There are a lot of benefits to joining an ROTC program while in college. For one, you get to join a community of other students committed to learning what it takes to serve and protect their country. And, on top of that, you’d qualify for ROTC scholarships, which are some of the most generous in the nation!


But you aren’t guaranteed a scholarship just because you plan to join ROTC. You need to apply for the scholarship and ROTC program best suited for your goals. You also need to make sure you submit a top-notch application!


That’s why, in this blog post, we’re going to show you how to get an ROTC scholarship by covering:


  • The different types of ROTC scholarships offered by the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy

  • The ROTC scholarship eligibility requirements

  • The application timelines for each of the ROTC scholarships

  • How to submit your ROTC scholarship application

  • 3 tips to increase your chances of winning an ROTC scholarship


But before we dive into those topics, let’s first go over some general information about ROTC programs!


What is ROTC?


So, maybe you’ve heard of ROTC before. But if you’re still not entirely sure what it is? No worries! Let’s do a quick overview.


ROTC stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Essentially, it’s a training program for students who want to serve in one of the branches of the U.S. military after graduating from college.


The Army, Navy and Air Force each have their own program that you can sign up for at one of 1,700+ colleges. You can find a list of the colleges that offer each ROTC program by clicking one of the links below:


What Do You Learn in ROTC?


In ROTC, you can expect to learn the basics of what it takes to become an officer or cadet in your chosen branch of the military. For example, in the video below, you’ll see that the Army ROTC involves basic soldiering drills, physical fitness training, and leadership development.


Overall, the training you receive during ROTC prepares you to fast track your progression in the military after graduating from college.


What Is an ROTC Scholarship?


The Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC programs offer thousands of college scholarships – including some



full-ride scholarships



– for both high school students about to enter college and current college students.


But not all of the ROTC scholarships provide the same benefits and amount of money to help you pay for school. So, let’s look now at the different ROTC scholarship amounts!


Army ROTC Scholarships


As a recipient of any of the following



Army ROTC Scholarships



, you’d receive an award that covers


full tuition, fees, books, and a monthly stipend.


4-Year College Scholarship


You can apply for this scholarship if you’re currently a high-school student who will soon graduate and plan to attend a four-year college program.


3-Year College Scholarship


You can apply for this scholarship if you’re a current college student with three more years of study before completing your degree.


2-Year College Scholarship


You can apply for this scholarship if you’re a current college student with two more years of study before completing your degree.


Navy / Marine Corps ROTC Scholarships


As a recipient of any of the following



Navy / Marine Corps ROTC Scholarships



, you’d receive an award that covers


full tuition, books, fees, and a monthly stipend.


4-Year Navy Scholarship


You can apply for this scholarship if you’re currently a high-school student who will soon graduate, plan to attend a four-year college program, and have an interest in joining the Navy.


4-Year Marine Corps Option Scholarship


You can apply for this scholarship if you’re currently a high-school student who will soon graduate, plan to attend a four-year college program, and have an interest in joining the Marines.


4-Year Navy-Nurse Option Scholarship


You can apply for this scholarship if you’re currently a high-school student who will soon graduate, plan to attend a four-year college program to pursue a nursing degree (BSN), and have an interest in joining the Navy.


2 & 3 Year Navy ROTC Scholarships


If you’re already in college, there’s also the option to apply for similar 2-3 year scholarships for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Navy-Nurse ROTC programs as long as you meet the following requirements:


  • Must have at least 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) but no more than 120 semester hours (180 quarter hours)

  • Must have a minimum college GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)

  • Must be admitted to or in the process of gaining admittance to a school affiliated with the Navy ROTC Unit from which you are being nominated


Air Force ROTC Scholarships


The various



Air Force ROTC Scholarships



are worth different amounts, depending on when and what type of scholarship you apply for. There are scholarships for high school students, college students, and enlisted cadets.


Air Force ROTC Scholarships for High School Students


You can apply for one of the following AFROTC scholarships if you’re currently a high-school student who will soon graduate and plan to attend a four-year college program.


Type 1 Scholarship


As a recipient of this scholarship, you’d receive an award that covers


full tuition and authorized fees


at any public or private college/university with an Air Force ROTC detachment. You’d also receive a


monthly stipend, ranging from $300-500, for living expenses and an annual stipend of $900 for textbooks


.


Type 2 Scholarship


As a recipient of this scholarship, you’d receive an award that pays


up to $18,000 per year in college tuition and authorized fees


at any public or private college/university


with an Air Force ROTC detachment. You’d also receive a


monthly stipend, ranging from $300-500, for living expenses and an annual stipend of $900 for textbooks.


Type 7 Scholarship


As a recipient of this scholarship, you’d receive an award that covers


full tuition and authorized fees


at any public in-state college/university with an Air Force ROTC detachment. You’d also receive a


monthly stipend, ranging from $300-500, for living expenses and an annual stipend of $900 for textbooks


.


With a Type 7 scholarship, you’d also have the option to convert your scholarship to a three-year Type 2 scholarship that can be used at out-of-state or private colleges/universities.


Air Force ROTC Scholarships for Current College Students


You can apply for one of the following Air Force ROTC scholarships if you’re a current college student.


Type 1 Scholarship


You can apply for this scholarship if you’re a cadet pursuing a degree in a



technical major



, such as Chemistry or Mechanical Engineering.


As a recipient of this scholarship, you’d receive an award that covers


full tuition and authorized fees


at any public in-state college/university with an Air Force ROTC detachment. You’d also receive a


monthly stipend, ranging from $300-500, for living expenses and an annual stipend of $900 for textbooks


.


Type 2 Scholarship


You can apply for this scholarship if you’re a


college freshman or sophomore enrolled in your college’s Air Force ROTC In-College Scholarship Program.


As a recipient of this scholarship, you’d receive an award that pays


up to $18,000 per year in college tuition and authorized fees


at any public or private college/university with an Air Force ROTC detachment. You’d also receive a


monthly stipend, ranging from $300-500, for living expenses and an annual stipend of $900 for textbooks.


Nursing Scholarship


You can apply for this scholarship if you’re an undergraduate sophomore or junior at a nursing program at a college or university accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).


The award amount for the Nursing Scholarship is the same as the Type 1 and Type 2 scholarships, depending on when you apply for the scholarship.


Air Force ROTC Scholarships for Enlisted Cadets


You can apply for one of the following Air Force ROTC scholarships if you’re already an enlisted Air Force personnel that would like to return to school full-time.


Airman Scholarship & Commissioning Program (ASCP) and Scholarship for Outstanding Airmen to ROTC (SOAR)


As a recipient of either one of these scholarships, you can receive an award that pays


up to $18,000 per academic year


. You’d also receive a


monthly stipend, ranging from $300-500, for living expenses and an annual stipend of $900 for textbooks.


Upon graduation and completion of the program, you would commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.


ROTC Scholarship Eligibility Requirements


How do you qualify for an ROTC scholarship? Well, as you may have already noticed, that, too, depends on which branch of the military you plan to join and which of the scholarships you hope to win.


But below you’ll find the general eligibility requirements for high school students hoping to enter each ROTC program.


We’ll also share a bit of information about the military service requirement following your college graduation.


Army ROTC Scholarship Eligibility Requirements


To apply for an Army ROTC scholarship as a high school student, you must:


  • Be a US citizen between the ages of 17 and 26

  • Have at least a cumulative high school GPA of at least 2.5

  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent

  • Score at least a 1000 on the SAT or 19 on the ACT

  • Meet physical standards by passing the Army Fitness Test


Army ROTC Service Commitment


When you accept an Army ROTC Scholarship, you must also agree to:


  • An eight-year service commitment with the Army

  • Serve full time in the Army for four years and four years with the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR).

  • Selected Cadets may choose to serve part time in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career


Navy ROTC Scholarship Eligibility Requirements


To apply for a Navy ROTC Scholarship as a high school student, you must:


  • Be a U.S. citizen, a naturalized U.S. citizen or in the process of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen

  • Be between the ages 17-23 by September 1 of the year starting college

  • Graduate from high school or gain an equivalent certificate by August 1 of the year of entrance into the four-year Navy ROTC Scholarship program

  • Navy and Nurse Application Test Scores:


    SAT: 540 Math; 550 Evidence Based Reading and Writing AND 1100 Combined (Math plus Evidence Based Reading and Writing)

    OR

    ACT: 21 Math; 22 English AND 44 Combined (Math plus English)

    OR a

    cumulative High school GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 Scale) AND a 2.0 grade (on a 4.0

    Scale) in Algebra II (or equivalent course) AND a statement from your high school guidance counselor or senior JROTC instructor certifying that SAT and ACT testing was not reasonably available to you

  • Marine Application Test Scores:


    SAT minimum combined score of 1000 on the Math and Evidence Based Reading and Writing portions of the test

    OR

    ACT minimum composite score of 22

  • Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) minimum score of 74


Navy ROTC Service Commitment


  • As a graduate of the Navy ROTC program, you’d be required to serve a minimum of five years of active military service. Additional requirements may be required for specific job assignments.

  • As a graduate of the Marine Corps Option, you’d be required to serve at least four years on active duty.

  • As a graduate of the Navy Nurse Corps Option, you’d be required to serve at least four years on active duty.


Air Force ROTC Scholarship Eligibility Requirements


To apply for an Air Force ROTC scholarship, you must:


  • Be a United States citizen or obtain U.S. citizenship by the last day of the first term of your freshman year (for four-year offers) or the first term of sophomore year (for three-year offers)

  • Pass a Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB) medical exam

  • Complete the Physical Fitness Assessment, which consists of three events: push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5-mile run.

  • If offered a scholarship, you must pass a Physical Fitness Test before the end of your first semester of college (for high school applicants)

  • Achieve a SAT composite score of 1240 or ACT composite score of 26 (for high school applicants)

  • Have a cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher (for high school applicants; for college applicants, your school’s Air Force ROTC Commander determines the minimum GPA)


Air Force ROTC Service Commitment


When you accept an AFROTC scholarship, you must also agree to:


  • Complete a 13-day summer field training course at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, between your sophomore and junior years

  • Complete Air Force ROTC General Military Course (GMC) your freshman and sophomore years and the Professional Officer Course (POC) your junior and senior years
  • Accept a commission as an Air Force officer and serve at least four years on active duty


How to Apply for an ROTC Scholarship


Ready to get started on your application for one the ROTC Scholarships? Here’s a general list of the materials you’ll need for each application!


Army ROTC Scholarships


Your application for an Army ROTC Scholarship will include:


You’ll also need to attend an interview with an Army ROTC program at one of your choice colleges.


Navy ROTC Scholarships


Your application for a Navy ROTC Scholarship will include:


  • A complete



    online application


  • SAT or ACT scores

  • Volunteer and work history

  • List of extracurricular activities and noteworthy accomplishments

  • Your college choices and planned major

  • Several short



    scholarship application essays


  • Three references: 1) a guidance counselor/school administrator; 2) a math, science, or English teacher (depending on program option), and 3) another teacher, counselor, coach, or employer


Air Force ROTC Scholarships


Your application for an Air Force ROTC Scholarship will include:


ROTC Scholarship Application Timelines


You’ll likely need some time to get together all of the application materials we just mentioned. So, let’s now take a look at when the scholarship application cycles typically start and end for each of the ROTC programs.


Army ROTC Scholarships


Application Opens:


June 2021*


Application Deadline:


February 2022*


*These dates are estimates based on the last application cycle. The official application open date and deadline for Army ROTC scholarships have not been announced yet.


Navy / Marine Corps ROTC Scholarships


Application Opens:


April 1, 2021


Application Deadline:


January 31, 2022


Air Force ROTC Scholarships


Application Opens:


July 1, 2021


Application Deadline:




December 31, 2021


3 Tips to Increase Your Chances of Winning an ROTC Scholarship




Submitting a complete application for one of the ROTC scholarships is one thing. But submitting a competitive application is another! Here are a few tips to give you a competitive advantage.


Express Interest As Early As Possible


The ROTC programs want to award students who are serious about their commitment to serve their country. So, once you’re sure the military is the right career path for you, make that commitment as clear as possible.


One of the best ways to do that is to express your interest early. You can do that by contacting an ROTC advisor at the college you plan to attend, visiting a recruitment office, or, if you’re still in high school, joining



Junior ROTC



(JROTC).


Apply for a Major that’s Highly Valued by the Military


None of the ROTC scholarship programs require you to major in any particular subject. But there is a significant advantage if you plan to major in a subject that will be valuable for your career in the military!


For example, the Air Force ROTC scholarship program states that students pursuing technical majors, like computer science or mechanical engineering, may receive priority in the scholarship selection process. They also view some foreign languages, pre-med, nursing, and other medical-related majors under their list of



highly desired majors



.


Exceed the Academic Requirements


ROTC scholarships are merit-based, meaning the ROTC programs want to award the students with the best overall applicant profile. That means one way you can stand out is to make sure your grades and standardized test scores in high school and/or college are well above the minimum needed to apply.


Boosting your academic performance may not come easy for everyone. But if you’re able to get extra help from school or free online study resources like



Khan Academy



, it’s definitely worth the investment in time!


Where to Find More Scholarships


If a career in the military sounds like a good fit for you, then you’ll definitely want to apply for one of the ROTC scholarships before or during your time in college. Use the information and tips we’ve shared here to know when and how to put together a winning application!


But don’t stop with just one scholarship application. You likely qualify for dozens of other amazing scholarships!


To easily find them, download



our site Search



, the #1 scholarship app in the world that instantly matches you with hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in scholarships based on your interests, accomplishments, and traits!


You can also check out the rest of our blog where we share tips on



how to apply for FAFSA



, write amazing

personal statements



, and win competitive scholarships like the



National Merit Scholarship



.


Good luck!