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EIU Department of Military Science

Frequently Asked Questions

Land NavWhat is Army ROTC?

Army ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) is one of the smartest college courses you can take!

  • It offers opportunities and challenges that can put you on the fast track to success in life.
  • You'll develop the confidence, self-esteem, motivation and leadership skills you'll need regardless of your career plans.
  • The qualities that ROTC training instills will be vital to a productive and rewarding future.
  • Army ROTC is offered at hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the country. It is an elective course that provides a combination of academics and important hands-on training.
  • You'll be offered physical and mental challenges geared to help you succeed in college and beyond.
  • You will learn teamwork and be given responsibilities like teaching younger cadets the same skills you have learned.
  • For its many benefits, Army ROTC requires only a few hours a week. So it won't interfere with your required college curriculum or social life.

What is My Obligation?

There is no military obligation for taking introductory "basic" courses (freshman and sophomore years). Once you accept a federal scholarship or enter advanced courses (junior and senior years), you incur an obligation for officer service upon graduation. You may be guaranteed assignment to Reserve duty or compete for Active duty; the initial active duty obligation is for 3 or 4 years.

The Four-Year Program and Scholarship Opportunities


The cost of a college education is escalating all the time. To help you meet these rising costs, Army ROTC offers four-, three- and two-year scholarships, awarded strictly on merit, to the most outstanding students who apply. These scholarships pay:

Four-Year Scholarships

You may be eligible for a four-year scholarship if you are preparing to enter college as a freshman and meet the following qualifications/requirements;

  • Be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Be 17 years old before the scholarship is effective.
  • Take the SAT or ACT no later than November of the year you apply
    • (must have a minimum 920 SAT or composite 19 ACT) .
  • Have good high school grades.
  • Participate in leadership, extracurricular and athletic activities.
  • (Students with part-time jobs will be given substitute credit.)
  • Be under 27 years old on June 30 of the year you expect to graduate and receive your officer's commission.
  • (An age extension of up to three years may be granted to veterans who qualify.)
  • Be a high school graduate or have equivalent credit.
  • Pursue an Army approved academic major.
  • Agree to accept a commission as either a Regular Army, Army National Guard or U.S. Army Reserve officer.
  • Meet required physical standards.

Selection of winners is based on

  • the results of the SAT or ACT tests,
  • school officials' evaluations,
  • extracurricular, leadership and athletic activities,
  • a personal interview and a Physical Aptitude Examination.

Illinois State ROTC Scholarship

Illinois State ROTC Campus Based Scholarship is a one to four year scholarship that pays full tuition, athletic and activity fees. It is awarded by the Chairman, Department of Military Science, on a competitive basis to students enrolled in Military Science classes. Up to 10 scholarships are awarded to each class. Once awarded, the scholarships are retained as long as the student is in good standing in the ROTC Program. Application for the scholarship should be made to the Chairman, Department of Military Science, EIU. Applicants are not required to be enrolled in a Military Science course at the time of application

In-State Tuition Waiver (ISTW)

  • Pays 100% tuition and 2 fees
  • Must be progressing toward commissioning
  • Pass or improvement on APFT
  • Pass or significant improvement on Height, Weight standards
  • Maintain 2.5 GPA

Illinois State ROTC Transfer Student Scholarship is awarded by State Community Colleges to students transferring to EIU and entering the ROTC Program. The scholarship pays 100% tuition, athletic and activity fees. Each Community College has up to three scholarships per year. The Chairman, Department of Military Science, certifies enrollment in the Army ROTC Program and the Scholarship is awarded by each Community College on a competitive basis. Applications should be made to the Chairman, Department of Military Science, Eastern Illinois University. Applicants are not required to be enrolled in a Military Science course at the time of application. All students will be counseled of their responsibility to maintain the Illinois General Assembly Scholarship.

ROTC Transfer Scholarship

  • Each CC in Illinois has up to 3 per year
  • Pays 100% tuition and 2 fees
  • Must be progressing toward commissioning
  • Pass or improvement on APFT
  • Pass or significant improvement on Height, Weight standards
  • Maintain 2.5 GPA

Barb wireIllinois National Guard Program

The Illinois National Guard Grant pays tuition and eligible fees (registration, graduation, and general activity fees) at all Illinois 2- or 4-year public colleges. The applicant must be active in the Illinois National Guard and have served for at least one year. Enlisted persons currently serving and C company grade officers are eligible for the grant. The Illinois National Guard Grant is an entitlement program and is awarded to eligible recipients regardless of the funding level. A grant recipient is entitled to receive payment of tuition and eligible fees for a period equivalent to 8 semesters of full-time enrollment. This grant can be used for either undergraduate or graduate enrollment. A recipient may not be in default on any student loan, nor owe a refund on any state or federal grant. There is no minimum enrollment requirement and non-credit courses are eligible for the Illinois National Guard Grant. To apply a student must file an Illinois National Guard Grant Application annually indicating the institution they plan to attend. Eligibility in one academic year does not carry over to future years. The deadline dates for applications are October 1 - first term, March 1 - second semester, and June 15 - summer term. More detailed application requirements and the application are available online at

GRFD Scholarship (2 or 3 year) – Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty

  • Must go into Reserve component
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be between ages 17 and 27
  • Have a College GPA of at least 2.5
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Score minimum 920 on the SAT or 19 on the ACT
  • Meet physical standards
  • Same benefits as ROTC federal scholarship
  • Receive GI Bill @ $288 per month
  • Receive Kicker @ $350 per month
  • Receive Book Allowance @ $1200 per year
  • Drill pay at E-5 pay grade ($250 per month)
  • Monthly Subsistence allowance (if contracted) $350 -$500 per month

RappelWhat Else Does the Program Offer?

Army ROTC cadets put their leadership studies into action during a field training exercise each semester. These activities usually take place somewhere in IL or neighboring states, and include events like tactical training, land navigation, obstacle courses, marksmanship training, leader reaction courses, and others.

Students can also participate in ROTC extracurricular activities. The Ranger Challenge Team engages in a physically and mentally grueling, multi-day competition against other universities. Success in Illinois and the Midwest can ultimately lead to a chance to enter the Sandhurst Competition at the USMA at West Point and compete against the best teams from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries.

The Panther Battalion Color Guard carries and presents the National and State Colors at many campus and local events, and the ROTC Cannon Crew is in the end zone for every home football game celebrating each score with cannon fire and pushups.

ROTC social activities include picnics at the beginning and end of the school year, and a formal Military Ball in the spring. We also volunteer as a group for many campus and community events and causes, and encourage volunteering individually to support Eastern Illinois University and the surrounding communities. The Leadership and Excellence Club is our Registered Student organization, and organizes many of our volunteer and social activities. LEC is open to all students, as is the Basic ROTC Course.

Cadets may also apply for summer internships at Army posts, Cultural Immersion programs in over 40 countries, and special military training such as Airborne (Parachute), Air Assault (Rappelling and Helicopters), and Basic Mountaineering Courses.

How Can Army ROTC Benefit Me?

  • Army ROTC can help you be successful during college and afterward.
  • You'll gain the confidence, self-discipline, and skills necessary to succeed in school and in business
  • You'll acquire leadership skills and credentials which will impress employers and put you ahead of your peers when you are seeking that job after graduation.
  • Your degree will get you the interview, but ROTC will help get you the job because of the practical experience.

I am a sophomore or a graduate student. Did I miss out on the opportunity to join ROTC?

The answer is no. The summer between your sophomore and junior year you can attend a four week training session at Fort Knox, Kentucky and become eligible to enter into ROTC’s advance course the fall of your junior year. Provided you are academically aligned and with graduate with your degree in four semesters. Graduate students can attend the training and become eligible to enter into ROTC’s advance course the fall of their first year in graduate school.

Interested students should contact the ROTC Office at (217) 581-5944, email or stop by Room 4303 in Klehm Hall.

Related Pages

Contact Information


Coleman 1757
Fax: 217-581-7078

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