Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and Service Academies

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How joining an ROTC program can help you:

  • Tuition Assistance: ROTC programs offer tuition assistance to cadets by granting numerous scholarships to members who qualify. This assistance can help pay for college tuition and miscellaneous fees, textbooks or other school expenses.

  • Leadership Skills: 
Skills learned in ROTC are extremely valuable whether you continue on in the respective military branch or take what you have learned into the civilian life.

  • Career Choices: 
Have a special interest or skill? The military is helpful in placing personnel in career areas that utilize specific interests, training and skills.

  • Enjoy college: 
Joining ROTC does not mean you have to stop being a normal college student or enjoying extra-curricular activities.

  • Start ahead of the game:
 After graduation and upon completion of ROTC, each member who enters active duty is awarded an officer rank.

Which Branch Is Right For Me?

Unsure about which ROTC program you would like to join? Depending on what type of jobs interest you, there can be different branches of the armed forces that allow you to pursue the careers and experience you are looking for.
  • Air Force

    • Many people go to college to get an education for future life goals or career choices, but how many can get job training at the same time? Enrolling in the Air Force ROTC allows you to live the same college experience as everyone else, while getting valuable hands on training to advance any career goals.
    • A cadet in ROTC looks like the average college student, except that once a week, he or she is required to wear their uniforms to ROTC classes or to special events. Aside from normal college courses, cadets in ROTC take additional classes taught by military faculty. The content of these courses includes:
      • Profession of Arms- Military laws, laws of armed conflict and knowledge of other military customs
      • Communication Skills- Used to increase oral and written communication for military leadership roles
      • Leadership Studies- Gain an additional understanding of military leadership and management skills
      • Military Studies-Understand how military forces are used and organized
    • As a member of the ROTC, visiting Air Force bases are able to offer cadets a better understanding of what life will be like as an Air Force officer. Here, cadets can learn about the many career choices to choose from and missions they will often participate in. In the Air Force, there are many career paths to choose from. Officer jobs require at least a Bachelor’s Degree, and in some cases, additional educational requirements may be needed. It is always a good idea to pick a career path that is of interest to you, as well as seeing what suits your temperament and capabilities in terms of educational goals or skills.
    • Air Force ROTC scholarships are typically awarded to rising college freshmen as 4-year scholarships, but 3- and 2-year scholarship packages are also available for cadets already attending college. Air Force ROTC programs offer several types of scholarship opportunities to cadets, each having certain distinctions:
      • Type 1 – pays for the student’s full college tuition, majority of school-related fees, and also provides an annual $900 textbook allowance
      • Type 2 – pays for the student’s tuition and fees (maximum of $15,000/year) and provides an annual $900 book allowance
      • Type 7 – pays college tuition as well as most fees and provides an annual $900 book allowance, but students are only eligible if attending a university with a maximum tuition of $9,000 or if they are eligible for the school’s in-state tuition rates
    • Every scholarship type entitles its recipients to a monthly stipend while attending college and participating in the Air Force ROTC program. The amount of the stipend is based on the student’s year in school:
      • Year 1-$300/month
      • Year 2-$350/month
      • Year 3-$450/month
      • Year 4-$500/month
  • Army 

    • Joining the Army ROTC comes with many benefits, and is even considered one of the top leadership programs in the country. Here are some of the many benefits each person is entitled to while participating in ROTC: 
      • Experience as a leader
      • Training to become a manager or leader
      • Tuition Assistance with an Army ROTC scholarship
    • Once an Officer in the United States Army, you become a leader to many people. As an officer, you are looked at as a motivator, strategist and even a counselor to those you command in many different locations or situations.
    • Army ROTC is flexible in that it allows cadets to live their daily lives and maintain their schedules while learning advanced skills in the classroom. Those students who receive a scholarship or enter in the Army ROTC Advanced Course (Junior/Senior courses) must sign up for duty in the United States Army. Students who participate in the ROTC Basic Course (Freshman/Sophomore courses) can learn the basic military skills without any commitment to join.
    • Army ROTC scholarships come in several variations depending on the particular ROTC cadet. Graduating high school seniors can apply for a full four-year ROTC scholarship. However, students already enrolled in college can apply for a three-year or even a two-year ROTC scholarship.
    • The Army ROTC scholarship entitles its recipients to full-tuition assistance, as well as a textbook/fee allowance and a monthly stipend to cover the student’s living expenses. Typically, cadets receive the tuition assistance. However, they also have the option to apply the scholarship to their ‘room and board’ expenses instead of school tuition.
    • The amount that cadets on the ROTC scholarship receive for their monthly stipend depends on their year in school, as shown below:

      • Year 1: $300/month
      • Year 2: $350/month

      • Year 3: $450/month

      • Year 4: $500/month
    • The only requirements to maintain the Army ROTC scholarship are participation in ROTC activities (ie. Attending class and PT three times a week) , maintaining physical fitness standards, and being enrolled as a full-time student at the college of attendance.

  • Navy 

    • Offered at more than 150 of the best colleges and universities in the United States, the Navy ROTC program allows students to continue with their college education while learning valuable life and career skills. Members of the ROTC can do the exact same things normal college students do, like participate in sports, fraternities and sororities and even join other extracurricular programs. The only difference is that the Navy ROTC can help pay for college and even guarantee you a job when you graduate.
    • In addition to the valuable leadership and service training that cadets gain while in Navy ROTC programs, they also are eligible for scholarships that are offered by the US Navy. If awarded one of these competitive scholarships, cadets will receive a package of financial aid that includes the following:

      • Full tuition coverage
      • School-related fees coverage
      • Textbook stipend
      • Monthly stipend
        • The monthly stipend that is paid to scholarship recipients is determined by their academic year at the college of attendance, as shown below:
          • Freshman – $250
          • Sophomore – $300
          • Junior – $350
          • Senior – $400
    • The Navy ROTC scholarship is offered in two options: a four-year package as well as a two-year package for students already enrolled in college and a Navy ROTC program. The scholarship benefits are the same for each pages except for the overall length that the scholarships are provided.


The ROTC scholarship program pays all tuition fees, and textbook costs, as well as providing a monthly living stipend. Students should be certain, however, that they want this type of program before signing up because there is a service commitment after graduation. Service academies also offer scholarhips each year to qualified students to attend the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, or the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. These scholarships are competitive and are based upon a number of factors, including high school grades, SAT or ACT scores, leadership qualities, and athletic ability. Students receive their undergraduate education at one of the service academies. They pay no tuition or fees, but there is a service commitment after graduation. The second link below will take you to a website that has all the specific links for the different branches of the military. Check it out!


College, Career and Technical Education 

Department of Defense Websites

ROTC Scholarships

Service Academies

JROTC Websites

Additional Resources

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