Student Life

Financial and Educational Benefits of ROTC: Is It Right for You?

Dante Jordan

September 13, 2011

Financial and Educational Benefits of ROTC: Is It Right for You?
Student contributor, Dante, shares about a different way to pay for college -- ROTC.
Although it isn’t usually considered by many families in America, the ROTC program is a great choice for future college students. First, it provides for a great amount of financial assistance and tuition aid. While most people fund their education using student loans, they don’t always realize how far these loans can sink them into debt. Just last year alone the total national student debt was more than 900 billion, topping even the total national credit card debt. One real world example of this in the story of Hernan Castillo. Hernan Castillo is a college graduate who majored in accountancy, but now, due to the shocking amount of college debt and economic recession, he is barely making ends meet working a warehouse job.
“Every day I wish I had never gone to college,” Castillo said. “I wish I could go back in time. When I signed those (loan) papers I never thought it would come to this point. I thought it would be easy to pay it all back. I wish I had never gone to college.” Castillo is just one of the many college students who used student loans as a way to pay for four years of college and ended up paying for it for life.
Whereas Cadet Derek George at the Johnson Wales University doesn’t have to worry about being drowned in debt and gives credit where it is due when he says, “ROTC has benefited me thus far in college by allowing me to receive the funds to pursue my education, something that would have been difficult to do on my own”.
Although the ROTC program is a fiscal choice to make in our country’s current economy, financial reasons are not the only reason to consider it. The ROTC program also gives you the chance to serve your country for four years, which may not mean a whole lot to some people, but it certainly means a lot to the country. The amount of soldier and veteran benefits offered by government, companies, and everyday people is quite frankly astonishing. They range from anything from housing discounts to special considerations for jobs. ROTC program is also a great way to get involved and connected at your college. Because these programs usually involve small and close knit communities, you get to really know people over the next four years and make friends for a life time.
This is especially important for students who are planning to study away from home, considering that one of the top five reasons students who study out of state drop out is due to homesickness or feelings of loneliness. With the ROTC option, you’ll be grouped with other people in a program that is designed to build and strengthen the principles of teamwork and brotherhood among soldiers.
Plus you may find that after you enroll in the ROTC program, you might actually like it. True not everyone enjoys becoming a leader in the United States Army or Marine Corps, having a guaranteed job for the next four years, protecting the people you care about, and becoming something bigger than yourself; but hey, you never know until you try.

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