More than 2,500 of the nation’s "best and brightest" began their college careers this fall courtesy of the U.S. Army.
The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) awarded 2,579 four-year scholarships to incoming members of the class of 2014. The scholarships for these future Army leaders are worth $51,154,145, based on tuition rates at the colleges and universities the awardees are attending.
ROTC is the largest source of Army officers, commissioning more than 60 percent of new officers each year for the active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard.
According to the U.S. Army Cadet Command, headquartered at Fort Knox, Ky., ROTC awards its scholarships on a "whole person" concept, and looks for what it terms the "Scholar-Athlete-Leader."
According to Cadet Command officials, this means a cadet must have "a strong academic record; good active mindset with mental and physical toughness; selfless motivation and a demonstrated willingness to be involved in and be a leader among peers in student or community organizations."
Adding, the cadet "must also desire to take on challenges and strive for excellence."
The profile of this year’s scholarship winner shows that the average high school grade point average is 3.5, and the mean college board test score is 1186.
In addition: 39 percent were in the top 5 percent of their class; 74 percent were in the top 25 percent of their class; and 96 percent were in the top 50 percent of their class.
Twelve percent were student body or senior class presidents; 34 percent held other class offices; 41 percent were National Honor Society members; 8 percent were club presidents; 28 percent took part in Junior ROTC; 17 percent were involved in scouting; 77 percent were varsity letter winners; and 53 percent were varsity team captains.
Army ROTC awards four-, three- and two-year merit-based scholarships that cover full tuition and fees, including an annual textbook payment. Awardees also receive a monthly stipend. Some awardees may choose to receive funding for room and board in lieu of the tuition.
These scholarships can be used at any of the ROTC program’s 273 host institutions, in addition to the more than 1,100 partnership or affiliated universities in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam.