If my child joins Air Force ROTC, does that mean they are joining the military?
No. If your child got a four-year scholarship from high school, then the first year of college is paid for and they can quit at the end of their freshman year with no obligation. If they got a three-year scholarship from high school or college then they are not committed to the Air Force until they accept their scholarship (usually in the fall of their sophomore year). If they did not get any scholarship, then they are not committed to joining the Air Force until they start their junior year of college.
With Air Force ROTC, we provide them with lots of opportunities to see what the Air Force is about before signing up. And while they are waiting, they are a college education and having a lot of fun.
What is the difference between Junior ROTC in high school and ROTC in college?
The mission of the high school Junior ROTC program is to build better citizens for America. The mission of the college ROTC program is to produce leaders for the Air Force.
Does my child have to be in Junior ROTC in high school to be eligible for ROTC in college?
No. In fact, the majority of students enrolled in college ROTC have never been involved in the Junior ROTC program.
Does my child have to join Air Force ROTC as a freshman?
No. Any undergraduate student with more than two years remaining should be eligible for our program. So if they are a second-semester freshman or a sophomore, then they can join.
Can my child enroll if they did not take Air Force ROTC as a freshman?
Yes. They can enroll in Aerospace Studies 101 and Aerospace Studies 201 (their university may have a different name) and be what we call dual enrolled.
Can my child attend Air Force ROTC without a scholarship?
Yes, they can. Many of our students do not start with a scholarship, but earn one eventually. Still, at any given time, about 80% of our students receive financial assistance.
My child did not receive an Air Force ROTC scholarship before they started college; are there scholarship opportunities while they are in college?
Yes. Depending on how many years they have left in college, they may qualify for a two- or three-year scholarship.
Is preference shown toward scholarship cadets?
Definitely not! The fact that a cadet may have an Air Force ROTC scholarship has no bearing on an Air Force career. Nor does it make any difference while in the Air Force ROTC program.
Are there any restrictions as to what students select as their academic major?
None at all. In fact, we encourage cadets to take a curriculum they are interested in and in which they have the capability to do well. Our main academic concern is that they maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) above 2.0 and attain their degree in the time period planned. The GPA requirements are different if they are applying for a scholarship and once they are on scholarship.
Can my child pursue graduate education after they are commissioned?
The Air Force is education-oriented and financially supports graduate studies. They can apply for the Air Force Institute of Technology to earn an advanced degree on full scholarship. Additionally, most bases have graduate college programs, and they may apply for the tuition assistance program that pays 100% of the tuition cost.
How often can someone take the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT)?
The test is given several times during the fall and spring and can be taken a maximum of two times with at least six months between tests.
If my child takes Air Force ROTC classes, are they committed to military or government service once they join?
There is no service commitment for students who take our classes with no intention of becoming an Air Force officer. For these types of students, it is only another class. If they are interested in becoming an officer, there is no service commitment during the first two years of the Air Force ROTC program (the General Military Course) unless they have an Air Force ROTC scholarship. If they decide to stay and join the Professional Officer Course (POC); the last two years of the program, they'll sign an allocation contract with the Air Force and then incur a service obligation. For Air Force ROTC scholarship students, they are obligated once they have activated the scholarship and have entered their sophomore year.
If a cadet encounters academic or personal problems, where can they turn for help?
First, they should try their Air Force ROTC detachment instructor. While the instructor may not have a psychology degree, he or she does have experience in counseling and can direct them to the proper resources. Air Force ROTC instructors try to develop a strong professional rapport with each cadet. Each university also offers various resource offices for their students and many services are free as part of the student fees.
Is the Four-Year Program more advantageous for students?
Yes, for the following reasons:
- It gives them more time to participate in Air Force ROTC without obligation, to gain experience and to decide whether they want to apply for the advanced program, the POC.
- They will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships, if eligible.
- They can retake the Air Force Officer Qualification (AFOQT) test to improve their scores.