Panel Board Eliminated – Updated Air Force ROTC Scholarship Requirements

Update: In my contacts and conversations with several folks involved in the Air Force ROTC HSSP for this academic year, I’ve come to learn that the panel board of senior officers (lieutenant colonels and colonels) to select scholarship winners has been eliminated. This used to be 40% of the score of the Air Force ROTC Scholarship Requirements.

What is left is a system that awards almost half of the consideration for the scholarship on the interview conducted at the detachment level (normally performed by a captain). The rest of the points are allocated for GPA, SAT/ACT and the physical fitness assessment.

In short, Air Force ROTC has “powered down” a good deal of the responsibility for selection to the detachment level. What this means is that at least for Air Force HSSP, you better do well on your detachment interview and hope you get a good interviewer who is competent and having a good day. Otherwise, you may be sunk. Please see my post on how to best ace the ROTC Interview.

Overall, you can probably surmise I don’t think “powering down” is a good idea. The Navy and Army still have their senior officer panels which serve as a quality check over interviews conducted “in the field.” This board system is needed and I predict the Air Force will go back to it after realizing their error (as of 2024 they have not done this).

How to Ace your AFROTC Interview

Acing your Air Force ROTC scholarship interview at the detachment level with an Air Force officer can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can increase your chances of success:

  • Research the Air Force ROTC program and familiarize yourself with its mission and values. Understand the responsibilities and obligations that come with receiving a scholarship, and be able to articulate why you want to pursue a career in the Air Force.
  • Be ready to discuss your leadership potential and experiences. The Air Force ROTC scholarship is not only based on academic achievements but also on leadership potential and experiences.
  • Research the Air Force and the core values of the Air Force: integrity, service, and excellence. Be able to speak to examples of how your demonstrate these values in your every day life.
  • Be honest and confident. The interviewers want to get to know you and understand your motivations for joining the Air Force. Be honest and authentic in your responses, and let your passion for the program shine through.

By thoroughly preparing for your AFROTC interview, you can better prepare yourself for the program, for future interviews, and to become an Air Force officer.