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.