Joining the Unit

At any Navy ROTC unit, midshipmen are classified by their academic year and scholarship standing. Students may join the unit any time before their junior year (with exceptions), but all students must be selected for the national scholarship in order to commission. Most students apply for scholarship in the fall of their senior year in high school with applications typically due by the end of January. Those who did not apply or did not receive the scholarship can still join the unit, receive training, and apply multiple times until the start of their junior year. The national scholarship does not retroactively pay tuition, so a student who is accepted their sophomore year in college may only have 2-3 years covered*.

*Note: The UIUC tuition waiver is an Illinois-special program that waives in-state student’s tuition while they are applying for the national scholarship.

For the most current information on National Scholarships, visit Naval Education and Training Command.

Many units, including the University of Illinois, offer a New Student Orientation (NSO) of some kind, designed to give you the tools you need to succeed in this program. All incoming students for the fall semester should register to attend. Students already on scholarship are required to attend NSO at UIUC, in addition to New Student Indoctrination (NSI) at the Recruit Training Center Great Lakes.


  1. Apply for a four-year national scholarship before February of your graduating year online.
    1. Submit your application.
    2. Pass a Navy Physical Readiness Test (PRT) or Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test (PFT).
    3. Complete the officer interview.
    4. Receive notification of acceptance to UIUC/Parkland.
    5. Receive notification of acceptance for the national scholarship.
    6. ​​Contact your designated unit for further instruction.
  2. If you did not apply for the national scholarship or missed the deadline:
    1. Talk with our Midshipmen Recruiting Officer.
    2. ​Register to attend New Student Orientation (NSO).


  1. Talk with our Midshipmen Recruiting Officer
  2. ​Register to attend New Student Orientation

College program midshipmen will apply for 3 or 2-year national scholarships during their freshman and sophomore years. While they are applying, they will automatically be covered by our tuition waiver so long as they have in-state residency and remain in good standing. 

Midshipmen who do not pick up a scholarship may be awarded advanced standing in place of a scholarship. Those who fail to pick up advanced standing or a national scholarship by the start of their junior year will be dropped from the program and incur no service obligation.

CookieSettings CookieSettings