Alabama offers participation in Marine NROTC at one public and one private institution in the state for interested students. Despite the limited options, students considering these schools still get some diversity in school location, tuition rates and program details. Compare the two schools in the table below and in more detail throughout the article.
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||In-State Tuition (2017-2018)*||Tuition Assistance/ Military Benefits|
|Auburn University||4-year, public||Auburn, AL||$10,968||Credit for military training, NROTC scholarships|
|Tuskegee University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Tuskegee, AL||$22,170||NROTC scholarships, FCB scholarship|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
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Overview of Alabama Colleges with Marine NROTC Programs
Students in Alabama can participate in the Marine Option of NROTC at Auburn University or Tuskegee University. Although there are limited schools available with this program, each school has something unique to offer. Auburn offers two ways to enter the NROTC program while Tuskegee offers multiple scholarships with a consortium program. Find out more about each school's NROTC program here.
Auburn University offers the Marine Option NROTC through a scholarship program and the College program (non-scholarship option), which allows all students enrolled at the institution a chance to participate. As a public university, the students also have a wider variety of degrees to choose from, which may help midshipmen specialize when they enter active duty. Students considering Auburn should note that it is a large public institution, with more than 22,000 undergraduate students.
The scholarship program is for incoming freshmen who have received the 4-year national NROTC scholarship that helps pay for tuition, fees, books and provides a monthly stipend. As midshipmen in the program, students take a naval science course each semester and participate in weekly training and drill sessions and summer cruises for hands-on training experience. Since they enter the program their freshman year, these midshipmen are expected to follow the NROTC specific curriculum.
The College Program is for current freshmen and sophomores who did not receive the 4-year national scholarship but wish to participate in NROTC. Once admitted, students receive all the materials needed to complete initial naval courses and are considered full members of the battalion. At the end of sophomore year, the commanding officer nominates midshipmen to advance into the program for the rest of their schooling. Referred to as advanced standing, these upperclassmen receive the monthly stipend, but tuition, fees and textbooks are not covered. The tradeoff is that these midshipmen are eligible for scholarships, and they can choose to study any major offered by the university. Regardless, they participate in all the necessary NROTC activities and courses alongside their scholarship counterparts.
In contrast to Auburn University, Tuskegee University is a small, less than 2,500 undergraduate students, private institution that offers participation in Marine Option NROTC. Their program is housed in the school's Department of Naval Science. It is also part of a consortium with Auburn University, which means that they share the same Commanding Officer and active duty staff. This option may be a good fit for those who want a smaller campus learning experience but can still interact with a larger, diverse community.
Midshipmen in the program are required to complete the standard NROTC program requirements with physical training, Naval Science Lab, summer training and naval science coursework. However, the Marine Option midshipmen take course topics in warfare instead of naval ship systems and navigation that Navy midshipmen take. Similarly, the active duty requirements students are expected to take after graduation can vary based on what type of warfare they studied.
Students are eligible for the national NROTC scholarships, but are also eligible for 2-, 3- and 4-year USMC Frederick C. Branch (FCB) Scholarships that are reserved for Marine Option midshipmen participating in NROTC at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU).