People wanting to enlist as an officer in the military should consider five civilian universities located in Pennsylvania. These institutes offer training in all three branches, including the Navy, Army, and Air Force. The table below will help future students decide where they want to earn a higher-learning education while enrolled in an ROTC college program.
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||In-State Tuition (2016-2017)*||Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits|
|Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus||4-year, public||University Park, Pennsylvania||$17,900||NROTC 4-year scholarships, NROTC Navy/Marine Corps College Program, AROTC High School 4-year Scholarship, AROTC Campus-based scholarships, AROTC Simultaneous Membership Program, AFROTC High School Scholarship Program, AFROTC In-College Scholarship Program, military credit|
|University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh||4-year, public||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||$18,618||NROTC scholarship, NROTC College Program, AROTC High School 4-year Scholarship, AROTC 3-year and 2-year scholarships, AROTC Green to Gold scholarships, AROTC Simultaneous Membership Program, AFROTC scholarships, military credit|
|Villanova University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Villanova, Pennsylvania||$49,280||NROTC Merit-based scholarship, NROTC scholarship, AROTC High School Scholarship, AROTC 3 or 2-year scholarship, AROTC Merit-based Scholarship, AFROTC 4-Year Scholarships, AFROTC In-College Scholarships, military credit|
|Drexel University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||$51,030||NROTC Scholarship, NROTC College Program, AROTC scholarships, AROTC Simultaneous Membership program, AFROTC 4-Year Scholarships, AFROTC In-College Scholarships, military credit|
|Carnegie Mellon University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||$52,310||NROTC scholarship, NROTC College Program, NROTC Grant, AROTC High School 4-year Scholarship, AROTC 3-year and 2-year scholarships, AROTC Green to Gold scholarships, AROTC Simultaneous Membership Program, AFROTC Scholarships, military credit|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
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Overview of ROTC Colleges in Pennsylvania
ROTC programs allow college students to receive an education while earning an officer commission. Trainees can enter as a Navy midshipman, Air Force cadet, or Army cadet, depending on the branch of choice. Resources related to scholarships, awards, and funding programs typically assist students with school fees or tuition costs. These aspects should be considered before pursuing an ROTC college in Pennsylvania, some of which operate and form partnerships under the same training programs.
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
Pennsylvania State University, made up of 47,789 students, as stated by the 2016-2017 NCES, has financial opportunities available to students enrolled in an ROTC college program. All three branch options offer 4-year scholarships to high school applicants. The Naval ROTC, however, allows midshipmen to take advantage of the College Program, which allows non-scholarship students to later apply for a scholarship while continuing the program. Similarly, the Campus-based scholarships and In-college scholarship are offered Army and Air Force cadets already enrolled in the program, some being non-scholarship students. Unlike AFROTC and NROTC funding options, active Army Reserve or National Guard members have the chance to train under the Simultaneous Membership Program whether they're on a scholarship or not.
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh's ROTC program is exclusive to students at the university, except for the naval unit, which forms a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University. Midshipmen can use an NROTC scholarship or enroll without a scholarship in the College Program while participating in training. Army cadets typically have access to 2-year and 3-year scholarships if they're current students and the Green to Gold scholarship program if they're current active duty soldiers. As for the AFROTC, cadets can apply to 2-, 3- or 3.5-year scholarships, which provide benefits related to a monthly allowance, free uniforms, textbook stipend, and full tuition. From 2016-2017, NCES reported more than 28,600 students attended the school.
Villanova University has ROTC programs for the Navy, Army, and Air Force branches. The school, however, provides education to a total of 10,842 learners at all levels. For those who apply for military training at the university, they should prepare financially with a 4-year scholarship, which can be applied for in high school and used toward any of the programs. Students who already attend the institution and have decided to pursue the program will have the option of applying for a 2-year or 3-year AROTC scholarship through the AROTC and, similarly, a 2 to 3.5-year scholarship awarded by the AFROTC provided by a crosstown school, St. Joseph's University. Merit-based scholarships can also be used by qualifying candidates who need help with room and board fees.
Drexel University's ROTC options offer various scholarships and financial help. Yet, the NROTC program is in a cross-enrollment agreement with the University of Pennsylvania, while the AFROTC unit is in a similar partnership with St. Joseph's University. Both detachments offer helpful options to non-scholarship students, including an AFROTC In-College Scholarship and a membership with the NROTC College Program. While the Navy, Army, and Air Force programs provide scholarships to first-time military trainees, the AROTC Simultaneous Membership Program is specifically made for enlisted Army Reservists and National Guardsmen wanting to obtain a college education plus commission. As recorded by NCES, Drexel University served more than 24,200 students from 2016-2017, including those who were enrolled as ROTC members.
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University had 13,258 undergraduate and graduate students from 2016-2017, according to NCES. Its ROTC department, in particular, is made up of cadets and midshipmen in training. The Air Force option, held at the University of Pittsburgh, makes 2-, 3-, and 3.5-year scholarships available to eligible cadets. Additionally, the Army option offers 3-year and 2-year scholarships to current college students, Green to Gold scholarships active duty members, and the Simultaneous Membership Program to officer trainees enlisted in the Army Guard or Reserves. Returning and first-year Navy Midshipmen are the only ROTC members who may qualify for a grant, which is awarded directly by the institution.