Lessons learned from last year’s process

This blog post should have been published back in June, but it’s not too late to share the info.  I like to think I’m pretty helpful with the scholarship process.  We are just through the first round of offers for this year, and I’m hoping I can replicate my stats from last year.

The Army ROTC high school scholarship process is a over for the class of 2020.  It was another good year for me and I’m happy with the way it went for my applicants.  Because my high school campaign is my priority, and it is where I can set the Battalion up for success, I look closely at the statistics to see how we did.  So what did I see this year?

  • 80 applicants started an application and listed one or more of my schools (Clarkson, St Lawrence, SUNY Potsdam, or SUNY Canton)
  • 60 of those applicants provided enough information to be seen on the PMS list in our system and visible to us without having to hunt for them.  That means they were in an interviewee status and were eligible to interview with a PMS
  • 35 of those applicants got an offer.
  • 20 of those offers were to the Golden Knight Battalion
  • 9 accepted their offer to the GKB
  • I was able to offer one additional 3AD offer, which was accepted.

What else did I learn?

It looks like the uploading of offers happened quicker and the release of results was almost instantaneous this year.  For the last round, by the time I could see offers being posted the status in the applicants website was changing.  We (programs) were still instructed not to contact winners until offer letters were mailed, but we got the go ahead quicker.

I also spent some time poking around the application website and realized that if an applicant would spend a little time reading all the information on the website many of the answers to frequently asked questions are right there (go figure). This process is not something that can be explained in a paragraph or two, so careful reading of provided information is always a good practice.

 

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It’s been too long. An update from my foxhole

As another school year starts and another Army ROTC scholarship process gets into full swing I just wanted to share a few random thoughts about the view from my foxhole.

My Foxhole

For those of you unfamiliar with the Golden Knight Battalion it is a Battalion made up of 4 schools, all within a 20 minute drive.  We don’t have the partner/crosstown challenges other Battalions have.  We are also 4 relatively small schools.  Two are public (SUNY ) and two are private.  The host is a very supportive University.  Clarkson is known for it’s engineer programs and we are predominantly STEM.  We have excellent training opportunities on campus, in the local area, and at Fort Drum which is 1 hours away.

The scholarship process

The online scholarship process has gotten better over the recent years.  This blog was partly a product of the difficulty of navigating the process in the past.  Currently the site is very user friendly, easy to navigate, and very informative.  I make sure I apply every year, so that I know exactly what applicants are seeing.  in the past I had to ask my applicant what it looked like so that I could give advice.

application

This is what my application looks like this year.  I have circled the tab for additional information.  That tab will put me out of business if more people start clicking on it, since it contains the information that answers most of the questions I get routinely asked.  Hope no one clicks on it.

Changes in the Cadet Command world

The Army is getting smaller.  Budgets will continue to get tighter.  The way Cadet Command trains future Officers will be significantly different very soon.  All of those are things we can’t control.  That being said, I have more scholarship winners than I have had in quite a few years.  I continue to get my qualified Cadets on campus scholarship offers if they earn them.

The first scholarship board is meeting, the deadlines are approaching, and the world continues to turn.  Hope to find the time to blog more often and continue to help qualified applicants get those scholarships, contracts, and opportunities to serve their country as an Army Officer.

 

Board dates 2014-2015 scholarship boards

Here they are, the dates for this fall/winter’s board dates. If you are applying for a four year high school Army ROTC scholarship that will start in the fall of 2015 these are the dates you should pay attention to. If you are a high school student finishing up your junior year and going into senior year in the fall, these are your dates.

1st High School Selection Board Deadline for Documents 3-Oct-14
1st High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 17-Oct-14
1st High School Selection Board 20-Oct-14
2nd High School Selection Board Deadline for Documents 24-Dec-14
2nd High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 2-Jan-15
2nd High School Selection Board 5-Jan-15
4-Year High School Application Deadline for SY 15-16 10-Jan-15
Final (3rd) HS Selection Board Deadline for Docs — Missing Items 28-Feb-15
3rd High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 6-Mar-15
Final (3rd) High School Selection Board  9-Mar-15

So, what does all this mean. If you have a strong file you should be shooting to have your file complete by 3 October and reviewed by the first board.

Look at SAT/ACT dates. If you don’t do so well the first time you take those tests your second shot is usually some time shortly after the October board, so you should be shooting for the second board and submitting improved scores if your file isn’t strong. Here’s where you can get some help with those tests, use it.

If you wait until the second or third board your chances are diminished because there will obviously be less allocations available after each board.

As you go through the process make sure you read about all the components (this blog is a good source of information, if I do say so myself) and stay in touch with at least one of the recruiting officers at one of the schools on your list. Notice I said recruiting Officer, and not recruiter…there is a difference.

The graduating class

This year’s commissioning class from the Golden Knight Battalion is a diverse group. I wanted to share some of the statistics regarding this group to highlight the fact that they come from different schools, have different majors, and will serve in many different career fields. Despite their background they will all be junior officers (Second Lieutenants) soon, and will be expected to be ready to lead their soldiers in the coming months. They have all learned about the Army Values and the Soldier’s Creed, and they have been given the training they need for the next level.

So here is a snapshot of this year’s graduating class

Clarkson grads – 9
SUNY Potsdam – 5
St Lawrence – 3
No SUNY Canton grads this year

Male – 13
Female – 4

Degrees earned
History
Political Science
Global Supply Chain Managment
Biomolecular Science
Mechanical Engineering
Criminal Justice
Economics
Psychology
Information Systems and Business Processes

Minors
Project Management
Pre law
Sports Study and Exercise Science

Cadets accessed into all three components of the Army – Active Duty, National Guard, and Army Reserves.

Branches
Field Artillery
Corps of Engineers
Transportation Corps
Air Defense Artillery
Armor
Military Police
Quartermaster Corps
Medical Services Corps
Infantry
Military Intelligence

There are graduates of Airborne, Air Assault, and Mountain Warfare schools

What’s in it for me?

Not every one in ROTC is going to school for free. There, I said it. Many people think that all Cadets are going to school for free, and that is not the case.  As budgets tighten more and more cadets will be enrolled, and may not be contracted until their Junior year.  So, why in the world would someone participate in ROTC in college and contract without a full ride scholarship?

Here are some of the motivations and benefits that go beyond the free college education some cadets receive.

Cadet Command did a smart thing a couple years ago. Since West Point graduates and ROTC graduates are at the exact same place when they graduate (brand new Second Lieutenants with a college degree) they decided to offer the same deal to ROTC scholarship winners that West Pointers get.  Unlike some of the other service’s ROTC’s, all of our scholarship pay all tuition and fees (or room and board if it’s more).  No tier 2 or partial scholarships for non technical majors.  Just like in the old days when they decided that enlisted soldiers didn’t fall out of the sky any faster or slower and they deserved the same amount of jump pay.  Back when I was a Cadet, Officers actually got paid more to be on jump status.

Can you pick out the scholarship winners...didn't think so.

But I digress.  For all the applicants who don’t get scholarships, and the students who come to school next fall without a good understanding of what ROTC has to offer, and what being an Army Officer is all about, I would welcome you to consider the other benefits and think about giving it a try.

Alumni, Attention! Drop and Give Me Twenty (Bucks)!

GKB Cadre and Staff prepare care packages for the 2009 "Drop and Give be Twenty (Bucks)" event.

Every year, before the holidays, the Golden Knight Battalion promotes the “Drop and Give Me Twenty (Bucks)” program. This program is aimed at sending deployed GKB alumni care packages in time for the holidays.

These care packages include comfort items that give our deployed alumni a taste of home such as homemade, homegrown, and locally produced goodies, as well as pennants and mugs from their alma mater. It is our way of thanking our Soldiers for their committed service overseas.

The “Drop and Give Me Twenty (Bucks)” program is made possible from contributions from our own GKB alumni, and from friends of the ROTC battalion. Last year, our donors gave over $1,900, of which every penny was spent sending care packages overseas. This program truly exemplifies Soldiers supporting Soldiers – Golden Knights supporting Golden Knights!

This year, we are once again challenging our friends and alumni to contribute to the program and donate a small contribution of twenty dollars (or whatever you would like to contribute). It is even more exciting when we get a note from our alumni, some of whom graduated in the early decades of the Golden Knight Battalion.

If you wold like to donate to the 2010 “Drop and Give Me Twenty (Bucks)” program, you may send your donation (or note for our deployed alumni) to:

Clarkson Army ROTC
BOX 5875
Potsdam, NY 13699

Please make your checks payable to “Cadet Association”

We look forward to seeing our Golden Knight alumni step up and send their well wishes (and their twenty bucks!) for the 2010 “Drop and Give Me Twenty (Bucks)” program.

If you have any questions about the program, or would like more info about our deployed alumni, please contact Shirley Mousaw (email) or call 315-265-2180.

2010-2011 scholarship board dates

I finally found the dates for the upcoming year posted…here’s what they look like:

  • Deadline for documents for the first board   18 October, 2010
  • FIRST HIGH SCHOOL SELECTION BOARD  25 October, 2010
  • Deadline for documents for the second board  27 December, 2010
  • SECOND HIGH SCHOOL SELECTION BOARD  4 January, 2011
  • DEADLINE TO START AN APPLICATION 10 JANUARY!!!!!!
  • Final high school selection board deadline for documents  28 February, 2011
  • FINAL (THIRD) HIGH SCHOOL SELECTION BOARD

Only three boards this year!

WWW.ARMYROTC.COM is where you need to go to apply online.

https://goldenknightbattalion.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/be-proactive/

If you are looking for a good Enrollment Officer to help coach you through the process just drop me a line, and while you are at it take a look at my schools.

We have just about anything you could be looking for (except a big city and large class sizes).