Army ROTC Scholarship Myths
Navigating college scholarships can be confusing, and Army ROTC scholarships are no exception. The Army ROTC is one of the nation’s biggest scholarship grantors, providing roughly $376 million in scholarships to more than 15,000 each year. Here are three myths to watch for when beginning the process of applying for the Army ROTC, according to Deborah Ziff Soriano at U.S. News & World Report.
Myth 1: College is automatically paid for.
Although the Army ROTC gives generous scholarships, not every cadet receives one, and most cover only a portion of tuition. At a national level, ROTC scholarships are granted to high school students in their senior year who know they want to join ROTC in college. Only about 2,000 of these scholarships are available, so they are highly competitive. Most of these recipients are in the top 25 percent of their class, belong to an honor society, and participate in organizations and sports at their high school. Other scholarships are available to cadets already in ROTC at their university. Students seeking these scholarships compete at the campus level, so they are typically, though not always, less competitive than national scholarships. These scholarships are especially helpful for students who decided to join ROTC after they finish high school.
Myth 2: Joining ROTC means you’re enlisting.
Students without scholarships from ROTC have a two-year trial period with Army ROTC before they make commitments to the Army. This means that freshman and sophomore students in ROTC are not required to commit to enlist in the Army after graduation. This changes, however, if students accept an Army ROTC scholarship. In that case, the cadet signs a contract to serve in the military after graduating, typically for 8 years, with 4 to 6 years of the service in the active component.
Myth 3: You could be deployed.
An ROTC cadet in college is considered nondeployable, even if the U.S. goes to war. A student in ROTC is still a student, and cannot be commissioned until he or she graduates and gets commissioned.