Students often ask when they should submit their ROTC scholarship applications. The short answer is to submit a strong and application early enough to be competitive when there are still many scholarships available. For most students, that means they need to be ready to submit complete packages by the beginning of October senior year. For some students, it may be better to wait to improve standardized test or fitness test scores or have first semester grades in hand, even if that means waiting until a later board.
In the sections below, I’ve listed most of the ROTC high school scholarship board dates for the 2022-23 academic year. These are the scholarships for high school seniors in the Class of 2023 (or students who have graduated from high school, but not enrolled in college).
Current juniors in the Class of 2024 should expect ROTC scholarship applications to open in spring/summer before year. (I’ll update this post as soon as the information for the new application cycle is available.) College students interested in ROTC scholarships should contact the staff of the ROTC units at their college or nearby colleges that have a crosstown agreement with their school.
How Do ROTC Scholarship Boards and Deadlines Work?
You definitely don’t want to miss the application deadlines. Usually, applications that are not complete when the application closes do not go before a review board at all. Some services allow interviews to occur after the scholarship deadline, as long as the interview is completed before the final board of review. Because ROTC scholarship applications are more complicated than the average college application, you should start early and work diligently through the process. Keep reading for info on deadlines and when you should submit your application.
Some services score each package submitted by the document deadline. Others, like Navy ROTC, review a set number of packages at each board. Usually, students who are offered scholarships will hear results 2-3 weeks after the end of a board. Applications for Space Force scholarships have a two part review process, so those notifications occur around 40 days after the review board. Notifications can be made by email, through the scholarship portal, or from the student’s recruiter. However, final turn down notification may not occur until after the final board for the selection cycle.
Army ROTC 4-Year Scholarship Board Dates
The application portal for the Army ROTC scholarship for high school students opened on June 12, 2022
|Scholarship Application Opens||June 12, 2022|
|Deadline to Submit Documents for First Board||October 10, 2022|
|First Selection Board||October 12, 2022|
|Deadline to Submit Documents for Second Board||January 16, 2023|
|Second Selection Board||January 23, 2023|
|Deadline to create an online application for a High School Scholarship||February 4, 2023|
|Deadline to Submit Documents for Final Board (Missing Items)||March 6, 2023|
|Final (Third) Selection Board||March 13, 2023|
Air Force ROTC & Space Force ROTC High School Scholarship Program Board Dates
Air Force ROTC Scholarship Information (Includes Space Force)
The application for the Air Force and Space Force scholarship for high school students opened on July 1, 2022. Note that the initial online application must be completed by December 31, 2022, but the deadline to submit documents (including interviews) for the Second Board is November 30, 2022.
The third board is only held as needed, so waiting until the last minute to complete your package might reduce your chances of earning a 4 year scholarship.Related: Changes to Air Force ROTC Scholarships for 2022-23
|High School Scholarship Application Opens||July 1, 2022|
|Deadline to Submit Documents for First Board||October 14, 2022|
|First Selection Board (23HS01)||October 17-21, 2022|
|Deadline to Submit Documents for Second Board (Interviews)||November 30, 2022|
|Last Day to Submit Initial Online Application||December 31, 2022|
|Last Day to Submit Completed Application||January 12, 2023|
|Second Selection Board (23HS02)||January 3 – February 3, 2023|
|Deadline to Submit Documents for Third Board (Interviews)||March 10, 2023|
|Third Selection Board (23HS03) [Only convened if needed]||March 13-17, 2023|
Marine Option boards are coordinated by each Marine Corps Recruiting District. Typically there is a board in in November and February. Board results are usually announced a month after the end of the board.
Students interested in becoming Marine Officers may also be interested in the Marine Corps Platoon Leader Class and Officer Candidate Course.
|First Selection Board||November 2022|
|Deadline to Submit Completed Application||January 31, 2023|
|Second Selection Board||February 2023|
Navy Option and Navy Nursing Option
|Four Year Scholarship Application Opens||April 1, 2022|
|Last Day to Submit Completed Application||January 31, 2023|
The Navy holds frequent review boards for Navy Option and Navy Nursing applicants from September through April.
When to Submit ROTC Scholarship Applications
If the application opens in July and the first board is in October, submitting an application in August that was rushed and has a weak score on the fitness test doesn’t present a strong case. The board isn’t going to give a pass on a slow run time just because the student submitted their package early. On the other hand, don’t wait until the last minute. If the board receives strong applications on earlier boards, they may select fewer scholarships on the later boards or cancel them altogether. Note for example that the third Air Force board will only convene if needed.
Too often later applications reflect procrastination, not time spent working hard improving the application. My general suggestion is to submit the application by October 1, unless you have a specific area to improve and a plan to do so.
ROTC scholarships can pay for tuition, fees, books, and a monthly stipend at a number of colleges around the US. Graduates commission as officers in the military. They have a military service obligation in return for the scholarship. If you have questions or need help, ask for it. This is one of my specialty areas at Admissions Decrypted. You can also contact the ROTC staff at one of the colleges you are interested in attending. If your high school has Junior ROTC, those instructors could also be a resource (even if you are not part of the JROTC unit).