citizen
- Must be at least 17 years of age
- Intending participants must have at least a 2.5 GPA (3.0 for Air Force ROTC)
- Must meet minimum SAT and/or ACT requirements
- Candidates must have a high school diploma
- Must meet prescribed physical fitness standards
ROTC SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION PROCESS.
If you are interested in an ROTC scholarship, you should visit your local military recruitment office or go to the website of the service branch you are interested in. Visit as early as possible, preferably during your junior year of high school, or early in your senior year. Scholarships often go to students majoring in subjects that are highly valued by the military, such as engineering, computer science, specific foreign languages, or nursing.
Army ROTC applications for high school students can be found online here through the Army’s website, while applications for current college students are to be submitted to their college’s Department of Military Science. Air Force and Navy ROTC applications for high school students can be found online through each service’s website. Students interested in a Marine Corps ROTC scholarship must apply through the Navy ROTC.
For students currently enrolled in college, the Army and Navy ROTC both offer two- and three-year scholarships. The Air Force offers the In-College Scholarship Program (ICSP), which awards scholarships based on merit during two selection periods in the fall and spring.
JROTC FOR EARLY INTEREST.
High school students interested in the ROTC program may explore the junior ROTC (JROTC) for early experience in military training. Through drills, competitions, and a curriculum focused on military sciences, the JROTC aims to instill the mindset and discipline needed to prepare young adults for the relatively rigorous ROTC programs, with a focus on leadership skills development.
The ROTC Scholarship Helps You Become All That You Can Be.
The good news is that ROTC scholarship graduates will enter military service as officers with various ranks and responsibilities. These responsibilities include safeguarding other soldiers, executing missions critical to national security, and managing millions of dollars in equipment.
To Successfully execute these responsibilities after your ROTC program, you must have garnered a large amount of academic aptitude, physical fitness, leadership and management skills, political acumen, courage, and patriotism.
Therefore, if you are interested in becoming an officer in the U.S. military, the ROTC is more than a way to pay for college. As someone once said, “the ROTC scholarship program is a gateway to a wide range of careers, experiences, and connections”.