Year group 2017 application window opening

According to the Army ROTC scholarship website the window to apply for a scholarship for students starting fall of 2013 is 1 February. All you high school juniors that have been chomping at the bit to start the process…get ready.

Now that I’ve got you spun up, a word of caution. We all think that early is better. Being at the head of the line has an advantage. First is best. Might want to think twice on this one. Although it can’t hurt to get the ball rolling the first board will probably not meet until October. Basically, the way the process works is that when each board meets the files that are complete (have submitted SAT/ACT scores, transcripts, PFT test score, and interview) are scored by a panel of Officers. Among the things evaluated are grades, test scores, extracurricular activities. If you submit your application in February of your Junior year to make your application current and competative you will need to update it. You will need to send in a list of your extra curriculars for the fall of your senior year. Hopefully you will be taking your SAT/ACTs sometime in the spring and will have scores to add to your application.  You will have activities and achievements to add in the early fall.  You need to understand that there are a limited number of scholarship processors and that if you want to change your applications you may be at the mercy of one of those processors.  Additionally, your list of schools may change.  Over the Summer or early in the fall you will hopefully visit some campuses, and your list of schools may change.  Again, those changes don’t always happen smoothly.  
So, my advice is take a look at the application…make sure you provide reliable contact information you check regularly…start gathering the materials…and start researching and visiting the schools and ROTC Battalions you are interested in.

Good luck



The second round offer letters are starting to be received and I’m getting a ton of questions about options.  Many of the applicants have received offers to schools they didn’t apply to, or didn’t get accepted to, or don’t want to attend.  Many  changes occur between the time an applicant fills out the online application in the spring of their junior year, and the time they get boarded and receive their offer.

Here is what the offer letter says:

This scholarship offer is only good at ONE of the colleges or universities listed above.  This scholarship is conditional based upon your acceptance into the college/university you choose. You must accept the scholarship NLT XX/XX/2012 and identify the college of university you plan to attend.  We will confirm your attendance in May 2012.  if at that time you need to change the school you choose to attend, we will take that change request into consideration.  Read the enclosed instructions carefully and retain them for reference.

So, what should you do if you didn’t get the offer you wanted.  First question I would ask myself is:

“Do I really want to be an Army Officer”?

If the answer is yes, you should accept the offer, and then try to work some magic.

I’ve paraphrased what our Brigade has told me.

First the scholarship winner accepts an offer to a school listed; and is prepared to attend. The scholarship winner  can correspond directly to Cadet Command requesting to change/move/transfer to another school.  They should send in a letter of acceptance to the school they wish to transfer too, and should not expect the transfer to a school that is higher cost, or one that may not have any allocations left.

Cadet Command will email the request to Brigade.  Brigades are the arbitrators now.  For those of you unfamiliar with military organization the Battalions/ROTC programs fall under one of 8 Brigades.  The Brigade will use cost and school allocations as the determining factors of whether to honor the request or not.  If you can get the school you’d like to attend to advocate for you that will be helpful.  Having a PMS or ROO on your side will make your argument stronger.

Finally, if you just can’t see yourself attending the school you received an offer to and you can’t get permission to transfer your scholarship offer, you still have one options.  If you answered yes to the original question:

“Do I want to be an Army Officer”?

You can come to school and pay your own way and compete for any scholarships that may become available on campus, consider the SMP program, and do what more and more future Army Officers will be doing, attending school and enrolling in ROTC without the scholarship.

Full disclosure…I was a non scholarship cadet back in the day…the stipend is much larger these days!