ROTC Scholarships and Financial Assistance
Types of Financial Assistance Available
In the face of today's growing college costs, Army ROTC offers merit-based scholarships that can help pay tuition and on-campus educational expenses.
Juniors and seniors in ROTC, plus certain other ROTC cadets, receive monthly stipends of $250 to $400 per month during the school year and are paid to attend a special summer camp.
Students who enroll in Army ROTC at college and who also join the National Guard or Army Reserve are eligible for other financial benefits. For more information, students should contact the Professor of Military Science at the college they plan to attend.
Veterans who attend college can enroll in Army ROTC and participate in the two-year program. Their prior military service could fulfill the requirements for the Basic Course, so they could start ROTC in the Advanced Course.
In addition to the Veterans Administration benefits to which they are already entitled, veterans in ROTC receive the ROTC monthly stipend of $250 to $400 per month each school year and may apply for ROTC scholarships.
Soldiers who have two years of active duty may be eligible for an Army ROTC scholarship. These "Green-to-Gold" scholarships allow selected soldiers to be released from the Army in order to attend college and be commissioned through Army ROTC.
Interested soldiers should contact the nearest on-campus Army ROTC office or their installation Education Offices for details.
The Four-Year Program
Army ROTC is traditionally a four-year college program consisting of a two-year Basic Course and a two-year Advanced Course.
The Basic Course is usually taken during a college student's freshman and sophomore years. The subjects taught cover such areas as management principles, military history and tactics, leadership development, communication skills, first aid, land navigation, and rappelling.
Most students incur no military obligation by participating in the Basic Course, and all necessary ROTC textbooks, materials, and uniforms are furnished without cost.
After completing the Basic Course, only students who have demonstrated leadership potential and who meet scholastic, physical, and moral standards are eligible to enroll in the Advanced Course.
The Advanced Course is normally taken during a college student's junior and senior years. Instruction includes further training in leadership, organization theory, management, military tactics, strategic thinking, and professional ethics.
ROTC cadets in the Advanced Course attend a paid National Advanced Leaders Camp during the summer between their junior and senior years. This camp further permits cadets to put into practice the principles and theories they have learned in the classroom. It also exposes them to Army life in a tactical and field environment.
All ROTC cadets in the Advanced Course receive a monthly stipend of $350 or $400 per month each school year and are paid to attend the National Advanced Leaders Camp. They are also given, without cost, all necessary ROTC textbooks, materials, and uniforms.
Before entering the Advanced Course, ROTC cadets must sign contracts that certify an understanding of their future Army service obligation, which is for eight years. This obligation may be fulfilled through various combinations of full-time active duty and part-time Reserve forces duty depending upon a cadet's personal preference and the needs of the Army at the time of commissioning.
ROTC cadets selected for Reserve forces duty actually serve on active duty for three to six months before they join a National Guard or Army Reserve unit. This is so they can attend an Officer Basic Course to receive additional Army training.
Reserve officers generally serve part-time in the National Guard or Army Reserve while they pursue regular full time civilian careers.
The Two-Year Program
Students can also be commissioned after only two years of ROTC instruction.
This program is open to students who did not take Army ROTC during their first two years of college. Two-year program cadets include community and junior college graduates who have transferred to a four-year institution, graduate students, high school students planning to attend a Military Junior College, veterans, and members of the National Guard or the Army Reserve.
Students can take advantage of the two-year program by successfully completing a paid Leader's Training Course (usually attended between the sophomore and junior years of college) and entering the Advanced Course.
Veterans and members of the National Guard and Army Reserve do not have to attend the Leader's Training Course since their prior military service serves as the prerequisite for entering the Advanced Course.
Students interested in the two-year ROTC program should contact the nearest on-campus Army ROTC office for information before the end of their sophomore year of college.
Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
Congress enacted the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) in 1985 to encourage membership in the Selected Reserve. It provides educational assistance to qualifying Selected Reserve officers, warrant officers and enlisted soldiers who are assigned to troop program units (TPU) of the United States Army Reserve (USAR), Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps
Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. Under this program, service members can earn up to $272 a month in education assistance.
The Simultaneous Membership Program for Reserves/National Guard
The Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) allows students to attend college, participate in Army ROTC, serve part-time in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve, and receive generous Army benefits.
SMP cadets receive their Guard or Reserve pay; G.I. Bill benefits, if eligible; and a monthly ROTC allowance. In many states, Guard and Reserve members are eligible for additional state benefits. In some states, this includes free tuition at state-supported colleges and universities.
The Scholarship Program
Army ROTC offers valuable four-year scholarships to students entering college as freshmen and two- or three-year scholarships to students with two or three years remaining toward their bachelor's degree.
These scholarships may pay thousands of dollars toward college tuition and required educational fees. In addition, they provide a specified amount for textbooks, supplies, and equipment. Each scholarship recipient also receives a personal allowance of $250 to $400 per month during the school year for each year the scholarship is in effect.
Army ROTC scholarships are merit scholarships awarded on a competitive basis. Selection is based on high school or college grades, SAT or ACT Assessment scores, personal recommendations, physical fitness, athletic and extracurricular activities, leadership potential, a personal interview, and other criteria as prescribed by regulation.
Many of these scholarships are specifically targeted to students pursuing degrees in engineering, nursing, the physical sciences, or other technical programs.
The Army provides many Science or Engineering students with fully funded graduate tuition programs for approved courses of study. Nursing students receive special consideration for ROTC scholarships, and Veterans in ROTC not only receive the ROTC monthly stipend each school year but may apply for ROTC scholarships (soldiers who have two years of active duty may be eligible for an Army ROTC scholarship). Eligible students who choose to attend one of the historically black colleges or universities (HBCU) that host Army ROTC may apply for an ROTC four-year HBCU Scholarship.
Army ROTC scholarship winners who fail to complete the ROTC program or do not accept commissions as Army officers will be required to pay back the amount of their scholarships or serve as enlisted soldiers in the Army. This provision is binding for three- and four-year scholarship winners when they enter their sophomore year and for two-year scholarship winners when they enter their junior year.
Completed applications for four-year Army ROTC scholarships must be postmarked by November 15 of a high school student's senior year. Applications for two- and three-year scholarships are usually due by March of a college student's freshman and sophomore years. Since special application forms and procedures are required, interested students should contact Army ROTC for information well before these deadlines.