Students interested in pursuing the Lyon College ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) Program can apply for full-tuition scholarships from the Army National Guard this March.
Military science instructor Master Sgt. James Bacon said the scholarships offer many fiscal benefits for students. They can be applied to tuition and fees or room and board and include a $600 book stipend per semester and an ROTC allowance of $420 per month.
“Students can stack this with their other scholarships,” Bacon said. “If there are funds from their other scholarships already being used, that which is left over each semester will go back to the student’s pocket, up to $5,000.”
As a member of the Guard, students will also receive drill pay.
To qualify for the scholarships, students must be U.S. citizens, have a minimum high school GPA of 2.5., have a minimum score of 19 on the ACT or 920 on the SAT, complete the ROTC Basic Course requirements or Basic Combat Training, and be medically and morally qualified.
“Typically, if a Lyon student walks in they’re already reaching 75 percent of what we’re looking for,” Bacon said. “The other 25 percent is the physical fitness aspect.”
The Army Physical Fitness Test consists of a two-mile run, timed push-ups, and timed sit-ups.
“If they can get about 70 push-ups and 70 sit-ups in the two minutes allowed and do the two-mile run in about 15 minutes, then we’re looking pretty good,” he said.
“That puts you in the competitive range. We’ve gotten some scholarships for less than that.”
Bacon said the Army National Guard also considers extracurriculars, like sports and JROTC, when selecting scholarship recipients.
Students who qualify can pursue full-time Army serve, the Army National Guard, or the Army Reserve. They will attend drill one weekend a month.
Bacon added that academics are a top-priority for the cadets, as well as their other college commitments.
He continued, “If a student is on the football team and has a game on Saturday, we do a memorandum here at the school, and they don’t go to drill that weekend.”
While at Lyon, ROTC students will attend military science courses that teach interpersonal communication skills, ethical decision-making, time management, and managerial skills in addition to the tactical aspect.
“Not only will they be learning these approaches, they’ll also be practicing them,” Bacon said. “As they progress through the program, they are charged with more responsibility.”
“By the time they’re seniors, they actually facilitate and run the program with the cadre oversight.”
Students can take the military science courses without committing to the Army, he said, but they will not be eligible for the Army National Guard scholarships.
“This program allows students to understand the Department of Defense better, as well as the worldwide operations that are occurring,” Bacon said. “It’s not just news anymore.”
He encourages students interested in ROTC to research and prepare before the scholarships become available in March.
“It’s a competitive process. The scholarships are very much first come, first served,” Bacon said. “The Army wants to make sure we’re picking the right people to get such an advantageous incentive.”
Visit Lyon’s ROTC page for more information.