Why do most students join NROTC?

Each student has his or her own personal reasons for joining. Some are attracted by the generous scholarship benefits, whereas many are motivated to pursue a commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. NROTC offers unique opportunities as a commissioning source, such as the chance to have the full college experience and the chance to pursue a rigorous academic program at the University of Virginia. 

What are the NROTC scholarship benefits?

The scholarship covers full tuition at the University of Virginia. In addition, each scholarship student receives:

  • Uniforms

  • $375 towards books each semester

  • Monthly stipend of $250 for first years (freshmen), $300 for second years (sophomores), $350 for third years (juniors), and $400 for fourth year (senior) midshipmen.

  • NROTC pays for students' initial transportation from home to school and from school to summer cruise training

Although NROTC does not cover room and board expenses, students are eligible to receive financial aid if needed. All questions regarding financial aid should be directed to the University's financial aid office. It is important to note that 2009 amendments to the Higher Education Act provide that ROTC scholarships are not to be considered in determining cost of attendance or expected family contributions in evaluating a student's eligibility for federal financial aid. Schools should treat NROTC scholarships as a veteran’s benefit and not as a scholarship. 

What is my military obligation after graduation?

Our Navy Option scholarship students are required to serve a minimum of five years of active military service upon graduation. Additional requirements may be required for specific job assignments. This obligation is accepted at the beginning of the sophomore year.

Marine Corps Option scholarship midshipmen will be required to serve at least four years on active duty.

Our College Program (Advanced Standing) students are obligated for three years of active duty after graduation. They accept the obligation at the beginning of their junior year.

Do NROTC students have the same opportunities as Naval Academy graduates upon commissioning?

For the most part, yes.  NROTC and Naval Academy graduates have identical opportunities to go into the fields of their choice. When it comes time to state duty preferences and to be selected for duty assignments, students with higher academic and aptitude rankings, regardless of where they go to school, will be most likely to receive their first choice of assignments.  Naval Academy graduates selected for Surface Warfare will select their ships before NROTC students do, and the USNA has a higher acceptance rate for graduates applying for Naval Special Warfare, but other than that the opportunities are the same.

If I start out as a Navy Option student, can I switch to be a Marine Option student, or vice versa

You can change from one option to the other, but it is not automatic. You must request the change, and both Navy and Marine Corps officials must approve it. Keep in mind that Navy Option and Marine Option students have different program requirements that may affect your ability to switch.

Can I leave the NROTC program without an obligation for service?

Yes. If you are a scholarship midshipman, you may voluntarily quit at any time before midnight on the August 31 of your second (sophomore) year without incurring any financial or military obligation. If you are a college program midshipman, then you may voluntarily quit at any time without incurring any financial or military obligation.