View Full Version : Concerns with NROTC
03-31-09, 10:25 AM
I have searched on this site and the internet for information about NROTC. Iím sure I missed some info somewhere.
My son DEP'd June 08 and has a ship date of June 15, 09 for San Diego. He has been going to every poolee function each month, but we are too far for him to go more often. His dad and myself have been very proud and thrilled about his choice for the Marines and have been trying to learn more about his choices.
Last year, my son was not interested at all in college and had nothing to prepare for it. My sonís recruiter encouraged him to apply for the NROTC scholarship, I am assuming because of his ASVAB score. The Recruiter had started asking him about applying last summer, but he wasn't interested until last fall. I believe a Captain had also talked to him about it at one of the poolee funtions. My son tells us very few details.
Because of his recruiter's encouragement, my son decided to apply for this NROTC scholarship and began to get everything ready. Also, the Captain came all the way here to interview my son one day during school.
A few weeks ago, the captain called to let us know my son was selected to receive the NROTC scholarship. To say I was surprised is an understatement. I was actually kind of shocked. He has also suggested a university or two for him to apply at.
I have a few concerns. First, I wondered if he is really kind of late in applying to colleges, since many students start this process their junior years, but my son had done nothing to get ready since he was sure at that time he was going to bootcamp. I know he can not receive the scholarship until he is accepted at a school, and I don't know that he can delay receiving it until he has everything in order. I believe he would just go back into the selection process. Is that correct and what are the chances of being awarded this later after having to turn it down?
My main concern is financial. While this scholarship is wonderful and quite a huge honor, it does not cover room and board. I did not learn of what all it won't pay for until after he was awarded this. Room and board is a very significant expense, and I am concerned about him accepting this scholarship without knowing for sure we can help him pay for room and board for four years. I donít know if he will have time to have a part-time job and still keep his grades up, and the monthly living expenses he will be given wonít really cover this. While I realize this is my sonís decision, I also realize he might still be financially dependant on us for awhile longer. With four kids, finances are sometimes a bit tight in our family.
I guess I have another concern that my son will be discharged from DEP before he has been accepted at a university. If he isnít able to go to college, he will still want to go to bootcamp in June soon after he graduates. I understand he can only be in DEP one year.
I currently am a MECEP student at the University of Idaho so I have plenty of interaction with the Midshipmen here. Being here I know that the admission requirements are very lax for individuals going into the NROTC. The school likes us since we traditionally get good grades and dont get into trouble. For example, I called and told them I was MECEP and they said congratulations you'll be approved, your letter is in the mail. It was that simple.
With that being said about 10 miles away at Washington State University, which shares the same NROTC unit, has a deal for individuals with the NROTC scholarship. They will pay for the first year of your sons room and board. However, I can't vouch for the admission requirements being easier for them since I'm not going there.
Given this is only for the first year, but it would give him some time to get his bearings and some finances in order.
Also, here the cost of living is low and alot of the Midshipmen within the unit go out in town and get apartments for a very cheap price, then splitting it a few ways, they don't have to pay very much and it ends up being lots cheaper than room and board. Just an idea.
I know I'm sounding like I'm pimping my school, but I'm sure if he looked around there are several other universities that have similar deals for NROTC scholarship students.
Sorry, I forgot a few things. There are low interest student loans that your son could get. Finally, if he qualifies for Pell grants and crap like that from FAFSA that is just cash in his pocket because the scholarship pays for everything, books and all.
04-01-09, 02:49 PM
Sir, Thank you for your reply. I appreciate any information I am given.
I have started the process for the FAFSA and hopefully the school counselor will help him find some other scholarships he can apply for to help with room and board.
The same Marine Captain who has been talking to my son, is coming to meet us and answer whatever questions. I have about 30 of them typed up. I didn't want this to be a waste of this man's time.
My son has already been told by some colleges it is too late to apply. I don't know where all he has sent his applications to. I am not so sure he has found any yet with lax admissions. I was actually hoping the NROTC schools would be sending him information if they were open to applications.
I understand that MECEP is the officer training for already enlisted Marines, is that correct? I have yet to learn all the acronyms and names and titles of everything the Marines have to offer. Originally, we were hoping this would be the route this son would take after he was enlisted. I don't think it would be wise to turn down a scholarship, however, if we can work it all out.
Again, thank you for your reply.
Yes, MECEP is a program for those already enlisted. However, one of the requirements for being in the MECEP is to be at a school with a NROTC program, which gives me lots of facetime with the midshipmen who are on the scholarship.
As for the NROTC's getting information to your son, I'm not privy to the lists that they get, or the ammount of time they put into getting new midshipmen. If I was in their position I might look at it in a light of, if they don't want to take the time to apply, I'm not going to take the time to recruit them. But again, I don't know what standards are required for the Staff's at the NROTC units in regards to recruiting.
If your son is looking at having a career in the Marine Corps and wants to be an officer, he would be a fool to turn it down. Since it pays for all of tuition and books, all he has to come up with is room and board, not even that if he lives out in town. Just know that it is not to late, where there is a will there is a way.
If you want I can get you my Marine Officer Instructors phone number and he could get all the word from the horse's mouth, whether he goes to Idaho/Washington or not, the information will be the same.
04-02-09, 08:38 AM
Sir, I am very sorry my last post sounded as though I thought the NROTC should be doing my son’s job of finding a school; I didn’t intend to mean that they should recruit my son. I was actually wondering if the colleges still taking applications could send him basic information. As you said, the schools probably do want these NROTC students there. When my daughter took her ACT as a HS junior a few years back, it seems as though every college (and military branch) in the nation sent her their information in postcards or pamphlets. Come to think of it, I guess it is a kind of recruitment. But, this son would still have to go through all the application processes, it would just help narrow the list down. We have found a list of colleges with NROTC off the internet. I am leaving it all up to my son to apply where he might be interested. We are not close to any of these schools, so he will have to find somewhere to live. And I realize he would have already been accepted somewhere by now if he had started this process last summer. I’m not sure he is any more wise than most 18 year olds, but he will gain wisdom as he matures, and hopefully, he won’t make too many mistakes along the way.
I’ll mention Washington and Idaho to him. I think he has been looking at south eastern schools. Less snow.
I completely understand about looking for schools with less snow..Its April and I thought we were done with the whole snow thing..till I woke up this morning to 4 inches..
Honestly, I would imagine the reason that more schools are not actively sending information to your son is because it is so late in the game. He will definitely have to be proactive to make the scholarship thing work.
On that proactive thought, I would suggest that if your son is interested in a school, to call the NROTC unit there. Often times they can pull strings with the admissions department and make things happen. If he just puts in an application he will be looked at just like every other college student. Even if he puts the whole NROTC thing in his essay it wont have the same effect as if the MOI from the NROTC calls admissions and says that I want this kid here.
04-03-09, 05:56 PM
Thank you for your time and suggestions. I told my son what you said about calling the NROTC unit. He acted like he would do it. I found out each application costs about $20-40, which could add up pretty quickly, so he might as well make them count. Well, there goes his graduation money, haha. I am not so sure he is aggressively proactive enough, but I am leaving it up to him and just making a few suggestions. I just kind of hoped we could finance the cost of living expenses without having to take out loans. I’m not so sure an 18 year old needs to be strapped with that so early in life if he can help it, but at the same time, I think it is his responsibility so, hopefully, he will not just get to college to play and party and waste all that time and expense.
I think you are correct, this is all “late in the game”. I have already been concerned about this being almost the end of most colleges’ spring semesters. He has found some that will take his application. He didn’t realize he would have to write an essay to go with it.
Best of luck with your own classes. I am assuming MECEP has some of the same courses as the NROTC program. Maybe without the core college classes all the freshmen take.
You have been very thoughtful to help, and I know you are very busy with your own education and all, so I do really appreciate it.
If your son finds a school he might be interested in that has NROTC, go see or call the MOI of the NROTC unit there. (Marine Officer Instructor) I am sure he would help anyway he can. I was once the Gunny AMOI at U of Penn and we had students from colleges from all over Philadelphia in our program. Please give them a call.
04-07-09, 09:55 AM
Thank you very much for your advice. I appreciate you taking time to answer.
We are not able to actually go see any of the colleges or MOI’s because all of the schools my son is interested in are half way across America. We are not close enough to any of them. However, I don’t mind helping him find their phone numbers off of the internet, which is where he is getting his information. I will give him the advice you gave. I might even print this off so he won’t think it is just his mom’s idea.
When he was applying for this NROTC, I was surprised it would even be offered before he went to bootcamp. I understand he will go to some trainings during the summers after his first year, but I haven’t been able to find out if that is similar to bootcamp. At what point will he be drilled, so to speak, and go through that intense kind of training? Or, does it happen all the way through his NROTC time? I would be interested in finding this out, just for my own understanding. Kind of like, I am curious at what point they are considered Marines and not just students.
First, he wont ever go to boot camp going through the NROTC. He'll go to OCS which is basically the officer equivalent of the enlisted boot camp. Every summer he'll do a different activity, his first year he'll do Cortramid (not positive of the spelling) where he goes and hangs out with some active duty guys somewhere in the Navy/Marine Corps. It is nothing like bootcamp.
While in the NROTC he will be doing all sorts of random preparation type activities with his unit. He will learn proper reporting procedures, how to hike, PT, close order drill, ect. so that he is prepared for OCS.
He'll go to OCS between his Junior and Senior year of school. That is a 6 week long bootcamp like school. After graduating that he is still a Midshipman until he graduates. Once graduated he gets commissioned and starts off on a whole other batch of schools before he goes to the fleet. He is considered a Marine the moment he gets his commission, which again is right after graduating college.
Oh, and not to pimp out my school, but I talked with my MOI, and U of Idaho does not have an admissions deadline, its some sort of "floating admissions" as he called it. So it might be a good idea to tell your son about it as some sort of backup plan...I know Idaho wasn't my first choice.
04-10-09, 08:17 AM
Sir, Thank you again. I really did want to know basically what he would be doing, so I appreciate you telling me this. I hadn’t thought about doing a search for OCS I also haven’t read much about the summer activities, just what the “official” NROTC site has, which is kind of limited. I will try to read up on. You have given me some great information. Yesterday, I read on another thread here about OCS. It is all very interesting and really amazing what all you Marines go through and have to learn and experience. I will only know it through my son, assuming he makes it to that level, but I really appreciate it all.
So, since he won’t be considered a Marine until he gets his commission, I guess I have to wait four years to stick the “Parent of a Marine” sticker on my car! All those stickers the recruiter gave me that I can’t use, haha.
I actually did mention U of Idaho to him again. I will admit, it won’t be his first choice either, but maybe he will at least think about it if the other schools won’t take him. I don’t know what a floating admissions is, but will guess maybe they will accept him for a later semester.
My understanding of the floating admissions is that they don't have an admissions deadline like most schools, so if it is may and he still hasn't gotten into any other schools he could apply there and get in assuming he meets whatever their requirements, and still go there in the fall. I'm not positive what the req's are since they accept MECEPs without even looking at our past education. uidaho.edu is their website, and there are phone numbers there that could answer those questions a whole lot better than me.
04-13-09, 11:21 AM
My son was in very similar situation back in 2006. Scholarship awarded in March of his senior year, but he was not accepted to his university of choice - Texas A&M. Like your son, he really had intended to enlist before he gave the scholarship a try.
In any event, he did a quick application to TAMU Galveston - which doesn't have the rigid early deadlines. Galveston has no Marine Option program, but the first year NROTC requirements are the same for Navy and Marine. The MOI at College Station was able to have the scholarship applied for this first year at Galveston. The caviat was that if he didn't make the grades to transfer to College Station after this first year, he would be screwed - since Marine Option take different paths in year two, and there was no Marine Option at Galveston. It was a gamble my son was willing to take.
In the end, he booked a 4.0 at Galveston and transferred as planned to College Station. Of course, he had to start again as a Freshman in the Corp of Cadets, but as far as NROTC and the Marine Corp were concerned, he was a Sophomore. He's already done his first two summer training tours, and will be heading to OCS in May.
04-21-09, 09:53 AM
Thank you again. I appreciate your offer of help. I have been searching the internet for information on NROTC, OCS, MECEPS, etc. Then, I have to remember this is my son’s responsibility, but I find it all interesting. My son is still waiting on his college acceptance letter, but is sure he will get it. But the NROTC program there also has to have a slot open at the same time and also has to accept him. It is kind of a three part deal between the NROTC, the school, and the scholarhip, not to mention the expenses he will be liable for. It is kind of an anxious time. Since my son doesn’t tell us much, I have decided I am fine with how ever this all plays out. If he doesn’t get everything lined up, he is still good with his original plan of going enlisted and probably going to officer training later if he qualifies. He would be older by that point, have more Marine experiences, and would probably make a better officer by that time anyway. Yes, it is very hard to possibly be giving up on a scholarship, but it will all work out in the end anyway. Maybe they will let him re-apply for it. I am just thankful he has considered this. I think it has been great for him.
04-21-09, 10:25 AM
I re-read this, and I certainly don't mean to say that one route of becoming a Marine officer is any better than the others. I apologize if that sounded offensive. I only meant as far as my own son, it could be good for him if he goes the officer route later. I will also be proud of him if he chooses to not ever go to officer training. He just wants to be a Marine, so that is what I want for him.
04-21-09, 02:21 PM
If your son already has a good idea of where he's going to get his acceptance from, have him call the MOI of that school's Program. He/she will be able to tell you if there is a 'slot' open. Only a slight possibility that have has received their allotment of NROTC Scholarships, but even this not difficult to overcome.
My son had to do through similar gymnastics back in 2006, but things have worked out well (A&M). Heading to OCS in May.
05-02-09, 02:29 PM
My son was just accepted to a university. He still has lots of paperwork to do, but at least he can move forward. We have already filed with FAFSA, which will help some with expenses. Money is still our concern, but we are working on that.
This really has been a confusing process and we aren’t through it yet.
Thanks for all the input, esp to DIBL07. You have been especially helpful with easy to understand information. Best of luck to you.
Thanks, and congrats to your son for getting into a school.