The second round offer letters are starting to be received and I’m getting a ton of questions about options.  Many of the applicants have received offers to schools they didn’t apply to, or didn’t get accepted to, or don’t want to attend.  Many  changes occur between the time an applicant fills out the online application in the spring of their junior year, and the time they get boarded and receive their offer.

Here is what the offer letter says:

This scholarship offer is only good at ONE of the colleges or universities listed above.  This scholarship is conditional based upon your acceptance into the college/university you choose. You must accept the scholarship NLT XX/XX/2012 and identify the college of university you plan to attend.  We will confirm your attendance in May 2012.  if at that time you need to change the school you choose to attend, we will take that change request into consideration.  Read the enclosed instructions carefully and retain them for reference.

So, what should you do if you didn’t get the offer you wanted.  First question I would ask myself is:

“Do I really want to be an Army Officer”?

If the answer is yes, you should accept the offer, and then try to work some magic.

I’ve paraphrased what our Brigade has told me.

First the scholarship winner accepts an offer to a school listed; and is prepared to attend. The scholarship winner  can correspond directly to Cadet Command requesting to change/move/transfer to another school.  They should send in a letter of acceptance to the school they wish to transfer too, and should not expect the transfer to a school that is higher cost, or one that may not have any allocations left.

Cadet Command will email the request to Brigade.  Brigades are the arbitrators now.  For those of you unfamiliar with military organization the Battalions/ROTC programs fall under one of 8 Brigades.  The Brigade will use cost and school allocations as the determining factors of whether to honor the request or not.  If you can get the school you’d like to attend to advocate for you that will be helpful.  Having a PMS or ROO on your side will make your argument stronger.

Finally, if you just can’t see yourself attending the school you received an offer to and you can’t get permission to transfer your scholarship offer, you still have one options.  If you answered yes to the original question:

“Do I want to be an Army Officer”?

You can come to school and pay your own way and compete for any scholarships that may become available on campus, consider the SMP program, and do what more and more future Army Officers will be doing, attending school and enrolling in ROTC without the scholarship.

Full disclosure…I was a non scholarship cadet back in the day…the stipend is much larger these days!

1 Comment

  1. Very good advice!! I wanted to be an Army (Engineer) Officer. I tried for a 4-year scholarship. At the time 20/20 vision was required so I didn’t receive one. I enrolled at Clarkson and ROTC, pledging the Clarkson Rangers and became a member of the Society of American Military Engineers. The fules changed by my junior year and I was awarded a 2-year scholarship. As of today, I’m a retired Reserve Officer, a member of SAME and am continuing to use all the engineering skills that I learned at Clarkson.

    Bill Pippine, CCT ‘70
    LTC, EN
    USAR (Ret)

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