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Old 03-15-2010, 06:57 AM
 
17 posts, read 49,576 times
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My son who is about to finish his sophomore year at a private university in Texas is looking into the military to help with college.

What branch of the military pays the most for college loans? Enlistment bonuses? ROTC or just Reserves?

His major is in engineering. He hasn't taken the ASVAB but scored at 33 (out of 36) on the ACT.

Thanks.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:08 AM
 
3,422 posts, read 9,441,185 times
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Unless he is facing a current financial crisis, I think he should give strong consideration to finishing his degree and entering as an officer. He should speak to the ROTC people of all the branches that are on his campus. I cannot say for sure but I am pretty sure Engineering is one of the "approved" majors for assistance with tuition through ROTC (with a service commitment). I believe there are also options to attend/join ROTC without incurring a service commitment, but without any tuition assistance. Someone else here probably knows more about it.

He really needs to look at all of the branches on their own without regard to money as well b/c there are lots of factors to consider when choosing a branch of service. There may be a very good reason one branch is offering more in terms of bonuses than another branch.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Hawaii
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I second the ROTC route; many times they will even offer a full ride with ROTC picking up the tab.

Even if there's not an ROTC program at his school they probably have an agreement with a nearby college/university for ROTC classes.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,496,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tradosaurus View Post
My son who is about to finish his sophomore year at a private university in Texas is looking into the military to help with college.

What branch of the military pays the most for college loans? Enlistment bonuses? ROTC or just Reserves?

His major is in engineering. He hasn't taken the ASVAB but scored at 33 (out of 36) on the ACT.

Thanks.
I don't know the specifics, but as a spouse of a retired veteran who worked with lots of officers, I would wholeheartedly agree with the other posters that advise your son to get into the ROTC program. I will put it into "civilian terms":

If your son graduates from the university he's going to now and somehow gets the military to pay for some of his costs, they are going to require a certain number of years in service to cover those costs (or he will have to pay for them on his own).

If your son joins the ROTC program, not only does the military pay for his education (and you would be surprised how many universities (public and private) have ROTC programs), but since they also require him to serve a certain number of years, upon graduation (from college and ROTC), he will now be an officer.

He MAY be able to graduate from his university and then try to get into the Officer Training Program, but why do that when he can go through ROTC and be guaranteed an officer slot upon graduation?

My husband retired and was Enlisted Air Force. The difference, just in pay, should convince you to encourage your son to go ROTC. Officer pay is substantially higher than Enlisted pay. If he's going to have to get up in the morning, put on a uniform and go to the base for work, why not start his career on a higher payscale? Why not begin a career already in line for better housing, better pay, and likely a better career path? He will be put into a supervising position and if he's smart, will rely heavily on his senior enlisted people to show him the ropes. If he treats them with respect and understands that they probably know more than he does, they will be happy to share their knowledge and skills and that will only make him a better officer and boss.

If my child were contemplating joining the military (and we have a while since they're 7 and 2!), I would push her towards ROTC. You won't meet many people who were prior enlisted who wouldn't encourage the same thing of their kids. A career in the military, if you do it right, can be extremely satsifying and lead you into a fantastic civilian career. But while you're in the military, why not go for a job and career that leads to higher pay, better housing, and if you stay in for 20, a much higher retirement pay? My friend's husband (who was an officer) retired at 20 and so did my husband. Her husband's retirement pay is thousands of dollars higher than my husband's. That alone should encourage him to do ROTC.

Perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but if he goes ROTC, he graduates automatically as an officer. If he enters as an enlisted member, he'll have to apply and go through Officer Training. It's not a guarantee that he'll be accepted. I have met a few people who have college degrees that were not accepted into the OTS. There's only a certain number of slots available.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:57 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,140 posts, read 38,919,946 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tradosaurus View Post
My son who is about to finish his sophomore year at a private university in Texas is looking into the military to help with college.

What branch of the military pays the most for college loans? Enlistment bonuses? ROTC or just Reserves?
The military doesn't really pay for college loans, so I'm not sure what your looking for there.

Enlistment bonus's? That would mean enlisting in the US military for a chunk of cash. I know the Army was paying $20,000 as enlistment incentives for a six year obligation into specific field. There are reasons why they pay people these incentives. But you might read this web page for a better explanation: U.S. Military FAQ -- What are the current enlistment bonuses and re-enlistment bonus amounts? There are some good deals, but I do not consider that the best way to get a college degree.

Reserves? There are a variety of reserve programs, for example "Qualified Army Reserve applicants without previous military service who enlist for six years may qualify for an enlistment bonus of $20,000. Army Reserve Soldiers also must agree to remain in the Inactive Reserve for two more years - a total obligation of not less than eight years." but again, not sure that is the best way to get a degree. Just because you are in the Reserves does not mean are will not be activated for active duty: Army Enlistment Incentives

Guess what, ROTC looks like a good deal, I know people who have done it. The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is a college-based, officer commissioning program. These sites will help you to understand:
Reserve Officers' Training Corps - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ROTC.com
I also recommend ROTC. This is your lucky day! The first four replies are from knowledgeable people, and they all agree.



Rich
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:45 PM
 
17 posts, read 49,576 times
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Thanks everyone for the quick replies. I will forward this info to my son.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Cupertino, CA
830 posts, read 1,680,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisdol View Post
Unless he is facing a current financial crisis, I think he should give strong consideration to finishing his degree and entering as an officer. He should speak to the ROTC people of all the branches that are on his campus. I cannot say for sure but I am pretty sure Engineering is one of the "approved" majors for assistance with tuition through ROTC (with a service commitment). I believe there are also options to attend/join ROTC without incurring a service commitment, but without any tuition assistance. Someone else here probably knows more about it.

He really needs to look at all of the branches on their own without regard to money as well b/c there are lots of factors to consider when choosing a branch of service. There may be a very good reason one branch is offering more in terms of bonuses than another branch.
At least in Army ROTC one may enroll in the freshmen and sophomore level courses (military science (MS) I and II) without incurring an obligation or financial assistance. To go on to the MS III and IV years one must be a contracted cadet and as such make a commitment to serve upon graduation. Also a cadet may choose any major. But major choice can affect branch selection (an engineering major may have an advantage over others if the cadet chooses to branch Engineer). Also a cadet at any level must also be a full time student.

As for the OP's son one possibility is to enlist and go to basic combat training this summer and immediately contract into ROTC and start with the MS III course in the fall. Going to basic training can substitute for missing the first two years of ROTC, and the son can be ready to commission by university graduation time 2012. Also it should be noted one cannot commission until all college courses are complete and the cadet has graduated from the university.

I was prior enlisted and I commissioned two years ago through Army ROTC. I decided to stay close to home so I stayed in my National Guard unit. A new officer can of course also go Reserves or Active Duty. I was also a cross-enrolled cadet; In other words I attended a state university but completed ROTC at a nearby private university. I used my GI Bill benefits since my state school was cheaper and it made more financial sense but the cadets at the private university and also Stanford were scholarship cadets since otherwise they would be paying $40 or $50k/year for tuition.

But this is all just one possibility for the OP's son. Doing ROTC can be a good option, but is the son physically and mentally ready for this kind of training and have the potential to successfully lead troops in combat one day? Not to mention the importance of having a clean background, both criminal and medical-wise.
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:30 AM
 
123 posts, read 175,090 times
Reputation: 142
if your son is looking to join the military just to further his education, i would suggest either the coast guard or the air force.
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