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How competitive is an ROTC scholarship?

HixonsHixons 8 replies5 threads New Member
Hello,
I was recently accepted to Cornell University ED. It has always been a goal of mine to join the military after college, West Point being my second option, however, I am a bit curious on how hard it is to receive a national ROTC scholarship. My interview with the PMS is coming up and they make it sound extremely competitive, however, I do know people who were awarded ROTC scholarships with scores around the minimum requirement (19-24 ACT). Is being awarded an ROTC scholarship just as hard as getting into Cornell? Thanks!

23 replies
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Replies to: How competitive is an ROTC scholarship?

  • HixonsHixons 8 replies5 threads New Member
    Did any of your sons or daughters compete for any type of ROTC scholarship, and how competitive was the process?
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  • smakl70smakl70 280 replies2 threads Junior Member
    It is EXTREMELY competitive. Academics are only part of the criteria that are considered. Your interview will be very important - you need to make a good impression. My son was not awarded a national scholarship but the local battalions usually have scholarships of their own and he was awarded one of those. Note that doing ROTC with difficult majors can be brutal.
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 33527 replies4183 threads Super Moderator
    Agree that it's extremely competitive. But having been accepted to Cornell you should be in the running.
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  • wchatar2wchatar2 153 replies0 threads Junior Member
    It is extremely competitive, but I agree, if you are in Cornell, it should be easy. A couple of caveats though, the military may figure that since you are already committed to a school, it would be cheaper for them if you did OCS. Also, it may depend on which college you are in, one of the private or state schools. Lastly, I suspect it will depend on which branch of the service you choose and your intended major.
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  • LonghaulLonghaul 2616 replies137 threads Senior Member
    Extremely competitive. I assume since you are interested in West Point, you are focusing on Army ROTC. Each branch is very different.

    There is a great book, the Insider's Guide to Army ROTC Scholarships by Robert Kirkland. It is the BEST resource IMHO. Very concise. Explains the point breakdown for the whole person score. There are 3 rounds of scholarship review "boards." If your interview is coming up, then you already missed the first board.

    There is also a ServiceAcademies forum that has an ROTC section with some very experienced parents.
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  • dadoftwingirlsdadoftwingirls 740 replies15 threads Member
    The 4 year scholarship is very difficult. Easier to get the 3 year or even the 2 year scholarship.

    If your plan is to become an officer, you don't need the scholarship.
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  • HixonsHixons 8 replies5 threads New Member
    Alright thanks so much. The interview today went great. I am hoping I will be awarded at least a 3 year scholarship, boosted by my 4 years in Army JROTC. Thanks for the responses.
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  • cobratcobrat 12207 replies78 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2016
    If your plan is to become an officer, you don't need the scholarship.

    How do you figure that? Some college students....including possibly the OP could use the ROTC scholarship to defray most/all college costs. Not every student has the financial security/means to say "I don't need the scholarship" even if they plan on becoming career military officers*.


    * Something which isn't guaranteed due to the "up or out" promotion system for officers in which if one fails to be promoted after 2 promotion board cycles, with few exceptions you are effectively forced out. Also, officers could have their careers cut short due to reductions in force for budgetary considerations....this happened to a Naval aviator cousin(NROTC graduate & scholarship recipient) along with many officers in the '90s due to the end of the Cold War.
    edited December 2016
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  • wchatar2wchatar2 153 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I think that what was meant is that you can enroll in ROTC without receiving a scholarship.
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  • bookreaderbookreader 1968 replies53 threads Senior Member
    ROTC scholarships are very competitive. I'm curious if you also applies to West Point along with Cornell. And if WP is your goal, why apply to Cornell ED?
    Good luck with the scholarship.Even if you don't get it, you need to be enrolled in ROTC if your goal is to become an officer. So, plan to work it into your schedule.
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  • HixonsHixons 8 replies5 threads New Member
    West point was just another of my top choices. I was deciding between West point and Cornell, however, after attending West point's SLE program last summer I decided it wasn't the best fit for me. I still want to be an officer after college though, I just want a normal college experience. I've attended an all-boys military high school for 4 years, so I thought if I wasn't going to get a normal High School experience at least I could get a normal College experience.
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  • cobratcobrat 12207 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Awesome!!! Congratulations and hope you have a great 4 years at Cornell and ROTC!

    Just out of curiosity, what branches are you hoping to join when you commission even though it's all due to OML and needs of the military service?
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  • jonrijonri 7356 replies135 threads Senior Member
    Congratulations!!!
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  • techmom99techmom99 3496 replies6 threads Senior Member
    Congratulations.

    ROTC scholarships are very competitive. My middle sons had two friends who were applying. Both are Eagle Scouts. One is simply brilliant, particularly in STEM issues, while the other is a bright kid, but not brilliant. The second boy earned the ROTC scholarship. The first one turned out to have a previously undetected mild color blindness that put him out of contention. Prior to his learning that, he was a shoo in, according to the people who dealt with him.
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  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom 5556 replies265 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2017
    The first one turned out to have a previously undetected mild color blindness that put him out of contention.

    Interesting that color-blindness is a show-stopper for an ROTC scholarship but not for admittance to West Point. Air Force maybe?

    Congrats @Hixons!
    edited February 2017
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  • cobratcobrat 12207 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Interesting that color-blindness is a show-stopper for an ROTC scholarship but not for admittance to West Point. Air Force maybe?

    Color-blindness can also be a show-stopper for some MOSes within the military branches....such as Aviation or working as an electronics technician* or I would think EOD*.

    * Being able to differentiate color-coded wires in electronic/explosive devices is critical in those fields.
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  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom 5556 replies265 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2017
    Degree of color-blindness would definitely affect some very specific job choices once in the military. I was just surprised that is a non-waiverable DQ for an ROTC scholarship when I know for certain it is not a show-stopper for admittance to the naval and military academies.
    edited February 2017
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  • techmom99techmom99 3496 replies6 threads Senior Member
    @ChoatieMom -

    The young man in question was applying to the Air Force ROTC; actually, both of the boys I mentioned were. He wasn't interested in any other branches. Apparently, from what his mom told me, whatever the test result was, it was completely disqualifying. Since the young man in question is adopted, the parents had no clue that such a finding was even an issue.

    As for color blindness in general, my oldest 2 sons are both color blind. I had to pay for an extra eye test for the oldest one before he was allowed to proceed to the next level in the court officer hiring process. He passed but opted to work for USPS instead.
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  • cobratcobrat 12207 replies78 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2017
    I was just surprised that is a non-waiverable DQ for an ROTC scholarship when I know for certain it is not a show-stopper for admittance to the naval and military academies.

    This might be more of a product of ROTC programs raising their admission standards for prospective ROTC students in the wake of the current military drawdowns much like the raising of enlisting standards in the news for the same reasons.

    It's no different than what happened in the '90s as a result of the end of the Cold War and the massive RIF and the massive raising of recruitment standards or what tended to happen after wars/conflicts have ended.

    Some older veterans I've known would be inclined to cite the old cynical accusation about the military branches prioritizing/"protecting" FSA cadets/graduates over graduates of other commissioning sources even though studies from the last few decades have found otherwise.
    edited February 2017
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