One of the best ways to pay for college and become a commissioned officer in the United States Army is to travel the Army ROTC route. ROTC stands for Reserve Officer Training Corps. ROTC became a reality by the National Defense Act of 1916. The first Lieutenants commissioned into the Army were in 1920.
Cadets can enter 2 years of ROTC and not have to obligate to military service. But, the ROTC does offer scholarships to pay for college with stipulations of Army service with them.
In today’s post, we will look at the types of Army ROTC Scholarships and what you should know about them.
High School ROTC Scholarships
Every year, a plethora of students compete for “full ride” ROTC scholarships to participating Universities and Colleges. These scholarships pay for full tuition and any mandatory fees. These are available for both resident and non-resident students. Along with that, students receive a book allowance of $600 each semester and a monthly cost of living stipend of between $300 and $500. If a student so chooses, they can elect to receive $5,000 per semester instead of the tuition and fees. The 2 types of High School ROTC scholarships are a 4 year and a 3 year. 3 year scholarship winners must participate in ROTC their freshman year and the scholarship will go into effect in their sophomore year.
The requirements to receive a High School ROTC Scholarship are:
Be a United States citizen
Satisfactory explanations of any arrests or convictions
Must be 17 by the October of the semester you are enrolling in college
Have a minimum High School GPA of 2.5
Cannot reach the age of 31 on the year you graduate college
Pass a medical examination by the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board
These scholarships do carry military obligations which I will explain further on in this article. If you are interested in applying for one of these ROTC High School Scholarships, in your Junior year of High School, you can apply here.
Campus Based ROTC Scholarships
For those individuals who did not apply for a ROTC Scholarship while in High School, there are 2-4 year Scholarships available for students already enrolled in College. All the benefits are the same as the High School ROTC Scholarships. The requirements are the same, with one added requirement. The individual must have an SAT score of at least 920 and 19 on the ACT. Applications for these scholarships can be made at the ROTC office at the College or University you are attending.
Green To Gold Scholarships
This ROTC Scholarship is for enlisted service members. Enlisted soldiers on active duty and are accepted to a participating college or university can compete for a Green To Gold Scholarship. There are a variety of G to G Scholarship possibilities according to the time the soldier needs to finish their degree. During this time, they will also participate in ROTC and will earn a commission as an Officer upon graduation.
The requirements are more strict to receive the Green To Gold Scholarship. They consist of:
Be a United States Citizen
Have no more than 3 dependents
Be under 31 years of age at College graduation
Eligibility to reenlist
No domestic violence convictions
DOD or MEPS Medically qualified
Have a minimum of 2 years active duty (this can be waived)
Pass a National Agency Check
110 or higher GT score
Letter of acceptance from the Professor of Military Science of the Army ROTC Battalion
Pass the APFT with a score of 180 or higher
Letter of acceptance from the school with a participating ROTC
Be a High School graduate
GPA not below 2.5
These are the primary Army active duty ROTC Scholarships. The obligation for Army service consists of:
Between your junior and senior year, you must attend a 4 week Cadet Leader Course
Accept an active duty Commission and serve for 8 years after degree completion. This consists of serving 4 years of active duty followed by 4 years of Inactive Ready Reserve, or serve 8 years in the National Guard or Army Reserve with 3-6 months of active duty for initial training. The terms start when you arrive at the Basic Officer Leadership Course
2 Other Scholarships
For those who want to receive a Commission in the Army, but still want to live in the civilian atmosphere with the chance of being called up for any emergencies or wars, there are 2 other scholarships. Both of these carry essentially the same requirements, but are both either Army National Guard or Army Reserve based.
Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty Scholarships
These scholarships will pay up to 3 years of tuition and fees. Book allowances are also given, and since these Cadets will be serving in the Army Reserves or National Guard while attending, they will also receive weekend drill and annual training pay.
Dedicated Army National Guard Scholarships
These scholarships are just like the Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty Scholarships, but the Cadet will agree to serve in their State’s National Guard force. Upon graduation, the Cadet will be Commissioned and will have to serve 3-6 months in Initial Training before returning to their home National Guard unit.
There you have it. These are the primary ROTC Scholarships available so individuals can get their college completely paid for. I hear of so many people who have taken out student loans and are paying for college for years after they graduate. By following the ROTC path, the only obligation you have is to serve our great country in the United States Army, and by doing so, you will be paid well.
No, serving in the United States Army is not easy, but with a college education and a Commission as an Officer in the Army, you can retire early in life with a great pension and the ability to work in a high level civilian job that can also pay well. It just makes good sense for High School and College students to consider this opportunity.
I want to tell you that I am not a recruiter, nor am I writing this for any recruiters. I just want to point out a great opportunity that every student should consider.
What are your views? Do you have any questions? You can post comments and questions below and I will do my best to provide an answer.