There are a number of factors that might make a university Army ROTC program stand out. These include the academic performance of cadets, how they measure up to their peers at national ROTC events, and the future success of graduates. Learn about some of the best public university Army ROTC programs below.
|School Name||Location||2017-2018 Tuition (in-state)*||Scholarship Options|
|University of North Georgia||Dahlonega, GA||$4,421||Partial and full tuition scholarships; may also include room and board and monthly stipend|
|Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, VA||$13,230||2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and/or monthly stipend|
|Minnesota State University - Mankato||Mankato, MN||$8,164||2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and/or monthly stipend|
|Texas A&M University||College Station, TX||$11,234||2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and/or monthly stipend|
|Ohio University||Athens, OH||$11,896||2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and/or monthly stipend; partial room and board coverage|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
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Overview of the Best Public University Army ROTC Programs
There are Army ROTC programs at public universities all across the country. Some of the best have cadets who consistently score high in ROTC-related activities like athletic competitions, and each school detailed below has been a recipient of the U.S. Army's MacArthur Award, which recognizes the country's top programs.
University of North Georgia
The University of North Georgia is a Senior Military College, of which there are only six in the U.S. The Corps of Cadets is the University of Georgia program that involves learning military discipline and leadership skills while earning a college degree. Cadets take one military science class each semester and participate in physical fitness training and leadership laboratories, with the opportunity to apply for additional training opportunities during school holidays. These could include Mountain Warfare School, Airborne School, study abroad, and more. During the academic year, upperclassmen are responsible for leading younger cadets and planning training exercises. Cadets in special high-level leadership positions receive free room and board and an additional monthly stipend over and above any scholarships.
Virginia Tech is another of the country's Senior Military Colleges, and one of only two at a primarily civilian university. As such, cadets can experience normal student life, participate in extracurricular activities, and pursue the major of their choice. At the same time, Corps of Cadets members who meet the eligibility requirements are virtually guaranteed an active duty commission on graduation. Virginia Tech provides lots of opportunities to get involved with ROTC-affiliated activities. These include the field training exercises like land navigation and troop leading, marksmanship, and the Ranger Company, an elite group of cadets who control the program's obstacle course and get access to special opportunities and privileges.
Minnesota State University - Mankato
Minnesota State is the host university for the Maverick Battalion, which includes students from the Mankato campus and several other nearby schools. Freshman and sophomore students at Minnesota State can take military science classes with no obligation, to see if Army ROTC is right for them. Those who proceed to the Advanced Course or obtain a scholarship will be enlisted as active duty or reserve officers when they finish their degree. This university offers a nursing ROTC option for those who would like to join the Army Nurse Corps, which includes special training and scholarship opportunities. All ROTC cadets have many opportunities to participate in ROTC-affiliated activities, such as the Ranger Challenge, Color Guard, Air Assault School and more.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M is one of the largest universities in the country, with over 50,000 undergraduate students. It is also home to one of the largest Corps of Cadets and Army ROTC programs, with approximately 2,400 members and historically the highest numbers of commissioned officers in the country, outside of the military academies. The ROTC Basic Course is required for every freshman and sophomore in the Corps of Cadets, though any other student may enroll as an elective. The Basic Course entails one military science class each semester, physical fitness training and leadership development. Those seeking a commission (which about 45% of Texas A&M cadets do) can go on to the Advanced Course to prepare to transition to life as an Army officer.
Ohio University Army ROTC cadets are often recognized as Distinguished Military Graduates for graduating in the top 20% of cadets nationally, and the active duty commissioning rate for Ohio University is above average as well, at up to 70% per year. The university prioritizes the academic performance of its cadets above all else, but physical fitness and character development are important components, too. Freshman cadets build comradery early by living together in a designated dorm building on campus and doing physical fitness training and leadership exercises together. Field training is an important component of the curriculum as well, and Ohio University students have access to a 200-acre area on campus in which to practice land navigation, tactical maneuvering and patrolling.