The military is one of the largest sources of financial aid for current and potential college students. There is over 1 billion dollars available for college students that have an interest in the armed forces. For training and service the military has the largest source of aid for college students that are not based on need.
For the promise to serve as an officer in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps, a student can receive financial aid in the form of tuition assistance and monthly pay. The majority of people receiving these scholarships are incoming high school seniors planning on directly attending college. If the student is enrolled in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) the benefits consist primarily of tuition and an allowance of $100 to $150 per month. Colleges that have ROTC stations are located throughout the country. By participating in ROTC, students can become an officer as well as a student. ROTC programs are available for the Army, Air Force, Navy, and the Marines.
How can you participate in ROTC?
- A high school senior that is awarded a 4 year ROTC scholarship
- A current ROTC member who is awarded a 2 or 3 year ROTC scholarship
- A current non ROTC student who is awarded a 2 year ROTC scholarship
- A non scholarship student
The four-year tuition ROTC scholarship is the most common type for potential ROTC college students. Over 25,000 students apply for these types of scholarships. There are over 4,000 winners every year. Recipients of these scholarships may attend either a host college or an approved cross-enrollment school.
If you are the recipient of an Army ROTC scholarship you are required to serve eight years in the Active Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard. A combination of all three is also acceptable. For all other scholarships from other armed forces, four years active duty is required.
Before applying for a four year ROTC scholarship, you must first find out whether the college you are applying to accepts them. You must also make sure that you are accepted in your area of study within that college.
Things that increase your chances for an ROTC Scholarship
- Enroll in a curriculum that includes 4 years of English and math, 3 to 4 years of a foreign language, and 2 years of a science and history.
- Maintain a B-plus average and rank in the top 15 percent of your class
- Earn SAT scores over 600 in both the critical reading and math sections, or secure an ACT composite score of 28 or better
- Be a member of the National Honor Society
- Hold a student government office
- Participate in varsity athletics
- Be a positive source for your school and community
Being an ROTC student is more than just receiving money for college. There are various aspects of military life that you must participate in. ROTC prepares a student both physically and mentally for military service as well as life. It is important to remember that you are being trained to be an officer and will have various obligations and responsibilities in accordance with that upon graduation.
Getting an Air Force ROTC Scholarship
The Air Force ROTC Program has many scholarship opportunities available for graduating high school students and current college students. The Air Force ROTC Program can help you overcome the financial burden that often comes with achieving a college education. The Air Force ROTC Program scholarships can help cover Tuition and fees, Books, and extra spending money.
Applying for an Air Force ROTC Scholarship:
- Applications must be completed by December 1 of the current year
- Submit counselor certification/signed copy of transcript (must have a 3.0 GPA)
- Must have ACT composite of 24 or an 1100 SAT score.
- If declared eligible an interview with an Air Force officer at a local AFROTC Detachment is required
High School Scholarship Types:
Type 1: Pays full tuition, most fees related to the college or university, and $900 per year for books. Only 5% of applicants are awarded these scholarships.
Type 2: Pays college tuition and most fees up to $18,000 and $900 per year for books. Approximately 15% of applicants are awarded theses scholarships. If a student attends a college or university more than $18,000 they are responsible for paying the difference.
Type 3: Pays college tuition up to the equivalent of the in-state rate at a public state school. There is also an allotment of $900 per year for books.
All scholarship awardees receive a monthly allowance (stipend) during the academic year. The monthly breakdown is as follows:
- Freshmen $250
- Sophomore $300
- Juniors $350
- Seniors $400
All four scholarships begin in the fall of the student’s freshman year. All three year scholarships begin in the fall of the student’s sophomore year. All three year scholarship students must complete the AFROTC training before their sophomore year in order to be eligible for their scholarships sophomore year.
The Air Force pays for travel expenses from the student’s home to their Air Force ROTC unit. This is only for four year scholarship students. This reimbursement will arrive within 30 days.