How to Win a Navy or Marine Corps ROTC Scholarship

How to Win a Navy or Marine Corps ROTC Scholarship2021-09-20T20:46:33+00:00

There is a lot of information on ROTC scholarships on online forums and various websites, and our goal is to ensure you focus on the right areas for Navy ROTC, including the Marine Corps Option. Understanding the board process will help you apply effort to the areas that matter most in your application.

Here is an overview of the major sections in this guide:

  • Part 1: Types of Navy ROTC Scholarships
  • Part 2: How Navy ROTC Ranks and Selects Candidates
    • College Board Scores
    • Selection of Major 
    • Scholar, Athletics, and Leadership
    • Interview
    • Physical Fitness Test
  • Part 3: How Navy ROTC Ranks and Selects Candidates
    • Physical Fitness Test
    • Scholar, Athletics, and Leadership
    • College Board Scores
    • Interview
  • Part 4: Medical Qualification and Starting the Process

Our goal is to provide you with insider tips on how to win a Navy ROTC scholarship. We’ll cover a few basics on the types of ROTC scholarships below, but we assume that you have a basic understanding of the Navy ROTC program. We recommend learning more about the Navy ROTC program from their official website.

Many different colleges and universities across the U.S. have Navy ROTC programs, developing leaders of tomorrow by preparing students to become officers in the Navy or Marine Corps.  You must be enrolled in the following list of Navy ROTC colleges or universities in order to participate.

We’ve created a complete list of Navy ROTC scholarship benefits to help you make that crucial decision of which school is the best fit for you or your student. 

If your goal is to commission into the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps, earning a scholarship and a degree through the Navy ROTC program is a fantastic opportunity. Especially when you consider the possibility of free room and board, making this scholarship potentially worth up to $80,000 per year. 

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Types of Navy ROTC Scholarships

Below are the benefits of the different types of Navy ROTC Scholarships. If selected, you will also receive a monthly stipend of $250-$400 and $750 annual allowance for books and supplies.

High School Scholarship Program

There are a few different programs under the HS scholarship program:

  • 4-year Navy scholarship
  • 4-year Navy-Marine Corps Option scholarship
  • 4-year Navy- Nurse Option Scholarship

Chances of Receiving a Scholarship

You can read more about your chances of winning a Navy ROTC scholarship here.

Service Obligation

The service obligation is an agreement between you or your student and Navy ROTC. This obligation is generally four years. All Navy ROTC midshipmen go on active duty in the Navy or Marine Corps

What Matters to the Navy ROTC Scholarship Selection Board?

The way Navy ROTC chooses scholarship winners is opaque and there is not a point total that they use. All Navy ROTC winners are chosen by an officer board that evaluates the scholar, athlete, leader credentials of each candidate.

There seems to be little variation for athlete or leader credentials for Navy ROTC.

Most important criteria for Navy ROTC:

  • Score a 700 or above on the Math SAT. Navy ROTC superscores the test.
  • Designate either a Tier I or Tier II Academic Major.

Tier I Navy ROTC Majors:

  • Aerospace
  • Aeronautical
  • Astronautical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Naval Architecture & Marine/Naval Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Systems Engineering

Tier II Navy ROTC Majors:

  • Agricultural/Biological Engineering & Bioengineering
  • Architectural Engineering/Architectural Engineering Technologies
  • Astrophysics Biochemistry
  • Biophysics & Molecular Biology
  • Biomathematics & Bioinformatics Biomedical/Medical Engineering
  • Biotechnology Cell/Cellular Biology & Anatomical Sciences
  • Ceramic Sciences & Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Science/Info. Tech.
  • Construction Engineering
  • Electronics & Comm. Engineering
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Engineering
  • Physics
  • Engineering Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Science
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Metallurgical Engineering
  • Microbiological Sciences and Immunology
  • Mining & Mineral Engineering Nuclear & Industrial Radiologic Technology
  • Oceanography
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Physics
  • Physiology, Pathology & Related Sciences
  • Polymer/Plastics Engineering
  • Quantitative Economics
  • Statistics
  • Textile Sciences & Engineering

Bottom line: Score a 700 SAT or above on Math and designate a Tier I or II major.

What Matters to the Navy ROTC-Marine Corps Option Scholarship Selection Board?

Like Navy ROTC, the process is opaque and there is not a point total that they use. The Marine Corps awards scholarships by Recruiting District so it is important to have a good reputation and be known within your District. The following is a map of the districts:

You must be a solid performer with very good SAT/ACT Scores (goal is above 1300 SAT/27 ACT), with a good high school GPA. Navy ROTC-Marine Corps option is best sitting.

Unlike Navy ROTC, the Marine Corps does not take into account your college major.

Most important criteria for Navy ROTC- Marine Corps Option

Participate actively in physical fitness and other sessions with the local Marine Corps recruiting office in your area within your district. Be known, be seen.

Score above 265 on the Marine Corps Fitness Test (PFT). Retake it in order to score higher. You can use this calculator to figure out how you would score on the test.

Medical Qualification

Medical qualification doesn’t come until after you receive a scholarship offer. You must be medically qualified by 15 December of your freshman year in order to keep your scholarship. You can find out more information about the DoDMERB process at their website.

We recommend scheduling exams as soon as possible in order to keep the process moving along, as it may take some time to get additional testing completed if needed.

Here are some common medical disqualifiers:

  • Asthma (after 13th birthday)
  • Mental health
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Orthodontics
  • Orthopedics

These are taken from a DOD Instruction 6130.03. You can receive waivers for certain conditions, but this takes additional time so we recommend starting the process as soon as you receive the instructions from DoDMERB. The biggest takeaway with waivers is that your condition must not prevent you from being able to deploy to a combat location.

As a general rule, make it your goal to become medically qualified before you show up to campus in the fall.

Application Timeline

Keep track of all the board dates and deadlines so you stay on track with the application process.

The Navy ROTC scholarship application deadline is December 31, 2021. The Marine Corps Option ROTC scholarship application deadline is January 31, 2022. 

You can get more information on Navy ROTC scholarship board dates here and Marine Corps option ROTC scholarship board dates here. 

Free Navy or Marine Corps ROTC Deadline Tracker

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