The ROTC application season for freshman entering college in the fall of 2016 started on 1 June. Applicants for a 4-year scholarship have until 1 December, 2015 to complete all forms if they wish to be considered for a scholarship. SAT and/or ACT scores, along with your High School transcript, are due by 16 January, 2016.
The process is the same for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. As with anything that has to do with the government, the bureaucratic paperwork and procedures can get tiring. It is not too onerous though, at least compared to government agency work applications!
The first thing you have to do is check to make sure you are eligible. The eligibility requirements sound simple enough:
- US citizen between the ages of 17 and 26
- A High School GPA of at least 2.5 (Army) or better
- Meet the physical standards (pass a medical and a PT test)
- Accept a commission and agree to serve on active duty or in a reserve or national guard unit
The SAT/ACT requirements vary among the services. The Army’s has the lowest combined score requirement of a 920 Math/Verbal score combined, or ACT score of 19 or better. The Air Force requires a combined SAT score of 1180 or ACT score of 26. The Navy wants an SAT combined score of 1050 or a 21 Math and 22 English on the ACT. The writing component of the SAT and ACTs are not required by any of the Services.
Competition is fierce. In my day, if you passed High School and got an average SAT score, you had a good chance of getting a scholarship. Today, there are established minimums and your competition is drawn from a much wider and more accomplished set of High School seniors.
Practically speaking, if you only meet the minimum SAT requirements, your chances of a scholarship are slim to none. You will have to do much better. For example, last year the average SAT score for the Air Force scholarship grantees was 1305 for the lowest tier or Type 7 scholarship. The most popular, Type 2, scholarship average SAT was 1362.
I am not trying to discourage anyone with lower scores from applying. The entire application is reviewed and decisions made based on every component. Remember too, these are averages. Some scores of scholarship receipients were lower. High School GPA has a similar trend above minimum standards. Using the Air Force again as an example, last year the average GPA of scholarship recipients was 3.83, or almost a full point above the Air Force minimum of 3.0.
The military too, just like colleges, expects a reasonable High School curriculum record also. Given the competition, a robust course load is the only way that you can ensure you have a chance of being favorably considered.
Each year too, of course, is a little different. The average SAT scores and GPAs could be slightly higher or lower. Academics too are not everything. Extra-Curricular Activities are carefully considered. Sporting accomplishments, outstanding community service achievements or something else can offset a below average academic record.
A good place to get current information about academics and other matters related to ROTC scholarships is by joining one of the ROTC scholarship forums on the web. Applicants and their parents who are going through or have gone through the process can give you a clearer idea of what the process is like and what you can expect.
Next Week, ROTC Scholarship Application Process, Part II: Medical Requirements
Disclaimer: The content of this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical
As Vice President of a Security Fusion Center, Bill has provided risk management advice and direction to major Fortune 100 defense industry, ultra high net worth and other clients.
As Global Director for Security, Alem International, Bill planned and directed all facets of the security and risk mitigation strategies for the 2004 Olympic Torch Relay that took place in over 34 countries.
Bill was commissioned as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer in the US Army immediately after college.
Mr. Gaskill has a Bachelor of Science degree in Ancient History with a math minor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.He has a current Top Secret/SCI clearance.He has professional fluency ratings in Spanish, Greek, Hebrew and French, and has a working knowledge of Russian.