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Government cuts back

Norwich Guidon Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Updated: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 18:03

 

In Air Force ROTC, these types of ROTC scholarships offer varying amounts of assistance: Type 1 scholarships are four years, covering 100 percent of tuition. Type 2 scholarships are either three or four years, and cover $18,000 in tuition per year. Another type of scholarship, Type 7, is four years, but only covers $9,000 tuition per year.

The Air Force also offers Express Scholarship options. These scholarships are awarded based upon the "needs of the Air Force," according to Capt. Gee. They are only offered to certain academics majors; however, those cadets who have those majors are highly competitive for these scholarships.

 

Some Express Scholarships from the Air Force include a Type 1 scholarship for electrical and computer engineering majors. There is also a Type 2 scholarship available for nursing majors.

"We offer these scholarships out at different rates each year, depending on how much money the Air Force puts into the Express Scholarship fund," Capt. Gee said. "We are expecting the Air Force to start channeling more money from national based scholarships, back into Express Scholarships."

This pattern between the Army and Air Force ROTC's is apparent, as both service branches intend to pay for cadets already in the ROTC program, rather than incoming freshmen cadets. According to Maj. Landrum and Capt. Gee, this is to ensure ROTC scholarship money goes to only the most qualified cadets.

 

For Norwich Navy ROTC, however, the situation is slightly different.

According to Lt. Jarrod Gazarek, Norwich Navy ROTC submarine officer and naval science instructor, the Navy has had a "definite decrease" in the number of Navy ROTC scholarships offered in the past two years.

"The Navy has become more strict with their selection standards," Lt. Gazarek said. "Competing midshipmen need a higher level of physical fitness and academics than in the past."

This decrease in the Navy's ability to offer as many ROTC scholarships stems from the "financial changes going on in the economy, and the cutbacks currently being done to the Department of Defense," Lt. Gazarek said.

 

In order to receive a Navy ROTC scholarship, naval science instructors must work to find midshipmen who are taking courses in technical majors.

"We have a tier system when selecting for ROTC scholarship," Lt. Gazarek said. "For Tier 1, the most competitive midshipmen have technical, engineering majors. For Tier 2, we have math and science majors, and for Tier 3, these midshipmen have humanities and social science majors."

 

The lower the tier, the more competitive a midshipman is for selection. For example, a Tier 1 midshipman would be much more competitive for a scholarship than a Tier 3 midshipman, although some Tier 3 midshipmen do receive scholarships.

"Eighty-five percent of our selected midshipmen for ROTC scholarship are Tier 1 or Tier 2 majors. Only 15 percent of the majors selected are Tier 3," according to Lt. Gazarek.

 

While the Navy concentrates on academic majors when selecting for Navy ROTC scholarships, the Marine Corps ROTC uses different criteria.

"When I was at the Marine Officer Instructor Conference in Pensacola, Fla., they told us that the Marine Corps ROTC scholarships would not increase in numbers," said Capt. David Castro, Norwich marine officer instructor. "But did they say the number of scholarships would go down? They didn't say that either."

"They just told us that the number of Marine Corps ROTC scholarships would not increase. So what that tells me is, that the number of scholarships available will stay at the same level as last year," Capt. Castro said.

 

Because the Marine Corps operates as a part of the Navy, the money for Marine Corps ROTC scholarships comes from the Navy. So as the Navy changes its scholarship programs, due to a faltering, post-war economy, the Marine Corps can expect similar changes in its ROTC scholarship program as well.

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