COLLEGE STATION, TX — Texas A&M will be awarding $5 million dollars annually in additional scholarship funds for hundreds of Corps of Cadets students.
ROTC scholarships have long paid for a significant amount of expenses for cadets attending Texas A&M. The university announced Thursday morning that a new scholarship, known as the Patriot Scholarship, will go into effect immediately.
All of A&M’s 700 current ROTC scholarship recipients will now have their room and board paid for by the university, in addition to the tuition costs and student fees that are already covered.
"We lose some of those high-quality men and women every year to other universities and academies, because they cover room and board, and provide, in essence, a full-ride scholarship," said U.S. Marine Col. Michael Reilly, TAMU professor of navel science.
Reilly was one of several faculty members who assisted the university with making the Patriot Scholarship a reality.
“One of the key things this scholarship does is it allows me to attract, recruit and retain really high-quality men and women from all demographics and all areas around this country," Reilly said.
For ROTC students like cadet John Diederich, who plans to enter the Air Force, this new offer will provide great relief and he won’t have to question where he’ll find the money for housing each semester.
“How much am I going to get from the federal government?" Diederich said, explaining the concerns he's had each semester.
Or how much am I going to have to make at a job over the summer? How much do I need to take from my savings? Taking that extra work and thought out of the equation is much less stressful."
The scholarship is a part of Texas A&M's initiative to grow the Corps of Cadets to at least 3,000 members.
At this point, the Corps is comprised of approximately 2,100 young men and women. The scholarship also works retrospectively, and all ROTC students will be reimbursed for the room and board they’ve already paid for this semester.