What is ROTC?
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ROTC programs were designed to augment the service academies in producing leaders and managers for the armed forces. Each branch of the service has a specific set of courses and training that officers must complete prior to joining. ROTC programs allow students to do this while completing their college education. Upon graduation members are commissioned (certified) by the President of the United States to serve as a leader in active, reserve or guard compenents of each branch.
Each branch of the service offers ROTC scholarships to eligible students. Eligibility criteria is listed by branch below. The table below lists the the different scholarship levels.
Note: ROTC Scholarships DO NOT pay for your room and board. Check with the campus you want to attend to see if the campus will pay for room and board. Some do.
Scholarship Type Pays Stipend When Do I Apply
4 Year National Full Tuition Books, Fees $200 Junior/Senior year of High School
2 or 3 Year Scholarships Full Tuition Books, Fees $200 Freshman/Sophmore year of College
College Program N/A $200 Freshman/Sophmore year of College
Unit Scholarships* Full Tuition Books, Fees $200 Freshman/Sophmore year of College
*Each commanding officer of an ROTC can select one student a year for a merit scholarship. You normally have to spend at least one semester on campus.
Top four frequently asked questions about ROTC
1) Am I obligated to the service if I join ROTC without a scholarship?
2) Am I obligated to the service if I receive an ROTC scholarship?
Yes and No.
The NO part: You are not obligated until the first semester of your sophomore year if you have a 4 year scholarship. This is commonly referred to as the freshman trial period.
For two and three year scholarship winners, your obligation will occur upon completion of your services respective summer training.
College Program students have an obligation that normally begins after their junior year.
3) Can ROTC students be called to war while in college?
Are you kidding? No. A bunch of untrained college kids in charge of a unit is not the goal of the Armed Forces. Only trained personnel are sent to combat. You can think of ROTC and your college education as a prolonged training period.
4) What happens if I flunk out?
Depending upon when you flunk out and your branch will determine your obligation to the government. If you flunk out before your freshman trial period, then you owe the government nothing. If you flunk out after your obligation period, then it is up to your branch to decide your fate. There are only three outcomes:
* You enlist in the service
* You pay back the money
* You get a second chance