Air Force ROTC

Frequently Asked Questions


  • If I Join Air Force ROTC, Does That Mean I Am Joining The Military?

    No. If you got a four-year scholarship from high school, then the first year of college is paid for, and you can quit at the end of your freshman year with no obligation. If you got a three-year scholarship from high school or college then you are not committed to the Air Force or Space Force until you accept your scholarship (usually in the fall of your sophomore year). If you did not get any scholarship, then you are not committed to joining the Air Force or Space Force until you start your junior year of college.

    With Air Force ROTC, we provide you with lots of opportunities to see what the Air Force and Space Force is about before signing up. And while you are waiting, you are getting college out of the way and having a lot of fun.

  • What Is The Difference Between Junior ROTC In High School And ROTC In College?

    The mission of the high school Junior ROTC program is to build better citizens for America. The mission of the college ROTC program is to produce leaders for the Air Force and Space Force.

  • Do I Have To Join Air Force ROTC As A Freshman?

    No. Any undergraduate student with three or more years remaining should be eligible. So if you are a second-semester freshman, a sophomore or otherwise and have at least three years remaining in your undergraduate studies, you are likely able to join the ROTC program.

  • Can I Enroll If I Did Not Take Air Force ROTC As A Freshman?

    Yes. You can enroll in Aerospace Studies 101 and Aerospace Studies 201 and be what we call dual enrolled.

  • Can I Attend Air Force ROTC Without A Scholarship?

    Yes, you can. Many of our students do not start with a scholarship, but earn one eventually. Still, at any given time, about 80% of our students receive financial assistance.

  • Is Preference Shown Toward Scholarship Cadets?

    Definitely not! The fact that a cadet may have an Air Force ROTC scholarship has no bearing on an Air Force career. Nor does it make any difference while in the Air Force ROTC program.

  • Are There Any Restrictions As To What Students Select As Their Academic Major?

    None at all. In fact, we encourage you to take a curriculum you are interested in and in which you have the capability to do well. Our main academic concern is that you maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) above 2.5 and attain your degree in the time period planned. The GPA requirements are different if you are applying for a scholarship and once you are on scholarship.

  • Can I Pursue Graduate Education After I Am Commissioned?

    The Air Force and Space Force are education-oriented and financially support graduate studies. You can apply for the Air Force Institute of Technology to earn an advanced degree on a full scholarship. Additionally, most bases have graduate college programs, and you may apply for the tuition assistance program that pays 100% of the tuition cost.

  • How Often Can I Take The Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT)?

    The test is given several times during the fall and spring and can be taken a maximum of two times with at least six months between tests.

  • I Am Prior Service – Do I Have To Attend The General Military Course (GMC)?

    Maybe. The Professor of Aerospace Studies may waive some or all of the GMC if you are prior enlisted. This is determined by the amount and kind of experience you had when you departed prior service. You may want to attend the sophomore Air Force ROTC classes and/or the preparation sessions for Field Training with the sophomores to see what Field Training with Air Force ROTC is all about. Prior service cadets normally attend the four-week camp.

  • If I Take Air Force ROTC Classes, Am I Committed To Military Or Government Service Once I Join?

    There is no service commitment for students who take our classes with no intention of becoming an Air Force or Space Force officer. For these types of students, it is 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) unless you have an Air Force ROTC scholarship. If you decide to stay and join the Professional Officer Course (POC); the last two years of the program), you will sign an allocation contract with the Air Force or Space Force and then incur a service obligation. For Air Force ROTC scholarship students, you are obligated once you have activated the scholarship and have entered your sophomore year.

  • What Are The Other Air Force Commissioning Opportunities?

    Other commissioning opportunities exist through the United States Air Force Academy.

    Commissioning opportunities for college graduates also exist through Officer Training School, an intense 12-week program at Maxwell Air Force Base.

    Commissioned Officer Training is a four-week program designed for professionals who have received a direct commissioned appointment as a lawyer, chaplain or into a corps of the medical service.

    Reserve Commissioned Officer Training is a 13-day intensive program designed for hard-to-recruit Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard medical service officers.

  • Are There Special Programs For Active-Duty Airmen?

    Yes. There are several programs available. Some involve scholarship opportunities while others are at your own expense. Remember, the first step in any Airman-to-officer program is a stop at your base Education Office. Each of these programs has deadlines and age limitations, so check early.

  • Do I Receive Any ROTC Credit For Junior ROTC?

    Yes, you do. Three years of Junior ROTC (JROTC) are considered equal to three semesters of the General Military Course (GMC), and two years are equal to one year of the GMC. No credit is given for less than two years of JROTC training.

  • If I Encounter Academic Or Personal Problems, Where Can I Turn For Help?

    First, try your Air Force ROTC detachment instructor. While the instructor may not have a psychology degree, he or she does have experience in counseling and can direct you to the proper resources. Air Force ROTC instructors try to develop a strong professional rapport with each cadet. Each university also offers various resource offices for their students and many services are free as part of your student fees.

  • Is The Four-Year Program More Advantageous For Students?

    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.
    • You can retake the Air Force Officer Qualification (AFOQT) test to improve your scores.

Cadet Life

  • Do I Have To Cut My Hair?

    Hair must be kept in accordance with Air Force guidelines when in uniform.

  • Do I Have To Wear A Uniform To Class Every Day?

    The only time cadets are required to wear their uniform is during physical training on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and on the day of Leadership Lab, Thursdays, from 0800-1630. Occasionally, during special events, you may be required to wear your uniform. Otherwise, wear whatever you want.

  • How Much Time Do I Have To Spend With Air Force ROTC Each Week?

    The only required time is during your Air Force ROTC classes, Leadership Lab and physical fitness training. (This equates to approximately four hours per week for freshmen and sophomores, six hours per week for juniors and seniors.)

  • How Are New Cadets Treated?

    Very well. Many detachments assign cadet sponsors 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 will find the cadet staff and detachment staff are concerned about your well-being and progress.

  • How Much Marching And Drilling Will I Have To Do?

    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.

  • When Will I Receive My Air Force ROTC Uniform?

    Within the first couple of class periods, we will issue you a complete uniform and tell you how to arrange for having alterations completed (at no cost to you). However, you are responsible for keeping the uniform clean and presentable.

  • Can I Participate In Intercollegiate Athletics While A Member Of The Air Force ROTC Program?

    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 un-enrolled from Air Force ROTC because of a change in your physical profile.


  • What Is The Commitment To The Air Force or Space Force Upon Graduation?

    Most officers have a four-year commitment. For pilots it is 10 years after pilot training, and six years for combat systems officers after training. Air Battle Managers have a six-year commitment.

  • When Do I Know What Job I Will Be Doing For The Air Force or Space Force As An Officer?

    You will compete in a selection process much like the one of an enrollment allocation as an officer candidate. The factors to be used will include your Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) scores, your camp performance rating, your Grade Point Average (GPA), your academic major, your Physical Fitness Test (PFT) score and the Detachment Commander 's rating. You will know your specific Air Force or Space Force job category approximately six months before you are commissioned.

  • Do I Have To Become A Pilot Or Combat Systems Officer?

    No. The vast majority of Air Force and Space Force jobs do not involve flying at all. In the civilian world, there are thousands of jobs and careers – doctors, lawyers, law enforcement, engineers, financial careers, food-service management – the list is endless. For almost every civilian out in the workforce, there is an Air Force or Space Force officer counterpart performing a similar job.

  • When Do I Actually Receive My Commission As An Air Force or Space Force Officer?

    Cadet of the student population of AFROTC normally get commissioned in a special ceremony the same day they graduate. You can expect to enter active duty about 30 days after graduation.

  • Must A Student Go On Active Duty In The Air Force or Space Force Immediately Following Graduation And Commissioning?

    Not necessarily. You may request an educational delay if you desire to attend graduate school at your own expense before going on active duty. If approved, the Air Force or Space Force will postpone your active-duty tour. Delays are routinely provided if you select to attend dental or medical school. Scholarships also exist for students accepted to medical school.

  • Can I Continue My Education Beyond The Baccalaureate Level?

    Yes. The Air Force and Space Force offers several opportunities to do so. In many cases you can request an educational delay. This delay between the time of commissioning and reporting for active duty will be of sufficient length to allow you to fulfill the requirements for a professional or masters degree. You will assume all financial obligations. There are also Air Force Institute of Technology programs where the Air Force or Space Force pays for your graduate school education. These programs are explained in detail in Air Force ROTC.

  • I Do Not Have 20/20 Vision. Can I Still Fly?

    It depends. Check out the Flying Requirements for more information.

  • Do I Have To Major In Aeronautical Science To Become A Pilot Or Combat Systems Officer?

    No. Your academic major plays a minor role in pilot and combat systems officer selection. You can major in any degree program and compete to receive a pilot or combat systems officer 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.

  • What Are The Age Limits For A Cadet To Compete For A Pilot Or Combat Systems Officer Position?

    To compete for the pilot or combat systems officer categories, you must be able to complete your bachelors degree and be commissioned through Air Force ROTC before you are 29 years old.

  • Will I Be Behind My Fellow Nonmilitary Graduates After I Complete My Service Obligation And Decide To Get Out?

    No. In fact, many companies prefer to hire former officers over new college graduates (even those with masters degrees). Your Air Force or Space Force experience, the management skills you have gained on active duty and your active-duty educational benefits can give you the competitive edge you need.

  • How Do Air Force ROTC Graduates Compare With Air Force Academy And Officer Training School Graduates?

    The Academy, ROTC and Officer Training School all produce qualified Air Force and Space Force officers. The Air Force and Space Force achieves better diversity and talent by getting officers from more than one commissioning source. Once on active duty, the most important factor in promotion is job performance.


  • If I Apply For The Scholarship, Am I Obligated To The Air Force or Space Force In Any Way?

    No. Applying for an Air Force ROTC scholarship does not obligate you in any way. Four-year scholarship recipients do not incur any obligation until the start of their sophomore year in college.

  • Can I Withdraw My Application?

    Yes. You may withdraw your application at any time by emailing, sending a fax to 334-953-4384 or writing to the High School Scholarship Program at HQ AFROTC/RRUC, 551 E. Maxwell Blvd., Maxwell AFB AL 36112-5917.

  • Can I Apply For Other Officer Training Programs And Military Scholarships?

    Yes. You may apply for any other officer training program and even receive scholarship offers from more than one service. However, once you enroll in another program, you will be removed from further Air Force ROTC scholarship competition. Notify the College Scholarships Selections Section immediately if you accept and enroll in another program.

  • If I Choose To Leave One Of The Other Officer Training Programs, Can I Still Apply For An In-College Air Force ROTC Scholarship?

    Yes. You may apply for one of the Air Force ROTC scholarships of less than four years if a waiver is granted.

  • How Do I Check On The Status Of My Scholarship Application?
    • Go Online to check the status of your application.
    • Call 866-423-7682 and speak with a scholarship technician.
    • Contact your Regional Director Of Admissions.

    Immediately notify the High School Scholarship Program in writing or email if your name, current mailing address, social security number, telephone number or email address changes during the application process.

  • When And How Will I Be Notified If I Have Been Offered A Scholarship?

    If offered an Air Force ROTC scholarship, you will be notified in writing after the scholarship selection boards meet.

  • If I Am Offered A Scholarship, How Will It Be Presented?

    Normally, an Air Force or Space Force officer will come to your school and present the scholarship during your school's annual awards day at the end of the year. Even if you choose not to accept the scholarship offer, you can still have it presented at your school. Although you can choose not to have the scholarship presented, you deserve to be recognized for your accomplishments.

  • What Kind Of Scholarships Does Air Force ROTC Offer?

    We offer three types and two lengths in our High School Scholarship Program. Our scholarships are offered in either four-year or three-year lengths. Our four-year scholarships are activated in the fall of the freshman year while our three-year scholarships are activated in the fall of the sophomore year.

    Our three types of scholarships are:

    • Type 1 - Pays full college tuition, most lab fees and $900/year for books. Approximately 5% of our four-year scholarship winners will be offered a Type-1 scholarship (mostly in designated technical majors).
    • Type 2 - Pays college tuition and most lab fees up to $18,000 and pays $900/year for books. Approximately 10% of our four-year scholarship winners will be offered a Type-2 scholarship (mostly in technical fields). If a student attends an institution where the tuition exceeds $18,000, then he/she pays the difference. All three-year scholarships are Type 2.
    • Type 7 - Pays college tuition up to the equivalent of the in-state rate and $900 per year for books.

    Air Force ROTC scholarships are not activated until the student enlists in the Obligated Reserve Section of the Air Force Reserve, signs a contract and passes the medical, moral, fitness and physical qualifications for enlistment and contracting. Scholarship benefits are not payable until 45 days after the start of the fall term.

    Upon activation, all scholarship cadets receive a nontaxable monthly allowance (stipend) during the academic year. Currently, the monthly stipend is $300 for freshmen, $350 for sophomores, $450 for juniors and $500 for seniors.

    Air Force ROTC scholarships cannot pay for room and board.

  • What Majors Are Eligible For This Program?

    Air Force ROTC offers scholarships in academic majors needed to meet the needs of the Air Force and Space Force. This includes both technical majors and nontechnical majors. We strongly urge you to carefully consider the choices you list for an academic major on this application. You may list up to three majors, but you should only list those you will be willing to pursue. You should also ensure the major you want to pursue is offered by the school you want to attend.

    Special considerations for prospective engineering or science/technical majors: For prospective engineering or science/technical majors, you must determine if your major is approved for an Air Force ROTC scholarship at the school you want to attend.

    Special consideration for prospective foreign language majors: For prospective foreign language majors, you should list a major in one of the foreign language scholarships.

  • How Do We Award Scholarships Based On Majors?

    We plan to award the majority of scholarships to students pursuing targeted High School Scholarship Program technical majors and foreign languages. For a complete list please click here:

    Please note: Only a small number of scholarships will be awarded for students pursuing nontechnical majors.

  • What Were The Average Scores For All AFROTC Scholarship Recipients For 2011?
    Scholarship Types
    Data Type 1 Type 2 Type 7
    SAT 1464.00 1327.92 123.09
    ACT 31.75 30.69 27.72
    GPA 3.88 3.88 3.77


  • What Are The Weight And Fitness Standards?

    To apply for the scholarship, you must complete the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA). For instructions, refer to the website where you apply online.

    If you are offered a scholarship, you must meet the Air Force Weight Standards prior to activating the scholarship.

    If you are offered a scholarship, you must also meet the Air Force Physical Fitness Test (PFT) Standards prior to activating the scholarship. You must perform this test within a few days of starting college your freshman year.

  • What Are The Vision Standards?

    The refractive error in each eye cannot exceed +/- 8.00 diopters. Also, both eyes must be free of any disfiguring or incapacitating abnormality and acute or chronic disease. A history of corneal surgical procedures such as radial keratotomy (RK), even if refractive error improves, disqualifies you for Air Force ROTC. EXCEPTION: A history of photo refractive keratectomy (PRK) does not automatically disqualify you from entry; however, certain criteria must be met before being medically certified. Adequate color vision is a prerequisite to entry into many Air Force specialties.

  • Will I Need To Take A Medical Exam?

    If you are selected to receive a scholarship, you will be scheduled to complete a medical examination. Scholarship winners and their parents are advised that NO SCHOLARSHIP WILL BE ACTIVATED UNTIL THE INDIVIDUAL IS MEDICALLY QUALIFIED FOR A COMMISSION. The process is lengthy and may involve several months of processing and correspondence.

    The Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB) is the medical certification agency for Air Force ROTC scholarships. Scholarship winners will be scheduled for an examination by DODMERB and DODMERB will determine whether or not the individual is medically qualified for a commission. If you are found to be medically disqualified, but believe there are extenuating circumstances that justify consideration of a waiver of our medical standards, you should follow the DODMERB instructions (with the notification letter) regarding rebuttals and waiver processing. In such cases, DODMERB will discuss your case with AETC/SGPS, the medical waiver authority, to determine if a waiver to the standards is feasible. The final decision is based on the nature of your condition or defect and specific medical parameters and protocols that have been established.

    For those selected to receive a scholarship, DODMERB will send you complete instructions. If you cannot meet the scheduled date, request another date. As a candidate, you are responsible for all costs of travel, food and lodging related to the medical examination and personal interview. If you wear hard contact lenses, remove them a minimum of 21 days before the examination; remove soft lenses 72 hours before the examination.

    Once you have been scheduled for an examination, if you have a medical question, DODMERB is your only official source of information.

  • Does An Air Force ROTC Scholarship Pay For Room And Board?

    No. Air Force ROTC scholarships do not pay for room and board. However, many colleges and universities offer subsidies to Air Force ROTC students on scholarship that can cover room and board.

  • Is It Possible For Me To Change My Academic Major If On Scholarship?

    Yes, but this is a complex process and should be attempted only after you have given it much thought. Depending on your current major and your proposed major, you may lose your scholarship benefits. Call the detachment you will be attending for details and procedures.

  • What Are The Requirements If I Were To Receive A Scholarship In One Of The Foreign Languages Listed?

    You must obtain a BA or BS in the specific foreign language major.