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 many 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|
Students who are not selected for a scholarship on one board may be considered at subsequent boards, but aren’t completely reevaluated. The candidate score from their board review carries over to later boards. Students can update their SAT or ACT test scores, which may improve their overall chance of being selected for a scholarship.
Air Force ROTC & Space Force ROTC High School Scholarship Program Board Dates
The application for the Air Force and Space Force FY23 scholarship for high school students opened on July 1, 2022. The Initial Online Application was due no later than December 31, 2022 and Completed Applications (including fitness tests) were due no later than January 12, 2023.
The application for the next High School Scholarship Program for students starting college in Fall 2024 opens July 1, 2023.
Air Force ROTC Scholarship Information (Includes Space Force)
|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.
|First Selection Board||November 2022|
|Deadline to Submit Completed Application||January 31, 2023|
|Second Selection Board||February 2023|
Navy Option and Navy Nursing Option
The Navy holds frequent review boards for Navy Option and Navy Nursing applicants from September through April. One issue with the Navy ROTC scholarship board schedule is that results from later boards may come out after May 1, the date most colleges use as an enrollment deadline. This can leave students in the position of choosing which college to attend without knowing if they would have a scholarship. This is a good reason not to wait for the last minute to submit a scholarship package.
|Four Year Scholarship Application Opens||April 1, 2022|
|Last Day to Submit Completed Application||January 31, 2023|
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 work on your application over the summer, so you are ready to submit in the fall, but consider if another test sitting or targeted fitness training would improve your package. You may also want to skip the first board if your application would not stand out in a highly competitive group (see notes in the Army ROTC section).
ROTC scholarships can pay for tuition, fees, books, and a monthly stipend at civilian colleges that have a ROTC unit on campus or a crosstown agreement with another college. Also, some services allow scholarship selectees to use the scholarship to pay for food and housing instead of tuition. Graduates become officers in the military and have a 4-10 year military service obligation as “payback” for the scholarship.
If you have questions about the details of a ROTC scholarship, reach out to the staff of the ROTC units at colleges you’re applying to. If you’d like personalized assistance, this is one of my specialty areas at Admissions Decrypted. The best time to connect with me is junior year or earlier, so don’t wait until crunch time to ask for help.