Some areas of your application are more important than others. Army ROTC ranks scholarship applicants out of 1400 points.
- Selection Board Score – 25%
- College Board Scores – 18%
- Civilian Background Experience Form – 18%
- Scholar, Athletics, and Leadership – 14%
- Interview – 14%
- Physical Fitness Test – 10%
The Army ROTC Selection Board
After you complete your scholarship application, your package will be sent to a panel of Army officers for review. The ROTC Selection Board is worth 25% of your overall chances of receiving a ROTC scholarship. Professors of Military Science meet three times each year and rank candidates based on the following factors:
- Interview sheet
- College board scores
- High school transcripts
- Extracurricular activities
Civilian Background Experience Form
The Civilian Background Experience Form, or CBEF for short, is an integral part of the Army ROTC scholarship application process. The CBEF is used to assess an applicant’s leadership potential and physical aptitude, both crucial factors for future Army officers.
The CBEF evaluates candidates across several areas, including leadership, physical fitness, communication skills, adaptability, and potential for future growth. Each category is ranked on a scale, and the scores are combined to create an overall rating.
As a candidate, you should take this test seriously. This portion is worth 18% of your overall score. The form is designed to determine the following qualities in an applicant:
- Enjoys physical challenges
- Leadership aptitude
- Attraction to Army life
- Receptibility to criticism
- Independence / motivation
The Army ROTC Interview
The interview is worth 14% of your overall score. You’ll be scheduled for an interview if you are selected as a scholarship finalist.
The interview is scored in five areas. Here are some tips on acing these sections:
- Scholar – take AP/Honors classes, score well on your college tests, and rank in the top 10% of your high school class
- Athlete – competitive participation in sports and receiving varsity letter(s)
- Leader – participation in student government, captain of a team, leader in volunteer organizations
- Personal Qualities Subjective Evaluation – whether or not you’re a top applicant based on how the interview goes
- Potential Subjective Evaluation – how the interviewer feels about your chances of commissioning
We recommend conducting your interview with a Professor of Military Science, if at all possible. This is due to the fact that the board score has other Professors of Military Science, so there is a greater chance that their opinions will be valued and they will understand the process from a higher level perspective.
Bring documents to verify your participation in activities to your interview. You control many of the points here so make sure you get credit for everything you are involved in with your interviewer.
We recommend addressing areas of weakness with the interviewer and make sure they record these and how you are overcoming those weaknesses, specifically for the board.
We also recommend preparing questions to ask in advance. This will give you the opportunity to end the interview on a high note.
Additional Interview Preparation Guidance
For more detailed information on the Army ROTC interview, read our post on Army ROTC Scholarship Interview questions.
We’ve written a book specific to the ROTC interview, to help candidates prepare and learn what to expect from their Army ROTC interviewer. You can purchase that eBook here.
Academics – The Importance of GPA and College Board Scores
To even be eligible for the Army ROTC Scholarship, you must achieve a certain GPA and test scores. You must have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Your SAT score must be at least a 1000, or your ACT composite at least 19. These are the minimums, and we recommend striving for higher.
When students work with us, the two main differentiators between those who win a scholarship and those who don’t are the SAT/ACT and GPA.
When you begin applying for an Army ROTC scholarship, chances are, your GPA is more or less already determined. You’ve been in school for three years, and you may have an additional semester of grades ahead of you before you compete for the scholarship. This leaves the SAT and/or ACT. The SAT/ACT is the single most important factor that you have direct control over, do not waste the opportunity to improve your scores!
College Board Scores – The SAT and ACT
Your SAT/ACT scores are worth 18% of your overall score.
We recommend re-testing to meet the averages for recent selection statistics.
To be competitive for an Army ROTC scholarship, strive for a 1295 on the SAT and 29 on the ACT to meet recent averages for the four year scholarship (average scores are lower for the 3 year advanced designee scholarship).
We recommend that candidates hold off on submitting their completed scholarship application until they have achieved an SAT or ACT score that makes them more competitive. For example, instead of competing on October board, wait until the January board with the opportunity to take the SAT/ACT two more times and potentially improve your score.
Read this post to learn more about SAT and ACT score requirements for the different ROTC scholarships.
Scholar, Athlete, Leader
This portion comprises 14% of your overall score. Your extracurricular participation, athletic activities, and leadership positions held are accounted for. If you worked instead of participating in sports or other activities, you will receive credit based on the number of hours worked per week.
Holding a leadership position or being team captain for as many years as possible gets you the maximum points. Strive to be active in your community and get involved in activities that interest you the most.
Physical Fitness Test
The Army ROTC Scholarship Fitness Assessment is worth 10% of your score and consists of a 1 minute timed event for both pushups and sit-ups and a 1 mile run.
The test is scored out of a possible 150 points. Each event is equally weighted at 50 points. Below are the minimums and maximums for each event (note, we recommend scoring well above the minimum)
- 1-mile Run
- 9:00-6:30 for males
- 9:48-7:18 for females
- Push ups
- 0-50 for males
- 0-40 for females
- 0-50 for males
- 0-50 for females
There is no reason to send in this test until you have performed it to the best of your ability. Take a mock physical fitness assessment today, even if you are years away from applying. The earlier you begin preparation for this fitness test, the better.