The Reserve Officers' Training Corps offers elective programs to prepare college students for military careers. The ROTC curriculum is supplementary to a degree program and provides students financial support for their educations. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force operate individual ROTC programs.
Junior programs known as JROTC are offered in many high schools. These programs expose students to the discipline- and service-oriented mentality of the armed forces. In general, ROTC focuses on building the communication, leadership, teamwork and problem-solving skills required for military trainees to succeed in the field. Students in college ROTC programs complete courses related to specific branches of the armed forces, such as military science or naval science courses.
The ROTC is also partial to students pursuing degrees that are highly valued in the military, such as engineering, health care, aviation and law enforcement. ROTC programs are widely available but not offered at all colleges. Individual colleges determine whether ROTC students receive financial coverage for housing, textbooks and other living allowances in addition to tuition.
The ROTC awards merit-based scholarships to college students and graduating high school students. While stipulations vary by program, students are typically expected to begin service in the armed forces after graduating from college.