ROTC. A Way to Pay for College



As many students know, the U.S. military will pay for college tuition if the student enlists. However, another option that enables students to serve their country, join a world-class leadership program, and get 100 percent tuition assistance is through an ROTC scholarship.

An Overview on ROTC

ROTC stands for “Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.”  For college-bound high school students and students attending college, ROTC has scholarships available. Scholarships are awarded based on a student’s merit and grades, not financial need.

The goal of the ROTC in college is to train future officers to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Army, Air Force, and Navy each have their own ROTC programs.While the U.S. Coast Guard does not have an ROTC initiative, interested students can explore a similar training program, the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI).

ROTC College Scholarships

For college students in ROTC, scholarships cover the cost of their education. Army ROTC offers two-, three- and four-year scholarships which pay full tuition and fees and include a separate allowance for books, as well as a monthly stipend of up to $5,000 a year. In exchange, there is an expectation that students fulfill active duty services in their chosen branch of the Armed Forces.

ROTC Requirements During College

1)Take Elective ROTC courses along with regular courses. These classes include the history, structure, and function of the military branch providing the scholarship, instruction in leadership and military operations, and rigorous physical training.

2)Participate in ROTC training on campus or at other colleges in the region.  Some ROTC cadets must commute to other campuses daily to attend required classes or training.

3)Participate in special programs, camps, and competitive “challenge” courses throughout the year, including the summer.

Service Commitment After Graduation

The Army requires ROTC scholarship holders to serve eight years (four years of active duty and four years in the reserves.) The Navy requires four to five years of active duty. The Air Force requires four to six years of active duty and ten years for cadets trained as pilots.

Qualifications for an ROTC Scholarship

The scholarship requirements vary slightly between the military branches, but basically you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be at least 17 years of age
  • Meet GPA requirements
  • Meet SAT and/or ACT requirements
  • Have a high school diploma
  • Meet physical fitness standards

How to Apply for and Win an ROTC Scholarship

1) Show your interest to your local military recruitment office as early as possible, preferably during your junior year of high school. Scholarships often go to students majoring in subjects that will be of value to the military, such as engineering, computer science, specific foreign languages, or nursing. 

2) Apply online at military branch websites, or at a local military recruiting office.  Scholarship application deadlines differ by military branch, but may fall anywhere between December 1 and January 31 of senior year. Scholarships received are restricted to one of the colleges and majors you provided on your ROTC application.

Find the schools which host and participate in an ROTC program on the recruitment websites of the Army, Navy and Air Force or by talking to your academic advisor.

For more information on Army ROTC

For more Information on Navy ROTC

For more Information on Marine ROTC

For more information on College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative

For help with ROTC or with any or all parts of the college admissions process, visit http://www.internationalcollegecounselors.com or call 954 414-9986.