The Navy ROTC scholarship is the most valuable and generous ROTC scholarship of the Armed Services. All Navy ROTC colleges pay scholarships for four years of full tuition at any public or private university in the country which hosts or sponsors Navy ROTC.

Scholarships at Navy ROTC Colleges are Extremely Competitive

As one would expect, scholarships from Navy ROTC colleges are very difficult scholarships to win. A candidate must have strong scholarship, athlete, and leader credentials. Additionally, it is difficult to win a scholarship if a candidate does not have a strong high school transcript in math and science and does not select a Navy ROTC Tier I or Tier II technical major.

An Alternative Navy ROTC Scholarship Route at Specific Navy ROTC Colleges

The competitiveness of the scholarship leaves many worthy candidates falling just short of winning a Navy ROTC scholarship out of high school. There is, however, a little-known path to gaining a scholarship: the Navy ROTC Preparatory Program (NPP)–which amounts to a five-year academic scholarship for those applicants selected for this program. Importantly, the NPP leads to a Navy Option scholarship (not a Marine Corps option scholarship).

Interested high school students apply for a one-year scholarship to support room, board and tuition while enrolled in selected NROTC programs that support the NPP. The program is designed to improve midshipman candidates’ academic and life skills to prepare for the NROTC academic program.

Colleges Supporting the Navy ROTC Preparatory Program:

The following schools support the NPP as of Academic Year 2023-2024 (application links provided):

How the Navy ROTC Preparatory Program Differs from the National High School Application

Important to note is that the NPP is not part of the Navy ROTC national high school application, and an applicant must apply directly to the NROTC program at Navy ROTC colleges as well as compete for admission to the college or university itself in order to secure a one-year scholarship. Once selected for the NPP, a four-year NROTC award the following year to complete a commission is virtually guaranteed.

How You Can Increase Your Chances of Winning a Navy ROTC Scholarship

The NPP selection rates vary from school to school but are around 50% of those who apply. A candidate increases his or her chances greatly by applying to multiple schools on the list. The more schools the candidate applies to, the higher likelihood of a scholarship. If the candidate has good scholar, athlete, leader credentials, lists a Tier I or Tier II major on his or her application, AND applies to most or all the schools on the list, the chances of selection are likely extremely high.

Overall, if a candidate wants an NROTC scholarship and is willing to attend a college or university and train with Navy ROTC for five years rather than four, the Navy ROTC Preparatory Program must be considered as the probability of scholarship selection for those who are qualified and willing to apply is very high.

Want to maximize your potential of earning a Navy ROTC Scholarship?

Blog Post graphic of Navy ROTC Colleges Increase your chances of winning a Navy ROTC Scholarship with this little known program Navy ROTC Preparation Program

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CAPT Roberts

CAPT Matthew Roberts (USN, Ret.) is an expert on Navy and Marine Corps Option ROTC Scholarships, along with leadership. He served for over 30 years in the United States Navy, retiring as a Professor of Naval Science at Auburn University.

Want to maximize your potential of earning a Navy ROTC Scholarship?