If you can combine ROTC scholarships with other sources of financial aid you are not only guaranteed a job as an officer when you graduate, but a virtually free education as well. ROTC scholarships will pay for tuition and books and, if you can find another scholarship, you will have your room and board covered as well. At least part of it.

A common question with ROTC scholarships is whether you can still fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). In the past this has been a fluid answer, but the latest available information says that, yes, you can combine your ROTC scholarship with any money you may collect as a result of filling out your FAFSA.

So let us take a look at the potential haul from these educational money sources. ROTC scholarships will cover your tuition, books, and a monthly stipend of $300 to $500 depending on your year in school.

If you qualify for a Pell Grant through the FAFSA that could add up to $5,800 to the total. While you won’t be rich by any stretch of the imagination those figures supplemented by a small student loan or part time job should pay for college.

The ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) was founded in 1926. Its mission is to prepare young adults to become officers in the military. It’s really that simple. In the process they strive to make better citizens as well.

About 2,000 ROTC scholarships are awarded every year. What are the requirements? You need at least a 3.0 grade point average and an 1100 SAT. The average SAT score for ROTC scholarships is 1260; the average grade point average is 3.77.

The ROTC scholarships are heavily slanted toward certain subjects that are useful in the military. The scholarships most often go to those students who are studying engineering, math, science or a foreign language.

ROTC scholarships are a great way to pay for college while minimizing the debt you will have when you graduate. When you finish school you will have a job as an officer in the United Sates.

Along the way you will study a diverse array of subjects, including but not limited to submarines, navy aviation and special warfare.

There are certainly a wide variety of other scholarships you may be eligible for in addition to ROTC scholarships. It would be well worth looking into to see if you may qualify for any of the minority scholarships or grants that are specifically targeted for women or African-Americans or Hispanics.

Since the average ROTC scholarship recipient has a 3.77 grade point average there is no doubt that many of them will qualify for other merit scholarships as well. It is best to leave no stone unturned in this regard so it would be a good idea to begin compiling a list of potential financial aid sources as early as your sophomore year of high school.

Higher education that is virtually free and all while you are serving your country. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Business scholarships are one of the best educational investments since business majors get a return on that investment faster than other majors.

The Bill Gates Scholarship, flawed as it may be, throws billions of dollars into scholarship coffers and, if nothing else, should buy Mr. Gates a speed train ticket to heaven.

Are you ready for the NEXT STEP!