Frequently Asked Questions
Q. By enrolling in ROTC, are you joining the Army?
A. No. Students who enroll in ROTC don't join the Army. They take an ROTC class for which they receive credit. It's considered a college elective.
Q. Is ROTC like "boot camp"?
A. No. ROTC cadets go directly to college where they earn their degree.
Q. What can students expect to learn by taking ROTC?
A. Quite simply, leadership and management skills needed to become a U.S. Army officer or have a successful civilian career.
Q. What makes ROTC different from regular college management courses?
A. Students in ROTC learn through a unique program that involves both classroom and “live” situations. For instance, an ROTC cadet might be found leading classmates through adventure training, down a river in a raft, or up a mountain wall.
Q. Is there a military obligation during college?
A. During the first two years, ROTC cadets have no military obligation (or the first year in the case of scholarship winners).
Q. What is the ROTC course comprised of?
A. The ROTC program is divided into phases: The Basic Course studies Army history, organization and structure. The techniques and principles of leadership and management are stressed throughout. The Advanced Course concentrates on tactical operations and military instruction, as well as advanced techniques of management, leadership, and command.
Q. Does Army ROTC offer scholarships?
A. Yes. Each year hundreds of students attending colleges nationwide receive ROTC scholarships. ROTC awards them to students studying science, engineering, nursing, business, as well as a variety of other majors.
Q. How much money does ROTC usually award and what does the money go towards?
A. Scholarships are awarded at different monetary levels. At some schools an ROTC scholarship is worth up to $80,000, which goes towards tuition and educational fees. Also, scholarship winners receive an allowance of up to $1,500 a year.
Q. On what basis are scholarship winners chosen?
A. ROTC scholarships are not based on financial need. Instead, they’re awarded on merit. Merit is exhibited in academic achievement and extracurricular activities, such as sports, student government or part-time work.
Q. Can only scholarship winners enroll in ROTC?
A. No. Anyone can enroll in ROTC. And regardless of whether you’re a scholarship winner or not, all ROTC books, supplies and equipment are furnished at no cost to you.
Q. How often are Army ROTC scholarships awarded?
A. Scholarships are awarded once a year. Students apply by November 15 and selections are made continuously through May 15. Four-year scholarship applications must be requested between March 1 and November 1. Also, once cadets are on campus, two-year and three-year scholarships become available.
Q. How do students benefit from Army ROTC?
A. In college and after graduation, cadets find that the training and experience that they have received are assets – whether pursuing an Army or civilian career. Employers place high regard on the management and leadership skills that ROTC instructors stress. Plus, ROTC looks great on a resume. When cadets complete the ROTC course, upon graduation, they become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army.
The order, the self-discipline, the pride that had been instilled in me by ROTC was a tremendous companion to my basic liberal arts education and prepared me well for my Army career, or for that matter, any career I might have chosen."
GEN (Ret) Colin Powell
Former Chairman, The Joint Chiefs of Staff