U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC)
TIP…If you do not want to participate in the FWS program, be sure to note this on all your financial aid forms so that it does not become part of your aid package.
ROTC is an acronym for Reserve Officer Training Corps, the military’s college-based program for officer training. This program can offer both college financial aid assistance and a post-college career in the Army, Navy, Marines, or Air Force. No monetary payback is required. High school students should talk to an Armed Forces recruiter or a guidance counselor during early spring of their junior year; college students can contact the ROTC office on their campus.
Overview and Requirements
The military provides an opportunity for specialized training that may not otherwise be available in a regular course of study. ROTC can be a very rewarding experience for the right person.
How Do I Determine My Eligibility?
- You must be actively enrolled in a participating school
- You must pass stringent physical examinations
- You must achieve satisfactory scores on the college entrance examinations (for example SAT or ACT) required by the school
- You must commit to active and inactive duty as required by the military after completion of school
- You must meet specific military selection criteria (such as character evaluation,
passing military written exam, etc.)
- You must meet other miscellaneous requirements set by each branch of the military
Potential applicants should speak to their guidance counselor or a local military recruiter about this program.
Generally, college students must have at least two years of study remaining and should visit the ROTC building on or near campus to find out details.
Students in a ROTC program can expect to receive either a two- or four-year tuition scholarship; non-scholarship programs exist, too. Scholarships pay for your ROTC books and lab fees as well as some or all of your other college expenses. A monthly nontaxable stipend of around $100 is commonplace and helps cover some of your personal expenses. Depending on the size of the scholarship, post-college military commitment is usually four years of active duty and four years of reserve duty (time commitments vary). In all cases, ROTC students must complete military course work in addition to their regular academic course work.