Army awards $52 million in military scholarships

ROTC crew walks ropes to build teamworkThe price of a college education is going up every year and students are continually looking for any form of financial aid they can get. Instead of taking out student loans through banks or credit unions, many students are looking for military scholarships and applying to be a part of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program.

The Army ROTC says it has awarded $51.2 million in military scholarships to 2,500 students for the fall semester. The ROTC has more than 1,100 schools in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam where students can use their military scholarships.

Students who receive military scholarships must serve a minimum of four years in the military after they graduate. Cadet Anthony Sickelka, a senior at Alma College, joined the ROTC after his freshman year of college. On top of the degree he will earn from Alma College, Sickelka is excited about the leadership skills he has acquired through the ROTC program.

"I feel I am a very good leader and that the Army has prepared me well for what I will face," Sickelka told Money College. The Army has not only helped many students with the financial part of college through military scholarships but also with the academic aspect. The military will pay for tutoring for students who are having trouble in classes. It will also set up mentoring programs for upperclassmen to help freshman with any issues they may have in and out of the classroom, such as coping with family issues in college.

With the skills the ROTC teaches the cadets and the degrees they earn with their military scholarships, cadets find themselves with many life skills which will aid them throughout their careers. ROTC graduates make up about 40% of Army officers. Sickelka said he joined the ROTC program to become an officer. "Officers work using their brains for the planning rather than their backs in the implementation of the plan. It is still very physical but I find that it is most rewarding," he said.

Choosing to join the ROTC to help pay for college with military scholarships is a big decision. Students have a year to find out if they are really cut out for the ROTC program. To continue the ROTC program into their junior and senior years, cadets must sign a contract after their sophomore year.

Military scholarships help many students pay for college. The benefits the cadets gain from the ROTC program not only benefit them monetarily, but also help them develop useful skills for any field of work they may decide to enter after they have completed their contract with the Army.
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