The cost of college is getting higher and higher and you might think that you can’t afford but have you considered all the options? One common option that many people use is the ROTC, or Reserved Officers Training Corp. It is an officer commissioning program that also included your college tuition as part of the process. All service branches have their own ROTC programs.
True they are merit based scholarships, they only want the finest to be officers, but many times they will cover full tuition for students enlisting in their programs. Afterwards you serve in the military for an extended period of time. Usually this is a four year service but it might very depending on specific programs. So you get a college degree but you also earn your stripes, as in, you earn an officers commission when you are done. You also get a chance to travel the world if you are keen to do so.
Not every school has every program. For instance the Army and Air Force have programs at the University of North Texas so if you wanted to be a marine you would have to go elsewhere. Many private schools offer programs in only one branch while larger schools like the University of Texas offers all four. Texas A&M is a military academy that has produced numerous quality officers over the years.
You can also attend a military university if you desire to do so. These are public colleges with a military emphasis. To be an officer you still have to go throw their training but if you are just a cadet it is not mandatory to join the service upon graduation. Two of the more famous schools are the Citadel and the Virginia Military Institute.
The Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is the oldest of the six Senior Military Colleges (which also includes Texas A$M and the Citadel.) While many colleges have ROTC, the big six follow a much tougher and stricter code of conduct and physical discipline. Their studies are also considered the most prestigious as well. They are different from the federal service academies like West Point in that upon graduation cadets are not required to take a commission and serve, they merely have the option to do so. VMI was founded in Lexington, Virginia and 1839 on top of the old Virginia arsenal. VMI’s most famous cadet was the Confederate Civil War General “Stonewall” Jackson.
Another option is the Citadel, located in Charleston, South Carolina. Also originally an arsenal with a 150 assigned to guard it, over the years it emerged into a top military academy, as cadets were cheaper than soldiers. In 1842 it became part of the South Carolina Military School system. It has an outstanding academic tradition and is listed as the number 1 public school in the South. In particular it is known for producing Marines and Naval Cadets.
Jeff Jordan lives, writes and ponders about life in sunny SoCal. He writes about cars, education and volcanos. Another example of affordable military acadamy is Trident University.