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Air Force ROTC FAQ

How long is the Air Force ROTC program?

Undergraduate students must have at least three or more years remaining in their undergraduate studies. If you are a second-semester freshman, a sophomore or otherwise and have at least three years remaining in your undergraduate studies, you will likely be eligible to join the AFROTC program. If you have less than three years remaining towards your undergraduate then Officer Training School (OTS) is your best option if you are seeking a commissioning. Additional information can be found on the Air force website.

What physical criteria must cadets meet?

Cadets are required to participate in two physical training (PT) sessions each week in order to maintain good physical condition. Cadets must be able to complete a timed 1.5 mile run, and complete a specific amount of push-ups and sit-ups based on the Air Force standards. Along with staying in good physical condition, all cadets must conform to the maximum weight and body fat standards as established by the United States Air Force. Additional information can be found on the Air Force website.

What academic criteria must cadets meet?

Cadets need to maintain full time status for fall and spring semesters (12 credit hours - including the AFROTC classes). Cadets may work on minors or dual major but cannot work on graduate studies without AFROTC HQ approval. Cadets must earn their undergraduate degree and commission prior to their 30th birthday. Additional information can be found on the Air Force website.

What scholarship opportunities or financial incentives are available?

AFROTC offers a number of ways to help pay for college. The first is through AFROTC scholarships.

Air Force ROTC High School Scholarship Program (HSSP). The HSSP may cover 100% tuition expenses and provides three- and four-year scholarships of three different types to high school seniors. The application process is the same for each type. HSSP needs to be applied for at the beginning of the candidate's senior year of high school, the deadline is in December. The general criteria to be eligible for the HSSP is listed below:

- Must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher

- Must have a 2.5 Term GPA or higher

- ACT score of 24 or SAT score of 1100 or better

- Pass the Air Force Physical Fitness requirements

- Complete a medical review process

In-College Scholarship Program (ICSP). There are scholarships offered to current college students available, competitive, and awarded based on merit. These 3.5 year scholarships may also cover 100% of tution costs (depending on if a cadet is considered an in-state or out-of-state student). In general, all cadets who've completed a single term in the AFROTC program become eligible for the ICSP scholarship. The criteria for the ICSP is very similar to the criteria for the HSSP, except standardized testing isn't factored, but the cadet's overall ranking by the Detachment Commander is considered. Best of all, cadets don't need to complete a complex application to apply for it, they just need to meet the criteria and to have completed at least one term!

Other financial incentives outside of scholarships do exist for cadets. Uniquely, Ohio University has partnered with AFROTC Det 650 to help offset the cost of room and boarding for cadets. So if a cadet maintains a good GPA, good physical fitness standards, and high moral character, this cadet may be awarded financially to help pay for part of, or nearly all, housing expenses. 

Additionally, all cadets who contract with the Air Force, after completion of Field Training or when accepting an AFROTC scholarship, will receive a monthly stipend. The amount of the stipend depends on what year the cadet is in, freshman through senior-year in the program.

The Air Force does not reimburse school expenses upon commissioning. Additional information can be found on the Air Force website.

What is the AF Learning Community?

Ohio University offers degree specific classes for first-year students during their first semester to assist them with their transition to college. The University has created one of these unique classes specifically for the AFROTC program. This provides new cadets with a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the USAF as well as AFROTC and make lifelong friends that will be a part of your cadet family for the next four years. For more information on Ohio University learning communities visit the learning communities website.

What commitment do cadets have to the Air Force?

Cadets are not committed to the Air Force until they come back from Field Training (with the exception of cadets that have been awarded Air Force Scholarships, they contract upon acceptance). When cadets have completed Field Training, the summer between their 2nd and 3rd year, they will contract into the Delayed Entry Program prior to the start of their 3rd year. Once they have graduated, they will be commissioned into the active duty Air Force. The number of years they are committed to is dependent on the training they will receive for their respective career field. Generally, 4 years is the minimum service commitment. For cadets who commission as pilots, pursue a graduate degree in law, or a medical career field, this commitment may extend between 7-10 years. Additional information can be found at the Air Force ROTC website.

Is JROTC mandatory for participation in AFROTC?

In a word, No. JROTC is a high school program that has a mission to build better citizens for America. AFROTC is a college program specifically created to train and commission leaders into the USAF. JROTC IS NOT a prerequisite for ROTC.

Do I have to be a freshman to join AFROTC?

No. The program is designed around a four year concept but can be altered to a minimum of three years. The cadet will just have to double up on the academic portion of the program in order to take both the first and second year requirements. It is more advantageous to participate in the four year program because it better prepares the cadet for the challenges of Field Training. With that said, individuals on the fence are encouraged to simply try out the academic class (AST1010 or AST1020) only at first, to gauge their interest in the program. They will be identified as a "Participating Student" and only be required to attend the 1 hr class per week; meaning no physical training (PT), Drill, or Leadership Laboratory. It is a great way to dip your toe into the program for a semester before you decide if the USAF is right for you.

Can I attend AFROTC without a scholarship?

Yes. It is not a requirement and many cadets commission without being awarded a scholarship. For more information on scholarships visit the Air Force ROTC website.

What majors may I pursue, and what career fields make sense for certain majors?

Cadets may pursue any major the University offers. In fact we encourage you to seek a degree in something you are interested in, because this usually means you will do well. Our main concern is that you maintain at least the minimum 2.0 GPA (but we recommend much higher to compete for scholarships or Field Training) and that you can finish your degree in the planned time period.

With that said, certain career fields do require certain degrees (i.e. Civil Engineers require a Civil Engineering degree). Also, Science, Technical, Engineering, and Math (STEM) majors are more competitive for scholarships. See a list of different career fields the Air Force has to offer here: https://www.airforce.com/careers

Majors in Business / Finance / Human Resources / Liberal Arts / Acquisitions can translate well into the following Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC).

- Acquisitions Officer: Help spend the Air Force's $156 billion dollar budget by purchasing cutting-edge technology and working with vendors to get the equipment we need.

- Contracting Officer: Negotiate with external vendors and manage multi-million dollar contracts that support operations across the Air Force.

- Force Management Officer: Lead the human resources component by taking care of the most important aspect of the Air Force, its members, through managing career development, evaluations, and more.

- Finance Officer: Manage finances and accounting to help Air Force leaders spend operational funds appropriately.

Majors in any degree / Liberal Arts / Management can translate well into the following AFSC's.

- Airfield Operations Officer: Manage airfields and runways, helping Air Force bases run efficiently.

- Missile Operations Officer: Manage and operate the United States arsenal of nuclear warhead...an incredible responsibility.

Majors in Language / Finance / International Studies / Liberal Arts / Journalism can translate well into the following AFSC's.

- Intelligence Officer: Collect, analyze and disseminate information to Air Force Commanders so they can plan missions effectively.

- Public Affairs Officer: Lead as a journalist by attending events across the globe and reporting on what the Air Force is doing.

What is the AFOQT?

This stands for the Air Force Officer Qualification Test and is a standardized aptitude test (similar to ACT or SAT). It is given during your second year in the program and becomes part of your Order of Merit (OM) when being selected for Field Training and your career choice. It can only be taken twice and must be administered at least six months apart. For more information please go to the Air Force ROTC website.

What is Field Training?

This is the Officer version of Basic Military Training. Cadets compete for attendance during their second year based upon their Order of Merit. If selected they will attend the three to four week course the summer between their second and third years. This rigorous and challenging event requires a great deal of preparation as an underclassman in order to successfully complete the course. Cadets will be expected to perform in a highly stressful environment where they will need to use the skills taught to them at their home detachments. For more information visit the Air Force ROTC website.