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Scholarships & Financial Incentives

College is expensive, and AFROTC provides a number of ways to make it considerably less expensive for cadets who participate in the program.  You do not need to be on scholarship to participate in and complete AFROTC.


University of Kentucky ROTC Incentives

The University of Kentucky generously supports the AFROTC program here at Det 290 by providing $50,000 annually for on-campus housing support for UK students/cadets.  This amount is divided evenly between our incoming HSSP scholarship cadets each year, and is offered for both their freshman and sophomore years.



Air Force ROTC High School Scholarship Program (HSSP)

If you are a high school student entering your senior year, you are eligible to apply for the Air Force's High School Scholarship Program (HSSP) via The scholarship window for 2023 will be open from 1 July to 31 December.  You must have your application submitted online by 11:59pm on 31 December.  Once you have applied, you must download, complete and upload required forms to the AFROTC website. 

The most up-to-date information on the requirements for a high school scholarship can be found on the AFROTC website here.  Please check this website for the most accurate information pertaining to your scholarship application.  At the time of preparing this information summary, the requirements for HSSP are:

  • US Citizen
  • Minimum 3.0 Cumulative GPA
  • Minimum 26 ACT composite score OR 1240 SAT composite score
  • Must attempt  a physical fitness test (1.5 mile timed run, one minute timed pushups and one minute timed sit-ups…may be administered by high school coach or faculty member)
  • In-person interview at local AFROTC detachment
  • Must be at least 17 years old
  • Must not have any full time college experience

If you meet these requirements, you are eligible to apply for the HSSP scholarship.  The scholarship pays full college tuition (to any school in the country with an AFROTC program), most degree fees and $900 per year for books.  Upon activation, all scholarship cadets receive a non-taxable monthly allowance (stipend) during the academic year.  Currently, the monthly stipend is $300 for freshmen, $350 for sophomores, $450 for juniors and $500 for seniors.

AFROTC scholarships do not cover parking or meal plans.

Service Obligation:

You are under no obligation to join the Air Force by simply applying for a scholarship or enrolling in the program.  However, if you are awarded an AFROTC scholarship, you become obligated when you accept and sign your contract with the United States Air Force.  If you are under legal age in the state where the school is located, your parent or legal guardian signs this agreement.  You will agree to:

• Enroll in the academic major for which the scholarship is offered

• Enroll in Air Force ROTC beginning with the Fall term

• Complete the summer Field Training course at Maxwell AFB, Alabama (usually between your sophomore and junior years)

• Complete Air Force ROTC General Military Course (GMC) your freshman and sophomore years and the Professional Officer Course (POC) your junior and senior years

• Accept a commission as an Air Force Officer and serve at least four years on active duty

For HSSP winners, the Air Force offers the Freshman Self-Initiated Elimination Option.  This option allows an HSSP scholarship cadet to withdraw from AFROTC at any time during or immediately after their freshman year, with no obligation or required pay-back to the Air Force.  If the HSSP cadet wishes to withdraw, they must do so prior to the first day of their sophomore year in order to not incur any obligation to the U.S. Air Force.

How to be Competitive:

Since the High School Scholarship Program (HSSP) is competitive, it is good to keep your GPA, SAT/ACT test scores, and physical fitness high.  It is also important to hold leadership positions in your high school career and be involved in extracurricular activities.  We are looking for sharp, energetic, well-rounded individuals who have the desire to lead and motivate others.


Air Force ROTC In-College Scholarship Program (ICSP)

Those that were not awarded an HSSP scholarship, or cadets that join AFROTC as college freshman, may have up to two opportunities to compete for in-college scholarships.  These opportunities come in the spring of their freshman/100-level term, and again in the spring as a sophomore/200-level cadet.  We have one guaranteed Commander’s Scholarship that can be awarded to a deserving cadet.  Other nominated cadets will compete nationally for available scholarships.  Scholarship availability will depend from term to term based on Headquarters AFROTC funding.  Consideration for scholarships reviews the following:  Commander’s ranking in the cadet class, cumulative GPA, and physical fitness assessment scores.  The ICSP scholarships cover $18,000/year of tuition and fees.  This scholarship also comes with a monthly, non-taxable stipend and book allowance.  This scholarship may be converted into an on-campus/campus contracted housing scholarship of up $10,000 per year.


Enrolled cadets must meet the following eligibility requirements and be nominated by the Detachment commander in order to compete for ICSP.  Minimum requirements are:

  • AS100/AS200/AS250 cadets (freshman and sophomores
  • 3.0 cumulative college GPA (at least one term)
  • SAT 1100+ or 39+ on AFOQT academic aptitude section
  • Be medically qualified with approved DoDMERB exam
  • Passing fitness assessment score of 75 or higher (90+ is competitive)


Charles McGee Leadership Award (CMLA)

Cadets enrolled in AFROTC who are not on scholarship upon selection to attend Field Training and who have successfully completed Field Training will be awarded the CMLA.  This award offers up to $18,000/year in tuition and fees.  It also comes with a monthly, non-taxable stipend and book stipend.  This scholarship may be converted into an on-campus/campus contracted housing scholarship of up $10,000 per year.


Contract Stipends

Even if you never get a scholarship through AFROTC, Juniors and Seniors in our program are automatically given $5,400-$6,000 per year just to participate in Air Force ROTC (through twelve monthly $450-$500 tax-free payments for Juniors and Seniors, respectively).  This can dramatically reduce the amount of student loans you need to take out to keep going in school.

  • Note that the contract stipend is independent of the scholarship (i.e., students not on scholarship receive this stipend for their last two years of AFROTC), but if you have the scholarship then you already receive the stipend, so you do not receive both.


 Want more information on scholarship opportunities?  Please visit the Air Force ROTC Scholarship page!