The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is an officer training program for college students who commit to serve in the U.S. military after college. There are over 1,700 civilian, military, and junior military colleges that host and participate in an ROTC program. The Army, Navy and Air Force each has its own ROTC, and while the Marine Corps does not have its own ROTC, there is a Marine option of the Navy ROTC. ROTC scholarships are among several forms of aid offered by the military.
How can ROTC Scholarships help pay for college?
High school students who apply for an ROTC program are eligible for scholarships covering the full cost of tuition, fees and textbooks for four years, plus a monthly stipend for personal expenses. Students who have financial need beyond what is covered by an ROTC scholarship may seek supplemental aid from the federal government or other sources.
When you accept an ROTC scholarship, you are legally bound to serve in the military for a certain number of years. If you fail to fulfill the academic or military service requirements of an ROTC scholarship, you could face disenrollment from the ROTC and could be held to additional active duty and repayment of ROTC financial assistance.
ROTC Scholarship Qualifications
ROTC scholarship application requirements vary somewhat among the branches that offer the scholarship but the following eligibility criteria must at a minimum be satisfied in all cases:
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Must be at least 17 years of age
- Must have at least a 2.5 GPA (3.0 for Air Force ROTC)
- Must meet minimum SAT and/or ACT requirements
- Must have a high school diploma
- Must meet prescribed physical fitness standards
Army ROTC applications for high school students can be found online here through the Army’s website, while applications for current college students are to be submitted to their college’s Department of Military Science. Air Force and Navy ROTC applications for high school students can be found online through each service’s website. Students interested in a Marine Corps ROTC scholarship must apply through the Navy ROTC.
The current deadlines for ROTC scholarships are as follows:
- Army ROTC – February 4
- Air Force ROTC – January 14
- Navy ROTC – December 31