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ROTC Scholarship on top of a D1 Athletic Scholarship

6chickadees6chickadees Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
I hope that someone can give me good information (help!!). My daughter has a full-ride at a small D1 college to play volleyball. We pay fees ($500) and some books each semester (the athletic dept often has books she can "borrow"). That's it. Tuition, room & board is covered. She is truly blessed (we are, too!).

She now has a desire to join the Army ROTC (she is currently a college sophomore). She would like to be in Foreign Affairs and believes that starting a career in Military Intelligence will help her achieve that. She has been participating in all of the college's ROTC programs and just applied for the Army ROTC scholarship. She is #1 on their scholarship list (she has a 4.0 and did very well on PT testing).

So... somehow someone has told her if she gets the Army ROTC scholarship that she can just "pocket" the money since she does not need it for school. Say what???? That cannot be right?!?! She plans to keep her volleyball scholarship and add the ROTC on top of it (if she gets it).

Can someone please give me some facts about ROTC scholarships? I cannot imagine they let students pocket the money. At most, they will pay the fees ($500/semester) and whatever she needs covers in books (usually about $150). I think she would be better off keeping her options open for the next 2 years and if she is still interested in the Army when she graduates, she should go to OCS.

Thanks for the help!!!!

Replies to: ROTC Scholarship on top of a D1 Athletic Scholarship

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,546 Senior Member
    Even if the ROTC would let her keep the scholarship (I doubt it), the NCAA would not. She cannot get more than the COA in scholarships and still keep her athletic scholarship. She might get to keep money up to the COA (travel costs, incidentals, books, fees, maybe insurance) but that would be the max.

    She has to report all outside scholarships to her school, and they will decide what she can keep and what she has to give up. Since volleyball is a headcount sport, the coach can't split her scholarship so might very well ask her to take the ROTC one and give her volleyball one to another athlete. Or the school/athletic dept might be overjoyed to have to pay less on the volleyball scholarship and only have to fund part of it. Either way, she's not getting to pocket the ROTC one.

    Did the 'somebody' mean she could save that ROTC scholarship for grad school?
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,901 Super Moderator
    Would the room and board from her athletic scholarship and the incidental monies from the ROTC scholarship be taxable income to the student?
  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom Registered User Posts: 1,387 Senior Member
    Yes the portion of scholarships that cover anything other than "qualifying expenses" which would include tuition, books, and course fees, would be taxable income.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,901 Super Moderator
    I knew that was the case for academic/outside scholarships. I did not know if athletic /rotc scholarships were treated the same way.

    Thx. Good to know
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,546 Senior Member
    The IRS doesn't discriminate - it taxes whatever it can from whatever source! Even a Pell grant or SEOG is taxable if it is used for anything other than QEE. The only benefit that might not be taxable is the G.I. Bill since some of it if specifically for living expenses, but I'm not sure about that. It might not be considered a scholarship at all and therefore not taxable.

    In the OP's case, it is likely the financial aid office would accept the ROTC money (outside money) and reduce the athletic money until the maximum amount is reached. Athletic money can only be used for tuition, fees, books, R&B. It cannot be used for travel, insurance, spending money. The school likes outside money because it means it can keep more of its own. Volley scholarships for women in D1 can't be split so the school either gives the entire amount to another student or gets to reduce the amount to this student and bank the savings.

    It will really be a wash for the student, and won't matter if her full scholarship is paid by the athletic dept or the ROTC (except that she'll be required to serve as a condition of the ROTC scholarship). My daughter got additional money this year from her state scholarships and it just reduced her athletic scholarship. No difference in money back to her but the coach saved a little money. If the school allowed it (it doesn't) my daughter could have received up to the COA but no more than that by NCAA rules. At least that's how I understand it.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,546 Senior Member
    I'll add that the person who advised OP that her daughter could keep the extra money might not have known that the OP's daughter had a full ride scholarship. The NCAA will not allow the student to exceed the COA, but most athletic scholarships are not full ride, so the athlete is trying to get several types of scholarships to stack.

    And the OP should check and see if the ROTC is somehow designed as something other than a scholarship. I don't think it is, but if it is considered a salary it might be okay to accept in addition to the athletic one. Check with the FA or athletic aid department. We have a person in FA who handles all the athletes' FA and she shuffles through all of them like a deck of cards. She is very helpful in applying them in the order most advantageous to my daughter.
  • Sportsman88Sportsman88 Registered User Posts: 1,579 Senior Member
    I think there may be a portion that is a stipend.

    Will her contract state intel? When are cadets assigned a branch? Important questions.

    Is OCS an option for intel? Also important. Worth asking that question for Marine and Navy OCS as well.

    One tour as a junior officer does offer amazing leadership development.
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