Hi, I am realizing how expensive college will be for me, even for colleges that claim to offer 100% need-based aid. If anyone has any experience/knows about ROTC it would be great just to give me your overall experience with your program. I have considered it, but it's a big commitment, and don't know if it really covers all your tuition. Also, would you be able to join ROTC freshmen/sophomore year of college and still get scholarships? I've done some research but haven't found much. Thank you for your help!
Before I attended Georgetown University, I was a member of an organization similar to JROTC called the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps. At Georgetown, I talked with ROTC students while I was debating the same question you are now. Here are my thoughts and answers to your questions based on my experiences.
ROTC does cover the full costs of tuition if you complete the program, and you can enroll as late as the summer between your sophomore and junior years. Those who join late make up for lost time through accelerated summer training programs. ROTC involves military training both in the classroom and outside. People generally have an easy time with ROTC classes, though outside activities can be challenging. For example, ROTC students start physical training early in the morning several days a week.
Many students find the experience of ROTC itself to be enriching - their toughest decision is committing to serving as an officer for at least 4 years after graduation. To make the decision easier, I would recommend thinking about the military officer career side of things even more than ROTC. If your heart is into an officer career path, where motivation and drive for your work are so important because of austere conditions, then the program could be a great fit. If you feel that ROTC would stifle your ability to pursue dreams in the civilian world and your only motivation would be covering tuition, it is probably not worth it for you. Hope this helps!
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