If you are considering Air Force ROTC, chances are you have both concerns and questions. We have addressed some of the most common questions below. If you cannot find an answer to what you are looking for here, visit our Contact Us page and send us an e-mail.
1. If I apply for a scholarship, am I obligated to the Air Force in any way?
No. Applying for an Air Force ROTC scholarship does not obligate you in any way. Four-year scholarship recipients do not incur any obligation until the start of their sophomore year in college.
2. What kind of scholarships does the Air Force ROTC offer?
We offer three types and two lengths in our High School Scholarship Program. Our scholarships are offered in either four-year or three-year lengths. Our four-year scholarships are activated in the fall of the freshman year while our three-year scholarships are activated in the fall of the sophomore year. For more on the types of scholarships we offer, click here.
Air Force ROTC scholarships are not activated until the student enlists in the Obligated Reserve Section of the Air Force Reserve, signs a contract and passes the medical, moral, fitness and physical qualifications for enlistment and contracting. Scholarship benefits are not payable until 45 days after the start of the fall term. Upon activation, all scholarship cadets receive a nontaxable monthly allowance (stipend) during the academic year. Currently, the monthly stipend is $300 for freshmen, $350 for sophomores, $450 for juniors and $500 for seniors.
Air Force ROTC scholarships cannot pay for room and board.
3. What majors are eligible for this program?
Air Force ROTC offers scholarships in academic majors needed to meet the needs of the Air Force. This includes both technical majors and nontechnical majors. In each scholarship cycle, we offer roughly 2,000-plus scholarships across the nation. We strongly urge you to carefully consider the choices you list for an academic major on this application. You may list up to three majors, but you should only list those you will be willing to pursue. You should also ensure the major you want to pursue is offered by the school you want to attend.
Special considerations for prospective engineering or science/technical majors:
For prospective engineering or science/technical majors, you must determine if your major is approved for an Air Force ROTC scholarship at the school you want to attend. You can look this up using the online Schools and Majors feature.
Special considerations for prospective premedical/dental or nursing majors:
For prospective premedical/dental majors, you should list a major in one of the nontechnical scholarship majors. Prospective nurses should list Nursing. If you are awarded a scholarship in one of these fields, you will begin your college work in that major. After you complete your freshman, sophomore or junior years, you must then compete for a USAF designator (for Prehealth/Predental or Nursing, as appropriate) on a competitive selection board. This designator guarantees you will enter that specialty upon commissioning. If you are not awarded the designator, you will retain your scholarship and enter the Air Force as a line officer upon commissioning in a specialty based on the needs of the Air Force.
Special considerations for prospective pharmacy majors:
For prospective pharmacy majors, if your academic plan requires more than five years, you are not eligible for Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) membership, and therefore not eligible for AFROTC scholarship nomination. Students in professional academic programs that are more than five years in length (e.g., pharmacy) should complete two full years of academics before joining AFROTC. You could then compete for appropriate in-college scholarship programs while an active cadet.
4. Do I have to wear a uniform to class every day?
The only time freshman and sophomores are required to wear their uniform is during Leadership Lab, once a week. Juniors and seniors are only required to wear a uniform to Leadership Lab and during one class session during the week. Occasionally, during special events, you may be required to wear your uniform. Otherwise, wear whatever you want.
5. How are new cadets treated?
Very well. Many detachments assign cadet sponsors to new students. They can help students find classes, get textbooks, learn to wear the uniform correctly, meet other cadets and learn basic customs and courtesies. It is also the responsibility of the cadet's flight commander, the officer in charge of running an Air Force unit's day-to-day operations, to help new cadets fit into the program. Many detachments also have tutoring programs and other forms of assistance. Hazing is not permitted. You will find the cadet staff and detachment staff are concerned about your well-being and progress.
6. What is the commitment to the Air Force upon graduation?
Most officers have a four-year commitment. For pilots it is 10 years after pilot training, and six years for combat systems officers after training. Air Battle Managers have a six-year commitment. See the Service Commitment page.
7. Can I pursue graduate education after I am commissioned?
The Air Force is education-oriented and financially supports graduate studies. You 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 you may apply for the tuition assistance program that pays 100 percent of the tuition cost.
8. If I join Air Force ROTC, does that mean I am joining the military?
No. If you got a four-year scholarship from high school, then the first year of college is paid for, and you can quit at the end of your freshman year with no obligation. If you got a three-year scholarship from high school or college then you are not committed to the Air Force until you accept your scholarship (usually in the fall of your sophomore year). If you did not get any scholarship, then you are not committed to joining the Air Force until you start your junior year of college.
With Air Force ROTC, we provide you with lots of opportunities to see what the Air Force is about before signing up. And while you are waiting, you are getting college out of the way and having a lot of fun.
9. How much time do I have to spend with Air Force ROTC each week?
The only required time is during your Air Force ROTC classes, Leadership Lab and physical fitness training. (This equates to approximately four hours per week for freshmen and sophomores, six hours per week for juniors and seniors.)
10. What kind of college entrance scores do I need?
The following table provides some information to indicate whether or not you think you will be academically competitive for an AFROTC scholarship.
Mid-Range Applicant Scores*
Mid-Range Eligibility Scores**
Average Scores of Recipients†
Class Rank Top 25%
Class Rank Top 19%
Class Rank Top 12%
* Average scores of the middle half of AFROTC applicants for 2010
To be eligible for scholarship consideration, you must achieve an SAT composite of 1100 (Math and Verbal portion only) or ACT composite of 24, attain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and have a class ranking in the top 40%.
Source: U.S. Air Force ROTC's website