How Can ROTC Help Me Pay For College?

These Benefits Last a Lifetime

Army ROTC is one of the Nation's top leadership programs, with a wide range of benefits. Through Army ROTC you can:

  • Get help with your college tuition with an Army ROTC Scholarship
  • Gain experience you can't find anywhere else
  • Gain the respect of your peers and future employers
  • Train to become a leader and manager


In Army ROTC you will learn to become a leader—not just a person who gives orders but a person who leads by example. Being an Officer in the U.S. Army means you're a counselor, a strategist and a motivator. It's similar to being a vital manager in a corporation. As an Officer, you will lead other Soldiers in all situations and adjust to environments that are always changing. You'll be driven to achieve success with your team on every mission.

Learn more about Becoming an Officer

Skills Development

The specific skills you receive in Army ROTC will include things like leadership development, military skills and adventure training. This will take place both in the classroom and in the field, but you will have a normal daily schedule like all college students. Army ROTC has two phases: Basic Course and Advanced Course.

Scholarships / Financial

Whether you're a college-bound high school student or already attending a college or university, Army ROTC has scholarships available. Scholarships are awarded based on a student's merit and grades, not financial need. The ROTC program provides 3 different kinds of scholarships. There is a two-, three-, and four-year scholarship options. These scholarships offer full tuition or they can offer room and board in place of tuition.

However, this isn't the only way ROTC helps financially. Once contracted and on scholarship, Cadets are given a $420 monthly stipend. 

  • 1st year, $300/month
  • 2nd year, $350/month
  • 3rd year, $450/month
  • 4th year, $500/month

The stipend also applies to any non-scholarship contracted Cadets.

Another option cadets have is enrolling in the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP). This program allows a soldier in the Army Reserves or Army National Guard participate in ROTC as well as going to their once a month drill weekend. This benefits cadets immensely, because they learn leadership qualities and skills from the ROTC curriculum. Then during the monthly weekend training they apply what they've learned in an actual Army unit. This opportunity provides a SMP cadet with unparalleled experience as compared to an average cadet. SMP cadets are also given a pay grade of E-5, unless a higher pay grade was previously held, during their drill weekends. However this is not the only financial bonus given to SMP cadets.

SMP cadets also have access to multiple financial programs; the first being Tuition Assistance (TA). TA offers 100% tuition and fees coverage up to a certain amount per semester and per year. It pays $250 per semester hour up to $4500 per fiscal year. Then TA is limited 130 semester hours of undergraduate credit or baccalaureate degree, whichever comes first and 39 semester hours of graduate credit or master's degree whichever comes first. The 39 semester hour limit applies to all credits taken after completion of a baccalaureate degree. The next financial asset SMP cadets have access to is the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). MGIB pays out $368 per month to Army Reserves and Army National Guard. The final financial assistance is the Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (GRFD). This scholarship offers full tuition as well as $1200 for books per year. However if a cadet takes this scholarship they will no longer be eligible to compete for active duty.