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2703, 2020

Air Force ROTC Scholarship update

Hi Everyone. For those who applied for the Air Force ROTC scholarship this past year (2019-2020) we know that a number of you are discouraged in not receiving a scholarship.
We just wanted to give you the numbers this year (unofficial) for Air Force ROTC. There was a large decrease in awardees this year.
This year 1982 were awarded, down from 2534 last year, a 22% drop.
Selection rate was 58.5%, well below recent historical norm of 70-80%.
Type 1 – 154 (last year 284)
Type 2 – 299 (last year 437)
Type 7 – 1529 (last year 1813)
This drop likely accounts for why many did not receive a scholarship.
We have begun to issue a number of full refund checks (on our money back policy) to our clients who didn’t receive an Air Force scholarship. We are disappointed for them.
Again, we wish you all of you the best and we sincerely hope this does not deter you from continuing to pursue Air Force ROTC when you attend college this fall.
1703, 2020

Update on the Army ROTC Third Board

U.S. Army Cadet Command WILL conduct the 3rd National Scholarship Board beginning on 23 March and they currently expect to announce scholarship winners around 2 April, 2020. The situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is still evolving and plans can change, however, they fully expect to complete the board on time. They will do their best to keep us informed of any changes to this timeline. Stay tuned.

1802, 2020

LTC Kirkland Appears on the Your College Bound Kid podcast

Hi Everyone. ROTC Scholarship Consulting’s LTC Rob Kirkland appeared on Your College Bound Kid’s Podcast over several episodes in late January and early February 2020. You can listen to the entire interview here:

601, 2020

Initial thoughts on the first Army ROTC Scholarship board results


We’ve done an initial analysis on the Army ROTC candidates who we advise. We have controlled for most of the other variables as my work with them helps them max out other areas such as activities, essays, and the PT test. They are all similarly prepared by me for the interview. We do everything that we know to give them the best shot at competing.

The only area one cannot control is how well a candidate does in their actual interview and how the interviewer writes it up.

Bottom line: We had no “winners” who got below a 29 ACT and a 3.4 GPA. All our “winners” (We put this in quotes because dislike that designation) received four-year scholarships. [We don’t think many (if any) 3-year scholarships were awarded off this first board].

We think ROTC may be holding back some four-year scholarships for the second and possibly third board for candidates who apply late or who will be getting a second look. We don’t know how many–but it does provide some hope for those candidates who “just missed” on this board that they may receive a four-year scholarship in January or possibly March. [For those of you reading this who well below the 29 ACT/3.5 split, a three-year scholarship off the January/March board is probably most likely for you at this point].

Which brings me to an important point of this post—the interview. The interview write-up in particular is read closely by board members and weighs heavily. We have discussed this issue and the interview in general in previous posts.

If you were a candidate who had at or over 30 ACT/1400 SAT with mid 3s GPA or higher and felt you did well in other areas you could control, your interview likely did not go as well as you had hoped or the write up was not strong. [Factors such as a particular activity (class president, student council) designated major, or school choice probably had little or no bearing on your overall selection (or lack thereof)].

Questions you may ask yourself at this point about the interview are the following:

1. Did you visit the program you were interviewing several weeks or months before your interview to learn more about Army ROTC and get to know everyone?

2. Did you get to meet the person who was likely going to interview you?

If your answers to either #1 and #2 was “no,” then you probably could have done a bit more to ensure that your interview was a success.


The Army ROTC scholarship process is not perfect. It is certainly better IMHO than the Air Force and Navy scholarship process but there are some things that you can’t control for and even explain sometimes. We continue to learn more every year we do this.

2909, 2019

First Army ROTC board deadline extended to December 2


Just confirmed.

The first board deadline has been extended to December 2nd.

Here is the official word from Army ROTC (via Instagram):

Scholarship application update ‼️ Our application website has been experiencing intermittent technical difficulties, which we are working to correct. To ensure every applicant has a fair chance to complete their application, the new deadline for this board is 2 December 2019. We apologize for any inconvenience this change has caused. Our website is still down at this time. We will let you know as soon as it is back online and you can continue your application. #armyrotc



LTC Kirkland

1108, 2019

Observations regarding ROTC Application Essays

Having sat an Army ROTC scholarship board, conducted hundreds of applicant reviews in my role as a PMS and in discussing applicant essay content with my officer colleagues, I wanted to give you my observations about what makes the best impression on these essays.

What I am referring to the following essays prompts for the Army and Navy ROTC.  I believe these are the most important essays for both applications and is why they are the first essay for both Services:

Army ROTC:

Consider carefully, and then state below in the space provided why you wish to enroll in the Army ROTC Program. Indicate in your statement how you believe your own objectives in life are related to the education and training offered by Army ROTC and what a career obligation means to you.

Navy ROTC:

Discuss your reasons for wanting to become a Naval/Marine Officer. Specifically comment on leadership positions you’ve held, the challenges you have faced and the lessons you have learned. 

I firmly believe that what this essay SHOULD NOT be is a laundry list or rundown of what the applicant achieved in high school or why the applicant believes he/she is an outstanding leader.   The attitude that board members get out of essays such as these are: “Hey, I’m a talented wonderful person and you have to select me because of my past accomplishments.”

But—how can the applicant really say this if they have no idea of what life will be like as a cadet/midshipman and future officer?

What should you do instead?

Do your research about the service you are interested in, visit your local ROTC unit and talk to cadre and cadets/midshipmen, visit your local national guard or reserve unit and “shadow” an officer for a few hours, and speak to serving or former officers. Learn all you can about what the challenges are in ROTC and what life will be like as a future officer.

Then, when you write your essay, talk about those experiences in your essay. Be humble. Tell the board members you did your due diligence to understand the challenges ahead of you.   Tell them you have prepared yourself as best you can (here you can speak to your past leadership experiences) and feel confident that based on your past leadership and these visits/talks you are up to the task of being an officer candidate and a future military officer.

If you write this type of essay, you will be in the 5% category of those who have gone out of their way to actually validate the statement that they are ready to be an officer candidate.

Good luck everyone as you work on your applications.

107, 2019

Overemphasis on the Detachment Interview for the Air Force ROTC High School Scholarship (HSSP) Program?

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.

What is left is system which 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.

Overall, you can probably surmise I don’t think this 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.

3006, 2019

Air Force ROTC Board Dates and Deadlines 2019-2020

Hi Everyone.

The Air Force ROTC folks have published their deadlines and boards for the 2019-2020 Application year.

Beginning June 1, you can create an AFROTC account and begin your application.

The following are the Board Dates for 2019-2020. Board results are released 14 days after the conclusion of the board.

September 16-20
October 14-18
November 11-15
December 16-20
February 3-7
March 2-6
March 23-27

The application deadline to submit application responses and all required documents is January 17, 2020.

The Final Date to make a decision to accept/convert/decline a scholarship office is May 31, 2020.

Good luck to everyone and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

2205, 2019

Board Dates 2019 – 2020 Army ROTC Scholarship boards

Here they are, the dates for this fall/winter’s board dates. If you are applying for a four year high school Army ROTC scholarship that will start in the fall of 2020, that would be a high school senior in the fall of 2019, graduating in the spring of 2020, these are the dates you should pay attention to.

4-year High School Application Opens for SY 20-21 12-Jun-19
1st High School Selection Board Deadline for Documents 4-Oct-19
1st High School Selection Board 21-Oct-19
2nd High School Selection Board Deadline for Documents 28-Dec-19
2nd High School Selection Board 13-Jan-20
4-Year High School Application Deadline for SY 20-21 4-Feb-20
Final HS Selection Board Deadline for Docs — Missing Items 4-Mar-20
Final (3rd) High School Selection Board  23-Mar-20

Same advice as last year…You should complete your application before the board that makes you the most competitive.  I would recommend you try to get in on one of the first two boards.  Waiting till the deadline and being seen by just one board is rarely the best course of action.  If you have a strong file you should be shooting to have your file complete by 1 October and reviewed by the first board.

Look at SAT/ACT dates. If you don’t do so well the first time you can take those tests again. Your second shot is usually some time shortly after the October board, so you should be shooting for the second board and submitting improved scores if your file isn’t strong. Here’s where you can get some free help with those tests, use it.

Remember that if you wait until the second board to improve SAT/ACT scores you should also wait to do your interview. The board and the PMS interview are only done once. You can submit improved test scores after your interview and after you are boarded, but your board and interview scores will not change based on those new test scores (hopefully that makes sense).

If you wait until the second or third board your chances are diminished because there will obviously be less allocations available after each board but don’t rush to be on the first board if you aren’t ready.  I would tell you that you shouldn’t wait to be able to do one or two more push ups on the PFT, but if your SAT/ACT is low retake and wait for the next board.