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Is West Point Free?

Fuzzylogic2525Fuzzylogic2525 Registered User Posts: 321 Member
Do they pay for your education? Also the application asked if I wanted to apply for Army ROTC? I'm confused... So if I do ROTC, I'm in the reserve? doesn't that contradict the point of going to a service academy?
Post edited by Fuzzylogic2525 on

Replies to: Is West Point Free?

  • JustAMomOf4JustAMomOf4 Registered User Posts: 4,563 Senior Member
    Cadets at West Point do not pay tuition, room or board. They are considered active duty Army with the rank of Cadet and assigned to study at the United States Military Academy. Unless the law changes they are not deployable and they get paid. Before you get too excited, they also pay for all their issued items: uniforms and gear and this takes a big chunk out of the pay.

    College students contract with the Army through ROTC. You are not in the reserve and you are not deployable. Army ROTC scholarships pay tuition for your college education and you also receive a monthly stipend and money for books.

    Army ROTC is a separate officer training program than West Point. Many candidates who apply to West Point also apply for a Army ROTC scholarship as a back up.
  • GMRobertsonGMRobertson Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    The saying is that WP is free, with the scholarship money given to the cadet incrementally over 4 years, shoved to where the sun doesnt shine one nickel at a time.

    If the "free" aspects are what attracts you to WP you likely wont cut it.

    In terms of work load and effort and then later standing in harms way serving your country, WP can be considered the most expensive college in the USA.
  • FWDADFWDAD Registered User Posts: 176 Junior Member
    Just a couple of points to follow up the previous writers' thoughts. While West Point may appear to be "free," subject to the exceptions above, incoming cadets are required to put up a deposit of approximately $1,500.00 before reporting on R Day. In addition, graduates have a commitment to serve in the Army after graduation. As far as pay goes, what a cadet actually "nets" each month varies by year. A plebe receives the smallest amount per month and a firstie receives the most, I think about $500.00 per month. Maybe some active cadets will pipe in and tell you exactly what they "net" each month...
  • mom3boysmom3boys Registered User Posts: 771 Member
    The amount to pay prior to Rday for class of 2012 was $2900. A plebe clears $175 a month. I have not heard if the amount has been reduced for upcoming classes. If a cadet has a financial issue that precludes paying the amount, they let the academy know. Then, their cadet pay is docked further and they receive less than the $175. The other academies stopped having the up front payment and so their cadets receive less (at least, that is my understanding of the process). BTW, some cadets who received scholarships without restrictions used the cash to pay the $2900.
  • AmericanSoldierAmericanSoldier Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    Plebes receive $175 a month as allowance from their total pay. The rest goes into their cadet account managed by the USMA treasurer to be used for meals, haircuts, uniforms, books, field gear, and other miscellaneous charges. Meals, haircuts, laundry, newspaper, computer tech support, optional life insurance, and the like are a monthly charge while others are on a per-use basis.

    Yearlings receive $250 allowance monthly, and for cows i believe it is in the neighborhood of $400, while firsties get about $500 to $550. As for being docked pay if a cadet can't put up the $2900, I don't think it comes out of their allowance, but instead out of their cadet account. Can't say for sure though. Also, something to note is that the Academy advances each cadet $5500 when they enter the Academy to help offset the cost of all the uniforms, gear, and textbooks, as the charges add up to more than the $2900 and monthly pay can take care of at first. This advance is payed back automatically each month by the treasurer.
  • hooyahmicahhooyahmicah Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    Mom3boys is correct as usual.

    In my situation, I was only able to pay $1000 of the $2900 due. I contacted the treasurer ahead of time; they told me to send what I could and they'd deduct the rest.

    Instead of $175/month, I am receiving $133/month.

    For the next four years, I will have $42 deducted per month (unlike most pay scales here, that $42 should remain consistent through my career here). Even if I fall into $1900 and want to pay off my debt, I've been told that I cannot do that; the deductions will be taken every month for my entire time here.

    By my calculations, I'll have ended up paying $2974 at the end of my four years. Chalk it up to interest, I guess.

    EDIT: I talked to some of my USNA friends last week; they're only making $100/month.
  • GMRobertsonGMRobertson Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    Again - more seriously put.

    It is very easy to state that the tuition charged by the USA to graduates of USMA is the most expensive of any college. Same as the "scholarship" offered via ROTC. Same for USNA and to some degree Airforce. Ask a returning vet if he earned his GI Bill for his college or whether he was pleased that he got that "freebie". Only a fool would go to USMA because the tuitionis "free", or in similar vein accept an ROTC scholarship with the same logic.
This discussion has been closed.