There are three different scholarship programs. There is the High School Scholarship Program (HSSP), the In-College Scholarship Program (ICSP) and the Charles McGee Leadership Award (CMLA).
- HSSP: High school students are eligible to apply for these scholarships between July going into their senior year through December 31 of their senior year. The scholarship is a Type 1, which pays full college tuition and authorized fees at any public or private institution. Please see the Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) website for further information and eligibility requirements regarding HSSP opportunities.
- ICSP: In-college cadets are eligible to compete for scholarships between their freshman and sophomore year if they meet all AFROTC eligibility requirements. The scholarship opportunities are Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 pays full college tuition and authorized fees at any public or private institution. Type 2 pays up to $18,000 per year, or $9,000 per semester, in college tuition and authorized fees at any public or private institution. There is no formal application process for the In-College Scholarship Program, however, Air Force ROTC staff at the detachments evaluate current cadets and highly qualified students on their academic performance, physical fitness and academic major to determine eligibility and competitiveness for scholarship nomination and consideration. Individuals nominated for scholarship consideration will compete on a national board.
- CMLA: For cadets that have successfully completed field training and who enter the Professional Officer Course upon the start of their junior year of college, the Charles McGee Leadership Award (CMLA) will be awarded. The CMLA is a two-year scholarship to help relieve financial burdens and allow all qualified cadets to focus on their academic and leadership development. Eligible cadets are granted a two-year tuition award of $18,000 per year. With CMLA, now 100% of all qualified cadets in their junior and senior years will be eligible for this scholarship.
The majority of cadets that start in AFROTC are not on an Air Force ROTC scholarship. All scholarship opportunities are a merit-based, nationally boarded process. The quantity of scholarships awarded each year is based on the needs of the USAF. All cadets that have met eligibility requirements, successfully completed field training and entered the Professional Officer Course upon the start of their junior year of college will be awarded the CMLA scholarship if they have not earned an AFROTC scholarship previously.
No. Any student is eligible to attend classes. For those that meet Air Force eligibility requirements and desire to pursue a commission, attendance in Lead Lab (LLAB) and Physical Training (PT) is also required.
Some cadets do decide to have part-time jobs. The financial burden of attending a four-year university is one of many reasons why some cadets also have a part-time job. Ultimately, it comes down to finances, time management and the difficulty of the degree program.
All cadets, regardless of their class, are required to participate in Lead Laboratory and Air Force Physical Fitness Training every semester. Additionally, there are specific classes that cadets will take depending on their class/AS-level. For example, an AS100 (freshman) cadet will take AF101 and AF101L, while an AS300 (junior) cadet will take AF301 and AF301L. Each specific class builds on one another while cadets advance through the program, teaching different but related fundamentals in each that are imperative to ensuring success as an officer and a leader.
Three- and five-year cadets follow a different schedule than four-year students. Those in the three-year program will have to double up on classes their first year. During their first year, three-year cadets, referred to as AS250s, will have to take AF101 and AF201 alongside LLAB (Leadership Laboratory) and Physical Training (PT) during the Fall semester of their first year. Additionally, AS250s will take AF102 and AF202 alongside the normal AFROTC classes during the Spring semester of their first year. AS250s will take the same classes as an AS300 and, eventually, an AS400 during their junior and senior year.
Five-year cadets, referred to as AS800s during their final year, will have the same schedule as cadets in the four-year program duration, except they will not be required to take any specific classes during their fifth year. AS800s will only be required to take Leadership Laboratory and Physical Training (PT) during their final year unless directed otherwise.
A 3.5-year program duration is also available to students pursuing a four-year degree but opting to join AFROTC during their freshman year’s Spring semester rather than the traditional Fall semester. 3.5-year cadets, called AS150s, take the same classes as their AS100 contemporaries, with the exception of AF101, which they will take during the Fall semester of their second or sophomore year.
No. In fact, the majority of students enrolled in college ROTC were not involved in the Junior ROTC program or Civil Air Patrol while in high school.
No. If you received a four-year scholarship from high school (HSSP), then the first year of college is paid for, and you can opt-out at the end of your freshman year with no obligation. If you received a three-year scholarship from high school or college, then you are not committed to the Air Force until you accept your scholarship (usually in the fall of your sophomore year). If you didn't receive a scholarship, then you are not committed to joining the Air Force until you start your junior year of college.
With Air Force ROTC, we provide you with many opportunities to see what the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force are about before signing up. While you're participating, you are getting closer to graduation and having a lot of fun.
No. Any student with three years remaining should be eligible for our program.
No. The fact that a cadet may have an Air Force ROTC scholarship has no bearing on a U.S. Air Force or U.S. Space Force career, nor does it make any difference while in the Air Force ROTC program. All eligible cadets will receive an AFROTC scholarship by the time they enter the Professional Officer Course at the start of their junior year of college.
No. In fact, we encourage you to pursue a curriculum in which you are interested and capable of excelling. Our main academic concern is that you maintain a grade point average (GPA) above 2.0 and complete your degree in the time planned. The GPA requirements are different if you are applying for a scholarship and once you are on a scholarship.
There is no service commitment for students who take our classes with no intention of becoming a U.S. Air Force or U.S. Space Force officer. For these types of students, it's only another class. If you are interested in becoming an officer, there is no service commitment during the first two years of the Air Force ROTC program, the General Military Course (GMC), unless you have an Air Force ROTC scholarship (see Question 1). If you decide to stay and join the Professional Officer Course (POC) in the last two years of the program, you will sign an allocation contract with the U.S. Air Force or US Space Force and then be under a service obligation. For Air Force ROTC scholarship students, you are obligated once you have activated the scholarship and entered your sophomore year.
Yes, for the following reasons:
- It gives you more time to participate in Air Force ROTC without obligation, to gain experience and to decide whether you want to apply for the advanced program, the POC.
- You will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships, if eligible.
Other commissioning opportunities exist through the United States Air Force Academy and Officer Training School (OTS). For more information, visit the Air Force Academy website. Officer Training School is a program for individuals who already have their bachelor’s degree. Visit the Officer Training School website for more information.
Yes. After meeting with the detachment commander for approval, you will need to enroll in the freshman (100) level and sophomore (200) level courses, making you what we refer to as an "AS250."
Most officers have a four-year commitment. For pilots, it's 10 years after pilot training, and for Combat Systems Officers/Air Battle Managers/Remote Aircraft Pilots, it’s six years after training.
No. Your academic major plays a minor role in pilot and other rated selections. You can major in any degree program and compete to receive a pilot or other rated slot in Air Force ROTC. You can even be on an Air Force ROTC scholarship in an engineering or science major and compete on an equal basis for a flying position.
Hair must be kept in accordance with Air Force guidelines when in uniform.
The only time cadets are required to wear their uniform is to Leadership Lab and during one class session during the week and two times a week with Physical Training. Occasionally, during special events, you may be required to wear your uniform.
The only required time is during your Air Force ROTC classes, Leadership Lab and physical fitness training. This equates to approximately five hours per week for freshmen and sophomores, and seven hours per week for juniors and seniors, but additional time may be requested for specific events.
Cadet "sponsors" are assigned to new students. They can help students find classes, get textbooks, learn to wear the uniform correctly, meet other cadets, and learn basic customs and courtesies. It is also the responsibility of the cadet’s flight commander to help new cadets fit into the program. Many detachments also have tutoring programs and other forms of assistance. Hazing is not permitted! You'll find the cadet staff and detachment staff are friendly and concerned about your well-being and progress.
Not as much as you think. Marching/drill is sometimes practiced during your squadron time at Leadership Laboratory. There are no mandatory drill sessions outside of LLAB, but usually, cadets get together to practice drills after classes or on the weekends.
You can purchase a detachment polo shirt for your freshman and sophomore years. You will be issued a full uniform at the start of the spring semester of your sophomore year. You are responsible for keeping the uniform clean and presentable.
Your first and foremost concern is attending classes and maintaining good grades. After this, you will certainly want to examine some of the various activities sponsored by both your university and Air Force ROTC. There's something in our program of interest to everyone.
Yes. Generally, extracurricular campus activities and Air Force ROTC are perfectly compatible — as long as you do not overload yourself with extracurricular activities. A serious physical injury while participating in intercollegiate or intramural athletic activities may cause you to be disenrolled from Air Force ROTC because of a change in your physical profile.
AFROTC’s version of boot camp is Field Training. This is normally taken during the summer after your sophomore year. The Air Force covers all necessary expenses. Cadets are sent to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, to do their training. This is an intensive training period that gives cadets a firsthand look at Air Force life. Cadets from all over the country attend to gain hands-on experience in leadership, management and problem-solving. Cadets also receive survival training, aircraft indoctrination, weapons familiarization and physical fitness training.
“Lead Lab” is our Leadership Laboratory. It is planned and run by junior and senior cadets and is attended by the entire cadet corps in uniform. Cadets (ROTC students, both scholarship and nonscholarship) learn the basics of Air Force drills and ceremonies, customs and courtesies, and other hands-on skills you will need to know as a leader in the Air Force.