The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is a college program offered at more than 1,700 colleges and universities that prepares students to become officers in the U.S. Military.
Participants, or cadets, commit to serving in the Military after graduation in exchange for a paid college education and a guaranteed post-college career.
Each branch of the military has its own take on ROTC.
Army ROTC is one of the most demanding and successful leadership programs in the country.
The training a student receives in Army ROTC provides leadership development, military skills, and career training.
Courses take place both in the classroom and in the field and are mixed with normal academic studies.
Additional summer programs, such as Jump School, may also be attended. Upon completion, an Army ROTC graduate is commissioned as an officer in the Army.
Navy and Marine Corps ROTC
As the single largest source of Navy officers, the Navy ROTC program plays an important role in preparing young adults for leadership and management positions in the increasingly technical Navy.
Offered at 77 leading colleges and universities throughout the United States, Navy ROTC offers a mixture of military training and normal academic study.
Courses take place both in the classroom and in the field. Upon completion, an NROTC graduate is commissioned as an officer and has the ability to choose an officer career in surface warfare, naval aviation, submarine warfare, or special warfare.
Aspiring Marine Corps officers can also participate in Navy ROTC.
The ROTC academic curriculum for a Marine Corps–option student requires classes in national security policy and the history of American military affairs, in addition to the regular academic requirements for the student’s degree.
Air Force ROTC
The Air Force ROTC mission is to produce leaders for the Air Force and build better citizens for America.
The program is offered at more than 1,100 college and university campuses throughout the United States.
Air Force ROTC offers a four-year program and a three-year program, both based on Air Force requirements and led by active-duty Air Force officers.
Courses are a mix of normal college classes and the Air Force ROTC curriculum, which covers everything from leadership studies to combat techniques. Upon completion, a student enters the Air Force as an officer.
Learners enrolled in ROTC are eligible to apply for partial and full scholarships; however, enrollment in ROTC does not guarantee a scholarship.
ROTC scholarships can be competitive, and they frequently require academic excellence as well as an eight-year commitment to military service as a condition for receiving award money.
Scholarships are available for all majors and are awarded based on merit rather than financial need.
Most ROTC scholarships require US citizenship, a high school diploma, and being at least 17 years old, though the exact cutoff age varies.
Because different branches of the military have different eligibility requirements, it’s best to research scholarship guidelines to ensure you meet them before applying.
Remember that if you enroll in ROTC but do not receive a scholarship, other military scholarships may be available to you.
There are numerous resources available to assist you in your search.