ROTC scholarships assist students

How these programs have benefitted students at the University

With paying for college recently proving equally as challenging as gaining acceptance, more and more students are vying for Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarships each year, hoping to alleviate financial burdens while focusing on academic goals and military training.

Applying for these scholarships closely mirrors the college application process. Students apply to the military branch of their choice — Navy, Army or Air Force — and submit academic materials, including standardized test scores and proof of high school graduation or its equivalency, in addition to ensuring they meet physical standards.

The financial assistance from the Army ROTC scholarship was the difference between first-year Nursing student Lauren Odegaard attending the University or an in-state school.

“I am from Rhode Island, and I do not think I would have been able to come here without the scholarship,” Odegaard said.

For ROTC scholarships to remain active, recipients are required to abide by certain conditions. Students must maintain good academic standing and repay their financial assistance through service in the military after graduation.

The commitment to service through contracting further solidified Odegaard’s passion to serve in the army.

“[The scholarship] makes me more committed to the [ROTC] program, because I am contracted for eight years in the army and hope to achieve my goal of working in a military hospital,” Odegaard said.

Exactly how ROTC scholarships aid students is dependent on the specific military branch, though all provide students with book stipends and monthly allowances, which increase annually.

The Air Force offers three- and four-year scholarships to high school students. A Type-1 scholarship covers full college tuition, a Type-2 pays college tuition and fees up to $18,000 and Type-7 covers the equivalent of the in-state rate at a public institution.

In addition, the Air Force scholarship requires students to pursue a major from an approved list, ranging from technical to foreign languages which meet Air Force needs.

The scholarships not only help students financially, but also emphasize the importance of financial responsibility. Fourth-year Engineering student Matthew Hamilton said he has developed a sense of financial independence because of the Type-2 scholarship he received.

“I rarely ask my parents for money, which is nice,” Hamilton said. “I have money for books and the food I want to eat. As far as being an adult and managing your finances, [the scholarship] can teach you quite a bit — and that might be the aim of the scholarship, in some sense.”

Published March 26, 2014 in Life

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